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  1. #1
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    Tubes, Patch Kits, CO2 inflators, and tires.... many questions

    I have a few questions for ya all. Not interested in sparking a debate or anything but just looking for opinions and advice.

    1- Tubes: Do you patch them or throw them away and use new ones? At what point do you throw them away if you patch them?
    2- Do you ever buy the tubes in bulk?
    3- CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I blew mine off the bead today.
    4- For the tires, do you ever swap the front and back to even out the wear? And at what point to do throw the tire away and get a new one? I run gatorskins and my pair has around 1700 miles on them so far. Wondering if I should get a new back one or swap out the front and back.

    And if you say gatorskins suck, please give other suggestions of tires. I ride through A LOT of glass in one area of my commute and no I cannot change routes as this is the safest route to take. I call the area "the glass gardens".

    (I did cross post this so for the folks who hate that, dont get your panties in a wrinkle!)

  2. #2
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    We patch tubes, up to half dozen times. Lazy or got lotsa $$ . . . then don't patch.
    When tubes are on sale, buy a half dozen.
    Inflators do not have a guage. We don't not use inflators as a good frame pump puts out FREE air. Thumb test on inflated tire will give you a sense if it's enough air.
    We do not swap tires front/rear. When they fail/wear out, then replace.
    Instead of Gatorskins we have used Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 on our tandem and single.
    In 2011 had ONE puncture in 5,600 miles. Yes, we live in Arizona with lots of cactus thorns, goatheads and usual road debris.
    Just our experience/input.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem View Post
    We patch tubes, up to half dozen times. Lazy or got lotsa $$ . . . then don't patch.
    When tubes are on sale, buy a half dozen.
    Inflators do not have a guage. We don't not use inflators as a good frame pump puts out FREE air. Thumb test on inflated tire will give you a sense if it's enough air.
    We do not swap tires front/rear. When they fail/wear out, then replace.
    Instead of Gatorskins we have used Maxxis Re-Fuse 700x25 on our tandem and single.
    In 2011 had ONE puncture in 5,600 miles. Yes, we live in Arizona with lots of cactus thorns, goatheads and usual road debris.
    Just our experience/input.
    Pedal on!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem
    Thanks Zona. Love the area you live in too. Hiked some in Scottsdale when I was there on a conference. Great area!

  4. #4
    Just Keep Pedaling Beachgrad05's Avatar
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    Cross post?

    Anyhoo...I am not experienced but the couple flats I have had, I threw the tube away after replacing with a new one. I'm not confident in my patching skills and would not want to be out riding worrying about a patched tube.

    I have the CO2 deals and from what I saw they come in different sizes...so one 16gram cartridge will fill a tire to about 130PSI. I carry a guage with me but my frame pump also comes with one so I might not use the full CO2 cartridge and use the pump to get it to the 110PSI that I prefer.
    Last edited by Beachgrad05; 05-30-12 at 05:18 PM. Reason: grammer issue
    Move along....nothing to see here....anymore.

  5. #5
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    Chef,

    I am running on Gatorskins now also, with just under 1000 miles on them. They look great, but I'm interested to hear what people say about swapping front and back, since the back tire carries so much more of the load.

    I've had only a few flats over the past year of riding, and I have patched them on the road or when the hole is small. I replace them when the hole is bigger than a pin hole. I tried slime tires, but found them to be of little value - they also flat out pretty easily. That is why I have gone to the gatorskins and a "thick" tube on the rear.

    I don't use the CO2 cartidges, preferring a small pump attached to my frame. Still no PSI guage, but it is for on-the-road emergencies only.

    Never thought about buying tubes in bulk. I just haven't needed them that often. Although I did buy a backup pair of Gatorskins last week since REI had them at 25% off....couldn't resist.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by CBuff View Post
    Chef,

    I am running on Gatorskins now also, with just under 1000 miles on them. They look great, but I'm interested to hear what people say about swapping front and back, since the back tire carries so much more of the load.

