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I finished a 2 hour bike ride outside today, and I parked it next to the wall in my kitchen after I got home. 3-4 hours later... all the sudden the front tire just "blew up". What happened? Thanks!

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How sunny was it? I've seen this happen (many years ago) when skinny-tired bikes were laid down in the sun after a hard ride. The tires would jump off the rims due to uneven thermal expansion. –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 8 '13 at 0:19
    
It wasn't sunny today! And it was nearly as hot as last week either... (70 degrees today). –  Smith Aug 8 '13 at 0:22
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Do check to make sure the side of the rim didn't fail. Is there a hole in the tire? –  Daniel R Hicks Aug 8 '13 at 1:05
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You've given us virtually no evidence to diagnose your problem. Look at your tire, tub, and wheel and report with anything suspicious so that we can attempt to figure out what happened. –  whatsisname Aug 8 '13 at 3:07
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Welcome to Bicycles! This is a bit of an odd situation, and I'll be interested in hearing the answer - this happens more often with riding or shortly after inflating a tire. I agree with @whatsisname - more information will help us give you a better answer. –  Neil Fein Aug 8 '13 at 15:38
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3 Answers

Check the tire carefully for a split in the carcass. There may have been a small split starting to appear, and leaving the bike in a position where the sun could come through a window and hit the bike, may have caused the tire pressure to increase enough to extend a split in the carcass enough so that the tube was forced through the tire and it blew the tube. I had a bike in the basement do this same thing. I had changed the tube and didn't realize the tire had a small split in teh carcass. I aired the tire up to the maximum and set it aside. Apparently the sun coming in through a window had enough of an effect on the tire that it suddenly blew the tire right off of the rim!

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Did you by any chance inflate the tire right before your ride? Sounds like a delayed-reaction blowout. (If so, I wince in sympathy -- same thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago.)

If you had a longish rip in the inner tube rather than a small hole or pair of holes, that's likely a blowout from overinflation.

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I have had this happen a few times. Sometimes it was due to mis-matched tire/rim max-PSI ratings (tire could handle a lot more pressure than the rim), or a ripped sidewall. But most of the time, it was the tire not beading correctly. If this is the problem, you will usually not see any evidence of this other than a blown tube. The best way to prevent this is to pump your tire to about 15 PSI then visually inspect the tire all around the rim to make sure the bead is sitting perfectly even around the whole wheel. A low PSI, like 15, allows you to adjust the tire by hand and still keeps it from sliding around too much

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There is a small seam that should sit a few millimeters above the rim that helps you see that the tire is seated right.

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