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  1. #1
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    Arrrgh, my first flat...

    Well I failed to heed several omens today and paid the price...

    My plan was to take the road bordering the northern end of our country
    subdivision (Ky 1156 ) down to the Kentucky river and come back on
    Ky 169 which goes by the southern entrance to our subdivision, the total
    trip is about 19 miles.

    My bike is a Specialized Sequoia Comp with 700x25 clinchers.

    The first warning was that I dressed to warmly...I was just getting ready
    to start and decided that the windbreaker might be too much.

    I came back and stashed the windbreaker.

    I took off again and a couple of hundred yards down 1156 I felt that
    something was wrong...

    Turns out I did not have my gloves or my helmet on

    Ok, back to the house and 'armored' up and took off again.

    This time things went fairly well, 1156 has a bunch of 'rollers' that
    did not impose too much of a burden on me.

    1156 ends with the steepest hill in Madison county ( according to the lbs)
    fortunately it is downhill in the direction I was traveling

    Being a cowardly type I kept the speed down to about 35 mph with
    a liberal use of the front and back brakes.

    At the bottom of the hill ( about 8.5 miles) into the ride I stopped and
    had some water and peanut butter cups. I pushed the bike across the
    intersection with 169 and mounted the bike and started home...

    After about 20 feet I felt a thump, thump. thump...

    I unclipped ( hooray! ) and stopped the bike, the rear tire was flat.

    I was filled with dread ( there is no cell service down by the river).

    I used a plastic tire tool to remove one side of the tire and extracted
    the tube. I could not find any problem with the tire and the initial examination
    of the tire did not reveal any problems.

    Upon closer inspection of the tire I found a small tear near the valve, I guess
    the tube is toast. ( I had filled the tires to 120 psi just before leaving.)

    I had a new tube with me and it took me what seemed like forever to get the
    tube and tire back on the rim with hopefully no pinches.

    All I had was 3 CO2 cartridges and a small filler head that I had never used
    before.

    I somehow botched the first cartridge... and most of the second cartridge...

    For the third cartridge I mashed the filler head on the presta value and screwed
    the cartridge on and got all of the last cartridge into the tire.

    I remounted the tire on the bike ( it took a while to remember where the brake
    release lever was located).

    Hopefully the tube does not have any pinches, it was a 10 mile ride home with
    a granny gear hill coming into the subdivision.

    I understand that CO2 will not stay in the tire and that I will have to re-inflate
    the rascal with 'real' air.

    Any comments/suggestions?

    Jerry

  2. #2
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Congrats on dealing with your adversity! While perhaps not the most efficient in time & use of CO2 cartridges, you got home okay. And now you've had more practice with a CO2 pump, removing & installing a wheel, and changing tubes.

    Many are likely to recommend a frame or mini pump, so that you don't run the risk of running out of inflation.
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour

    There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post

  3. #3
    Small Member maddmaxx's Avatar
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    Congratulations on surviving your first disaster. Down by the river is one of the best places to find discarded bicycles.....................

  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    First of all, congratulations for succesfully fixing your first flat and finishing the ride.

    You may want to practice a few tube changes just to be more familiar with the process before you have to do it on the roadside again. But then again, you managed to get it done and you'll get more practice eventually.

    I don't like to rely on CO2 for roadside repairs. I prefer to carry either a full size frame pump or a Road Morph pump on my road bikes. (Mini pumps are for masochists). I'm even thinking of starting to carry a Mtn Morph in my camelback on the mountain bike. Unlike CO2, pumps keep working no matter how many mistakes you make.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  5. #5
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    Down by the river is one of the best places to find discarded bicycles.....................

    or to have shot your baby........
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  6. #6
    His Brain is Gone! Tom Bombadil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maddmaxx View Post
    Down by the river is one of the best places to find discarded bicycles.....................

    Or to live in a van.

  7. #7
    Council of the Elders billydonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    First of all, congratulations for succesfully fixing your first flat and finishing the ride.

    You may want to practice a few tube changes just to be more familiar with the process before you have to do it on the roadside again. But then again, you managed to get it done and you'll get more practice eventually.

