Wednesday, September 15

Even Contis Don't Last FOREVER

Something Got Through the Tire Casing and Not Even 6000 Miles Yet!
It had to happen. Today, when it came time to go home from work, my rear "Continental Grand Prix 4 Season" tire was getting flat. Luckily, the leak was slow enough that I was able to get home without having to change the tire by the expedient of using my mini pump to keep it rideable. The leak is slow enough that it seems to take two or three hours to go flat.

When I pumped things up to full pressure with the floor pump, I observed damage to the tread that went through the anti-flat caseing, along with a hissing noise, indicative of the correlation with the leaking air.

Is this tire done for? I really don't think it is, and it was actually simpler just to patch things than to walk to the bedroom closet and get the new tire out. What's more, I seem to have spotted a little wire that did the damage. Everything patched up and put right. I'll leave the new tire for a while longer before I put it on. For reference, I used a glue-on patch on the tube, and a glueless patch on the inside of the tire as insurance against a repeat. Because I line up the tire label with the valve, it's easy to line things up again. I'll leave the repaired tire off until tomorrow morning, just in case there is an unexplained pressure loss.


Oldfool said...

I just last week had a similar flat. A slow leak that I only had to pump up once to get home. I picked up a glass shard on the road which is not surprising since it is mostly broken glass. It glints so beautifully in the sunlight. The road ways and streets are not cleaned here of anything smaller than an engine block or a car body.
I line up the valve stem with the tire pressure label on mine but also mark the tube with chalk in two places for insurance. Patched the tube and the patch lines up with where the glass came through.
This was on the rear of my new old bike (the three speed). I found two of the new spokes broken right at the hub and not noticeable until the wheel was off. In all these years I've never had that happen before.
I think I'm going to go to solid rubber on my next tires like are used in third world countries since we seem to be one.

Justine Valinotti said...

Isn't it funny that with the tires that last longest, we try to squeeze as much life out of them as we can? I have spare Conti 4 seasons in my closets (I buy a pair or two whenever anyone has them on sale.), but, as you say, sometimes it's simpler to patch the one you've been riding than to pull out the spare.

Big Oak said...

It's sometimes hard to let go.

cafiend said...

It's always a little piece of wire. Where do those come from? I don't patch the pinholes in the casing, and in all my years commuting another piece of wire has never found the same hole.

To me a tire is fully worn out when the casing shows through the rubber. I don't always get there for various reasons, but I try.

Steve A said...

I patch the tire for the following three reasons:
1 - I've got a bunch of stick-on glueless patches that aren't good for much else, and it's possible they will help, particularly if my finger and eye missed a smidgeon of wire that got separated from the obvious one.

2 - It reinforces the tire casing in the vicinity of the penetration, possibly reinforcing the casing and preventing an "embolism" bulge leading to a subsequent failure. I have had tires fail in this manner and a reinforcing patch will help them last longer.

3 - I once got six flats in one day before the thought occurred to me to patch the tire as well as the tube. What can I say, I was a teenager at the time...

Steve A said...

Oh, the Conti is back on the road with no further problems and will probably hit 5400 miles tomorrow...

Oldfool said...

I just took two tires off a bike that almost made it here. They were within 1000 feet when one gave up. They crumbled in my hands. The other day a tried to salvage a tire and tube for an acquaintance here and the valve stem pulled loose from the tube trying to get it out of the rim.
You guys lead sheltered lives.

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