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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 10-10-07, 06:18 AM   #1
feethanddooth
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flat tire. no tube. tie a knot?

last night went out to my bike and the front tire was flat. after an attempt to find the hole and not being able to i decided to put the tube back on and see if i could make it home thinking it was a small slow leak. wrong. it was a patched tubed and the patch soon came off. anyway.

i heard or read somewhere that you could cut the tube, tie it back together where the hole is, then ride it. you would have a bumpy ride bit it would get you home. so i tried it and didnt even bother putting the tube back in.

is this true? ever work for you?
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Old 10-10-07, 07:14 AM   #2
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I have serious doubts that a setup like that would even pretend to hold air, much less actually fit back on your bike.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:17 AM   #3
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I've never tried it, but in theory it should work. It has to be a very tight knot [obviously], and it would be difficult to do if the hole was anywhere near the valve stem. I have a whole bunch of punctured tubes at home - maybe I'll give it a try when I'm really bored...
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Old 10-10-07, 07:22 AM   #4
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I did something like that a few years ago.
The glue in my patch kit had dried up (too many miles between flats?? ) and I'd used my spare tube.

I didn't cut the tube with the hole. I just found the hole and tied off that small section, stuffed it back in the tire, pumped it up, and rode home. It was still inflated the next morning.
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Old 10-10-07, 07:24 AM   #5
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Regardless the results, I think we should submit it to mythbusters. Somehow, someway, Adam would blow up a wal-mart bicycle.
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Old 10-10-07, 08:31 AM   #6
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I have done it a few times. It works well enough to get you home.

1. find the hole
2. cut the tube at the hole
3. tie the two ends back together and get the knot as tight as you can
4. put it back in your tire and ride home
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Old 10-10-07, 08:53 AM   #7
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It does work.
I have done it once on my mountain bike when I was stuck without a correctly sized spare tube, I always try to carry spares for my bike and my kids bikes but accidentally grabbed 2 24 inch instead of a 26. I cut the tube at the hole by running it over my chainring a few times then tied it together, pumped it up a bit and stuffed it into the tire then pumped it up to about 45 - 50 lbs. It felt a little lumpy but got me home. This was with a 2.35 inch wide tire and wide rims, I suspect this would be much more difficult with a narrower tire/rim combo.

One of the guys I work with mountain bikes a lot and told me about a guy in their riding group that got a big gash in his sidewall when they were a long way from any help and they were unable to make a tire boot that would contain the tube. Apparently they stuffed the tire full of leaves and twigs and he was able to limp along.
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Old 10-10-07, 03:33 PM   #8
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I've tried stuffing with grass, worked for a couple miles, then all fell out. If I had longer grass it probably would have worked. I like the tie it in a knot idea, I'll have to try it one day.
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Old 12-05-08, 11:56 PM   #9
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is it really that hard to just carry a patch kit? or hell, i mean a spare tube isn't all that much weight or space O.o

. . . having said that, i still may try it for fun
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Old 12-06-08, 12:15 AM   #10
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I wanna try this just for the hell of it. Seems like it should work.

I always carry at least 2 extra tubes. I also carry patches, but those require finding the hole in the bad tube, which can be really, really, really annoying in bad weather and near noisy traffic. Thus, I always carry at least two spare tubes.
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Old 12-07-08, 06:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by juggleaddict View Post
is it really that hard to just carry a patch kit? or hell, i mean a spare tube isn't all that much weight or space O.o

. . . having said that, i still may try it for fun
there may come a time when you've exhausted all other options and are facing a very long walk. that is when you tie the knot.
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Old 12-07-08, 07:50 AM   #12
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there may come a time when you've exhausted all other options and are facing a very long walk. that is when you tie the knot.
Are we still talking about tires, or is this general life advice?
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Old 12-07-08, 08:55 AM   #13
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Patch fell off? Lemme guess; glueless patch.
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Old 12-07-08, 09:04 AM   #14
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It depends on the tire size. I could not fit the knot back in the tire on a 700x23 tire.
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