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I've just had my 4th puncture in 8 days on the bike I use to commute to work. Same back wheel each time. I haven't had a puncture before in the 2 years I've had this bike.

After the first puncture I replaced the tube. After the second puncture I repaired the tube. After the third puncture I replaced the tube and got a new tire. Two days later it's punctured again.

What's strange is that the punctures - tiny, like a thin needle - have all been on the part of the tube facing the tire. They have all been randomly spread around the tube with respect to the valve. Both these seem to indicate it has nothing to do with the rim, and yet with a new tire it's still punctured...?

Any thoughts?

(I'm considering the possibility that someone is sabataging my bike while it's parked in my university parking, though there is evidence against this also.)

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    Possible duplicate of Repeat Punctures – mattnz Aug 4 '17 at 4:31
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    Sabotage is certainly possible - try parking the bike with back wheel into the rack. See if your mysterious pinctures move to the front (more easily accessible) wheel. – Criggie Aug 4 '17 at 22:01
  • Most punctures, in my experience, look tiny when you look at the inner tube. Remember that a nail puncturing the tube isn't like a drill removing a cylinder of rubber: it doesn't remove any material at all but pushes it to the side, so the hole closes up again. I'd consider sabotage of your route (somebody dumping a load of tacks somewhere), though the way you write suggests all the punctures were to the same wheel, which doesn't seem right for that. But you could try taking a completely different route, if there is one that's not crazy. – David Richerby Aug 6 '17 at 21:20
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The answer to my question -- why did my bike puncture four times, even after replacing the tube and tire -- turned out to be: bad luck.

The first three punctures were caused by some damage in the tire (the punctures on the tube were all on the tire side). After I replaced the tire, I got another puncture - but this time the puncture was on the part of the tube facing the rim. On inspection I was that my rim tape was protruding up at the point of the puncture. Because I had a new tire and tube I had pumped the wheel up more than usual, which perhaps meant that rim tape protrusion was now a problem.

So, four punctures in one week: three from the tire, one from the rim.

For anyone else experiencing a confusing series of punctures, consider that you may be unlucky and that there are multiple problems in your wheel!

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    Great sleuthing! You can mark your own answer as correct (check the check box next to it). This helps clear up our question queues. Congrats on figuring it out! – RoboKaren Aug 20 '17 at 13:06
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Did you replace your tire with a brand new one, or did you originally buy a bunch of tires? Some brand/model tires (for example, some cheaper Continental tires - the ones Conti outsourced to Russia) deteriorate over time just by being exposed to air/oxygen. Replacing your old tire with another tire you bought at the same time as the one in the bike, will not solve your problems.

One advice I feel very comfortable giving you, is to use Schwalbe's puncture resistant tires. For a commuter, this is a no-brainer. If you want a bombproof solution, you could get the Scwalbe Marathon Plus: https://www.schwalbe.com/en/tour-reader/marathon-plus.html

Depending on your body weight and the conditions on the road, a Marathon Plus might be overkill.

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Also, check beneath the rim tape to make sure the spoke hasn't been adjusted so the end of the spoke protrudes beyond the nipple and into the tape.

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Had anything significant changed on your route?

In my city we had a bad delivery of crushed glass, which is used for marking cycle lanes like this:

https://www.nzta.govt.nz/assets/Walking-Cycling-and-Public-Transport/img/cycle-network-guidance/photos/planning-guide/_resampled/FitWzkwMCw2MDBd/cycle-lane-transition-to-off-road-path.jpg

And suddenly there was a spate of punctures. Turns out that green covering is made of glass which has been tumbled long enough to remove all the sharp edges, but not long enough to polish the flatter sides. So its got some grip for the paint, but shouldn't be sharp enough to puncture.

Consider what might have changed on your route - new asphalt or roadworks? A new patch of broken bottle in your lane somewhere?

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This happens all the time; no punctures for months and then all of a sudden I'll get a load of them in a row. One morning I replaced my tube before heading to work after discovering the valve had failed - then halfway to work I got an actual puncture. I also seem completely unable to properly fix a tube at the roadside - If I fix them at home it's a permanent repair but when I do it out and about I'll have the tire off again before I get where I'm going. It's just sod's law.

  • Welcome to SE Bicycles. Do please take the time to read the tour to see how things work here - in that answers have to be answers. Your reply does cover a valid point ("coincidence") but this is already covered in the accepted answer as "bad luck" Your second point of possible "bad patching" is also a good idea, but OP says there was a new tube at least once. Do please feel free to have a crack at answering some of the other questions on the site. – Criggie Dec 11 '18 at 9:38

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