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The dreaded "F' word.(22 posts)

The dreaded "F' word.darragh
Mar 15, 2001 7:46 PM
All this talk of CO2 cartridges has got me thinking. I have been going through the the worst "black" period when it comes to flats.
I have punctured 8 times in the last 300 miles. That is a flat every 37.5 miles. It wouldn't be so bad if I didn't ride tubulars! Expensive habit.
Just so you know, they have been a mixture of glass (5), faulty valves (2) and crappy sidwalls (1) (Continental). The extremely ugly, green Vittoria has been bulletproof (of course).
Have any of you gone through a bad patch like this before?
re: The dreaded "F' word.OutWest
Mar 15, 2001 9:05 PM
Yes, when I first put my Michelin Axial Pros on last year I was getting about the same flat ratio, until the highways dept started the spring road shoulder cleanup and I switched to heavier inner tube.
Since the switch to heavier tubes I have actually had very few flats, of course this doesn't help you at all. What has gone wrong with the valves? Better luck in the future!
re: The dreaded "F' word.steveq
Mar 16, 2001 3:22 AM
I go through "patches" where i seem to flat at every street corner then i don't flat again for three months. i run all kinds of tires and there doesn't seem to be any connection between tires and flats (for me). the one noticable exception was when i spent 1000 miles over a pair of axial pro's. i was getting flat after flat (every two or three 50 milers). i finally settled on two choices that haven't let me down. vittoria integra pro's and continental gp 3000's. i have had conti's on two of my bikes all winter and have yet to flat. the roads here in jersey are nasty to say the least. i've run over countless fields of broken glass, strange collections of rusted metal and rocks.....lots of rocks, but no flats. the vittoria's just won't flat for me, but they're kind of expensive. maybe i'm just lucky....sq
the cycling gods must be angrygrandemamou
Mar 16, 2001 3:26 AM
A couple of years ago myself and two friends took off on what was going to be a "quick" 50 mile training ride. Total we had 6 flats 3 myself. We ran out of spare tubes and were in danger of running out of patches. Needless to say it turned into an epic journey taking us over 5 hours. At first we were pissed then after a while it got to be pretty funny.

I have ridden the same route numerous times and never flatted even once.??????????
I must be one lucky guy........YoungRcR
Mar 16, 2001 4:35 AM
I have never had a flat tire, niether has my dad, or anyone that we have been riding with. Never once have i had to stop to change a tube :-)
Shhhush! You'll make the Gods angry. (nm)Hap
Mar 16, 2001 5:05 AM
Never, ever say that aloud!OutWest
Mar 16, 2001 10:49 PM
I went 1 1/2 years without a flat, then I got cocky and announced it to my friends. Now I get flats just like everybody else. You'd better sacrifice a tube to the Air Gods. You have to ritually punture and patch a tube 27 times then walk into your local LBS on a Saturday wearing it around your neck. Ohhhh...scary stuff kids!
It finally got me ...bianchi boy
Mar 16, 2001 5:10 AM
I had ridden probably 2,500 miles without a flat until yesterday. Got a slow leak 28 miles into a 52-mile ride. I'm running M Axial Pros with M lite tubes (installed late January) and I think I'll ditch the lite tubes for something heavier but more flat resistant. In my case, I couldn't find any cause for the leak and wonder if the tube just developed a pinhole. It took me about 15 minutes just to find the hole and I used up half my CO2 cannister doing that.
The ubiquitous "G" word ...Breck
Mar 16, 2001 6:57 AM
Gloves were not originally incarnated to keep the hands warm and free of calluses. They were designed to keep the tublars free of objects that were potentially the source of flats without having to stop and get off the bike.

After riding through a suspected source of glass, asphalt particles, any thing looks nasty, one must attend to the cleaning of the front and rear tires.

Don't be nervous here but be cautious ... and if the brain won't engage in the following, then you WILL WANT TO STOP, get off the bike and attend to cleaning the circumference of the tires where the rubber meets the pave.

First the front tire ...
If you are right handed freewheel the bike and take your left hand, make a wing of it with the thumb one side and the four fingers the other, a "V" so to speak. Reach down and apply the crotch of the hand over the tire in front of the brake and applying easy pressure at first and increasing pressure lastly, and so clean the front tire of road debris. You will hear and feel the road debris coming off the tire. This is good. A potential flat avoided hopefully.

Then the rear tire ....
A little more tricky as the brain does not easily want to do this I assure you. Right handers again, take your left hand again in the same "V" like manner and using the thumb as a positioning guide while looking back and down at the rear wheel, and insert the thumb under the rear brake arch between the down tube and the seat tubes and clean the tire off the rear tire as with the front. Same sounds and feel of the debris coming off and the same satisfaction that you have greatly reduced the potential of flatting; the little rewards in life, etc.

This old tried and true method once de rigor for road riders will greatly reduce the flats caused by picked up and imbedded objects from the road. Soon as you get into this method you will become increasingly aware of road hazards as you ride and know when to do this cleaning of the tires.

Do this often, as much as you would drink from the water botts.
But again ... if you are timid about this dynamic method of reducing debris from the rotating tires and believe you may lose your thumb, fingers, or worse ... DON'T TRY IT WHILE RIDING THE BIKE ... STOP THE BIKE, get off and perform the task. In any event one needs to attend to tire debris removal often on a regular basis on those particular roads causing you flats.

"Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from poor judgement" - Robert E. Lee

Rear tire ... make that seat tube, seat stays ... )NM)!Breck
Mar 16, 2001 7:29 AM
Ahh, my mantra ...
Head Tube; Top Tube; Down Tube; Seat Tube; Seat Stays; Chain Stays.
Head Tube; Top Tube; Down Tube; Seat Tube; Seat Stays; Chain Stays.
Head Tube; Top Tube; Down Tube; Seat Tube; Seat Stays; Chain Stays.
Head Tube; Top Tube; Down Tube; Seat Tube; Seat Stays; Chain Stays.
Ad Infinitum ...

Nother' cup of Joe Pleeze,
Mantra, etc.

Sorree Guyz.

Tricky FingersHap
Mar 16, 2001 11:25 AM
This reminds me of an article I read last summer. I don't remember who, but one of the europros cut off the end of his finger while riding in the peleton. I think he was adjusting his computor pick-up, but maybe it was tire cleanning.

I have ridden with guys that cleaned their tires in the above mentioned manner after riding through debree. This and track stands are skills I have not mastered.

I do it regularly.E3
Mar 17, 2001 3:32 PM
Especially after running through nasty debris.

I'm right-handed, so I use my right hand, front and rear. I can control my right better, so I'm less likely to chop anything off.

I do the rear without looking by first finding my brake arch, then gently feeling for the tire.

I feel naked when riding my recumbent; I can't wipe off my tires as easily.
3 flats on one ride, 6 in a weekMarlon
Mar 16, 2001 7:15 AM
It was just horrible. It started with a flat at the beginning of the week, a flat the next day, another flat after I got the courage to head back out one last time, and to top it off, a 3-timer on a group ride. It was an epic week of frustration.
My record's nine on a 22-mile commuteCory
Mar 16, 2001 8:01 AM
That's six going to work and three coming home. In Reno, Nevada, home of the six-pack-tossed-out-of-the-car.
New Day a Comin'grz mnky
Mar 16, 2001 8:45 AM
Had my share of fl*ts, until I started running Spin Skins at the wife's urging. In fact there were *tons* of folks repairing tires on the Solvang Century last weekend, but not us. The only fl*ts have been due to operator error - screwing the little nut down too tightly and tearing the valve stem from the tube. At 13g. ea. they are pretty light, but a bit pricey. Won't do any good for a tubular. In fact I haven't had a fl*t since I started running them towards the end of last year.
Mar 16, 2001 8:50 AM
What tires and tubes do you use them with? Can you tell any difference in ride? Thanks.

Try it, you'll like it!grz mnky
Mar 16, 2001 1:30 PM
I run Conti 3000's 25's in the winter and 23's in the summer. the Conti's aren't exactly known for being really durable, but I like their performance and with the Spin Skins you just keep on rolling. I ride lots of mountain roads as well as city streets and the things are just bomber. Fl*ts are for other people, not me and the missus. ;-)

For tubes I use what ever is on sale, but not Lunar Lites. I have a large plastic bag into which I toss tubes with leaks, then once and a while I sit down with a bucket of water and a can of vulcanizing cement and patch a whole slew. I only buy tubes when I'm lazy or in a hurry and fresh out. Messed up valve stems go straight into the trash. I haven't patched anything in a long time since flats aren't that common any more.

The only difference that I can tell in the ride is that I don't have to stop and fix fl*ts!
I never get flats - and here's one new optionHank
Mar 16, 2001 9:49 AM
or almost never, and ride 150 + miles per week. But I'm light, have smooth, fairly debris-free roads and use heavy 700 x 25 tires. But here's something that might interest people who gets tons of flats. It's still kind of exerimental...
re: The dreaded "F' word.darragh
Mar 16, 2001 8:07 PM
Now that my new bike has arrived I know I'm going to go through a dry spell (fingers crossed). Above the old glove trick was mentioned, if you don't wear golves, like me, you might want to try the old water bottle trick. Grab the bottle and let it bounce on the back side of the forks and then let it rub on the tire behind the seat tube. That should take care of any glass....just be careful.

For those of you who train on tubulars, forget the continentals. My new bike has handmade Veloflex....I'll let you know how they are once I get a decent amount of miles on them.
re: The dreaded "F' word.jfo
Mar 17, 2001 1:33 PM
I ride 2000 miles per year, 6 ft. 2in and weigh annual fully loaded 500 mile no sag trip each summer...flat tires are never a consideration, my last one was about 3 years ago. I've used the IRC Road Winner II Duro 1 1/8 and later 700 x28 from Nashbar @ $14.99 for many Bianchi last year with Continental Top Touring 2000 also 700 x28...informal group of 6-8 of us ride weekly and no flats...Kevlar belt works...700 x 28 may not be for the racer but works great for most...
For all of you that say you never get flats...Bruno S
Mar 17, 2001 3:00 PM
can you post the PSI you are using on the tires and how careful are you that its really that.

I haven't had a flat since I got my road bike about a year ago. I have used 3 different tires sets. (Contis 700x23, Specialized 700x23 and Vittoria 700x20)

I believe the reason for this could be that I have a good pump with gage and I make sure before every ride they are at exactly 100 psi. I never put more pressure than that.

I weight 177 lbs and right now I'm riding 700x20 with no flat problems.
Don't forget...biknben
Mar 17, 2001 6:49 PM
...The often overlooked practice of checking the inside of you tire before just slapping another tube in it. If you've gotten multiple flats on the same ride you may have debris that is still stuck in the tire. You'll keep getting flats until you find the cause of the problem.

Take you glove off and wipe it around the inside of the tire. I use my fingers but am careful not to go too fast. I have cut myself on glass sticking through the tire.

Best of luck