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How long does it take you to fix a flat?

Old 05-30-19, 03:19 PM
  #1  
General Geoff
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How long does it take you to fix a flat?

Having gotten two flats on my rear tire in a week's time, I've found it takes me about 20-25 minutes at a liesurely pace to:

remove a thru-axle,
pull the wheel,
unseat one bead,
leverage the bead over the wheel rim,
remove the tube and presta valve nut,
find the puncture in the tube,
locate corresponding point on the tire,
find source of puncture (both times it was a tiny shard of glass still embedded in the tire),
remove source of puncture from tire,
wipe off puncture section of inner tube with wet paper towel,
scuff with 220 grit sandpaper,
apply vulcanizing rubber cement and spread around puncture area,
peel and apply patch, knead with pressure for a minute,
re-insert tube, reinsert presta valve/affix nut,
tuck tube into tire,
leverage the bead back into the wheel rim,
and pump about a hundred times with a compact hand pump,
then re-mount wheel onto bike and re-insert thru-axle.



I've read on here before that a seasoned cyclist can replace or patch a tube in less than 10 minutes, but outside a race, I just don't see the benefit in rushing when you might botch something and end up with an unsuccessful repair. What are your experiences?
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Old 05-30-19, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Having gotten two flats on my rear tire in a week's time, I've found it takes me about 20-25 minutes at a liesurely pace to:

remove a thru-axle,
pull the wheel,
unseat one bead,
leverage the bead over the wheel rim,
remove the tube and presta valve nut,
find the puncture in the tube,
locate corresponding point on the tire,
find source of puncture (both times it was a tiny shard of glass still embedded in the tire),
remove source of puncture from tire,
wipe off puncture section of inner tube with wet paper towel,
scuff with 220 grit sandpaper,
apply vulcanizing rubber cement and spread around puncture area,
peel and apply patch, knead with pressure for a minute,
re-insert tube, reinsert presta valve/affix nut,
tuck tube into tire,
leverage the bead back into the wheel rim,
and pump about a hundred times with a compact hand pump,
then re-mount wheel onto bike and re-insert thru-axle.



I've read on here before that a seasoned cyclist can replace or patch a tube in less than 10 minutes, but outside a race, I just don't see the benefit in rushing when you might botch something and end up with an unsuccessful repair. What are your experiences?
My experience is that the first flat gets a new tube and CO2. This will be less than 5 minutes. I prefer not to patch a tube on the side of the road if I can avoid it. The second and subsequent flats get a patch and pump. At this point, I'm probably late anyway.
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Old 05-30-19, 03:36 PM
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Ditto, just swap the tube and it takes a few minutes. I wouldn't patch unless I had to, or else it was just a nice day with nowhere to get to, and I wanted to relax a while with it.
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Old 05-30-19, 03:40 PM
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New tube on the road. Patch it when I get home, check it for leaks by submersing, and it goes back in the seat pack for the next flat. I do carry a small patch kit in the event I get multiple flats but so far that hasn't happened.
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Old 05-30-19, 03:41 PM
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General Geoff
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
Ditto, just swap the tube and it takes a few minutes. I wouldn't patch unless I had to, or else it was just a nice day with nowhere to get to, and I wanted to relax a while with it.
I try to save the spare tube for unpatchable flats like a big double slice from a pinch flat.

