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Extreme commuter club: week 5

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Extreme commuter club: week 5

Old 12-10-06, 06:23 PM
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Extreme commuter club: week 5

Didn't ride Friday because the flat fairy came visitiing and stayed awhile On thursday, there was a significant snowstorm here in Vermont. I rode through it on my recumbent, luckily for me the snow hadn't accumulated yet, since I had slicks fore and aft. My cyclocross had a flat rear tire. So, Thursday night, I fixed the flat on the 'cross and put a studded front tire on her, usuing up my last good spare. Friday morning I get up rarin to tackle the ice and snow, only to find the front tire that I had put on was flat - with no spare . Ok, what I did was dig out the studded front tire for my recumbent and put it on. Drove out to the ferry (about 25 miles) and when I took the bent off the bike rack on the back of my car, saw the front tire was flat on it now as well!
I had no spare for my 20" front tire, so I was defeated, utterly and comletely. I turned home and went to the bike shop, where I spent 25 bucks on tubes. Flats seem to come in waves for me. I don't know why. In the case of these tires, I must have racked up the tubes with the tire irons when I was putting the tire on the rims. Stupid thing to do - just impatience and bull headedness.

I went all over town looking for Mr. Tuffys tire liners. I have some on order, so I guess I will try them when they come. Flats plague us all, I would imagine. Does anyone here have tricks or tips for 1) avoiding flats and 2) fixing them quickly/easily on the road and at home?
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Old 12-10-06, 08:58 PM
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I'm glad I'm not the only one who seems to face flats in waves or groups. One time when I put my studs on last winter I pinched the tube with a tire iron and had a blow out as I was pumping it up. Taught me to use the tire irons very selectively if at all when replacing the tire. On the road I just swap tubes, since I have about zero luck finding the hole on the road. At home I put some water in the deep sink, put some air in the tube and work my way around the tube until I find the leak. I've found slipping a round toothpick into the leak helps mark it when I remove the tube from the water.

The other thing I did was ditch the Panaracer tire. Stuff that made its way through just stuck in the tire to cause more flats. I was looking at tire liners today at the LBS and I'm thinking I might get some as well. I'm not in too big a rush since I rarely have problems with flats when using studded tires.

Well, I have a new derailleur and cable now and the bike is so much quieter and shifts so much better. With the new cassette on its way, soon I will have replaced almost the whole drive train. I'm looking forward to riding tomorrow with the new parts. I even have new pedals so I won't have to struggle with the broken bits anymore. To top it all off it looks like we will have warmer and nicer weather than typical all through next week.
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Old 12-10-06, 11:46 PM
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I too get flats in 3's. I'll ride for 250 miles or so then get 2 or 3 flats. This was when I was running Michelin Dynamic. But so far with the Kanda Kwest that came with the Denali (700x28) I have only had one flat in 1162.2 miles. Now if I start geting flats again, I am blaming you Mars
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Old 12-11-06, 03:10 AM
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Dont talk to me about punctures!
After 3 punctures in the first week with my first road bike at the start of November, i fitted tyre liners and thought i'd solved the problem...


until last week when i got another 2.

So now i've got some slime-filled tubes in there with the tyre liners! If this doesn't improve the puncture rate (which is now running at one-a-week on average, but have happened groups like you guys), then it'll be new tyres next. I did notice that the slime filled tube was significantly heavier (maybe twice the weight, i'll weight it and report back when it comes out) than a standard tube. I'm running 700x23C tyres.

For me it's all about prevention rather than cure as i can only get about 60psi from the mini pump, but at the roadside i change the tube since i have never successfully made a repair in that situation and end up pushing the bike either home or to work.
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Old 12-11-06, 04:41 AM
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Mars, do whatever it takes to get your hands on the MrTuffys. I love mine and swear by them, I now have them in every single bike.

Funny we should be talking about this now as I got my first flat in several thousand miles on the way home today. It was a snakebite on the front wheel due to a cigarette packet size rock that I didn't see because I was focused on overtaking a roadie at like 40mph on a big descent at the time. I hit it at the exact time that I pulled up level with him, I think the sudden pfzzZZZzzzzZZZzzzZZZzzz startled him more than just my precense.

As part of my maintenance routine I carefully check my tires once a week and dismount them for an internal check once a month. You'd be surprised at the ammount of glass, metal, and other debris I find that was a potential flat saved by the MrTuffys.
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Old 12-11-06, 04:55 AM
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Well, I am wimping again today - I ran 10K yesterday and my legss are all cramped up this morning. It was below 30F at the start and I hadn't ran in more than a week - that is what I get I guess.

