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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 06-21-06, 01:17 PM   #1
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Are you prepared for a flat tire?

Well it finally happened to me. I knew that all my bragging about never getting a flat would come back to haunt me. I was on my way home when the back tire went down. Oh well, I figured I'd just call my wife to get me but I managed to forget to charge my cell and it was dead. Changing out the tube was pretty easy but I was thinking that if I had another flat then I'd be screwed. Now I'm going to carry two tubes and at least three CO2 bottles. Overkill?
What do you folks carry for flat repairs?
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Old 06-21-06, 01:25 PM   #2
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2 tubes (3 if on a long ride), clamshell tool kit, tire spoons, cotton work gloves, and a small pump

yes...i've had three flats on the ride home once (funny how that imbedded glass can't be found on a cold, snowy night). I've even had the opportunity to use my chain tool
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Old 06-21-06, 01:26 PM   #3
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I carry two tubes, a patch kit for tubes, a patch kit for tires, six C02, inflator, and tire irons... Man I'm paranoid
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Old 06-21-06, 01:32 PM   #4
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For the racer, 2 tubes, 3 C02, patch kit. For other bikes -- 2 or 3 tubes depending on ride length, patch kit, pump.

I would never only carry one tube or skip the patch kit. It is possible to botch a repair (e.g. not get every last bit of glass out of the tire) or just get unlucky.
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Old 06-21-06, 01:33 PM   #5
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2 tubes, patch kit and a pump. I think I've had up to 3 flats in a 15 mile commute. 2 were at the same time.
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Old 06-21-06, 01:33 PM   #6
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I carry an extra tube and a patch kit and a pump, two tire levers. I too have had an opportunity to use the chain tool. Used it for a roadside single speed conversion when my derailer spontaniously imploded. Rode that way for a week!
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Old 06-21-06, 01:34 PM   #7
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I carry a spare tube, a patch kit with at least 6 patches in it, an Alien multi-tool, and a pump.
I've had many flats over the years and multiple flats on a single ride. The only time I've ever had a tire problem I couldn't fix was a sidewall blow-out about three inches long. By an incredible stroke of luck, it happened a block from a bicycle store so I was able to buy a tire and tube and carry on my way.
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Old 06-21-06, 01:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Old_Fart
I carry a spare tube, a patch kit with at least 6 patches in it, an Alien multi-tool, and a pump.
I've had many flats over the years and multiple flats on a single ride. The only time I've ever had a tire problem I couldn't fix was a sidewall blow-out about three inches long. By an incredible stroke of luck, it happened a block from a bicycle store so I was able to buy a tire and tube and carry on my way.
when my sidewall blew..but only about 1", i found that by cutting a strip off the old tube and putting it between the rip and the new tube it held until i got home (about 10 miles)...it was still holding the next morning when i was able to change the tire.

Saw this tip on TV
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Old 06-21-06, 02:07 PM   #9
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I carry a patch kit, tools and a pump. I've never had a sudden flat, only slow leaks. One I repaired at work during lunch, and the other I waited till I got home.

Since I got the new tires on my bike, I haven't had any flats at all. 8.5 mile each way. There's also lots of bus routes, worst case is I'd have to walk my bike a few blocks to catch a bus. I also pass two cycle shops where I could get parts in an emergency (assuming, of course that I brought some cash with me!)

I'll have to worry about it more when I move, a couple miles longer trip, plus the route is a little more remote. I'll probably carry a couple tubes with me then.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:14 PM   #10
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I've had two flats, and both times didn't have the right tools. First time I had everything I needed except a wrench to take my new, non QR wheel off. The second time I had everything I needed except plumbers tape to wrap my presta valve with so air wouldn't leak when I put the extender on. Both problems have been fixed.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:19 PM   #11
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I'm also going to put a couple of pairs of latex gloves in my bag. Changing flats is dirty work.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:20 PM   #12
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Every time (unless I forget):
- mini-pump/CO2 inflator (single combo unit)
- 16g CO2 cartridge
- glueless patches
- extra tube
- tires levers

Optional:
- more tubes
- more CO2
- real patch kit

The glueless patches are handy for quick patchings and for small tears in a tire. Bigger tears can be dealt with on the road via a "boot", either an official commercial "boot" (e.g. by Park Tools) or an improvised boot such as a folded dollar bill or scrap of Powerbar wrapper (the mylar is good stuff). The nice thing about a CO2/minpump combo is that it's easy to prime the tube with the minipump to give the tube some shape for mounting on the rim, and, perhaps more importantly, you can be pretty sure of a good seal before blowing a cartridge on it.

Heh, in writing this it occurs to me that my 20" folder tires may not need a full 16g cartridge (it's perfect for the roadie). Hmmm...

