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Flat Repair Tools
#1
Lightbulb 
I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, standing by. I called over, "Need anything? The woman replied, "Maybe!

I rolled back and saw the guy with a screwdriver on the rim! He said, "I think this is tubeless; all I have is a tube," and he also had a small hand pump. It was from his wife's E-bike. I took out my levers and removed the tire, removed the tube that was holding some air, and found the pinhole and the glass that pushed through the tire. I had to meet someone up the road, so I left the tire levers with him and asked if he would hide them by the light post nearby. I returned and collected my tools.

How do you leave for a ride without a plan for flatting? Granted, they may only be going on a 10-mile cruise, but still.

My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.
  Reply
#2
(09-25-2023, 08:00 AM)SPINMAN Wrote:  My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.

I take a spare tube, and the tools to change it. Also a pump, and paper towels to clean the tire and rim.

If I am going for a very long trip, I might take 2 spare tubes. If I am going somewhere really close, I don't take anything.
  Reply
#3
On my daily commute, I will be honest in saying that I was like the stranded bikers Spinman helped. I rarely carried anything probably because there were a few bike shops.

While during my South America trip, I carried two tubes, a spare tire, a patch kit, a pump, gloves, and paper towels. Until I saw this post, I truly didn't know the use of paper towels. Spinman's reasoning makes sense as I used to use bare skin to feel for those tire intrusions and always felt queasy.

Here in India, I am carrying one tube, patch kit, and pump. Sadly no tire as I haven't been wasn't able to find a foldable tire.
  Reply
#4
In the last 20 years I've run into this more and more. It use to be that people knew how to fix their flats, but nowadays it seems that ability is slowly fading away.

Granted tires today are a lot more robust against flats then they were over 20 years ago, and nowadays riders carry cell phones, so should they get a flat they call their mommys...err...I mean wives.

I was at a bike shop when a guy in his late 60's came in with his kit on and a flat tire, asked the shop to fix it, then his wife came in, so he called his wife to come get him and take him to the bike shop.

Fixing a flat is not rocket science, and if a person is going to ride further than they can comfortably walk home from then they should learn how to fix flats.

When I run into these people I stop and ask if they need help, if they say yes, then I find out what tools they have, if they don't have any I show them what tools to buy, then I show them how to fix a flat, but I pretend to put the patch on, then I put the tire back on while showing them how and with the flat not fixed, hand them my tools and tell them to do it. I get some interesting looks when I do this, but the only way they're going to learn is to do it. I watch and talk them through it. Sure this method takes time off my ride, but I'm not training to race so it's not that big of a deal to stop for a half an hour to instruct them, but this sort of interaction only happens maybe once a year, so it's not a huge problem.
Wag more, bark less
  Reply
#5
  • Spare tube (ideally TPU, but butyl if that's all I have)
  • Park Tool TL-1.2 tyre levers
  • Crank Brothers Speedier Lever
  • Patch kit (with patches for both tube and tire on my gravel bike)
  • Pump (I have been carrying a Lezyne Sport Drive HP, but while changing tires on my latest bike, I experienced the dreaded tendency for this type of pump to unscrew the valve core, so am investigating superior options. I have a good floor pump but thought it worth testing my hand pump at home...)

In many years of cycling, I've somehow managed to avoid ever getting a puncture/flat while out riding, so I might have been lucky with the suitability of this gear.

Things I reckon I should add to the above:
  • spare valve core (on my bike with removable valve cores)
  • valve core tool (ditto)
  • glueless patches

If you run tubeless, obviously, the kit you want to carry is a bit different.
  Reply
#6
(09-25-2023, 08:00 AM)SPINMAN Wrote:  I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, standing by. I called over, "Need anything? The woman replied, "Maybe!

I rolled back and saw the guy with a screwdriver on the rim! He said, "I think this is tubeless; all I have is a tube," and he also had a small hand pump. It was from his wife's E-bike. I took out my levers and removed the tire, removed the tube that was holding some air, and found the pinhole and the glass that pushed through the tire. I had to meet someone up the road, so I left the tire levers with him and asked if he would hide them by the light post nearby. I returned and collected my tools.

