Saturday, September 6, 2008

flat tires. patches. sneaky tricks!

Sometimes you'll go miles and miles without getting a flat; riding at low pressure, riding over glass, sometimes people are just lucky. I'm that way, but sometimes the pendulum swings in the other direction.

In the space of about 2 months I got more flats that I could shake a stick at. I try to ride with a spare tube with me on longer rides. But if I'm in the city I get lazy and just hop out the door. A few times without a patch or a tube or a pump. Here's my new trick: Get a park "SUPERPATCH" (which is basically a sticker) and some electrical tape or masking tape. Tape a patch to your frame. Now you'll always have one.

Now here's the thing about patches: The "Industry line" is that they are just supposed to get you home until you can replace the tube. A new tube is more reliable than a patched tube. That's why we don't patch tubes, we replace them.

BUT, because I became a flat magnet lately, I have taken to patching my old tubes and keeping them as spares. The superpatches have always leaked on me over time, but they definitely hold the air enough to get home. I've used the other patch kits (with the patches, rubber and sandpaper) and patched tires and ridden miles and miles on them. So the next time you change a flat, maybe keep that tire and patch it, just in case.

2 more tricks!
1. Jill taught me this one. If you get a big hole in your TIRE not your innertube and you still need to get home, take a dollar bill, fold it in half and use it as a boot for the hole in your tire. I had to try this a few weeks ago and it worked!

2. save the washers from your old presta tubes (the threaded ones), they can be used for all sorts of monkeying around on your bike purposes.

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