Got a quick question for the more experience wrenches on the forum...
I installed brand new Shinko 705s front and rear last summer. Around mid-autumn, I got about a quarter mile down the road from my house and noticed that the front tire was flat. Long story short, I re-inflated the tire, sprayed it down with Windex and looked for bubbles, but found nothing. The bike did great for another week or so, when I noticed the front was flat again. Repeat troubleshooting above, and nada again. Next, I released all pressure from the tire, then inflated it with high pressure really quickly, like I was trying to seat the bead (which, in fact, is pretty much what I was trying to do, just in case the bead had broken), but that didn't make any difference. After a few days, there was a noticeable loss of pressure in the tire again.
The first time I noticed the flat was two or three weeks after a trip I took up along Petersville Road -- a thirty-some-odd mile (one way) rough, gravel road (think fire road, and you'll be close). I was definitely pushing the bike on the road, and I did drop the front tire into a good sized pothole at one point. It was a pretty solid hit, and I think I might have bottomed out the (stock) front suspension at about 35MPH.
Based on the problem and circumstances, I'm concerned that I may have either damaged the tire or damaged the wheel, although I am still hoping I only broke the bead. So...how do I go about troubleshooting? Here are my thoughts:
1) Remove and reinstall the tire. If the problem goes away, I only broke the bead. Simple, and best of all, cheap, lol.
2) Replace the tire. If the problem persists, I munged up the wheel on Petersville Road. If the problem goes away, I only munged up the tire. However, it's almost a brand new tire. I hate to buy a new one when I don't know
that there's anything wrong with the old one.
3) Take it to a mechanic to troubleshoot. I'd rather not, since I would like to learn to maintain and troubleshoot the bike myself. If I take it to a mechanic, then I have to trust that he actually did a decent job of troubleshooting and that he put everything back together correctly (not a given, in my experience with cars). Besides, I don't learn anything that way. :beatnik:
4) Install a tube and call it good. I really
don't like this option, since, if I damaged the wheel (say, a crack somewhere), it could come apart on me at a Most Inconvenient Time (tm)
Any other troubleshooting options? If this was your bike, how would you proceed?