How do you leave for a ride without a plan for flatting? Granted, they may only be going on a 10-mile cruise, but still.

My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.

was he trying to unseat the tire using a screw driver? I feel sorry for the rim and also, why is it more convenient to bring a screw driver along a ride versus a proper tire lever? The tire lever weights less than a screw driver, If I were to ride out I would at least have 3 tire levers, a tube and a pump, I think that's the minimum even for a short ride

(02-23-2024, 11:20 AM)enkei Wrote:  
  • Spare tube (ideally TPU, but butyl if that's all I have)
  • Park Tool TL-1.2 tyre levers
  • Crank Brothers Speedier Lever
  • Patch kit (with patches for both tube and tire on my gravel bike)
  • Pump (I have been carrying a Lezyne Sport Drive HP, but while changing tires on my latest bike, I experienced the dreaded tendency for this type of pump to unscrew the valve core, so am investigating superior options. I have a good floor pump but thought it worth testing my hand pump at home...)

In many years of cycling, I've somehow managed to avoid ever getting a puncture/flat while out riding, so I might have been lucky with the suitability of this gear.

Things I reckon I should add to the above:
  • spare valve core (on my bike with removable valve cores)
  • valve core tool (ditto)
  • glueless patches

If you run tubeless, obviously, the kit you want to carry is a bit different.

For people with tubeless tires, you just add Stans DART system, its literally a Dart that reacts with the sealant to make a bigger seal, its much more effective than Bacon strips and the filament they use forms into the tire making it basically part of the whole tire now.
  Reply
#7
While growing up here in India, I remember most bicycle shops using screwdrivers when they needed to get the tube out to fix a flat. I am guessing the rider/flat fixer in this scenario did not have the tube levers so was using whatever he had..

Personally, I carry a spare tire (if it's foldable), tube, glue patches, glue-less patches, levers and a hand pump. Even then, I am always hoping that I don't get a flat. I not only get cold and lose my rhythm but just am afraid of no particular reason. This in spite of I having a bike with 4-inch fat tires that come off the rim as soon as there's a flat. So, I don't need to use any levers or use a lot of force to put them back on.

Probably it's PTSD (inappropriate use but can't find another word describing my fear) from days when I had Gatorskin tires on a road bike that were really hard to take off or put back on.


(02-25-2024, 10:23 PM)meamoantonio Wrote:  
(09-25-2023, 08:00 AM)SPINMAN Wrote:  I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, standing by. I called over, "Need anything? The woman replied, "Maybe!

I rolled back and saw the guy with a screwdriver on the rim! He said, "I think this is tubeless; all I have is a tube," and he also had a small hand pump. It was from his wife's E-bike. I took out my levers and removed the tire, removed the tube that was holding some air, and found the pinhole and the glass that pushed through the tire. I had to meet someone up the road, so I left the tire levers with him and asked if he would hide them by the light post nearby. I returned and collected my tools.

How do you leave for a ride without a plan for flatting? Granted, they may only be going on a 10-mile cruise, but still.

My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.

was he trying to unseat the tire using a screw driver? I feel sorry for the rim and also, why is it more convenient to bring a screw driver along a ride versus a proper tire lever? The tire lever weights less than a screw driver, If I were to ride out I would at least have 3 tire levers, a tube and a pump, I think that's the minimum even for a short ride

(02-23-2024, 11:20 AM)enkei Wrote:  
  • Spare tube (ideally TPU, but butyl if that's all I have)
  • Park Tool TL-1.2 tyre levers
  • Crank Brothers Speedier Lever
  • Patch kit (with patches for both tube and tire on my gravel bike)
  • Pump (I have been carrying a Lezyne Sport Drive HP, but while changing tires on my latest bike, I experienced the dreaded tendency for this type of pump to unscrew the valve core, so am investigating superior options. I have a good floor pump but thought it worth testing my hand pump at home...)

In many years of cycling, I've somehow managed to avoid ever getting a puncture/flat while out riding, so I might have been lucky with the suitability of this gear.

