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My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???

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My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???

Old 01-18-23, 08:41 PM
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My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???

I get it now. I totally understand why some of you guys carry a small pump instead of just relying on CO2.

I went for a fairly short ride today, about 20-ish miles. My route is effectively a T. I leave my house, ride out to the highway, about six miles, then turn right for about four miles to my turn around point. I then ride back, past my T intersection, about another four miles to my second turn around point, then back to the T intersection and head home. Easy enough. Total ride is just over 20 miles total. It's one of my "easy" routes.

But today was not my day. Before I left, I aired up my tires to 90psi. This bike had been sitting a couple weeks and they were feeling a little soft, better get ahead of problems, right? Only prudent. So off I go. I make it to my T intersection and make my right turn. I'm about half way to that first turn around and the rear tire is feeling kind of weird. Stop to check and sure enough it's almost flat. WTH??? I pull it off and look but find no signs of a puncture. I carry a spare tube and two CO2 canisters in my tool bag. Swap out the tube, put the tire back on and air it up.

At this point, I'm wondering if I should err on the side of caution and cut the ride short, but this is a short ride anyway, so damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead! I get to my turn around and head the other way. I get to my second turn around and head back towards my T intersection. Is that back tire feeling soft again? Can't be! Pull over, sure enough, it's almost flat again. But I don't have another spare tube.

I do have a second CO2 so I release what little air is in that tube and check for pinches (I did this before I aired it up the first time). I don't see any pinches so no idea what's going on. This tire now has my undivided attention. I check my CO2 charger and surprisingly it still has a little gas left in it. Not much but I'm guessing enough to get a 23c up to maybe 50psi. I ride a little further. I get to my T and the tire is flat again. Swap out CO2 cartridges and air it up all the way this time. That one got me almost back home, but had to stop again and thankfully, I still had just a bit of a charge left in that second cartridge, enough to get me home.

I had other stuff going on here at the house so I haven't had time to check either tube to see what's going on, but I definitely see the advantage to having a small frame mounted pump for just such instances. Damn good thing I wasn't on one of my longer rides that might have put me 30 or 40 miles from the house.

Frame mounted pump added to my Amazon list.
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Old 01-18-23, 08:45 PM
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I don't think the problem was CO2 instead of a pump, it was not checking the tire to find out why you were losing air.
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Old 01-18-23, 08:51 PM
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I carry one CO2, one tube, one mini pump and one little patch kit. I'll bet the patch kit doesn't take up any more space than that second CO2 and is a lot better when the chips are down. Also, did you carefully check the inside of the tire for whatever caused the flat?
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Old 01-18-23, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
I don't think the problem was CO2 instead of a pump, it was not checking the tire to find out why you were losing air.
I did. I generally find a wire or cut or some such thing to explain why I have a flat. Not this time. I spent several minutes on the side of the road, running bare fingers on the inside of that casing, feeling for anything that might be stabbing the tube. Nothing found. At least not then. I'll spend some time this weekend and investigate more thoroughly and report my findings.
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Old 01-18-23, 08:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Camilo
I carry one CO2, one tube, one mini pump and one little patch kit. I'll bet the patch kit doesn't take up any more space than that second CO2 and is a lot better when the chips are down. Also, did you carefully check the inside of the tire for whatever caused the flat?
Probably because of my own inability, I've never had much luck with those roadside patch kits. I haven't figured out why.

I do have very good luck patching tubes at home using old tube patches and rubber cement. Probably better than 90% success with that. But that doesn't do me much good when my verified spare tubes are in the garage and I'm stuck on the side of the road, does it?
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Old 01-18-23, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
I did. I generally find a wire or cut or some such thing to explain why I have a flat. Not this time. I spent several minutes on the side of the road, running bare fingers on the inside of that casing, feeling for anything that might be stabbing the tube. Nothing found. At least not then. I'll spend some time this weekend and investigate more thoroughly and report my findings.
Then it was, in fact, just bad luck.
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Old 01-18-23, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Probably because of my own inability, I've never had much luck with those roadside patch kits. I haven't figured out why.

I do have very good luck patching tubes at home using old tube patches and rubber cement. Probably better than 90% success with that. But that doesn't do me much good when my verified spare tubes are in the garage and I'm stuck on the side of the road, does it?
It is indeed tougher to patch a tube on the side of the road, for me because of (lack of) patience, I think. You might try doing some at-home patches with the little kit just to get familiar with it. For years I did my home patches that way with Rema or Park kits. Only recently, for at home, I've been buying the same glue in larger tubes and patches in larger/bulk quantities. I also buy quantities of the little patch glue tubes to replace the ones in the roadside kits because it's hard to count on them being viable once opened. I'll leave the opened ones at home for at-home patches in case they still have life in them.

