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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-06-06, 06:37 PM   #1
dalmore
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3 rides - 3 flats!!@#!$! unbelievable luck...



Three road hazard punctures. Three DIFFERENT routes. I feel cursed. The first one was at my the weight watchers meeting on Saturday. Glass in the parking lot - right into my Big Apples on my Dahon Speed TR. I parked and took off my helmet - looked down and it's flat. Folde it up and tossed it a friends car for a ride home. Gotta love a folder. Fixed it Sunday. Didn't commute Monday but did take a pleasure ride on a different bike - No flat on that one. This morning- back on the Speed TR for the commute - halfway there - three-inch screw through the thread, out the sidewall and then back into the sidewall. Repaired it with a new tube and tire at Wally's World. (Surprisingly nice riding tire at that.) Did the mixed mode bus thing on the way home leading to my third different route and yep - something small punctured the wallyworld tire and tube. So small that I could not find it while I was out so I pushed it the last mile and half home. Finally found the puncture and no sign of the foreign object...

Tell me it'll get better tomorrow!! Lie if you have to. Just tell me it'll get better.
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Old 06-06-06, 07:22 PM   #2
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Can't get much worse, right?
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Old 06-06-06, 07:51 PM   #3
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For every season turn, turn, turn... Yea. It'll get better. I once had a week commuting with 4 flats in three days. And they were all in the back. It can get loud by the side of the road.

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Old 06-06-06, 09:23 PM   #4
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It'll get better. I'm STILL pissed at the f*****g industrial staple that got my rear tube last week. Both points!! Needed needlenose pliers to get it out if my tire. F*****g staple!

Directing all of this frustration at a staple makes a lot of sense and is healthy, I'm sure.
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Old 06-07-06, 05:45 AM   #5
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No flats today !!! YIPPEEE!!!

Pop the champagne corks!!
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Old 06-07-06, 05:53 AM   #6
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I hardly ever flat, but I once had 5 flats in one day. I had just rebuilt my rear wheel and I had a bad rim strip. I didn't know what was causing it until I finally limped into the LBS and he sold me a good rim strip.

On my AM ride that day, I couldn't even get the tire pumped up; it popped when I hit 25 PSI. I wound up walking 7 miles that morning and getting to work RATHER late.
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Old 06-07-06, 07:34 AM   #7
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Get some Marathon Plus tires for your Speed TR. Some stores have cross sections of those tires where you can see the massive blue layer of puncture protection. A like a pound or two each, though, they must quite slow! (I ride vanilla Marathons on my Speed Pro, a compromise between the Plus and Stelvios)
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Old 06-07-06, 07:55 AM   #8
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Dunno why, but flats come in plagues.

I didn't have one all year, until this week brought four in two days. Sharp rock got my rear tire Sunday. Monday evening, front sprung a leak at the base of the valve stem. I put the spare on, which immediately sprung a leak in the same place! Sun was setting then, so I surrendered and got a ride. Leaving Tuesday morning, I find front is flat for the third time - not the valve stem, just a pin hole leak on the outside. I was out of tubes. Car beckoned from the garage, but I would not surrender. I applied my last patch and rode in. Tuesday riding included a stop at the bike shop for more tubes, CO2, and a new patch kit. Rubber side seems o.k. now. Hopefully the cycling gods are appeased.
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Old 06-07-06, 04:20 PM   #9
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Take heart. And know that when you tell this story to the unbelievers, they'll stare at you with even more wonder than ever. "Three flats and you didn't quit? Are you a God or something?"

Still.... Freaks me out just to read this thread! Now I gotta throw salt and turn around three times and knock wood.... Dalmore, just be thankful that it wasn't ... oh, I can't say that out loud!
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Old 06-07-06, 04:22 PM   #10
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Ive never had a flat.. ever.

I just bought a new track SS to commute on, but earlier in my life I was putting at least 4 hours a day every day on a bike.

... Never a flat...
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Old 06-07-06, 04:34 PM   #11
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When I first started commuting I was getting 2-3 flats a week. Now its 1 flat a month, usually. Sometimes less. You'll learn to ride better so that you don't run into things. Obstacle avoidance is where its at
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Old 06-07-06, 04:54 PM   #12
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I do flat on the bike, but the worst for me is my car! Once hit an aluminum siding strip that fell off a truck in front of me. Went to avoid it, and the thing bounced under the wheel anyway. 7 punctures in one tire. Had to get a new tire. However, the tires on my mtn bike cost more than the tires I use on the car (Continental traction pro vs goodyear alegra) so I guess I should not complain LOL.
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Old 06-07-06, 07:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala
When I first started commuting I was getting 2-3 flats a week. Now its 1 flat a month, usually. Sometimes less. You'll learn to ride better so that you don't run into things. Obstacle avoidance is where its at
You don't run into the things you see by choice in most cases. Commuting will put you into a decision making process. Do I go around that nasty thing in the road or keep my line and my life? It usually happens to me at intersections. I have had to choose crushing broken glass vs getting in the way of worse danger.

