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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-21-08, 10:50 PM   #1
milehile
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What a headache

Well, here is where I stand.

Two or three weeks ago, I had a flat tire. It was a bad one. I rolled on a section of road that wasn't flat at all and it ruined a tire. Put a hole in the tire about the size of a dime. Got it replaced at a LBS 3 towns over. About a week ago, I planned out a 30 mile trek from Howell in Michigan, to Hartland, then South to Brighton, and West to Chilson Road, and back up to Howell. I get 5 miles down the road and another flat, same tire. This time, it was a very small hole, that maybe a needle made.

Instead of going to any bike shop that I knew was closed, I went to Dicks sporting goods in Brighton and looked at their selection. I decided to get two Slime inner tubes, some tire levers, and a Coke. The Slime tubes are guaranteed to stop a hole 1/8 of an inch in diameter. Which seems to be a pretty good sized hole.

I get home, and proceed to change the tubes on both tires (I decided to do both because the one good tire I do have, is now a spare). Let me tell you something; anyone who said that changing a bike tire was easy is snorting WD40 and farting pixie dust. It took me an hour and a half to change ONE tire. It was ridiculous.

After almost 3 hours of huffing and puffing, I finally got them replaced. Filled them up to 100psi and took it for a test ride. IT WORKS!!! I've been riding for 4 days and haven't had a single hiccup. I checked the air pressure today; 100psi. I consider this a personal victory for me.

I need some Advil.
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Old 08-21-08, 10:57 PM   #2
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Anyone that takes 3 hours to change a tire is drinking WD40!...Only takes about 5 minutes. I think it's all technique. I fixed a flat on the roadside the other day. A ride partner said, "here comes the tough part" as I prepared to reinsert the rear wheel. I gently place the chain on the outside cog, pushed the rear derailleur back and easily slid it into the dropouts.

He then said, "Holy (blank)!, I've never seen a tire change go so smooth!". It's all about relaxation!
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Old 08-21-08, 10:59 PM   #3
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Hopefully, you won't need to change on along side the road anytime soon, but you got the practice if you need it. I changed my first flat a couple of weeks ago, first flat I changed in years. I am guessing it took me 5 minutes, but I didn't take time to enjoy a Coke
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Old 08-21-08, 11:08 PM   #4
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BTW, I ran into a stranded newbie last weekend. He had replaced the tube and flatted a second time. He asked to borrow my pump. I relaized he was going about it all wrong so I helped him out. He had pinched the tube between the rim and tire. I give him a class and a demonstration on flat repair all in about 15 minutes! That was with classrooom and hands on training!

Oh, and a preview on how to center the brake calipers so the rim doesn't rub!
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Old 08-21-08, 11:23 PM   #5
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I don't run slime in tubes. It absolutely does not stop flats and it gums up the nozzle of your floor pump. Seems most folks just change the tube, which is what I do, I carry 2 tubes. Anybody can fix a flat in 5 minutes, once you gain experience it's a trivial task.
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Old 08-21-08, 11:46 PM   #6
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The first time you do anything, it takes ten times as long. Figure out what took you the longest, ask around as to how to do that, and that may speed some things up.

It varies with the bicycle, some, too. On my old mountain bike, you had to unbolt stuff to get the wheel off and had to readjusted the derailleurs when you got it back on, so it didn't go too fast. On my current cruiser, it takes maybe 30 minutes or more to fix a rear flat. But some bikes are set up to be a lot quicker. Some tire and rim combinations are apparently easier to work with than others, and that may make a difference as well.

On flats in general, you can have two flats in a week, and then go 6 months without one. So I wouldn't give much credit to slime if you've only been riding 4 days. I've always kind of distrusted the slime, myself. Twenty five years ago when I was fixing truck flats, they sold sealants to put in tires. They might stop a leak, but they'd never stop it permanently, so eventually you just had to work on a tire that had a bunch of goo in it instead of fixing it right the first time.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:17 AM   #7
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I dread the day I have to change a tire. My club offers reparr and maintainace classes every quarter I think I'll take the trip and go to the next class.
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Old 08-22-08, 12:55 AM   #8
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Changing tires on my 26 inch wheels is quick and easy...5 minutes max. Just peel 'em off with my hands...Pop em back on with my thumbs. Zip Zop Done.

Getting the Conti's off and on my 700 c's is another matter entirely...involving sweating swearing and 2 (some times 3) tire levers.

Not Pretty.....not pretty at all.
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Old 08-22-08, 03:25 AM   #9
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Old 08-22-08, 03:51 AM   #10
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Getting the Conti's off and on my 700 c's is another matter entirely...involving sweating swearing and 2 (some times 3) tire levers.
Conti wire beads are the worst. I watched a service tech at my LBS fight with my 700x25's for 10 minutes before he got the pair installed (disclaimer: I can do the work myself, but I'm not one to turn down free installation).

Luckily they're Ultra Gatorskins, so I doubt I'll flat any time soon.

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Old 08-22-08, 06:19 AM   #11
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I know it is overkill, they are expensive, they are heavy and affect overall performance and some comfort but I have Specialized Armadillos and I have not had a flat yet (knock on kevlar) in over 1200 miles. I even, accidentally of course, ran over half a broken beer bottle about 2 days after I put them on and it just crushed it and shot the pieces out into the road. Gave me a bit of confidence in them right off the bat. lol

Changing a tire isn't that big of a deal when you have done it a couple of times but I ride on a highway shoulder for half the ride to work with assorted sharp hazards and such (the other half is nice and clean bike trail). I just didn't want the hassle of changing a tube when commuting to work.

