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So I decided to replace my bike tires to Gatorskins to prevent punctures.

Anyway, so I installed them and they seemed to be okay. I had checked it a day or two afterwards and it was okay. But this morning, after 3 days, I see the tyre is flat again.

I hadn't rode it since putting the new tires in (well I rode it quickly round the block to see how it went but that was like 2 minutes). So I'm struggling to figure out what happened. I know sometimes installing a new tire, you can accidentally puncture the new tube and that's happened a few times for me. But they're usually because I've left the sharp object in the tire or I've damaged the tube somehow when trying to install it. Usually if I stuff it up like this, the leak will be apparent and I'll know straight away.

But this time I'm putting in new tyres and I also used a new inner tube. And the leak took several days so hole must be very slow. Since I haven't rode it, it must've been from me installing it, but what could've caused this? Is it possible to get a slow leak from installing a new tire?

Could it have something to do with the tubes I've used? Maybe they're defective?

  • 1
    Pump up the tire and spit on the valve. Do you see bubbles? – Daniel R Hicks Dec 10 '14 at 2:56
  • I had this issue, but I found out that the new tire was defected. It had wire beads and they was separating from the rest of the tire. This caused the tube to expand into the hole and rub the tire belts or to get pinched on the rim. – BPugh Dec 10 '14 at 16:43
  • Its unlikely but not impossible for a brand new tube to have a pinhole. Damage during packing/shipping/general handing, or some prat with a pin in the shop can cause damage. – Criggie Mar 12 at 2:23
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I would more suspect a leaking valve. If you pinch the tube putting it in then it is typically not a slow leak.

If the valve is removable the pull it and look for any debris or defect on the seat. I had a set of cheap tubes that had like 1/2 loose valves. Remove it with pressure in the tire to blow out debris you cannot get to.

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I'm always worried about pinching my tubes when installing them, I've done it loads of times, especially when installing really tight tires. You can pinch a tube just enough to get a slow leak, so you're right to wonder if that's a probable cause.

It could also be the valve as @Blam suggests, especially if it's a schrader valve tube (same valve type as car tires).

Another likely culprit is the rim of the wheel itself. Does the rim have a proper rim tape/rim strip on it? If your rims aren't properly taped, then when you pump your tires up to pressure you can actually puncture the tube on the spokes, or cut the tube on the spoke holes, depending on how many walls your rim has. Check to make sure your tube is protected from the rim.

Rim Strip
(source: rockymountainatvmc.com)
Simple Ruber Rim tape/strip

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