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Old 08-02-2012, 12:20 PM
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K'Tesh K'Tesh is offline
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Lightbulb Bike (car) rack trouble...

Was surfing over on bike forums.net when I read about a rider having a problem with a mystery substance that melted his tire.


Quote:
so i went down to the bike room this morning to grab my steed for the morning ride into work, and the front tire was completely flat. ugh.

not wanting to be late to work, i quickly rip the tire off the rim, yank the tube, and throw a spare tube in. as i'm inflating, i hear some stretching, tearing kinds of sounds, then i see the new tube blister right through the side wall and then, POP. it blew like a gun shot. taking a closer look, it appeared as though some kind of solvent had gotten into my wheel and had chemically melted the tire side wall, the old inner tube, and all the way down to the rim tape.

with the tire completely ruined, i tossed that bike aside and went upstairs and grabbed my road bike instead. lesson learned, ALWAYS look at flat tire/tube closely to see what's going on before attempting to repair, even if it takes an extra minute.

does anyone else have experience with somethine like this? what could i have ridden through out on the road that would have eaten away through a tire like this? any ideas?

it definitely wasn't something mechanical. i can clearly see where the rubber of the tire, tube, and rim tape has been chemically melted. the rubber is bubbled and "melty" looking. and the bike has disc brakes so it certainly wasn't brake pad rub. i have that before and i know what that looks like. this looked totally different. whatever it was it got deep into the rim and even melted the rim tape. it wasn't a pinch flat.

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Possible someone tampered with your bike. Some kind of acid, perhaps?
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i suppose that's possible, but i'd be curious as to why someone would do that. and then there's also the when. the last time i rode the bike (which was working perfectly fine) was this past sunday on vacation up on mackinac island, MI. then the bike came home and i put it back in its spot down in the secure, video-surveillance bike room in my condo building. this morning was the first time since vacation i tried to use the bike and noticed the flat front tire. now mackinac island, because of its no cars allowed policy is awash in horse urine, and i have heard that the acid in horse urine in high enough concentrations can be somewhat caustic. perhaps i splashed through a puddle of concentrated horse urine on the island and it got onto my tire, and then over the course of a few days sitting in the bike, it ate through my tire and tube?
Then I suggested that it sounded like the tire was cooked by a car's exhaust. Turned out he had used a bike rack on the rear of the car, and the wheel was near the exhaust.

So, if you use a bike rack on your car, make sure you're not cooking your tires.
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 08-02-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:42 PM
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Lightbulb Which reminds me...

DON'T forget your bike is on top of the car when using a roof rack!



And don't park your bike against the rear wall of the garage if you have to back into it to park your car. I saved my Mom's new Fuji Finest from being crushed when I insisted that she not leave the bike there. A month later, my nieces bumped the marker that prevented mom from hitting the bike, and she damaged a shelf while returning home one night.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K'Tesh View Post
Then I suggested that it sounded like the tire was cooked by a car's exhaust. Turned out he had used a bike rack on the rear of the car, and the wheel was near the exhaust.

So, if you use a bike rack on your car, make sure you're not cooking your tires.
I have suspicions that this was a rubber cement encounter. An acid would cause a crumbly embrittlement that would more resemble flame burning without the char. A rubber solvent would weaken the entire tire in a way that would resemble melting wax; add pressure and blam.

Now if it was my garage the would be a reasonable chance I accidentally rolled over any number of solvents.
If I was a sloppy tube repair guy, or somehow accidentally left a tiny tube of rubber solvent from the patch kit INSIDE the tire, then I would guess that this was an inside job. As in melting through from the inside.
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Old 08-02-2012, 07:55 PM
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Lightbulb

Quote:
Originally Posted by q`Tzal View Post
I have suspicions that this was a rubber cement encounter. An acid would cause a crumbly embrittlement that would more resemble flame burning without the char. A rubber solvent would weaken the entire tire in a way that would resemble melting wax; add pressure and blam.

I don't think it was acid, as the following will show (Steely Dan was the OP)

Quote:
Quote:
Originally Posted by K'Tesh
Here's a thought... did someone leave a car idling with the exhaust directed at (and near) the tire (perhaps while you were driving to the ferry to get to the island)? Instead of solvents, it sounds like it could have been cooked.

If that was the case, then the mystery substance is "Δ" (heat)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steely Dan
DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING, DING!!!!!

that had to be it, as the bike was on a rack on the back of the car, and my front wheel must have hung low enough to the tail pipe for the exhaust to melt my tire.

thank you for getting to the bottom of this mystery. it seems so obvious now.

now i gotta go check the tires on my girlfriend's bike and see if either of them met a similar fate.
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Last edited by K'Tesh; 08-03-2012 at 07:05 AM.
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