One thing about them is that, if I ever do get a flat, it will take a few minutes extra time to change a tube out out because the tires are so stiff they take some extra work to get off. If I had a bike just for rec rides, I wouldn't use them on it. I'd just change the occasional flat.

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Old 08-22-08, 06:49 AM   #12
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Conti wire beads are the worst. I watched a service tech at my LBS fight with my 700x25's for 10 minutes before he got the pair installed (disclaimer: I can do the work myself, but I'm not one to turn down free installation).
My Conti Sport Contacts are a bugger to change too, especially combined with a rim that seems to be known for its difficulty. I needed 3 steel tyre levers last time

Hopefully my new rear wheel should make it a little less painful...
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Old 08-22-08, 06:57 AM   #13
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Very true Jtgyk, my 26in tires were no problem at all to change with just my fingers. I've actually broken one of the junk tire levers that came with my patch kit changing my 700cm tires. I would suggest stopping by your LBS and picking up two Quick-Stiks, these are awesome tire levers that are very stiff.

If your at home and have the luxury of changing a flat there, take a few drops of dish soap in a cup of warm water. Stir it up and dab it on the outside of your rim sparingly, it will help the bead slide over the edge of the rim. This has really helped me get truck tires on rims when only using tire levers. I'd make sure you wash the rim down really well to get the soap off before riding.

Last edited by bautieri; 08-22-08 at 06:59 AM. Reason: cat-like typing
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Old 08-22-08, 07:31 AM   #14
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Conti wire beads are the worst. I watched a service tech at my LBS fight with my 700x25's for 10 minutes before he got the pair installed (disclaimer: I can do the work myself, but I'm not one to turn down free installation).

Luckily they're Ultra Gatorskins, so I doubt I'll flat any time soon.

-DR
Gatorskins get flats...trust me on this. With a decent pair of tire levers they are not that difficult to change.
Trouble is, most people have cheap plastic levers. Get some alloy levers (Minoura) or these steel-core levers: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5412
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Old 08-22-08, 07:39 AM   #15
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I guess I sort of lucked out. When I started bicycling again I drug an old Ross Gran Eurosport 10-speed out of the barn where it had lurked for over 30 years, and resurrected it. One of the things I had to do was replace both tires and tubes, so I learned then before I ever turned a pedal.

I did change the worn out OEM tires on the LHT with Schwalbe Marathons - those puppys are a b!+ch to stretch on to the rim, lemme tell ya! I finally had to put a tie-wrap on the rim/tire where the bead was already seated and cinch it down, then work towards that place with the tire levers from the opposite direction to finally get the bead all the way on.
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Old 08-22-08, 09:31 AM   #16
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My Conti Sport Contacts are a bugger to change too, especially combined with a rim that seems to be known for its difficulty. I needed 3 steel tyre levers last time

Hopefully my new rear wheel should make it a little less painful...
YESSSS! It's NOT just me then. I was beginning to feel like such a wuss.
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Old 08-22-08, 09:39 AM   #17
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YESSSS! It's NOT just me then. I was beginning to feel like such a wuss.
Nah.. Some rims are a little bit taller then others I think and certain tire brands/models are a little bit smaller. Put the two together and it is city.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my A319(?) rims are a bear. I put them on the original OEM rims and they nearly slide on *shrug*
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Old 08-22-08, 10:12 AM   #18
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changed my tires this past weekend .... not due to a flat but due to age (8 Years and 3000 miles) lots of weather cracking around the bead and thread showing through the side wall and was fraying in some places. I did it in about 20 min for both tires, 4 tire levers and some luck got them on. but dang they were tight even for a 700c-23.
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Old 08-22-08, 10:14 AM   #19
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Until I bought steel levers, I had the worst time trying to get my Conti UG's onto my Alex DA-16 rims. With the steel levers it's difficult, but at least it's possible. With the nylon levers, all I did was snap them in half.
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Old 08-22-08, 11:14 AM   #20
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True about the levers. I have a set made with the Trek logo, they suck! Another set, a bit stiffer work quite well.

I've never had problems with Deep V's and Conti wire beads!
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Old 08-22-08, 08:52 PM   #21
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It all depends on the rims. I put a set of rims and narrow tires (1.25") on my mountain bike to ride on the road. They were a bear to put on. I bent the hell out of my tire levers.

To contrast that, the original rims and tires I could put on (and almost take off) with my fingers. Same goes for my road bike. Once I get the initial lip out of the rim, it only takes fingers. I have no idea why some are so tight.

John
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Old 08-22-08, 10:23 PM   #22
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My problem wasn't the "taking them off" part, it was the "putting them on" part. It was like I was trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I ended up not being able to do it by myself, so my cousin helped, and he's a fairly muscular dude. His power and my ingenuity got them both changed.

I must have fussed with the back tire for most of the time, only because I didn't have any help in the first 45 minutes. It also helps to have the inner tube inflated enough to work with. Fully deflated, the tube got in the way. Slightly inflated and housed in the tire helped a lot.

All in all, I have some experience under my belt. I now know the rights and wrongs of proper tire replacement. It also helps to have a buddy to help.
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Old 08-23-08, 06:22 AM   #23
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It all depends on the rims. I put a set of rims and narrow tires (1.25") on my mountain bike to ride on the road. They were a bear to put on. I bent the hell out of my tire levers.

To contrast that, the original rims and tires I could put on (and almost take off) with my fingers. Same goes for my road bike. Once I get the initial lip out of the rim, it only takes fingers. I have no idea why some are so tight.

John
I think some are tight, because the tire fabrication process isn't exact, while you can probably make a rim within a few μm, a tire could be out several mm, some run a little small, some run a little large....
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