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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Gotta rethink nite riding/How to for Flats.

    Took a late afternoon ride today...Sunset was awesome..Enjoyed Venus and moon coming out...Nite was clear..With the right clothes, I was warm...Just thinking this is ok...Felt comfortable..Well lite up..
    But not lite up enough...Not enough to not plow through glass...Had a tandem , two 10-watt bulb.Cyrgo Lite.....Also, a little spare 5 watt AA driven handle bar mount light..
    The small light sure was not enough to see what the heck you are doing...Repairing the flat-rear of course-in the dark was a disaster..
    It was pitch black. No street lights anywhere...I was rescued by another avid cyclists who saw my stranded condition...Decent guy..Wants to ride with our group now...Have to rethink this night riding..How do you handle flats at night?
    It would have been about a four mile walk on a dark , busy road..

  2. #2
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Did you take the light off and have the other member of the tandem shine it on the tire? Every light I have is removable. If it's got an external battery, then the head should be light enough that you can just sit it on the handle bars and aim it at the ground to get good spot ambient lighting.

  3. #3
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    Were you repairing the flat or just replacing the tube? Replacing the tube can be done in the dark, except you need to be sure you have taken the offending piece of glass out of the tire. I think a helmet mounted LED light would be best for this, and also for map reading and checking street signs..

  4. #4
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I did aim it at the ground..Pretty small lighted area...Kept loosing stuff to god knows where...Lost my Speed Lever I value so much..Slvoid..One thing I don't like after this experience.Not being able to see a field of strewn glass in time..

  5. #5
    . . . rosebud . . . Diggy18's Avatar
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    Hmm. Last Saturday evening I had to replace my rear tube in a dark local park. I'm an idiot because I didn't even think to take the light off the bars and set it on the ground, that would have made things a little simpler. Plus the flat happened in the fourth hour of a ride. With fatigue, darkness, and cold I was a little impatient, to say the least - you know, I was at that point where you're *****ing out inanimate objects.

    I didn't find the flat-causing thorn until the next morning, after I had taken off the wheel again for just that purpose. So I had to change the tube again.
    "There'll be time for complacency when I'm six feet under. "

  6. #6
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot
    I did aim it at the ground..Pretty small lighted area...Kept loosing stuff to god knows where...Lost my Speed Lever I value so much..Slvoid..One thing I don't like after this experience.Not being able to see a field of strewn glass in time..
    Aw man that sucks, speed levers are good to have. Another thing I'd do is hold the light in my teeth so it's pointed at where I'm going. Have you thought about mounting one of the lights lower at a shallower angle so the shimmer coming off the glass is visible from farther away?

  7. #7
    more ape than man timmhaan's Avatar
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    we have it easy being in the city - there isn't really any true darkness. i'd like to think that with my tire levers, spare tube, and front light (that i can detach) i'd be fine. however, i guess you don't really know until you go through it.

    maybe you should practice changing a tube in your room with the light off to simulate the darkness. i did a simulation like this when i got my mini-pump and lights.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PaulBravey's Avatar
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    How about a helmet mounted light? Ok, you look like a complete dork and probably better for off road but the light always goes where you're looking.

  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Glass is just about impossible to spot at night, even with a good headlight. Better to use flat resistant tires and hope to be lucky.

    If you plan to do a lot of night riding, consider getting an LED headlamp (the kind that straps to your forehead). They are lightweight, small, and let you see whatever you're working on without using up your main bike light battery. Keeps your hands free as well.

  10. #10
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Now that it's dark and cold when I commute, I carry a cheap folding tire and additional CO2 cartridges along with the requsite spare tube. Although I have yet to actually perform the task, I have run through it a couple times sitting in the dark garage. Results vary based on number of beers.

    Based on the above, I'll be late getting home tonite as I'll have to attend to a flat.

  11. #11
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I enjoyed the nite ride up until the flat..Flats should not be a big deal, until you try in in dark conditions...A cycling buddy on tours, says their leader changes flats in a totally blacked out room for practice, and he can do it pretty fast !
    My concern...Can't see glass in the night...This gets to be a routine occurence, that is a bummer..Discouraging...Been on night rides before.. This is a first.
    This happened on my olest road bike, which has a rear rack/trunk..Tires not of best quality...Use this bike at night, that fact will have to change....

  12. #12
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Set up a bike with great lights and bulletproof tires.
    Done.

  13. #13
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    I carry a mini maglite with me in my bag, it's small and light but will give off enough light. Here's another tip I picked up, you should do this anytime you get a flat but is especially helpful in the dark, if you wear gloves take off a glove and use it to glide through the inside of the tire, if there is any glass you'll hit it with your glove. This is of course only helpful if you were gloves or have some spare piece of cloth with you.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  14. #14
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You know,
    there's a little wire loop you can buy. It's designed to brush off
    glass and debris before it gets embedded. I have been meaning to get one myself.

