When I run my hand on the inside of the rim, I can feel a protrusion of the spoke end going into the rim. Is that normal?

I have been getting about 5 or 6 flats, and they sometimes occur on the same place, but sometime on totally different place of the tube. I went to my local bike store, and he said to replace the inside rim tape. I had a black rubbery rim tape, and he made me replace it with a white, almost looks like its made out of cloth, rim tape. I put the new rim tape and a new tube but still got a flat.

Then I got frustrated that I needed to patch the tube again and put electrical tape two times over the inside rim, after which I wrapped the new rim tape around again. I finally got another flat in a totally different place and am not sure what to do any more. When I try to match the location on the rim to the hole, I can see that it roughly corresponds to a spoke end sticking out, and there is nothing on the tire when I run my fingers through it. The wheel is pretty old, I got it from a bike restoration shop. The holes in the tube are very small, the only way that I can find them is by filling a container with water and running an inflated tube through it. The tire I have is a Panasonic I got maybe 2 or 3 months ago.

What kind of rim should you have to put the black rubber rim tape and what kind of rim tape should you have when using the white cloth-like rim tape?

  • There may be something wrong with the nipple assuming you're using proper inflation and rim tape installation. I'd get the wheel checked out at a shop.
    – Batman
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 2:46
  • I think repeated pinhole leaks more likely mean either an old tube or something loose inside the tyre that's causing the puncture (especially if they're on the tyre side of the tube rather than the rim side).
    – Móż
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 3:10
  • 2
    Old wheel, can feel spokes through the tape, repeated flats... sure sounds like spoke punctures to me. It's odd that a bike shop would just sell him new tape when a spoke can be felt. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 4:08
  • 1
    It should be obvious if they are spoke punctures because they will happen on the inside of the tube. So you shouldn't need to speculate are they / aren't they
    – PeteH
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 9:21
  • 1
    The spoke should not poke out of the end of the nipple. Period. This situation is due to either a too-long replacement spoke being used in a repair, the spoke being stretched out, or the wheel not being properly "tuned". Get it checked in a competent shop. Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 10:24

1 Answer 1


If you can see the end of spoke going out of the nipple, you should polish it with a rasp. If you do not see it, but feel with your hand, the tape will be enough (if it put right, as Batman wrote).

  • 2
    I suggest a file rather than a rasp
    – andy256
    Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 12:38
  • 1
    A Dremel rotary tool with a small grinding bit works fairly well and is what is used in some production environments (where apparently quality control is too poor to assure the right size spokes are used in the first place). Commented Jun 6, 2014 at 16:27

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