This is a little embarrassing, so I hope no one makes fun of me... But I am a big girl. I always have been. Very big frame, big shoulders, big head, hands and feet. My whole life I've been healthy and athletic at 5'7 230-240 pounds.
I'm 25 years old and two years ago I was put on medication that made me gain almost a hundred pounds. I've been trying everything to lose the weight, and a year ago I got rid of my car and opted for a bike, and have been riding a minimum of 2 miles a day since. I've still been unable to lose the weight, but that's not the issue I'm discussing right now.
So I began with what I believe to be a super old, possibly 1950's Schwinn Beach Cruiser, only one gear, back pedal brakes. The tires were rotted, so I used the cheapest ones I could find, CST white wall 26 x 2.125. The tubes were also CST. I began getting flats often immediately. Mostly the back tire, sometimes the front... But like once a month minimum. I now weigh 305-324 pounds.
Eventually I got a new Electra Beach Cruiser, same style bike but very large and sturdy, which I love for my weight, only the tires were rotted and I just opted to stay with the Schwinn for a while. But I did find a thorn resistant tube someone had cut to line the back tire. I put that in the back tire of my Schwinn, and actually went a couple months with out a flat. I think I got one in like 2 months, which was a big difference, and I was stoked.
However, the Schwinn's rims had broken spokes from the get go, and eventually the back rim got too warped to ride. I honestly didn't like riding the Electra as much... It was like it was easier to pedal but didn't go any where, thus making it harder to pedal. But, now I had no choice, so I put my CST tires and CST tubes on the Electra's rims including the thorn proof tube liner in the back tire.
Within a couple days, I got a flat. That was two months ago, and ever since I've been getting at least two flats a week.
Oh, I forgot to mention, someone had stabbed my back CST tire about 6 months ago so I put a boot (a piece of another tire to cover it). The last 3 times I got a flat, I could feel the air coming out of the stab hole, and the tubes puncture would be on the side where the stab hole was, even though the boot was in place.
So about a week and a half ago I bought a new CST 26 x 2.125 tire. I cut up the old one with the stab hole in it, thoroughly inspected it for thorns, and lined the new tire while it, and put a new tube in.
The NEXT DAY I had a flat!!!
So, again I got a new tube (I purchase a new tube every time because I can never get patches to hold) I checked to see if there were any sharp spokes, which there wasn't and the rim liner was still intact. I did another thorough inspection of the inside tire and found the tiniest thorn in it. However, the puncture hole on the tube was on the side, so it didn't seem like that caused it, but any way, I put it all back together, this was last weekend, and I've gotten TWO FLATS since then!
Every flat is a very slow leak. Mist are on the side of the tube, but they don't appear to be "snake bite" flats as there is always only one hole.
I've eliminated every possibility that I know of. There are two tires protecting the tube. I've searched for hidden thorns, and the rim has a liner to protect the tube from sharp spokes. The only thing I can think of is that I simply weigh too much.
I like a super hard tire. They say they take 65 psi, but I've had them pop at 55-60, so I keep them at 45psi, 50 if I can get away with it, and sometimes 35-40 if I'm using my little hand pump, because its hard to go past that, just getting it to 35 takes 300 pumps lol.
I often carry 3 to 4, gallons of water home with me as well, as we have to buy our drinking water at the store... So that's almost every day. I also live in a very old neighborhood where some streets are very bumpy.
Any way, now that I've given you the back story, my questions are as follows:
A. Could the liner I'm using (an old tire with the side walls cut off) be causing the flats? I did this under my LBS's (loca bike shop's) instruction, but I immediately was concerned about the rough edges I created by cutting off the sidewalls. They insisted it was fine.
B. I am aware the rim has a weight limit, and I am aware I should get a new one built, but as far as flats go and the tube itself, does the tube have a "weight limit"? And if so, would buying a higher quality tube be beneficial? Or "knobbier" tires?
C. I am also looking into the solid inner tubes with no air. They are surprisingly in expensive. Couple questions concerning these:
will they ride as if I have a "rock hard" tire, or as if I'm riding on 65psi? (Because the less pressure in the tire the more uncomfortable the ride)
it's always my back tire that goes flat. I have an EXTREMELY low budget, I get paid about 50$ a week, (I fix guitars at a local mom and pop guitar shop) so I will probably only be able to afford one solid "no - air" tire at first. Can I ride with one solid tire, one air?
Will the fact that I weight more have any affect on how the solid inner tubes ride?
D. I see people are mentioning "snake bite" flats quite a bit... But again, every time I get a flat and inspect the tube, it's only one tiny hole, and it's a very slow leak. Could this still be a "pinch flat" from not inflating the tube enough and my weight?
Any suggestions? If you honestly think it's my weight, I won't get offended, but if it is, is there anything I can do about it? (Other than lose weight).
Ps. In addition to the questions I added, I am going to try to add links to pictures of my bike, wheel, and liner I'm using later today, and again I weighed myself today, I am 319 pounds.
I originally put the wrong tire size. It's 26 x 2.125!