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  1. #1
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    What to do when your bike breaks down far from home. ?

    I've been lucky. Only once did my bike break down far from home. But, that time I was lucky enough to be on a bus line and took the bus home.
    This past week, an almost brand new tire exploded . Pow, afterwards a huge hole was the result. Can't repair those.. ? Sometimes, when I am out riding in the mountains , I might be 7 miles from the closest city and no phone. Even if you did contact a family member or friend , they are not always available to come and rescue you.
    The fact it was almost a brand new tire causes me some concern. How many of you have been stranded far away from home and have no way home. ? that same week, a cycling friend's chain broke , but was able to cycle most of the approximate 8 miles to the car, since it was almost all downhill... Is there much you can do about that fear. ? Sort of gives a cyclist cause to ponder as we enjoy the great outdoors far away from home.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






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  2. #2
    Senior Member catonec's Avatar
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    your tube was most likely pinched between the rim and your new tire, not the tires fault, yours. pinch flats are very common and sometimes difficult to avoid.

    I carry a small seatbag w/ enough tools to usually get me rolling again. when that fails the cell phone come out. if thats a no go, a cab/bus is the only option other than exercising my cleat covers.
    2010 Kestrel RT900SL, 800k carbon, chorus/record, speedplay, zonda
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  3. #3
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    You walk! years ago after a 20ish mile group ride and flat or two I was riding home and flatted 2 more times not only exhausting my spare tubes but also patches. Since this was pre cellphone daze I had to hoof it home either on look cleats or my socks! Another time after doing a somersault through a 5 way intersection I had to walk again since no one was home to get me and my rear wheel was toast. I have also had to roll home a few miles on flat tubulars! These are extreme cases, I like most of you have thousands of trouble free miles behind me.

    Like I used to tell my customers, "Always carry what you or someone else needs to fix a flat, or don't ride further from home than you care to walk back"
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

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  4. #4
    Senior Member Garfield Cat's Avatar
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    Cell phone and if the signals don't work, it means you're way out there. When I go that far out, like I did in Death Valley, Calfornia, I brought with me my SPOT. You can get that at REI. Its a satellite communications device.

    http://www.rei.com/product/784892/sp...-gps-messenger

  5. #5
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    I carry 2 spare tubes, 6 patches and glue, a multitool, a presto to Shroder adapter, a frame pump, a couple of tire spoons, and some other small tools. With those unless something really implodes (like my ^*^&* QR the other day) then I can at least patch it back together well enough to ride home slowly. Otherwise... I walk.

  6. #6
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Used to be walk to the nearest pay phone or around here if you were on a regular ride route someone would come along and offer you a ride...eventually.

    I keep enough tools and stuff in my seat bag to cover just about any necessary repair. A tire would have to be completely destroyed before I would be unable to ride on it. I carry duct tape and boot material as well as spare tube(s) and a patch kit.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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  7. #7
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catonec View Post
    your tube was most likely pinched between the rim and your new tire, not the tires fault, yours. pinch flats are very common and sometimes difficult to avoid.

    I carry a small seatbag w/ enough tools to usually get me rolling again. when that fails the cell phone come out. if thats a no go, a cab/bus is the only option other than exercising my cleat covers.
    Not the case. There were two small punctures close together on that mostly new tire ; that after a bumpy ride ; they must have grown together into one big puncture... Pinch flats rarely turn into one big huge wound the size of a dime.. I've had pinch flats and that was not the case. Luckily I was close enough to home , ( About one mile) so I could walk home.. what if it had been 10 miles from no where..
    What bums me out.. My group took me over a gravely , paved road. My brand new replacement tire already has a couple small punctures that looks like small sharp pebbles dug small holes into the tire.. Sort of looks like the situation , I had last time. No more gravely , surface streets for me..Next time, I will separate myself from my bike friends before I take a littered road..
    . Small pebbles can have sharp surfaces.. Having brand new tires last only a couple months is troubling..
    This last big boom. When I saw those two small punctures, I cleaned them out to be sure no debris was left inside and filled them with shoe glue. Thinking that would keep out additional garbage..
    Don't get me wrong , this will not keep me off the bike. That would take a lot more than this one event...
    . But, it makes me feel less secure about being way-laid somewhere.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 08-31-12 at 06:32 AM.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  8. #8
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Used to be walk to the nearest pay phone or around here if you were on a regular ride route someone would come along and offer you a ride...eventually.