    I've had only a few flats over the past year of riding, and I have patched them on the road or when the hole is small. I replace them when the hole is bigger than a pin hole. I tried slime tires, but found them to be of little value - they also flat out pretty easily. That is why I have gone to the gatorskins and a "thick" tube on the rear.

    I don't use the CO2 cartidges, preferring a small pump attached to my frame. Still no PSI guage, but it is for on-the-road emergencies only.

    Never thought about buying tubes in bulk. I just haven't needed them that often. Although I did buy a backup pair of Gatorskins last week since REI had them at 25% off....couldn't resist.
    Darn, I wish I would have picked them up at 25% off!

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    1- Tubes: Do you patch them or throw them away and use new ones? At what point do you throw them away if you patch them?
    Patch them at home at my convenience. Throw them away when I get an unpatchable hole or the valve is damaged.

    2- Do you ever buy the tubes in bulk?
    I should, but usually end up just buying a couple at a time as needed.

    3- CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I blew mine off the bead today.
    Wouldn't know since I use a frame pump. Always has as much air as I need. If I have a flat while out riding, I don't worry about getting it all the way to full pressure.

    4- For the tires, do you ever swap the front and back to even out the wear? And at what point to do throw the tire away and get a new one?
    Never rotated my tires. I replace when the sidewalls are dry and cracking or I see threads showing through the casing. I have over 1300 miles on some Vittoria Zaffiro's right now. Got 700-800 out of a pair of the cheap Performance Strada's before they blew.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I blew mine off the bead today
    I'm betting that was operator error. I use road tires 120 psi and the many many times I have inflated with a CO2, the max presure is about 100 tops. I'd almost bet you didn't have the bead seated properly or similar.

    The reason I carry a very small pump with me when using CO2. I use it to mount and seat the tire properly, then inflate with the CO2 to finish. You can control the psi using CO2 with the nozzle while feeling the hardness of the tire with yur hand if you are worried about over inflating. But I doubt you can over inflate with a CO2 as they get wimpy at higher psi.

    I patch then toss after the third patch. I know riders that sweat having the patches on because of rotational weight. ..........I only use the vulcanizing patches, they work great. But I patch at home then replace the fresh tube to the seat pack. I use the new tube on the road then R&R at home.

    I don't rotate tires. Swap front and back? I NEVER place a used tire on the front for safety reasons.

    Never bought in bulk (online) but thougth about it. Everytime I think about it, Performance has a sale so I just pick up 2 or 3 to back up the 3 we carrry as spares on the bikes (we carry 2 in my seatpack and 1 in Gina's).
    Last edited by Mr. Beanz; 05-30-12 at 05:49 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    I haven't been using CO2 and instead use my small pump, which is a bit of a pita. Last winter I had many flats. I would put on a new tire, take the old one home and patch it, and put it in as the spare. Rinse and repeat. I did have to toss a tube that had a flat on a seam and just would not patch properly.
    Every living thing is a GMO.

  10. #10
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    I would put on a new tire, take the old one home and patch it,
    You carrry a new spare tire on your rides?......

    I like to reinstall my patched tubes. That gives me a chance to prove they are worthy before hitting the road (setting aired up over night). I have had buds pull out patched tires as spares on rides that didn't work. I don't like handing over my new tubes.

  11. #11
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    Please, do everybody a favor and don't use CO2.

    Having said that... I had great luck with Schwalbe Marathon tires. There are many models. Generally,the level of protection goes up with price, of course. I'm currently commuting on mid-range Marathon Plus HS348 and I don't get flats from glass at all. Once it was punctured by a staple and once by some sort of hair-thin, tiny wire.

    I carry two spare tubes. If I get a flat, I change the tubes and patch the punctured tube later at home. I don't patch on the road. I like to do this at home, with clean hands to make sure it's patched properly.

    I don't need so many tubes as to buy them in bulk. I get maybe one flat per year.

    I try to swap the tires every few months, if I remember. I usually replace the tires every Spring, but I ride every day pretty much. Every Spring I do an overhaul: new chain, new cables, new tires.

    You can also add tire liners. Green Slime seems to be most popular. Although, I had mixed luck with those. They sometimes shift inside the tire and can cause pinch-flats.