Even if just replacing and not patching, it would take me at least 10 minutes including finding and removing the source of the flat, which is sometimes so small I have to run my fingers along the inside of the tire to feel for it.
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Old 05-30-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
New tube on the road. Patch it when I get home, check it for leaks by submersing, and it goes back in the seat pack for the next flat. I do carry a small patch kit in the event I get multiple flats but so far that hasn't happened.
I typically don't have to submerge a tube to find the hole, but this is what I do. My time riding is limited and I have to make the best of it. Fixing a flat isn't the best use of my time. Get it replaced and get back on the road to finish my ride. I can fix the tube later that night at home in a clean environment. I also carry patches though, just in case.
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Old 05-30-19, 03:54 PM
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It seems like most of my flats are in pouring rain or when itís 42 degrees and raining. Itís basically a race for me. I prefer to replace the tube and patch it at home. Say 10ish minutes.
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Old 05-30-19, 04:37 PM
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Depends on the tire. Some of the Continental or Schwalbe tires I've had seem like their a size or two too small for rim. Other tires practically fall on.
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Old 05-30-19, 04:44 PM
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You take the wheel off...?
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Old 05-30-19, 04:47 PM
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To be honest, never timed them. Just viewed them as unscheduled rest stops.
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Old 05-30-19, 05:03 PM
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My last flat took 2 minutes. Basically the time it took me to pump air back into the fat tire with the mini pump.

The rear felt bobbing due to lower pressure. The sealant had done its job and sealed the leak. So I only needed to replenish the air lost before it sealed.

What are those tube things everyone is talking about?
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Old 05-30-19, 05:07 PM
  #12  
robnol
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Originally Posted by General Geoff View Post
Having gotten two flats on my rear tire in a week's time, I've found it takes me about 20-25 minutes at a liesurely pace to:

remove a thru-axle,
pull the wheel,
unseat one bead,
leverage the bead over the wheel rim,
remove the tube and presta valve nut,
find the puncture in the tube,
locate corresponding point on the tire,
find source of puncture (both times it was a tiny shard of glass still embedded in the tire),
remove source of puncture from tire,
wipe off puncture section of inner tube with wet paper towel,
scuff with 220 grit sandpaper,
apply vulcanizing rubber cement and spread around puncture area,
peel and apply patch, knead with pressure for a minute,
re-insert tube, reinsert presta valve/affix nut,
tuck tube into tire,
leverage the bead back into the wheel rim,
and pump about a hundred times with a compact hand pump,
then re-mount wheel onto bike and re-insert thru-axle.



I've read on here before that a seasoned cyclist can replace or patch a tube in less than 10 minutes, but outside a race, I just don't see the benefit in rushing when you might botch something and end up with an unsuccessful repair. What are your experiences?
i carry a spare tube so i can get back at it as fast as possible
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Old 05-30-19, 05:29 PM
  #13  
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Have always repaired ... very recently though had a big nail go through both sides of the tube not long into the ride .

I did patch it but it took a long time as whilst I suspected it may have 2 holes (because of the size of the nail) had to go through the process of patching one ... pumping it up to see if there was a second leak and then repairing that as well .. really didn't help that I carry a pair of micro reading glasses (to save space) and they kept falling off every time I was looking down at the tyre which exasperated the whole experience and made it a complete PITA ... but lesson learnt.

I've always held back on using the spare tube mainly because they're so much more compact from the shop than I'm ever going to be able to pack them back down to after they've been inflated.

That said the most recent experience is making me re-think this ... especially as the punctures were right on the seam and whilst it got me another 30 miles had a slow leak and was totally flat 2 days later.

I've since done a proper repair at my leisure at home and it's held for 2 weeks and 80 miles so I think my "go to" will be swap tubes from now on and repair the tube when it suits best at home.

Last edited by Witterings; 05-30-19 at 05:34 PM.
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Old 05-30-19, 05:30 PM
  #14  
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Depends.
In the hood - fast
In the park with plenty of people watching - not so fast
Vintage Raleigh internal hub - not so fast
35 and light snow - not so fast warming up hands
40 & rain - That just sucks
80 & rain - not so bad.

