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ultra-minimalism finally burnt me.(36 posts)

ultra-minimalism finally burnt me.Steve_0
Jun 4, 2003 5:40 AM
10 years of not carrying a spare tube finally caught up with me Monday. I usually carry a small repair kit, including two tubes of glue and glueless patches (just in case the glue is dried). I never minded the extra 2 minutes of tire repair for the sake of not carrying a tube everywhere I go.

Anyhoo, about 30 miles from home. Repairing the 3rd rear flat of the day, a tear formed right at the base of the valve. Unrepairable. Closest bikeshop not open for 2 hours. Sigh

I probably havent learned my lesson, though.
doesn't make senseDougSloan
Jun 4, 2003 6:23 AM
I'd carry a tube and not a patch kit before the other way around. A tube is a whole 80 grams, right? Why not carry at least one tube? I carry 2 tubes and a patch kit...

for "normal" rides 2 tubes seems overkillColnagoFE
Jun 4, 2003 6:41 AM
I mean what are the chances of blowing a tube then another and then having both of them be unrepairable using a patch kit? At the worst you can probably knot a ripped one together and inflate it enough to get home. Then again if you are touring or doing really long rides solo you might need 3 tubes.
Jun 4, 2003 7:03 AM
I have gotten more than 2 flats on rides under 30 miles. Not fun. Patching takes much longer than replacing a tube. TWo tubes, patch kit, tire lever, 3 16oz CO2's and nozzle will fit in a "normal" seat bag. Why not do it, then? The only thing I change for long rides is to carry a frame pump or mini pump, too.

Most importantly, I keep a stocked bag on each bike. Whether I'm going on a 10 mile or 200 mile ride, I know I have what I need, and keeping it consistent means I'm less likely to forget something. KISS theory.

my KISS.Steve_0
Jun 4, 2003 7:20 AM
mentioned in the 'where you keep your tools' post below; I keep my stuff wrapped together, tied under the rails. It goes where I go, independant of bike or type of riding. I know everything's always under my seat or in my pocket;

To me, a single set of tools is far more simple than multiple sets and multiple bags. Diff't strokes and all.
Not overkill for mems
Jun 4, 2003 7:56 AM
I get very few flats (I know I will regret having said that). However, there have been three times in the last three years when I have needed two tubes on a ride: (1) the time that I hit a pothole at high speed and blew out both tires; (2) the time that I went off of the shoulder of the road and crashed; and, (3) the time I got one flat and one of my spare tubes had a hole in it (probably from rubbing other stuff in my seat bag). BTW: the last time that I tried to use a patch kit (last year when attempting to aid a stranded cyclist on a hybrid that did not have any tire repair equipment and my tubes were too small for his tires), the adhesive on the patches had dried and would not work -- so now I plan to get a new patch kit every year or so.
Jun 4, 2003 6:42 AM
For a long time I didn't carry a tube because I had just a little bag, and the tube was hard to fit in. I figured with patches who needs it, right? Then of course one day I had a flat and tore the stem off. I still didn't learn the lesson, figuring that I just needed to perfect my pumping technique. And then of course one day I had a blowout that tore about a foot-long strip out of the tube. At that point, though still too stubborn to buy a bigger bag, I learned how to stuff an extra tube into it.

Even when I don't really need it, I now enjoy the luxury of just putting in the spare tube and not having to patch on the road.
mainly, bulk.Steve_0
Jun 4, 2003 6:46 AM
The way I figure, without a patch kit, a tube is worth only one repair. Patchkit is good for a dozen; Ergo, must bring a flatkit. Being as I have a flatkit anyway, I rationalize that I dont need a tube. Again, 2 extra minutes of repair every few months really doesnt bother me. I Carry extra glue and glueless patches for the unforseen. Ofcourse, i didnt forsee the unforseen valve failure.

