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Old 09-07-07, 01:01 PM   #1
Digital Gee
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I rode two miles on my flat tire...

I got a flat today on my Continental GatorSkin rear tire. I was on this really bumpy road for a short distance, and noticed the bike was vibrating far more than usual. Got off, looked at the bike and saw nothing amiss.

Shortly afterwards, when I was on smooth pavement and the bike began handling poorly, I checked again. Sure enough, back tire was losing air. But I could still ride it, and I was only two miles from home, so I rode it slowly back home. Only problem was when the edge of the road was not level -- then the bike started to slide out from under me from the back.

Anyway, I got home. Tire completely flat. I'll change it later. Two questions:

1. Was it a big mistake to ride the bike with a flattening tire? Have I probably screwed up something else?

2. How hard are Continental Gatorskins to take on/off?
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Old 09-07-07, 01:22 PM   #2
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1. Was it a big mistake to ride the bike with a flattening tire? Have I probably screwed up something else?
You'll probably need to replace the bike
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Old 09-07-07, 01:26 PM   #3
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I don't know for sure, but I would have opted to push a bike with road wheels on it instead of riding it on a flat. Would be concerned about flattening the edge of the rims. On a mountain bike I would have less concern, but would probably still opt to push it.

200+ pounds on zero pressure tires doesn't sound like the right thing to do. But if there was as much as 20-30 pounds of pressure, and you were on a smooth surface, then I would ride them.
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Old 09-07-07, 01:35 PM   #4
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Darker colored bikes can withstand this sort of punishment but white bikes are sort of skittish.

If the rim is not chewed up it was ok.
If the rim is chewed up it was not ok.

The tires will be easier to get off and you will feel better about it if the rim is ok.

Let us know what happens.........OK?
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Old 09-07-07, 01:36 PM   #5
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I think the worst that might happen is that you chew up the tire. Examine the sidewalls carefully. The tube is probably history as the valve stem probably got very stressed and no telling about any possible pinch flats. At best, just find the hole, patch it, inflate it and go.
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Old 09-07-07, 01:38 PM   #6
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Bus fare would be far cheaper than new rims. If it was not completely flat, you might be ok. Two miles, I think I'd walk. I'd think the tire is toast? On a really slow leak on ocassion, I have gotten by , by pumping it up once or twice in route. You have what you need to change out the tire in route?
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Old 09-07-07, 01:54 PM   #7
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Whatsamatter? You lose your cell phone or something?
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Old 09-07-07, 02:06 PM   #8
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This shouldn't be a problem for someone with your superior mechanical ability...
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Old 09-07-07, 02:28 PM   #9
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It would have been possible to damage the tire and/or the rim. The tube is very probably shot.

Why not just take the 5 minutes and change it when you saw it?

You probably spent more time than that going slower than usual to get home.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:31 PM   #10
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I had no spare tube, and no pump, with me at the time.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:33 PM   #11
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- this happened to me in June... i was riding my $100 pawnshop special w/Shimano 540 wheelset... rear tire (700x27, yes 27, Speedblends and crapola Performance tube) went flat after crossing a RR junction under construction...

- it was hot out, and i didn't feel like stopping to fix the tire on the roadside, so i rode the next one and half miles home on the flat... specially 'cause i don't care about the 540s (i keep trying to curb hop to bust 'em up so i can switch over to my spare 36-spoke OpenPro/105 wheelset)...

- glad you made it home OK... i had a much better time fixing the flat while having a cold one in the shady garage than sweating my bobo off in the full sun and heat... rear tire's sidewalls seem fine, although YMMV depending on your tire set...
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Old 09-07-07, 02:45 PM   #12
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Digital . Had you told us you had no spare, we would not have been awe struck. Our impressions, you are a pretty with it cyclist. Twice I commuted to work and discovered I left the pump on the other bike. I did not enjoy the rest of the commute to work. It could have been a long walk.
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Old 09-07-07, 02:59 PM   #13
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I had no spare tube, and no pump, with me at the time.
Yes, I seem to remember a thread about this where you concluded you didn't need tools or supplies to change a flat because you could always phone for help and you never got far from home. Do you still think it is a good idea to ride without "protection"?
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Old 09-07-07, 02:59 PM   #14
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Why not just take the 5 minutes and change it when you saw it?
Don't heed this DG!!! If you haven't practiced it, it will take much longer than 5 minutes.

