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Old 09-04-07, 09:52 PM   #1
Yen
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I knew it was going to happen sooner or later

I rode after dark tonight and was trying to be as careful as possible. I need a different headlight... mine makes ME very visible but not the road in front of me. The streets are lit in most places but I encountered a few short dark spots tonight. On my way back home I felt thirsty so I stopped for some water. As I started to ride again something didn't feel quite right. Actually, before I even stopped something didn't sound quite right -- like a cricket had hitched a ride on my back wheel. Anyway when I started to ride again something didn't feel right and suddenly I got that sinking feeling so I knelt down in the dark and...... sure 'nuff...... I could feel it -- my first flat tire. It was too dark to change it without my glasses so I walked the bike the rest of the way home, three long blocks, holding the back end up, all uphill. I had to change sides every few minutes to give each arm a rest (remember, I ride a heavy hybrid). So, tonight's workout consisted of a bike ride, a walk, and weight-lifting. Does that count as a triathlon?

Next purchase: 700x28 Gatorskins.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:56 PM   #2
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You were very lucky that you were only 3 blocks from home, even if it was uphill.

BTW, why did you bother to lift the rear wheel as you walked? I would have just pushed it unless something was preventing you from doing so. If the tire was still on the rim, then it wouldn't have hurt it.
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Old 09-04-07, 09:59 PM   #3
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I believe the Specialized Armadillo tires offer even better flat protection than the Gatorskins.

I'm surprised you got a flat with those heavy, slime-filled tires. Those have a pretty thick rubber tread too, not like a thin, lightweight road tire.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:07 PM   #4
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Tom, the tire was completely flat, like a pancake. Since the bike is heavy I didn't want to take a chance damaging the wheel and I really couldn't see it well in the dark. We inspected the tire and found what appears to be a small nail that went straight in. We're surprised too, so I must have hit the the wrong thing at just the right angle and the right force.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:11 PM   #5
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Anybody know an on-line source for tires with good prices and good service?
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Old 09-04-07, 10:19 PM   #6
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I use these guys. http://www.biketiresdirect.com/
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Old 09-04-07, 10:20 PM   #7
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I'll give you a triathlon for that

Hate flat tyres, hate, hate, hate.

I don't walk bikes on flats either, but I think I could be pushed to if I got tired enough. The worst I've changed was in an all day thunderstorm - I'd already pumped the thing up and ridden on it three times, hoping I'd get home that way, but the last time, I could watch the wheel sagging. Naturally, the rain stopped soon after I was mobile again.

Thornproof tubes might be a good move - I've had a lot of luck with them over the years. The Black Beast runs Tuffy Tyre liners with the result of only one flat in over 1,500 km. But the only way to prevent punctures is to hang the bike on the wall over the tele and stare lovingly at it as you slowly assume the shape of your sofa.

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Old 09-04-07, 10:24 PM   #8
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It would be very hard to damage the heavy rims on a hybrid wheel, with a tube & tire on it, from just the weight of the bike. I could see someone wanting to be more careful on race wheels.

Now a car you never want to drive on the rims, as the wheel has hundreds of pounds on it.

Of course, you shouldn't need a new tire now. Just patch or replace the tube and you'll be fine. Unless you want to get new tires.
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Old 09-04-07, 10:26 PM   #9
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Actually, I wasn't thinking so much of the rims, I was thinking more of chewing the tyre and tube about, though I can imagine the rough bitumen we have here putting a pretty rough edge on an alloy rim.

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Old 09-04-07, 10:47 PM   #10
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Hermes: Thank you for the link.

Tom: I want new tires anyway.

Europa:

We'll patch the tube and order the new tires. Like the first scratch on a new car, I'm glad it's behind me and the circumstances weren't worse. And anyway, I had a good ride.
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Old 09-05-07, 02:06 AM   #11
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I still laugh at the flat tire fairy!......
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Old 09-05-07, 05:23 AM   #12
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Glad you made it home safe and sound. Congratulations on this important rite of passage. And let us know what tires and light you end up getting.
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Old 09-05-07, 05:37 AM   #13
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Heck, I even RIDE a flat tire, if it is a mtn bike tire and rim. So far, so good.