Total size of the entire repair kit is 1.5 CI vs maybe 12 CI for a single spare tube. Combined with 3 hex keys and a single tire iron, the entire kit slips easily into my pants pocket when I'm off the bike (which is often quite often).
doesn't make senseal0
Jun 4, 2003 8:02 AM
Why not carry a spare bike? It only around 18lb. nm.
some might say there is a difference there nmDougSloan
Jun 4, 2003 8:09 AM
similar lesson with a C02 cartridge recentlyColnagoFE
Jun 4, 2003 6:38 AM
After blowing my only C02 and not having a spare pump I now carry a full size Zefal HPX and leave the C02 at home for all but racing situations from now on. I learned my lesson I guess.
Me, too. I carry a pump again. n/mfracisco
Jun 4, 2003 8:38 AM
recent experience toomoschika
Jun 4, 2003 8:46 AM
went and got a new pump the next day.
same here -- Zefal pump againtarwheel
Jun 4, 2003 9:15 AM
After carrying CO2 for several years, I've recently gone back to using a Zefal HPX on longer rides. Although I seldom get flats, it wouldn't be hard to use up 3 CO2 cartridges on a bad day. I recently weighed both, and my Zefal pump weighed the same as a small CO2 inflator with 3 cartridges. By carrying a frame pump, I don't have to worry about ever running out of cartridges, and it leaves more room in seat bag for stuff like energy bars on long rides.

I always carry a spare tube after getting a few flats where the valve broke, separated from the tube, or the tube had a big blowout too large to repair. It's easy to stuff a spare tube between the seatpost and rails of most saddles. Cyclists who are too lazy or weight-weeniesh to carry tubes and/or repair kits -- and then expect others to bail them out with free tubes -- are wussies.
3 flats in 30 miles? Wow.Tower
Jun 4, 2003 6:47 AM
I'd get better tires........?
Murphy's lawSteve_0
Jun 4, 2003 7:14 AM
Tires have about 500 miles on 'em (contis). I usually flat out (maybe) 4 times/year.

I ran the inside after each flat, so it wasnt repeat punctures. Just chalk it up to one unlucky day.
What a total waste of time...hammer_cycle
Jun 4, 2003 7:14 AM
Do you go on rides with your friends? If so, do you expect your friends to just automatically give you the tubes they had to carry or do you make them wait the extra time for you to patch the tire?

For the size of a small tube you can get back on the road in under 2 minutes. Why waste your time patching a tube when you can ride?
It's a test.Mel Erickson
Jun 4, 2003 7:27 AM
You learn who your friends are fast. As time goes on you discover your pool of friends diminishing and conclude they weren't very good friends to begin with. More time passes and you find yourself riding alone, only to discover your group of ex-friends riding together on a nice group ride. Light bulb time!
Jun 4, 2003 7:36 AM
as I indicated in my post below, true friends dont give a hoot if your 'slowing down' their day by a minute or two. Heck, perhaps their riding speed is slowing ME down.

anyhoo, I dont think i'd enjoy riding with Mr Hammer. Doenst seem like a good friend, to me.
It's not the slowing downMel Erickson
Jun 4, 2003 8:17 AM
It's the mooching. Nobody minds waiting for someone to fix a flat but it wears on you when they can't fix it and you have to "lend" them a tube to keep riding. Somehow you never see that tube again. What's so hard about carrying a tube? It'll still fit under your seat.
wouldnt know.Steve_0
Jun 4, 2003 10:08 AM
i've never mooched a tube. I also never said carrying a tube was hard; just never had a need to (ok, until Monday); I'm not looking for a system to fit under my seat; rather one to fit in my front pocket.

I'll admit my system has a flaw, that was the point of my original post. Not a serious enough flaw to change my practice, though. You've gotta admit, ONE incident in a decade aint bad.

Besides, It was rather nice sipping a coffee on the doorstoop waiting for the shop to open. Beautiful spring day. Talked with some dog-walkers, a retired gentleman starting his bike ride home to Albany, NY, and a rather nice-looking shop-owner. If my ride ended two hours earlier, I probably would have simply mowed the lawn or some other nonsense.

