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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-15-07, 05:33 PM   #1
FS1974JH
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Paraniod about tire tubes

Guys,

Im allways paranoid about my tire tubes ever since the last one popped. The tube popped because the tire was old and worn and pinched the tube to the rim. The tires and tubes have long been replaced, but how can I tell if the amount of air in the tire is correct? I dont have a tire gauge. I am allways paranoid the tire is too low.

Being bipolar dosent help LOL
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Old 08-15-07, 07:13 PM   #2
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I use a thumb press on the tire to figure out if it is running low. But I also have a gauge on my pump. So here's what I do: thumb check, pump the tire to maximum pressure, another thumb check. You should get the idea pretty quickly about when it's running low. I haven't had a pinch flat in a while.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:10 PM   #3
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Buy a tire gauge? What do they cost $10? Just buy one.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:24 PM   #4
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Buy a tire gauge? What do they cost $10? Just buy one.
Yep, time to buy a tire gauge.
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Old 08-15-07, 11:26 PM   #5
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you can get a tire gauge for like $3.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:06 AM   #6
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If you're completely set on not using a tire gauge, you can make do with gerv's thumb check. Just pay attention and perfect your technique.

Edison didn't use a voltage meter to set up his first generating station in the 1880s. He adjusted the voltage of his dynamo by finger checking the output.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:28 AM   #7
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Buy heavy duty tire tubes? I've never used a gauge on my tires, I just use the thumb check method, and I rarely get flats. It also helps to install the tube properly to begin with. You know, to avoid a pinch flat.
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Old 08-16-07, 02:58 AM   #8
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I use a floor pump with a built in gauge...

I happen to have a very accurate tire gauge left over from my motoring days, and if verifies that the pump gauge runs a bit on the high side, but unless you are dealing with the super thin high pressure tires a couple of pounds one way or the other won't make much of a difference. I also use the thumb check, especially on my cruisers and utility bikes.

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Old 08-16-07, 04:43 AM   #9
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You should be using a floor pump that has a built in gauge.
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Old 08-16-07, 10:02 AM   #10
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Buy heavy duty tire tubes? I've never used a gauge on my tires, I just use the thumb check method, and I rarely get flats. It also helps to install the tube properly to begin with. You know, to avoid a pinch flat.
Some bike shops don't sell heavy duty tire tubes. None in the DC area that I've checked. I find them at Target or Sports Authority around here. Sometimes they're labeled "Thorn Resistent". Schwinn used to make them, the last ones I've bought came from Bell.
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Old 08-16-07, 11:48 AM   #11
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an awesome setup for a utility or commuter bike: Tubeless!
$5 rim strips from Maxxis, some home-brew latex selant, 1.75"+ tires of your choise, and you're in business.
i've been riding above setup for several months with zero flats. and zero popped tubes
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Old 08-16-07, 12:46 PM   #12
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an awesome setup for a utility or commuter bike: Tubeless!
$5 rim strips from Maxxis, some home-brew latex selant, 1.75"+ tires of your choise, and you're in business.
i've been riding above setup for several months with zero flats. and zero popped tubes
How?
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Old 08-16-07, 12:57 PM   #13
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$30 will get you a decent floor pump with guage built in. If you want a carry around, I 100% L-O-V-E my Crank Brothers Pro hand pump (also $30).

Grocery store gas stations often have a "free air" compressor setup where the guage is built into the air hose chuck. That'd be free, and "accurate enough."

Pinch flats suck. I had a pinch flat on my road bike (my fault, a hasty install) and the tube exploded under weight with 120psi in it. ->BANG!<- Scared the holy cats outta me...
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Old 08-16-07, 01:00 PM   #14
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Some bike shops don't sell heavy duty tire tubes. None in the DC area that I've checked. I find them at Target or Sports Authority around here. Sometimes they're labeled "Thorn Resistent". Schwinn used to make them, the last ones I've bought came from Bell.
They can order them. All of the distributors that work with bike shops offer "Thorn Resistant" tubes of various "brands". If they tell you they can't get them they're full of manure.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:55 PM   #15
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$30 will get you a decent floor pump with guage built in. If you want a carry around, I 100% L-O-V-E my Crank Brothers Pro hand pump (also $30).

