Took quite a fall today while riding, big divot in a gravel path right over the peak of a small hill. After replacing the chain and doing a quick inspection, I resumed the 10 mile trip to the car. I did not press on the tires.

I noticed for the remainder of the trip that traction was suboptimal, which I thought was due to the fact they put down fresh, but finer than normal gravel. Anyway, towards the end of the trip I had a major traction issue while doing a slow turn which made me scratch my head, and turns out the rear tire pressure was 0. I have no idea how long or short it was like that.

What should I keep in mind to restore that wheel to safe, usable condition?

  • 1
    After inspecting everything for obvious damage, I'd suggest you get a new inner tube, mount tire with new tube on the rim, and inflate to a moderate pressure. Ride the bike around the block that way (to make sure the tire is properly seated), then inflate to about 10 pounds over the max sidewall rating and see if it holds. If the rim has been dinged you're apt to see the tire pop off the rim. If the tire has tears in it you'll get a more conventional blow-out. Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 3:02
  • def buying a new tube. I see a lot of mixed info on this, what are some of the best tubes? I was using a continental light 28 and have no interest in light tubes ever again.
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 3:48
  • Thanks for your input btw. Finding posts here over the last couple years has been great for keeping my bike in great shape
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 3:51
  • Also, what are the symptoms that a tire is going/has become flat? In retrospect besides mildly decreased traction I really didn't notice.
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 12:22
  • For me it's generally been a noted increase in the difficulty of pedaling on a smooth horizontal surface, plus a sensation that the tire has suddenly become very hard. If the tire is only halfway flat one notes it is bouncy and mushy. Would be much more difficult to detect off-road, I suspect. Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 12:25

2 Answers 2

  • The wheel is unlikely to have suffered any damage, unless you experienced a really hard bump (for example from going over a big stone at full speed). Just to be safe, check the rim for damage (such as dents) and make sure the wheel is still true.

  • The tire itself is most likely to have suffered. By running on a flat tire, the tire is subject to much more flexing than when inflated - in the long run, this will damage the tire. If the tire has deep creases or is torn, especially on the flanks, you will have to replace it. Otherwise it is probably ok to use.

  • Finally, make sure the inner tube did not suffer a puncture, and replace it if it did.

With these precautions, you should be ok.

  • Thanks for your answer. I will be replacing the inner tube no matter what. I check pressure before every ride and it was perfect. I have a feeling I rode 10 miles flat along a gravel trail. I'll take a look at the wheel tomorrow and will be ordering a new tire
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 0:37

The first thing to check is if the tire has incurred any damage, such as something going through it. Then, check how the tube was damaged -- was it a snakebite flat indicating under inflation in the first place? Did it get damaged at the valve? Did a spoke poke through? etc.

Then, for the wheel itself. I'd check the rim for being bent or dented (this may imply checking/adjusting spoke tension) as well as imperfections in the rim edge (which you can sand off lightly if they aren't severe).

If those are ok, then mount the tire + tube and go ride.

  • Is the wheel repairable if it has these issues? I haven't had the chance to check yet...just resting in bed tonight I think. After thinking about it more I think I ended up riding flat for 10 miles
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 0:38
  • Probably will be fine.
    – Batman
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 2:47
  • Used the wrong word in my prior comment. Just a couple of scratches along both the rim edge and inner edge. You'd advise just light sandpaper to smooth the inner surface?
    – Mike S
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 18:11

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