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  1. #1
    Senior Member jp173's Avatar
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    A WHOLE Other Thing

    It's one thing to take a class in how to fix a flat/replace the tube. It seemed easy enough when I took the class a few years ago and even easier when I took a refresher in May.

    It's another thing to watch experienced people replace their tubes while on a ride (last one being less than a month ago).

    BUT IT IS A WHOLE OTHER THING TO HAVE TO DO IT BY YOURSELF FOR THE FIRST TIME IN YOUR LIFE (9 years of riding) ON A SOLO RIDE OUT IN THE BOONIES!!!!!

    And the rear wheel too, so that I had to deal with the chain.

    My mind went blank.

    I couldn't remember if I had a spare tube (of course I did) or where it was (in my saddle bag of course).

    I didn't recognize the tire levers.

    I couldn't get the wheel off the frame (gotta remember to flip open that little lever thingie).

    I couldn't get the wheel clear of the chain (that's what the derailleur is for, dummy).

    I couldn't get the pump re-set for the Presta valve (it's a double head pump, so it's not as if there's actually anything you have to do to re-set it).

    I couldn't get the tire off the rim (turns out that's what the tire levers are for -- what a concept!!!)

    I couldn't remember if I was supposed to put the tube on the rim and then put the tire on over that, or put the tube into the tire and then put the whole thing onto the rim (I mean, it's not as if I hadn't just seen it done a month previously).

    I almost forgot to put the valve stem through the hole in the rim (you mean the valve stem doesn't just sit inside the tire????).

    I couldn't get the @!*^$$ tire onto the rim (for once in my life, the problem was that I wasn't using enough force -- versus my normal problem of using too much force).

    Anyway, it took me a little over an hour to do the job and get the wheel back on the bike. By the time I was done, I literally had every gram of chain lubricant on my hands and shirt (the chain was bone dry). I was also wearing every bit of road grime that tire had ever picked up.

    And then, just to add insult to injury, a little over 1/2 mile down the road, there was a bike shop (it wasn't visible from where I was). I could have just walked the bike down there and had them do it (I had no idea that there was a shop that far out in the boonies).

    At least the people in the bike shop had a good laugh when they saw me/heard my story. They laughed so hard they even re-lubricated my chain for free.

  2. #2
    Senior Curmudgeon FarHorizon's Avatar
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    Last time I swapped a tube AT HOME, it took me over an hour! I knew I had a set of tire irons around, but they weren't in my bike tool box, they weren't in my household tool box, they weren't in my utility room drawer, and they weren't in my garage! After wasting over 30 minutes looking for the $%^&*() tire irons that I knew I had (somewhere...) I gave up and went to the store to buy some. After getting home and changing the tube, I had about an hour and a half invested.

    It's WORSE to own a tool you can't find than to not have one at all!

  3. #3
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    Last time I swapped a tube, sweated bullets in the hot garage getting the knobby tire off the rim successfully then discovered the road slick replacement had been left at the LBS last time I was there...so couldn't stand to spend another hour replacing the knobby back where it was & just went to LBS where the kid did it in 4 minutes (I timed him).

    Those knobbies must not get as many flats because they are so thick & recalcitrant that everything but a goathead quails at their approach! I DID buy a 3rd tire lever & one of those tools that takes the valve completely out of a tire.
    centexwoody
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  4. #4
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    & one of those tools that takes the valve completely out of a tire
    ??

    I didn't know tires had valves?

    And if it takes the valve out of the tube, doesn't it leak a bit?

    HELP

    I am really trying to visualize this.

  5. #5
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    Sounds like you would benefit by practicing at home before your next ride.

  6. #6
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    the stem on the tube has a valve in it, right? The instrument i use is called a Valve Repair Tool that:
    "1) inserts & removes cores
    2) re-taps inside valve threads
    3) re-conditions outside valve threads"

    So when I change a tire, I remove the 'core' valve from the tube stem & set it aside. The tube deflates completely and is much more malleable. Remove tube, find hole or whatever, repair, replace tube inside tire, re-screw the core valve & inflate slightly, etc. etc.

    The guy I learned how to replace a tube from was a professional Honda motorcycle racer & mechanic. He won his beer money by changing motorcycle tires (any kind of motorcycle tire) in under 5 minutes. He'd first bet the customer a six-pack that he could change it in under 5 minutes. The customer who, of course, had just spent 3 hours going back & forth from the motorcycle shop buying tubes, ruining them, buying tools, all the while sweating over changing his tire & eventually just bringing it into the shop. So customer would immediately agree. Then George would raise the wager: for every minute under 5 that he could change the tire, the customer would buy yet another 6-pack.

    He could change a tire in under a minute equaling 4 six-packs or a case of beer...

    That's why I remove the valve from the stem, hoping that someone will bet me a six-pack that I can get the valve back into the stem & inflate the tire (my goals are not as lofty as George's).
    Last edited by centexwoody; 08-09-06 at 09:29 PM.
    centexwoody
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  7. #7
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    the stem on the tube has a valve in it, right? The instrument i use is called a Valve Repair Tool that:
    "1) inserts & removes cores
    2) re-taps inside valve threads
    3) re-conditions outside valve threads"

    So when I change a tire, I remove the 'core' valve from the tube stem & set it aside. The tube deflates completely and is much more malleable. Remove tube, find hole or whatever, repair, replace tube inside tire, re-screw the core valve & inflate slightly, etc. etc.
    Is this for a Presta valve or Schrader or both?

    I have always been able to deflate a tire enough without having to do anything special except push in on the valve stem.

    Sounds like a lot of effort for what?

