Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

The Double Flat Blues

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

The Double Flat Blues

Old 07-23-20, 10:31 AM
  #1  
sanmateoclimber
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
The Double Flat Blues

The other day I was cruising along minding my own business when, suddenly: BUMP-BUMP-hiss-hiss. I have no idea how I didn't see the rock sitting right in the middle of the shoulder, or how I managed to nail it so perfectly with both wheels, but RIP both my tubes. With only one spare, I had to call the ol' ball and chain for a first-ever rescue mission. Booo, stupid rock.

I know that some riders carry multiple spares and multiple CO2 cartridges, but I've always dismissed that as overkill. Sure maaaaybe some day I would experience two flats in one ride, but the odds seemed low enough to not justify schlepping the extra gear. And while I take the occasional 80 mile ride that gets me out into pretty rural areas, my rides never put me in a situation where I would be in actual danger if I got stranded.

Obviously, my recent fall from grace has me re-questioning the cost/benefit of being prepared for multiple flats on a ride. So my question to experienced road cyclists is this: was this a freak occurrence, and can I dismiss it as such? Or do those of you who ride several thousand miles a year on tubed tires all prepare for this as an eventuality? Is this the sort of event that drives a man to a tubeless setup? My new wheels are tubeless ready but I've generally been happy with my tubed lifestyle up to now. Any thoughts/advice appreciated, thanks.
sanmateoclimber is offline  
Likes For sanmateoclimber:
Old 07-23-20, 10:35 AM
  #2  
big john
Senior Member
 
big john's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: In the foothills of Los Angeles County
Posts: 14,412
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1512 Post(s)
Liked 973 Times in 591 Posts
I carry a patch kit and a mini pump along with a spare tube and 2 co2 cartridges. Sometimes I will bring a second tube but the patch kit gives me security.
big john is online now  
Likes For big john:
Old 07-23-20, 11:18 AM
  #3  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 30,673

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 338 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13618 Post(s)
Liked 2,878 Times in 1,543 Posts
I always carried a tube and a patch kit, just in case. Particularly on longer rides, it gives a little more peace of mind.

If you're generally happy with tubes, don't worry about tubeless, 'specially due to a freak incident. Go to tubeless if you get relatively small punctures (<1/4") pretty regularly and you're tired of changing tubes on the side of the road.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 07-23-20, 11:18 AM
  #4  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,684

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2411 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 844 Times in 571 Posts
Two tubes, patch kit and frame pump. always. In my sewup days, good spare, patch kit and frame pump. (Zephal HPs then, HPXs now.)

I've never owned or used either a mini pump or CO2. I have had rides where I've used most of my resources. (Both tubes and several patches one ride. Granted, that was because both my brand new latex tubes blew out at the valve/tube juncture; something I have never seen before or since. (And no, not from the valve being manhandled with a pump. The tube was glues to a short piece of heavier tube with the valve. That glue joint failed in a slow blowout. Both tubes 10 miles into a 100 mile ride and a mile apart. Got another (or two, I forget) routine flat. Stopped 15 miles from home at a Fred Meyer (the store that carries everything) and bought a miserable tube and patchkit - just because. It worked, No more flats.

A thousand years ago, I rode from Boston to Fitchberg to watch the Longsjo Classic and the country's best racers. Got my second flat on the way home and patched the sewup on the side of the road 30 miles from home.

Now those are my most notable success stories re: flats - over 200,000 miles of riding. I look at it as good ol' Murphy's Law. That being prepared goes a long ways to stuff NOT happening. But even so, sooner or later, it does.

Oh, and frame pumps! What a blessing! They allow you to be tired, spacey, clumsy and on and on. Screw up and pinch the tube?. Have a really bad day with thorns? Patch it and try again, You can do this until you run out of patches. (Did you bring that much CO2? Are you willing to pump up that many times with a mini pump? And being able to stop and top off pressure just because. Get to gravel? drop the pressure, Back on pavement, Pump it back up. Racing a slow leak home? Want 110 psi, not 105? No problem. (In my racing days, I lent my frame pump to a skinny engineer/ post 40 yo time trial rider to pump his race tires to 120 psi. He had no trouble doing it. That pump and the others on my other bikes were the only pumps I owned when I raced. No floor pump, no compressor, no CO2. All my tires were sewups. Race tires had latex tubes and needed to be pumped from near scratch every time.