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Just get yourself a "Lupine Edison 10" light. Then stop or go around the glass as you would during the day.

    I did, I don't get flats at night. I ride 4-5 hours in the dark at once, every week at the end of a century. . Then about half that in snow.

    Scroll down to Edison 10 and click on the picture, for the specs.

    http://www.lupine.de/en/produkte/produkte.php
    Last edited by 2manybikes; 12-01-04 at 08:27 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Gonna check out LaRue's Mag lite idea..
    2 many bikes..I checked out the Edison 10..claimed to have large perphiral range..That is your point..? You agree with that claim....Rather avoid flats by lighting, rather than run over glass fields all the time..I have invested in two lighting systems already..Are they pretty expensive..?

  17. #17
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    Just get yourself a "Lupine Edison 10" light. Then stop or go around the glass as you would during the day.

    I did, I don't get flats at night. I ride 4-5 hours in the dark at once, every week at the end of a century. . Then about half that in snow.

    Scroll down to Edison 10 and click on the picture, for the specs.

    http://www.lupine.de/en/produkte/produkte.php
    I saved myself a lot more $$ by getting a pair of armadillos instead.

  18. #18
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late
    You know,
    there's a little wire loop you can buy. It's designed to brush off
    glass and debris before it gets embedded. I have been meaning to get one myself.
    I just reach down and use my glove. Make sure you don't get your fingers caught in the spokes while you're moving.

  19. #19
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    It's like camping, you just have to be careful when you're working with small things in the dark.

    Pick a small spot on the ground, and put everything that you unpack or take off of the bike there when it's not in your hand. Don't put the spot so close that you brush into it, and knock everything around. Don't put the spot so far away that it's inconvenient.

    A small headlamp is a good thing to carry for night repairs. Again, it's like camping. Much better than a handheld flashlight.

    I don't believe it's worth trying to rub the tire with a cycling glove to prevent flats. By the time you saw anything on the tire and reached down for it the wheel would have gone through too many revolutions for you to knock it loose. If it was going to get stuck, it would have done so by the time you rub the tire.

    That leaves aside the discomfort and awkwardness, not to mention risk, of rubbing a moving tire while you're riding.

  20. #20
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Merriwether
    That leaves aside the discomfort and awkwardness, not to mention risk, of rubbing a moving tire while you're riding.
    That's true, the local racers do it on their training rides when I ride with em. But I primairly use it to get leaves off my tires or out of that gap in the brakes.

  21. #21
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    The armadillo's don't stop all the punctures. I've punctured armadillos. If you can't see the little bits of glass at night you can't clean them off the tire. The edison 10 is equal to about a 65 watt halogen. It's very bright. At the minimum get a Nightrider Blowtorch. Equal to about 38 watts halogen. See the Light comparison page on the lupine sight if you are interested.

    If you wish to spend the money you can see the small pieces of glass. It's not the only answer, but it's the only way to see the small glass pieces.

    It's the most riding, and the least trouble, maybe the safest, but probably the most money.

  22. #22
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Oops...forgot... The nightrider Blowtorch is about $400 The Edison 10 is about $900..
    yes high cost, but good value, worth the price. This is not a popular "view".

  23. #23
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    The Eidson 10 is $900! http://www.gretnabikes.com/product.a...d=69&cat_ind=7
    no way would I spend that on a friggin light.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

  24. #24
    2-Cyl, 1/2 HP @ 90 RPM slvoid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2manybikes
    The armadillo's don't stop all the punctures. I've punctured armadillos. If you can't see the little bits of glass at night you can't clean them off the tire. The edison 10 is equal to about a 65 watt halogen. It's very bright. At the minimum get a Nightrider Blowtorch. Equal to about 38 watts halogen. See the Light comparison page on the lupine sight if you are interested.

    If you wish to spend the money you can see the small pieces of glass. It's not the only answer, but it's the only way to see the small glass pieces.

    It's the most riding, and the least trouble, maybe the safest, but probably the most money.
    For $900, I can weld another bike to my bike as a back up bike.
    Brightness doesn't do much for seeing glass, it's the angle that matters more.

  25. #25
    Senior Member larue's Avatar
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    hah, you can't even spot all the glass on the ground in daylight. If it's a whole busted bottle then obviously you can maneuver around it, but often it's just random shards of glass. Also glass is not the only culprit when it comes to tube punctures, thorns are a common cause around here.
    Leave your treadmill power trip behind.

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