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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 12-01-06, 07:28 PM   #1
Ed Holland
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Flat flat flatty flat flat

Warning: Rant ahead

What a week . Flats are like buses, you wait around for ages and then 5 come along all at once.

Tuesday I left early, intending to arrive at work for 8 am. Flat tire about halfway in. No problem, replace tube re inflate, pack up and get back on the bike - tire flat again. Look carefully at tire for 5 min but see nothing. Fit second tube, cross fingers and limp the rest of the way to work, now late for an early meeting. Come lunchtime, the wheel is down again. Finally I found the tiny piece of wire that caused the trouble.
Next day, on the way home I managed to run straight over a chipboard screw - instant flat, and even a little dimple on the inside of the rim where the tip of the screw rammed through the rim tape! I fit a new tube and somehow manage to pinch it, so I'm flat again a mile later in a section with no street lighting or sidewalk.

I have not had a run like this for absolutely ages. Pinching the tube was my fault, something I have never ever done before - however, these are new tires with a kevlar bead, and I'm not so familiar with mounting them, though I have now had lots of practice...

Ed
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Old 12-01-06, 07:39 PM   #2
Paul L.
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Must have been something in the air as I have been having that problem this week too.
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Old 12-01-06, 07:48 PM   #3
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I know about new tires. My new vintage bike has aero rims - much harder to fit and I was using cheaper stiffer tires. I broke 3 tire levers and lost about 4 new tubes. The first one blew out like a 22 rifle shot 2 feet from my ears. The second blew out about 15 seconds after a 30 mph descent.
So far I've only had one side blowout and one flat while commuting. I've also had 3 flats that didn't appear until after sitting overnight.
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Old 12-01-06, 08:30 PM   #4
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Ahh, Flatty flat flats, the bane of the commuter! I feel your pain. My last flatty flat finally initiated an order for Mr Tuffys. They will arrive sometime next week.

My last flat, earlier this week, was from a shark tooth shaped piece of brown beer bottle glass, Monday or Tuesday night. It was like the Devil's own guitar pick. It pierced the Kevlar belt of a Schwalbe Marathon. I didn't recognize the sound until too late! Grrr.

When my order arrives, I am considering putting a Tuffy on the rear tire only. That's where all my Flatty flats occur.
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Old 12-01-06, 09:16 PM   #5
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I run armadillo slick in the back with a mr tuffy liner. Front i have no liner and just the cheapest slick i can buy at the time, fronts never flat. Well cept that time i hit a curb at 60 kph, but that wasnt the tires fault
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Old 12-01-06, 09:28 PM   #6
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Hmm, You might check your rim tape. I had a few flats right in a row, and It turned out I had a rim tape break. You might even consider changing tape when you change your tube
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Old 12-01-06, 09:31 PM   #7
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I had a shard of beer bottle give me a flat this morning. But at least it was raining, so that made it OK.

Nice way to sneak in a "Producers" reference.

Dave
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Old 12-02-06, 09:16 AM   #8
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I had a premonition last weekend, and checked to make sure my spare tubes were still good. I had some wear through at the corners of where I folded them once. The very next day a sliver sized piece of glass worked it's way through my rear tire. I just about had to destroy the tire getting the sliver out. ugh. At least it wasn't cold or raining and I noticed it right next to some nice benches over looking the river. So at least I had a pleasant enviroment for the "layover".

Plus the Army ROTC unit ran buy and at least a dozen of those guys asked If I needed any help. I always enjoy observing kindness.

My record for flatty flats is four in one day, including a double (two pieces of glass in unison) on the front tire. I so wish Ohio would pass a bottle return law.
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Old 12-02-06, 06:10 PM   #9
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I just had a flat last night myself, my first in a long time. I was running sefas 700X38's with puncture protection and a green piece of the devils guitar pick stuck in it. When I stopped and removed the tube I carefully looked and felt around the hole and saw nothing, I didn't see the glass until I got home, maybe it didn't really cause the flat, the hole it the tire looked shredded. I'll bet the glass just made multiple slits as I slowed to a stop. It was a pretty big piece of glass, shark tooth shaped, just like somebody else had mentioned.

I thought the slit looked big so I ran out and got some michelin transworlds today. When I was trying to find the hole in my punctured tire I could not find it, maybe they are OK to ride after all, I think I will like the smaller michelins though. I am thinking of putting the michelins on the front and the wider serfas on the back the next time I do a tire change.

I forgot to add that it had been raining but had quit when I got the flat. I had gone to the store and loaded down my panniers with a 12 pack of odules, a 6 pack (to balence the load) of a different beverage, and some banannas. I wonder if the glass was stuck in the tread and the wt caused the flat. I wound up calling the sagwagon because she had just gotten home and it was easier. A long time ago I could change a flat in 5 minutes but guess I have not had as much practice. I have to wear glasses now and although my headlight makes a good flashlight it was no substitute for a small headlamp. I could have changed it if I had to but I took the easy way out.

I'm wondering if the "tread" on the commuter tires traps stuff more than slicks. I am kind of bummed because the road from the grocery store has a lot of debris on it and loading my panniers will be risking a flat.
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