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Old 05-01-07, 02:04 PM   #1
sknhgy 
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Just get me home......

Sometimes I ride late evening or night. I live in a rural area. When it's warm out there are many bugs. There are other discomforts.

If I am riding and I get a flat on one of these rides all I want to do is get home. I was thinking of carrying a can of fix-a-flat. It wouldn't bother me to get home and trash out the tube, then do a proper fix.

My question is, does anyone use fix-a-flat on their bikes, and does it work? Will it get me home? That is all I would ask of it. I don't relish the idea of trying to fix a flat out in the swamps after dark with the skeeters biting, etc. Or in the rain, or in the cold and wind.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks
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Old 05-01-07, 02:15 PM   #2
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If you have presta valves the fix a flat won't work. Slime has something, but I don't know how it works. Maybe other can chime in on the slime.

The best thing, would probably be to get a set of tires that will virtually eliminate flats like Gatorskins.
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Old 05-01-07, 02:36 PM   #3
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I just carry a spare tube in a saddle bag and just change it over if I get a flat in the dark (something that's happened twice this year already). A back-up headlight "just for repairs" can make the experience a lot more comfortable. Just save the patching or whatever for the comfort of your own garage.
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Old 05-01-07, 05:55 PM   #4
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I carry a can of "Repairs Flats in Seconds" by Bell. The can is 1.5" in diameter and 4.75" long, including the white plastic nozzle. The white nozzle screws onto a schrader valve and discharges some sort of foo juice sealant into the tire and inflates it a little. I've used one a couple of times on mtn bike tries and it works. I've had to top off the tire with the pump, but this stuff appears to seal flats. I've not had occasion to try it on my road bike yet, but I do have a presta/schrader adapter. Also catch a patch kit and a boot just in case.
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Old 05-01-07, 07:49 PM   #5
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I don't like Slime because when it DOES leak out of a large hole, I've never been able to get a patch to stick no matter how well I clean. I've had only a couple of patch failures in 30 years of cycling (glue-on patches--glueless are junk), and all were in Slime-bearing tubes.
Under your circumstances, though, I'd probably try it. It does work on small punctures (I think they claim up to 1/8-inch, which I think is optimistic), and if it keeps you riding even for a couple of blocks to get out of a scary area, it's worth it.
FWIW, I've read that you can put Slime into a presta tube by deliberately making a hole in the tube, squirting the stuff in, then patching the hole normally. But since I can't get patches to stick to a Slimed tube, I've never tried it.
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Old 05-01-07, 08:17 PM   #6
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There are also slime tubes, and slime tire liners. You can also line your tire with an old cut tube to insulate it from punctures. And, check your route for cell service, and .... phone home...
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Old 05-02-07, 09:54 AM   #7
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I"ve used fix-a-flat a couple of times. Worked enough on my wife's bike to finish our ride, but it was a big enough hole that it didn't seal. Worked well enough on my bike I didn't have to patch. YMMV.
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Old 05-02-07, 11:53 AM   #8
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I agree with Chris L. Carry 2 spares if you're really concerned. It only takes a few minutes to swap out a tube.

A friend recently dropped off his bike for me to do a spring tune up on. I noticed the rear wheel was pretty out of whack so I decided to put it on the truing stand and get to business. When I tried to let the air out of the tire, liquid started spraying out of the valve and then nothing at all, air included, with about 40 or 50 pounds still in the tire. After monkeying around I finally decided the only way to remove the tire was pull the valve stem off, destroying the tube. When I did this I was greeted with a nice stream of sticky liquid all over my shoes, his rim, hub, and spokes, and my garage floor. Now I know why garage mechanics hate fix a flat in car tires.
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Old 07-07-07, 07:10 AM   #9
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Yesterday evening I was 4 miles away from the road, on a trail. It was getting dark. 80 degrees and buggy. Got a flat on my mtb. I had a can of Wal-mart fix-a-flat for bikes (and bugspray, thank God). It got me about 1/4 mile before it went flat again. I pumped up the tube and got to a clearing where I changed the tube - luckily I had a spare.
Moral of story; fix-a-flat doesn't work. It did not fix the smallish hole in my tube. Leaked everywhere and made a mess. I'm going to always be prepared to make a tube change. Think I'll put Mr. Tuffy's on my bikes.
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