  8. #8
    Mmmm, Blue Salsa.... BubbaDog's Avatar
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    Not too far OT, a few things I've learned:

    - Keep a cotton ball in your patch kit, run it around the inside of your tire to find that little thorn/piece of glass/little wire that you can't see from the outside or the inside of the tire. It keeps you from getting the same flat again as soon as you fix the first one. it also keeps you from slicing your pinkie wide open running your hand inside the tire trying to find that little sharp thing you couldn't see but know is there .

    - Keep a small but good pair of tweezers in your patch kit to remove the little bugger when you find it with the cotton ball .

    - Keep a 35mm film canister in your seat bag with a pair of latex gloves inside to keep from getting filthy when patching flats, or fixing anything else requiring intimate contact with the chain or other 'naughty bits'. Wrap the outside of the film canister with about three feet of duct tape for use as an emergency tire boot, rim strip or anything else that can be fixed with duct tape (which is just about everything) .

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  9. #9
    Senior Member turtleguy54's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaDog
    Not too far OT, a few things I've learned:

    - Keep a cotton ball in your patch kit, run it around the inside of your tire to find that little thorn/piece of glass/little wire that you can't see from the outside or the inside of the tire. It keeps you from getting the same flat again as soon as you fix the first one. it also keeps you from slicing your pinkie wide open running your hand inside the tire trying to find that little sharp thing you couldn't see but know is there .

    - Keep a small but good pair of tweezers in your patch kit to remove the little bugger when you find it with the cotton ball .

    - Keep a 35mm film canister in your seat bag with a pair of latex gloves inside to keep from getting filthy when patching flats, or fixing anything else requiring intimate contact with the chain or other 'naughty bits'. Wrap the outside of the film canister with about three feet of duct tape for use as an emergency tire boot, rim strip or anything else that can be fixed with duct tape (which is just about everything) .

    B'Dog
    Really good advice B'Dog. I never thought of that but I bet it works. Had a flat today and was down to rubbing my hands in the grass to try and get the grease off.

  10. #10
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    I have to say...that after a rash of flats...seafoam and I made it through our entire ride tonight without incident! "kissing the ground"....went up some steep hills and had a great ride...believe me I feel for those having tire and tube troubles!

  11. #11
    Senior Member jp173's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BubbaDog
    Not too far OT, a few things I've learned:

    - Keep a cotton ball in your patch kit, run it around the inside of your tire to find that little thorn/piece of glass/little wire that you can't see from the outside or the inside of the tire. It keeps you from getting the same flat again as soon as you fix the first one. it also keeps you from slicing your pinkie wide open running your hand inside the tire trying to find that little sharp thing you couldn't see but know is there .

    - Keep a small but good pair of tweezers in your patch kit to remove the little bugger when you find it with the cotton ball .

    - Keep a 35mm film canister in your seat bag with a pair of latex gloves inside to keep from getting filthy when patching flats, or fixing anything else requiring intimate contact with the chain or other 'naughty bits'. Wrap the outside of the film canister with about three feet of duct tape for use as an emergency tire boot, rim strip or anything else that can be fixed with duct tape (which is just about everything) .

    B'Dog
    All EXCELLENT suggestions. Thank you.

  12. #12
    Senior Member jp173's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis
    Sounds like you would benefit by practicing at home before your next ride.
    But the class had been HANDS-ON!!!

  13. #13
    OnTheRoad or AtTheBeach stonecrd's Avatar
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    9 years without a flat or needing to change worn tires? That is quite an accomplishment. Practice makes perfect, I probably get a flat at least every 1000mi and need to change tires at 2000-3000mi. It is a good idea to try anything new you may buy i.e. pump CO2 inflater ect at home prior to needing it. It is not fun finding out the new pump you got doesn't work when you are 30mi from home and no one around to give you a lift. That brings up a whole nother topic. I'll start a new thread.
    The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard and the shallow end is much too large

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  14. #14
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    Good advice above, but most of all, don't panic. stop, think, do.
    At least you had a good reason for a post ride beer, or 4.

  15. #15
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    Schrader

    Since my tubes had green slime in them, just pushing the valve stem did not seem to deflate them sufficiently to be easily manageable.

    A deflated tube is easier for me to work with...because I have ham-fisted, lizard-brain mechanical aptitude.
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  16. #16
    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by centexwoody
    Schrader

    Since my tubes had green slime in them, just pushing the valve stem did not seem to deflate them sufficiently to be easily manageable.

    A deflated tube is easier for me to work with...because I have ham-fisted, lizard-brain mechanical aptitude.
    You need to turn the wheel so the valve is at the top of the wheel, then wait a couple of minutes for the slime to slide down away from the valve. At least, that works for me.

  17. #17
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    yes, good suggestion

    but at least I have one tool that I know how to use, no? And it's small and I probably won't break anything with it (I hope, I hope).
    centexwoody
    They're beautiful handsome machines that translate energy into joy.

  18. #18
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I have many mechanically inept friends and I seem to ride with a bunch of them. However- punctures are a group repair. One person takes the wheel out, whilst the spare tube,(May not even be the puncture owners tube) get unrolled and a little air put in, then the tyre levers get to work and the tyre comes right off the wheel and is passed to the one with the full finger gloves- normally me, to find the thorn or flint. Then the tyre gets relocated and the partially inflated tube inserted and the other bead fitted. Then the one that has the good pump- Me again- has the pump prepared for the valve and starts pumping- I normally get it up to 40psi and hand over to the owner for the hard bit. Wheel put back in the bike and Q R properly tensioned and brakes refitted. Rider checks the bike and whats that noise? Bu$$er it. Forgot to repair the tube from the last puncture so the whole process starts again but this time with the new tube out of my bag. Works every time but I never seem to get a new tube back for my one that was used, but I do have a variety of tubes hanging up in the shed waiting for the one puncture to be repaired.
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