The manufacturers of carbon fiber bikes have done their best to obsolete frame pumps but as long as pneumatic tires of most of 100 psi are critical, good frame pumps will always be a blessing for those wiling to carry them. (And with all the freedom CF gives in design, why doesn't someone make a CF frame with sexy, near integral TT frame pump stowage? They've done everything else - except get around this issue of needing high pressure air.)

Ben (off on one of his favorite rants)
79pmooney is online now  
Old 07-23-20, 11:19 AM
  #5  
seedsbelize 
smelling the roses
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Tixkokob, Yucatán, México
Posts: 14,089

Bikes: 79 Trek 930, 80 Trek 414, 84 Schwinn Letour Luxe (coupled), 92 Schwinn Paramount PDG 5

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6340 Post(s)
Liked 588 Times in 391 Posts
I used to always carry two tubes and a patch kit. Now, in the age of cellphones, and shorter rides, one tube and a patch kit, and rarely use either one out on the roads I now ride. Just last week I had to make the call of shame for a disintegrated rd. You can't plan for everything
Of course a frame pump is a given

Last edited by seedsbelize; 07-23-20 at 11:26 AM.
seedsbelize is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 11:24 AM
  #6  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 30,673

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 338 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13618 Post(s)
Liked 2,878 Times in 1,543 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
They've done everything else - except get around this issue of needing high pressure air.
FWIW, wider, lower pressure tires/rims are becoming the norm. I don't go much past 60psi on 28mm tires and I'm at ~185lbs.
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 07-23-20, 11:31 AM
  #7  
genejockey
Klaatu..Verata..Necktie?
 
genejockey's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 2,246

Bikes: Canyon Endurace, 105; Battaglin MAX, Chorus; Bianchi 928 Veloce; Ritchey Road Logic, Dura Ace

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 620 Post(s)
Liked 769 Times in 405 Posts
In tthe pre-cell phone days, I started out carrying a tube, some glueless patches, levers, and a frame pump. That worked till the day my spare blew on the way home. Then I started carrying TWO tubes, which worked till I got a bad enough hole in the tire that I blew both spares, notwithstanding my improvised Clif Bar wrapper boot, and had to walk a mile in cleats.

Then I got a bike that wouldn't take a frame pump. SO I tried CO2. But my luck with tires had improved so much that even though I'd practiced the whole scenario at home, by the time I needed it on the road, I must have forgotten how to do it because I blew two cartridges of CO2 just inserting them in the inflator. And had to walk a mile in cleats back to the car.

So, now I carry a tube, levers, a minipump (or frame pump on my steel bikes), and a cell phone.
genejockey is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 11:36 AM
  #8  
bruce19
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 7,336

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1232 Post(s)
Liked 576 Times in 347 Posts
I've had that double flat experience. Hit a pot hole at speed. Fortunately I was carrying a tube and was with my GF and others so there were more tubes available. Patching tubes on the road is a crap shoot,although I have done it. Since going tubeless...no flats...no worries. I'm also faster and spinning more easily and at age 74 that's a gift.
bruce19 is offline  
Likes For bruce19:
Old 07-23-20, 11:42 AM
  #9  
RedBullFiXX
Senior Member
 
RedBullFiXX's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: SoCal USA
Posts: 188
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 73 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 33 Posts
Tubes are still a thing ?
RedBullFiXX is offline  
Likes For RedBullFiXX:
Old 07-23-20, 12:15 PM
  #10  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 6,167

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3128 Post(s)
Liked 477 Times in 353 Posts
There's really never a reason to not bring 2-3 glueless patches.. they're about the size of a bandaid. You only need it to last til you get home. An extra CO2 is pretty small as well.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 01:13 PM
  #11  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,684

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2411 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 844 Times in 571 Posts
"The Double Flat Blues". A favorite of harmonica players.
79pmooney is online now  
Old 07-23-20, 01:23 PM
  #12  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
Your decision.

I carry a spare tube and C02 for single flats, but also have a mini-pump and quick peel/stick patches in case of super bad luck.