My first attempt took 45 minutes. I could not get the tire off of the wheel.

Then I watched a bike shop owner change out a folding tire using only his bare hands and he did it within 3-4 minutes while holding a conversation with me. This LBS is 12 minutes from my house. It would have been faster to have driven there and back and have him change the tube than it was for me to do it.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:02 PM   #15
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Give a man a fish...
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Old 09-07-07, 03:10 PM   #16
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DG - I can't speak for white bikes, but on my black bike I couldn't have gone 100 yards without the tire shredding, the tube blowing up, and 4 cyclists passing back, asking if I needed help and discovering I'm riding unprotected

Rims cost too much to ride without pressure in the tire, especially the rear. You can't avoid the bumps and potholes which bend rims, so I would also vote for getting off and walking. Once you've crawled home on flat tires, you will never leave home without the pump and spare tube . . . and on longer rides, I carry 2 tubes.

But like I said, it probably is different with white bikes, which as we all know, rule!
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Old 09-07-07, 03:13 PM   #17
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PS -- I'm headed your way next week to watch a nephew become a full-fledged Marine at Camp Pendleton. The wife and I are taking bikes and hope to get a couple of fun rides in . . . any suggestions?
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Old 09-07-07, 03:14 PM   #18
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As previously noted there is the danger of doing damage to your wheel and tire. The Conti Gator Skins aren't that difficult to get off. The Kelvar beads I can do by hand the wire beads with two tire levers. The real danger you faced was that of being the biggest Fred of all time. Did anyone see you; that is, anyone of importance?
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Old 09-07-07, 03:15 PM   #19
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DG

Hopefully no damage done but first of all check out the tyre. See if any Scuffs are on the sidewall. Then check the rim for damage where the rim may have run on the Tarmac. You may be lucky but No scuffs on either then fit a new tube- Or the repaired one if you are lucky and pump up to 60psi. If the tyre has any bulges or you can see the canvas on the sidewall- Then its new Tyre time. No bulges at 60- then up it to your normal pressure and leave for an hour- If there is any damage then the 100 psi will show it up.

Time to go retro -I think you can still get solid tyres in your size.
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Old 09-07-07, 03:43 PM   #20
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If you are going to be cycling you have to learn how to change a flat. It may take more than 5min, 10-15 at most, but walking home more than a mile or destroying a $200+ rim is just silly. If you get a slow leak and have a pump you can always do a pump and roll until you get home but with no pump and no tube your stuck. In that case your best result was your fallback of calling a cab, it would be cheaper than the rim most likely
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Old 09-07-07, 04:12 PM   #21
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I had no spare tube, and no pump, with me at the time.
Yo, Freddie....were you ever a Boy Scout?

If you're going to be a "cyclist", you'll need to get a proper repair kit and learn how to use it. It's not rocket science.

And if you've FUBAR'ed your rims, perhaps that will be an expensive lesson to "Be Prepared". I find the expensive lessons are the ones that teach me the most (my first marriage being a good example of this).
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Old 09-07-07, 04:38 PM   #22
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Did I say anywhere that I don't know how to change a flat? I don't think so.
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Old 09-07-07, 04:50 PM   #23
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Did I say anywhere that I don't know how to change a flat? I don't think so.
Lacking the proper equipment, it doesn't make much difference whether or not you know how to fix a flat...either way, you're still incapable of dealing with a common cycling occurrence.

FWIW, most cyclists of my acquaintance deal with this by installing a small "seat bag" on their bikes. In these bags, they carry some small tools, a tube, a CO2 inflator, perhaps a patch kit, and some "phone home" money if all else fails.
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Old 09-07-07, 05:35 PM   #24
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It wouldn't have been a problem if the tires had been whitewalls.....
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Old 09-07-07, 05:48 PM   #25
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If you are going to be cycling you have to learn how to change a flat. It may take more than 5min, 10-15 at most,
Sir, I must take exception to this statement!!!
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