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  1. #1
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Re-Flatting: What Would You Do?

    Two days ago I had a flat, and fixed it by the side of the road. It was one of those fixes where things went wrong (had trouble getting the chain back on without getting grease on my hands, dropped things, cyclocomputer fell off, etc.). When I finally got it all pumped up and ready to go, I realized that I'd forgotten to check the inside of the tire to make sure the sharp object wasn't still there.

    What would you do: remove tube and check or ride off and hope it wouldn't re-puncture?

    I took the middle ground and left the tire on the wheel, but unhooked one side and checked. There was nothing there (flat turned out to be due to a failed patch). Luckily, I also took a quick look back, and noticed that my tire irons were on the ground.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  2. #2
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    It is worth your time to put something in your kit bag to keep your hands clean when missing around with the chain. Some carry a couple of rubber gloves or cotton glove liners as they are small and take up little room. Some use an old sock to hold tools or a spare tube. This is useful as it prevents the tube from being scuffed during the season or can quiet a group of loose tools. Use the sock over your hand to keep it clean. This keeps most of the crud off your bar tape.

    The sock can also be used to sweep around the inside of the tire to find a sharp. This is much better than bleeding fingers which also mess up bar tape.

  3. #3
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    One of the reasons I wear Black shorts- Greasy marksfrom where you wiped the hands don't show.

    Last puncture I had was a couple of months ago. Repaired with a patch at the roadside- but yesterday- I had that nagging feeling and took the tube out. The patch was not properly sealed round the edges and in Prying it off- I put my finger straight through the tube. It had perished. Then reckoned out how old the tube was and as I get about 5 punctures a year on the various bikes- This tube was old- It had 4 patches on it.

    And why is it that I always get punctures in the rain. I know there will be more grit around- but new tyres or tubes at home and I always put plenty of talc on the tube. This tube had no talc- it had washed off when I got the puncture- and it was already stuck to the tyre.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #4
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    What would you do:
    I would have pumped some air into the flatted inner tube to see where it leaked out. A hole in the inner or outer circumference would have had me removing the tire for a closer check. Since it turned out to be a failed patch job I would have been simply on my way.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    One of the reasons I wear Black shorts- Greasy marksfrom where you wiped the hands don't show.

    Last puncture I had was a couple of months ago. Repaired with a patch at the roadside- but yesterday- I had that nagging feeling and took the tube out. The patch was not properly sealed round the edges and in Prying it off- I put my finger straight through the tube. It had perished. Then reckoned out how old the tube was and as I get about 5 punctures a year on the various bikes- This tube was old- It had 4 patches on it.

    And why is it that I always get punctures in the rain. I know there will be more grit around- but new tyres or tubes at home and I always put plenty of talc on the tube. This tube had no talc- it had washed off when I got the puncture- and it was already stuck to the tyre.
    Tiny objects stick better to a wet tire than a dry tire. The tapping of the road as the tire comes around each revolution is better than using a hammer to drive the offending object home. Also, the water on the tire acts as a lubricant to help the penetration process along.

  6. #6
    Senior Member 1bluetrek's Avatar
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    Oh you mean on a bike! Yesterday when my left rear tire on the van disentigrated with the whole family in side, I just cussed a bit. (mostley at the drivers on the freeway not moving to the far lane. Sound familiar?)
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  7. #7
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Two days ago I had a flat, and fixed it by the side of the road. It was one of those fixes where things went wrong (had trouble getting the chain back on without getting grease on my hands, dropped things, cyclocomputer fell off, etc.). When I finally got it all pumped up and ready to go, I realized that I'd forgotten to check the inside of the tire to make sure the sharp object wasn't still there.

    What would you do: remove tube and check or ride off and hope it wouldn't re-puncture?

    I took the middle ground and left the tire on the wheel, but unhooked one side and checked. There was nothing there (flat turned out to be due to a failed patch). Luckily, I also took a quick look back, and noticed that my tire irons were on the ground.
    I hate those kinds of days!!


    I probably would have taken my chances with the tube not flatting again, and I likely would have been wrong, and get to fix the tube/tire twice!
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  8. #8
    Senior Member donheff's Avatar
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    I did the same thing twice. In both cases I recognized my mistake after I had pumped the tire so I just let it go figuring if there was something sticking thru the damge was probably done..
    Every man is, or hopes to be, an Idler. -- Samuel Johnson

  9. #9
    Senior Member gear's Avatar
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    I'm too slavishly habitual to remount a tire without checking for sharp objects.

    I'm also too distrustful of tire patches to do more than ride home and change out the patched tube to a fresh one.

    My faults sometimes work in my favor.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    After that I would have ridden Directly home and gone to bed, hoping that tomorrow would be a better day.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Louis View Post
    Tiny objects stick better to a wet tire than a dry tire. The tapping of the road as the tire comes around each revolution is better than using a hammer to drive the offending object home. Also, the water on the tire acts as a lubricant to help the penetration process along.
    Agree completely with this - and to add to this

    Little sharps act like icebergs in the wet, floating sharp side up. On a recent Denmark tour, very wet from first to last, a hugely more than typical number of punctures.

