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  1. #1
    Bike touring webrarian
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    How many spare tubes?

    How many spare tubes do you tour with? I usually carry two. I was wondering if I should take an extra one for my upcoming trip to France.

    Also, both of the tubes I am currently riding on are patched but working fine. Should I replace my current tubes (so I am riding on unpatched tubes) or is it reasonable to start my tour on the patched tubes ?

    Just wondering.

    Ray
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  2. #2
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    two spare tubes myself and a fat patch kit. My spares are well patched.
    This space open

  3. #3
    Senior Member kamoke's Avatar
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    I've got one tube and a patch kit. Current tubes are patch-free.

  4. #4
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    two spare tubes and a patch kit. Usually start my tours with patch free tubes. Save the patched ones for around home.
    Cheers

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    I also like to start my tours with new tires and tubes. And I tend to carry a lot of tubes ... probably comes from riding around the Canadian prairie with no signs of civilization in sight, let alone bicycle shops. I forget off-hand how many I've had with me in France ... 5 springs to mind, but knowing about the presence of Decathlon and GoSport stores now, I'd probably feel comfortable with 3 tubes.

  6. #6
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    tubes

    Your idea will work fine for Europe as shops and spare parts are readily available, but since you asked..

    When I toured outback OZ with an IBEX trailer I had 2 spare tires for the bike and one for the trailer. I was using up tubes until I found out what the problem was with the rim tape - but, a home made "tape" made from a multi-perforated tube, and duct tape solved that problem. I started out with 3 MEC spares , but after it was all over maxed out at 5 tubes and used up one of them and one of the spares.... Eventually I sent 2 tubes back to Canada with a bunck of books, etc that I bought along the way.

    I started out with 2 spare tubes and a spare tire for the IBEX and ended the trip the same way. The 2100 km route took 6 weeks (bitumen 1/3 and dirt 2/3)

  7. #7
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmac-100 View Post
    Your idea will work fine for Europe as shops and spare parts are readily available
    +1 Start out on new tires, tubes, patch kit, and one spare tube. You'll be shocked at the number of bike shops in Europe. Most shops keep a supply of tires, tubes, and other small items as a considerable number of there customers ride bikes.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I like to ride with unpatched tubes. How many spares depends on where I am. I usually only carry one. If the tube I'm riding gets a flat I replace it with the spare (new) and keep the one with the hole. If I get another flat I patch one of the two. I figure the chances of having an unpatchable, unridable hole on both tubes at the same time are remote. Whenever I get a flat and use my good spare I replace it at the first opportunity. Only carrying one spare is part of my campaign against myself to keep from carrying too much stuff.

  9. #9
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I'd only carry 1 spare tube in France and a patch kit. If you are confident of your patched tubes just ride them. You aren't going to Outer Mongolia so spares will be readily available.

    Have a wonderful trip!
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  10. #10
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Another "vote" for 2 spare tubes and good patch kit. I don't carry patched tubes on tour and come to think of it, I've never needed to patch a tube while on the road. Also, if I'm pulling a trailer then I only carry one tube for it, regardless of how many wheels it has.

    Cheers,
    Ron - Washington
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  11. #11
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    One more than I think I'll need. After blowing out 3 because of a faulty tire at Lolo Hot Springs and hoping the last one would hold because it's a long walk from there to anywhere, I decided to carry at least 4...and a patch kit...or two
    Stuart Black
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  12. #12
    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    I read that for touring the most important thing is to carefully line both tires with five-dollar bills or, even better, five-euro notes.
    George
    Laissez les bon temps rouler

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    I read that for touring the most important thing is to carefully line both tires with five-dollar bills or, even better, five-euro notes.
    Even more reason for people to steal wheels from touring bikes.

  14. #14
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    One more than I think I'll need. After blowing out 3 because of a faulty tire at Lolo Hot Springs and hoping the last one would hold because it's a long walk from there to anywhere, I decided to carry at least 4...and a patch kit...or two
    In the off chance we have a tire split or chunk out on us, I carry some duct tape and a tire patch (something like a Powerbar wrapper). You'd place the tire patch on the inside of the tire. The tape isn't required in most cases. If we're going on a remote tour or we're using odd sized wheels, we'll carry a spare tire or two, but we've not needed them...yet.

    Around 20 years ago on a training ride, the front tire on my racing bike blew and I used a dollar bill as a tire patch. That got me home; about 18 miles.

    Cheers,
    Ron - Washington
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  15. #15
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    One more than I think I'll need. After blowing out 3 because of a faulty tire at Lolo Hot Springs and hoping the last one would hold because it's a long walk from there to anywhere, I decided to carry at least 4...and a patch kit...or two
    For sure it makes sense to carry more spare tubes and even spare tires for remote tours. However, I'd keep my load light and simple if I was touring in France. The people are friendly, the food and wine is great - your worst case scenario in France isn't so bad...
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

  16. #16
    Getting older and slower
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    It's not unusual for me to screw up a tube change on my commute. I carry 3 spare tubes in varying states of repair on the commuter at all times, and there have been occasions when I needed all 3! That's why I also carry an instant patch kit at all times.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
    In the off chance we have a tire split or chunk out on us, I carry some duct tape and a tire patch (something like a Powerbar wrapper). You'd place the tire patch on the inside of the tire. The tape isn't required in most cases. If we're going on a remote tour or we're using odd sized wheels, we'll carry a spare tire or two, but we've not needed them...yet.

