Fixing a puncture on the road

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
LondonBikeCommuter
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby LondonBikeCommuter » 26 Sep 2013, 9:32pm

Thanks everyone some really useful tips and things I hadn't thought about.

Bought 2 spare inner tubes from Evans this evening but hoping not to have to use them as I've just fitted 2 brand new Gatorskin hardshell tyres to the bike in honor of this first 'tour'

eileithyia
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby eileithyia » 26 Sep 2013, 9:32pm

Unless tyres are relatively new, fit new tyres before trip, they will be more resilient to the p fairy than older / worn ones.
2-3 spare inner tubes (yes have had more than visitation in one day) and a repair kit is essential.
As others; check outside of tyre first.. this often gives a clue as to where the hole maybe ( thorn, glass, drawing pin in the tyre).
Keep inner tube and tyre lined the same way when the inner is removed, check for hole can be done by listening, feeling for air against face, looking (if enough light) and spit? Measure inner tube to tyre to find culprit if not already found before, as above...
Put a new tube in and repair the other when in a nice comfy warm place.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Urticaria
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby Urticaria » 26 Sep 2013, 9:53pm

LondonBikeCommuter wrote:At home I use a bowl of water but on the side of the road in the dark in rubbish weather???

I've only seen a bowl of water used once for finding a puncture. If you inflate the innertube, then the hole expands and the air rushes out; if the hole is substantial it will be obvious where it is. If the hole is small then your moistened lips are by far the most sensitive part of your body to use to find the jet of air. Many people, including those riding hub gear bikes or recumbants, prefer to patch at the roadside. It only takes a couple of minutes more than swapping the tube over.

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ArMoRothair
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby ArMoRothair » 26 Sep 2013, 10:03pm

I can't believe so many on here saying they replace the tube each time and don't bother fixing a puncture.

I grew up cycling in the '70s and '80s before any of this wonderful kevlar stuff was invented. We got punctures at least once a week, sometimes daily and often several times in a single day. I even tried cutting the thread off an old tyre and lining the inside of my tyre with it - it had to be trimmed slightly for the smaller circumference - it worked reasonably well. But the result of all of these punctures is I can fix one in minutes, anywhere, in any weather. It's easy - and you will see/feel/hear the puncture even on the side of a busy road, a touch of saliva will verify it.

Just taking my daughter to school the other morning my bike had a puncture (unusually for these modern tyres) and I fixed it quicker than it would have been to run upstairs and get a spare tube. Even if I'd had a spare tube in my bag I think I would have fixed it quicker than taking the wheel off.

Why would you do otherwise?

diapason0
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby diapason0 » 26 Sep 2013, 10:12pm

I'm with the 'carry a couple of spare tubes and repair at home' school of thought. I do, though, remember opening a new tube to find it broken and dipping the 'p' into the canal to find the hole. Bought a couple of spare tubes in "word corrected to Halfords" on the way home. :D

thirdcrank
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby thirdcrank » 26 Sep 2013, 10:18pm

ArMoRothair wrote: ... Why would you do otherwise?


I used to think like you till I could afford a track pump. I found that once I was inflating tyres to a high pressure, rather than "that feels hard," I was spending too much time with patches eventually coming off. Probably my rubbish patching technique. Having the £££ to buy a track pump also included having the £££ not to faff about repairing inner tubes.

snibgo
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby snibgo » 26 Sep 2013, 10:24pm

I fix tubes, but at home, in batches. I keep a repair kit on the bike, but discovered the other day that the glue tube was empty.

Grandad wrote:Fair enough, but I noticed they had taken the tyre completely off the rim and were putting the replacement tube inside it. Presumably they would then put the whole lot back on the wheel together.

Has anyone else come across this way of fitting a tube?

When I'm changing a tyre, that's what I do: put a bit of air in the tube, put the tube in the tyre, hold it vertically with the valve at the bottom, and drop the wheel down so the valve goes in the hole.

But I'm no expert. Watching a true expert is a joy: they seem to wave their arms around and the tyre and tube are off. Then another wave and the tyre and tube are on. I'm sure they also mutter "abracadabra" under their breath.

diapason0
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby diapason0 » 26 Sep 2013, 10:38pm

snibgo wrote:I

But I'm no expert. Watching a true expert is a joy: they seem to wave their arms around and the tyre and tube are off. Then another wave and the tyre and tube are on. I'm sure they also mutter "abracadabra" under their breath.


