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I had to change my back tube yesterday and couldn't find anything by eye or by feel on the inside of the tyre, by eye on the outside (it's a schwalbe winter so you can't find anything except its own spikes by running it through your hands). The rim and rim tape were also clean.

Several of the spike bases showed signs of wear on the inside of the tyre, in one case there were threads showing. By the time I found that I'd taken the tube out, so I just covered it and put a new tube in.

I haven't yet patched the tube (I do them in batches to save the glue drying up on the shelf) but there was no visible damage (or hissing with everything still on the bike). The tyre had held pressure for a week before feeling low on Saturday and being confirmed on Sunday, so I'm not inclined to blame grit in the valve.

The tyres only have ~1000km on them, last winter and some of this winter. They've lost a few studs but the tread looks as new. They've only been used on tarmac (a few spots on my route are prone to black ice). They've also only been run close to the max pressure, as recommended for hard surfaces.

I'd be happy to dismiss it as bad luck, but if this is an issue I'll fit tyre liners next time I mount these tyres

So: Can the inner end of ice spikes wear through the casing to cause punctures?

  • You wrote: "in one case there were threads showing". In my case threads were cause of repeated punctures – krzyski Jan 9 '17 at 10:43
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    @krzyski that's intersting, and if the stud bases cause enough wear to expose the threads, that would be a reason to put a liner in between. – Chris H Jan 9 '17 at 11:27
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    What do you mean mean by "feeling low"? Its fairly normal for a tire to lose several psi over the course of a week just sitting. My road bike for instance I could pump to 120 psi and leave for a week and come back to a bike at 85 or 90 psi. That is normal, not a leak. What kind of pressure changes are we talking about? – Deleted User Jan 9 '17 at 19:08
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    @Criggie the threads I can see are coming from the tyre casing and don't appear to be anything sharp - maybe from the kevlar belt. The studs are mushroom-shaped with a flat head that I could believe would cause damage from its edges. I'm unusual in running them here but am slightly paranoid about black ice and don't really have a plan B in case we do have a bit of proper winter. – Chris H Jan 9 '17 at 20:34
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    Oh, that's disappointing. I thought from the title that you thought that a spike of actual ice had punctured your tyre and then melted, like in a murder mystery... – David Richerby Feb 16 '18 at 14:02
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The conclusion from the comments was that this is possible -- possibly the threads abrading the tube. To be on the safe side I'll cover that point with a patch or liner next winter.

  • I've also seen reviews for my studded tires with pictures showing the same situation. The stud causing wear on the tire, possibly causing punctures. I haven't experienced it myself, but it's definitely plausible. Wondering if Tuffy Liners or some gorilla tape on the inside of the tire may help prevent these issues. – Benzo Mar 6 '17 at 16:42
  • @Benzo I've heard mixed things about liners (though I use them on another bike for which I had spare tyres that weren't anti-puncture). I'm wondering about sticking a strip of old tube over the top (I have a blown-out tube looking for uses) – Chris H Mar 6 '17 at 16:44
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    Another technique is to line up the tyre's label with the valve stem, so that when you do find the puncture, you can focus on a very small area of the tyre searching for the damage. Even if you flip the tube/tyre this technique will point you at one or two 2inch sectors to search closely. Much easier than searching the whole tyre. – Criggie Mar 6 '17 at 19:37
  • @Criggie I normally do that, but the puncture wasn't obvious and I've since forgotten which tube - I save them up to fix a batch. But I search the whole tyre anyway even after finding the puncture, because broken glass tends to be a bottle's worth (other debris similarly clusters). These winter tyres aren't as robust as my usual marathon plus. – Chris H Mar 6 '17 at 20:22
  • Update: it did it again - another stud on the same tyre. I'm going to try using an old tube as a liner – Chris H Jan 31 at 16:39
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I have had eight Schwable Marathon tires. On one of these, the studs came through the casing several places and caused punctures after about 1000 km. Several of my other tires ran about 4000 km without this problem occuring.

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With my Schwalbe marathon I got 2 flats this month because the back part of the stud cut of the tyre and punctured the tube. I'm sure thats the reason because the cut is clearly visible and matches the inner part of the stud perfectly. I ride mostly tarmac and high pressure (usualy around 0.3-0.4 atm under the maximum allowed presure). Probably by hard braking or steep turn(I avoid them but commute rides sometimes pushes you to do such stuff) the stud got pushed by the tarmac or stone and hot having other place to go just cut the tyre. I bought them this winter and did around 1800-1900 km and I clearly see how every stud "head" made a small "bump" inside the tyre so I assume more punctures are about to come. I plan to put my old inner tube between the new one and the studs hopefully this will protect the tube till its time for summer tyres

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