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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 06-01-12, 04:50 PM   #1
Tel0004
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Got my first flat today

Today I had either good (or bad) timing. My frame pump, co2 kit, tire levers, and patch all arrived in the mail either yesterday or today.

I went to my bike to pump up the tires, and I noticed that the front tire was flat. I was kind of bummed, since i was getting ready to go for a ride, but I'm kind of glad it happened, since I was home, with access to the internet, to see how to change it.

I got the tire off, then went to patch it. That is where things started going bad. I used the sandpaper, then applied glue, and started to let it dry. I spend too much time trying to get the patch off, and actually applied the patch the wrong way (the orange side is facing out, and the black side is facing in.). I also didn't sand or glue enough area until the patch was half on and I realized the patch was bigger than I remembered. Surprisingly, despite all this, it is holding air.

Truth be told, I probably would have put off practicing changing a flat, so I'm kind of glad it happened, otherwise I might be on the road trying if for the first time. Despite a lot going wrong, I do feel a lot more confident in my ability to change a tire now. Tomorrow I'll biking on a shorter loop, and I'll never be more than 1 mile away from my car (and I'll have a new tube with me), so I'm kind of wondering if my botch patch job will hold. If it holds through tomorrow, I'll keep it on until it goes flat.
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Old 06-01-12, 04:52 PM   #2
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Did you notice it was flat yesterday? I try to check the tires the night before. If I am commuting, I air up every evening and if I am doing a long ride (say on the weekend) I will check tires the night before and air up that morning.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:18 PM   #3
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While you did have some difficulties you managed to get it to hold air so thats good. It could be worse, I am fairly new to patching tubes also and I made the mistake of buying those Slime brand scabs. Those things are a good quick fix to get you home but dont work as a real patch and I didn't know that. After my tube going flat three times I finally went online and read some reviews and learned that those are not real patches. So two tubes and 4 scabs later I am just now about to buy a real patch kit.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:34 PM   #4
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I did not check the tires yesterday. Up until today, I didn't even have a pump, or tire pry tool, so there is nothing I could have done about it.

I'm assuming the cause of the flat was a pinch flat, as the back tire was pretty low. I read recently that tires should be filled up before ever ride, but by then the pump had already ordered, so I just figured I would ride until it arrived. It was a good learning expericne, and I'm happy to say I can not change a flat. I think I'll do a much better job the next time I need to patch a tube.
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Old 06-01-12, 05:51 PM   #5
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If it was a pinch flat, you would see two holes like a snake bite. Did you happen to see two?
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Old 06-01-12, 05:58 PM   #6
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Here is one:

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Old 06-02-12, 03:36 AM   #7
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I think I'll do a much better job the next time I need to patch a tube.

Here's a tip - take a spare tube with you so all you need to do is change over to a new tube when needed, and then patch the old tube in the comfort of your home. Sod's Law dictates that punctures always happen in the rain, and this way you get back on the bike much quicker too.
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Old 06-02-12, 03:43 AM   #8
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buy a bunch of extra tubes. carry one with you on your rides along with the patch kit and pump. if you flat on the road just replace the whole tube. if you flat a second time on the same ride then patch it. nashbar has tubes on sale or like 4 bucks sometimes, buy 5.
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Old 06-02-12, 05:09 AM   #9
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You were going to get a flat anyway, getting it at home was lucky!

In time you will have extra patch kids, levers, etc. Here is an idea what to do with them. I keep a patch kit, tire levers and an old frame pump in my truck. I have stopped many times over the years, to help stranded riders. I remember once helping a guy that had two extra tubes and had three flats. He was from out of town, had no patch kit and was in a area with no cell coverage. He couldn't thank me enough.

I recently had a flat and was fixing it. I had a young couple who stopped and offered thier help. It was nice to know that if I needed it, they were there.
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Old 06-02-12, 06:14 AM   #10
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Lucky you were home, great learning experience.
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Old 06-02-12, 07:24 AM   #11
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Home flats are the best flats. My first two were like that. Unfortunately the next 30 weren't.
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Old 06-02-12, 09:07 AM   #12
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Thaks for all the help. My plan is definitely to switch tubes on the road, rather than patch. I do plan on bringing a patch kit, just in case I get a second flat on the same ride, or the ability to help somebody who cant use my tube.

Also, there was only one hole, so it wasn't a pinch flat. In that case I'm not really sure what caused it, but I'm not really too worried about it at this point.
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Old 06-03-12, 01:36 AM   #13
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I'm not really sure what caused it, but I'm not really too worried about it at this point.
If you can see something sticking in the tread it should be quite easy to extract it, but always check the inside of the tyre in case the cause of the puncture is still there. You'll kick yourself if you "self-inflict" another puncture, and passers-by might be appalled by your language
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Old 06-06-12, 04:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmFaeEmbra View Post
I think I'll do a much better job the next time I need to patch a tube.

Here's a tip - take a spare tube with you so all you need to do is change over to a new tube when needed, and then patch the old tube in the comfort of your home. Sod's Law dictates that punctures always happen in the rain, and this way you get back on the bike much quicker too.
That's the best way. Also the spare tube tends to crack in folds rubbing against the bag. You should repack the spare tube every so often. How I know? My dad had a flat in the middle of Prague and his spare was like that. So he used the town square water fountain to find the hole and patched it right there.

Did I mentioned there is a public transportation all over Prague? I love my old man.

As far as the right or wrong side of the patch, I usually carry a piece of old tube and use that as a patch, the glue does not care and it is much more convenient and cheaper to make your own patch.
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Old 06-06-12, 04:40 PM   #15
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I got my first flat on Thursday, May 31st. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of a turn and the tire blew out (I guess you could call such an occurrence a flat on steroids). As the bike slid out from under me I ended up being catapulted over the handlebars, with all 280 pounds of me slamming down to earth and centered on the attempt to defy other pesky little laws of physics by driving my finger into the asphalt paving - grinding off a little skin and dislocating it badly.

