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Rotten tube exploded on retro bike, what a blast!(3 posts)

Rotten tube exploded on retro bike, what a blast!Continental
Aug 12, 2003 7:28 AM
In a moment of personal nostalgia I bought a 1971 Schwinn Sports Tourer. After all, Captain Kangaroo said "Schwinn bikes are the best bikes." I rebuilt the hubs, cleaned the chain, adjusted the brakes, and put on new tires. I pumped them up to 80 psig and went for a ride. The long wheelbase and chainstays, 32 year old Brooks leather saddle, and 27 X 1 1/4" tires gave a super smooth ride. Handling was anything but twitchy as I hit about 30 mph on some descents. I parked the bike for two days, and was surprised to find that the tire pressure dropped to 40 psig. I pumped them back up to 80 psig and went for a short ride to adjust the fine Campy Gran Tourisimo Derailleur (ha, ha this thing proves that Campy sucks ;) ). I parked the bike using the nice chrome plated solid steel kickstand and walked over to hang up my helmet. KABLAM! The front tube ruptured and blew the tire half off the rim. I just about crapped my pants, not so much from the the sound of the blast but from the realization of what would have happened if that front tube blew up when I was riding down a hill. So, the lesson is to replace tubes on any bike unless you are certain that they are less than a few years old.
Yeah, I should replace the 3-decade old tube ...Humma Hah
Aug 12, 2003 7:48 AM
... on the front wheel of MY '71 Schwinn. The valve stem failed on the rear a couple of years ago, so I'm on borrowed time. I have the stuff, probably do it this weekend. Schwinn thorn-resistant tube. Good stuff but won't last forever.

While building up the '74 Paramount, I put a new tire and tube on the 27" clincher rim of the retro wheel I'd bought for the front. Checked the seating, pumped it up to what I thought was 110 psig, and went inside to watch some TV. Heard a loud BANG from the garage about an hour later ... the sumbitch had crept off the rim and blown a brand-new tube.

I think it is not necessarily a failure of the tube when you get an off-the-rim blowout like that ... more likely failure of the tire bead to hold onto your rim ... no tube can hold pressure when there is no tire around it. But the loss of pressure ... that sounds like a failing tube. Maybe you had both problems.
Good point about the tire beadContinental
Aug 12, 2003 8:05 AM
The failure was at the valve stem, but I thought it was strange how the tire blew off. I'll check the bead very closely.