Sorry about your flat. Three blocks is not bad. I once did 5 miles. (That is before I knew to carry tire repair stuff)
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Old 09-05-07, 05:55 AM   #14
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Fix-A-Flat makes a size for bike tires also, to get you on your way quick without having to pull out the tube and patch it right then. I've used it before with good results on the mtn.bike (schraeder valve tube). Never tried it on a presta valved tube, but it did come with a presta adapter. And I'll give ya a triathlon on that one!
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Old 09-05-07, 06:17 AM   #15
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If you get the Gatorskins you will like them. I now have a set on the Coda and like them a lot. The Armadillos are a lot stiffer and may be better for flat protection, but the Gatorskins seem like a really nice compromise. I'm running 700 x 28's too BTW.

No way would I ever put slime in a bike tire, it makes flat repair a messy and iffy proposition. Very difficult to clean it off the tube and get a patch to stick.

+1 on no need to carry a bike with a flat and +1 on giving you credit for a triathlon, with an asterisk (no swimming)*.
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Old 09-05-07, 06:57 AM   #16
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Old 09-05-07, 07:59 AM   #17
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I use a Nite-Rider Blow-Torch for lighting up the road at night, but also carry a small light to use when fixing flats in the dark (and reading my route sheet!), and yes, I've used it! Fixed a flat in the pre-dawn darkness of the Knoxville Double Century last year, in fact.

I've had ood luck with Conti's overall (700 x 23), but I never use Mr. Tuffy's, Slime, or Thorn-Proof tubes. Too much more rotating weight plus the added hassle when you do have a flat.

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Old 09-05-07, 08:14 AM   #18
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Hi,

If there is one repair skill that one should acquire as a cyclist, it's repairing a flat tire. Front wheels are fairly easy to remove and rear wheels, while more difficult, can be done by most. Here is a good "how-to" from the Park Tool web site:

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=100

I tried using Mr. Tuffy for a few years and it was more trouble than it was worth. Also, every time I help someone who uses slime and gets a flat anyway, it is a huge mess. This is a long way of saying that a durable tire and a couple of spare tubes are what I find works best.

Hope this helps and good luck.
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Old 09-05-07, 08:21 AM   #19
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I have both Gatorskins and Armadillos.

The Armadillos are the tougher tire, but at the cost of a significantly rougher ride. The Gatorskins are grippier, and ride much nicer. I've flatted a Gatorskin once (in the rain), but never an Armadillo.

Gatorskins you can get online, I use eBikeStop.com. The Armadillos you can only get walk-in at a Specialized dealer.
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Old 09-05-07, 09:33 AM   #20
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I run Armadillo Crossroaders on my Kaitai and Armadillo Robaix Pros on my Reno. I'm very happy with both.
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Old 09-05-07, 10:22 AM   #21
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+1 for Armadillos!
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Old 09-05-07, 10:26 AM   #22
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Well, I've used Armadillos for years. Last week, I got 4 goatheads, and 2 of them went right through the Armadillos!
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Old 09-05-07, 10:27 AM   #23
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Panaracer Pasela TG tires have worked very well for me. $20 at Nashbar.
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Old 09-05-07, 10:49 AM   #24
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Panaracer Pasela TG tires have worked very well for me. $20 at Nashbar.
Haven't used these yet, but they are atop my shopping list for my next set of tires. I've found many positive comments about them, including that their ride is a bit smoother than the Armadillos. Perhaps not as puncture resistant, but a good compromise of puncture resistance with riding comfort.
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Old 09-05-07, 01:09 PM   #25
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If you use Tuffys you can get a Tuffy flat, when the ends of the Tuffy saw through the tube. Slime, tuffys and those super heavy tubes are all a pain. Get decent tires, learn how to change a tube, and always carry the extra tube, tools and inflation device. A lot of the women I know pick tires for ease of mounting/dismounting from the rim. I think Kevlar bead tires are easier than wire bead tires.
I have Continental 4 seasons on my Gunnar and have had 1 flat in over 5000 miles, while riding all sorts of roads.
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