Things I reckon I should add to the above:
  • spare valve core (on my bike with removable valve cores)
  • valve core tool (ditto)
  • glueless patches

If you run tubeless, obviously, the kit you want to carry is a bit different.

For people with tubeless tires, you just add Stans DART system, its literally a Dart that reacts with the sealant to make a bigger seal, its much more effective than Bacon strips and the filament they use forms into the tire making it basically part of the whole tire now.
  Reply
#8
(02-26-2024, 03:22 AM)GirishH Wrote:  While growing up here in India, I remember most bicycle shops using screwdrivers when they needed to get the tube out to fix a flat. I am guessing the rider/flat fixer in this scenario did not have the tube levers so was using whatever he had..

Personally, I carry a spare tire (if it's foldable), tube, glue patches, glue-less patches, levers and a hand pump. Even then, I am always hoping that I don't get a flat. I not only get cold and lose my rhythm but just am afraid of no particular reason. This in spite of I having a bike with 4-inch fat tires that come off the rim as soon as there's a flat. So, I don't need to use any levers or use a lot of force to put them back on.

Probably it's PTSD (inappropriate use but can't find another word describing my fear) from days when I had Gatorskin tires on a road bike that were really hard to take off or put back on.


(02-25-2024, 10:23 PM)meamoantonio Wrote:  
(09-25-2023, 08:00 AM)SPINMAN Wrote:  I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, standing by. I called over, "Need anything? The woman replied, "Maybe!

I rolled back and saw the guy with a screwdriver on the rim! He said, "I think this is tubeless; all I have is a tube," and he also had a small hand pump. It was from his wife's E-bike. I took out my levers and removed the tire, removed the tube that was holding some air, and found the pinhole and the glass that pushed through the tire. I had to meet someone up the road, so I left the tire levers with him and asked if he would hide them by the light post nearby. I returned and collected my tools.

How do you leave for a ride without a plan for flatting? Granted, they may only be going on a 10-mile cruise, but still.

My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.

was he trying to unseat the tire using a screw driver? I feel sorry for the rim and also, why is it more convenient to bring a screw driver along a ride versus a proper tire lever? The tire lever weights less than a screw driver, If I were to ride out I would at least have 3 tire levers, a tube and a pump, I think that's the minimum even for a short ride

(02-23-2024, 11:20 AM)enkei Wrote:  
  • Spare tube (ideally TPU, but butyl if that's all I have)
  • Park Tool TL-1.2 tyre levers
  • Crank Brothers Speedier Lever
  • Patch kit (with patches for both tube and tire on my gravel bike)
  • Pump (I have been carrying a Lezyne Sport Drive HP, but while changing tires on my latest bike, I experienced the dreaded tendency for this type of pump to unscrew the valve core, so am investigating superior options. I have a good floor pump but thought it worth testing my hand pump at home...)

In many years of cycling, I've somehow managed to avoid ever getting a puncture/flat while out riding, so I might have been lucky with the suitability of this gear.

Things I reckon I should add to the above:
  • spare valve core (on my bike with removable valve cores)
  • valve core tool (ditto)
  • glueless patches

If you run tubeless, obviously, the kit you want to carry is a bit different.

For people with tubeless tires, you just add Stans DART system, its literally a Dart that reacts with the sealant to make a bigger seal, its much more effective than Bacon strips and the filament they use forms into the tire making it basically part of the whole tire now.

In the absence of proper tyre levers, suitable spoon handles make a lot more sense than screwdrivers...
  Reply
#9
Haha... I will keep them (spoons) in mind.

Again, when in a fix, we have to use what we have. So, I guess whatever helps us get the tire off the wheel.

Also, I started carrying all the tools to fix a flat only when I began doing long-distance rides. For my daily office commutes, I didn't carry these tools probably because I knew I could get help (at a bike shop/shops) along the way. Moreover, the bike I used for commuting was very different from what I use for long distances. Therefore, the attachment/care we have for that long-distance bike is very different from what we have for our commuter bike.

