First Flat on my Fat Tire :( What is best?

What should I do with a 20" x 4" small puncture on rear wheel hub motor?


  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .

Cnugget

Active Member
After 1200 km's on my Mariner Volt Bike, I have my first flat from a 3 inch nail. :eek: My tire size is 20" x 4" and the flat is on the rear :oops: aka where the hub motor is. Should I take it to a LBS (quoted $15 repair) or attempt to repair myself? If I take it into a bike shop should I get a new tube installed or just get a repair job?

Should I take this moment to do anything else? IE.. should I or can I consider going tubeless? Can I go tubeless?

My thought is to buy a new tube if I go into the bike shop for the repair. It will probably be the fastest way to get up and running again. It might be nice to learn something. I was also considering a different cassette (if they have to take the wheel off) to get some more climbing gears.
 

Berry78

Active Member
Sounds like a good opportunity to take to lbs., especially since you'd like to upgrade some components. Of course it'll be out of commission a bit longer if they are busy.
 

J.R.

Well-Known Member
I agree patched tubes are a temporary repair. It might be possible for you to watch the tech repair your tire, never hurts to ask and tip.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
Thanks @Rincon & @J.R. for the advice.

I may be stuck with a repair right now because finding a replacement tube of 20 x 4 tire size may take some time. Hoping to get up and running tomorrow (fingers crossed).
 

Ann M.

Well-Known Member
Call ahead to your LBS, @Cnugget and see if they have the tube and spend the bucks for a wide tire liner. They're pricey, $35 or so but so is getting stuck with a flat on your drive wheel! The tire liner will reduce the chance of a repeat flat or problems caused by rolling a heavy motor on a flat tire; that could damage the bead of the tire and then you've got to buy a tire too! The call ahead will give you a chance to talk with the tech and see if or when it would be convenient to look over the tech's shoulder rather than just showing up...you might just get a grumpy look otherwise ;)
 

Cnugget

Active Member
@Ann M. I imagine a car mechanic would bite my head off if I was to enter the shop and look over the shoulder so.. it makes sense a bike mechanic might react in a similar fashion. If you hadn't suggested this, I might not have thought it over. Thanks for the heads up. :) I did call a shop to get a price quote for a fix and ensure they would be willing to work on a Ebike. It seems like a non-starter for some shops even if the repair has nothing to do with electronic parts. The tire size feels like it is harder to source a replacement? Or, am I just imagining that? Voltbike is out of stock at the moment on the tubes gosh-darn-it-all. :confused: I'm wondering if the recent puncture could have been related to running at a lower pressure making it more susceptible to a nail puncture? Up until now the tires have been running wonderfully but at a higher PSI. Maybe I just have had good luck up until now? :D Hopefully I haven't run out of this luck . If I can replace the tube, I will, and add a liner to boot but it may just come down to a fix for now dependent on what is on hand. Should have been more prepared for the inevitable. o_O
 

Cnugget

Active Member
@J.R. I did check Walmart on-line to see if they had this tire with no luck :( Like you I noticed they have some bikes with this tire size. So far no such luck. It might just be a point of calling around to a bunch of shops for the tube size.

@JayVee Move to Switzerland. The perfect answer!! :D
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The two tubes in my fat bike (26" tires) are patched.

One had a tiny hole from me poking a tire iron in the wrong place trying to change tires on the rear. The other was a 1" long x-shaped rip where the tube blew out thru the square cutout holes in my new front rim. I was too dumb to know I needed a PVC strips to prevent that. Anyway, I patched both. The second hole was big enough, I put a first patch on the inside of the tube.

I did buy replacement tubes later, but the patches have held all summer, so I keep the spares on the shelf. Today's patch kits seem far better than what never worked for me as a kid. I suspect the patch would pull the rubber off the tube.

Learning how to change a tire is a good thing, but maybe hold off if it's a hub drive wheel. The addition of the motor wiring makes it complicated. Easy to damage, even if you are a bike shop.

On the other hand, if one is at home, with access to the tool box, and not on the side of the road, it's not that hard to pull the tube out of the tire and patch it, leaving the wheel on the bike, if one has soft tires that allow that. Bike shop might want to do it that way.
 

