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Fix now? or ride now, fix later?

Old 12-21-21, 11:20 AM
  #1  
pdlamb
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Fix now? or ride now, fix later?

I suspect we've all had decisions like this one. Tire was fine on previous ride, but the bike sat unused for 3-5 days, and had lost almost all its pressure. Do you pump it up and ride anyway, or do you take the time to find the cause and fix the flat? And if you pump and ride, and make it home OK but the tire's low in the morning, you've got the same decision to make.

How long would you (have you) let it go on like that before you fixed the dang thing?
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Old 12-21-21, 11:30 AM
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Unless you're ready to walk because it flats when you're away from home or are willing to fix on the side of the road when you have someplace else to be, I would fix it at home where it's warm and dry-preferably with a new tube. Good luck
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Old 12-21-21, 11:37 AM
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Take your Time and fix it correctly before leaving..
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Old 12-21-21, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I suspect we've all had decisions like this one. Tire was fine on previous ride, but the bike sat unused for 3-5 days, and had lost almost all its pressure. Do you pump it up and ride anyway, or do you take the time to find the cause and fix the flat? And if you pump and ride, and make it home OK but the tire's low in the morning, you've got the same decision to make.

How long would you (have you) let it go on like that before you fixed the dang thing?
Slow leaks I can tolerate, but I don't trust a tire that goes flat in a matter of days. I'd fix it now. Might be a loose valve core or something like that.
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Old 12-21-21, 11:48 AM
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Or ride and change it on the road.
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Old 12-21-21, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
How long would you (have you) let it go on like that before you fixed the dang thing?
Back when I was commuting and had just one bike I had a few situations like this where the tire would loose 10-15 psi on the 9 mile/40 min ride to work. I'd top it off and ride home (9 miles and ~50 minutes...because uphill) and loose about the same. In the morning it'd be almost flat.

If I was slammed at work that week, I might let it go 'till the weekend, or the weekend after that. Later on, when I had more autonomy at work, I could schedule my own breaks, so I'd just patch or replace the inner tube out in the warehouse when I arrived, or after work when I could make time. I could do it at home, but once I got married I wanted to spend time with my wife and family...at least for a few years, then working on the bike became a refuge from chaos.

Still, later, when I had more than one bike, I'd just take another bike.

But I do remember a few slow leaks where I let it go a week or two because I tend to top off my tires before each ride anyway.
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Old 12-21-21, 05:28 PM
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So what your saying is that there is something that could be critically wrong with your bike that could cause you or others injury and a long walk home. Further more it is something you could easily fix... Ummm... Let me think... No Sir, I don't like it!

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Old 12-21-21, 05:49 PM
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don't think slow leaks & bike tubes mix well. we might be able to delay a car tire repair w/ a slow leak, but I haven't been able to, w/ a bike tire. & even car tires w/ slow leaks can turn unpredictably to a fast leak & roadside flat. been there, done that. if you've already played roulette a cpl times w/ it, then it's especially time to change it

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Old 12-21-21, 05:51 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
But I do remember a few slow leaks where I let it go a week or two because I tend to top off my tires before each ride anyway.
wow, surprising, but good!
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Old 12-21-21, 06:03 PM
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If I wake up to an "almost" flat tire, I'll fix it. Or just grab a wheel from my other wheelset.
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Old 12-21-21, 06:37 PM
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My commute is only 30 minutes each way, and there's a pump in the bike locker at work. So I might let a slow leak roll for a few days, maybe the weekend.

OTOH, slow leaks can suddenly become fast leaks, for example if the foreign object works its way out. So it depends on if I'm feeling lucky, feeling like working on the bike, and maybe on how cold it is in the garage.
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Old 12-22-21, 05:06 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
Still, later, when I had more than one bike, I'd just take another bike.
This ^^^^^

Ultimately though, it's best to get puncture resistant tires. All major manufacturers make them. Specialized Armadillos, Bontrager Hardcase, Continental Gatorskins, Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Panaracer and Vittoria make ones as well, but can't remember the model names. Mr. Tuffys are a good option, but the downside is added weight and they can cut into one's tubes over time.. Airless is the surest option, but come with their own set of issues. I rode them for 2 years and can say the rolling resistance was a reasonable price to pay for 100% confidence on every commute.

