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  1. #1
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    Walked 6 Miles Tonight

    Made the turn on my 19 mile ride tonight - rushing to beat the raindrops - caught a real busy intersection that I never beat - jumped a small curb (the road is being resurfaced) and made my back to the beautiful Salt Creek Trail here in the western suburbs of Chicago.

    I digress here a bit to add that I'm back to cycling after a 20 year hiatus - trying to beat hypertension the natural way - picked up a beautiful 87 Waterford Paramount and tonight was my 6th run. I had a good shot at 15 mph (14.8 at the turn) when all of a sudden - and you've heard it - PFFFFFFFFTTT!

    In 50 years of cycling I've never had a flat - save for when my cruiser tire exploded earlier in the year - so I've never had to fix a flat on the fly. So there in the woods I sat, and in about 15 minutes, I was back on my way, feeling good that I had worked my way out of a dicey situation. A mile further I nearly wiped out around a curve - a really close call - front tire flat again - couldn't pump it up - when I got home I found out that both tubes were split around the valve. Obviously, my pumping technique needs improvement.

    Anyhow, in my rush to leave home, I forgot my wallet and phone (now I know why you keep change in your bag!!), and had no choice - this slightly portly fellow, in his too tight shorts and 20 year-old Sidi racing shoes, hoofed the last 6 miles home. Needless to say, I got my workout, and now need to refine / change my emergency techniques. Pumping up that tire with a hand pump was no fun - gonna search on CO2 inflation tonight. Live and learn.

  2. #2
    Senior Member guybierhaus's Avatar
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    CO2 is great. Got one for the road bike. You do want to use it once for practice, don't need to learn how to use it on the road. I found the cartridge was good for 1 inflation. I also carry a pump, just in case. I'm also posting to add myself to the flat tyre whoas. Although I discovered my flat as I removed bike from car. This was my trail bike, so no gas for this one. Long story short, I also had a tear at base of valve. It was late, decided to forget ride. Tomorrow is another day.
    BierHaus Bertolette Road Bike, built 2007
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  3. #3
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    I will try to be helpful by relating an experience many years ago.
    There was a time my weight was 240# at 6'1". I started biking and purchased a modest priced Schwinn Road Bike.
    I almost gave up on biking because I could not go on an bike ride without a flat. The LBS who sold me the bike was not helpful and there seemed no fix.
    Well, I did not give up and invested some serious money for a Cannondale Road Bike. No more flats.
    What is up?
    The cheaper bike had a shallow rolled profile wheel rim. The tube moved in curves from my 240# and that will cause flats. The Cannondale had very expensive wheels with a deep V profile and machined. The 120 PSI tube sits in there firmly. No movement and no flats.
    I am suggesting that you may want to check if your wheels are for your weight plus a safety margin for abuse.

  4. #4
    gone ride'n cyclinfool's Avatar
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    CO2 is great - I use it on my training bike, but for my long distance bike I have a Road Morph, no need to work on technique as it works just like a floor pump except a little slower. The air hose prevents you from ruining the valve and it's attachment to the tube.
    "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.

  5. #5
    Senior Member curdog's Avatar
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    Is the Road Morph of a size that can be carried in a jersey pocket?

  6. #6
    Junior WHAT?!?! molarface's Avatar
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    My son was a stem ripper and one day I noticed that he put his wheel on the bike BEFORE pumping it up. I always pump w/it leaning against something w/the stem at either 9:00 or 3:00. Some fellow told me to do it that way on my first "charity ride flat". Lets the wheel wobble with less stress on the stem while pumping. Maybe it's coincidence but it seems to work for me.

    Don

  7. #7
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne View Post
    I will try to be helpful by relating an experience many years ago.
    There was a time my weight was 240# at 6'1". I started biking and purchased a modest priced Schwinn Road Bike.
    I almost gave up on biking because I could not go on an bike ride without a flat. The LBS who sold me the bike was not helpful and there seemed no fix.
    Well, I did not give up and invested some serious money for a Cannondale Road Bike. No more flats.
    What is up?
    The cheaper bike had a shallow rolled profile wheel rim. The tube moved in curves from my 240# and that will cause flats. The Cannondale had very expensive wheels with a deep V profile and machined. The 120 PSI tube sits in there firmly. No movement and no flats.
    I am suggesting that you may want to check if your wheels are for your weight plus a safety margin for abuse.
    I doubt the problem is the rims - I had the same Mavic rims on my last road bike and never had a flat (my weight has increased to 175, though). It's got to be my inflating technique - although that doesn't explain my first flat after jumping that low curb. I'm sure that the second flat was caused by improper usage of the hand pump.