    I don't like to rely on CO2 for roadside repairs. I prefer to carry either a full size frame pump or a Road Morph pump on my road bikes. (Mini pumps are for masochists). ....
    I second these remarks except for the mini-pump point. I have a little Crank Bros. pump that fits into my underseat tool bag and it is a real killer. The tendency on fixing one's first flat is to get in too much of a hurry and pinch the new tube or some other similar snafu... or also to waste one's Co2 supply fumbling around with an unfamiliar device. Recommend carrying a pump and rehearsing the tube change procedure is a very good idea indeed!

    There is a time to resign oneself
    to old age and infirmity. You first.
    My Cycling Blogspot

  8. #8
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    If you had a tear near the valve, I would check to see if there are any sharp edges or burrs around the valve hole.

    And get a pump. Topeak Road Morph G. Air is free and you will never run out.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CACycling's Avatar
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    +1 on a pump. Also, I've found the more I rush changing a flat, the longer it takes.
    Last edited by CACycling; 05-20-09 at 04:23 PM.

  10. #10
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    Ditto on the hand pump

    HI,
    I had my first on the road flat last week same problem, most of my flats happen over night adn i find them at 0600.
    I did go alittle overboard and buy some of those Gatorskin Conti's they ride pretty nice.
    I now carry a hand pump in my jersey, along with 2 tubes and a pair of those plastic tire remover tools
    I also have a small tool kit that looks like a swiss knife with about 6 allen wrenches , a simple screw driver and a chain cutter.
    Talk about a boy scout.
    I ve seen good reviews on stans no flat tire goo.
    Hey if your a racer you hate weight , but I don't mind and one or two ounces to stay in the saddle .
    Doug

    psps I hear flats usally come in three's, remember to check you tire for debri, i had a piece of that really fine wire in the tire so it would pierce any new tube i put on till I dug it out...
    Last edited by djnzlab1; 05-20-09 at 03:59 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    A bit ill prepared for a ride, huh??? . . . but you managed OK!

  12. #12
    Lincoln, CA Mojo Slim's Avatar
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    Successfully surviving your first flat is a confidence builder in the same way riding your age or climbing THAT hill is. Congrats and keep riding.
    Truth is stranger than reality.
    '96 Giant ATX 760 MTB
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  13. #13
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    Thanks for the suggestions...

    I think I will buy the Road Morph G, it seems to have fairly good reviews.

    My current under the seat bag contains
    1 tube.
    3 co2 cartridges
    3 Park tire tools
    1 patch kit
    1 Park multi wench tool
    1 Air Chuck.

    I think I will pick up an extra tube to carry in my jersey and another CO2 cartridge to boot.

    Jerry

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrrej View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions...

    I think I will buy the Road Morph G, it seems to have fairly good reviews.

    My current under the seat bag contains
    1 tube.
    3 co2 cartridges
    3 Park tire tools
    1 patch kit
    1 Park multi wench tool
    1 Air Chuck.

    I think I will pick up an extra tube to carry in my jersey and another CO2 cartridge to boot.

    Jerry

    1 tube in the wedge will suffice- unless you are on very long rides.I would get an extra tube though for keeping at home.

    Topeak road morph pumps are good- very good. I have two- a Road morph G and the mini morph. Mini Morph will get a tyre pumped up- evenyually- but the road morph has a problem in that it is long. I have problems fitting it to some bikes.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


    Spike Milligan

  15. #15
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting home with no room for errors with the co2.
    I had problems with that I could not get the bead seated correctly and used all my co2's on my first flat but managed to make it on the last one.

    One thing I am not clear on is when you say{{
    For the third cartridge I mashed the filler head on the presta value and screwed
    the cartridge on and got all of the last cartridge into the tire.****
    I screw the filler head on before I put it on the presta valve. I can regulate how much co2 I use as well and not use all of it for a tire. I learned to use little doses so I can be sure the bead seats.

    I should have listened to the LBS when they told me to practice before I got one on the road.
    I carry two tubes and three co2's now in my under seat bag with multi toll and levers. That is all I can fit in the small bag I have but it works.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by yrrej View Post
    I remounted the tire on the bike
    Hopefully the tube does not have any pinches,
    Any comments/suggestions?