Have a good week everyone.
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Old 12-11-06, 08:45 AM
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Wusssssssss -- its the sound of Xroader wimping out. Somebody had to do it. C'mon man you're missing some beautiful riding weather. It's clear, dry and not ridiculously cold -- better enjoy it while you can.

I'm loving the new parts. My bike was almost completely silent with the new derailleur. I guess I never realized how much noise it was slowly starting to make.

What a great way to start a Monday. Today I got small revenge on an obnoxious putz. I was riding on the white line on the right of the lane. As the lane merged into one coming in from the right this putz moves to the right until he is so close to the curb I can't pass. We merge to the right and he's held up in a line of cars while I can split the lane and ride all the way to the front of the line. Even better I can make my left before his car is anywhere near the corner. Sure its petty, but sometimes you have to enjoy these small victories! Looks like it should be a great week of riding with almost springlike conditions in the DC area. Ride safe everybody.
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Old 12-11-06, 09:49 AM
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Last Wednesday I did a 80 kilometer ride to explore around one of the most beautiful places in the world (Costa Rica - Lake Arenal) - wonderful time, wonderful ride - I posted about it over on the 50s group.

Anyway, today, on the way to work I couldn't believe how fast I was going. I am not sure if I am lighter, stronger - or just know what pain really is now...

I have experienced things like this before - if the day to day is getting hard - push harder and then it seems easy.

Oh, I refuse to say anything about flats...
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Old 12-11-06, 11:24 AM
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Anyone ever try thorn resistant tubes? I've installed Performance thorn resistant tubes in both my mtb and road bike. In one instance, right after a 2 hour XC ride, I pulled out 6 thorns from the front tire and 11 from the back tire of my mtb + 1 glass shard. No flats. So far the road bike hasn't had any flats either.(knock on wood) The main downside is the added weight but I can live with that.
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Old 12-11-06, 11:57 AM
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I think I'm done w/ 'extreme' for the year (I hope). We had our month w/ 20" of rain followed by a week of snow and ice, now things seem to be back to more typical gray sprinkly and occasionally windy. I was getting splattered enough puttering little chores around the outside of the house this am that I wore my raincoat to commute, but it was overkill, smartwool l/s T would have been more than adequate.
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Old 12-11-06, 06:58 PM
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Arrgh - Murphy's revenge for wimping today. I can't ride tomorrow because of some early meetings and then a rush to a doctor's appointment for my daughter. One of the few weekdays in the year when I wil have to use a (Ack!) car. We are a one car family and use Flexcar for a second one when needed. I've been very happy with Flexcar, always been able to get a car when I needed it, even on short notice.

Back on the bike on Wednesday I swear - I wanted to commute 3000 miles this year and am only a little over 100 away.

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Old 12-11-06, 08:28 PM
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Xroader -- the rationalizations are flying faster than the miles! You better plan to work on Saturdays to make up the commuter miles! Actually I know exactly how tough the scheduling thing can get with kids and bike commuting. I find that racing to pick up my son results in some of my best commuting times. Of course I'm sore the next day, and its an irreproducible result.

Tonight's ride home was very nice and the weather was nice enough to get down to a t-shirt and long sleeved jersey. A couple of blocks from home I saw a deer in a neighbor's backyard. First time I've seen one that close to home. I can't get over how much better my bike rides with the new derailleur and cable.
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Old 12-12-06, 08:23 AM
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Hooray for the puffy peleton!!! Today for the final stretch of my ride there were 8 bikes on the trail, riding along in our own multilayered peleton. I am amazed at how many bikes I am still seeing on the commute. I'm guessing it is a combination of better than usual weather and high gas prices. It looks to be another great day for riding with decent temps and nice weather.
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Old 12-12-06, 10:51 AM
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Flat free this morning!

Very nice day here as well. Dense fog for part of my commute made the ride spooky and fun. Sky has cleared off now and the sun is shining. Should be a good ride home if I don't get a flat...
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Old 12-12-06, 11:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
I think I'm done w/ 'extreme' for the year (I hope). We had our month w/ 20" of rain followed by a week of snow and ice, now things seem to be back to more typical gray sprinkly and occasionally windy. I was getting splattered enough puttering little chores around the outside of the house this am that I wore my raincoat to commute, but it was overkill, smartwool l/s T would have been more than adequate.
Very wrong, just very very wrong. Still haven't dried out from last night's ride home, despite sunny ride in this am. 2 more storms due through tonight and tomorrow.

