Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Bicycle Mechanics
Reload this Page >

How does one seriously deal with flat tires?

Notices
Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

How does one seriously deal with flat tires?

Old 08-12-19, 12:15 PM
  #1  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
How does one seriously deal with flat tires?

I used to live in Boise, Idaho. That was goat-head city. The Slime product did an excellent job of resealing the tube after hitting a goat-head most of the time. The trick was not to pull out the goat-head. If the slimmed tire did ever go flat due to a goat-head that stubbornly did not reseal, the remedy was this:

a. spin the tire a bit to distribute the green fluid inside the tube
b. inflate tire to low pressure, 20-30 psi, and ride from 12/ mile to a mile
c. ensure the tire is holding low pressure while riding
d. inflate tire to normal pressure and the rider is good to go

The Slime does not likely work magic for large punctures as from screws, nails and staples. A new tube or patch job is then in order.

I just got a flat while riding home in Lawton, Oklahoma this morning. The bad guy was small staple in the grooved area of the slimed tire. I pulled the staple out and attempted the a thru d method above but that failed miserably after two tries. The spare tube came out of my tool kit and the rest was history.

I have not been able to make patches stick with ordinary rubber cement with tubes filled with Slime. I've read that cold vulcanizing fluid is far superior but will it hold on a tube filled with Slime?

I don't seem to find those old-fashioned hot-patch kits that are lit with a match.
Is hot-vulcanization of a bike tube still possible in 2019?

Can patches be removed somehow that have been vulcanized?

Why would one want to removed a vulcanized patch, you ask?

Well, by some freak misfortune, the tire might get punctured by a screw in the future right in the same spot that it was formerly patched. It would seem prudent to remove the old patch before performing a new patch job.You don't want to put a new patch over an old one as that would make big lump in the tire.

Will a heat gun soften a hot or cold vulcanized patch where it will easily peel right off?

1. what tools/supplies are need to do a proper and strong vulcanized patch repair?
2. what equipment/methods are need to remove an old vulcanized patch should it too become punctured?

Since there doesn't seem to be any goat-heads in Lawton, OK, should I just forgo the slime altogether?

Depending on how often you hit nails, inner tubes get expensive fast by simply replacing them with new ones and throwing punctured ones out often. Bicycle tires, unlike tubeless steel-belted automobile tires, are very fragile against sharp pointed, even small, objects.

Slime also gets expensive to keep buying for new replaced tubes to boot.


Last edited by JonBailey; 08-12-19 at 12:23 PM.
JonBailey is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 12:28 PM
  #2  
trailangel
Senior Member
 
trailangel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Pasadena, CA
Posts: 3,942

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1441 Post(s)
Liked 142 Times in 93 Posts
Seriously?
Try Flat Attack instead of Slim.
https://www.flatattack.com
trailangel is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 12:42 PM
  #3  
shelbyfv
Senior Member
 
shelbyfv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 6,016
Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1378 Post(s)
Liked 458 Times in 290 Posts
You really need to move. Clearly everything in Lawton OK has turned against you.
shelbyfv is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 12:55 PM
  #4  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
You really need to move. Clearly everything in Lawton OK has turned against you.
Actually, I had better luck in Lawton with the flat this morning than in Boise, a couple months before I moved here.

I had a spare tube at least this morning.

In Boise, I had no spare tube and hit a screw about three miles from home. The Slime was useless in that case. It was long trip home. Two mile walk, ride to the VA hospital ER in an ambulance due to chest pains, heart palpitations and trouble breathing due to the over-exertion of pushing the bike two miles at high altitude. A ride home in a taxi via Julia Davis park by the zoo in a compact-SUV cab where the bike had to be put in the back of the dinky little Toyota Matrix. I broke my expensive $20 Hafny mirror doing this and the cab fare was $15 with tip. I asked the dispatcher if they had a minvan in their taxi fleet. They said only little SUVs and Ford Crown Vics. No bumper racks for bikes also on the taxis.

After that, I said no more bike rides without a complete kit to change out a tube on the road.

