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Thread: First flat

  1. #1
    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    First flat

    What do I do now? Its the rear wheel 1 1/4" staple punctured the tube a mile into my evening ride. I don't know if I should take the wheel off or patch the tube. Any advice would greatly be apprectiated.
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    Change the tube if you have one, if not try a patch & head for home.
    If you want a lighter bike ? Eat more salads !!!!

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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Can you change the tube without taking the wheel off?
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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Sorry, no. It has to come off.
    Craig in Indy

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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    Can you change the tube without taking the wheel off?
    Cool,,,,,,,,,,,,
    If you want a lighter bike ? Eat more salads !!!!

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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Is this something I can tackle myself or should I take the bike to the shop? Taking the back wheel off looks complicated with the gears and all.
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    On today's modern bike, it's not that bad to remove a reinstall a rear wheel. I suggest you take it to your LBS & get a training course on changing flats, they should be more than happy to assist you.
    If you want a lighter bike ? Eat more salads !!!!

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    There are a whole lot of YouTube videos on removing rear wheels and how to remove, FIND THE CAUSE OF THE LEAK AND REMOVE IT, and change the tube and replace and remount.

    Unless you are proficient at using a patch kit, don't try to patch the tube. It will only leak. Practice at home on this a bit. Personally, I am so bad that I never patch tubes - they always leak. I just put in a new tube, which I buy en mass at www.nashbar.com on sale.

    I've had 5 flats so far this season - since May.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Beaumont, Texas. Is that goat head thorn country? Assuming it is, I'd strongly suggest that you learn to fix your own flats because you're going to get more.

    Most bike shops have periodic classes in basic bike repairs. If you have average mechanical ability you can probably figure out how to do it by yourself but there are a couple of detail things that a bike shop class can help you with. If you can fix your own flats you're a long way toward being self-sufficient on the road. Once you've had that back wheel off and back on a couple of times it's not much of a deal anymore.

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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I got the courage to tackle this. Going buy a new tube tomorrow and try to do it myself. I know I can do it. Only thing is I've developed a severe allergy to wrenches. Don't like to handle em.
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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    Thanks for the advice everyone! I think I got the courage to tackle this. Going buy a new tube tomorrow and try to do it myself. I know I can do it. Only thing is I've developed a severe allergy to wrenches. Don't like to handle em.
    You don't use a wrench to fix a flat. I would STRONGLY suggest that you have someone "in the know" show you how to properly tighten a "quick release" (QR) - it is very dangerous if you do not do it correctly, and defies common sense until you know how. Do not do this yourself without knowledge of a QR. Seriously.

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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    You don't use a wrench to fix a flat. I would STRONGLY suggest that you have someone "in the know" show you how to properly tighten a "quick release" (QR) - it is very dangerous if you do not do it correctly, and defies common sense until you know how. Do not do this yourself without knowledge of a QR. Seriously.
    I don't have a quick release on the rear wheel, its nuts on both sides. But, your right... The more I think about it the less I want to pick up any kind of tool and tinker. Besides, the girl at the LBS is really a cutie. The flat is a good excuse to go down there again.
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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    I don't have a quick release on the rear wheel, its nuts on both sides. But, your right... The more I think about it the less I want to pick up any kind of tool and tinker. Besides, the girl at the LBS is really a cutie. The flat is a good excuse to go down there again.
    OK - I didn't know they made bicycles any more (besides dept store bikes) without QR. My bad. Sorry.

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    Senior Member teachme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    OK - I didn't know they made bicycles any more (besides dept store bikes) without QR. My bad. Sorry.
    No need to apologize... I appreciate the input. My bike is a dept. store hack. A schwinn hybrid, going to upgrade in the future. I wanted to make sure I am going to stick with cycling before I bite the bullet on a nice bike. I am definitely addicted to the sport. I've been looking at a Trek.
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    Senior Member Northwestrider's Avatar
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    Fixing a flat is very easy, but like anything else, the first time might be a little worrisome. Take it to your LBS and try to learn during the process. As in a previous post, someone said there are lots of video's that explain the procedure quite well.

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    Sumerian Street Rider khutch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    You don't use a wrench to fix a flat. I would STRONGLY suggest that you have someone "in the know" show you how to properly tighten a "quick release" (QR) - it is very dangerous if you do not do it correctly, and defies common sense until you know how. Do not do this yourself without knowledge of a QR. Seriously.
    I have to ask what it is about a QR that defies common sense? I've used them for years, no one ever showed me how, and they seemed as straightforward as can be from day one. What am I missing???

    Fixing a flat tire is something that every cyclist needs to learn to do. The only way to avoid it is to always ride with someone who knows how. Take that class on tire changing for newbies at the LBS or bicycle club and once you take the class you will cease to be a newbie and join the ranks of the exalted sages. Now, you probably want to take the class at another LBS because the "cutie" will be more impressed by someone who already knows how to fix a flat and you can always find some accessory to look at to justify a visit to her.