    Running a cotton wool pad around the inside of the tyre before re-mounting it can save your fingers and identify any residual sharps

  12. #12
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    Back in the olden days ,there were little brush type things held on the down tube, or some other suitable place, that rubbed on the center of the tire tread, and dislodged stuff before it got back around to get rammed in further. are these things still used???
    Bud

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldster View Post
    Back in the olden days ,there were little brush type things held on the down tube, or some other suitable place, that rubbed on the center of the tire tread, and dislodged stuff before it got back around to get rammed in further. are these things still used???
    Bud
    "Tire Savers" can still be found on eBay now and then. They were mostly used with tubular tires (sew-ups) and seem to have fallen out of favor somewhat since good lightweight clinchers have become commonplace.

  14. #14
    Gone DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post

    The sock can also be used to sweep around the inside of the tire to find a sharp. This is much better than bleeding fingers which also mess up bar tape.
    This may work for some "sharps" but it usually does not work for me with goatheads which can recess into the tire casing, only to reemerge when the tube is inflated and inside the tire and the tire is bearing weight.

    If I can't find the culprit, I turn the tire inside out as much as possible, pusing from the outside to get the nasty to show its ugly little pointy thingie.
    Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone >> Gone

  15. #15
    Senior Member CrankyFranky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wobblyoldgeezer View Post
    On a recent Denmark tour, very wet from first to last, a hugely more than typical number of punctures.
    I experienced this too in Denmark - tiny needles of flint, no more than 4mm long, all over the place, especially on that long road to Esbjerg. Arrgh! Almost missed the boat to Newcastle.

  16. #16
    Recovering mentalist Randochap's Avatar
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    First thing I do after taking tube out is deduce what caused flat and remove object that caused it. Don't use finger to run round the inside. A fellow bike store worker ended up with a broken end of a hypodermic in his finger!

    Don't waste time patching at roadside. Carry a spare tube. Only use the patch kit you are also carrying if you use up spare tube(s).

    Here's the kit I carry for long distance. The tool kit is pretty much standard for any distance, except for spare tyre.
    VeloWeb | VeloWebLog

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  17. #17
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    First I would curse.

    Then I would kick something.

    Then I would call myself a twit.

    Then would come more cursing and kicking.

    Eventually I would take my chances and ride on it, because I hate changing tires and if I bothered to take it off again and found nothing, then I would be really irritated.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

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  18. #18
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
    Two days ago I had a flat, and fixed it by the side of the road. It was one of those fixes where things went wrong (had trouble getting the chain back on without getting grease on my hands, dropped things, cyclocomputer fell off, etc.). When I finally got it all pumped up and ready to go, I realized that I'd forgotten to check the inside of the tire to make sure the sharp object wasn't still there.

    What would you do: remove tube and check or ride off and hope it wouldn't re-puncture?

    I took the middle ground and left the tire on the wheel, but unhooked one side and checked. There was nothing there (flat turned out to be due to a failed patch). Luckily, I also took a quick look back, and noticed that my tire irons were on the ground.
    You usually take the whole tire off to check? Or to change tubes? Why?
    suum quique
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  19. #19
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Tiresavers!?
    You canb bend some cold coathanger and attach it to brake bridge or brake to make an efficient tiresaver.

  20. #20
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    If I have to patch a tire on the road. When I get home I take it off and throw the tube away and use a new one. Maybe its just me but I can feel the the patch when Im riding.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikinfool View Post
    You usually take the whole tire off to check? Or to change tubes? Why?
    I take the whole tire off because I think that it's much faster and easier to fish the valve stem through the rim.

  22. #22
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I take the whole tire off because I think that it's much faster and easier to fish the valve stem through the rim.
    I can't see how it's faster to remove and remount the tire to pull a tube out, but I guess YMMV...and if you're checking the tube for cause of flat then you've lost your reference point too (of course unless your anal about exactly how you mount your tire labels in relation to the valve hole).
    suum quique
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  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    I learnt many years ago and two punctures on a ride and the cause can't be found-and the tyre comes off. Many of the "Blackthorns" we have over here will break off very short in the tyre but gradually get pushed through the rubber. It punctures the tube but hand round the tube and nothing found as on deflation- it disappears back into the tyre. Tyre off- turn it inside out and you will find it- And the other 6 that are also there.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  24. #24
    Senior Member TromboneAl's Avatar
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    Yes, I always line up the valve tire logo, doesn't take any extra time to do this



    -- this has helped several times.

    I only take the tire off on one side. If I can locate the leak before removing anything, I pull out the tube and fix it on the bike. I always prefer to patch on the road rather than replace.

    I don't discard tubes until they have 5 patches on them.
    My Book: Drive, Ride, Repeat: The Mostly-True Account of a Cross-Country Car and Bicycle Adventure

  25. #25
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    It is worth your time to put something in your kit bag to keep your hands clean when missing around with the chain. Some carry a couple of rubber gloves or cotton glove liners as they are small and take up little room. Some use an old sock to hold tools or a spare tube. This is useful as it prevents the tube from being scuffed during the season or can quiet a group of loose tools. Use the sock over your hand to keep it clean. This keeps most of the crud off your bar tape.

    The sock can also be used to sweep around the inside of the tire to find a sharp. This is much better than bleeding fingers which also mess up bar tape.
    I carry a couple of wet naps too.
    very handy.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

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