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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 12-19-11, 06:59 PM   #1
goldfinch 
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First Flat! Texas has thorns.

Well, after 1367 miles I got my first flat. I blame Texas. There are in fact thorns here! The leak must have been a slow leak because I did not discover the flat on a ride but when I was about to go on another ride.

Anyway, I successfully removed the rear wheel, after reviewing Beanz's excellent video: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post13041391

I removed the tire with my handy dandy levers, removed the tube, found the pinprick size hole and patched it. So far so good. I could not find anything on the inside surface of the tire, even though I felt carefully and looked carefully.

So, other people in the rv resort where I spend winter are saying that they get flats all the time. Any suggestions? I am assuming it is thorns as my dog keeps getting them on her feet. Is that slime stuff a ripoff or does it help? Someone here said he just put slime in his tires.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:34 PM   #2
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One flat every 1400 miles isn't too bad! FWIW, I've never found Slime (or any other tire sealant for that matter) to be especially helpful; it turns patching a tire into a goop-filled nightmare.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:42 PM   #3
10 Wheels
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Congratulation of the flat and Welcome to Texas.

My first one...I am sitting on a Fire Ant Mound.

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[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 12-19-11, 08:47 PM   #4
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10, are you kidding?!!! I got bit once by one fire ant and I still have a mark, three years later.
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Old 12-19-11, 08:48 PM   #5
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10, are you kidding?!!! I got bit once by one fire ant and I still have a mark, three years later.
Not kidding....they are everywhere.
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[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 12-19-11, 08:55 PM   #6
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On my First Texas Tour I stopped to take a pic of the marker.

While standing on the concrete pad my legs got covered with the ants
I sat down on the road and had to remove socks and shoes.

You can see part of the mound on the left of the concrete.

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[SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI
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Old 12-19-11, 09:54 PM   #7
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The goatshead thorns are everywhere in my part of N.Texas --
-- particularly in bike lanes, MUPs, and near the gutter/road edge.
Don't ride off pavement/crushed gravel with thin road tires. If you walk your bike through vegetation, check for stickers before riding off. Even better, carry your bike. Don't position your bike like the picture above (with the front wheel on an unpaved surface).
Try either a tire liner (eg: Mr Tuffy) or puncture-resistant tires (Specialized Armadillos).
I tried Slime, it was messy and didn't resolve the root cause.

And yes, fire ants are everywhere too.

Last edited by nkfrench; 12-19-11 at 09:59 PM.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:33 PM   #8
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Okay, six miles on the bike after fixing the flat and the tire flattened again. I think I did a good patch job so the issue is whether something is inside the tire that I missed or really, really bad luck. Fortunately, I was only a half mile away and spouse noticed the tire looked low, so I walked back. Will change the tire again later.
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Old 12-20-11, 02:32 PM   #9
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Okay, six miles on the bike after fixing the flat and the tire flattened again. I think I did a good patch job so the issue is whether something is inside the tire that I missed or really, really bad luck. Fortunately, I was only a half mile away and spouse noticed the tire looked low, so I walked back. Will change the tire again later.
I've found that a cotton ball is a good tool to find thorns in a tire. If you mounted the tire with it's label centered with the valve stem you'll know where to look for the flat maker.

Brad
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Old 12-20-11, 02:47 PM   #10
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Fire ants, goathead thorns, stickers??? I guess I will heed the "don't mess with Texas" saying....
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Old 12-20-11, 02:50 PM   #11
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I recently got thorned riding up a low water crossing on the Trinity River. Heard the front tire hissing as I went up the other side. No problem, just popped in my spare tube, then found the rear tire was also flat from a thorn. Lots of other riders going back and forth with no problems, but I nailed both tires somehow.

I learned back in the 80's that patches don't always stick in hot humid Texas summers. I carry a spare tube as a first option, but also a patch kit just in case. Was glad I had both this time.
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Old 12-21-11, 10:47 PM   #12
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Was the hole on the outside of the tube (non-stem side) or on the stem side? I recently changed front tires, and managed to pinch the tube with the lever during installation. Hole was stem-side. Had to patch it before I rode, and the patch held ok.
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Old 12-22-11, 08:26 PM   #13
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Hole was stem side, but barely. It was almost centered on the tube. There was a second hole, I think it got thorned twice. I did not use the levers to install the tire after patching, instead I just used my hands. Which was not exactly easy but I've read that there is less chance of pinching the tube.

So far no more flats and the tire is holding air just fine. All other bikes we have down here have been fine with no flats. We are now carefully avoiding grassy areas and off road.
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Old 12-22-11, 10:03 PM   #14
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10, sorry to hear about the ants. It occured to me while looking at your picture that you might reconsider sitting that close to the road while changing a flat. I would like for you to continue being around, and that doesn't leave much room for error.
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