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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,476

    Absolutely On-Topic Ongoing Conversation/Thread Drift

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    Absolutely On-Topic Ongoing Conversation

    There are a lot of points on TE that don't necessarily need a new thread: stuff that is probably repeated here from zero to infinity. And little snippets that ought to be pointed out for the sake of sharing (hey, oops, wish I'd known that), but aren’t because they don’t warrant a new post.

    Basically, what I'm trying to say is: Learned something the hard way? Put it here! Want to share a tidbit about your favorite gear? Ditto. Had a great/horrible ride today?

    You get the idea.

    I'd like a thread where we can add random bike stuff, kind of like the thread drift in Off-Topic Conversation forum.

    So here is my first contribution:

    Upgrades and changes to original build:

    When you make changes to your bikes, whether it's a stem, seat-post, or drivetrain components, save the old. You'll probably need those parts when you decide to sell your bike, even if you have no plans ever to do that. Your changes might make the bike undesirable since everyone wants something different, or your upgrades might be costly, and you'll get a better return by putting the originals back on the bike, and either keeping the upgrades for another ride, or selling them outright.

    Okay. Next!
    Last edited by Muirenn; 05-01-2015 at 07:50 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    141
    Be careful when mounting a tire/tube--especially when getting the last section of the tire over the rim--not to pinch the tube between the tire and the rim, as doing so can cause a snakebite pinch-flat in your new tube.

    Always carry a patch kit, because a spare tube that has been in your seat bag for a while might have developed a small hole in it.

    If you run out of spare tubes mid-ride, and have to patch a tube, pay attention to which side of the patch is supposed to contact the tube--the patch might not hold if you apply it upsidedown.

    And then be sure you don't get impatient--be sure to let the vulcanizing glue dry according to instructions, and then give the patch the recommended time to adhere--or your (second) attempt at patching a tube might not work.

    (But like they say, the 5th time is the charm, and I finally got my flat fixed and ended up having a fabulous ride! And it turns out that a correctly patched tube can last for months/years.)
    1980-something Colnago
    2010 Jamis Quest
    2013 Wabi Classic

    mebikedolomitesoneday.wordpress.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,141
    I solved that problem by putting Gatorskins on both of my bikes. Sure, not for weight weenies, but for me, who has never felt comfortable with any part of flat changing, I haven't had a flat in 3 years.
    Yeah, I know how to change a flat and I have the tools. But, it still takes me a long time after 15 years.
    I am happy.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    northern Virginia
    Posts
    5,854
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I solved that problem by putting Gatorskins on both of my bikes. Sure, not for weight weenies, but for me, who has never felt comfortable with any part of flat changing, I haven't had a flat in 3 years.
    Yeah, I know how to change a flat and I have the tools. But, it still takes me a long time after 15 years.
    I am happy.
    +1. Thought I've been pleasantly surprised by the stock tires on my Madone and the Mavic tires that came with my new wheels -- both sets have been reasonably flat-resistant. (Of course now that I've said that, I'll be getting a flat tire.) But if they had not been so durable I would have replaced them with Gatorskins in a heartbeat.

    - Gray Trek Madone 4.7 road bike, mystery crack in top tube repaired by Calfee, Bontrager Affinity RXL saddle
    - Red Trek 6000 mountain bike, Bontrager Evoke WSD saddle

    Gone but not forgotten:
    - Silver Trek 2000 road bike
    - Two awesome and worn out Juliana saddles

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    3,213
    Quote Originally Posted by Crankin View Post
    I solved that problem by putting Gatorskins on both of my bikes. Sure, not for weight weenies, but for me, who has never felt comfortable with any part of flat changing, I haven't had a flat in 3 years.
    Yeah, I know how to change a flat and I have the tools. But, it still takes me a long time after 15 years.
    I am happy.
    No kidding. I've always been slow, and now I'm even slower as my thumbs complain about this and every other task more and more.
    Each day is a gift, that's why it is called the present.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Montreal, QC
    Posts
    774
    that's what a husband is for. I don't do anything on my bike but ride it. Isn't it lovely!
    Helene
    Riding a 2014 Specialized Amira LS4 Expert - aka The Zebra!
    2015 Specialized Crux e5 - aka Bora Bora bike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,141
    I don't want to be that person... DH will change a flat for me if we are together, because he can do it, without tools, in like 5 minutes! However, once or twice, I insisted on doing it myself, more for practice than anything else. But, not feeling confident has stopped me from going on long rides alone. I feel better with the Gatorskins on. And, I don't really have a problem with the actual tire part of changing a flat. It's the putting the rear wheel back on. I know all of the tricks, but I find it difficult to hold the bike with one hand, position the chain on the correct cog and pull the derailleur back. Even leaving the gears in the appropriate spot to make it easy to get back on, before taking the wheel off has blown up in my face, because I've had the whole chain just fall off and then other bad stuff seems to happen. I also had difficulty when I had the Jamis Coda, with different kind of brakes (the kind with the little wire that has to go into that teeny teeny little hole!). I could never, I mean never, get the wire back in, even with my reading glasses on. I once had a flat riding to a lab appointment at the hospital campus where I now work, when I was riding this bike. I was near the bike shop, but I was too embarrassed to go there, so I called DH who had been getting ready to commute to work. He rode up and fixed the flat, but I had to call and tell the lab I couldn't make my appointment, which caused me to have to wait an hour when I got there.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    There's no shame in using tire levers. Plastic ones are less likely to scar your rims (and probably should be the only choice for carbon rims). Just be extra careful checking you haven't pinched the tube.

