Author Topic: Do I really need to carry a spare tire?  (Read 9790 times)

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Offline ahorowit

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« on: November 09, 2006, 11:11:28 pm »
I've been on several 500-750 mile rides and a half dozen or so 3-5 day rides, all in the eastern states.  I've always carried a spare tire.  (Of course, I carry two tubes, but I'm talking about the tire.)  I've never even come close to needing it.  I'm planning another long distance trip next summer.  I will if I have to, but do I really need to carry a spare tire?  Is there anyone out there who has shredded their touring tire on a road ride?  Thanks in advance for any advice!


Offline BrianCM

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #1 on: November 10, 2006, 02:57:03 am »
I had one inner tube that was so cheap that the stem popped off of it.  I recently had to change tires because the front got sliced by glass.  The glass didn't cause a flat, but it did slice down to the carcass fiber.

I would recommend carrying the lightest folding tire that fits your wheel and tubes.  While it may not be the ideal tire, you won't be stranded.  Another thing you could do is carry a piece of Mr. Tuffy or other tire liner, and then when the tire gets sliced you can put the liner under the slice and continue to ride.

If you have a quality tire which is appropriate for the load, I suspect that tire failures are really quite rare.


Offline ptaylor

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #2 on: November 10, 2006, 08:39:15 am »
Last year (2005) I had a sidewall failure, and decided to start carrying a good quality folding spare on my loaded touring trips.

This summer, I did a 5,000 mile tour with 5 other bikers. One guy had two sidewall failures: a regular tire failed, and his lightweight spare then failed before he was able to get to a bike shop for a replacement. He was able to get by by using tape inside the tire.

I will continue carrying a folding spare, and hope I never need it.


Paul
Paul

Offline Fred Hiltz

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #3 on: November 10, 2006, 08:40:34 am »
I carry a small piece of light canvas in my patch kit. A boot between tire and tube has got me to the next bike shop after one blowout and a couple of sliced tires over the years. I have read that a folded dollar bill works too, but have never tried it.

Fred


Offline RussellSeaton

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #4 on: November 10, 2006, 11:45:22 am »
On loaded tours I carry a folding Michelin Hi-Lite Tour tire.  In 1992 I had a sidewall failure.  Was not carrying a spare tire at the time.  Sidewall failure was such that I don't think any boot would have worked.  Fortunately the people in the house I stopped in front of hauled me 10 miles back to a bike shop I passed earlier in the day and I bought a Specialized touring tire.  In 2000 my old but still good tread front tire would not stay on the rim.  The bead kept popping off the rim and blowing out the tube.  After this occurred 3 or 4 times over a few days and ruined $15 of tubes, I put the spare tire on and no more problems.  On shorter non loaded tours I don't carry a spare tire.  Not even on brevets.


Offline valygrl

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2006, 04:00:45 pm »
"It depends."

I usually carry a lightweight folding spare.  I've used it twice - once I loaned to a fellow rider, who ran over something that shredded his tire, and once on my own bike, when my old tire died of old age.  I wouldn't have let my old tire get so worn out if I wasn't carrying a spare, and I only rode on it for a few days, until I got to a town with a bike shop that had a good tire.  

I didn't take in on my recent one-week pacific coast trip.  It sure was nice to travel lighter.  

I just decide based on the specific trip. You have to weight the pros and cons for each trip:  ease of getting a new tire, ease/safety of hitchiking, amount of time you can afford to waste, condition of your existing tires, road conditions.  If you are in the states and can blow a day and a few dollars, you can get a tire overnighted to you.


Offline Sailariel

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2006, 06:07:49 pm »
I carry a spare tube and a patch kit on anything 100mi or less. For anything else, two tubes and a folding tire are standard issue. Also depends on how supported the ride is. For the Trek Across Maine which is 187mi I carry two spare tubes and a patch kit. They have sag wagons galore. A good pump is also a plus. The Topeak frame pump for $25.00 is a good value.


Offline Turk

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #7 on: November 12, 2006, 05:58:21 pm »
I shredded one just a few weeks ago. While going downhill at about 25 mph and checking behind me to change to the left lane I ran over a thin piece of spring steel that put a huge transverse cut in my tire and tube. I bike in the city mostly and never carry a spare tire. Luckily I was just a couple of blocks from home, so it wasn't a big problem.


