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I have only bought my bike for a month and a half and within this time span, my innertube actually burst 4 times. The bike itself is relatively cheap so I doubt that the tires are of good quality. I am currently considering changing my tires to better ones so as to not waste money on tubes anymore, but do tires really lessen the chances of my innertubes bursting/puncturing?

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  • Where on the inner tube was the burst? Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 16:04
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    An innertube of even mediocre quality does not "just burst". There must be a "discontinuity" in the "envelope" around it (the rim and tire) that leaves a bit of the tube without support such that it balloons out. Sometimes this is a missing rim strip, sometimes it's a hole in the tire, sometimes it's the tire slipping off the rim. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 18:19
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    And as Carson's question suggests, where on the tube the "burst" occurs can tell you a lot. If it's on the part that presses against the rim them likely there's a hole in your rim strip (or the rim strip is missing entirely). If it's in the area of the tread then likely there's a hole (cut) in the tire. If the tube bursts near the junction between rim and tire then it's likely that the tire is slipping off the rim. Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 20:58
  • I had a wheel, where the tube was stretching on the 2 nipples near the valve (1 each side) and bursting (there was an isolierband on them). Tried to shape them, but it didn't help...
    – Alexander
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 3:47

5 Answers 5

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Its extremely unlikely for an inner tube to just burst.

It sounds like you are suffering from punctures. There are two types of puncture; the first is an object penetrating the tire and inner tube, and the second is a 'pinch' puncture where an impact causes the inner tube to be pinched between the tire and rim.

Many bikes (even expensive ones) come with poor quality tires as standard, and yes, changing them can make a big difference to penetration punctures. No tire is 100% puncture proof, but something like a Schwalbe Marathon Plus is very close, but is heavy and can give a harsh ride. Continental Gatorskins are favored by many as a good compromise between puncture resistance, rolling speed and comfort.

Pinch punctures are usually caused by hitting an object (such as a pothole) with too little pressure in the tire. Adding more air to the tire (don't go over the maximum limit) usually prevents these.

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  • There's a third type of puncture. One that is caused by some sharp object inside the rim. Spoke nipples or the valve stem hole may have a rough spot that's puncturing the tube. Inspecting the punctured tubes will help determine if this is the cause. If they all have punctures in the same place, and that puncture is on the inside of the tube (closest to the rim), that's likely your cause.
    – digijim
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 16:27
  • Good catch, i've never had one of these so didn't think of it.
    – Andy P
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 16:38
  • fwiw, I don't think you need to go all out and get Gatorskins or Marathon Plus. Sure, they'll protect against punctures, but they are also heavy and provide a harsh ride. I was due for new tires and decided to splurge on Continental GP4000S II, and I haven't had any punctures in the 2 months I've had them. They provide good protection while still being light and giving a good ride. I think that most high quality tires that aren't made super thin for racing will give decent puncture protection. The cheap ones and the stock ones from BSOs are the ones to watch out for.
    – Kibbee
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 21:57
  • Depends where you ride - if there are road hazards, I'd rather just keep a tougher tire.
    – Batman
    Commented Oct 10, 2014 at 2:08
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Yes, absolutely. Spend an extra 20 dollars on good tires and you could save yourself 30 dollars worth of tubes. Plan on spending somewhere around 40 to 50 dollars a tire. Even if tubes were free, the money is worth saving the hours spent on the side of the road dealing with flats. Look for tires in the 'training' or 'commuting' category, for extra puncture protection.

It should go without saying, take care to stay within the rated PSI of the tire when pumping it up.

http://www.biketiresdirect.com/product/continental-gatorskin-700c-road-tire

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Yes, better tires can help prevent punctures. It has already been mentioned that there are tires specifically made to enhance puncture resistance. One thing that has not been mentioned is that better tires also have stronger sidewalls to offer more tire support when going over bumps and thus better protect against pinch flats. (Once, I had a cheap tire with flimsy sidewalls on my back wheel for use on a stationary trainer. I took it out on a road ride properly inflated and got a pinch flat on the first bump I hit.)

A few tips whether you replace your tires or not:

  • Keep proper air pressure to avoid pinch flats (i.e., the tire pinching the tube against the rim when hitting a pothole, curb, etc)
  • If you are getting repeated flats, make sure nothing is lodged in your tire. A piece of glass or wire that is stuck in the tire will puncture every tube you install until you find and remove it.
  • Avoid debris on the roadways. A lot of people ride in a straight path over everything they encounter on the road (rocks, pebbles, broken bottles). Steer around these things.
  • Keep proper air pressure. I know I said that once already. It can't be said enough.
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  • Someone on this site once joked that people with Marathon Plus tires make a point of steering through debris, because (or as if) they can.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 6:43
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If the tube leaks out from under the wire bead it will burst. If you had a cheap tire with a stretched bead that can happen. If it is real easy to slide the tire on the rim that is a bad sign. If that was how the burst happened then a new tire would help. This can happen on even a good new tires if you over inflate too far. If it bursts again the you need to look at the rims.

See hook bead on this page bicycle tire

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By the term bursting "Inner tube bursting" is not caused by the tire but is caused by over inflating.

Please get a good quality rubber tube(rubber doesn't change its color when tube is inflated )

Yeah and also a combination of a good tube and tires significantly reduces the risk of flats(especially on a road bike) -I have got a set of tire liners and an extra layer of rim tapes as a precaution and until date it seems to be going great!! :)

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    Over-inflation must be quite extreme to cause "inner tube bursting", and when it occurs the tire will fail in a quite obvious fashion -- either split open or pop off the rim. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 11:45

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