Everything about cycling in general and commuting specifically is about compromise. From one's bike, days per week, componentry, accessories, security, etc. Everyone has different criteria because everyone's commute is different. Personally, I came to using SMPs w/Mr. Tuffys in the rr tires and had 3 punctures in 20 years. Others swear by Armadillos. Tire maintenence can go a long way, too. I would pick out bits of stone, shards, wire etc. Did this procedure once per week. The main thing is to lower the odds on getting a flat or slow leak in the first place. Whatever equipment or process one uses is always tailored to one's specific needs. Cheers.

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Old 12-22-21, 08:34 AM
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I confess, I know the "right" thing to do is to fix a slow leak immediately.

But given the commuting time pressure (of getting to work on time, or getting home before supper is cold), I thought I might see -- at least a bit more tolerance. After all, commutes are some of my shorter rides (10 miles and 45 minutes, flat both ways). While YMMV, flatting on my commute is not a life-threatening occurrence, merely annoying.

Speaking for myself, I've changed out a wheel or even a bike when that's feasible. As I've noted elsewhere, though, sometimes the other bike is waiting on maintenance, or there's not a spare wheel with the right dyno hub. So I've occasionally just done the "pump and go" bit. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've ever pumped a slow leak and had to stop to fix it right on the commute, although a couple of times I've fixed it before the ride home.

For the second part of the question, I've always fixed the flat right within 2-3 days of the original occurrence. (Note I'm not talking about the 10-15 psi drop overnight -- some tubes just seem to leak more than others.)
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Old 12-22-21, 02:49 PM
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Pull valve, add sealant, go… if it went flat it needs some
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Old 12-22-21, 02:58 PM
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If possible, fix at your earliest convenience before you ride. Slow leaks never get slower with time, only faster.
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Old 12-23-21, 07:16 AM
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Pressed for time, and bike is your only transportation? Pump and ride.

Have time, or another means to get to work? Fix it before riding.
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Old 12-23-21, 08:23 AM
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The same happened to me recently. The tire was fine when last ridden but a week later did not have much air (i.e. it was flat but not squashed on the floor flat). I decided to pump it up and ride. I had no problem on the ride, but the next day it was flat again so I then opted for repair.

So yeah, you'll end up repairing it anyway so do it if you have the time. If you don't have the time right then, or are a bit bold, there really isn't much downside in the pump and ride strategy. Slow leaks are slow leaks and rarely get much worse. So the most you'd be up against is pumping up a few times on your ride.
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Old 12-24-21, 05:37 AM
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I've been caught out like this and with no tools to either have to pickup the bike and walk with it or (not recommended) keep riding on the rim since a fully loaded bike is a bit heavy to carry. For me, riding on wider tires it didn't damage the wheel or destroy the tire casing after about 3 miles. But it wasn't fun or safe. Fix the dang thing.
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Old 12-24-21, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by JayKay3000 View Post
I've been caught out like this and with no tools to either have to pickup the bike and walk with it or (not recommended) keep riding on the rim since a fully loaded bike is a bit heavy to carry. For me, riding on wider tires it didn't damage the wheel or destroy the tire casing after about 3 miles. But it wasn't fun or safe. Fix the dang thing.
I understand folks not wanting to be encumbered by a lot of stuff when riding; however it's just such a good idea to at least consider a few tire irons and patch kit. Yes, one can "fix the dang thing" now but that is absolutely no guarantee that the next ride will be free of punctures.
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Old 12-24-21, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
Do you pump it up and ride anyway, or do you take the time to find the cause and fix the flat?
Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
I confess, I know the "right" thing to do is to fix a slow leak immediately.
Not sure what the point of the thread was, but glad you got it worked out.
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Old 01-21-22, 01:25 AM
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There is never enough time to do it right the first time and always enough time to do it right the second time.
Take the time to fix the flat.

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Old 01-25-22, 06:00 PM
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A lot will depend on the flat, and how long the bike has been sitting.

If the tire is just really spongy, perhaps after sitting for a few weeks or months, then it may be simply air leaking through an intact tube. Inflate, and take off (with your tools in the backpack).

If the tire is completely devoid of air. Just 100% flat. Then it likely has a hole. Take the time to fix it now or regret it later.
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