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View Full Version : My first flat tire...a question about flat repair...



SerialCarpins
07-14-2011, 12:29 PM
Yesterday after riding for just under 5 years....I got my first flat tire (Many thanks to whoever left a thumbtack on the Capital Crescent Trail just before the Maryland line...although, at least it made it easy to find and repair the hole)

First off, I had about ten people pass me while I was stopped, and around 8 of them asked if I had everything I needed....two of them even stopped to check on me...A very big THANK YOU to those that asked or stopped...even those that didn't at least looked me over to see me working on the tire and seeing that I was OK...despite what one would think in 2011, courtesy and care is somewhat alive and well out there somewhere... :D

Secondly, the patched tire (Which worked surprisingly well, considering I had never done it before) got me home, but since I've never done it before, is it worth getting a new tube, or can I ride on this for awhile? I don't really know if these things are designed for long-term use, or if it's just a temporary measure...thanks all!

OneEighth
07-14-2011, 12:35 PM
Personally, I would ditch the repaired tube for a new one. But then, I also stopped fiddling with repairing tubes except as a last resort.

consularrider
07-14-2011, 12:41 PM
I've had mixed success with patched tubes (so far I haven't used glueless patches). Some seem to work well for months, others just until the next ride. It seems that if I can find what caused the hole (like with your thumbtack), I have a better chance that the tube will be ok for a while. It's when I don't find anything sharp in the tire or wheel, that I seem to start having unexplained failure to hold air or unexplained holes.

RESTONTODC
07-14-2011, 12:56 PM
Since the tube costs only $5, I replace it instead of repairing it.

Spoke sells three for $15 and I always get $5 off coupon from them.

StopMeansStop
07-14-2011, 01:45 PM
I got my first a few weeks ago. Took me 20 mins to borrow a pump.

The guy at spokes said to get a new tube and save the old ones and fix several at the same time. Sounds like a fair plan.

DaveK
07-14-2011, 01:46 PM
I have two patches on one of my tubes right now... it'll be fine.

Joe Chapline
07-14-2011, 02:07 PM
I don't bother patching tubes any more; I keep a supply of replacements on hand. In the past though, I found that if the repair didn't leak right away, it would probably hold up until the next puncture. A lot of my repairs leaked right away, so I gave that up.

SerialCarpins had a thumbtack in his tire, so that was easy to find. A tip for when it's not so obvious: When you take the tire off, mark both the tire and tube with a piece of chalk before separating them, so you can see where the tube was in the tire. You can find the leak in the tube by putting a little air in it. Then you can find the corresponding spot in the tire to look for the cause. When it's a little piece of glass, it helps to know where to look.

Tim Kelley
07-14-2011, 02:16 PM
When you take the tire off, mark both the tire and tube with a piece of chalk before separating them, so you can see where the tube was in the tire.

Another option is to always line the brand name of the tire up with the valve stem of the tube when you put them on the wheel. That way you don't have to worry about carrying chalk around if you aren't changing it at home!

Plus, I'm told, it looks more "pro."

FFX_Hinterlands
07-14-2011, 02:38 PM
I've been riding around on a patch for over a year... I keep *meaning* to replace it. Anyhow, I prefer to patch since I can sometimes do so without removing chainguard, shifter cable, coaster brake arm and wheel nuts. I forgot my pump today, though, so I'll probably get a flat later.

Joe Chapline
07-14-2011, 02:40 PM
Another option is to always line the brand name of the tire up with the valve stem of the tube when you put them on the wheel. That way you don't have to worry about carrying chalk around if you aren't changing it at home!

Plus, I'm told, it looks more "pro."

Good tip. You would need to be careful not to flip the tube over in the process of fixing the flat -- although if you lose track of which way the tube went, you would still have only two small areas of tire to check.

RESTONTODC
07-14-2011, 03:12 PM
According the patch instruction from below site, you need to wait 1 hour for glue dries before installing it back in the tire. You also need baby power. It's much easier to install a new tube and go.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/244719-how-to-patch-bike-tubes/

CCrew
07-14-2011, 05:38 PM
I also stopped fiddling with repairing tubes except as a last resort.

Same here. They're so cheap and I depend on the bike for transportation so I chuck them.

SteveTheTech
07-14-2011, 05:51 PM
Another option is to always line the brand name of the tire up with the valve stem of the tube when you put them on the wheel.