    Actually inner tube patching is a pretty boring process these days. When I was a kid automobile tires had tubes too and if you wanted your bicycle tube patched you took it to the local gas station and paid the mechanic to patch it for you. He would go through this amazing process involving water tanks, wire brushes on a bench grinder, and a big clamp that held the patch against the tube in a metal frame. The last step was to light a pyrotechnic layer on the back of the patch to "vulcanize" it to the tube. Well worth the price of admission and if your friend had a flat you would be sure to tag along to watch for free!

    Oh, and many internally geared, non-department store, rear hubs will be held on with nuts, not a quick release.

    Ken
    Last edited by khutch; 06-15-11 at 07:54 AM.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have to ask what it is about a QR that defies common sense? I've used them
    for years, no one ever showed me how, and they seemed as straightforward as can
    be from day one. What am I missing???
    I have seen folks who simply tighten the QR like a nut, without using the lever portion as a lever, simply as a handle to twist the nut part of the QR as tight as they can get it, missing the added tightness of closing the lever. This is what I am concerned about, and it is great that it never occurred to you to do that. Doing this could be very dangerous, especially on a rear dropout with no "lawyer's tabs."

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    Senior Member OldsCOOL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    No need to apologize... I appreciate the input. My bike is a dept. store hack. A schwinn hybrid, going to upgrade in the future. I wanted to make sure I am going to stick with cycling before I bite the bullet on a nice bike. I am definitely addicted to the sport. I've been looking at a Trek.
    Nice bikes, the Treks. Even the old ones.
    Having a flat tire as part of the total cycling experience is highly overrated. Knowing how to fix one quickly is not.

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    Also inspect the tire, or have the shop check it. A 1 1/4 inch staple is a big hunk of metal to go into a tire. It could have damaged the threads of the tire, on the way in or out. This could cause the tire to fail. If it went into the side wall, I'd just go and replace the tire.
    And learn to change a tube on you own, even of you have to carry a wrench to take the wheels off. What if you where 10 miles from home? Carry a spare tube, patch kit(incase you get two flats, it happens), and a co2 system(not hard to use). And practice at home, that will make doing it on the road less frightening.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by teachme View Post
    What do I do now? Its the rear wheel 1 1/4" staple punctured the tube a mile into my evening ride. I don't know if I should take the wheel off or patch the tube. Any advice would greatly be apprectiated.
    As others have suggested, take it to your lbs to fix and ask them to explain the process. There are a few things to be aware of, but it is not beyond you.

    If you plan on riding more, expect to get a flat tire now and then. It will behove you to know how to handle it, which includes knowing what to carry with you while riding in order to get back on your way.
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    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    OK - I didn't know they made bicycles any more (besides dept store bikes) without QR. My bad. Sorry.
    I think fixed gear bikes don't use QR.
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    Starting over CraigB's Avatar
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    Rear wheels are only marginally more time consuming to remove than front wheels. The key is to have as much slack in the chain as possible. You get that by shifting to the small chainring in front, and the small cog in back. Once the QR or axle bolt is loosened (as well as any QR your brakes might have), pull the body of the rear derailleur back (it will pivot back if you put your thumb behind where it bolts to the hanger) and the wheel should drop straight down out of the dropouts. Or you might have to persuade it gently with a smack of your hand on the top of the tire. If you're the persnickity type, and if your bike has a chain hanger on the inside of the drive side seat stay, loop the chain up over it to keep it from flopping around on the chainstay while you're off fixing the flat.
    Craig in Indy

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    Yup, go for it!
    Use a rag to keep the grease off your hands, drop the wheel/sprocket ass'y out the bottom & break the tire down. I would take a close look at the tire as Leob stated. I have even "patched" the inside of the tire before, when a chunk was missing. Got me thru the summer...

    Dive in & learn it. It really helps if you have enuf confidence & experience to make roadside emergency repairs. Best place to start is in the garage!
    Good luck!

  24. #24
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    There are a whole lot of YouTube videos on removing rear wheels and how to remove, FIND THE CAUSE OF THE LEAK AND REMOVE IT, and change the tube and replace and remount.

    Unless you are proficient at using a patch kit, don't try to patch the tube. It will only leak. Practice at home on this a bit. Personally, I am so bad that I never patch tubes - they always leak. I just put in a new tube, which I buy en mass at www.nashbar.com on sale.

    I've had 5 flats so far this season - since May.

    Patches aren't that hard. The key with patches is to get one of the old fashioned patch kits with the glue, and to take your time, the glueless patches are not worth buying. I always carry a spare tube, so on the road I just swap tubes, then I collect them up, and do a bunch at once. I have 3 to do now

    Correction, had 3 to do, actually had 4, but one had 2 patches on it already, I patch up to 2 times, then toss it.
    Last edited by Wogster; 06-15-11 at 02:47 PM.

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    Go to a local dirt bike shop and ask if you can help change a dirt bike tire. After you attempt that you will find out a bicycle tire is child's play I can change a bicycle tire with no tools(well a pump and/or Co2 but that doesn't count)

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