Author Topic: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?  (Read 4723 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« on: October 11, 2014, 04:45:58 PM »
I got a flat tire in my car yesterday (kids not with me, thank God) and am more worried than ever that I will get one on my bike. I don't generally go very far from home--three miles, say--but I tow seventy pounds of two- and three-year-old in a trailer, so it's not like I could just walk home if I got a flat. I have never changed a flat on a bike.

So... what should I have in the back of the trailer for emergencies? What do you guys carry around? Patch kit? Recommendations for those?

BPA

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2014, 04:51:50 PM »
A cell phone and a bus ticket.  ;)

I forgot both on my way grocery shopping today.  I thought, "Today will be the day when I'm walking 12 km home."  But I lucked out.

MDM

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2014, 04:59:43 PM »
If you already have 70 pounds in tow, adding a spare tube (even a spare tire as well) would be negligible.  Plastic tire removal aids would also be good.

k-vette

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2014, 05:06:43 PM »
I never ride without a spare tube, tire iron, and pump.  I generally have a multi-tool as well.  For patches I use the stick on type that dont require glue or any time to cure.

If youve never done it - let the air out, pull the tire off, and put it back on at home.  Not hard, but not fun to learn on the side of the road either.

Fyi - when mountain bike racing some guys could change a flat - including time to hand pump - in less than 2 minutes.

Primm

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2014, 06:52:35 PM »
Spare tube, tyre levers and a CO2 canister. Be warned - if you are going to use CO2 make sure you practice before you need to use it in an emergency situation. The first time I changed a tyre and inflated it with a canister I somehow managed to pinch the tube with the tyre and it blew up. Resulting in a 5km (coulda been much worse!) walk home. In cleats.

If you're not confident with woosh gas, get a pump.

Nudelkopf

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2014, 07:02:31 PM »
I don't carry anything. I keep a tube and a pump at work. If I get a flat anywhere else, I'll just walk home, or call a friend.

TreeTired

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2014, 08:55:30 PM »
I always carry a spare tube.  If I was on an extended tour I would definitely bring a patch kit.   

You need to carry a spare tube for your bike and a spare tube (must be a different size) for your trailer as well.

somepissedoffman

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2014, 10:36:56 PM »
I carry both a spare tube and a patch kit.
Generally would just swap out the tube, and patch the punctured tube later, but sometimes you just have a bad day and get multiple flats, so the patch kit is cheap insurance.

hyla

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #8 on: October 11, 2014, 10:47:07 PM »
On my road bike (could be 10+ miles from home if I get a flat):
spare tube
patch kit
pump
tire levers
multitool with allen wrench and screwdrivers
$5 - enough to buy snacks or pay for a phone call if I get stuck

On my commuter bike (most trips <2 miles, in town)
no tools
I'm typically so close to home or a bike shop I could walk if needed, and I usually have a phone.

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2014, 08:03:23 AM »
I carry a lot more than this, but specifically for flat tires:

1. Tire levers. Pedro's are cheap and more durable than a lot of them.
2. Patch kit. The park tool vulcanizing one is a good starter, but I was getting enough flats that I broke down and get a bulk set of patches.
3. A spare tube.
4. A pump. I prefer this over CO2. It's cheaper long term and not that much slower. Ideally get one with a gauge.

If it's a nice day and I have time, I'll try and find the leak in the existing tube. Often you can't without submerging in water. If it's bad weather, at night, or I'm in a hurry, I'll swap in the good tube and patch the other one at home. The patched tube becomes my new spare. Tubes can be patched many times over.

It's worth practicing this at home. Your first couple times it will take a while, especially reseating the tire and tube. If your hands aren't very strong, or the tire is a very tight fit with your rim, a tire bead jack may be necessary.

Plenty of good videos, but I liked this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_MCVGd5C2Q
« Last Edit: October 12, 2014, 08:06:13 AM by Thegoblinchief »

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2014, 10:13:23 AM »
In bag under my seat:
Plastic tire levers
a tube in a ziploc with a little baby powder to prevent sticking
a roll of rim tape (my first flat was due to a spoke wearing through the rim tape)
2 CO2 cartridges
a little pair of pliers since sometimes it's hard to unclip my brakes by hand

Also hidden in the back of the bag:
the phone number for a cab company and $40 cash just in case it's urgent and I need to get to work fast and forgot my wallet.  Cabs around here have big trunks or are minivans so bikes tend to fit fine. 

