inner tubes a-poppin'

I have been using regular Schrader inner tubes in my freestyle 20" uni,
and I’ve had at least four of them pop in the last few months. Today I
changed one tube and the replacement popped as well. I ride at 85psi, and
I have a feeling I need to get a high-performance inner tube. Is this the
case, or is there a different likely cause of the problems?

Stone, D

Re: inner tubes a-poppin’

It could be a rim strip that is not properly covering the spoke holes. Rubber rim strips are notorious for moving around and exposing the spoke holes. If you have a rubber or plastic rim strip replace it with Velox rim tape. Velox is a cloth tape with adhesive so it sticks to the rim and doesn’t move around. It’s the best stuff. Any bike shop will have the stuff.

Velox comes in different widths. Get the widest size that will fit in the bottom of the rim and properly cover the spoke holes.

Another problem could be a sharp sliver of metal inside the rim. When the spoke holes are drilled in the rim it can leave sharp chips of metal that hang on to a spoke hole. That sliver of metal can break free and start poking holes in your tube. You can try fishing out the sliver or you can take the rim to a bike shop and they can blow out the chip with compressed air.

But I’ll bet it’s a bad rim strip.

Re: inner tubes a-poppin’

Actually, I have the Velox rim cloth, so it’s probably a spoke. I forgot
to mention that the tube breaks seem to come on the INSIDE (not the outer
part) of the tube, so it’s likely a spoke.