    I keep enough tools and stuff in my seat bag to cover just about any necessary repair. A tire would have to be completely destroyed before I would be unable to ride on it. I carry duct tape and boot material as well as spare tube(s) and a patch kit.

    Aaron
    I do carry tire boots too.... . But, when the hole is the size of a dime. You really think that would have saved me.? Had I been further from home , I would have given it a try..
    On long bike tours, I do take along an extra tire; just in case. On local tours. Well, you can't stuff a whole tire in your jersey pocket.
    ps. Bianchi Girl. This past ride, when I had the explosive flat. I had been 45 miles away from home and up in the mountains, about 8 miles from the closest village.
    Last edited by cyclezealot; 08-31-12 at 06:39 AM.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  9. #9
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    A folding tire can be kept in a large seat or medium sized handlebar bag, if you are really paranoid.

    It sounds like there was some damage to the tire before the ride, or you just had such bad luck you rode over something that cut right through the tread. If you need to boot the tire, then boot the tire... it may seem unlikely that it will work, but you gotta do what you gotta do to get home.

  10. #10
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    Walk, and put your thumb out.
    It's not brake less, it's brake free.

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    It all depends on the circumstance. One time, toward the end of a 9 mile commute, my bottom bracket bearing race wore out and popped out. I couldn't ride the bike with the crank hanging out on one side, so I stepped on the pedal and used the bike like a scooter kicking my way down the road. My employer had a zero tolerance for tardiness, and I just made it.

    Other times I have: called for help after walking to a phone, done a very long walk, loaded the bike on a convenient bus, locked the bike in a secure place and came back to get it later.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  12. #12
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    Haven't had that misfortune yet, but on the rural roads I ride I'd start walking and I'd be pretty surprised if someone with a pickup truck didn't stop and offer a lift.

  13. #13
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garfield Cat View Post
    Cell phone and if the signals don't work, it means you're way out there. When I go that far out, like I did in Death Valley, Calfornia, I brought with me my SPOT. You can get that at REI. Its a satellite communications device.

    http://www.rei.com/product/784892/sp...-gps-messenger
    That's interesting. How do those SPOT devices compare to Personal Locator Beacons? Are there any pros and cons to going one way or the other?

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    As a matter of fact, you can repair a hole in your tire. A few months ago, I blew a hole in my tire on a ride. We had two options ... fix it, or Rowan would ride home and get the van. We opted to fix it.

    So I opened my handlebar bag and had a look at what I had available. I had the tube and tire changing gear, of course, but I also had a granola bar wrapper, so we used that. Problem solved, and I rode home successfully. Seems to me I did a few other rides with that granola bar wrapper tucked in the tire before I changed the tire.


    Take a bicycle repair course.
    Bring bicycle repair equipment with you.


    Oh, and ... here's a thread for you. I started it after the incident mentioned above, and there are all sorts of ideas presented. Enjoy reading.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-and?highlight=

  15. #15
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    I get it repaired.. got a shop in Killarney Ireland to do some frame repair welding.
    their regular line of work, stainless steel Air ducts for buildings..

  16. #16
    KingoftheMountain wannabe Savagewolf's Avatar
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    I carry a strip of old tube to use as a sleeve if my tire gives me issues. It's enough to kepe the tube alive enough to get closer to home.

    I usually just walk it until I can get to a better place. Earlier this week on my ride home, I busted a spoke (no spokes or spoke wrench on me) and my ride was done. I ran 2.5 miles barefoot after I took off my cycling shoes to get to the bike shop before it closed so that I could get my wheel fixed.

    I then called the wife and waited for her to pick me up.

  17. #17
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Usually breaking one spoke is OK, although you may need to loosen off the brakes a bit ... especially for a 2.5 mile ride. Breaking 2 spokes might be a problem, and when you've broken a 3rd spoke, your ride is over.

    How many spokes do you have?

  18. #18
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclezealot View Post
    I do carry tire boots too.... . But, when the hole is the size of a dime. You really think that would have saved me.? Had I been further from home , I would have given it a try..
    On long bike tours, I do take along an extra tire; just in case. On local tours. Well, you can't stuff a whole tire in your jersey pocket.
    ps. Bianchi Girl. This past ride, when I had the explosive flat. I had been 45 miles away from home and up in the mountains, about 8 miles from the closest village.
    I can pretty easily. In fact it actually fits rather well in my seatbag (which is a pretty average sized one). Fold up tires are available.