    Anyhow, my legs are killing me today from the walk - I can barely get out of my chair. Beats a crash, though.

  8. #8
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    For emergency tire inflation away from home, nothing beats a high-quality full-size frame fit pump, such as a Blackburn or a Zefal HP-X. I always bring a pump, a patch kit, a spare innertube or two, and three tire levers.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  9. #9
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by molarface View Post
    My son was a stem ripper and one day I noticed that he put his wheel on the bike BEFORE pumping it up. I always pump w/it leaning against something w/the stem at either 9:00 or 3:00. Some fellow told me to do it that way on my first "charity ride flat". Lets the wheel wobble with less stress on the stem while pumping. Maybe it's coincidence but it seems to work for me.

    Don
    Interesting post and suggestion, Don. In recent years my most common tube failure has been tearing or separation at the base of the stem, a problem which I almost never had in the good old days. When using a pump I always try to make sure the wheel is installed and the bike is well-supported, and I do try to minimize stress on the stem, but I have been orienting the wheel with the stem at top dead center. I am going to try your 9:00/3:00 idea.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
    Capo [dschaw'-poe]: 1959 Modell Campagnolo, S/N 40324; 1960 Sieger, S/N 42624
    Peugeot: 1970 UO-8, S/N 0010468
    Bianchi: 1981 Campione d'Italia, S/N 1.M9914
    Schwinn: 1988 Project KOM-10, S/N F804069

  10. #10
    Erect member since 1953 cccorlew's Avatar
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    In 50 years of cycling I've never had a flat
    Darn, how is that possible? Between the "goat heads," broken glass and wire from steel belts my wife and I are thrilled to go a week between flats. On a Saturday's 40-something miler we had 3.

    Maybe it's Antioch. When we were in Washington on vacation we did well over 500 each with no flats.
    WANTED: Not a darn thing. I've got it all. Life is good.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    The Topeak Road Morph will not fit in a jersey pocket, it is mounted to the bike or carried in a pack. You can strap it to the outside of a Camelbak. The hose takes the sideways stress off the valve stem. I've seen guys break a valve stem while pumping them with frame pumps.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  12. #12
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post
    Darn, how is that possible? Between the "goat heads," broken glass and wire from steel belts my wife and I are thrilled to go a week between flats. On a Saturday's 40-something miler we had 3.

    Maybe it's Antioch. When we were in Washington on vacation we did well over 500 each with no flats.
    Dumb luck (not getting a flat in 50 years). I used to think it was my riding skills. With my 7 year-old son followwing me, I did blow a 3" tire on my cruiser this spring - about 10 people in the park hit the ground when it happened - sounded like a *** shot. The LBS said the bead wasn't set properly after the winter.

    What's a goat head?

    So if I'm a stem ripper, it's got to be my technique. My normal pump is a Silca floor pump - is it possible to do stem damage with that pump? If so, what's the proper technique (suddenly feeling stupid)? And during yesterday's emergency, I removed the wheel, propped it up against a log to secure it, and pumped away. Would it have bee better to have allowed for some movement?

  13. #13
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Damage from a floor pump usually involves not pulling the head straight off the valve stem. I've seen people work it back and forth while pulling, levering the stem while they did that. I make sure that I've got a finger under each side of the head, and pull it straight off the stem.
    Unless you know you are not moving the stem at all while pumping, it's best to let the wheel move a bit while pumping with a mini-pump.
    Silver Eagle Pilot

  14. #14
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I put a rock or some sort of support under the end of the pump - while the wheel is on the ground, and am careful to keep the pump supported in such a way that it stays appropriately aligned to the stem.

    Howeer, with my new Road Morph, which just came today, that, hopefully, won't be a problem. Now, I just have to figure how to mount it without losing a bottle cage!

    Any ideas?

    No flats in 50 years?

    What's a Goathead?

    Where does this guy live?