    Jerry
    Glad you got back ok - must have been frustrating at the time

    You come across these?

    http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product-V...-Lever-903.htm

    A couple of very bike-experienced friends find them good for getting the last tight 10cm of the tyre bead to seat without nipping the tube. Also, a little air pressure in the tube, just a bit, might avoid the tube being nipped as the tyre edge seats itself

  17. #17
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    The imperfections are what makes the ride.

    Would you have bothered to post if you had ridden down to the river and back with no issues? Dealing with challenges is what makes bicycling fun. Otherwise I could just drive the same route in my air conditioned car.

  18. #18
    Senior Member capejohn's Avatar
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    First thing is that I think being the the 50+ forum and suffering you first flat is fantastic.

    Secondly, that first flat, like other firsts, can be stressful and cause poor performances. You did very well on that too. Got it done, and not too quickly. Nice.

    Next thing you know you will be riding around with bike tubes around your neck scouring the roads for bikes in disress. Just like a St Bernard and his whiskey flask.
    Bike riding Northern gentleman.

  19. #19
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    Claim victory - flat fixed, ride completed.
    "Of all the things I ever lost I miss my mind the most." Mark Twain
    If all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  20. #20
    Senior Member BikeArkansas's Avatar
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    The sport of riding a bicycle is not just about spinning those cranks. It also involves taking care of yourself and getting back safely. Good sporting outing, you did it all.
    I started riding my bike to get healthy. Now I try to stay healthy so I can ride my bike.

  21. #21
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    Practice, practice, practice. I remember when flats were a challenge, but I've been riding more than 30 years, and certainly fixed hundreds of flats if you count those on my kids' and my wife's bikes. Barring complications, i can dismount a tire, strip out the tube, install the spare and pump it up with a frame-fit pump in 3 minutes, 3:15 tops. Patching, if I have to do it, adds a couple of minutes. If you're going to be riding a lot, a few tips:
    Really do practice. You should be able to take the rear wheel off the bike in 10 seconds (put the chain in the small ring and small cog, open the quick release, pick the bike up by the seat and hit the top of the tire with the heel of your hand. Takes longer to write about than to do).
    Before you install a new tube, put a little air in it, just enough so it will hold its shape. If you're using presta valves, you can do it by mouth. That helps prevent catching a fold of the tube between the tire bead and the rim.
    Put the tire on the rim so the label is right at the valve. Then when you get a puncture, you can see where it is on the tube and check that portion of the tire for the offending object. Easier than scanning the whole tire.
    My failure rate with "glueless" patches is 50 percent on road tires. I don't use them. I don't like CO2 for the reasons other posts have given, plus I don't like throwing the carts away. I do have two minipumps, but they take nearly 400 strokes to bring my 35mm tires up to pressure. A good frame-fit pump will do it in fewer than 100.
    Flat tires are absolutely a part of cycling. I average about one a week, 150-200 miles in summer. Might as well learn to deal with them.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
    Practice, practice, practice.
    So there you go. May you have many more flats until you get good at fixing them.

  23. #23
    Banned. The Weak Link's Avatar
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    An ounce of prevention.....

    Yesterday after a ride I had loaded my bike onto the trunk rack and was wiping off the tires and spotted a tiny sliver of wire that had embedded but not penetrated the tire. It would have caused an unpleasant surprise on my next bike ride. Then I would have had to figure out how to get the CO2 cartridge to work.

  24. #24
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    At least you carry somewhat of an emergency spare. Last Thursday while trying to race to work after finishing physical therapy I was distracted an hit a pothole. I heard a loud popping sound. Flat tire i the rear. Unfortunately, no spare anything. Fortunately I was accross the streeet from my daughter who was able to take me home for my spare bike(running late for a client). Well I will equip my bikes with the spare stuff for flats that is hiding in my closet.

  25. #25
    Senior Member kr32's Avatar
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    I think I may never read another thread about flat tires!
    After reading this one I have had two rides with flats! Second one was yesterday and I had two in one ride. First one was a blowout, the sidewall had a huge gash in it. I tried to use a paper cup I found along the side of the road to seal the gash so the tube would not protrude through and started home. I almost made it but it went down again and I had to call neighbor to come get me.(sad I know). Anyway I now have tire boots to help out next time, I bought them when I went and bought a new tire so hopefully I can never have this happen again.

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