I’m an avid rider- have ridden about 7,000 miles (11,200 km) in the past 4 years with 2 flats total. This year I’ve had the following

  1. Flat in front wheel right across from the valve stem. I replaced the tube the first time, then took into the shop to have a new tire installed the second time a got a flat

  2. A third flat in the same spot about 50 miles later. Took it back to the shop- he said the tire seemed pinched, was maybe a manufacturing defect. He retaped the wheel, gave me a brand new tire.

  3. about 50 miles later, another flat in roughly the same spot. Took it back, we cannot figure out what’s going on - he can’t find anything. He put in a new tube but it suffered a pinch flat right in the store before I could even put it on the bike.

All the tires have been Continental Gatorskins.

So now, I’ve had 5 flats and cannot figure out what’s going on. Rims look fine - have had no falls, dents or dings.

Thanks for the suggestions. I am on tire #4, so its not the tire.

The flats have been both on the inside and outside, all about the same spot on the rim. I normally fill to ~ 100 psi - nothing has changed as far as my riding style, locations, fill pressure.

Could the rims have something to do with it?

  • 3
    Was the tube-hole on the outside (ie the rolling line) or the inside (nearest the axle) or on a side (ie inside the sidewall) ?
    – Criggie
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 7:08
  • 1
    What is the tyre size? What pressure do you run? How do you cross obstacles like potholes, manhole- and access covers?
    – Carel
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 7:25
  • Pinch flats can come from incorrect installation (tube pinched between tire and rim) or insufficient pressure when riding over obstacles.
    – Michael
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 8:04
  • 1
    Two ideas - get a permanent marker and draw on the rim, tyre and tube where the punctures are happening. See if they're consistent in any one thing. Second, ask someone else to install the tube in your tyre and watch what they do differently.
    – Criggie
    Commented May 23, 2020 at 22:13
  • 1
    Also try a different type (not even just brand) of rim tape. Perhaps there's something odd about the rim causing the tape to sit badly. And check the spokes/wheel truing while you've got the tape off, in case one is pushing right against the tape
    – Chris H
    Commented May 24, 2020 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


In addition to Criggie's suggestion, if the hole in your tube from your last flat is facing the tire, when you get your next flat; remove the tire/tube together from the wheel, put a mark on the tube and tire with a ink marker to record the position of the tube in the tire. When you find the hole in the tube, you will be able to correlate it to a spot on the inside of the tire where there may be a sharp thing of some kind protruding from the casing. Sometimes small sharp objects can become embedded in your tire but are not obvious. By narrowing down the spot on your tire where the flat occurred it will be easier to discover anything that could puncture your tube. Lightly and carefully run your fingers around the inside of the tire, sometimes you can't see what is killing your tube but you can feel something pointy. Be careful!

You can use the same trick to focus on an area of your rim. Feel around carefully for burrs where the flat occurred, double check the tape, etc.

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