But I agree, it's a royal pain to patch a tube on the side of the road. If it's raining, worse yet. If it weren't for the fact that it's been many, many years since I had two flats on the same ride, i'd probably carry two spare tubes and put the roadside patch even further down the list of interventions.
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Old 01-18-23, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
I did. I generally find a wire or cut or some such thing to explain why I have a flat. Not this time. I spent several minutes on the side of the road, running bare fingers on the inside of that casing, feeling for anything that might be stabbing the tube. Nothing found. At least not then. I'll spend some time this weekend and investigate more thoroughly and report my findings.
I've had a couple glass shards recently that flatted my tires. One wasn't palpable on the inside of the casing. I only found it by going over the outside of the tire very carefully, till I saw a whitish dot, about 1mm in diameter that wouldn't wipe off. I had to pick at it and flex the tire and I ended up with this....


The second one, a similar piece of glass had worked its way all the way through the casing and was lying on the inside of the tire when I pulled the tube out.

So far this year, what with all the rain, I've managed 4 outdoor rides, and flatted on 3 of them. One was supposed to be a quick spin around the neighborhood to try out a new saddle for position. Just 2 miles. Who needs a pump and a spare tube for a 2 mile ride?

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Old 01-18-23, 09:55 PM
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Man, that is bad luck!
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Old 01-18-23, 10:09 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Man, that is bad luck!
Agreed. Note to self....skip the patch kits, carry two tube ALL the time.
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Old 01-18-23, 10:59 PM
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Wait until a wire bead tire decides to poke its' metal wire inward. Defective tires get me more when everything is new, compared to road debris.
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Old 01-18-23, 11:23 PM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
...I've never had much luck with those roadside patch kits.
Yep... And ya do carry a spare tube... Before I went to Continental Ride Tour tires I was getting flats every now and then. I don't carry a spare tube but still think I should. I do carry a small hand pump, and a Mini Patch kit in which I have added an unopened tube of Super Glue along with the vulcanizing cement, tooth pick, razor blade, and a scab patch. I prefer the Lezyne type mini pump. Its not much bigger then your CO2 device. Ha... Ya probably won't get another flat for years to come. Also, some times with flats it's just your turn...


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Old 01-18-23, 11:36 PM
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With a pump and patch kit, you can fix a lot of flats. Adding n tubes makes the first n repairs quicker. Same for CO2. But ride long enough and far enough, you'll hit n+1 flats.

The pump also lets you inflate the punctured tube, to find the hole, as many times as necessary.
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Old 01-18-23, 11:50 PM
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Glue less patch kits can be a lifesaver when you run out of spare tubes on a ride. I've had the situation of having mystery flats on a ride & went through all my tubes. The glue less patch kit takes up so little space & can make the difference between getting home under your own power vs being stranded in the middle of no where. The mystery flats were caused by rim tape failure. Although the wheelset wasn't used as often, it was older & the rim tape had deteriorated due to age. Once I replaced the rim tape, no more flats. So if there is no evidence of glass or any other debris causing flats or snakebite marks....then inspect your rim tape carefully.

Just another caveat. If you do use glue less patches on a ride, be sure to replace it with a real patch after you get home. Glue less patches are only a temporary fix & are not meant as a long term fix because from my own experience they will eventually fail sooner than later.

Last edited by stan01; 01-18-23 at 11:54 PM.
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Old 01-18-23, 11:53 PM
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Ran into a guy with a flat last summer and offered help. He told me he was 25 miles from home and already had 3 flats. Used both spare tubes and his only patch and now was SOL. I was riding one of my tubeless bikes and remembered that I had a new patch kit in my saddle bag (which was now useless to me). I gave him the kit and wished him better luck and told him to sweep in the inside of the tire with his fingers.

I run both tubed and tubeless road bikes. I only do short hauls (less the 40 miles) on the tubed bike because I hate repairing flats. Over 8000 miles on the tubeless with zero flats, but I live in the country with little broken glass and crap like I used to encounter in the city.
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Old 01-19-23, 12:09 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
Ran into a guy with a flat last summer and offered help. He told me he was 25 miles from home and already had 3 flats. Used both spare tubes and his only patch and now was SOL. I was riding one of my tubeless bikes and remembered that I had a new patch kit in my saddle bag (which was now useless to me). I gave him the kit and wished him better luck and told him to sweep in the inside of the tire with his fingers.

