Halfords inner tubes

Had the Worst Bike Ride EVER yesterday. Long story which ended with me being a girly wimp and crying on a road in the middle of nowhere on the South Downs.

Anyway. Just wondered if anyone could shed any light on inner tubes (all Halfords) all getting holes in the same place in the last seven tubes I've used over the last six weeks or so.  At the site of the valve, but on the tyre side, rather than the wheel/valve side.  No sharps in the tyres and anyway, if there were, the hole would be in a different place every time as the tyre's in a slightly different position whenever you put it on. Happens in both wheels.

I'm not the most experienced cyclist/mechanic but my puncture repair/tyre changing etc has been ok over the last 18 months.  Can I?

Is is me or is it that Halfords tubes are rubbish?  One even burst (brand new one - had only been put on on Saturday) suddenly burst while I was in the car driving to the bike club meet yesterday morning.  Same location on the tube but this one was more of a tear than a hole.  Tyre wasn't pumped up hard and anyway, I was in a freezing cold car.

I am very frustrated.


  • Sounds like a quality issue there Hen. If you still have them take them back to Halfords and let them know what's been happening.

    I use Schwalbe tubes for many years and can recommend.

  • I used a halfords (same here in nl) inner tube once as I had run out of the ones I normally use and it leaked like a sieve... I would go as far as to say that in this case you do pay for what you get...

    I use schwalbe and conti inner tubes, no problems....

  • Well, you've both made me feel a bit better.  I DO have the receipts (have bought four this weekend) and have five tubes I can take in to show them.
  • Artful Hen wrote (see)
    Well, you've both made me feel a bit better.  I DO have the receipts (have bought four this weekend) and have five tubes I can take in to show them.
    'Show' them ? Forcibly insert them !
  • Got me thinking there, Kanga.  101 ways to demonstrate your displeasure with an inner tube.image
  • AH - 2 questions

    how are you putting the tyres on and are the punctures holes or slits??

    why?? if you are leaving the final part of putting the tyre back on at the valve end, and having to use levers, maybe you are creating "snakebite" punctures (these tend to be small slits) where the tube gets caught between the rim and tyre bead.

    ideally, you should seat the tyre at the tube first so it sits snugly under the valve, and then follow on from there. and avoid levering tyres on - unless they are very tight, you should be able to put them back with finger pressure but it's sometimes tough for ladies to do that
  • THanks FB.  Funnily enough, I've just been to the LBS who were as mystified as me.  They're tiny little pin prick holes apart from the one that burst spontaneously in the car yesterday. Also, they're 'on top' of the tube rather than at the side where you'd expect a pinch to be.  So he thought it must  just be a bad batch of tubes.

    However he did tell me never to use levers for putting a tyre back on (pinching was always something I was worried about) and showed me how to do it.  I'll see if I can do it later by myself. Perhaps my hands will be strong enough with all the massage I do!

  • OK - pin prick holes are not usually a sign of snakebites. and I guess you and the LBS have been over the tyre with a toothcomb by now so have ruled out anything sticking through, so as said, likely to be a bad batch.

    and he's right about levers - try and avoid using wherever possible when putting tyres back on but sometimes you do have to resort to them especially with new tyres - they get looser with use so are then easier with fingers.

    and stick to decent brand tubes like Spesh, Continental, Schwalbe, Vitorria etc. cheap or unnamed brands usually end up being just that - cheap
  • Thanks, FB - have stocked up on Bontrager ones. Buy two, get one free. Yes, went over the tyres which are both fine.

    Let's hope that's an end to it. Onwards and upwards. Felt like throwing the bike under a train yesterday!

  • AH,

     Directly opposite the valve?

    Could your excess Christmas weight, if you have someimage **legs it away from threads containing AH** be flattening the tyre out. It could be the internal end of the valve puncturing them. Admittedly shouldn't happen but then you did get them from Halfords.

    Only thing I can think of.

    Haven't had a puncture all winter on the Turbo.


  • AH image

    Sounds like a quality issue to me.

    Re putting tubes in - im of the understanding that you shouldnt screw the little nut down the holds the value base to the rim (I throw these away).

    I was once told that screwing the valve to the rim stops the tube from moving and can cause tears to the tube near the valve.

    Checking tyres for objects/debri - its worth carefully inspecting the tread (even pulling on the type) to check no small pieces of flint/glass/metal etc are embedded in the rubber and out of sight. 

    How worn are your tyres - its worth investing in a new pair of typres every 12-18 months in my opinion (depending on mileage), I was getting a puncture every 100 or so miles last year as a result of worn tyres.  Bought myself a nifty pair of Continental Gator Skin Hard Shells and havnt had a puncture since.  They were quite expensive but id spent the equivilent on tubes in the preceeding 3-4 months.
  • """"  I was getting a puncture every 100 or so miles last year as a result of worn tyres."""""

    you didnt do 100 miles trainng last year Barlos    image

  • image

    Thanks Carl.  In the shop Mark did have a good old look at my tyres and did find a piece of sharp gravel embedded so I'll have a much better look at them in future.  But it still didn't explain why the punctures were always in the same place, on both wheels.  Still - I've moved on and have put it behind me now.

    The tyres still have some life in them because shortly before Roth I changed to some Conti 4000S and only took them off when I started turboing again. 

    Interesting re the little screw washer thing. 

    With all these things you  learn something new.  

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