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  1. #1
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    I was about 14 miles away from my car, on a gravel country bike trail this weekend, when I started noticing my back tire was low [I had put air in it before the ride]. I guess I went a little off the gravel for a few seconds, and picked up a very small thorn. Started back towards my car after puting more air back in the tire, but only got a little ways further before it was down too far again. Fortunately, the trail parallels a road that one of my friend's lives on so I was able to get a ride back to my car.

    My questions are:

    1) Do I start carrying a patch kit everywhere I ride?
    2) Is there something you can put in the tire that will seal small holes effectively?
    3) Are these Bontrager tires [on the 7100] not well suited for gravel/off road use?

    Any other suggestions would be appreciated.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  2. #2
    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    1) Yes, why not? also a pump

    2) I wouldn't do that

    3) See if you keep getting flats, you might want to try a thorn resistant tube, if that doesn't help get something like Specialized Armadillo tires

  3. #3
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Patch kits are very small, why wouldn't you carry one?

  4. #4
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    I ALWAYS ride with a spare tube, tire levers, patch kit in a seat bag. Changing a tube is so easy to do.

  5. #5
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    I think the 7100 comes with standard Bontrager Select tires. They make a tougher version (Invert Hardcase) that is used on some of the 7300. Could be another way to go.

    In any case, a patch kit and pump should be standard issue if you're going far.

  6. #6
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    I have a pump on my bike already, but it seems like a relatively laborious task to accomplish when you're out on a trail miles from home, especially if it is getting later in the day. I'm kind of wondering if these Invert Hardcase tires would be better to have!

    Does this mean that tires, such as the ones on my 7100 aren't as puncture resistant as they should be? I guess mountain bike tires have tougher rubber or something.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  7. #7
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    Any air filled tire can flat. There is always a bigger thorn/nail/pothole out there. No matter what tire you choose, if you don't want to walk home, carry materials to get you going again. (Pump/canister, tube(s), patch kit).

  8. #8
    Senior Member markm109's Avatar
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    Agree - always be prepared. After walking home once like you did - I was unable to get a ride - I NEVER bike anywhere (even if I'm only going to be at most 3 miles from my house) without a spare tube, levers, patch kit and air pump. It's like a standard issue bikers survival kit. I've never gotten a flat now that I have the stuff on my bike, but I bet you if I take if off the bike, I'll get a flat right away - isn't that Neuton's Law or something?

    Don't leave home without it.

    Mark

  9. #9
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    isn't that Neuton's Law or something?
    Actually it's MERTON's law. No, scratch that, Murphy's law.
    Some awesome folks who are working to give Haitians the ability to manage their safety and their lives:
    Haiti Partners

  10. #10
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    I have a pump on my bike already, but it seems like a relatively laborious task to accomplish when you're out on a trail miles from home <snip>
    Nah, only takes a few minutes to change a tube or patch one. Much less time and labor than walking home.

  11. #11
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    Murphy. It's HIS laws that would cause your tire to fail if you left your 'biker survival kit' at home.

    Alright, I guess I'll buy a patch kit and one of those under-the-seat carrying deals to put it in. And if a spare tube will fit in that carrying case too, perhaps one of them as well.

    I was VERY furtunate that a friend lived close by or I [and my wife who was with me] would have had to walk the 12 miles back to the car.

    Along the same lines of tires, I'd also like to get a bike pressure gauge [a good one] so I know how much to put in. I'm just not comfortable with the "press down on the tire with your thumb" methode of adding the amount of air the tires need. Two bad things could happen [one far worse that the other]. I don't put in enough air and that adds to the tire drag. I put in more than max and I have a blowout.

    So, when I get a pressure guage, how close to max pressure is safe before it turns into potential problems?

    Thanks for the answers and advice!!
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  12. #12
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    Lastnight, I took my 7100 to the LBS and watched them perform a tube replacement as well as give it the 30 day tuneup. I purchased a tire patch kit, a pressure gauge, and a bag [under the seat] to put it all in. Now, I should be ready should a flat occur again. Murphy will dictate that it won't happen now that I have all this stuff, but it is there in case.

    Thanks to all who replied.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  13. #13
    Now with racer-boy font! Moonshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    Lastnight, I took my 7100 to the LBS and watched them perform a tube replacement as well as give it the 30 day tuneup. I purchased a tire patch kit, a pressure gauge, and a bag [under the seat] to put it all in. Now, I should be ready should a flat occur again. Murphy will dictate that it won't happen now that I have all this stuff, but it is there in case.

    Thanks to all who replied.
    You should put a spare tube in that bag too. I've never found a patch kit yet that was worth messing with.