Offline litespeed

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2006, 05:05:24 pm »
After a few years of touring around the country, including a circumnavgation of the US in 2004, I finally cut a tire badly last year. I had never carried a spare tire but always plenty of tubes. Anyway,I was only about 200 miles from home and heading west. I was able to patch up the tire somewhat and with much stopping to pump it up,made it 30 miles to the next KOA. I had two tires at home    so the easiest and cheapest thing to do was to rent an SUV, throw in the bicycle, drive home and get them. If I had been way out I probably would have had to wait for a shop to order one for me as I use Continental Top touring 37's and no shops carry them except in Missoula MT. I now carry a spare tire doubled over and taped up in a rear pannier. By the way, I tried a folded up dollar bill. It didn't work worth a d*mn.


Offline RussellSeaton

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2006, 12:29:15 pm »
"If I had been way out I probably would have had to wait for a shop to order one for me as I use Continental Top touring 37's and no shops carry them except in Missoula MT."

Just to clarify for others.  You do not have to carry the exact same spare tire as you run normally.  A used, but not trashed, folding bead tire works fine for the relatively rare times you need the spare tire.  It does not have to be as wide as your regular spare tire.  It only needs to last long enough to get you to someplace you can buy a suitable replacement tire.

Almost all cars come from the factory with one of those small donut spare tires.  They are meant to be used long enough to get you to a tire shop that can put on a new regular tire or patch the flat tire.  I don't notice too many people dying on the side of the road from having one of the donut spare tires.


Offline Sailariel

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2006, 03:36:13 pm »
A point well made. A cheap folding tire will be "standard issue" from now on. I`m sure there will be room for it in the underseat bag.


Offline miles2go

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2006, 02:31:51 pm »
We generally don't carry a spare tire.  If we're riding into an area where getting a replacement would be hard then we carry them.  This depends somewhat on the bikes we're using.  We have light touring bikes that have 700c wheels, heavy touring bikes with 26" wheels and travel touring bikes that are built on 20" wheels.

Also it helps to start the tour with the best tires you can get.  We've never even had a flat with Conti TravelContacts or the Schwalbe tires we use.

Cheers,

« Last Edit: April 28, 2010, 03:24:23 am by miles2go »

Offline Ike

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2006, 04:26:18 pm »
I'd worry less about blowing a tire than I would about keeping my tires in good shape and replacing them regularly.  It took 10,000 loaded touring miles on many trips before I experienced a blowout on a tire that should have been replaced before I began.  Luckily, it was a small hole in the sidewall.  I was able to successfully patch it with a with a folded dollar bill and ride 60 more miles that day.

Ike


Offline scott.laughlin

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2006, 05:43:53 pm »
I blew the sidewall out of a new rear tire.  It was right against the bead, and in spite of my best efforts I was unable to make a "boot" stay in place.  I was forced to use a new tube and push the bike 11 miles.  Once was enough for me.

Scott


Offline RussellSeaton

Do I really need to carry a spare tire?
« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2006, 09:19:37 am »
Another good reason to carry a spare tire, even on shorter rides than extended loaded tours, is in case you cannot find what caused the puncture.  On more than one occassion I had a slow leak and changed the tube.  I tried to find what caused the leak but could not.  30 mph wind, cars, etc. all make finding the tiny hole in the tube difficult since you literally cannot hear anything.  And running the fingers over the tire does not find the tiny glass or thorn tips imbedded in the tire.  So I've put a new tube in and pumped the tire up.  And 10 miles later, or less, its going flat too.  I usually eventually find what was causing the problem.  Sometimes I get back home and just toss the tire and start fresh because I cannot find the glass, thorn, wire, etc. causing the flats.  With a spare tire, you can put it on and a new tube and you will not have to worry about anything being imbedded in the tire causing a second flat.  I plan to use this idea on next year's brevets.  Probably go with a Continental Supersonic, 160 grams.  Lightest clincher around.  Good enough to finish a ride with some peace of mind after a mysterious flat.