Cnugget

Active Member
Just back from the bike shop. No tubes of that size in the local area, so I had to settle for the patch job for now. I had the local LBS do the repair and watched close up for next time etc. He added some sealant in the tube, lined up my disc brakes, adjusted the position of the gears so my chain wasn't rubbing on my tire... I am happy to be back up and running but mildly concerned about the $ involved if this became a regular issue. I will have to source some spare tubes and order some liners for the next time. Fingers crossed the next one will be in awhile. While commuting to work there is really a limit on what things can be done. A flat pretty much means I need to call someone. I am wondering if running a sealant in the tube could have solved this problem and got me to work and back. Curious...
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
BS on patched tubes being temporary. Many many thousands of miles on patched tubes. Some with 3 or 4 patches. Carry a new tube or patched tube and use that when you flat. Take the damaged tube home to repair at your leisure where you'll take the time to do a good job. It's a simple thing, but empowers you when you can fix it yourself. 5 minutes max when you've done it a few times. Watch a couple of Youtubes videos, it's a very easy thing to learn.
Don't know how the Fatbike part fits in, I know they are a PITA with my good floor pump to go from 10 to 25lbs!! Would hate to have to pump one with a portable pump, you'd be all day and too exhausted to ride home. :)
 

MLB

Well-Known Member
I voted "other": move to Switzerland. It's a prohibitively expensive place to live, but you will never have to change a flat tire again.

In Switzerland, we have the true cheater option. And I'm not talking about the fact that electricity is being used to assist your pedal strokes. No, this is something that's much more insidious and devious because it goes against the very spirit and fabric of cycling. It's for people who are lazy, but not so lazy that they can't read the fine print on one of the more popular e-bike insurance policies. The true cheater option does not require any tools. It does not require getting your hands dirty, and it is available on demand 24/7. When you get a flat, all that's required is a mobile phone, your policy number, location, and the appropriate spare tube. Optionally, if your bike gets stolen, that will be insured too. The math is pretty simple: if your bike is worth less than 2000 dollars, the insurance only costs about 50 dollars, which is less than what it costs to haul your e-bike to the LBS and have them replace the inner tube. So if your bike falls in that price bracket, and you average at least 1 puncture per year, not only will you save money, but you will actually get the repair done when you most need it. Including at 3AM in the morning. Of course, if you own a 9K Stromer, it's a different ball game, because the policy is based on the value of the bike. However, for high end bikes, the insurance is sometimes offered free the first year, and renewable the next year at a preferential tarif.

As you can see, not having to worry about a flat is a subject that has deeply troubled me, and has brought countless nights without sleep. Because it's just morally wrong. :D


I could fix the flat 10 times before the repair guy shows up. You gonna sit there for an hour or a .5 hour waiting for someone to do the 5 minute job?
 

Cnugget

Active Member
BS on patched tubes being temporary..You gonna sit there for an hour or a .5 hour waiting for someone to do the 5 minute job?... :)

Chuckle. Good Point! :D.. I'd still like to visit Switzerland.. but maybe not live there. Who am I kidding I love Canada eh? :p Seems like replacing or patching a tube is like asking people their opinion on politics! YouTube it is. That and some tools. I had a good look at the patch process at the bike shop.. Looks like it could be doable just a lot of bike to throw around if it goes flat while out. Looked heavy enough on a bike stand never mind the ground.o_O
 

vincent

Well-Known Member
am not looking forward to my first flat on any of these bikes, so far have been lucky and any flats have shown up after we got home

since i have quite a few bikes if a flat shows up it is fine until i have time to take it to the shop

am lazy and just have them do it

that being said i do have back up tubes for all the bikes because my shop does not have tubes for these either

and all the tires have slime or whatever sealant the shop uses

i am intrigued by the tubeless stuff but my shop does not recommend it for me
also having 8 bikes right now almost guaranteed i wont rotate them enough or refresh the sealant like i should so guess slime will have to do

wish there were heavy duty tubes available for the fat tires but so far i am not finding any, bought some of the sunlites for back up

think if i get a flat will try to patch it and get home, especially if it is the motor wheel
i also carry the little silver compressed air tubes in the hopes the slime will seal it enough to get home..

hopefully you wont have another for a long time

sure you know this and it obviously wont help with a nail etc but my shop is adamant that you need to check the air in the tires each ride, i do this every time
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
The thing about fat bikes is that some tires are as stiff as car tires, and probably could use a small tire mounting machine to break the bead off the rim. I broke all my tire irons on the rubber that came with my bike. I replaced them with foldable rim summer tires. These go on and off with no tools at all, just hand pressure, like most good skinny tires.
 

Berry78

Active Member
The one time I went to Vegas, I had $10 to gamble. There was a game that you can bet red or black (I forget what it was). There was a board that recorded all the previous rolls. So I look at the board and see the last 12 were red. I bet black, thinking it was due. Promptly lost my money. Dude running the game said when there is a string like that, that it is always safer to bet with the string.

You had your string of good luck, hope this isn't the start of a string of bad :(