Author Topic: Flats while touring  (Read 3681 times)

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Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2020, 08:48:13 pm »
I may have to give Park glueless patches a chance.  I carry alcohol for the stove any way as long as yellow Heet works for cleaning.  The Tear Aid type A sound interesting for rainy days when patching can be a pain.
 

Just make sure the alcohol has dried before applying which should only take at the most 30 seconds.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2020, 10:27:56 pm »
Flats per tour? 0 to 3
How many tubes? 2
How many spare tires? 0 to 1
Patch or replace or both? Both
Beef up the flat protection? No

Offline BikePacker

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #17 on: May 09, 2020, 07:39:43 am »
Flats per tour? 0 to 1*.
How many tubes? 2.
How many spare tires? 0 to 1.
Patch or replace or both? Replace.
Beef up the flat protection? Liners.
*90% of my Flats are not due to penetration ...
with Liners in place my Flats are due to Tube failures ....
and most of the failures are at the Air Valve connector.....
I have tired to spend any amount of money on quality and it does not help
(have had experienced bike shops advise me that most all Tubes today are cheezy in quality!). 
Would welcome any advice on this from readers...
it has become my 'new' accepted normal cause 20 years ago Tubes were manufactured to a higher standard.
Btw ... one adjustment on my part that seems to be helping me ....
I was told by a bike shop to not ride
(as I had always been)
at fully inflated pressure....
hence, some of my above stat of "0 to 1" Flats per Tour is probably now down to a little less than 1 Flat per Tour.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2020, 07:59:26 am by BikePacker »

Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #18 on: May 09, 2020, 09:27:17 am »
Tubes made today are not as good as they use to be; manufactures to save a penny a tube have cut out the rubber reinforcement grommet that use to be at the base of the valve and this is why we have a lot of failures today in that area.

To combat that potential failure area some mini pump manufactures have come out with pumps with a hose, if you keep slack in the hose while pumping the natural tendency to "saw" the valve back and forth while pumping, especially at higher pressures, is virtually eliminated by the slack taking up that movement and stress on the valve.  So be very mindful when pumping on the road that the valve doesn't move.

Specialized is the only tube manufacture that I know of that still beefs up the base, they don't use a grommet but they did increase the base thickness substantial over other tubes I've seen that have nothing.  So far in over 15 years of using them I haven't had one failure at either the base or the valve itself; and if I blow a tube up outside of the tire to find a leak I haven't yet got a spot in the tube that swells up a lot larger than the rest of tube because that one area thinner than the rest of the tube, so their wall consistency is the best I've seen, even better than the famed Continental.

I bought a thorn resistant tube from Sunlite for my wife's bike (she doesn't know how to fix a flat so I have to make sure she doesn't get a flat because I'm not always with her), anyway this piece of crap had no reinforcement whatsoever, and a poor method of securing the valve to the stem with nothing more than melted rubber which was very thin and sloppy applied, it leaked out the base before the tube got to 20 psi.  I took it back to the store and went to another store and ended up with Bontrager thorn resistant tube, while the base of the stem and tube is much neater, it didn't have the grommet but it may not be as necessary since the tube is thicker.

Offline DaveB

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #19 on: May 09, 2020, 10:44:01 am »
......and most of the failures are at the Air Valve connector.....
First, carefully inspect the valve holes in your rims.  Be sure there are no burrs and that the rim tape protects the edges.  Second, you can reenforce the base of the valve stem by cutting a small square of duct tape, punching a valve-stem size hole in the middle and pushing it over the stem and down around the base.  It gives an extra layer of protection from both flexing and sharp edges.

I agree that most mini-pumps are difficult to use without excessively flexing the valve.  A pump with a hose like the Topeak Road Morph avoids the problem.

Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #20 on: May 09, 2020, 03:13:48 pm »
Or you could find a thin, small opening, about an inch in diameter, rubber washer to slip over the valve stem to the base before installing the tube and do the same thing tube manufacture use to do internally.  And the washer would be reusable.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #21 on: May 09, 2020, 03:31:17 pm »
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut. 

Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2020, 04:28:41 pm »
I got about a 1/4 inch hole once in a tire and put in a Park Boot patch, I then filled the hole from the outside with Super Glue I always carry.  The patch and glue got me home but that was about it.  The Park Boot patch is sort of thick so on thin road tires I could feel that patch hit the pavement, and the patch only lasted just long enough to get home, but won't stick longer than 6 hours.  But I will always carry one because it will get me home or to a store.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2020, 06:26:18 pm »
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut.