    Around 20 years ago on a training ride, the front tire on my racing bike blew and I used a dollar bill as a tire patch. That got me home; about 18 miles.

    Cheers,
    My problem wasn't a tire split but the bead was bad. Oddly enough it hadn't shown up earlier during training but only when I tried to put more air in the tire than rated. Since than I've stayed pretty close to the rated pressure on wide (35mm +) tires.
    Stuart Black
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  18. #18
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    On an ongoing 6 month tour across australai, and now South East Asia I carry

    1 inner tube for the bike , I have carried the same one for 3 years now !!!! including over 5 months in Suth America, 3 months across Europe
    2 inner tubes for the tralier ( why don't Shwalbe make 16 in tyres for BOB's
    some scabs, and a kit.

    Schwalbe marathon XR, and XR Evolutions, "does what it says on the tin!!!"
    www.pedalpatagonia.co.uk for journals

    george
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  19. #19
    Macro Geek
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    For my tours, which have never been more than about two weeks long hauling "only" 20 to 30 pounds, I carry one spare tube and a small repair kit. I try to start with new tubes, but don't always manage. I have never had more than two flats on a tour, and that one was only a day trip. I don't think I have ever had the need to replace a tube on tour. I had to replace a tire once, but I should have done that before starting.

    I get a flat on about 50% of my tours... wish it happened even less.

  20. #20
    Senior Member velo2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    How many spare tubes do you tour with?
    ZERO!

    Ok, I had one, but I never used it. Over seven weeks and 3000 miles last summer, I never once got a flat with my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (with Schwalbe tubes). I'm getting close to 5000 miles on these tires and still haven't had a flat. And the front tire barely even looks worn. Great tires.

  21. #21
    Senior Member lighthorse's Avatar
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    How long is your tour going to be? I imagine that you could find tubes in France. Could be a part of the experience finding a bike shop and the right tube. For a short couple of weeks I would start with new tubes, a couple spares and a patch kit. But then I like getting flats.
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  22. #22
    Punk Rock Lives Roughstuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raybo View Post
    How many spare tubes do you tour with? I usually carry two. I was wondering if I should take an extra one for my upcoming trip to France.

    Also, both of the tubes I am currently riding on are patched but working fine. Should I replace my current tubes (so I am riding on unpatched tubes) or is it reasonable to start my tour on the patched tubes ?

    Just wondering.

    Ray
    I also carry two tubes. I have had my rims tapped so that I can use schraeder, not just presta valves. I have on spare tube in my packs, and the other one already wrapped up in a spare tire I carrry on my back pack roll. If I get a flat tire on a rainy day or an undesirable location, I just use the latter tube/tire as a complete replacement so that I don't have to patch, look for a thorn, etc. I fix the flat tube later that evening in my tent.

    There are always exceptions, but I find that flat tires are often a function of letting your tires wear too thin. If I get 'a' flat, I fix it. If I get flats with any degree of frequency, its time for a new tire.

    roughstuff
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  23. #23
    Has opinion, will express
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    Three new spare tubes, a repair kit and new tubes in tyres at the start.

    And I agree with roughstuff about thinly worn tyres causing more punctures. And I like his fix-it-later strategy. Many journals also have detailed consecutive punctures because the culprit causing them hasn't been found. Fine "Michelin wires" are probably the worst.

    Check regularly, too, the viability of the glue that you use for patching. It's wise to take a new, unopened tube when leaving. A toothpick or sharpened match can be useful for putting in a hole in a tube once it has been found, while you organise yourself to fix it... even if it's a pinhole, increasing the size of the hole isn't going to matter much by shoving something in there.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  24. #24
    Left OZ now in Malaysia jibi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by velo2000 View Post
    ZERO!

    Ok, I had one, but I never used it. Over seven weeks and 3000 miles last summer, I never once got a flat with my Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (with Schwalbe tubes). I'm getting close to 5000 miles on these tires and still haven't had a flat. And the front tire barely even looks worn. Great tires.
    strange isn't it??
    No matter how many times it is posted here some people still carry 2 or 3 tubes.

    +1 for Schwable tyres


    george
    ---------------------------------------------------
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  25. #25
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jibi View Post
    strange isn't it??
    No matter how many times it is posted here some people still carry 2 or 3 tubes.

    +1 for Schwable tyres


    george
    Yes; and it's France! Almost every shop or store has tubes, tires, and other such bicycle necessities right at the counter like our stores have candy, lighters, and small toys for the screaming kids to cry for.
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