  12. #12
    Senior Member terrapin44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    Please, do everybody a favor and don't use CO2.
    Any particular reason you say this?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    I'm betting that was operator error. I use road tires 120 psi and the many many times I have inflated with a CO2, the max presure is about 100 tops. I'd almost bet you didn't have the bead seated properly or similar....
    Ditto's what Beanz said.

    I'll patch a tube on a ride if I don't have a spare tube. If I have a spare tube I toss them when I get home. If I patch it I won't replace them next time I get a flat. I will buy tubes in bulk when on sale and I buy CO2 cartridges in bulk too. If you go to Walmart in the paintball section in the sporting goods isle you an get them in boxes of 25 for $15. I've seen them in bike shops for $2 -$3 a pop.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Quote Originally Posted by terrapin44 View Post
    Any particular reason you say this?

    x2
    Elitists suck.

  15. #15
    Senior Member rafiki530's Avatar
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    generally 3 patches in a tube and then I replace it unless the leak is fairly large or near the valve in which case patching the tube will not work.

    I ride fixed gear and have a lot of wear on my tires due to skidding switching tires from wheel to wheel can help get you longer tread life due to the fact that the wheels on your rear and front wear differently. Your front tires will always wear less then your rear due to the movement and placement of the front wheel.

    if I see a deal on tubes Ill buy some in bulk. As for tires gator-skins are great vittoria randonneur's are good too I use origin 8 elimin8ers they are cheap and have a Kevlar bead for flat protection I skid the crap out of em, plus they wear like a jawbreaker in which each layer has a different color.

  16. #16
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    CO2 comes in so handy when you have ridden 90 miles in temps above 95* and flat along a highway with No Shade Anywhere in site.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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  17. #17
    Senior Member goldfinch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Beanz View Post
    You carrry a new spare tire on your rides?......

    I like to reinstall my patched tubes. That gives me a chance to prove they are worthy before hitting the road (setting aired up over night). I have had buds pull out patched tires as spares on rides that didn't work. I don't like handing over my new tubes.
    Duh. Tube.
    Every living thing is a GMO.

  18. #18
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldfinch View Post
    Duh. Tube.
    Ha ha! Believe it or not, I did a century with a dude that carried a tire. Folding tire neatly wrapped and tucked under his seat pack. He saved my butt on a century. My tire SPLIT 92 miles into the ride.

  19. #19
    Senior Member ahultin's Avatar
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    1- Tubes: Do you patch them or throw them away and use new ones? Always Patch At what point do you throw them away if you patch them? Up to 4 times then toss it

    2- Do you ever buy the tubes in bulk? Just buy a few when they go on sale. My local trek store has them buy 2 get 1 free about twice a year along with a coupon for a free coupon twice a year
    3- CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I carry a small pump that also has Co2(lezyne Road Drive CFH). Use the pump most of the time and only have the CO2 for when I am in a hurry. I blew mine off the bead today.

    4- For the tires, do you ever swap the front and back to even out the wear? With the last pair, I swapped front to rear at about 1000 miles (when I had to change a tube anyway) And at what point to do throw the tire away and get a new one? I run them until my wife see the tread peeling and starts asking about my life insurance policy I run gatorskins and my pair has around 1700 miles on them so far. Wondering if I should get a new back one or swap out the front and back. Got about 2400 miles out of my most recent gatorskins, keeping in mind I am not a little fellow

  20. #20
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    1- Tubes: Do you patch them or throw them away and use new ones? At what point do you throw them away if you patch them Patch once then toss
    2- Do you ever buy the tubes in bulk? No.
    3- CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I blew mine off the bead today. Saw one at a LBS last weekend. It was kind of big and bulky
    4- For the tires, do you ever swap the front and back to even out the wear? And at what point to do throw the tire away and get a new one? I just changed a rear Vittoria w/1.5k mi. May cahnge the rear again before ready to change the front. See no reason to rotate.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  21. #21
    Senior Member magohn's Avatar
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    I used to be C02 only until I had two flats in the same ride and was stranded 2 miles from home (luckily only 2 miles). Then I went out and bought one of those Topeak "mini frame pumps".