This past weekend the rust on my chain about doubled, and this morning it had doubled again. I oiled it before coming in today. I last oiled/lubed it 2 wks ago I think.
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Old 12-12-06, 12:23 PM
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It's raining and gale-force windy in the upper PNW all week. 40mph+ gusts last night on the way home, and looking like about the same all week for me. At least I wasn't down around Alki beach (I know some of the commuters are, though) where the winds were hitting 60+, or out on the western peninsula where it was 90+ wind gusts.

At least the temperature is warm (upper 30s to mid 40s) until this weekend.
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Old 12-12-06, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
It's raining and gale-force windy in the upper PNW all week. 40mph+ gusts last night on the way home, and looking like about the same all week for me. At least I wasn't down around Alki beach (I know some of the commuters are, though) where the winds were hitting 60+, or out on the western peninsula where it was 90+ wind gusts...
.
WTF????!?!?!
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Old 12-12-06, 07:32 PM
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Clifton -- OK that is some serious weather!! I'm feeling guilty about posting on the XCC when rides here are like springtime. Quite an uneventful ride home. Its nice not to have equipment problems to spoil the ride.
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Old 12-13-06, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
Clifton -- I'm feeling guilty about posting on the XCC when rides here are like springtime. Quite an uneventful ride home.
Newbie:

Do not fret for when I am cleared to ride next week, the weather will turn nasty. I have been sitting on my lard arse watching this beautiful weather. Frustrating indeed.
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Old 12-13-06, 03:18 PM
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Tibike -- my sympathies, but I'm glad you're recovering well enough to be annoyed by inactivity.

The rain and 40 degree temps did help clear the trail and bike rack. I only saw about 8 riders this morning. It was nice to ride in without mechanical issues to interfere with the joy of riding. I do have to do some work on my lights, since all the vibration from rough trails is shaking things to pieces.
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Old 12-13-06, 07:15 PM
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Well I guess 1/2 a commute is better than nothing - rode in this mornng. Pretty nice ride, lower temps and a little drizzle, but a nice empty trail at 5:00 (early meeting) Had a late one too today which killed my commute home. Got out of a meeting at 6:15 and had to be at my daughter's choir recital at 7:00. Took the metro and had my wife pick me up but I was still 5 minutes late and missed her piece. - ARRGH! I'll be lucky if I make 50 miles this week.
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Old 12-14-06, 07:59 AM
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I have been jinxed by the original poosting on this link... My fixie had a flat over the weekend, which I fixed, and it promptly flatted. This happened through 3 tubes... yes, I checked the inside of the tire, and the rim, and found nothing. I changed it again and let it sit for 3 days. This morning, it was still holding about 85 pounds of pressure, so I decided to ride in with it. I got almost to work... Half a block away, it was flat. I pumped it up, and it seems to be holding air. I will now go out and buy one of those 'thorn-proof' tubes to see if that helps. If nothing else, it will add a little weight to the wheel-- to enhance the training effect

ANyway, it was beautiful riding in this morning... the fog was so thick I didn't see any other riders (actually I did--but they were very few and far between...)

train safe--

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Old 12-14-06, 10:16 AM
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Yesterdays commute was a fast one. The weather.com said that I had a 3mph tailwind going to work. But I think it was a bit more. I had a 24 mph average speed and maded it in very good time with a max speed of 31.2 mph. Going home I had a solwer rid but still had a average speed of 18.6 mph. Very nice commute all around.
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Old 12-14-06, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by buelito
I have been jinxed by the original poosting on this link... My fixie had a flat over the weekend, which I fixed, and it promptly flatted. This happened through 3 tubes... yes, I checked the inside of the tire, and the rim, and found nothing. I changed it again and let it sit for 3 days. This morning, it was still holding about 85 pounds of pressure, so I decided to ride in with it. I got almost to work... Half a block away, it was flat. I pumped it up, and it seems to be holding air. I will now go out and buy one of those 'thorn-proof' tubes to see if that helps. If nothing else, it will add a little weight to the wheel-- to enhance the training effect

ANyway, it was beautiful riding in this morning... the fog was so thick I didn't see any other riders (actually I did--but they were very few and far between...)

train safe--

PURA VIDA!
Looks like the flat fairy has moved to you. I have been flat free since the original post. Weird how thye come in groupls like that. Incredibaly warm today. Supposed to be int he 50s this afternoon. In Vermont, in December!
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Old 12-14-06, 11:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Marylandnewbie
Clifton -- OK that is some serious weather!!
I drove today because while I can deal with the 18mph tailwind on the way to work, the local weather crews were calling for 50+ gusts on the evening commute. I'll ride in anything up to 40+ gusts, but 50+ will even blow my behemoth bulk off a bike.
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