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Old 01-23-11, 03:14 AM   #1
gear freak
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spare tires you need to take on every trip

i used to ride with a patch kit & 2 tire levers & on a multi day trips i would take patch kit, 2 spare tubes & spare tire. the spare tires i carried in those days since beaded foldable tires were not available i used an italian made foldable tire that at one time was called the raleigh corsa strada, this tire had a fiber glass bead that could be rolled into quite a compact size. now i carry on every ride what i used carry on only multi day trips. sometimes you will flat twice i one day & especially if it is raining it is a lot easier just to replace a tube & patch the tube it the evening. the reason you must carry at least 1 spare tube & not just a patch kit because on rare occasions (2 since 1975) that i could not get a patch to adhere. one half century i went on in may one of the riders was not carrying a patch kit & flatted twice during that ride. i was riding by when he was asking it anyone had a tube, i lent him one of mine.
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Old 01-23-11, 04:43 AM   #2
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In all the riding I have done, I haven't carried a spare tyre. I have carried up to three inner tubes, and of course a patch kit. I carried something akin to a boot, but...

Maybe I have been lucky, but I have never suffered a split sidewall or tread on a tyre casing. I also find folding tyres incredibly difficult to stow, whether it is in panniers for a tour, or in smaller rack/saddle bags for randonnees. These two factors have led me to not consider taking a spare tyre, and now even a boot is something I don't bother with (I would probably cut up a pop bottle from the side of the road to use).

I gather English may not be your first language, gear-freak, but it might be a bit easier for us to read and understand if you can break your posts into paragraphs a bit more and check your sentences before you post.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:14 AM   #3
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Let's see, in 36 years years you've had only 2 times you needed the patch kit. That would say to me that the odds say don't carry the kit.

I carry 1 tube on day rides and 2 while on tour. I've never had a tire go bad while riding, maybe luck, maybe I just replace them when they look bad. I think this is more on a persons outlook, either you believe the sky is falling and you have to have a backup for every component on the bike.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:28 AM   #4
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I carry one tube and a patch kit. I only repair tubes roadside if necessary. I don't carry a tire and have had a few issues with tire damage, but none that prevented me from getting home or to a shop safely. If I was somewhere foreign and remote and thought a ruined tire might seriously delay my trip, I would bring a spare. Finally, I would also choose to bring a spare tire over other spare parts (except spokes) because if your wheels are still sound, at least you can push the bike easily and coast down hills. The next on my list of spare parts would be an extra power link for the chain and an extra cable and piece of housing. I have had all of those break on rides and they are easy fixes if you have the parts, plus those parts are lightweight and don't take up much space in a touring setup.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:34 AM   #5
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I rarely carry a spare on tour. My tires are not delicate and I've never had to replace one on tour. I would carry a spare tires for a specific tour where I felt the risk of a destroyed tire justified it, but that would be the exception not the rule.
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Old 01-23-11, 08:48 AM   #6
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I always carry a patch kit and at least one tube. On tours where services are infrequent I carry more than one tube.

In 50 years and hundreds of thousands of miles of riding (most of it not while touring) I have never had a tire that couldn't be stitched, taped, or booted well enough to keep from leaving me stranded. For that reason I do not carry a spare tire.

If I did I would probably use just the same wire beaded tires I use on the bike and do the roll into three rings trick. That way they easily fit in a pannier or strap on the outside of one.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:12 AM   #7
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"Spare Tires You Need to Take on Every Trip"

Only if every trip is across Africa, the Gobi Desert, or Siberia, otherwise forget it.

I do check the condition of my tires/tyres before a trip and replace before departing if I've any doubt. There may be some routes in North America where bringing a spare is advisable but not in Europe.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:34 AM   #8
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I've always carried 2 tubes and a patch kit. The patch kit is for evening use. I run rims with nice centers and folding tires, so I don't need levers. I carry a spare tire on day rides, and of course on tour. My spare is a light folding tire, about 220g, not as heavy as even my day ride tires. I have used the spare a couple of times when I've had a bad sidewall cut. Always good to ride safe.
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Old 01-23-11, 09:35 AM   #9
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I bring along a repair kit, and usually one or two spare tubes. On my last trip I brought a spare tire for my BOB trailer. I anticipated having to replace it half way across. Unfortunately I should have carried a spare fork...that's what ended up breaking and bringing an untimely end to my trip.

Maybe a bit off subject, I read Barbara Savage's book "Miles from Nowhere". She and her husband Larry bicycled around the world in the late '70s. They carried their spare tires wedged into the spokes of their wheels. I found that intriguing.

Last edited by Gus Riley; 01-23-11 at 10:06 AM.
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Old 01-23-11, 10:11 AM   #10
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I also never carry a spare tire, and I only carry one spare tube.
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Old 01-23-11, 10:38 AM   #11
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Ditto. I do not carry a spare tire, and so far, have never needed one. I carry a spare tube and a patch kit. I think I may have replaced a spare tube once on tour. My inclination is to repair before replacing.

I rarely get punctures, although on one occasion, it happened twice in one day! The last time I needed to repair a flat on the road was six years ago. I used to be rather laissez-faire about the condition of my tires, but after the two-punctures-in-one-day incident, I got into the habit of replacing the tires when they show noticeable wear, which is every two or three seasons.

