How to Find a Leak in Your Bike's Inner Tube

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We have all been on our bike only to experience a sudden jolt and realize our tire has popped. Sometimes the hole is easily visible, but many times it is too small to see with the human eye. You can locate the hole and get back on your bike in no time at all.

Things You'll Need

  • Dish soap
  • Water
  • Patches

Fix the Hole Problem

  • Remove your tire, then the tueb from inside. You may need a special tool to get the rubber tire off and on. If you do not have one, your local bike shop will usually do it for free.

  • Scan the tire, looking for any large holes. When you find them, mark them with a permanent marker. There still may be more holes, though, so keep checking.

  • Plug the hole with a tire plug kit, if you have one, or by pinching the cut sides together in a clamp.

  • Pump the tire up again, listening for any hissing.

  • Fill up a pot of water, or the sink and place the tube under the water. If you give it a squeeze you may notice bubbles or a strem of air shooting through the water. Mark these holes.

  • Create a sopay solution by adding dish soap to water and lathering the tire in it. Again, as you squeeze it to force air from the holes, you will see bubbles form. Mark those.

  • Patch the holes with a patch kit, or take the tube to your tire shop and have them do it.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure you check for wear across the tube. Even if you patch a hole, the explosion may have weakened the overall tube. Or other spots may be wearing thin and it might be best to get a new tire.
  • If there are too many holes, save yourself time and money and buy a new tire. It will be safer in the long run, too.

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