    I carry that tire, 2 tubes plus patches, a multitool which includes a chainbreaker and a few other tools. I figure the odds at that point are pretty good that the answer for wehn I can't get the bike rolling at all is pretty apt to be ....

    I hope someone calls an ambulance for me.

    EDIT: Oops forgot. When I tire wears out I try to cut a few boots out of the sidewall. That and the standard glue for tubs can allow yuo to make a long term fix for a tire with a fair sized hold. Long term as in a 1000 miles more riding. (More a slit than a hole in that case).
    Last edited by Keith99; 08-31-12 at 01:07 PM.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  19. #19
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    Several responses above are welcome and reduce my fears of walking 8 miles in order to get out of the wilderness. I never would have thought a boot would fix a hole as large as a quarter. For some, its seems to have. I'd given it a try , had my blow out been further from home than it was.
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  20. #20
    Banned. Mr. Beanz's Avatar
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    I have booted tires few times then been able to limp home. Never had a serious enough mechanical to stop my ride other than one tire incident. As far as breaking a spoke, if you knwo how, you can work with surrounding spokes to get the wheel fairly near true. I've done it for friends but I myself haven't broken a spoke in 8 years or so since I started building my own.

    One time I was up in the mountains when my rear tire bulged like a bull frog on the climb. I tried to baby it back across a flat section then it blew straight center tread. Found out later that the tire company had some QC issues. I used their tires for years no problem till this and a second tire also had issues. Needless to say I don't use them anymore.

    The time my tire failed, I had to wait 3 hours for my support vehicle. No way was I descending a 12% grade at 40 mph, or even 5 mph with a severely damaged and booted tire.


  21. #21
    Walmart bike rider gpsblake's Avatar
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    I've broken down a few times and had to do the "call of shame", "come get me"... The two times I wasn't able to reach a ride, I started to walk my bike down the road, and both times within 15 minutes, a pick up truck would stop and offer a ride.

    Even if your 8 miles from home, what's the worse thing that can happen???? you end up walking the 8 miles and space aliens abduct you... Okay, the worse thing is you walk 8 miles.... You'll survive.

    Prob a good idea to carry a spare tube on long rides though.

  22. #22
    What??? Only 2 wheels? jimmuller's Avatar
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    I booted a tire once on my commute. It got me to the office and back to the train station that afternoon. I once hit a surprise pothole in a way that tore a slice into the side of a tire. I called my wife to let me know I'd be later than expected coming home because I'd likely be walking, but a neighbor who was visiting said she needed to go to a store nearby and so came an picked me up. Always carry a nice neighbor.
    Real cyclists use toe clips.
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  23. #23
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    One of the advantages of having a full coverage bicycle policy is the road side assistance. Like a towing policy for bikes. I haven't bought the policy yet, but I think I'm going to.
    The best thing about a bicycle is that it uses no gasoline, therefore the chance of fiery death is greatly reduced.

  24. #24
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I have had a 4" slice in the side wall of a tire due to a broken bottle, replaced the tube, booted the tire and rode the rest of the ride. Another time I had a blow out that damaged the bead. New tube, booted the tire and wrapped duct tape around the tire and trim through the spokes to hold things together, disabled the brake on that wheel and rode 16 miles back home. Got to be prepared and creative sometimes. Long haul tour I quite often will carry a spare tire just because, last time I did the tire ended up going to someone else. I have never needed the spare tire when on tour. Tires have gotten much better over the past 10 years compared to what I was riding on in the 1970's.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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    _krazygluon

  25. #25
    Senior Member shadoman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbacon View Post
    One of the advantages of having a full coverage bicycle policy is the road side assistance. Like a towing policy for bikes. I haven't bought the policy yet, but I think I'm going to.
    Out on a ride, 40 miles from home when my friend managed to get his front wheel stuck in between some boards on an old wooden bridge.
    Front wheel completely "potato-chipped", beyond repair. He calls AAA for a tow, and when the truck arrives, he holds up his bike and says,
    " This is a 1989 BMW. DO you have a problem with that ? "
    Tow driver responds, " Sure looks newer than that to me."
    Drove us all the way home.
    I'm not pokey, but I'm certainly not speedy... sorta half-fast, I guess...

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