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Flat really bit me a good one today

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Here was my dreadful morning. I woke up 5:00, got ready, and first sign of sun ontop of the ft. hills i went off on my ride (about 5:40). Im taking it slow, doing a high cadence with low speed type deal to warm up my legs. Im doing great and then all of a sudden bam, chug chug chug chug. A gosh darn flat, at 6:00 in the morning about 2 miles away from home..... That may sound like nothing to you, but to me not knowing how to fix a flat, its a long, disheatening, walk back home. It was the most uncomfortable 2 miles ever thanks to the normally comfortable cycling shoes (yeah i would not recomend these for walking a good distance ). We keep a lock on our side gate, which i went through in the morning when i left on my ride (i put the key back inside, exited through the garage door that exits to back yard, locking the garage door and exited through the side gate when i left) and entered through that. Another thing i did without thinking was locking the gate back up because now, the back yard garage door is locked, the sliding back yard door is locked, and the side gate is locked with me now confined to my backyard. All in all i had to call and wake up my father out of his beauty sleep to open the back door. Soo i have decided that today is a good day to learn how to fix a flat.

First things first i have no clue how to operate a quickrelease and am afraid to touch those things. I keep thinking that ima be going 40mph down a hill and theyll come off cuz i put them on wrong. Does any body have a video or guide online or want to explain to me how to do it?

Second, i have no idea how to take the tire off to get to the tube. i read acouple of guides online and still have no clue. They mention that its better to use some kind of tool?

Thanks for your help guys
post #2 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

To make this real easy, take the bike to your LBS, pay them to fix it but ask them to show you what they are doing so that you can do it next time. I don't know about anybody else out there but I like to carry a spare tube and a CO2 Inflator. I'll put a patch on the old tube when I get home.
post #3 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdelong
To make this real easy, take the bike to your LBS, pay them to fix it but ask them to show you what they are doing so that you can do it next time. I don't know about anybody else out there but I like to carry a spare tube and a CO2 Inflator. I'll put a patch on the old tube when I get home.
I know it happens, but it is just plain silly to ride a bike without knowing how to fix a flat (actually, you should be carrying a spare tube, so it would be changing a tube, not fixing a flat).

You need to get some instruction in basic bike maintenance. Now. Check around your local bike shops or cycling clubs, they often offer them.

Lacking that, go to a large book store and buy a book which includes basic info on bikes and how to maintain them. Find one that seems to be understandable to you and/or contains sections you know you need (flat changing, etc.) I learned almost everything I know by that method.

I recommend changing to MTB shoes with clipless pedals which work with them. Much easier to walk on and functionally give you everything you need unless you're a full-on racer.
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

lol funny thing is, i carry a spare tube, its just i dont know what to do with it. I had a co2 thingy and tried to fill up the flat tire enough to make it home, that didnt work. The reason i walked home was because i didnt wanna damage the wheel by riding it the 2 miles back home :P, thats what i ment by road shoes arnt ment for walking.
post #5 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Be prepared. My bag always contains a puncture repair kit, a spare MTB tube, a spare road tube (never know when you'll meet someone who needs help), a multi-tool, CO2 inflator, backup hand pump, roll of tape.

Of course, the most important tool you carry is in your head, not your bag. You really need to learn how to at least repair flats. If you're in a heavily populated area, chances are there's someone on here not too far from you who can spare half an hour...
post #6 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysang
...First things first i have no clue how to operate a quickrelease and am afraid to touch those things.
It's not too hard, just flip the lever open on the quick release. On most rear wheels that's enough but you have to work the wheel out away from the rear derailleur(helps if you shift to the smallest rear cog before removing or installing a rear wheel), that takes some practice and is easier to show someone than to describe. For front wheels on most bikes you also need to unscrew the QR spindle a few more turns after it's loosened to get it off the safety nubs on most front forks(didn't used to be this way, but i 'spect the lawyers got involved and now quick releases aren't really quick but it makes sure your front wheel stays put even if the skewer is a tad loose). For both front and back you generally have to open the brakes as well to clear the tire. Reverse the procedure when it comes time reinstall, make sure the wheel is centered, the QR is snug (takes firm pressure to close the lever but not a struggle) and the brakes are reconnected if you opened them. You'll have to rescrew the front QR lever to account for the safety nubs before closing the lever clamp.
Quote:
...Second, i have no idea how to take the tire off to get to the tube. i read acouple of guides online and still have no clue. They mention that its better to use some kind of tool?
Yeah, carry two tire irons, they're just plastic levers that help you get tight tires off and don't have a lot of sharp edges to nick tubes or tires. It's best if you can learn to remount the tires without the tools as it reduces the chance of nicking or pinching the new tube but some tire/rim combos are just too tight.