Oh, regarding mooching, the cycle-tourist offered me a tube. I expressed appreciation as I declined his generousity.
Good for you.Mel Erickson
Jun 4, 2003 10:44 AM
Sounds like you're content to take whatever comes, and that's great. I've ridden with several groups over the years and one universal trait was loathing the tube moochers. If you don't and wouldn't mooch, case closed. Life's a beach, now get some sun.
Jun 4, 2003 7:32 AM
Yes, I ride with others. I've never asked for a tube (nor do I understand why you assume I would). I've never asked people to wait for me (why would I?). My friends wait for me, without complaint. Strangers sometimes wait and sometimes go on ahead. It's a shame if YOUR friends value riding more than companionship.

I dont view the extra two minutes as 'wasting my time'. I enjoy being outside; And my 70 mile ride is 70 miles whether it takes my 5 minutes or 7 to repair my flat. Just more time in the outdoors.
Jun 4, 2003 8:03 PM
I wait for my friends and I don't mind if it takes time to fix the flats. I would of course offer them one of my tubes. If this happened, though, on a repeated basis, I would start to get annoyed after some time. Sure, they never ask to stop, but it goes without saying that one must stop when riding together. I like chatting with my friends and riding with them, but time spent patching a tube is best spent at home and not out on a ride where knees get stiff and time starts to tick away. Not everyone has unlimited time to get a ride in (although I do!).
Other wastes of time...repeated trips to LBS to replace tubes.Steve_0
Jun 4, 2003 7:38 AM
tip: buy several tubes at one time! nmmohair_chair
Jun 4, 2003 7:47 AM
fair enough, butSteve_0
Jun 4, 2003 7:51 AM
But one would need to buy about 36 at a time to get the same number of repairs available from just a few repair kits.

Whole idea of replacing a perfectly good tube for every little pinhole just seems wasteful to me.
tip: take the blown tube home, repair itmohair_chair
Jun 4, 2003 8:22 AM
Come on, this isn't rocket science. Buy a couple of tubes. Carry at least one with you. If you get a flat, put in the new tube, take the blown one home and repair it. Put the repaired tube back in your bike bag. You're good to go again. If you buy several tubes, you can restock your bike bag and put off repairing the tube until later.
You don't replace the tubeMel Erickson
Jun 4, 2003 8:25 AM
You patch it at home, or on the road. The extra tube is easier to use on the road, albeit a minor convenience, when you flat. However, when you blow out it's a necessity. You have to replace a blown tube no matter what. No more trips to the LBS either way. BTW, if you don't carry a tube and had a blow out on a group ride would you just hang it up and hitch hike home, or would you mooch a tube?
Potential burn is part of the challenge.retro
Jun 4, 2003 7:52 AM
Jeez, if it were easy, ANYBODY could do it. That's why I was wet so much in my backpacking days....
Actually, as a fellow minimalist, I don't go anywhere without a patch kit AND tube. A seven-mile hike in bike shoes convinced me.
ahhhh.... wet backpacking; bivysacks in the tropics. nmSteve_0
Jun 4, 2003 8:01 AM
So what would it take?djg
Jun 4, 2003 9:40 AM
I mean, I suppose this is just a matter of different preferences. If you have a very, very strong aversion to bringing a spare tube along with you then you do. Maybe a 2 hour wait is not enough negative reinforcement to change your behavior; maybe a thirty mile hike in bloody socks is not enough. Different strokes. I am curious though: what's so bad about carrying a tube with you (in a small bag under the saddle, like most folks, so while you're riding you don't see it or feel it or notice it in any other way)? I guess I understand that in most road races (and certainly crits) there just isn't time to change a tube and you might want to strip your bike of every ounce that's not going to be used in the race, not so much because it will make even a marginal difference, but because, in the event you're on the short end of a very close call, you don't want to wonder whether it did. But for training or recreational riding? What is it about having an exta tube that bothers you?
No true aversionSteve_0
Jun 4, 2003 10:15 AM
just no true need. As I said in an earlier post, above, the wait was rather enjoyable. Probably wouldnt have been so in the rain or snow, but that wasnt the case.