The things you don't see are also a thrill. I picked up a 3" sheetrock screw in the rear tire while crossing an intersection. My attention was focused on the traffic and not the road hazards. That motivated me to invest in a Schwalbe Marathon for my rear 26" wheel. So far, so good.
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Old 06-07-06, 09:30 PM   #14
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Ive never had a flat.. ever.
I hate you!

I average about 12 flats per year. But they tend to all occur in a single month. And it looks like this year, this is that month. It's good that you didn't let them stop you. Fixing or replacing a tube isn't too much off a problem for me. But replacing whole tires all the time can get me.

Anyway, if you call someone for an emergency pick up, be sure to get them a pizza and a six pack first thing when you get home. First thing. Or they might not be around the next time. And if there is a next time, you just ask them if they want a pizza and some beer.
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Old 06-07-06, 09:39 PM   #15
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Just buy some real tires. Schwable or Continental.
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Old 06-08-06, 06:36 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unkchunk
I hate you!
Anyway, if you call someone for an emergency pick up, be sure to get them a pizza and a six pack first thing when you get home. First thing. Or they might not be around the next time. And if there is a next time, you just ask them if they want a pizza and some beer.
I did just that. I bought lunch Monday. The co-worker is underaged so I skipped hte beer.
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Old 06-08-06, 08:25 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalmore
Three road hazard punctures. Three DIFFERENT routes. I feel cursed.

...Lie if you have to. Just tell me it'll get better.
This is not a lie, but it might not apply to you in particular. Still, I'll chime in with this:



Quote:
Originally Posted by rykoala
When I first started commuting I was getting 2-3 flats a week. Now its 1 flat a month, usually. Sometimes less. You'll learn to ride better so that you don't run into things. Obstacle avoidance is where its at
I had more flats in the beginning, too. Then someone told me, "Stay out of the debris." I did, and now I almost never get a flat.

Watch for the debris line. If there is any sand, gravel, etc. on the road, you'll see it. It's the place where the road is being swept clean by traffic. Learn to ride on that clean part, and flats will be as rare as a solar eclipse. This might take some practice, because it means riding away from the rightmost edge, where lots of new riders tend to ride. There is also the added benefit that if somebody passes you too closely, you'll have room to move right if necessary.

But as I said, it might not apply in your case.
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Old 06-08-06, 10:36 AM   #18
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One night I was out riding after work(Swing shift, 4-11). I had just put new wheels on at the beginning of the ride. I was pedaling down Santa Monica Blvd celebrating the fact that I had won a bronze medal in the 2nd Great International Paper Airplane Contest and I some how didn't see that particular pothole.

Both my rims were destroyed. Though the good part is that neither wheel got a flat!!!! I didn't get a flat that whole year.

You have to take the good with the bad.
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Old 06-08-06, 01:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by sabaka
Can't get much worse, right?
I learned during my divorce to never, ever ask this question. Because there is only one answer!
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Old 06-08-06, 01:17 PM   #20
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I learned during my divorce to never, ever ask this question. Because there is only one answer!
And the answer is.... "Count your blessings!"
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Old 06-08-06, 01:18 PM   #21
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I've had flats on bicycles and on motorcycles. Never in a car.

It's no big deal -- just part of the ride. Motorcycle flats are surprisingly easy to fix (even easier than bicycle flats), at least if you've got tubeless tires. If you've got spoked wheels and tube tires, it's the same process as fixing a flat on your bicycle, except that the bike weighs 500 or more pounds and the wheel ain't light either.
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Old 06-08-06, 01:25 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newbojeff
It'll get better. I'm STILL pissed at the f*****g industrial staple that got my rear tube last week. Both points!! Needed needlenose pliers to get it out if my tire. F*****g staple!

Directing all of this frustration at a staple makes a lot of sense and is healthy, I'm sure.
The below photo shows what caused my first flat, a portion of a industrial staple that went through my WTB Allterrainisaurus (sp.?) right to the rim. Will cause a flat everytime.

Edit: Where is the photo? Nevermind.
Attached Images
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Old 06-08-06, 02:50 PM   #23
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in almost 3 years of bike commuting, nary a flat to be seen here. I've got a Town and Country slick on the back and some kind of Continental on the front. In the winter I run some old Geax knobbies. I ride almost exclusively on bike paths, not much debris there.
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Old 06-09-06, 10:29 AM   #24
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I haven't had a flat in three years ever since I started using Mr Tuffy liners. Can't recommend those things enough.
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