Tubes leak at low pressure but not high pressure?!?!
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  1. #1
    Junior Member misterb's Avatar
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    Jul 2013

    Tubes leak at low pressure but not high pressure?!?!

    I let the air out of my tires last night to put in some sealant as a preventive measure (I've never spooned off a tire on the trail and I never want to). When I started pumping up the rear tire it leaked air from one of the spoke holes until I had at least a few PSI in the tire. The front tire (didn't bother putting sealant in it yet) does the same thing.

    My bike's a recently purchased 2006 with ~1500 miles on it and has the original tires on it.

    The tires never had slow leaks before and they're both holding air now.

    What's going on??? Back in my bicycle-riding days if an innertube wouldn't hold air it certainly wouldn't seal itself up by adding more air...

    Thanks in advance for any advice!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator littletommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Spokane, Washington
    It's just the extra air inbetween the tube and tire, once it leaks out from the spoke area, it stops. You don't have any problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member peruano's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Lower Rio Grande, New Mexico
    Skippy is correct. However, Slime and similar substances also act that way in that it takes pressure to force the sealant into a hole and often a small leak will continue until the tire is up to a reasonable pressure. In your case I suspect its the Skippy explanation, but you could have both kinds of issues. I had a cactus spine that never caused a leak even tho it was through the tire until I changed tires (inadvertently moving the thorn to the new tire), it was obviously in a new position and chose to leak when the tube was able to pull away at low pressures. Many of us have stuff in our tires (sometimes reaching the tubes) that we don't know about. Luckily we have robust tires and intelligently we check our tire pressures weekly. We do, don't we? Tom
    Tom - TW200 2002, Kawasaki VN 500 2006

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    Central New Mexico

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  5. #4
    Junior Member misterb's Avatar
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    Jul 2013
    Thanks! I never would have thought of that... While I tend to ignore the pressure in my car tires for weeks at a time the bikes get checked before every ride.

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