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Gearing up for a century

Old 05-26-18, 02:11 PM
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Achilles0557
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Gearing up for a century

Iím gearing up for my first century...maybe in about 8 weeks. Should I bring two extra tubes or is one sufficient?
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Old 05-26-18, 02:23 PM
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I would say it depends upon which tires you are using and what area the ride will be in. I carry one extra tube, a patch kit and a frame pump.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
I would say it depends upon which tires you are using and what area the ride will be in. I carry one extra tube, a patch kit and a frame pump.
i have gatorskinz 28s. Today I did a 50 with them, a little bit slower, but still fun. I carried two today and a hand pump in my jersey pocket. My CO2 just came in tho.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:44 PM
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How could one answer that? You could ride 5 centuries without flats or have 4 flats in one. Whatever you do, carry a patch kit.
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Old 05-26-18, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
How could one answer that? You could ride 5 centuries without flats or have 4 flats in one. Whatever you do, carry a patch kit.
okay...Iím addition to the patch kit, would you carry one extra tube, or two? I
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Old 05-26-18, 03:00 PM
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If you have less than one flat per 1,000 miles of cycling, ride tires that are not excessively worn at the proper inflation for you and the road surfaces encountered, can handily change a tube and get back on the road unaided with the kit/pump/CO2 carried on every ride: Good to go.

An organized century event will have mechanical support and other riders for company.
A solo self-supported 100 miles venturing into new terrain & road surfaces beyond cell range for the Mommy-Van-Call-of-Shame might well endure the extra burden imposed by a second inner tube and a real frame pump.

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Old 05-26-18, 03:25 PM
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Carry whatever you carry for a normal ride. That's all.


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Old 05-26-18, 03:39 PM
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Thanks for the advice guys. Thatís what I was looking for
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Old 05-26-18, 05:03 PM
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If flats are not a frequent occurance where you ride, then one extra tube and a patch kit should be plenty. I've had irregular luck with CO2, so I just carry a frame pump.
On a supported, group ride, you can get help from the other riders and support crew if you have a run of bad luck and get a bunch of flats.
Doing a solo ride; a second tube is good insurance.
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Old 05-26-18, 05:11 PM
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My rules have nothing to do with the distance of the ride...

1. When riding reasonably close to home and/or easily rescued with a cell phone call - 1 spare tube, patch kit, and CO2 (or pump).
2. When riding far from home and/or not easily rescued with a cell phone call - 2 spare tubes, tire boot, patch kit, pump, schreder to presta adapter, good condition tires.

I generally ride solo. If i were with a large group, I would be less concerned, but would still follow the rules because there is no guarantee the other riders will be prepared to help you out.

Last edited by mihlbach; 05-26-18 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 05-26-18, 05:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Achilles0557 View Post


okay...I’m addition to the patch kit, would you carry one extra tube, or two? I
I'd carry 2, but wouldn't be worried if I had only 1 (e. g. lending one to a friend at the start).
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Old 05-27-18, 12:22 AM
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I have a seat bag and I often ride long rides, so I always have two new, ie UNPATCHED, tubes in the seat bag. I also carry a patch kit.

YMMV. Until my cats learn to drive, I have to find and beg a friend if I get stranded. Or get a Lyft.
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Old 05-27-18, 03:54 AM
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I personally carry just one tube on paved rides although I may bring a second tube on gravel rides where the conditions are more sketchy. Then, a couple CO2 and a frame pump along with a patch kit (which I've never used and not sure I'd know how but it makes me feel better). Aside from all that, I'm not one to try to get the very last mile out of my tires - I don't wait until I start getting flats or can see the underlying cords to change tires. I generally am a cheapskate and try to get the last day and last mile out of what I buy but, with tires, I'll just be a bit proactive to change them to reduce the risk of flats a bit more. And, my criteria for tire purchases is puncture resistance vs. speed. That approach seems to have worked since (touch wood) I don't get many flats.
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Old 05-27-18, 04:01 AM
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depends entirely on the area you are riding. if there are bike stores around and open during the time/day/area you are riding, then two spare tubes on your person are likely enough.
if you are riding overnight/early or late afternoon/evening in the same area, i'd rock 3 or 4 tubes since the support stores will be closed. if you're riding in the boonies where there are
zero support stores within 8-infinity miles regardless of time of day, you'd best be packing 4 tubes and a realistic way to fill them and get back on the road. i had 4 flats (all thorn punctures)
on an 80 mile ride in the boonies on brand new tires and had to beg an inner tube from a passing skeptical rider at sundown and then ride nearly 2 hours mostly uphill in the dark without front lights.
no fun and not recommended.

Last edited by ooga-booga; 05-27-18 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 05-27-18, 04:04 AM
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Gearing up for a century
Originally Posted by Achilles0557 View Post
I’m gearing up for my first century...maybe in about 8 weeks. Should I bring two extra tubes or is one sufficient?
Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Carry whatever you carry for a normal ride. That's all.
Presumably you have been training with long rides for this century. A recent thread, “Do I have to train for a charity century?” (link) offers a common tip that that it’s a good idea to work up to riding about 75 miles. I consider a training ride at least about 40 miles. At those distances, you learn about problems and solutions that might occur on a century ride.


