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This just in: Bikes break, tires go flat, stuff happens.

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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

This just in: Bikes break, tires go flat, stuff happens.

Old 05-06-12, 02:02 PM
  #1  
Velo Dog
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This just in: Bikes break, tires go flat, stuff happens.

Nice Sunday here, and I've been off the bike for awhile because of some surgery. I got out this morning for an easy get-back-into-it ride. I live on a popular 20-mile loop from Reno, and it was packed with bikes. What struck me was how many of them were unprepared for any kind of breakdown. I stopped to help three people with flats, and they had no patches, no tools and no pumps. Another guy had shifted the chain off to the inside of the ring and had no clue how to get it back. He was surprised that you could shift to the small cog and get slack in the chain.
When I pointed out that flats are more or less inevitable and you should at least be able to patch or swap a tube, a couple of people laughed. Nobody had tools, and nobody seemed likely to be able to use them if they fell from the sky. The people who'd had flats were just amazed and indignant that God had singled them out...
Note to newbies: if you don't want to do your own work, that's fine. But you WILL have flats, and occasionally even the best-maintained bike will break down. It makes sense to be able to deal with it.
End of lecture.
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Old 05-06-12, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I stopped to help three people with flats, and they had no patches, no tools and no pumps.
I always bring 3 + patch kit just in case.
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Old 05-06-12, 02:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Squirrelli View Post
I always bring 3 + patch kit just in case.
I usually strap my backup bike to my back just to be safe.
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Old 05-06-12, 02:28 PM
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I strap a motorcycle, typically my Ducati 1098, to my back. One never knows when you'll bonk miles from nowhere, or have a major mechanical like a spoke snap. Better safe than sorry.

Originally Posted by Nexx11 View Post
I usually strap my backup bike to my back just to be safe.
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Old 05-06-12, 02:33 PM
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This is *exactly* why I *always* ride with plenty of spares. Spares of everything. Tubes, tires, links, chains, pedals, bar tape, spokes, rims, bars, hubs, chainrings, cogs, derailleurs, etc.

Here is me on a recent granfundo ride. Cannot hurt to be prepared, I reckon.

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Old 05-06-12, 09:13 PM
  #6  
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Old 05-06-12, 09:19 PM
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Guessing they all have a cell phone.

I stop and ask if they need help.
Reply: My Mom, Girl Friend, or Wife, is on the way to pick me up.
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Old 05-06-12, 10:27 PM
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I carry a small selection of tools, spare tube, patch kit, a small frame pump, and an adapter so I can use gas station air compressors. Last week the perfect storm of out of date patches, incompatible tubes, and missing valves had me walking 2 hours back when I could have been having fun. Never again.
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Old 05-06-12, 10:38 PM
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i like to think of my bike as a convenient way to carry my tools, spare tube, and patch kit...
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Old 05-06-12, 11:19 PM
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I bring what need to fix a flat , be prepared.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Another guy had shifted the chain off to the inside of the ring and had no clue how to get it back. He was surprised that you could shift to the small cog and get slack in the chain.
I push forward on the rear derailleur idler pulley to get slack in the chain when that happens. Literally takes about 5 seconds to get the chain back on. Your hands get all greasy though. One time my chain got jammed between the wheel and cassette and I couldn't get it out which meant the walk of shame home that day.
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Old 05-07-12, 12:52 AM
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I had my first flat in like a year just a few days ago. I didn't swap my saddle bag from my old seat which had my tubes. How embarrassing..
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Old 05-07-12, 03:35 AM
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Originally Posted by alexfboyle View Post


yeah, just quick and dirty.
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Old 05-07-12, 04:07 AM
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Stuff like this is why I keep a saddle bag on each bike with the exact same layout on each. Enough to replace a tube and Park mini patch kit. Tools. Everything. I'm waiting on the folding tire to come in so I have one of those to take with me as a spare. Having 1 bad ride will make you think twice. It doesn't take a lot of space to bring a lot of supplies and now that I don't have the van I really don't have a vehicle big enough to carry the bike so I'm walking for sure if I break down.
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Old 05-07-12, 04:52 AM
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I'm always surprised at the posts that describe their backup pan as a cell phone call to their SO. What if a)no cell phone coverage, b)OS is out, c)SO is po'ed about something?
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Old 05-07-12, 05:51 AM
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Were any of them cute girls?
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Old 05-07-12, 06:39 AM
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Camelbak with:

2 tubes, repair kit
Lighter
Swiss Army Knife
bike multi tool
Tiny tactical flash light with bike mount
Carb cubes to eat
long rides, sometimes a first aid kit
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Old 05-07-12, 09:51 AM
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SAG/thread
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Old 05-07-12, 09:57 AM
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It's spring. Cyclists are coming out of the woodwork. These are the people who ride trainers all winter ... if something breaks down while you're riding your bike at home, you can take a shower, put fresh clothes on, and then drive the bike to the shop.
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Old 05-07-12, 10:52 AM
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Juan Foote
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Spring? What Spring? It was "like" spring (or what I recall of it) all winter, w/o the flowers, and now it's gone straight to "why the hell am I doing this?" hot as hell. Oh, you are talking about OTHER places...gotcha. Might have to check that out someday.
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Old 05-07-12, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by and1homer View Post
This is *exactly* why I *always* ride with plenty of spares. Spares of everything. Tubes, tires, links, chains, pedals, bar tape, spokes, rims, bars, hubs, chainrings, cogs, derailleurs, etc.

Here is me on a recent granfundo ride. Cannot hurt to be prepared, I reckon.

In other words, if a cleat fails, you're screwed...
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Old 05-07-12, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
I got out this morning for an easy get-back-into-it ride. I live on a popular 20-mile loop from Reno, and it was packed with bikes. What struck me was how many of them were unprepared for any kind of breakdown. I stopped to help three people with flats,
Sounds like you should pick a less popular place to ride.
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Old 05-07-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by krobinson103 View Post
I carry a small selection of tools, spare tube, patch kit, a small frame pump, and an adapter so I can use gas station air compressors. Last week the perfect storm of out of date patches, incompatible tubes, and missing valves had me walking 2 hours back when I could have been having fun. Never again.
If you are going to be prepared, actually be prepared (in a useful way).
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Old 05-07-12, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
Spring? What Spring? It was "like" spring (or what I recall of it) all winter, w/o the flowers, and now it's gone straight to "why the hell am I doing this?" hot as hell. Oh, you are talking about OTHER places...gotcha. Might have to check that out someday.
So you're telling me we have better weather in Seattle than in Hotlanta?
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Old 05-07-12, 11:24 AM
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Yes, it happens. People get a new bike and ride it a while, never having issues with their new tires and never thinking about what they would do if they had a flat. I mean, we drive every day in our cars and only have flats once every 30,000 miles or so. That would take a million years when you ride 5 miles at a time.
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