  14. #14
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    Nah, you'll get a chance to use it. I've had 3 flats on a bike. The first one caused a walk. After that, I had 2 within several days of each other...the first of those two was changed quickly and without pain with a little help from Koffee. The second of those two...well I hadn't preplaced the tube in my emergency kit yet, and hadn't put a patch kit in yet. Fortunately it was on a short ride and I only walked maybe a half mile. No I make sure I have not just a spare tube but also a patch kit with me at all times. You'll get to use it eventually, it's just that Murphy goes a little easier on you when you are prepared.

  15. #15
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    I have the "old" tube [I put that in quotes because the bike itself isn't but a few months old] that I'll patch, then put in the carrier. If I continue to have a lot of problems with this, I may have to go with more robust tires. Something that small thorns shouldn't penetrate as well.

    One thing the LBS guy showed me was a material with a kevlar lining that goes in between the tire and the tube that helps shield against thorns. Sounded interesting.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  16. #16
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ctyler
    I ALWAYS ride with a spare tube, tire levers, patch kit in a seat bag. Changing a tube is so easy to do.
    Carry all of this, plus get the kind of frame pump that has a flexible nozzle. It will save you on damaging the stem (inflexible minipumps are hell on stems). This should all fit in a seat bag. You should also carry the following:
    A multi-purpose tool (or wrenches and screwdrivers to work key bolds and screws)
    An energy bar (in case you break down)
    A tire guage (to make sure you inflate to the right pressure)
    A health insurance card and/or other ID
    Cash and/or credit card
    Don't let the list intimidate you. Ctlyer listed the critical stuff (he only left out the frame pump). If you get nothing else, get what you need to change a tube 15 miles from home.

  17. #17
    Badger Biker ctyler's Avatar
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    In addition, your LBS might run classes on basic bike repair. Take one on repairing flats. I did at an REI store and learned how to change a tube as well as how to patch a tube. On one ride I had three flats. A friend loaned me her spare tube for the second flat and I repaired the tube after the third flat.

  18. #18
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    Please find the time to practice flat repair at home. In the light. When it's dry. Without drinking. That'll give you leg up when you need to do the real thing in the field. Oh, practice on the rear, as it's got the additional challenge of remove/reinstall of the the wheel while the chain and derailler are in the way. With a practice session and all the materials on the bike, you'll be ready for anything.

  19. #19
    cab horn
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    Yep, what elares said, afte ryou get all your gear together, practice repairing a flat. So when the time comes, little nuances of your bike and the operation won't cause you frustration.

  20. #20
    Seņor Member Tom_The_Bikeman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    1) Do I start carrying a patch kit everywhere I ride?
    2) Is there something you can put in the tire that will seal small holes effectively?
    3) Are these Bontrager tires [on the 7100] not well suited for gravel/off road use?
    Hi Orion...you don't have to do 1) if you're willing to carry a cell phone to call the sag wagon. Seriously, however, you should always carry a pump/patch kit with you (not to mention the cell to alert the 911 guys!)

    2) Google for Mr. Tuffy (see http://tinyurl.com/4vq34) which are a liner to help keep stuff like this out. Alternatively, use a belted Kevlar tire.

    The snot that you can put in tires to keep them from leaking isn't worth it, as it adds to the weight of the tire/wheel combo, imho...

    3) Don't know.

    Good luck!
    Tom

  21. #21
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    Yeah, Tom, about your reply to #2, the guys at the LBS said that about the goop you put into the tires adding weight. They also have the Armadilo Tires as well as those kevlar liners. May have to do one or the other if I have problems. My bike before was a mountain bike with big knobbies on it. With these thinner tires, and riding mostly on a gravel trail, I may have to go with something that will be more resilient.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Dchiefransom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orion
    I have the "old" tube [I put that in quotes because the bike itself isn't but a few months old] that I'll patch, then put in the carrier. If I continue to have a lot of problems with this, I may have to go with more robust tires. Something that small thorns shouldn't penetrate as well.

    One thing the LBS guy showed me was a material with a kevlar lining that goes in between the tire and the tube that helps shield against thorns. Sounded interesting.
    Tuffy Tire Liners. Get a Topeak Road Morph pump. They have a gauge on them and are very easy to use. It would be better to get tires with a kevlar belt.

  23. #23
    Motor, not the bike
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    Carry a tube, tire levers, and a pump or co2 cartridge. Put them in your pack and leave them there.

  24. #24
    Senior Member DieselDan's Avatar
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    Tire liners can slip and slice the tube open beyond patching. Carry a spare tube, path kit, pump and/or CO2 inflator, mini tool, and boot material. All the tubes and tools will do nothing with a puntured sidewall.
    Bikes use brakes to stop.

    If your bike has breaks, don't ride it.

  25. #25
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    Well, if I go with another option, it will be those Armadillo tires. I'll still keep the spare tube, repair kit, etc with me when I ride.
    2005 TREK 7100, with matte green/matte parchment gold color, upgraded with Rapid Fire shifters.

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