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Old 08-31-08, 06:52 AM   #1
BSLeVan
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I guess I deserved to walk...

Five of six miles from home I get a flat. Pull the rear wheel off and find that the tube is split. No problem, I've got a spare tube. Check the tire for damage and find none. Put the new tube in and in a moment of ecological guilt make the decision to use the new frame mounted pump (I'd normally use one of the two COs cartridges I carry - pump was purchased for those times 2 cartridges aren't enough). Everything is mounted and I begin to pump. First thing I notice is that the stem is flexing quite a bit no matter how much I try to steady things. Get the tire inflated and as I'm putting the valve stem cap back on I feel a slow leak of air. "Damn", I think; "I've broken the valve stem at the base again. This is something I've done before with a hand pump. So, I know I can't repair this and I don't have another tube. I walk home in cleats (although I did have cleat covers and it wasn't that bad). I get home and as I'm starting to take the valve cap off to replace the tube I discover that I forgot to screw the valve stem back down and that's where the air was coming from. Someday, if I'm very, very, very lucky, I'll be as smart as I think I am. In the meantime, I guess I deserved to walk.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:17 AM   #2
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Seems to be a lot of senior moments happening lately. Add chemo-brain to the mix and I won't even tell you the mind lapses I'm having these days. (mostly because I can't remember them).
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Old 08-31-08, 07:37 AM   #3
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You need to have more flats to stay in practice.
But that still won't help.
Had a slow leak after a 100 mile ride. Front tire.
In the comfort of my home I spent 3 hours trying to put on a new tire. It was tight.
Punctured a new tube three times with metal levers.
Punctured an old tube three times with same levers.
So I now have a New Front tire with a New tube with three patches.
Had 2 Flats last week on the rear tire. Nine cuts in rear tire from glass.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:43 AM   #4
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Don't ya just hate brain farts?
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Old 08-31-08, 07:43 AM   #5
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I don't know, but many times, I've managed to ride for miles, only to find a few days later that I forgot to screw down the presta valve after last inflating the tire -- but the tire was still inflated. The air pressure in the tire itself keeps the valve closed.
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Old 08-31-08, 08:48 AM   #6
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I had a very embarrassing incident a few weeks ago. While riding with my club on Saturday morning, I suddenly had that sinking feeling of pressure loss in the rear tire. Since I was riding lantirn rouge at that moment, no one noticed when I stopped, pulled the tire, and discovered that the valve stem had started to tear away from the body of the tube. (I don't know about the rest of you, but I seem to be having more than my share of this problem lately.) I installed a replacement tube, pumped it up with my trusty Zefal HP-X, only to discover that the new tube was leaking. I ended up riding the bus* 7 miles and walking 2 miles back from Del Mar, only to ruin yet another tube after I got home.

I have changed countless bike tires and tubes over the years. I have rarely damaged a tube during the remove-and-replace operation, and never two tubes in one day. The Vittoria tires are admittedly a very tight fit, but this was a huge blow to my self-confidence and self-esteem.

Fred Breidenthal, the kindly owner of my favorite local bike shop, Leucadia Cyclery, subsequently sold me a set of teflon-coated, steel core tire levers which seem to address the tight fit problem very nicely.

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Old 08-31-08, 12:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
I don't know, but many times, I've managed to ride for miles, only to find a few days later that I forgot to screw down the presta valve after last inflating the tire -- but the tire was still inflated. The air pressure in the tire itself keeps the valve closed.

Maybe you did tighten it down. I find that mine walk their way out unless I really tighten them hard. Not a biggie as like you found they still hold air just fine.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSLeVan View Post
First thing I notice is that the stem is flexing quite a bit no matter how much I try to steady things.
Which is why I don't use stick pumps. Get a Road Morph instead.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:35 PM   #9
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But Road Morphs just don't look right under the top tube of a classic steel bike.
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Old 08-31-08, 01:44 PM   #10
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Which is why I don't use stick pumps. Get a Road Morph instead.
100% agree about the road Morph's. I have the "Mini" and other than a similar type that I use on the tandem (Higher volume on each stoke but only good to about 80PSI) is the best pump I have ever used on the road.


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But Road Morphs just don't look right under the top tube of a classic steel bike.
Was going to say- Change the bike and not the pump- but The "Mini" that I use fits very easily into the back pocket if necessary.

But still have to admit- If your bike will take a frame pump without it falling off- then they are the most effective pumps I have ever used. And definitely will not look out of place on on any classic bike.
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Old 08-31-08, 02:18 PM   #11
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Don't be too hard on yourself BSLeVan. Yesterday I changed two tires
(shrader valves), installed two fenders, a rack and a Cateye Strada
cycle computer and it took me a whopping five hours. It wasn't hard
work at all but I had to keep redoing steps that I screwed-up.
Some days the brain just doesn't want to engage all the way.
The scary thing is, I've still got to adjust the rack some more.....
sure hope it doesn't turn into another all-nighter!!!