I recovered quickly, all things considered - reconfigured my mutilated finger as best I could under the burst of opiates flooding my bloodstream - and rinsed out the road rash from my cracked and leaking water bottle as I called a friend to help me and awaited their arrival. As I righted my bike I found that the front tire was just as flaccid and sad as I imagined it would be, but the rear tire was perfectly inflated, it was a small comfort, thinking that this was just an unfortunate accident.

However, upon my return from the hospital 6 hours later, I found the back tire was just as flat as the front. And I became confused...how is it that I heard the front tube give out, with a small pop and the rapid escape of air as my tire limply betrayed me, but the back was just fine, only to deflate later?

This is the first time I have had issues with my tubes/tires after these few months of more serious and consistent riding. I ride a Specialized Hard Rock from 1997, the wheels are stock Weinmann 36h. When I started riding again, I replaced the rim strips (the el cheapo rubber variety), tubes and tires. In the 100 or so miles I've ridden thus far on puncture-resistant tubes and Kenda K847 semi-slick tires, I hadn't had any trouble. The tires seemed to hold up to my weight just fine, and believe me, I checked, frequently!

And then the blowout and crash.... Now, I am pretty frightened of riding again (but of course I will). I don't want to think this had anything to do with my weight, but I can't be certain. Part of me thinks I should just start a regimen of installing new tubes every month to reduce the risk of flats related to excess compression of the tube, or whatever might have caused the problem. Another part of me thinks that maybe this situation was inevitable since it's the rear tire that handles the majority of my weight and it was - at least until I got the bike home - fine.

But scared I am...so, I just ordered some Velox rim tape, Mr. Tuffy Tire Liners, Slime tubes and beefier tires and I will install all of it in the hope that I won't end up sprawled alongside the highway in another driveway...or worse.

Thanks for reading me...and if anyone has opinions on the matter, your comments are welcome!
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Old 06-07-12, 08:06 AM   #16
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But scared I am...so, I just ordered some Velox rim tape, Mr. Tuffy Tire Liners, Slime tubes and beefier tires and I will install all of it in the hope that I won't end up sprawled alongside the highway in another driveway...or worse.

Thanks for reading me...and if anyone has opinions on the matter, your comments are welcome!

Some thoughts:
-On 15-ish year old wheels, there may be some issues. Go over the inside of the rim with a critical eye/finger and look/feel for anything amiss. Perhaps take them to your LBS and have them check the spokes and whatnot.
-Also, if you haven't thrown them out already, I would investigate your damaged tubes/tires and see if you can figure out where the problem was and what caused the problem. You don't want to throw a bunch of money at something that can go south on you again. Find the root of the issue, if you can.
-I 100% would not change the tubes every month as a prophylactic measure. If you want to, though, it's your wallet. Not "expensive", per se, but unnecessary IMO.
-Slime tubes generally suck, IMO. Cannot be patched, usually.
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Old 06-07-12, 08:32 AM   #17
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Also, UpL8, a story of mine that may be of some worth, here: Last year I found a pretty decent price on Amazon for Kenda "thorn-proof" tubes, so I bought 4 of them. When they arrived, I threw 2 of them on my bike. The rear one held, but the front one exploded. The valve stem was separated from the tube. I put on another tube, pumped it up, and left it overnight. The next morning, I found the front tire dead flat. There was a pinhole at where the valve stem joined the tube. I contacted the seller, and they sent me 2 more tubes. In the meantime, I mounted the last of my original tubes and it seemed to hold air. I rode with it to work, and on my way home the front tire went POP and deflated (luckily I was going low speed in a parking lot). Valve stem again.
To shorten this story a little bit: 5 of the 6 total tubes were defective. Subsequent viewings of the reviews on Amazon show that this was a common thing. Funny enough, the 1 good tube is still in regular service over a year (and thousands-ish of miles) later. It barely needs pumped up from time to time and has never needed patched.

What I'm trying to get at, here, is that no solution is as bullet-proof as you think it is. Proper maintenance and overall diligence is your best defense against many issues.
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Old 06-07-12, 11:49 AM   #18
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Thanks Wolfwerx, for a most excellent reply! Particularly around the Slime tubes...didn't even think about the inability to patch them, but after your thoughts on them, it makes sense. I will probably just stick with regular tubes for the time being...easy enough to exchange.

I haven't yet thrown out anything off my bike since the crash, but neither have I had the chance to closely inspect anything...I can't really use my left index finger, and as I am a hardcore left-hander, it is difficult for me to poke and prod, pull and twist in the ways a full-on inspection would require. I am very curious about what - exactly - happened though, and if I can make a determination by inspecting the 'leavings', I would be happy so as not to replicate the conditions.

And you are right about the whole thing around changing tubes every month...that was desperation and fear on my part...I feel somewhat confident that I would have scrapped the idea if/when I figured out the real issue with my wheels/tires/tubes, but in the moment as I composed that post, that's what came from my extreme caution. Sorry.

Again, I do appreciate the response...I am so glad that 'cooler heads prevail' in instances such as these! I don't want to let my fear after the crash get the better of me...I love riding and I don't want to give it up because I am afraid, I think a methodical/practical approach to figuring out the root of this problem will do a lot to ease my trepidation. Thanks!
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Old 06-07-12, 12:02 PM   #19
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We all fall/crash, it's OK to get spooked for a moment. It'll happen to you again, most likely. Hopefully it doesn't happen so often that you stop getting shaken up over it. That's a sign it's time to take up fishing
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