My last three punctures weren't punctures at all (ie not a flint or thorn) but each time i looked at the tube it was like a small area of rubber had been rubbed away or just fell off. These are continental tubes. What could i be doing wrong when putting new tubes in? I always check the inside of the tyre too! The most recent case was a slow puncture, but the two before that were pretty quick.

When I looked at the tyre, there was quite a long cut, about 15 mm, presumably caused by a stone, running around the circumference of the tyre. My guess is that the deformation of this part of the tyre pushed the 2 edges of the cut in on every turn of the wheel which after a few hundred miles rubbed right through it.

  • 7
    Photos of the punctured tubes would be helpful in diagnosing the cause.
    – gschenk
    May 26, 2019 at 13:05
  • 1
    Where on the tube does this occur? Kind of sounds like a spoke is rubbing on the inside diameter of the tube. Another vague possibility is that the tubes you're using are too large and are doubling over inside the tire. And, of course, ALWAYS check the inside of the tire for any foreign object when fixing a puncture. May 26, 2019 at 13:12
  • If memory serves the damage is always on or near the outermost part of the tube, ie away from the wheel rim. I would go and take a pic now but i foolishly repaired yesterday's tube. Thanks for all input. Is it possible to put a tube in which claims to be slightly too small?
    – D R Ball
    May 26, 2019 at 14:58
  • When did you change the rim-tapes last? Could they be too narrow or too wide?
    – Carel
    May 26, 2019 at 15:17

2 Answers 2


It sounds like either something is rubbing a hole in the tube or it's a defective tube.

If it's a wear hole you might be able to locate what caused the wear hole.
Your wear point was either the tire, rim, or sometimes a tube gets folded and wears against itself.

I always put my tubes and tubes on so that the pressure rating on the tire is above the valve stem and on the freewheel side of the rear wheel or on the non-lever side for the front wheel. Doing this makes it easy to find pressure ratings and it allows me to more easily find where a hole in my tube came from.

Even if you don't know exactly how the tube was laying inside the tire looking at the hole in the tube in relation to the valve stem can help you find the wear spot.

Finding a rim wear point
If the hole is on the valve side of the tube in the narrow band that contacts the rim you can put the tube back on the rim and line up the hole with the rim to find the wear point. The wear point would be in one of two spots on either side of the valve hole in the rim. Look for something about the rim that might cause wear and correct it. Everything should be smooth and abrasion free.

Finding a tire wear point
If you know how the tube sat in the tire - because you put it on a specific way or because you remember then trace the hole back to the tire and look for a rough spot or something that could cause wear.
If you don't know how the tire sat in the tube feel around inside the tire and make sure everything is smooth. Be sure to check the inside of the tire bead.

Folded tube
If the hole is due to the tube rubbing on itself there are sometimes fold marks on the tube around the hole. When installing a tube make sure that it lies smoothly inside the tire with no creases or folds.

Defective tube
If the tube is defective it will look like the tube material gets thinner around the hole or the seam is thinner than the rest of the material. If the hole looks rubbed or abraded then it's not a defect. Your local bike shop should have someone with an experienced eye who can identify defects.

  • Defective tube: There may be an entire batch of tubes with the same defect. // This problem also underlines the importance of always putting the label of the tyre next to the valve. It makes relating a tyre-caused puncture to its location.
    – Carel
    May 26, 2019 at 15:15

Ar you using a tyre liner? I was too cheap to put decent tyres on my beater bike so used liners, which worked well against glass but eventually the end of the liner wore through the tube. This was easily solved with a bit of tape, after smoothing the very slightly rough edge.

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