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Old 08-15-2012, 01:05 PM   #1
King Of Dirk
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Tire leaking...not sure of cause

Friday night I checked tire pressure in advance of a good long Saturday AM ride. The front only needed 2-3 pounds, but the back needed 12 pounds. I thought that was odd. So I checked Saturday AM right before leaving, and they were at 34/38 just like I prefer.

I rode a little over 100 miles Saturday, nothing over 90mph but almost never under 70mph, put the bike in the garage and didnít look at it again Ďtil Monday PM Ė back tire is almost completely flat. Yesterday evening I looked for nails/screws/cuts/whatever and didnít see anything in the tread. So I inflated the tire to 40psi and decided to see what itís at when I get home tonight. Just before bed yesterday, the tire hadnít lost any pressure at all (5-6 hours after inflating to 40).

Does anyone have an idea what might cause this? Valve stem? Cracked wheel? Really, really slow puncture that might be aggravated by a long ride in really high temps?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #2
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I'd take a look at the valve stem.
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
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I'd take a look at the valve stem.
Thanks kibitzer. If you assume I'm an idiot you'll be right...what am I looking for? Just pour soapy water around it and see if it bubbles up? Take it to shop for fix?
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:18 PM   #4
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Soapy water till you find the leak.
There's only 3 possibilities. Hole in the tire, valve stem or the wheel (which could be bead or through a crack or porosity).
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Old 08-15-2012, 01:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Dirk View Post
Thanks kibitzer. If you assume I'm an idiot you'll be right...what am I looking for? Just pour soapy water around it and see if it bubbles up? Take it to shop for fix?
Bumblebee's suggestion is a great start. If it is the valve stem it may not be readily apparent though. I've never had it happen to me, but have heard of the valve failing at high speed allowing pressure to bleed. If that is the case I'm not sure a simple valve core swap will fix it. You may not find out unless you get replace the entire stem.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:04 AM   #6
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I didn't have the time to check with soapy water last night (rough day at office), but I did throw a gauge on the tire this morning before I left...that sumbitch ain't lost a pound.

I would say I think the air loss must be related to high speeds, but my speeds aren't very high by Motohouston's standards!

To recap: put 40psi in the tire Tuesday at 6pm. At 5am today it still had 40psi. So much for the "slow leak" theory.
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Old 08-16-2012, 07:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Dirk View Post
I didn't have the time to check with soapy water last night (rough day at office), but I did throw a gauge on the tire this morning before I left...that sumbitch ain't lost a pound.

I would say I think the air loss must be related to high speeds, but my speeds aren't very high by Motohouston's standards!

To recap: put 40psi in the tire Tuesday at 6pm. At 5am today it still had 40psi. So much for the "slow leak" theory.

Without the above mentioned soapy water test being performed, I would vote valve stem. Two spots on the stem: the needle may not be seating properly causing a leak or the rubber around the bottom of the stem inserted into the rim may be defective. Adding pressure may have moved the needle to a "non leak" position or the air pressure sealed the bad spot at the bottom of the stem so air is not escaping.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Without the above mentioned soapy water test being performed, I would vote valve stem. Two spots on the stem: the needle may not be seating properly causing a leak or the rubber around the bottom of the stem inserted into the rim may be defective. Adding pressure may have moved the needle to a "non leak" position or the air pressure sealed the bad spot at the bottom of the stem so air is not escaping.
Thanks for that. I'm taking it over to my preferred shop on Friday AM for them to take a look (I'm not handy with repairs, I'm sad to say); what would be a fair price (ballpark) to troubleshoot and remove/replace the valve stem? Not trying to undercut them, just want to know what to expect.
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:04 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Dirk View Post
Thanks for that. I'm taking it over to my preferred shop on Friday AM for them to take a look (I'm not handy with repairs, I'm sad to say); what would be a fair price (ballpark) to troubleshoot and remove/replace the valve stem? Not trying to undercut them, just want to know what to expect.
They'll probably charge you an hour of labor. I'm guessing $65-$80. A spray bottle with soapy water is cheap if you want to try that first
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Old 08-16-2012, 08:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
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A spray bottle with soapy water is cheap if you want to try that first
I get your drift, Bevo, but even if I identified it I wouldn't know how to fix it, and no shop in their right mind would trust my diagnosis. Not if they want to stay out of court, anyway.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Dirk View Post
I get your drift, Bevo, but even if I identified it I wouldn't know how to fix it, and no shop in their right mind would trust my diagnosis. Not if they want to stay out of court, anyway.
If you found the leak it would answer at least one of your questions. Since you were asking about cost I figured money was a concern
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Quote:
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If you found the leak it would answer at least one of your questions. Since you were asking about cost I figured money was a concern
Totally understand your point. Money's always a concern, but moreso that I don't want to spend more than what's fair. And the fact that it's not losing any air right now makes me wonder what I'd be able to answer. I'd feel better knowing someone who knows what they're doing had checked it out.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:17 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by King Of Dirk View Post
Totally understand your point. Money's always a concern, but moreso that I don't want to spend more than what's fair. And the fact that it's not losing any air right now makes me wonder what I'd be able to answer. I'd feel better knowing someone who knows what they're doing had checked it out.
Spay some soapy water solution onto and into the valve stem
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:28 AM   #14
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Make that "Spray"
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:31 AM   #15
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Make that "Spray"
This is why my vet's an Aggie, brother.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:34 AM   #16
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This is why my vet's an Aggie, brother.
Well, being that a&m is the only school in Texas where you can earn that degree, it's pretty common
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:47 AM   #17
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Well, being that a&m is the only school in Texas where you can earn that degree, it's pretty common
A&M needs all the wins they can get, even if by default!
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:50 AM   #18
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lol ^ , anyways, save your shop some headache and spot the leak yourself, then come in with that knowledge in mind and ask for their typical service. You might need new tires altogether. Do you still have your caps on your tires?

I'd suggest hopping in on Patrick's next Maitenance Class, you'd benefit heaps.
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:51 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Do you still have your caps on your tires?
You mean valve stem caps?
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Old 08-16-2012, 09:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
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lol ^ , anyways, save your shop some headache and spot the leak yourself, then come in with that knowledge in mind and ask for their typical service. You might need new tires altogether. Do you still have your caps on your tires?

I'd suggest hopping in on Patrick's next Maitenance Class, you'd benefit heaps.
I will. I'm an , but not enough to ignore good advice (and Bevo's advice). I do still have valve stem caps in place.

I would like to know more about Patrick's class. I will be sure to attend. I'm not dumb, just ignorant. And I appreciate the guidance you guys give on the board. But it's time for me to get better at that part of owning a bike, for safety reasons more than anything else.
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