me2

Flat tire

First flat on the new bike today. I hit a pothole and got a pinch flat. Observations:

  • I put my headlight on the helmet. That's a lousy place for a light, it gives you no contrast to see potholes. The handlebar bag is in the way for lighting, but I'm going to have to figure out something else - perhaps on the bars under the brakes or something. I have to get the headlight down lower.

  • The skinnier tires are actually a little easier to change than the 32 to 35s that I run on the other bike. Or maybe it's just these particular tires. I have some Nashbar Prima 2 tires coming - they're $15 and the reviews say they are long-lasting (4000/8000 miles on front/back) and pretty puncture-resistant.  The tires this thing came with are said to only last 2000 miles or so, so I'll be wearing them out this summer.

  • I flatted in a lovely spot for changing a tire - 5 foot wide paved shoulder, good lane markings, a proper curb and a nice sloping mowed grass verge. I've had to change tires on a rutted loose gravel spot with a dropoff into the ditch and no shoulder before.

  •  I hope I don't flat again before I get home - I only have one spare tube and no patch kit. I suppose I should toss a patch or two and some cement into the kit. (I hate glueless patches - they don't work well for me and I just have to scrape them off before putting on a REAL patch).

Tags: , ,
I suppose I should toss a patch or two and some cement into the kit. (I hate glueless patches - they don't work well for me and I just have to scrape them off before putting on a REAL patch).

As far as I can tell, they don't make the good patch kits anymore. The ones I remember, from (mumble) years ago, you needed to carry a lighter or matches because you had to light the glue on fire after you applied it to the tube and the patch, but before you put the patch on the tire. The only thing I've found recently is patch kits with non-flammable glue, which just don't work as well.
I just use a Harbor Freight patch kit (20 small patches for $3 here) and an office supply jar of rubber cement. AFAIK the fire was just a trick to get the cement to set faster, if you just let it dry before applying the patch, same thing.

I experimentally tried to get my patches off of a tube bound for the trash last year (the valve stem had finally given up). I couldn't get any of the patches off without ripping the tube, so I think they were sufficiently solid.

I just clean well, glue evenly, let the glue set for probably 7 or 8 minutes until it's relatively dry to the touch (just barely tacky anymore), then I apply the patch and mash the crap out of it to work out air bubbles and make sure it's well seated.

FWIW, the best tire patches on the market are Rema Tip-Top vulcanizing patches. But as I said, the Harbor Frieght patch kit is a many-year supply and is working for me. They're just squares of rubber sheet with a peel-off cover on a sticky side, so they're probably a little heavy for road bike tires; I might get some Rema patches for this bike.

Edited at 2013-03-27 04:38 pm (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and get some different patches. The Harbor Freight ones are OK for tubes on the old bike which are for 32-35mm tires, but the new bike's tubes are tiny and the patch is big and klunky on it. Amazon has 100 patches and an 8 oz bottle of cement for < $20.

The rubber cement I have in the basement, which is probably 15 years old at this point, is getting pretty dried up and I was probably stretching it to do this patch. I need something new anyway and the old patch kit only has about 5 patches left.

If you want REALLY good, the vulcanizing fluid is better than the cement, but it's $18 for 8 oz. I've found just plain old rubber cement to be fine for me so I'm going to just use that.