Edit: speaking of my folder, with the rear wheel not having a quick release (consequence of the hub gearing) I also take a Park Tools "road wrench" 15mm wrench. Very handy: it's meant to be a pedal wrench, I suppose, and I use it as such as well.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:22 PM   #13
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Tube, patch kit, two CO2 cartridges, multi-tool, and a few zipties. Pretty minimal.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:30 PM   #14
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Topeak Toolbar, Topeak Micro Rocket, and some Park Super Patches. Gets me going again. I replace the tube when I get home.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:32 PM   #15
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A noob question.....can you overfill a 23" tire with a 16g CO2 bottle?

I carry two tubes, a patch kit, three levers and an inflater with three bottles.
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Old 06-21-06, 02:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shakadude
A noob question.....can you overfill a 23" tire with a 16g CO2 bottle?

I carry two tubes, a patch kit, three levers and an inflater with three bottles.
Mine doesn't. I used up the bottle filling my tube.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:00 PM   #17
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Every ride:
Extra tube, levers, 2 CO2 inflators, multi-tool (including chain tool), tube repair kit

Commuting rides:
Add mini-pump

Long rides (200-300k):
Add spare chain links, folding tire, 2 more tubes, fiber spoke, extra reflective gear, 2 spare dollar bills.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:04 PM   #18
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No flats for almost a year, and last week two (one in the front from a thorn and one in the back from glass) at the same time. On my mountain bike. I had to patch the back one roadside oldschool, the front leak was slow enough to go home first.

Edit: On the extra heavy rim-tire combo I used to have on my freeride bike, I almost needed a crowbar to get the bead off the tire. Whenever I rode that thing I didn't bother with any flat repair things since there seemed to be no point in attempting a roadside fix.

I mostly got away with it too. The only flat over 12,000 km was from a broken valve stem... during a snowstorm, which made walking the 10km home almost as fast anyways.

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Old 06-21-06, 03:09 PM   #19
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I would leave without my helmet before I
left without a multi-tool and flat repair kit /tube.
And, remember....if it is a puncture you do not have to
take the rim off of the bike. Leave it on and you'll save time
and stay signifigantly cleaner.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
Well it finally happened to me. I knew that all my bragging about never getting a flat would come back to haunt me. I was on my way home when the back tire went down. Oh well, I figured I'd just call my wife to get me but I managed to forget to charge my cell and it was dead. Changing out the tube was pretty easy but I was thinking that if I had another flat then I'd be screwed. Now I'm going to carry two tubes and at least three CO2 bottles. Overkill?
What do you folks carry for flat repairs?
A tube, a patch kit, tire irons and a frame pump. Has worked like that for 30 + years on various bikes.

The only thing I carry different on my touring bike is duct tape... to repair cut tires while way out in the boonies. I have the duct tape wrapped around my pump.

This whole CO2 craze I just don't understand... frame pumps work quite well, have worked quite well for ages and never run out of air, and weigh nothing compared to carrying several CO2 cartridges.

When I ride sewups I carry two spare tires. And a pump.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:13 PM   #21
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Two tubes (each in an in old sox, makes a handy rag), patch kit, Alien multi tool, two 15mm stubby wrenches, pump, some stick on boots and a bunch of quarters. Oh, and a presta/schrader adapter. I've had too many flats to give a precise number. The latex gloves sound like a good addition.
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Old 06-21-06, 03:40 PM   #22
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*sigh*

I thought I was prepared for a flat on Monday, but when I was fixing my first flat of the commute, I broke the pump on my 2nd wind inflator. I patched the tube and had to blow both the 12g CO2 carts I usually carry. I was fixed up, but I knew if I got another flat, I'd be SOL. I didn't worry too much because this was my first flat in 3 years, so I wasn't anticipating another one. Of course I get one. I would have been understanding if it was in the same spot as the last flat, meaning I had botched patch job, but it was in a different place on the tube!! Just my luck. Patch holds, but I get another flat anyway
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Old 06-21-06, 03:59 PM   #23
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I don't carry anything except a pump. I use armadillo tires with slime. Usually, by reinflating, any leaks will seal themselves. On 2 or 3 occassions in the last 18 years, I had a blowout. If this happens, I just walk the bike Home, Work, or to the LBS, whichever is closer.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:04 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manual_overide
I would have been understanding if it was in the same spot as the last flat, meaning I had botched patch job, but it was in a different place on the tube!! Just my luck. Patch holds, but I get another flat anyway
Did you check the tire for the thing that caused your first flat?

If not, it's possible it just remained in the tire and caused a second puncture.
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Old 06-21-06, 04:18 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner Fan
I'm also going to put a couple of pairs of latex gloves in my bag. Changing flats is dirty work.
You called??
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