Whether or not to go tubeless is way too complicated and controversial to answer easily. (hint, the answer is on the board)
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Likes For datlas:
Old 07-23-20, 01:32 PM
  #13  
noisebeam
Arizona Dessert
 
noisebeam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: AZ
Posts: 14,884

Bikes: Cannondale SuperSix, Lemond Poprad. Retired: Jamis Sputnik, Centurion LeMans Fixed, Diamond Back ascent ex

Mentioned: 65 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4354 Post(s)
Liked 935 Times in 536 Posts
Double flats are not that common but failure to properly diagnose and/or repair a flat can be resulting in the need for 2nd repair immediately. Like most others I bring both tubes and a patch kit.

(If you get an obvious location of a simple puncture (say a thorn stuck on outside of tire) it can often be quicker to keep wheel on bike, pull out the affected section of tube, patch it, make sure thorn is fully gone, stuff it back, inflate and go than a full tube replacement. I learned this from my fixie days when I didn't like to remove my rear wheel.)
noisebeam is offline  
Likes For noisebeam:
Old 07-23-20, 01:57 PM
  #14  
Trakhak
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,142
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 583 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 150 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
"The Double Flat Blues". A favorite of harmonica players.
Trakhak is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 05:52 PM
  #15  
sanmateoclimber
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 69
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 41 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 21 Posts
Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
There's really never a reason to not bring 2-3 glueless patches.. they're about the size of a bandaid. You only need it to last til you get home. An extra CO2 is pretty small as well.
This is obviously a sensible compromise. I had one bad experience with a cheap patch and kind of wrote them off, but they are an easy way to safeguard against a calamity like this without having to carry a boatload of extra tubes. Thanks folks.
sanmateoclimber is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 06:30 PM
  #16  
datlas 
Beyond Bogus
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 32,972

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 462 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12824 Post(s)
Liked 1,806 Times in 957 Posts
BTW did you try the “tie a knot in it” trick? I suspect it does work but with a soft spot at site of knot.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28 View Post
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 07:07 PM
  #17  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,684

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2411 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 844 Times in 571 Posts
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
FWIW, wider, lower pressure tires/rims are becoming the norm. I don't go much past 60psi on 28mm tires and I'm at ~185lbs.
I know, I still don't get it. I just came home from 65 miles on my basically race ti fix gear. Put 100 psi into my 24/25c tires. Never once occurred to me I wanted lower pressure.

I have a theory that in general carbon bikes are less comfortable on rougher surfaces than steel or ti, hence the love of softer, wider tires. (And it isn't just me with this theory. At Cycle Oregon, it's a running joke among the ti and steel riders that we have to be ready to hit the brakes anytime we hit chip seal because all the carbon bikes around us slow down.) I suspect modern, deep rims add to this.

Ben
79pmooney is online now  
Old 07-23-20, 07:10 PM
  #18  
woofy
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 33
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 5 Posts
Originally Posted by big john View Post
I carry a patch kit and a mini pump along with a spare tube and 2 co2 cartridges. Sometimes I will bring a second tube but the patch kit gives me security.
Wow... precisely my strategy. One of the flats will be fixable with a patch kit. For the other I have a tube.Two Co2 cartridges against off chance of two flats. Feels covered to me. This should be a rare occasion. Perhaps not quite freakish, but close.
woofy is offline  
Old 07-23-20, 07:14 PM
  #19  
WhyFi
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 30,673

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 338 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 13618 Post(s)
Liked 2,878 Times in 1,543 Posts
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I have a theory that in general carbon bikes are less comfortable on rougher surfaces than steel or ti, hence the love of softer, wider tires.
Or it could be all of the work that's shown that these tires are faster over real world surfaces. *shrug*
WhyFi is offline  
Likes For WhyFi:
Old 07-24-20, 06:00 AM
  #20  
dr_max
Senior Member
 
dr_max's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Montreal
Posts: 378

Bikes: BMC SLC01 Promachine with full DA grupo on Ksyrium ES/ BMC Roadmachine 01 One disc Ultegra with DT Swiss

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Liked 45 Times in 27 Posts
Originally Posted by sanmateoclimber View Post
The other day I was cruising along minding my own business when, suddenly: BUMP-BUMP-hiss-hiss. I have no idea how I didn't see the rock sitting right in the middle of the shoulder, or how I managed to nail it so perfectly with both wheels, but RIP both my tubes. With only one spare, I had to call the ol' ball and chain for a first-ever rescue mission. Booo, stupid rock.