So if you only got a little messed up with that presta valve thingy,
you're doing O.K. by my score card.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:26 PM   #12
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I was going to write something encouraging, but walking 5 miles because you forgot to check to see if you screwed down the valve stem is pretty bad.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:28 PM   #13
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Don't be too hard on yourself BSLeVan. Yesterday I changed two tires
(shrader valves), installed two fenders, a rack and a Cateye Strada
cycle computer and it took me a whopping five hours.
Last weekend I changed 3 tires, installed two saddles, a Cateye Mity 8, and my plastic toe clips in only 3.5 hours. All of sudden I feel much better about my time.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:35 PM   #14
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I don't mind using stick pumps but I look around and find a rock or something I can jam under the end so the stem end of the pump is sitting against something that won't move. That avoids flexing the stem.

And I DOOOOO so love my long "stick" pumps for the volume and pressure they provide with relatively little effort.
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Old 08-31-08, 03:39 PM   #15
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Last weekend I changed 3 tires, installed two saddles, a Cateye Mity 8, and my plastic toe clips in only 3.5 hours. All of sudden I feel much better about my time.
Bike related activities are like sex. The longer it takes, the better.

You guys have got it backwards.
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Old 08-31-08, 04:16 PM   #16
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To help solve the broken stem problem, in addition to a strong grip on the hand pump, try bracing the end of the pump against a knee or a fixed object. Or I guess rock on the ground as BCRider said.
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Old 08-31-08, 04:26 PM   #17
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Bike related activities are like sex. The longer it takes, the better.

You guys have got it backwards.
Hey we took 5 and 3.5 hours. At least that's how long it took for the bike stuff. I'm afraid it doesn't take quite that much time for the sex stuff. At least for me, Cranky can speak for himself.

*WE* don't have it backwards!
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Old 08-31-08, 05:58 PM   #18
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Might I suggest two possible ideas to handle stem stress with a stick pump? Both rely on not mounting the wheel back onto the bike until the tire is pumped up. One way is to butt the airhole end of the pump against a solid object (like a tree, post, rock) with the stem pointed down, the pump orfice up, and the wheel hanging down from the pump/stem. This prevents the stem from moving back and forth but works best with a stick pump whose end extends out beyond the far edge of the wheel when it is attached to the valve stem. Not all pumps have this property and one must also be careful not to damage the wheel against the immovable object.

Another way is to place the wheel on the ground with the stem at the top. Place one hand on the pump near the valve to hold it as steady as possible (it is impossible to keep it completely immobile) and keep the bottom of the wheel against the ground so that it won't swing like a pendulum. Pump with your other hand. The valve stem will move slightly but because it is free to move back and forth there will be no static forces...Only the slight dynamic ones because you can't hold it absolutely still and this will be enough to reduce the risk of breakage.
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Old 08-31-08, 05:58 PM   #19
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Tom B: When you get a bit older, it might take you 3 to 5 hours for the 'sex stuff' . . . !
What you used to to all night, may take all night to do . . . enjoy!
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Old 08-31-08, 06:44 PM   #20
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These stupid moments are not age related. In my late 20's I remember having an old Buick that was failing to start - it would try in a wierd symptomatic way I had hear before, I just knew that because it had 120K miles on it it had to be a bad timing chain (a few years earlier I had rebuild cylinder heads on a chevy just to find out it was the timing chain). After changing out the timimg chain and the engine sounded the same I discovered a broken distributor cap - What I spent all weekend on turned out to be a $4.95 fix! With these lessons in the bank I do try to reconfirm all "facts" before progressing. However this often leads to analysis paralysis - which drives my wife (and boss at work) nuts. We are never as smart as we think we are and I will take luck of smart any day.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:02 PM   #21
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I fill the tire/wheel off the frame, lay the wheel flat on the ground, and, like others above, brace the end of the frame pump against something solid - whatever is handy. I thought everyone did this??

I have no problems with stem flex breaking.

As far as screwing in the presta valve, I am running one tube - now for about a year - where it WILL leak if not screwed in totally.

I know I am taking a chance, but I like to live dangerously. So far, it holds excellently if I remember to screw it down tight.
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Old 08-31-08, 07:26 PM   #22
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Might I suggest two possible ideas to handle stem stress with a stick pump? Both rely on not mounting the wheel back onto the bike until the tire is pumped up. One way is to butt the airhole end of the pump against a solid object (like a tree, post, rock) with the stem pointed down, the pump orfice up, and the wheel hanging down from the pump/stem. This prevents the stem from moving back and forth but works best with a stick pump whose end extends out beyond the far edge of the wheel when it is attached to the valve stem. Not all pumps have this property and one must also be careful not to damage the wheel against the immovable object.
This is exactly what I have always done when using my trusty Zefal HP and HPX "stick" pumps. I have found utility poles and trees allow me to pump at a comfortable height while standing.

I agree with Blues Dawg about a full size frame pump mounted below the top tube of a classic steel bike.
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Old 09-01-08, 09:38 AM   #23
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But Road Morphs just don't look right under the top tube of a classic steel bike.
So don't mount it there. Mine look fine on the seat tube next to the bottle cages.
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Old 09-01-08, 09:53 AM   #24
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Tom B: When you get a bit older, it might take you 3 to 5 hours for the 'sex stuff' . . . !
What you used to to all night, may take all night to do . . . enjoy!
One of the advantages of age!
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Old 09-01-08, 10:03 AM   #25
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Bike related activities are like sex. The longer it takes, the better.

You guys have got it backwards.

Niether activity is as much fun as it should be if one gets too worn out to finish the task.

Last edited by cranky old dude; 09-01-08 at 10:34 AM.
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