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Old 03-02-07, 06:18 PM   #1
guybierhaus
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Luck Ran Out First Flat

Like many of us I've been suffering from cabin fever. Today was Sunny and 56 degrees, the best day so far this year, I had to hit the road. I did figure I'd be wading through a few flooded roads with the melting snow and 1 1/2 inch of rain last night, and so I was. Went thru the usual walk around the house to gather my things. Hat, new gloves, mp3 player, sun glasses, get water bottle from refrigerator, then hesitated when I was about to pickup tube, changing bars and pump. I hadn't a flat in 3 years, and had no way to mount pump on new bike, so figure it's a great day, will no doubt have no need, so left pump and stuff behind. I suppose I could end right here, you know what happened.

I had hoped to get in at least 20 miles, didn't mind the slow downs at all the water running across the road. The 15 mph wind didn't bother me as it was a warm wind. But at the 9 1/2 mile mark I felt some roughness from rear of bike. Road didn't look that bad?? Rode onto next turn on a smooth road, just paved last year. Still rough, but only at one spot on wheel. Got off brushed away stones, nothing bad, back on and ride again, no change, I'm thinking wheel bearings just went bad. Stopped at bridge across the local Manatawny Creek, which was swollen to 3 times it's size from the earlier rain. No cows in the creek today. Anyway while adjusting seat I finally put some weight on bike and noticed rear tyre was flat. As it turned out I was 5 miles from my car. No spares, no cell phone. I really didn't want to walk, so I mostly rode back to car at 5 to 7 mph on a flat tyre. I didn't understand the strange thump I was getting as I rode on the flat. I don't know if it's normal, but my tube appeared to have stretched and folded over itself, creating a lump under the tyre. Tube seems of normal size now that it's removed. But I found 2 leaks rather quickly, probably more, so it is trash in my book. Tyre seems ok, but it probably isn't with rim riding directly on sidewall. Anyway I have a surplus of used tyres, so it's also trash. Another warm day tomorrow, so besides mounting another tyre and tube, I will mount the pump from other bike. I apparently force my luck and lost.
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Old 03-02-07, 06:38 PM   #2
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Last summer we had someone spreading tacks on one of the NYC bike paths, and Linda had the misfortune of getting not one, but 3 flats over the summer. She eventually bought a pair of armadillos. I was with her for one of the flats. After she changed the tube I noticed one of her tire levers was missing. She said not to worry we had more at home. After riding about a mile she said shefelt a regular bump in the front wheel as we rode. I tried her bike and felt it as well. We took the tire off and found the missing lever! FWIW last summer I bought a Crank Bros Speed Lever. Makes tire removal and mounting very easy. Also bought a CO2 inflater and a dozen cartridges for it.
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Old 03-03-07, 01:39 AM   #3
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The number of flats I have- I can tell as soon as the air starts going out of the tyre and manage to stop before the rim hit the road and ruins a rim or the tyre. So my advice is to get out and get more flats, for experience only of course.

I have had a couple of instant flats and they are dangerous. Try doing 35mph downhill offroad and the first thing you notice is that you have a mouthful of mud. Had this happen on the Tandem a couple of years ago and the cause was a snakebite. That is where the tyre was underinflated and the rim hit the track causing two puncture holes where the tube was caught between the rim and the track. The Tyre was shredded so it was a long walk to a pub to await recovery. Then to make it worse- the wife turned up with the car before we had finished the second pint.
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Old 03-03-07, 06:15 AM   #4
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Mother nature (the cause of the flat) always sides with the hidden flaw (no pump).
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Old 03-03-07, 07:27 AM   #5
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They'll pry my tire pump out of my cold dead hands.













Probably after I try to fix a flat in the snow!
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Old 03-03-07, 07:40 AM   #6
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I envy you!

It's 26 degrees here in St Louis with fine blowing snow so it's another Saturday to go Spinning in the gym. I'm ready for Spring!
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Old 03-03-07, 09:50 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
I envy you!

It's 26 degrees here in St Louis with fine blowing snow so it's another Saturday to go Spinning in the gym. I'm ready for Spring!
No reason to envy. You get even in a couple days as your weather arrives on east coast. High temps below freezing Tuesday and Wednesday with lots of wind. So I ride today and I'm done till next weekend, when it's warmer again, but will have to dodge scattered showers. Although I have yet to out ride a storm.
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Old 03-03-07, 10:08 PM   #8
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I have had what we called in the 1970's "Sticker Flickers". There are several versions. Mine are a little horse shoe shaped piece that mounts under the brake mounting bolt. A inch or so of 1/8" surrgical tubing slides on each of the ends of the mount and is bridged by a wire shaped to match the contour of the tire tread. It just barely touches the tire and flicks stickers, glass shards and other debris out of the tire before it can get pushed into the tire by successive rotations. I have't has a flat tire in 30 years from road devris when using them. Can't find such a thing for sale anymore. Are they still made or are they not PC now?
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Old 03-03-07, 11:25 PM   #9
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I haven't seen anything like the "Flicker" for sale, but it does sound like a good idea. I actually never figured out what caused the flat. I'll accept mother nature did it cause I had no pump. With some of the water I was riding thru, who knows what was on the road. Think I'll wait till floods clear next time.
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Old 03-04-07, 12:30 AM   #10
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Sorry, man, but I'm not even sympathetic. Anybody who hasn't had a flat in three years deserves a nice, long walk in bike shoes, and so does anybody who rides without tools, including a pump. I've gone 250 miles so far this year with only one flat (we've had snow on the ground until recently), and I think that's the longest flat-free stretch I've had in three or four years. I've had nine on a century and as many as six on my 24-mile round-trip commute (my own fault--I ran over a thorny branch and didn't get all the points out of the tire).
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Old 03-05-07, 11:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Velo Dog
I've had nine on a century and as many as six on my 24-mile round-trip commute (my own fault--I ran over a thorny branch and didn't get all the points out of the tire).
How do you recover from nine flats? Multiple patch kits? That really sounds like a drag.
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