Carry a spare tube and swap on everything except the Raleigh.
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Old 05-30-19, 06:01 PM
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I learned an important lesson back in 1972(the earth's crust had barely cooled) I knew how to repair a punctured inner tube having been shown how as a kid by my father at home. So, as an adult after buying my first "10 speed" I figured that all I needed to fix a flat on the road was tire irons and a patch kit. There I was out on my trusty Peugeot UO8 on a ride when I suffered a puncture. No problem, I flipped the quick release, removed the rear wheel in a jiffy and quickly pried one side of the tire off the rim. I pumped the inner tube and found out that the hole was very close to the valve, too close to patch no matter how many times I tried. I still carry a patch kit, but it is a last resort for flat repair on the road. I carry 2 spare inner tubes and can be back on the road in less than 5 minutes if I can quickly find the cause of the puncture. By the way, I use a Zefal HPX frame pump, no CO2
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Old 05-30-19, 07:30 PM
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New tube with CO2 takes 5-10 minutes. I haven't patched a tube since I was a kid.
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Old 05-30-19, 07:55 PM
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Most of my flats lately are due to a very fine piece of wire, presumably, shards from the steel in tires. It usually takes a few minutes to find and extract the culprit. Another 5 min to replace the tube and pump the tire. If I'm commuting I'll have a pump, if I'm with a group I'll use CO2.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:27 PM
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I don't mind 15-20 minutes if I'm not in a rush. Better to get it right than screw it up and have to stop again. If I really have to get somewhere on a schedule, I'm probably riding a bike with puncture resistant tires, and carrying a spare tube, and a patch kit.

During the summer, the most important tool for fixing a flat:

Bug Spray.
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Old 05-30-19, 08:54 PM
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10-15 minutes.

Unless the spare tube is bad, which has happened twice, or the tire is shot and requires a boot, which has also happened. Then it's just going to be a bad day.
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Old 05-30-19, 09:20 PM
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Patch job, 20 more minutes. But I donít patch unless I have too. Install a new tube 1/2 that or so.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:24 PM
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10 minute if you're fast, 15 min is typical, 20 min if you have a small short wire embedded in the tire (that you have to use your teeth to pull it out)
but i'm calling bs to all the guys saying it takes them 5 minutes
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Old 05-30-19, 10:33 PM
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Luckiest flat ever. We had a ride regroup at a fire station that had one of those bike repair stations that have popped up in Ventura (CA) County. Just steps away was a kiosk with built in floor pump, tools on cable tethers, including 6 inch metal tire levers, multi tool and more. Even a water fountain. There is a rack to hang the bike while you fix the tire. Under these optimum conditions, it took 5 minutes to pull the Gatorskin off, find the stupid tiny wire that pierced the tread, install the new tube, re-seat the tire, pump it up and go. Without the mod cons, it would have taken at least twice that long, maybe more.

Oh yeah, in my haste to catch the group, I forgot my water bottles that I had removed to hang the frame on the rack. Couple miles down the road, I reached for a bottle, found none, and turned around to get them. At least the tire change was quick and easy.


All the comforts of home.
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Old 05-30-19, 10:45 PM
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Keep a small cotton ball in your repair kit. Wipe the inside of the tire with it. What ever/where ever the offender is, the cotton will find it in seconds. Also, if the tire has a label on it, mount the tire with the label next to the stem hole. Once you've found where the offender is in the tire, it makes it easy to find the hole in the tube with a side-by-side comparison of where they mated.
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BTW-I carry 2 tubes and repair at home. Takes all of 5 minutes to r&r the tube.
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Old 05-30-19, 11:18 PM
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20 minutes for me. I carry spare tubes and repair at home unless I have more than 2 flats on a ride. The very stiff thick tires made to withstand punctures can be extremely difficult to remove (I've broken levers); the softest I can mount with bare fingers. I saw a page of pictures in Bicycling mag years ago of a pro rider repairing his tube in 22 seconds. He somehow knew how to find the hole without unmounting the tire, inflated it with his breath, used a glueless patch (which have never worked for me.) No tools.
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Old 05-31-19, 02:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Ogsarg View Post
New tube on the road. Patch it when I get home, check it for leaks by submersing, and it goes back in the seat pack for the next flat. I do carry a small patch kit in the event I get multiple flats but so far that hasn't happened.
Same here. So it's 5-10 minutes on the road, upwards of 30 min at home. I always let the rubber cemment to dry for good 10-15 minutes before applying the patch. In the meantime I tinker with something else on the bike.
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