I would like to think I'm resourceful enough that I wouldnt be walking 30 miles in bloody socks (of course, I wear shoes on my bikerides, so I cant understand why i'd be in my socks). Cabs, public transportation, payphones, certainly a bikeshop or department store within 10 miles of many areas in the country. Walking 30 miles is a rather uncreative solution.

Funny thing is, in races I DO carry extra tubes, because time is a factor. On my daily rides, it's not.

I guess I should ask: What is it about my NOT having an extra tube that bothers you?
I'm fine with it, thanks.djg
Jun 5, 2003 9:37 AM
Look, to each his own. You can ride with tubes or not--it's your business. I just found the post puzzling because it seems to me so damn easy to have a spare tube or two along and potentially a mild to large hassle without one. But it's your party--have it any way you like.
Personally, I'm cursed.Charlie Amerique
Jun 4, 2003 10:56 AM
I have this curse... whenever someone says: "Isn't it lucky that we haven't gotten a flat in. (fill in appropriate time frame or situation)?!" I get flats. No, not A flat, but flatSSS. I have known about this curse for years and all of my friends know about it too so they say nothing. until yesterday.

It has been years since I have had to tell anyone about this curse and didn't think to tell Annie about it, as it has never come up before. Yesterday was a beautiful day and we decided to ride from home to Rigaud (about 45 km) to watch the third stage of Le Tour du Grand Montréal.
As we left the side street on which we live and entered the main road, Annie says: "Wow, after hearing about how rocks can cut your tired up I guess we're lucky we haven't had a flat yet." And the sound of air rushing out of my rear wheel was the next thing I heard.

Okay, I usually would turn around and go back home at this point (3 blocks away) but I look up at the bright blue sky and think to myself: "Well, maybe this is the flat and I can go on and have a good day anyway." Optimism like this is it's own reward. because I paid heavily for it later. I told Annie of the curse, and she was of course skeptical.

I changed the tube out (having brought two spares with me) and we continued to the race. 35km later I hit a small pothole (the national flower of Quebec) and was again enthralled by the haunting melody of air escaping a pinch flat in my rear tube.
Another tube later and we make it to the racecourse in time to see the riders rounding a tight turn into town... great race!

A few hours of riding around the course getting pictures and enjoying the climbs and we settled in for the finish. Great stuff I must say (beautiful women riders in tight fitting Lassie costu. uh.. lycra bodysuits on sleek riding machines).

After the race and a few minutes chatting with the ladies and we headed home. About 5km on the return, I'm drafting behind Annie when she makes a sudden shift to the left and I face... yes, another pothole. My heart sank as I realized I was 45km from home, all the bike shops were closed and the only person I knew who could pick me up was out on a 3 hour ride (and doesn't carry a phone when he rides).

I thought about heading back to see if one of the race support guys had a patch kit, but I had just ridden 5km DOWNHILL and the idea of walking up Rigaud in my bike shoes was. unpleasant. So, Annie and I come up with a brilliant plan: She'll ride home and get our truck and come back to get me. All I have to do is walk to this town, turn left and walk toward this landmark.

Okay, I'm pissed and tired and don't pay enough attention to details and I get lost. and an hour later than I should have been picked up, Annie (very upset and not being able to find me) ...uh... finds me.
Today, after fixing three tubes and loading a quick-patch kit into both of out saddlebags, took a vow to listen to that little voice and go back home when the curse is put upon me.
Great storyDutchy
Jun 4, 2003 9:13 PM
It's days like this that we all try to avoid, inevitably you can't. This is the reason that I always carry 2-3 tubes, a Blackburn mini-pump (good for 90psi), and a phone for group rides.
For solo rides I add a patch kit. For racing I trim down to 2 tubes, no phone, no patches. It all depends on the ride location and the chances of being stranded in the middle of nowhere, alone.