I had 4 punctures happen in a similar fashion: they all punctured with an explosive "whoosh" sound a few minutes after inflating. Here are pictures of punctures 2 to 4.

Puncture #2

Puncture #3

Puncture #4

As you can see, they look almost identical. All of them are facing the sidewall of the tire, but they are in different places.

After the 1st puncture, I thought that there could be debris in the tire that caused it, so I thoroughly felt inside the tire, around the tube, and inside the rim. There was no debris and I did not feel anything sharp. I patched it, reinflated just the tube to make sure I fixed it, then fitted it back on the wheel.

After the 2nd puncture, I bought a new inner tube, thinking the last one was bad. Same thing happened. Admittedly, I did not have the best technique for fitting the tire on because I was sort of sweeping the lever around the entire wheel, so for the 4th attempt, I used my hands as much as possible until the very end to lever the last bit in. Additionally, I fitted the tire from the other side with the cogs facing me, and I remembered the location where I used the lever. I squeezed the tire all the way around, making sure that the inner tube was not pinched.

As this picture below shows, the 4th puncture happened on the same side as the 3rd, which leads me to believe that my technique is not the cause. The puncture is nowhere near the area where I used the lever. I checked for debris or sharp edges again carefully, and there is nothing.

Photo of bike wheel

I've had this bike, wheel and tire for 6 years, and this sort of puncture has never happened before. What would you do at this point? I could replace the tire to a Gatorskin. But nothing about the tire or wheel changed when this started happening. Another option is to go tubeless but I don't want to put in the work required for it.

Edit: I realized that there was a hole in the tire where the 4th puncture occurred. When the puncture happened, I felt a puff of air coming out of the tire. I didn't think much of it then, but could this be a big hint as to what happened?

Hole in tire

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    Is it possible that the tire is damaged in such a way that a "plug" pops opens under pressure? I'd normally suspect that the blowout is through one of the spoke holes, but you say that the failure is through the side of the tire. Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 1:43
  • @DanielRHicks The punctures are not where the spokes are. I also felt the rim tape where the spokes connect to and they were not sharp. Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 4:18
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    Yeah, you have a hole in the tire. The tube failures move around because you do not always position the tire the same way when you do your repairs. A temporary fix would be the old folded dollar bill trick, but the tire needs to be replaced. Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 12:31

1 Answer 1


I'm guessing, but that damage looks like a blow out not a puncture from something sharp.

I remember having similar daggy-edged punctures due to a lack of support - the tube was herniating out a small hole in the tube and literally exploding.

It also looks like the kind of damage one gets from pinching the tube with the tyre, and then inflating. The fold in the tube looks like it was nipped and the edges tear as the air flows out fast.

So examine your rim closely, look for damage to the bead and to the rim strip, and for any sharp edges on the bead and on any spoke hole.

You've done excellent to note that the punctures are all happening at the same offset from the valve hole. If you always line up the tyre's visible label with the valve hole then that helps find the two offsets where a cause could be, and this is "good practice"

In your case, the hole appears to be on the rim side of the tube, so look closely at those two points.

If you suspect the rim strip to be thin, then temporarily fix with a layer of masking tape or insulation tape wrapped around the whole rim, in lieu of replacing the rim tape immediately.

If you're just unlucky and pinching the tube on install, then consider your technique. Some people add a puff of air before pushing the second bead over the rim; this helps lift the tube into the depths of the tyre.

Going tubeless may fix this by accident, but its not really solving the root cause. Persevere and you'll get there !

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    Reading about how a tube can herniate and puncture through a small hole reminded me of a hole in the tire. I edited the post to show the picture. This could be it! It's a tiny hole though; I suppose 100 psi can cause the rubber to push through. And I will for sure align the label with the valve hole; it will help me with future punctures. Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 4:34
  • @wholesomedumbass You could try booting that area - adding a thick cheap patch to the inside of the tyre. However in my experience the patch will not stick very well. Looks like the tyre was ridden flat for a while and the edge of the rim has abraded the sidewall and cut enough threads there. Or its possible some part of the brake was rubbing there for long enough to do similar damage. Worst case, its time for a new tyre. (also tubeless won't help this in the slightest :)
    – Criggie
    Commented Jun 7, 2021 at 8:22

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