Yes, Lawton is rough in many respects but flat ties aren't an exclusive thing here. At least there doesn't seem to be any thorns here.
JonBailey is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 01:10 PM
  #5  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Seriously?
Try Flat Attack instead of Slim.
https://www.flatattack.com

The Flat Attack site says tires can be patched as normal. I think I will invest in cold vulcanizing fluid for patching in case a patch is ever needed.
JonBailey is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 01:30 PM
  #6  
leob1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Middle of the road, NJ
Posts: 2,999
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 227 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 16 Posts
Originally Posted by JonBailey View Post

After that, I said no more bike rides without a complete kit to change out a tube on the road.
That should be SOP on every ride. A short ride 10-20 miles I'll usually have one spare tube, a longer ride I'll carry two tubes and extra gas. And of course a patch kit.
leob1 is offline  
Likes For leob1:
Old 08-12-19, 01:38 PM
  #7  
Drakonchik
Senior Member
 
Drakonchik's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 735
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Ditch the slime and use nothing but extra thick (aka thorn-resistant) inner tubes, PLUS your choice of the following lines of top-ranked flat-resistant tires:

1) Schwalbe Ultra Marathon
2) Specialized Armadillo
3) Bontrager Hard Case
4) Continental Gator Skin

I've live in Boise for 14 years, ride everywhere daily, and I have not suffered a flat due to goatheads in over 13 years.
Drakonchik is offline  
Likes For Drakonchik:
Old 08-12-19, 01:52 PM
  #8  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
That should be SOP on every ride. A short ride 10-20 miles I'll usually have one spare tube, a longer ride I'll carry two tubes and extra gas. And of course a patch kit.
I will have to still run the risk of unfriendly nails, staples and/or screws in any city.

I just ordered some:

-REMA TT 02 Tour Patch Kit, Large (has VULCANIZE, not rubber, cement in a tube)
-Flat Attack Tire Sealer, 8 oz. bottle
-Hafny Bar End Bike Mirror, Stainless Steel Lens, Safe Rearview Mirror (to replace the one that got cracked in the Boise cab ride early this year, Krazy Glue won't permanently mend it)
-OK sales tax

$31.41 Total

-all free of shipping fees from amazon.com


I still have four spare good inner tubes.
JonBailey is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 02:25 PM
  #9  
squirtdad
Senior Member
 
squirtdad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
Posts: 6,517

Bikes: 85 team Miyata (modern 5800 105) , '84 Team Miyata,(dura ace old school) '82 nishiski,

Mentioned: 66 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 949 Post(s)
Liked 159 Times in 121 Posts
my experience with slime has been very negative (except for the auto version and slow leak tires )

I have been using orange seal.....and it seams to do will with slow, low volume issues, but hit large tack and it just sprayed out as both the tube and the tire were well punctured.

I always carry 2 tube and a rema patch kit (there is a differfence Rema only)


...and a pump
__________________
Looking for more time to ride what I have
squirtdad is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 03:03 PM
  #10  
number1bike
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Chicago
Posts: 28

Bikes: Schwinn Varsity 1975, Mongoose Threshold 1995

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
My approach to the problem

I am a year round commuter and do not carry a phone. I fight flats with a number of approaches.

1) Velox Rim Tape

2) Change out the tubes every year, if water / snow / ice and salt gets on the tube it seems to deteriorate a tube by making them less expandable causing splits

3) 4 pumps of Slime, that takes care of the slow leaks

4) Schwalbe Marathon 365, first line of defense

5) Mr tuffy, 2nd line of defense against larger objects

6) Bike pump

7) A spare tube, use this first to get back on the road fastest

8) A handful of Park no-glue patches, use this if I did not catch what caused the flat

9) Cold vulcanizing patch kit, use this if I run out of no-glue patches

10) 6" of Duct tape to deal with a tire issue

Got it down to 1 or 2 flats/year
number1bike is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 04:21 PM
  #11  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 5,224

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2536 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 123 Posts
Move?
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 06:14 PM
  #12  
AeroGut 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 42 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by JonBailey View Post
Will a heat gun soften a hot or cold vulcanized patch where it will easily peel right off?

1. what tools/supplies are need to do a proper and strong vulcanized patch repair?
2. what equipment/methods are need to remove an old vulcanized patch should it too become punctured?
The cold vulcanizing solution is the best you can do for "strong vulcanized patch repair". There's really no such thing as a hot vulcanizing repair (and "cold vulcanizing" isn't really vulcanizing at all). The trick of flaming the patches is just a way to remove the solvent quickly instead of waiting for it to evaporate. A proper "cold vulcanizing" should create new chemical bonds between the rubber of the patch and the rubber of the innertube, so it's not easy to remove. You would have to use a chemical reductant that would break down the structure of all of the rubber in the area. That said, a poorly applied patch can sometimes be peeled off because the vulcanizing isn't done well.

