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28 Apr

Tubeless pinch flats

Posted by Bold Apps

Yes it can happen. On 300km audax on saturday 27th April, about 60km in, I hit a big stone and the IRC Formula Pro tyre I had mounted lost air very rapidly. The puncture was a This 5mm cut along above the bead. It is not a puncture that cannot be easily fixed by inserting a tube as it is not easy to boot that area. 

A 3.5mm Maxalami plug did fix the hole but the tyre developed a hernia and the plug pushes out above ~15psi. So I rode 8 miles home to swapped wheels. Incidentally the tyre still is inflated to that pressure 24 hrs later and it would have got me further. 

I bring this up because I get the odd email about this sort of failure from time to time. The customer normally find the tyre fails without warning and thinks its the tyres fault. That's unlikely but hitting a stone or pothole at some point and thinking all is well is likely. This can weaken the tyre and it then fails at a later date. 

These failures do happen to other brands of tyres too. IRC normally replace  the tyre even though it strictly is not a warranty. The Formula Pro X-Guard tyre due to the puncture protection belt does seem to fail seem to fail so if you ride on back lanes that are full of holes or venture down bridleways/gravel sometimes the X-Guard tyres are a better bet.

The IRC Formula Pro RBCC is a race tyre and while normally long lived and reliable they are not invunerable and more easily damaged than its hardier brother. This however this is the case with all race tyres. We all want nice fast rolling tyres but in reality these are racing tyres. 

A weakened tyre should have telltale bulges or other deformaties.  Tubeless tyres are should therefore be inspected. Just because it's holding air dies not mean all is well. The moral is check your tyres. 

My failure did happen after I spent a few rides bouncing down bridleways. Did this weaken the tyre, I don't know. I did hit the stone fast and just before I hit it I did think that's looks sharp and I hope... Bang.

The other morale is carry Maxalami plugs. There is nothing that can't be fixed even if it temporary, that is fixable with these plugs. A tube is not the answer as there is no way you'll get a boot to stay put just above the bead when mounting the tyre.



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