Grocery store gas stations often have a "free air" compressor setup where the guage is built into the air hose chuck. That'd be free, and "accurate enough."

Pinch flats suck. I had a pinch flat on my road bike (my fault, a hasty install) and the tube exploded under weight with 120psi in it. ->BANG!<- Scared the holy cats outta me...
A decent floor pump is essential. I would be wary of using the gas station compressors. I'd be afraid of ruining the valve.

Reason I opt for the thumb gauge is that I *do* have a tire gauge around here somewhere... just can't find it. I hope I'll always be able to find my thumb.
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Old 08-16-07, 08:03 PM   #16
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I vote for the floor pump with built-in gauge. One reason is that you really should fill your tires almost every day. Mine lose about 2-5 psi in a 20 mile ride. Also, it's better not to use the gas station compressor, although you can if you have to.
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Old 08-16-07, 11:49 PM   #17
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Goodness! You don't need a tire gauge, you need a thumb. Push your thumb into the tire. Does it feel right?

If you don't know the answer, go to a bike shop or an assembly of bicyclists and ask, "How should my tire feel to my thumb?" and get some learning from some bikers.

You will have attained enlightenment. No gauges nor floor pumps shall ye buy. The end.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:08 AM   #18
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How?
see this thread: Rolling on Tubeless, yeah baby!

Me and one or 2 others have been using it for a while - awesome setup. I think it will catch on.
Takes some initial planning & patience, but reward is a great smooth ride and flat-free as it's posible to be.
cheers
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Old 08-17-07, 08:12 AM   #19
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They can order them. All of the distributors that work with bike shops offer "Thorn Resistant" tubes of various "brands". If they tell you they can't get them they're full of manure.
Several bike shop employees have told me they don't even know what I'm talking about, never heard of them. The chief mechanic at Spokes in Alexandria got all sarcastic on me saying something about just using the tubes and not worrying about having tires.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:01 AM   #20
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Running a roadbike with ~80 pounds in it you shouldn't really be able to push your thumb in at all. I use a thumb check because I lose air when I use my air gauge.
I recently found out that if you don't have the tire centered on the wheel then you'll hear a noise like rubber slipping, then you'll hear a little gunshot. That gunshot is one wasted tube.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:26 PM   #21
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Goodness! You don't need a tire gauge, you need a thumb. Push your thumb into the tire. Does it feel right?

If you don't know the answer, go to a bike shop or an assembly of bicyclists and ask, "How should my tire feel to my thumb?" and get some learning from some bikers.

You will have attained enlightenment. No gauges nor floor pumps shall ye buy. The end
.
I gotta disagree. Thumbs are not terribly accurate. Almost everybody seems to underinflate their tires if they use the thumb test. often by 20 or 30 pounds. (I know because I've checked friends out.) Second, if the thumb does show you to be underinflated, what are you going to add air with? IMO, a pump is absolutely basic and essential if you're relying on your bike for transportation.
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Old 08-18-07, 08:11 PM   #22
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On some of my bikes it is the feel when I take a corner fast that tells me to check the air. "Hmm that felt squirrelly better get the pump out." By that point it I've probably let it go too long without checking. Roody is right, the gauge is better than the rules of thumb.
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Old 08-18-07, 09:00 PM   #23
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...IMO, a pump is absolutely basic and essential if you're relying on your bike for transportation.
It just occurred to me that maybe the OP doesn't have a pump. If that's true, he/she wouldn't want to use a tire gauge to routinely check the pressure.

It would cost maybe 50 cents to air up at a convenience store. Some stores have air machines that take, as an alternative to coins, a daily code that you can punch in. If that's the case you can get the code from the clerk after you buy whatever qualifies you for a free shot of air.
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Old 08-19-07, 08:24 AM   #24
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There are usable pumps with a guage built in for only $10. I would consider that a better use of one's money than $.50 every time you need to add air to your tires.

Around here, more than one bike shop has a pump locked up outside where we cyclists can go use it whenever we want.
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Old 08-20-07, 12:38 PM   #25
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Personally, when it comes to accessories, my priority would be to buy a lock first, then a pump, and lastly worry about getting other stuff like helmet, fenders, racks, etc.
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