I know that some riders carry multiple spares and multiple CO2 cartridges, but I've always dismissed that as overkill. Sure maaaaybe some day I would experience two flats in one ride, but the odds seemed low enough to not justify schlepping the extra gear. And while I take the occasional 80 mile ride that gets me out into pretty rural areas, my rides never put me in a situation where I would be in actual danger if I got stranded.

Obviously, my recent fall from grace has me re-questioning the cost/benefit of being prepared for multiple flats on a ride. So my question to experienced road cyclists is this: was this a freak occurrence, and can I dismiss it as such? Or do those of you who ride several thousand miles a year on tubed tires all prepare for this as an eventuality? Is this the sort of event that drives a man to a tubeless setup? My new wheels are tubeless ready but I've generally been happy with my tubed lifestyle up to now. Any thoughts/advice appreciated, thanks.
during my first cycling years I was riding a 7 days tour ride and one day we had 80miles cover and it started raining at the end of the day. Got 5 flats on my Shwalbe. I had patches that day and my mini foot pump. People that have only CO2 cans like it because it’s faster and less effortless but on bad rainy days with gravel roads. A spare tube, patch lot and minipump can make a great difference.
dr_max is offline  
Old 07-24-20, 10:50 AM
  #21  
bikecrate
Senior Member
 
bikecrate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: LF, APMAT
Posts: 2,517
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 524 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 156 Times in 95 Posts
I have run over a rock and double flatted at one time. That was the only time I've had two flats simultaneously. This was during my lazy period when I wasn't checking my tire pressure like I should. I was only 5 minutes walk from home, so no big deal.

I do carry two tubes, patches and a frame pump. I have had multiple flats on one ride. Recently, I was in the middle of nowhere with no cell coverage. For the foreseeable future I will continue carrying my flat repair kit.
bikecrate is offline  
Old 07-24-20, 11:56 AM
  #22  
Carbonfiberboy 
just another gosling
 
Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Everett, WA
Posts: 16,523

Bikes: CoMo Speedster 2003, Trek 5200, CAAD 9, Fred 2004

Mentioned: 102 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2469 Post(s)
Liked 536 Times in 392 Posts
2 tubes, patch kit, boot kit, spare tire, Road Morph G pump. Each one of those items is there to solve a problem I had. Haven't had a problem since, but there's always tomorrow..
__________________
Results matter
Carbonfiberboy is online now  
Old 07-24-20, 12:05 PM
  #23  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,684

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2411 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 844 Times in 571 Posts
Another reason for higher than the now popular tire pressures - resistance to pinch flats. I do not know the details of the OP's flats but they sound like pinch flats. The hiss, the lack of blowout from slashed tire. Granted, tubeless is a good way to avoid pinch flats. Tubulars also reduce the likelihood a lot.

OP, would you like to tell us what tire size and pressure you were running? Your weight too if that's not too much to ask. (My 100 psi is with 24c ties and 155 pounds.)

Ben
79pmooney is online now  
Old 07-24-20, 12:07 PM
  #24  
79pmooney
A Roadie Forever
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 8,684

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 100 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2411 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 844 Times in 571 Posts
Originally Posted by dr_max View Post
.. A spare tube, patch lot and minipump can make a great difference.
But a full frame pump will make a smaller difference! As in, you'll have far less (unpleasant) memories of all those pump-ups.
79pmooney is online now  
Old 07-24-20, 12:16 PM
  #25  
Jack Tone 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 167
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 91 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 42 Times in 31 Posts
I live in goat head country so I always carry two tubes. Once, on a group ride with maybe 10 riders, we crossed a bridge where someone had dumped a box or two of tacks on the road. We all had several tacks in each tire. It must have looked funny to see a whole group with their bikes disassembled on the side of the road. It wasn't funny at the time. Somehow we had enough tubes to go around and we all made it home.
Jack Tone is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.