I run both tubed and tubeless road bikes. I only do short hauls (less the 40 miles) on the tubed bike because I hate repairing flats. Over 8000 miles on the tubeless with zero flats, but I live in the country with little broken glass and crap like I used to encounter in the city.
running TL is nice as it can enable a lower psi, which not only adds potential comfort, but reduces the pumps needed.
I like running TL, but I still carry a spare tube, a HD patch kit that can serve as a tire boot, & some spare sealant (that I replace annually) . The sealant has been all I've used up so far in the event of a PSI loss. Once below a certain PSI, I pick out the debris, I dump in the sealant & air it back up.
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Old 01-19-23, 12:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Wait until a wire bead tire decides to poke its' metal wire inward. Defective tires get me more when everything is new, compared to road debris.
The bane of my existence, and probably the source of greater than 80% of all the punctures I've ever had have been the steel belts from auto tires. I know that's not what you meant, but that has been my experience. Because I live in a small town, one of the few roads with a shoulder suitable for riding is the main highway into/out of town. It is often littered with tire blowout debris. Those steel belts are like a magnet to my tires. Every time I see shards of tire on the shoulder I just shudder. It almost feels like an inevitability I'm going to pick up the tiniest piece of steel known to man.
Originally Posted by stan01
Glue less patch kits can be a lifesaver when you run out of spare tubes on a ride. I've had the situation of having mystery flats on a ride & went through all my tubes. The glue less patch kit takes up so little space & can make the difference between getting home under your own power vs being stranded in the middle of no where. The mystery flats were caused by rim tape failure. Although the wheelset wasn't used as often, it was older & the rim tape had deteriorated due to age. Once I replaced the rim tape, no more flats. So if there is no evidence of glass or any other debris causing flats or snakebite marks....then inspect your rim tape carefully.

Just another caveat. If you do use glue less patches on a ride, be sure to replace it with a real patch after you get home. Glue less patches are only a temporary fix & are not meant as a long term fix because from my own experience they will eventually fail sooner than later.
I took a look at the rim tape while I was on the side of the road, but I didn't see anything obvious. I'll check it again when I fix it this weekend.
Originally Posted by zandoval
Yep... And ya do carry a spare tube... Before I went to Continental Ride Tour tires I was getting flats every now and then. I don't carry a spare tube but still think I should. I do carry a small hand pump, and a Mini Patch kit in which I have added an unopened tube of Super Glue along with the vulcanizing cement, tooth pick, razor blade, and a scab patch. I prefer the Lezyne type mini pump. Its not much bigger then your CO2 device. Ha... Ya probably won't get another flat for years to come. Also, some times with flats it's just your turn...


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I will check that pump out. Thanks! And as the saying goes, "It is better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it."
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Old 01-19-23, 03:44 AM
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Always carry a pump and always carry more than one spare tube. Don't rely on C02.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:36 AM
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"My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???"

Luck falls to those prepared to receive it.

You have a lot to learn and an attitude that prevents you from doing so.

Not a great combo.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by VegasJen
Probably because of my own inability, I've never had much luck with those roadside patch kits. I haven't figured out why.

I do have very good luck patching tubes at home using old tube patches and rubber cement. Probably better than 90% success with that. But that doesn't do me much good when my verified spare tubes are in the garage and I'm stuck on the side of the road, does it?
Take a cotton ball and rub it around on the inside of the tire. If there is something there the cotton ball will catch it. Make sure there are no spokes poking though the rim strip and into the tube.

Get yourself this patch kit. You'll never mess with old school glue patches again after using these.

https://www.parktool.com/en-us/produ...patch-kit-gp-2
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Old 01-19-23, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
"My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???"

Luck falls to those prepared to receive it.

You have a lot to learn and an attitude that prevents you from doing so.

Not a great combo.
Seems kinda dickish.
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Old 01-19-23, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by fishboat
"My luck can't be that bad, can it? Can it???"

Luck falls to those prepared to receive it.

You have a lot to learn and an attitude that prevents you from doing so.

Not a great combo.
Hmm. It seems I started off my original post stating very specifically how I learned a lesson. I guess you missed that part.
Originally Posted by big john
Seems kinda dickish.
Indeed.
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Old 01-19-23, 04:01 PM
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It's not that your luck was that bad, it's just that your time to learn that lesson came. Pump plus patch kit will (almost always) get you to the end of the ride.

Almost always? Like Troul, I've had the wire in a tire break through to the inside. I was over-prepared for my first tour, and went through four (4) tubes before I figured out that rough spot on the tube correlated with a busted tire. Fortunately I had a spare tire with me...
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Old 01-19-23, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
It's not that your luck was that bad, it's just that your time to learn that lesson came. Pump plus patch kit will (almost always) get you to the end of the ride.

Almost always? Like Troul, I've had the wire in a tire break through to the inside. I was over-prepared for my first tour, and went through four (4) tubes before I figured out that rough spot on the tube correlated with a busted tire. Fortunately I had a spare tire with me...
My outlook on it is that, it's impractical to try & be prepared for anything & everything. I just stow what I deem practical. If what I bring is not used, maybe someone else will greatly appreciate it if we cross paths.
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Old 01-19-23, 04:12 PM
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PRO BIKE TOOL has apparently made their mini pump even mini-er. It is now about 6 inches long, where the original was about 10 inches long. It has a gauge, does presta and Shraeder, and the bigger your tire, the more you benefit from the longer stroke, so I found another of the longer ones on ebay.
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