2008-11-26

Søren suffers a flat, and lessons learned :)

Yesterday after work I rode to New Seasons to meet Trina and get some stuff for dinner and Thanksgiving tomorrow, and when I came out of New Seasons, my rear tire was totally flat. I'm not sure if I punctured it and it was slowly leaking while I was in there, or if someone popped it, or what. I haven't examined it carefully yet. Anyway, I had to walk my bike home from New Seasons, as I didn't have a spare tube or tools on me - at least it's only a couple miles :)

So, lessons learned - I want to try to always carry an extra tube with me, as well as the couple wrenches I need to take my rear wheel off, which I don't think should be too hard to do. If I get some practice at it, I think I can have the rear wheel off the bike in something like 5 minutes, put the tire on, be all done in 15. Better than being stuck all the way across the city with nowhere to go. And it's not technically difficult at all, it's quite simple.

On the upside, it gave me a reason to actually take the rear wheel off myself and figure out how it works, and to clean out the inside of the rear fender, which had gotten pretty gunky from the autumn riding. I'll be heading to Clever Cycles after work today to pick up a couple new tubes, and then I'll put him back together again.

From Biking

From Biking

From Biking

2 comments:

  1. Dave;
    Flats are always a problem, especially with skinny high-pressure tires like I use. It's nice to have quick-release hubs. I must have had 6-10 flats already while out riding. The worst was when the whole tire (not just the tube!!) blew out on a circuit around Crater Lake. I was nearly stranded. I now carry not only 2 extra tubes and pump, but an extra foldable tire. If you get a flat on the road, be careful to check the tire for shards of glass stuck into the tire as the next tube will instantly go flat. Larger tires like you would use don't fold up quite so well, and I'm sure, last a touch longer. I need to replace my tires every 1000-2000 miles. The advantage of skinnier tires is the decreased resistance on the road, and thus less resistance to riding. They make you feel like you are floating on air. It's addicting!!! Onkel KAF

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  2. Yeah, quick-release hubs are nice for sporting bikes, to be able to quickly remove the tires if you get a flat. They're a little less practical for urban commuting where you're leaving a bike unattended, as it then also makes it easy for someone else to take them off and run off with them.

    Yeah, the tires for a city bike aren't very foldable, but are probably a little less likely to have a major blowout - plus if it did happen, I could always hop on a bus, they all have bike racks, and I'm usually always within 10-15 min walk of a bike shop or home, so I don't have to worry too much about getting stranded.

    For sure, different scenarios have different needs and requirements in terms of what kind of bike you want to use and what you need in order to be prepared for things like a flat. I'm now carrying a spare tube and the tools necessary to remove either wheel (just a couple wrenches and a screwdriver) in case I need to repair a flat. I'm also getting a nice quality tire for the rear, so that hopefully punctures will be few and far between.

    The one disadvantage of the thinner tires is less traction, and danger of getting caught in things like streetcar tracks - I can imagine riding through Portland streets on wet leaves in the autumn it would feel a bit tenuous, but the decreased resistance is nice. Always a tradeoff, it just depends what you're going for.

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