I have heard (but not tried yet) that a piece of an aluminum can cut out is a great boot.  I would probably secure it with duct tape (always carry) so the edges do not cut the tube.

Tailwinds, John

Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2020, 06:55:39 pm »
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut.

I have heard (but not tried yet) that a piece of an aluminum can cut out is a great boot.  I would probably secure it with duct tape (always carry) so the edges do not cut the tube.

Tailwinds, John

Wouldn't the piece of tin eventually rub it's way through the duct tape and cut your tube?

Before tire boots came along, I split a tire and the tube, so I had heard of people stuff the tire full of weeds, so I did that...I actually was able to ride it home, not fast, but I got home without walking, and faster than walking.  It looked like I was riding on low tire pressure, so all it did was save the rim from getting gnarled up from the pavement, but I went around 8 miles like that, with pieces of weeds hanging out between the rim and tire, sort of like the Beverly Hillbillies on a bike!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2020, 06:09:26 am »
The mention of tire boots makes me think of the various times I have had larger cuts or tears in tires (most often not while on tour).  I have found that I was always able to improvise something with what was available either on the bike, in my pockets, or by the roadside.

I primarily think of a tire boot as something to limp along until I can get a replacement tire.  Something like 1/4" cut or smaller I think of as more of a patch than a boot and that may be more likely to be a permanent repair.

BTW, I don't typically carry the needed stuff to do it, but some repairs may benefit from stitching.  These days I'd pitch and replace a tire that needed it, but decades ago I remember stitching a couple sidewalls with tears and also applying permanent boots.  I could imagine it being a handy way to get to somewhere that you could get a replacement tire if riding in really remote places.  A needle or even an awl and some heavy thread wouldn't be much to carry.  I don't plan to start carrying them myself, but could seem them being handy in some cases.

Offline wildtoad

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2020, 12:00:02 pm »
On the tube quality issue/failure around valve seam....in my case, I have had good experience with both Continental and Schwalbe tubes. Screw on grommets and replaceable valve cores are a plus for those as well. (I have damaged a couple of valve cores w/ sloppy, overly robust use of frame pump!)  I cannot recall a valve seam failure on either brand of tube...I have some Conti tubes that have been in service for ages.

In the more distant past, Michelin and Specialized tubes have been fine as well.

Terrible/miserable experience w/ more than one "off brand/private label" line of tubes. While I have had good experience w/ many REI branded products, their past Novara branded tubes were horrendous IMO. Valve seam failure almost like clockwork. A couple other brands almost as bad, but I don't recall the names.  Anyway, I don't buy cheap tubes any more (although even "cheaper" tubes have huge markup nowadays).

So, go w/ a name brand perhaps, and do your best to minimize stress on valve when pumping, installing, etc.

Offline froze

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2020, 03:15:30 pm »
I won't use anything but Specialized tube anymore, their quality control is very high.  Like I said earlier if I blow one those Specs tubes with air outside of the tire I don't get one area that bulges out from a thin spot on the tube, and the it seems that the union of the tube to the valve stem is better and a bit more stout though still not as stout as tubes were back 20 years ago before they took out the reinforcement grommet.

Offline BikePacker

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #28 on: May 10, 2020, 09:28:47 pm »
DaveB & Froze - Thank you for your helpful tips (about a half dozen posts back : ).

Offline hikerjer

Re: Flats while touring
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2020, 11:37:25 pm »
I honestly don't think Schwalbe tires can be beat. I used a pair on my first 2000+ mile plus tour and a another pair on my second 2500+ mile tour and never had a single flat. After my second tour, I put the same tires my commuter bike over 18 months ago and still haven't had a flat riding around the city nearly every day. Astounding.

While touring I do carry two extra tubes. Never used one except when I gave one to a guy I met who had completely blown his tube.  I don't carry a spare tire at all. Extra protection includes a tire boot. Never used it either. And of course, a tire repair kit including C02 cartridge and frame pump.  Actually the only thing I ever used on tour relatdto tires was a pump to top off air pressure once in awhile.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2020, 07:53:19 pm by hikerjer »