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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172

    How to NOT be prepared.....

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    Gotta rant from my soapbox today.....
    So, this a.m., I met my friend, Terry, for our commute in to work.
    He parked his truck at my house, and we started our ride.
    Three miles into it, he hits a pot hole - BAM! - and flats.
    We pull the bikes into a parking lot off the road, away from traffic.
    He's got a standard snake bite. I ask him when the last time he checked the pressure in his tires was. "Oh, I don't know," he said. "Two or three weeks ago?" Arrrrggghhhh!!! No wonder he pinch-flatted!!!
    He's got NO spare tube (and it's 27" tire with a schraeder valve, so I can't give him my spare), NO functional patches (ancient and non-sticky), and a pump that can't work for beans. We need to spread the stays on his old touring bike with horizontal dropouts just to get the wheel back on. So....after spending 20 minutes fighting with the wheel, finding the hole and patching it, we get the wheel back on (the spread of the brakes is such that he needs to re-mount the wheel deflated), and re-filling the tire....only to discover that we, somewhere, missed a SECOND hole in the tube!!!!
    Aaarrrrgghhh!!! At this point, he's on the phone with his wife and I continue my ride without him (arriving at work 1/2 hour late). He ended up going home, fixing the tire, putting a spare tube in his saddlebag (yay!) and riding from our half-way point, so he'll be here for the p.m. ride home.
    But, geez, people......
    Please...as a matter of practicality, convenience, safety, and everything else, have a full set of proper tools on your bike so that you can make roadside repairs...and be able to do them quickly and easily. If you can't fix a flat....visit your LBS and have them show you how. And then practice in the comfort and convenience of your home so you are prepared for incidents on the road! Oh....and check the air in your tires before EVERY ride!!!
    Okay. Off my soapbox. Thanks!
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    8,548
    well sounds like you had a fun morning!
    Mimi Team TE BIANCHISTA
    for six tanks of gas you could have bought a bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Illinois
    Posts
    3,135
    ONe of the things I really like about commuting is that it has enabled me to develop a teensy tinesy bit of planning and organization skills, to the tune of "THINK!!! What could happen!!! How can you reduce the odds... and What can you bring so that you aren't a major pain to somebody else if it does!!!" Means I have a couple of pumps and assorted accessories 'cause then I'm more likely to actually have one with me.
    It took being a regular commuter to make stuff more like habit (so now if I'm going somewhere in a car, I'm completely confused).
    It took time, though - let's *hope* this guy was at least a little bit embarrassed! Maybe he'll start thinking occasionally!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    St. Louis, MO
    Posts
    612
    Regina -

    Which bike do you commute on? You can use a 700 tube in a 27 tire. Look at your box - they give dimensions for both sizes. The issue is the difference in valve stems. You can easily use the presta on a schrader rim. It's not easy to go the other way - schrader to presta.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Looking at all the love there that's sleeping
    Posts
    4,172
    Hmmmm...
    Well, I was on my Felt flatbar bike with 700x25's.
    I think it'd be difficult to use the presta on his wheels, as I usually toss the little nuts on the presta stems as a matter of course (they're all long-stem) -- I don't think my spares have them, either....I'm such a weight weenie, ya know! So, I'd have nothing to keep the tube from being sucked out the wheel rim hole....
    2007 Seven ID8 - Bontrager InForm
    2003 Klein Palomino - Terry Firefly (?)
    2010 Seven Cafe Racer - Bontrager InForm
    2008 Cervelo P2C - Adamo Prologue Saddle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I hope we're talking road bikes here? I commute on a mtb, at least at this time of year, and I'm guilty of never ever checking my tire pressure... (unless picking my bike up and bouncing it a couple of times counts )

    But then - if I flat I have all of 500 yards or so to the closest bus or metro stop, and I have tubes and stuff at work. On longer rides or rides out of town I'll carry it all, of course.
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Spokane, WA
    Posts
    818

    Changing flats

    I agree completely with what your saying about being prepared and learning to change flats. I am the queen of flats and have changed way more than my fair share. Including a week this summer when I had four flat in three commutes. But I have to add, while it is good to practice at home, go out in the yard or parking lot to practice. Sitting in your warm comfortable house, in a nice comfy chair just isn't the same as the shoulder of the road, in the cold, rain and mud with traffic roaring by you. That's where I was, last week, for my latest flat change. bikerHen

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    MD suburb of Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,832
    Wow, Regina, I would have really been annoyed. But despite the hassles, wasn't this morning a fantastic day to commute? The temperature was just perfect!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    737
    I practiced changing tires for the first time last night (in my nice, comfy living room ). What an ordeal that first tire was. But the second one went much smoother and I'm certainly glad I took the time to learn now and not try to figure it out while sitting on the side of the road. There were some great links on here that really helped me out!

 

 

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