I have carried a tire boot on every tour since 1998. It's still in its original package.
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Old 01-23-11, 10:48 AM   #12
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I just use schwalbe marathon supreme or XR tires...

whats a flat like again?
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Old 01-23-11, 11:04 AM   #13
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In my lifetime, I have only once lost a tire beyond repair,
so I'll take those odds and take no spare.
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Old 01-23-11, 11:13 AM   #14
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I once clipped a knife blade that was laying in the street and it ended up in the sidewall of my rear tire. Another time a piece of glass sliced open my brand new Marathon on the top of the tread. It's a personal choice, but I prefer to carry the spare on tour.
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Old 01-23-11, 11:23 AM   #15
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sidewall gave out , a few months into my tour, glad I had 3rd tire,
not even folding one ..

U shaped bend over the panniers with a strap bringing the shape
into a near figure 8.

so it packed well .
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Old 01-23-11, 11:37 AM   #16
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I have only done week long tours in the US. I don't carry a spare tire, I have used a tire patch my friend's tire when it split, and it got him to the next town.

My last tour I learned to carry a couple of extra tubes, because I had two flats and had to use my friend's spare tube.

I also carry a patch kit.
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Old 01-23-11, 12:31 PM   #17
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This tire belonged to a guy I met on the Pacific Coast and rode with for about 3 weeks. The tire, as well as the LHT it was on, was brand new when he left Vancouver, B.C., three weeks and about a thousand miles earlier. He borrowed a spare tire from another riding partner until he could buy new tires in SF.

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Old 01-23-11, 12:48 PM   #18
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This tire belonged to a guy I met on the Pacific Coast and rode with for about 3 weeks. The tire, as well as the LHT it was on, was brand new when he left Vancouver, B.C., three weeks and about a thousand miles earlier. He borrowed a spare tire from another riding partner until he could buy new tires in SF.

Fortunately, Surly has decided to replace the suckasaurus with some higher quality Continental rubber. As soon as the mold release wears off of the Slickasuarus, everything sticks to them and the rubber is soft. When I took the tires off after 400 miles, they had tiny bits of rocks and glass embedded all over the tire.

You couldn't pay me to run those tires on a tour. I've got over 2000 miles on the Conti Top Contacts that replaced the OEM tires, and I haven't had a flat yet. YMMV
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Old 01-23-11, 01:51 PM   #19
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gearfreak,
i agree! every self-contained tour i have gone on, i carry a spare tire, folded, and bugied to my sleep-bag/tent on rear rack.
Also, i carry 2 or 3 tubes, 2 patch kits, tire irons etc.

A point i made in "tips and tricks" post sticky thread here is this trick:
From an older tire that is out of service, ready to be thrown away, cut from it a piece about 3" to 4" (inches) long and keep it with you tools.
Because: This piece can be used to re-enforce a badly cut tire by placing it inside the cut tire between damaged tire and inner-tube to get to the next shop for replacement tire.

I have never needed to use this trick myself yet, but the benefit outweighs the cost :-)
t
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Old 01-23-11, 01:55 PM   #20
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Fortunately, Surly has decided to replace the suckasaurus with some higher quality Continental rubber. As soon as the mold release wears off of the Slickasuarus, everything sticks to them and the rubber is soft. When I took the tires off after 400 miles, they had tiny bits of rocks and glass embedded all over the tire.
That was another issue this guy had reported with these tires. They (he and his wife) eventually replaced them with Marathons, which lasted the next 11,000 km.
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Old 01-23-11, 01:58 PM   #21
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After having a tire sidewall separate from the bead during a training ride, I decided to carry a spare tire while touring. On the 7-10 day tours I tend to think about, I decided I didn't want to waste a half-day or day trying to find a replacement tire. I also carry a patch kit and a couple of spare tubes. If I get a flat, I like to install the spare tube, then patch the bad one in the evening. Plus, I've had the occasional bad valve or tear so big it couldn't be patched.
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Old 01-23-11, 02:12 PM   #22
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The need for a spare tire is much more rare than the need for a DIFFERENT tire. I will usually carry another along on tour, but it is usually because it is a different tread or type of tire than the one mounted. Spare tubes on tour are always needed and wasting time on the side of a busy road trying to patch a tube that costs 3 dollars is just crazy. Mount the spare, repair the other tube when you stop to eat or are done riding for the day.
Personally, in my couple thousand miles of touring, I have never experienced a need for a tire replacement, just a tire choice change. I haven't really even experienced more than a single flat on tour. Spare tube allowed me to be pedaling within 10 minutes.
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Old 01-23-11, 02:14 PM   #23
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I replaced the slickasourus (sp?) tires first thing on my LHT...and then the saddle.
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Old 01-23-11, 02:27 PM   #24
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I always carry a foldable spare tire in addition to two tubes and a patch kit. I've used that spare tire about 5 times in 25 years. I was grateful for it each time I need it.

I prefer to patch the tube, when I get the flat. The location of the flat shows me where to inspect the tire for a piece of glass or metal that may still be there. It's not always possible to find a slow leak, so I carry spares.

What to carry is more a question of the inconvenience of not having it than the length of the trip. I cannot call family to pick me up, so self-sufficiency is a big consideration regardless of trip duration. Also, I don't like walking on cleated cycling shoes or slippers for any great distance.
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Old 01-23-11, 03:15 PM   #25
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I've never really needed a spare tire, but it seems like good insurance. I've double flatted once, so two tubes and a patch kit seems like a reasonable thing to carry around with me. I hate patching tubes, but I'd rather do that than walk.
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