If you have the misfortune to get a puncture through a previous patch (which seems really unlikely, but I guess could happen), that's probably a time to throw out the inner tube.
AeroGut is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 06:31 PM
  #13  
KraneXL
 
KraneXL's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: La-la Land, CA
Posts: 3,623

Bikes: Cannondale Quick SL1 Bike - 2014

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3402 Post(s)
Liked 229 Times in 177 Posts
Better still, I avoid them at all costs. First, don't ride where there's lots of debris. Second, watch out for it. And third, get puncture resistant tire, liners, tubulars. So I ride a fraction slower. You may have a bit more speed, then negate it when your have to dismount and fix your flat. Think, tortoise and the hare.
KraneXL is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 06:55 PM
  #14  
ramzilla
Senior Member
 
ramzilla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fernandina Beach FL
Posts: 2,686

Bikes: Vintage Japanese Bicycles

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 459 Post(s)
Liked 48 Times in 41 Posts
+1 thorn proof tubes
ramzilla is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 07:14 PM
  #15  
Brocephus
Professional amateur
 
Brocephus's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Ga.
Posts: 599

Bikes: Does a Big Wheel count ?

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Liked 103 Times in 68 Posts
Originally Posted by JonBailey View Post
Why would one want to removed a vulcanized patch, you ask?

Well, by some freak misfortune, the tire might get punctured by a screw in the future right in the same spot that it was formerly patched. It would seem prudent to remove the old patch before performing a new patch job......
I didn't think you could remove a correctly vulcanized patch, not without doing further damage. If I got a puncture, through an older patch, I'd probably just take that as an omen, and ditch that tube.
I would try and find a deal on some quality tubes, in bulk, and back the truck up !!
(seems like I recall recently seeing some 5 or 6 packs of Continental tubes, but I can't recall from who.)
Brocephus is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 07:23 PM
  #16  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,633

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 36 Posts
Gatorskins, spare tube and patch kit. I tried Slime once and it was an awful, messy failure. I cycle thousands of (road) miles a year in goathead country (Colorado and Arizona) and one a year on average gets through. Sometimes I hit a patch of them, pull out dozens, no flat. Sometimes a slow leak. Wires from radial tires get through about as often.

I love those Gatorskins. And they're easy to handle (mine are wire bead). Front flats take five minutes, rears take seven. Road Morph pump helps a lot.

Negative on replacing a patch. I've tried it a couple of times.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 08:53 PM
  #17  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,828
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 710 Post(s)
Liked 116 Times in 87 Posts
Here's what I figure about removing a patch. The circumference of a 27 inch tire is about 85 inches, and let's say a patch is an inch across. So a patched tube has a 1-in-85 chance of getting punctured through an existing patch. Combine that with the already low probability of getting a puncture, and it goes into the "interesting failure mode, don't worry about it" bucket for me.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 08:58 PM
  #18  
jimincalif
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Lake Forest, CA
Posts: 2,183

Bikes: '96 Trek 850, '08 Specialized Roubaix Comp, '18 Niner RLT RDO

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 534 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 41 Posts
Tubeless tires and Orange Seal.
jimincalif is offline  
Old 08-12-19, 10:48 PM
  #19  
Retfor
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
Posts: 30
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
i use tire liners and rim tape and almost never get a flat riding the streets of brooklyn. used to get flats all the time before, even three in a row the same day.

i dont usually carry spares or patches with me, although when i can i use the cold vulcanizing fluid and patches to fix tubes and reuse them. i get kits, which never have enough patches for how much glue you get, so i ordered just a sheet of 50 patches for three dollars, so im set on those for a while...
Retfor is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 05:51 AM
  #20  
AeroGut 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 225
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 74 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 42 Times in 33 Posts
Originally Posted by Retfor View Post
i get kits, which never have enough patches for how much glue you get
Iíve found the opposite- I always end up with extra patches and no glue because the glue dries out in the month or more before I get another flat. Anyone have tricks to sealing the glue up well after you open it? Iíve tried putting foil under the cap, which helped a little, but those plastic caps just donít make a very good seal at all and usually only have a couple of threads to hold them on.
AeroGut is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 06:12 AM
  #21  
andrewclaus
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO
Posts: 1,633

Bikes: 2016 Fuji Tread

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 255 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by AeroGut View Post
Iíve found the opposite- I always end up with extra patches and no glue because the glue dries out in the month or more before I get another flat. Anyone have tricks to sealing the glue up well after you open it? Iíve tried putting foil under the cap, which helped a little, but those plastic caps just donít make a very good seal at all and usually only have a couple of threads to hold them on.
Sometimes I have extra patches, sometimes extra glue. I think it depends 1) on the QC at the factory that makes those little tubes of glue, and 2) on the conditions the tubes are stored in, even before they're opened. Once I stored a couple of unopened patch kits in non-conditioned storage over one summer in Phoenix and they went completely dry. If sealed tubes go dry, I don't think there's any way to prevent it. I replace kits every year now.

