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Thread: Am I Prepared?

  1. #1
    Senior Member bboseley's Avatar
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    Am I Prepared?

    I will be picking up my new bike Saturday. I will be riding primarily on a paved out & back trail (as opposed to a loop). My biggest concern is flats. I will be carrying a frame mount pump, a spare tube, and a patch kit. Unless I have two flats, this should get me out and back. However, I still have this concern about getting 15 miles out and having to walk a disabled bike all the way back. Could take many hours.

    Unless someone can suggest additional precautions, I canít think of anything else I can do with regard to flats. So, my question is: Are there any other items of survival (other than food and drink) that I need to be carrying with me? How serious are popped spokes? (say 1 or 2). OK to ride 15 miles or so?

    Other than flats, what are the most common mechanical problems for road bikes?

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    You're probably fine (though it's the "probably" that always comes back to haunt you). That's about what I carry (plus a multi-tool I've never used) on my 24-mile commute.
    Actually, with a patch kit and spare tube, you'll be good for about seven flats (put in the spare tube after the first, then when it goes flat you have half a dozen patches). That's really unlikely. Although, just to cheer you up, I once had NINE flats on an 11-mile ride. I ran over a thorny branch and got four, then didn't get all the little pieces out of the tube and had three more, then hit some broken glass. I walked to a pay phone and called somebody to come get me.

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    Banned. DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Take a cell phone if you have coverage in your area.

    Around here, there are always other bikers to help, just let them know and almost all will stop and assist.

    I have almost 18,000 miles in the past few years and have never been stranded except for a violent hail, snow, windstorm and freezing cold that unexpectedly hit Vail Pass at 10,600 feet as I crossed it.

    I could have waited it out, but this time I called the wife on the cell phone.

    Good luck!

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    Relax! You'll be fine. Most cyclists have some crazy crash, breakdown or multi-flat hell that ends with nasy road rash and/or walking 10 miles. When this happens you're a real cyclist-- rejoice in it becuase it will make you stronger.

  5. #5
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bboseley
    ...I canít think of anything else I can do with regard to flats.
    What tires do you have? Is there much glass or metal trash where you ride?
    Good tires are the best protection against flats. I have Continental Grand Prix 3000 tires on my main ride (~1500 miles between flats) and Vittoria Rubino Pro tires on my backup bike (no flats yet in 800 miles).


    Quote Originally Posted by bboseley
    ...Are there any other items of survival (other than food and drink) that I need to be carrying with me? How serious are popped spokes?
    Carry a multi-tool to handle most on-road repairs. I have an Alien Multitool. It has spoke wrenches to handle broken spoke problems (allows you to ride home), chain tool for the broken chain problem , and just about any other tool you'll need.

  6. #6
    No one carries the DogBoy
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    All those tools only help if you know how to use them. Personally, I carry 2 tubes, 3 CO2 cartridges, Tire levers and a patch kit. I also carry the cell-phone if I'm riding on my own. The only other thing I have to say, is PRACTICE changing a tire/tube at home before you get out on the road. This is especially true with the rear tire, since if you've never done it, the chain/der. cassette combo makes it look more intimidating than it is.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    All those tools only help if you know how to use them. Personally, I carry 2 tubes, 3 CO2 cartridges, Tire levers and a patch kit. I also carry the cell-phone if I'm riding on my own. The only other thing I have to say, is PRACTICE changing a tire/tube at home before you get out on the road. This is especially true with the rear tire, since if you've never done it, the chain/der. cassette combo makes it look more intimidating than it is.
    That is what i was going to say. Having everything with you is only part of the equation. When you have your first flat on the road it will go much smoother if you have done it before. It is a lot easier to practice in the driveway than most other places.

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    I usually carry a few small spares, a 5mm allen bolt, brake and gear cable, zip ties, a tyre boot, a bit of pvc or duck tape. Also take a small first aid kit to deal with cuts and grazes.
    Most good bike repair books have a section on survival type bike repairs, to get you home.
    My worst failures have both been split tyres, so I carry a Park tyre boot, but you can fix this with dollar bills or tape. I had an 8mile walk.
    Broken spokes are worse if you have less spokes. With 36, you can generally still ride.
    I have done a lot of riding, on my own, with none of my current bike repair skills and managed to survive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DogBoy
    All those tools only help if you know how to use them. Personally, I carry 2 tubes, 3 CO2 cartridges, Tire levers and a patch kit. I also carry the cell-phone if I'm riding on my own. The only other thing I have to say, is PRACTICE changing a tire/tube at home before you get out on the road. This is especially true with the rear tire, since if you've never done it, the chain/der. cassette combo makes it look more intimidating than it is.
    I'm all for knowing how to use your stuff ... but it may be worth carrying no matter what b/c a passing cyclist can help you better with tools that s/he may not have with them for whatever reason. I stopped my car once to help someone (so I had no bike tools) ... turned out I gave them a lift ... but, my point it, is may pay sometime to have the tools and equipment for someone else to help you.

    Good luck!

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