Mmmm I love it when things line up.
I too had my first flat tire yesterday and did the exact same thing. Woohooo
I caught a staple right in the center of my tread, on my first day commuting on wet roads. I learned many things yesterday. Man hole covers and center lines on a rapidly deflating rear tire was a an experience I will not soon forget.

In my seat post bag I always keep a spare tube (had it there since day one, but only purchased tire spoons recently). I don't like repairing radial tires at work so I would not repair a tire with no tread that runs 3x the pressure of a car tire. The time to be playing with tubes is not on the side of the road.

Does anyone use a Presta valve specific tire pressure gauge that does not let too much air out? I suck at hitting the 100+ psi mark when using my carry along pump, not that I can't I always think it's enough about 20% too low. I carry several tools already why not one more....

DismalScientist
07-14-2011, 06:19 PM
Tire gauges? Who needs 'em? That's what thumbs are for.

eminva
07-14-2011, 07:06 PM
Does anyone use a Presta valve specific tire pressure gauge that does not let too much air out? I suck at hitting the 100+ psi mark when using my carry along pump, not that I can't I always think it's enough about 20% too low. I carry several tools already why not one more....

In the bike shops, I've been told you don't have to get it up to the full 100+ psi; it's okay for it to be a little lower just so you can ride on it until you get home or some place where you can use a floor pump (e.g., a bike shop along your route). There is no way in the world I could pump up a tire to 100 psi or more without a floor pump, or some way of getting leverage.

Otherwise, this is a topic about which I do not speak -- like a baseball player, I have all sorts of crazy superstitions to help me avoid flats, and like a baseball player, I can't discuss them. :eek:

Liz

Mark Blacknell
07-14-2011, 07:42 PM
I patch and re-use tubes all the time - why waste a perfectly repairable tube? As suggested above, it's easier to just let tubes pile up and then use them as something mindless to do in front of the TV. Also, if you're headed out on a long ride (or far from home), carrying a patch kit (and knowing how to use it) is a *very* good idea. Multiple punctures on a long ride (say, a century ride) aren't at all uncommon. This is why it's also a good idea to carry a pump, instead of relying on a 1 or 2 shot CO2 cartridge.

Also, the author of that content-farm piece linked above is an idiot who doesn't know what in the hell he's talking about. I'd be surprised if he's ever even held a tire tube. Ignore it (and no, you don't need to let tubes dry for an hour before you reinstall them). As usual, Sheldon has the answers to all of your questions - http://www.sheldonbrown.com/flats.html

consularrider
07-15-2011, 10:05 AM
I am using a Lezyne Drive pump that has a pen gauge on the hose (you have to buy it separately) that works with both presta and schraeder valves. I also line up my valve stem with printing on the tire, but use the recommended inflation info as my marker. That way I am always looking at my target when I am pumping. With different bikes, it helps remind me.

Greenbelt
07-15-2011, 08:48 PM
I consider tires that go flat as disloyal. I shred them with my wife's expensive meat scissors, and hang their remains out for the all the other tires to see, as a warning of the penalty for treason.

CCrew
07-15-2011, 10:03 PM
Another option is to always line the brand name of the tire up with the valve stem of the tube when you put them on the wheel. That way you don't have to worry about carrying chalk around if you aren't changing it at home!

Plus, I'm told, it looks more "pro."

d00d, it's a rule! :)

Rule #40 / Tires are to be mounted with the label centered directly over the valve stem. (http://www.velominati.com/blog/the-rules/#40)
Pro mechanics do it because it makes it easier to find the valve. You do this because that’s the way pro mechanics do it. This will save you precious seconds while your fat ass sits on the roadside fumbling with your CO2 after a flat. It also looks better for photo opportunities.

:)

SerialCarpins
07-16-2011, 08:53 AM
Excellent...thanks for all the advice/anecdotes everyone!

Yeah, I certainly didn't have an hour to let my patch dry...the instructions that came with the kit said at least five minutes, and since I had a two year old waiting for me to pick him up at daycare, I waited for the minimum five minutes, slapped the tire back together, inflated (with my small manual hand pump) and got home safe. I was lucky, having watched a few "how to" videos online, and also being able to read and follow directions. :p That, and the fact that I was also lucky that it was the front tire, which is a bit easier to deal with than the rear, and that the huge thunderstorm had stopped already...

At any rate...all the planets lined up, and it went well...

Since I don't do any huge rides (12 mile commute each way for work) I'm gonna stick with riding on the patched tube for at least the next week until I have a free moment to hit up a bike shop for new tubes...

Thanks again, everyone! As always, great advice (and amusing bits) from the forum...