(02-26-2024, 03:49 PM)enkei Wrote:  
(02-26-2024, 03:22 AM)GirishH Wrote:  While growing up here in India, I remember most bicycle shops using screwdrivers when they needed to get the tube out to fix a flat. I am guessing the rider/flat fixer in this scenario did not have the tube levers so was using whatever he had..

Personally, I carry a spare tire (if it's foldable), tube, glue patches, glue-less patches, levers and a hand pump. Even then, I am always hoping that I don't get a flat. I not only get cold and lose my rhythm but just am afraid of no particular reason. This in spite of I having a bike with 4-inch fat tires that come off the rim as soon as there's a flat. So, I don't need to use any levers or use a lot of force to put them back on.

Probably it's PTSD (inappropriate use but can't find another word describing my fear) from days when I had Gatorskin tires on a road bike that were really hard to take off or put back on.


(02-25-2024, 10:23 PM)meamoantonio Wrote:  
(09-25-2023, 08:00 AM)SPINMAN Wrote:  I came across two riders with flats on yesterday's ride. The usual response as I roll by and ask, "Do you need anything?" is, "No, I'm good," but today, someone was in need. The first guy, fit, full kit, nice Colnago, was good to go. Then, about seven miles later, on the opposite side of the road, a guy sitting on the side of the road with a wheel between his legs and with his wife, I presumed, standing by. I called over, "Need anything? The woman replied, "Maybe!

I rolled back and saw the guy with a screwdriver on the rim! He said, "I think this is tubeless; all I have is a tube," and he also had a small hand pump. It was from his wife's E-bike. I took out my levers and removed the tire, removed the tube that was holding some air, and found the pinhole and the glass that pushed through the tire. I had to meet someone up the road, so I left the tire levers with him and asked if he would hide them by the light post nearby. I returned and collected my tools.

How do you leave for a ride without a plan for flatting? Granted, they may only be going on a 10-mile cruise, but still.

My post is about what you take with you for a ride if you get a flat.
I take two tubes, a patch kit, a CO2 pump, three cartridges, gloves, and paper towels to feel for unseen tire intrusions.

was he trying to unseat the tire using a screw driver? I feel sorry for the rim and also, why is it more convenient to bring a screw driver along a ride versus a proper tire lever? The tire lever weights less than a screw driver, If I were to ride out I would at least have 3 tire levers, a tube and a pump, I think that's the minimum even for a short ride

(02-23-2024, 11:20 AM)enkei Wrote:  
  • Spare tube (ideally TPU, but butyl if that's all I have)
  • Park Tool TL-1.2 tyre levers
  • Crank Brothers Speedier Lever
  • Patch kit (with patches for both tube and tire on my gravel bike)
  • Pump (I have been carrying a Lezyne Sport Drive HP, but while changing tires on my latest bike, I experienced the dreaded tendency for this type of pump to unscrew the valve core, so am investigating superior options. I have a good floor pump but thought it worth testing my hand pump at home...)

In many years of cycling, I've somehow managed to avoid ever getting a puncture/flat while out riding, so I might have been lucky with the suitability of this gear.

Things I reckon I should add to the above:
  • spare valve core (on my bike with removable valve cores)
  • valve core tool (ditto)
  • glueless patches

If you run tubeless, obviously, the kit you want to carry is a bit different.

For people with tubeless tires, you just add Stans DART system, its literally a Dart that reacts with the sealant to make a bigger seal, its much more effective than Bacon strips and the filament they use forms into the tire making it basically part of the whole tire now.

In the absence of proper tyre levers, suitable spoon handles make a lot more sense than screwdrivers...
  Reply
#10
(02-28-2024, 11:08 PM)GirishH Wrote:  Therefore, the attachment/care we have for that long-distance bike is very different from what we have for our commuter bike.

This is a good point. I don't carry any tools on my town runabout because It's almost impossible for me to end up so far from home that I can't just walk home in less than 30 minutes, maybe 60 minutes if I've gone really far afield.
  Reply
#11
being prepared for such situations is nothing less than a skill IMO.
some additional suggestions
You already have tire levers, but they are crucial for easily removing and reinstalling tight tires. Having an old school pump instead of cartridges is much more reliable.
  Reply


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