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 11:25:28 AM »
Plastic tire levers, little hand pump, and patches that set in 30 seconds.  I don't replace tubes unless they can't be patched anymore (partly for cost ($2.50 for 10 patches vs $8 for a single tube) but mostly to avoid throwing something away that can be repaired).  I think I've gotten up to 7 patches in a single tube, all in different spots.  I've never had a patch fail... once I stopped rushing the jobs.

Depending on how far your commute is, you can probably get away with just leaving some stuff at work, like Nudelkopf said.  Any time I've gotten a flat while commuting I didn't notice till I went to leave work and it had deflated over the course of the day.  I think I've only had to do maybe one actual roadside patch.

Also keep a rag in your bag.  Sucks to have to do roadside work then have nothing to wipe your grimey hands with.

BlueMR2

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2014, 12:34:54 PM »
Also keep a rag in your bag.  Sucks to have to do roadside work then have nothing to wipe your grimey hands with.

If you live an area with lots of grass, this isn't even necessary.  Grass works very well for wiping my hands.  :-)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2014, 01:47:09 PM »
Also keep a rag in your bag.  Sucks to have to do roadside work then have nothing to wipe your grimey hands with.

If you live an area with lots of grass, this isn't even necessary.  Grass works very well for wiping my hands.  :-)
LOL, I have resorted to grass and leaves (when I have accidentally popped my chain off), but usually I have baby wipes since Little Brother is only about 40% potty trained.

Thanks for all the tips! I can't keep stuff "at work" since I'm actually going to the YMCA! I'll get busy sorting all the advice (C02 vs. pump? And I don't even know what tire levers ARE) and either make an Amazon order or visit the bike shop conveniently located next door to the YMCA. I wouldn't worry so much about it if I COULD call a friend or cab or walk home, but that ancient double trailer is a beast that I don't even know how to fold. And the kids are not so much on the walking :-).

RyanAtTanagra

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2014, 01:49:07 PM »
And I don't even know what tire levers ARE

http://www.parktool.com/product/tire-lever-set-tl-1

Just a tool to help pry the tire off the rim

dragoncar

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2014, 03:26:40 PM »
Wow, so I actually got a flat on the way to work TODAY.  Never had one before, so not sure what to do.  Can I just get the cheapest tube I see?  Or a pack of patches?  It's a pretty slow leak... I was able to pump it up and ride another mile to my destination.

rocksinmyhead

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2014, 03:43:55 PM »
I'm a pretty novice biker and I've only had one flat so far, but it made me feel amazingly empowered and awesome when I fixed it! well, kind of, actually my patch failed (not sure what I did wrong, but I still have the tube around to re-patch) so I just ended up buying a new tube (and in the process learned that Tuesdays are "Tubesdays" at my LBS and tubes are on sale... sweet!). my flat was actually from the crappy plastic rim strip that came with my bike creeping off, so the tube punctured where the spokes come into the rim (I'm sure there's a technical term for whatever that is) so I actually got to replace my rim tape and learn even more in the process. but yeah, the point of all that being, frugalparagon, I'd totally recommend getting some tire levers and practicing taking the tire on and off just so if/when you have to do it on the side of the road, you will be more confident!

Mrs. PoP

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Re: Bike tire repair: What do you carry?
« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2014, 03:48:18 PM »
In bag under my seat:
Plastic tire levers
a tube in a ziploc with a little baby powder to prevent sticking
a roll of rim tape (my first flat was due to a spoke wearing through the rim tape)
2 CO2 cartridges
a little pair of pliers since sometimes it's hard to unclip my brakes by hand

Also hidden in the back of the bag:
the phone number for a cab company and $40 cash just in case it's urgent and I need to get to work fast and forgot my wallet.  Cabs around here have big trunks or are minivans so bikes tend to fit fine.

Oh yeah, and I recently got kevlar tires for my bike since construction debris has really started to creep up on my commute.  They were ~$100, but should prevent a good number of flats.