Here's a video that shows the basic steps. Don't worry about stuff like tire talc when out on the road (basically I only talc racing tires anyway, but that's a personal choice) and I don't agree with all the methods this guy uses but it covers the basics.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAa0iN4wrhU
here's some more you might find useful:
http://www.youtube.com/user/bikingiscool
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmIAF5DsYSU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buMwWoABIIw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTiiabA07GE

Anyway, the other folks that suggested a class or workshop at your LBS are right on target. There's nothing like seeing it done and trying to do it yourself to help you figure it out. If that's not an option then change some perfectly good front and rear tires a couple of times at home and you'll get it dialed.

Good luck,
Dave
post #7 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Just go and get a bike maintenance book with lots of pictures to understand the thing that you are riding on. Its a bicycle! A relatively simple piece of equipment.

Surely you wont go camping, carry all your tent equipment, fire making stuff, and then say that "lol, I have all the equipment but dont know how to use it!"

On the positive side, at least you are not one of those "weight-weenies" who DONT carry a tube, DONT carry a pump, and then expect to be donated a tube when they get a flat.

Geez.
post #8 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by thomas_cho
Just go and get a bike maintenance book with lots of pictures to understand the thing that you are riding on. Its a bicycle! A relatively simple piece of equipment.

Surely you wont go camping, carry all your tent equipment, fire making stuff, and then say that "lol, I have all the equipment but dont know how to use it!"

On the positive side, at least you are not one of those "weight-weenies" who DONT carry a tube, DONT carry a pump, and then expect to be donated a tube when they get a flat.

Geez.
yeah a maintainance book would be good. Surprisingly my lbs does not have any soo i will need to go to book store. Do you recomend any good ones for road bikes i should get?
post #9 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysang
yeah a maintainance book would be good. Surprisingly my lbs does not have any soo i will need to go to book store. Do you recomend any good ones for road bikes i should get?
Lennard Zinn's "Zinn & Art of Road Bike Maintenance" is excellent:

[URL=http://www.amazon.com/Zinn-Art-Road-Bike-Maintenance/dp/1931382697/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3489913-6877534?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1182464995&sr=8-1[/URL]
post #10 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

I like what daveryanwyoming has said and I'm sure his links will be a great help.

Park Tools has a maintenance manual on their website.http://www.parktool.com/

The first time you open your quick release close it again before you unscrew it so that you will get a feel for the correct closing tension
post #11 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnysang
yeah a maintainance book would be good. Surprisingly my lbs does not have any soo i will need to go to book store. Do you recomend any good ones for road bikes i should get?
I recommend Bicycle Maintenance & Repair for Road and Mountain Bikes from Rodale Press. If you are in the US, you can find this book at Borders Books or Barnes & Nobles for about $20.00 US. Or you can order it from www.Bicycling.com or www.rodalestore.com, or you can call 1-800-848-4735. This is the most comprehensive but easy to understand manual that I have ever used and it covers all aspects of bicycle repair, not just fixing flats.
post #12 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Flats are so common on road bikes (less so on mountain bikes...in fact, a mountain bike on the road I have never ever gotten a flat, even as a kid and years and years of cycling) that it's incumbent you carry a spare tube, pump (or CO2 pump) and know how to do it. Bike store can hook you up and you can practice at home
post #13 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

Park Tool has a lot of tutorials on their website for bike maintenance.

http://www.parktool.com/repair/readhowto.asp?id=100
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

yup, bike store did teach me!! also that parktools and youtube videos were great examples/tutorials. Thanks for the support guys
post #15 of 16

Re: Flat really bit me a good one today

- have got a whole plastic bag full of punctured tubes. Can't even begin to
remember how many punctures I have had.

- you really need to learn to fix them. If not , you might really get into trouble
when , say , you're really far from home/civilisation.

cheers.
.
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