For my last major ride to which I had to drive a few hundred miles, I posted about making a list, though apparently I had not specifically included tubes (usually two in my attached toolbag anyways).
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Well you should see my packing list…hate to arrive on time, having forgotten my bike (helmet, gloves, shoes, pump, tools, shorts, water bottle, computer, lights, extra valve stem caps…); never happened.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 05-27-18 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 05-27-18, 04:22 AM
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I don't bother with patch kits, except for touring over several days. New inner tubes as mentioned are the way to go, and much quicker to get you going again.
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Old 05-27-18, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Gearing up for a century Presumably you have been training with long rides for this century.).


I havenít done really any training. This was only my second week of road biking. But my first week, I did a solo 50, people say I did better than average on the time. And yesterday I did another solo 50...almost a half mile her hour slower... but the tropical storm brought headwinds for the second half of the ride as well as 5 miles of unexpected dirt roads. Piss poor planning on my part. Iím going to keep doing those distances until the weather gets a little cooler, hopefully by then I can find a buddy to ride with.
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Old 05-27-18, 07:03 AM
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Are you worried about weight of the second tube? do you realize how much water and food for a century weighs?

As for me, i have 2 spare tubes and patch kit. On my first ride i only had one tube and a patch kit and had a flat the patch didn't fix (at home it turned out there was a second hole next to it). but since i then didn't have a spare had to turn around. that spare tube also had a bent valve (it worked, but made me nervous). Brand new tubes can have holes, patch kits can dry out....

This year I went tubeless. I still have my 2 tubes and patchkit. but have a tire boot kit, tire repair kit and 2oz bottle sealant in addition to the above.
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Old 05-27-18, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
do you realize how much water and food for a century weighs?
Food weighs nothing to little if it's an organized ride with frequent rest stops. Even if it's not and there are frequent enough places along the way to stop you don't need much food, if any.
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Old 05-27-18, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Food weighs nothing to little if it's an organized ride with frequent rest stops. Even if it's not and there are frequent enough places along the way to stop you don't need much food, if any.
I assumed the OP was interested in some self-reliance.
Of course, one always can bring nothing and rely on others to be prepared and help out.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
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Old 05-27-18, 09:13 AM
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I always have 2 tubes in my seat bag. They're not heavy.
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Old 05-27-18, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun View Post
I assumed the OP was interested in some self-reliance.
Of course, one always can bring nothing and rely on others to be prepared and help out.

Prepare for the worst, hope for the best.
s

Its not organized, just gonna go out and ride. I drank one bottle of water and didnít eat any food when I rode 50 miles....and I did that in three hours. So Iím guessing double that? Maybe some gels? Like I said....new to road biking.
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Old 05-27-18, 10:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Achilles0557 View Post
s

Its not organized, just gonna go out and ride. I drank one bottle of water and didnít eat any food when I rode 50 miles....and I did that in three hours. So Iím guessing double that? Maybe some gels? Like I said....new to road biking.
You sound like you are in pretty good condition to knock off a casual 50 as a beginner. My wife did her first century (behind me on a tandem) 2 months after the first ride of her life.

On the other hand an old friend used to say, "100 miles is twice as far as 75".

My M.O. is, don't skimp on food and hydration. Unless you are trying to set a record, stop 60 miles in and have a nice lunch.
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Old 05-27-18, 01:10 PM
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My one and only century ride I had my usual spare tube & patch kit. Didn't need either one. Last flat I had was on a relatively short (<20 miles) ride.
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Old 05-27-18, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Achilles0557 View Post
s

Its not organized, just gonna go out and ride. I drank one bottle of water and didn’t eat any food when I rode 50 miles....and I did that in three hours. So I’m guessing double that? Maybe some gels? Like I said....new to road biking.
Are you new to endurance sports in general, or just cycling? A lot of it is knowing what you need. I typically go through a bottle every 20-25 miles, or so, so i carry two bottles, and try to make sure i've got a refill point somewhere around halfway. I tend to sweat out a lot of fluids, so i can never carry 'too much water'.

Same goes for food. The general rule is 200-300 calories every 2 hrs / 25 miles. I like real foods like nuts, dates and fig bars. Things like Clif bars are OK, but they always seem to sit 'heavy' in my gut for a while. I'm not a huge fan of gels; within about 1 hour on the bike, or 30 minutes if i'm running, I will need a bathroom. I keep one of the high-caffeine ones in my bag 'in case of emergency'
Calorie needs differ on the ride, too. You will probably burn a lot less energy at 17mph on a flat Florida NF road, than humping up and down hills at 12 mph in the Smokies.

Always better to bring more than you think you'll need and not need it, than not bring enough and wish you had.
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