    http://www.rei.com/product/693421/to...r-blaster-pump

    I dont have to worry anymore about CO2 bulbs or blowing a tube out

    P.S. I treat my pld tubes like old socks - patch, patch, patch

  22. #22
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    I've always patched tubes one the side of the road, I carry a spare but honestly havent used it. Patching it only takes a minute or two so I don't see the point of pulling out a new tube and rolling up the old one when I can just patch it there. I guess I figure I'll replace a tube when it stops holding air or the patches get ridiculous (I've had a patch over a patch for 6 months, still works just fine). Don't carry co2 either, just my frame pump.

  23. #23
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wfournier View Post
    I've always patched tubes one the side of the road, I carry a spare but honestly havent used it. Patching it only takes a minute or two .
    Every patch kit I have used says "apply glue, allow to dry" before applying patch. This takes more than one or two minutes if done properly.

    I've had a good number of riders complain about patches not holding. Many of them don't wait for the glue to dry before applying the patch. That is not a good thing.

    If talking about instant patches, they are only a temp fix and a gamble that they last more than a week.

  24. #24
    SuperGimp TrojanHorse's Avatar
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    I tend to damage the valve stem before I get more than about 1 patch on a tube... and I rarely have flats but when I do I seem to get about 4 in a row. Do tubes wear out over time? I'm starting to think I want to replace them annually regardless - they're cheap enough.

    I carry at least one new tube in my seat pack and usually a previously patched tube, as well as a known good patch kit. I've had patches fail on me before, that's just no fun.

    I use those tiny little inflators from genuine innovations - threaded. The inflator is tiny, the cylinders are expensive (I buy those in bulk from amazon for about a buck each). The non-threaded kinds are bulky but the cylinders are dirt cheap. I keep about 3 cylinders in my bag.

    Here's a cheat sheet for what pressure your CO2 will inflate your tire to: http://www.genuineinnovations.com/im...on%20Chart.jpg

    16 grams will take your 23mm tire to 130psi and your 28mm tire to 88 - hopefully that means my 25mm tire will scoot right to about 110.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chefisaac View Post
    I have a few questions for ya all. Not interested in sparking a debate or anything but just looking for opinions and advice.

    1- Tubes: Do you patch them or throw them away and use new ones? At what point do you throw them away if you patch them?
    Patch 3 times then toss.

    2- Do you ever buy the tubes in bulk?
    Bought 6 tubes from the LBS when I started, buy new ones in increments of two or whenever I'm at the shop and I'm down a tube.


    3- CO2 inflating heads: do they make any with a psi gauge? I blew mine off the bead today.
    I don't know of any. I practiced at home by inflating a tube to a certain lowish PSI with the hand pump, then going the rest of the way with the whole CO2 cart. Then again I have wide tires that need lots of air. Maybe find smaller carts if your tires can't handle a whole cart?

    4- For the tires, do you ever swap the front and back to even out the wear? And at what point to do throw the tire away and get a new one? I run gatorskins and my pair has around 1700 miles on them so far. Wondering if I should get a new back one or swap out the front and back.
    DO NOT ROTATE YOUR TIRES. THIS IS A BAD IDEA. So your best tire should ALWAYS be on the front. The rear tire tends to wear faster due to more weight being on it. The front tire needs to be the better one because the front tire controls where your bike goes. If that blows out or loses traction, you're losing control and hurting yourself. Typically when the rears' treads are worn down, you buy a new tire, toss the rear, put the old front on the back, then put the new tire up front.

    And if you say gatorskins suck, please give other suggestions of tires. I ride through A LOT of glass in one area of my commute and no I cannot change routes as this is the safest route to take. I call the area "the glass gardens".
    Can't say anything about gatorskins, never tried them. I'm having an incredible amount of luck with Schwalbe Marathon Dureme 700Cx40 tires right now. Should hit 1500 miles without a flat in a few days.

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