I keep old tubes of glue indoors to use for patching tire tubes at home. (I've been pretty lucky that way, getting slow leaks that I can fix at home, on a break, or in camp.)
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 06:20 AM
  #22  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,574

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 811 Post(s)
Liked 41 Times in 31 Posts
What are tubes? Some kind of antique thing? Yes I do carry one for backup. I run tubeless on all my bikes, commuter, fat, mountain and bikepacking. Get a tubeless rim and tire. Don't try to muck around on this point. I did get one 6 mm or so gash on a bikepacking trip, center of tread, front tire. Took out my curved needle with carpet thread, 3 stitches, super glue, waited for 10 minutes. Aired up just fine. Still using it 2 years later. Add sealant on a regular basis through the removable valve. Easy.
Leebo is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 06:56 AM
  #23  
Le Mechanic
Senior Member
 
Le Mechanic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Denver Colorado
Posts: 253

Bikes: Garneau R1, Mesamods home built gravel/rain commuter bike, 1995 Barracuda A2V modified with Surley single speed dropouts, 1969 Bottecchia junkyard special fixed gear, Cervelo P4, Mesamods 650b klunker

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 62 Post(s)
Liked 19 Times in 17 Posts
I've worked in the bike industry as a mechanic for 35+ years. I also commute to work by bike daily 36-40 miles round trip. I fix flats every day. In my experience, goathead thorns are the most common cause. I don't really like slime because it has a tendency to clog up the valve cores and cause a slow leak out of the valve. I've used the heavier duty tires such as the schwalbe marathon and the conti gatorskins. Those both work well, but they ride like you have garden hoses for tires. I moved to Denver from Oklahoma last year (I'm very familiar with the goatheads in Oklahoma), and I was getting 1-2 flats per month at first. A lot of presta tubes these days have a removable valve core, so I started putting tubeless tire sealant in my tubes. The result after almost a year is I haven't had a single flat.

I made a video of an ongoing experiment I started about a month and a half ago. I installed some lighter weight road tires, tubes with Bontrager TLR sealant and used it on my commuter bike daily through the sketchiest sections of my commute. So far after 1200+ miles, no flats. I'll make a follow up video soon.


Le Mechanic is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 09:55 AM
  #24  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by leob1 View Post
That should be SOP on every ride. A short ride 10-20 miles I'll usually have one spare tube, a longer ride I'll carry two tubes and extra gas. And of course a patch kit.
Extra GAS on a bicycle?
JonBailey is offline  
Old 08-13-19, 10:07 AM
  #25  
JonBailey
Schwinn Discovery
Thread Starter
 
JonBailey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Lawton, Oklahoma
Posts: 150
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 207 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Originally Posted by Le Mechanic View Post
I've worked in the bike industry as a mechanic for 35+ years. I also commute to work by bike daily 36-40 miles round trip. I fix flats every day. In my experience, goathead thorns are the most common cause. I don't really like slime because it has a tendency to clog up the valve cores and cause a slow leak out of the valve. I've used the heavier duty tires such as the schwalbe marathon and the conti gatorskins. Those both work well, but they ride like you have garden hoses for tires. I moved to Denver from Oklahoma last year (I'm very familiar with the goatheads in Oklahoma), and I was getting 1-2 flats per month at first. A lot of presta tubes these days have a removable valve core, so I started putting tubeless tire sealant in my tubes. The result after almost a year is I haven't had a single flat.

I made a video of an ongoing experiment I started about a month and a half ago. I installed some lighter weight road tires, tubes with Bontrager TLR sealant and used it on my commuter bike daily through the sketchiest sections of my commute. So far after 1200+ miles, no flats. I'll make a follow up video soon.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhx9LPe1qbk

Hopefully I'll have better luck with the NEMA cold-vulc (non rubber cement) patch kit and the green Flat Attack! product. I will still keep one spare good tube to boot while doing my morning pedal in town. I never go more than 5 miles from the house anyway. I hate calling the taxi cabs in Lawton as they are total rude arse-holes to deal with. This stupid Schwinn-branded "BSO" is now costing me over $600 to date with all the extra crap I've been dumping money into over the past almost two years now. My philosophy is that humble bicycles were never meant to be expensive toys. They are the common conveyances of those in homeless shelters after all. They aren't cars and shouldn't have automobile-like costs associated with them. Bikes nowadays is just a big fashionable money game to some. This modern world is just filled with too many gadgets. It takes away from the simple pleasure of just pedaling out in the fresh air.

Last edited by JonBailey; 08-13-19 at 10:11 AM.
JonBailey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.