    I've been getting one a week average, lately. And 3 on one ride.

    I wouldn't use CO2 unless I had about 5 of them in reserve.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I put a rock or some sort of support under the end of the pump - while the wheel is on the ground, and am careful to keep the pump supported in such a way that it stays appropriately aligned to the stem.

    Howeer, with my new Road Morph, which just came today, that, hopefully, won't be a problem. Now, I just have to figure how to mount it without losing a bottle cage!

    Any ideas?

    No flats in 50 years?

    What's a Goathead?

    Where does this guy live?

    I've been getting one a week average, lately. And 3 on one ride.

    I wouldn't use CO2 unless I had about 5 of them in reserve.

    Depending on your bike, I'd most likely use an MTB mount that tucks the pump up against the water bottle cage and downtube. They come with a Velcro strap to hold the pump in.
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  16. #16
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dchiefransom View Post
    Depending on your bike, I'd most likely use an MTB mount that tucks the pump up against the water bottle cage and downtube. They come with a Velcro strap to hold the pump in.
    Yes, I have a mount like that. I had read somewhere that someone made a specific morph side mount for $4.95


    I'll do a search!
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  17. #17
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Here it is:

    Call an outfit known as Todson. They have all the parts and pieces for Topeak pumps. When I called, I was told that there is a "side mount" which mounts between the bottle cage and the down tube. It was actually designed for another pump, the Master Blaster DX, but the diameter of the pump is the same as that of the Road Morph. I ordered it, they sent it, and it fits.

    Todson's number is (800) 213-4561. Part number is TPD-2C. $4.95.

    They are open 8:30 - 5:30 Eastern time.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    This is a darn good pump but does not have a gauge. http://www.bicycling.com/gear/detail...-137-0,00.html

    I carry a spare tube that is dusted with baby powder as a lube. I dunno why your tube split maybe poor manufacturing or QC.

  19. #19
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    I got the Road Morph last night - looks pretty nifty - $30 - hope it's not forced into action too soon! It mounted very securely to a water bottle mount.

    Because of my stem tearing problem, the LBS advised that I remove the stem nuts to give the stems more play. Ever hear of that?

  20. #20
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing that grim story with a nice attitude. Split valve around the stem? You mean like it was at an angle? What was so bad about your technique.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  21. #21
    Junior Member Melliman's Avatar
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    Both tubes had 1/4" inch tears around the base of the stem. The theory is that I caused the tear by jerking around the stem when using the hand pump. Also, when mounting my new tires, I had trouble getting the bead to set at the stem - the tube was stuck between the bead and the rim. I "solved " this by pushing the stem up into the rim / tire to force the tube into the tire, thus setting the bead. This could have weakened the tube at the stem.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I see, well, practice makes perfect. I recently blew 3 tubes until I realized that the rim tape wasn't good at 120 psi. The tubes kept getting squeezed into the spoke holes in my aero wheel. I may learn slowly, but I learn ... :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  23. #23
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melliman View Post
    Because of my stem tearing problem, the LBS advised that I remove the stem nuts to give the stems more play. Ever hear of that?
    I always use nut less stems- but if you have the nutted kind- the nut should be just finger tight. If you tighten it too much- then you will pull the base around the stem into the valve hole on the rim. If that has a sharp edge- then it could weaken the base and cause a tear.

    Since using the nutless stems- I have not had any tears around the base of the stem.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  24. #24
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
    I always use nut less stems- but if you have the nutted kind- the nut should be just finger tight. If you tighten it too much- then you will pull the base around the stem into the valve hole on the rim. If that has a sharp edge- then it could weaken the base and cause a tear.

    Since using the nutless stems- I have not had any tears around the base of the stem.
    My old frame pump did not work well with the threadless stems. Not enough for the head to grab onto.

    I hope that my Road Morph does.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  25. #25
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melliman View Post
    Because of my stem tearing problem, the LBS advised that I remove the stem nuts to give the stems more play. Ever hear of that?
    Interesting. I've always just thrown the nut away and never used it anyway. All the tubes I've bought the last few years weren't threaded. It may just be me but it seems the pump head slides off the non-threaded valves easier and doesn't pull as badly.

    I wonder if the issue is really just the lack of adequate rubber reinforcement around the stem.

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