Or "hubble, bubble, toil and trouble"

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661-Pete
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby 661-Pete » 26 Sep 2013, 11:20pm

First line of defence is definitely a spare inner or two. Sod's law says the 'visit' will come in pouring rain, the last thing you want is to be fiddling with patches and rubber solution...

But finding the cause of the puncture, if still stuck in your tyre, yes, vital. I find that feeling around the inside of the tyre works well if the miscreant is a thorn, but not if it's a flint or bit of glass. For that you want to thoroughly eyeball the tyre all round from the outside - squeeze open any visible cuts to see if anything's lurking inside. Obviously if you have located the hole in the inner that narrows your search down a bit!

If you must patch by the roadside, and can't locate the hole, find the nearest stream or pond if you can. Or cattle trough. Unless you're literally crossing the Sahara, there must surely be something...

As to tyre choice: I've tried all of the 'big three' amongst the puncture-resistant tyre brands: Armadillo, Gatorskin and Durano (I can't use Marathons, they don't come in 700x23 size). Of the three, Armadillo gets my vote: a bit heavy-ish, stiff, not easy to fit, but my word it keeps those pesky fairies at bay! Gatorskin is firm and light, and a good ride, but it can't fend off the really big stones. And Durano: I found it got a bit soft with more cuts in the fabric than it ought to. So Armadillo for me...
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

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661-Pete
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby 661-Pete » 26 Sep 2013, 11:39pm

thirdcrank wrote:
ArMoRothair wrote: ... Why would you do otherwise?


I used to think like you till I could afford a track pump. I found that once I was inflating tyres to a high pressure, rather than "that feels hard," I was spending too much time with patches eventually coming off. Probably my rubbish patching technique. Having the £££ to buy a track pump also included having the £££ not to faff about repairing inner tubes.

I wouldn't regard a track pump as a particularly expensive item - I get excellent performance out of my Bontrager (about £25) and certainly money well spent! I only use the portable pump in an emergency now (like a roadside 'visit'). Anyway, to get anything like a decent pressure you should be spending that much on a portable pump, anyway.

I don't have any trouble with patching either (many of my spare inners sport about a dozen patches, and they're still roadworthy at 110psi). I always roughen the inner with fine sandpaper (never coarse), clean it with tissue, then apply two coats of rubber solution (Halfords works just fine) allowing one minute to dry after each coat. I spread each coat gently with a clean fingertip. Then the patch, taking great care not to touch the sticking surface, and position it right first time! You don't get a second chance! Then pinch it to split and get off the backing paper or cellophane, always peeling from the middle outwards, never from the outside inwards. Easiest done if the patch is relatively new. Dust the area with talc and you're ready to go.

All this is assuming the patching is done at home. By the roadside, don't expect to do such a neat job.

HTH.
Suppose that this room is a lift. The support breaks and down we go with ever-increasing velocity.
Let us pass the time by performing physical experiments...
--- Arthur Eddington (creator of the Eddington Number).

nez
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby nez » 26 Sep 2013, 11:42pm

If you wet your lips and pass the inflated tube in front of them you can feel a puncture's stream of air, however tiny. You can even do this in the dark. As for finding thorns in the cover, the trouble is they hide in the rubber till the tyre expands. Nothing to suggest except patience here.

Oh dear just spotted uticarias post. Ah well

Ellieb
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby Ellieb » 27 Sep 2013, 12:04am

I can't believe the number of people on this thread mentioning the 'p' word without any censorship. You fools! Do you really believe the fairy will not notice you? :shock:

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Redvee
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby Redvee » 27 Sep 2013, 12:13am

I was ambushed a week ago, she was hiding under a stone displaced by some workmen. I hit the stone and for a split second thought I got away with it but the tube soon went down with a swear word or two uttered from my lips. As it was a stone that caused the deflation I simply swapped the tube and will repair the holed tube along with 4-5 others when I have had that many punctures.

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[XAP]Bob
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby [XAP]Bob » 27 Sep 2013, 7:54am

Tube replacement is the easiest and quickest way to get going again at the roadside unless your wheel is particularly recalcitrant.

Even then a linear tube might be just the ticket - I carry both versions for my wheels.

Adding air is always the PITN, so many people carry compressed CO2 canisters, but I'd always want a pump anyway, so I'll put up with a bit of roadside work.

I sometimes wonder if a closed cell foam tube (cut to size for my wheels) would make a sane "emergency packing" material, light enough to carry around - give you a "solid" tyre on demand.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
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Mick F
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Re: Fixing a puncture on the road

Postby Mick F » 27 Sep 2013, 7:57am

I've not had one since 20th July 2012.
I've done nearly 5,000miles since then.
Mick F. Cornwall