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Tire repair supplies on tour?

Old 07-17-11, 12:00 PM
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Tire repair supplies on tour?

I'm leaving for my first weeklong tour in two weeks (Pittsburgh to DC along the GAP and C&O canal).

Believe it or not, after three years and thousands of miles of local riding, I've never had to deal with a flat tire. I guess it must be a combination of regular maintenance, my chosen routes (primarily rural roads and unpaved bike paths) and plain dumb luck.

Obviously, my luck can't hold forever. I took a tire repair course at my LBS to freshen up my skills. I'm also bringing a pump, patch kit, three spare tubes, and a foldable spare tire with me on tour.

For those who have done the GAP/C&O or other similar tours, is this sufficient? I'm told there are convenient bike shops at several of the towns along the route.

Thanks!
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Old 07-17-11, 12:38 PM
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Do you have a pressure gauge?
What tires are you running? New ones?
I assume you have tire levers in the puncture kit? I prefer three levers, others seem to do fine with two.

Apart from that I'd say you're good to go!
Personally I only carry two spare tubes, but one more can't hurt.

Have a great tour!

Last edited by imi; 07-17-11 at 12:42 PM.
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Old 07-17-11, 12:41 PM
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If your tire repair kit is old, be sure to check the glue that comes with the kit, as it won't work if it is too old.

I go on month long rides and don't bother with a spare tire, but I do carry tire boots.

On my last tour, my front tire developed a good-sized hole in it, but, luckily, I noticed when I was in a town with a bike shop where I bought a new tire. Frankly, I'd leave the spare tire at home and just make sure you are starting the tour with good tires.

Also, I only carry two spare tubes on tour. While tubes don't weigh much, every little bit adds ounces that have to go over the hill along with everything else on the bike. I've never run out of tubes before I found a bike shop to buy more.

Have a great time!

Ray
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Old 07-17-11, 02:46 PM
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I was a scout as a boy the motto "Be Prepared" was ingrained into my soul. It has served me well ever since. No matter what I'm doing I always kept that motto in mind. This means that my gear and supplies are always more extensive than what others typically carry. Almost every tour or century ride. I usually end up stopping and helping someone and I usually have whatever it is that they need.
As far as tires and tubes go for daily commuting and short to medium rides. I carry a spare tube, tube patch kit, tire boot, three tire levers and my ever present tool kit. On long unsupported tours I carry two spare tubes and if it's a rail trail type tour I carry a spare folding tire. Some call it excessive or overkill me I call it being prepared!
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Old 07-17-11, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Poppabear
On long unsupported tours I carry two spare tubes and if it's a rail trail type tour I carry a spare folding tire. Some call it excessive or overkill me I call it being prepared!
Two tubes on a long tour isn't overkill. I carry two on every day-long road ride, and I took three during my recent 9-day tour in MT because we had over 50 miles of unpaved roads planned. I know several people who carry spare tires on day-long road rides. The only time I won't carry two tubes is on city rides. I am just not that isolated. I can always catch a bus or cab home if the first fix doesn't work.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:05 PM
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You will be fine, if not overkill bringing 3 tubes. The biggest bike repair problem you might have on the C&O is spoke damage. And make sure all your nut and bolts are tight and CHECK them regularly. Just one lost or busted bolt on your racks can make things quite unpleasant, carry spares. Best wishes.
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Old 07-17-11, 09:40 PM
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I carry pretty much what you are planing on carrying. I like specific stuff, Quick Stick because it makes tire removal effortless, Road Morph pump, because it make pumping reasonable. I have started using self-adhessive patches, since they seem to work fine, though I carry both. The other trick is to set yourself up with tires and rims that are an easy fit, so that there is no drama removing them. I have lost tires on tours, so I do carry an extra tire. I don't run heavy tires so that may be part of the reason. But I would rather run light tires and carry an extra in the bag, than run a heavy weight tire on the rim.
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Old 07-18-11, 08:11 PM
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I always carry three extra tubes and a spare tire on tour. I've lost a bunch of tires on tour, mostly because they wear out, but once from an accident. I've stopped taking peel and stick patches on tour, because I found they don't work in rain or when there is oil on the tube. I still use peel and stick patches at home. If you don't already have a pump, you'll want to buy one with a built in pressure gauge. If you already have a pump without a gauge, try to get it confiscated at the airport (i.e. by the dimwits in Rome) so you can have an excuse to buy a new one.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I've stopped taking peel and stick patches on tour, because I found they don't work in rain or when there is oil on the tube. I still use peel and stick patches at home.
I found out, the hard way, that pre-glued patches also won't work if the patches get too hot. On one very hot summer ride, I found myself having to change them out every mile or two; the glue just got too hot and wouldn't stick to anything. These days, I only take "real" patches. And, as others have suggested, I replace them frequently since the glue does eventually go bad after being open for a while.

I'm also a big fan of Pedro's tire levers. They'll get even the worst tires on and off a rim, plus they're the only plastic lever I've never managed to break!
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Old 07-19-11, 12:19 AM
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Originally Posted by sstorkel
I found out, the hard way, that pre-glued patches also won't work if the patches get too hot. On one very hot summer ride, I found myself having to change them out every mile or two; the glue just got too hot and wouldn't stick to anything. These days, I only take "real" patches. And, as others have suggested, I replace them frequently since the glue does eventually go bad after being open for a while.
Those pre-glued sure are fun in Phoenix...

Originally Posted by sstorkel
I'm also a big fan of Pedro's tire levers. They'll get even the worst tires on and off a rim, plus they're the only plastic lever I've never managed to break!
They break, in a frightening fashion, but only upon rare chance. :[
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Old 07-19-11, 10:56 AM
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+1 (gpsblake). Over 2 boy scout group trips, anything that can come loose, did. One of our group had two spoke failures (big guy, wheels had seen a lot of rough use), several riders had flats, and one rack failure. I had a fender fall off (lost bolt) but picked up a replacement from the shop in Hancock. No tire replacements were required. Zip ties and duck tape are your friends (old scout trip - wrap a few feet around water bottles instead of bringing the whole roll). Have a great trip.
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Old 07-19-11, 03:46 PM
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3 tire irons,2 tubes,a fresh patch kit,pump and a dollar bill(tire boot).If I was going somewhere that I wouldn't see anybody for awhile or some other country I didn't know anything about,I'd bring a tire.If your in civilization,you can get a help/ride somewhere if need be.

Blue Loctite and graded bolts are your friends,you won't need any extra nuts and bolts unless something breaks.

Last edited by Booger1; 07-19-11 at 03:56 PM.
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