    Self-stick tire patches are fine but probably less durable. If you go the old-fashioned way, check the glue tube in your patch kit every now and then to make sure it hasn't dried out. Besides the patch kit, if you use a CO2 inflater, carry two cylinders AND a mini-pump for backup, because just like the patch kit, the number of flats you'll have on any given ride will probably be one more than the number of tubes and CO2 cylinders in your bag.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,476
    I prefer the thinnest possible tire levers, they are easier to ease the tire from the rim, and they take less space in a saddle pack. My favorite are the cheap Parks levers, they have a hook on one end that makes removing the tires simpler. (According to the reviews in the link, Pedro's levers are stiffer, so may be even better, I've never used them, though.

    While we are on tires, it's a good idea to clean the portion of the tire wall that contacts the rim with rubbing alcohol when they are new. New tires may have a film on them that doesn't contact the rim as firmly as they should.

    Point from a thread a few years ago. New tires can be slippery:

    A new tire may come from the factory with a "mold release" which keeps the tire from sticking to the mold during manufacturing, and may also be coated with another substance to keep it from deteriorating while "on the shelf". Clean your new tires with isopropyl alcohol before riding on them the first time.
    Last edited by Muirenn; 05-03-2015 at 07:53 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles

    Surly Krampus!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    141
    In addition to the usual things in my seat bag (multitool, tire levers, spare tube or two), I also have a pair of tweezers. They are one of the most useful items I have. If you do get something in your tire, they really help with extracting it, especially if it's something impossible to grasp, like a tiny shard of fine-gauge wire. I've rescued a number of people with them, including myself.
    1980-something Colnago
    2010 Jamis Quest
    2013 Wabi Classic

    mebikedolomitesoneday.wordpress.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Tweezers ... and maybe a multi-tool with a pair of pliers. Won't soon forget pulling out a carpenter's staple with my teeth.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,141
    I have great plastic levers that work well. I use the tools... never had an issue with that since I got those levers. I keep 2-3 CO2 cartridges in my bag, as well as 2 tubes, but no hand pump. I find the teeny ones just don't work well enough. I used to have a great frame pump, but it fell off of my bike (this was years ago, when I had the Trek 5200) and generally, it's very hard to fit a pump onto the frame of a bike as small as mine! Patching a tube is something I will never do... if I am going on a long, multi-day trip, I just bring lots of tubes. The only time I ever ran out was on our disasterous tour in the Finger Lakes. Rain, and a huge amount of road debris caused us to have about 10 flats between the 2 of us. We had to use tubes from the tour operator. Then, when I got home, I had another flat, so I got the Gatorskins.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I prefer the thinnest possible tire levers, they are easier to ease the tire from the rim, and they take less space in a saddle pack. My favorite are the cheap Parks levers, they have a hook on one end that makes removing the tires simpler. (According to the reviews in the link, Pedro's levers are stiffer, so may be even better, I've never used them, though.

    While we are on tires, it's a good idea to clean the portion of the tire wall that contacts the rim with rubbing alcohol when they are new. New tires may have a film on them that doesn't contact the rim as firmly as they should.

    Point from a thread a few years ago. New tires can be slippery:

    A new tire may come from the factory with a "mold release" which keeps the tire from sticking to the mold during manufacturing, and may also be coated with another substance to keep it from deteriorating while "on the shelf". Clean your new tires with isopropyl alcohol before riding on them the first time.
    I think cleaning the tire is unnecessary. Less friction is better. Bear in mind that there are people that still apply talcum powder to the inside of a tire before mounting it, to avoid friction between the tire and tube (I do it just to latex tubes, whenever I fancy using those). The only tires I have found to be a little difficult to put on my rims are 'open tubulars' just because they are so flat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    I always powder a new tube (with cornstarch not talc) - but it's not to reduce friction, it's to keep the tube from chemically sticking to the tire. An un-powdered tube, either latex or butyl, will adhere to the tire over time. This can cause the tube to tear at the valve. There's probably some loss of power transfer too, but that's not the main reason. Actually I put a teaspoon or so of cornstarch in a ziploc bag and put my spare tube in there in my seat bag, so it's all powdered and ready to go when I need it.


    As far as friction between the tire and the road - more, not less is better. That's what tires are for. You want them to grip, not slide or spin. Every motorcyclist knows to scrub in a new tire thoroughly before trying any hard corners - but that said, "scrubbing in" is a metaphor, and you do it by riding. I think that should be plenty for bicycle tires too - just generally remember to corner gently on a new tire.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Washington, DC
    Posts
    1,686
    Quote Originally Posted by OakLeaf View Post
    As far as friction between the tire and the road - more, not less is better. That's what tires are for. You want them to grip, not slide or spin. Every motorcyclist knows to scrub in a new tire thoroughly before trying any hard corners - but that said, "scrubbing in" is a metaphor, and you do it by riding. I think that should be plenty for bicycle tires too - just generally remember to corner gently on a new tire.
    +1 on being careful cornering with new tires, as one would be careful cornering on wet pavement... Let's just be careful with absolute statements if the idea is to have a resource for newbies. More grip is not always better, which is why we use a minimal thread on road bikes and knobbier tires on a muddy cyclocross course, even studs for ice. There is everything in between and, for any given tire, you can mix in variations in tire pressure.

    Re the talcum or corn starch issue, it's a debatable tradition. Jobst Brand argues that bikes don't generate enough heat to vulcanize a tube to a tire: http://sheldonbrown.com/brandt/talcum.html

    Michelin's instructions suggest using talcum powder when installing latex tubes to facilitate positioning the tube: http://bike.michelinman.com/advice/h...-an-inner-tube

    So, there is some reason to my madness. I never use anything with butyl tubes. I suppose that if I never changed my tires, and lived somewhere really hot, the tubes could stick, but I have never seen that on anyone's bike. I've had a latex tube blow out due to heat, using the bike on a Computrainer, though. At least I think it was heat.

 

 

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