Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

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craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jul 29 2018 5:15pm

Long story short, I was getting some rim strikes on my Montague folder I carry in the airplane, about 3 miles up a remote trail in Montana. So I stopped and added (I thought, based on the amount of strokes I pumped) some air pressure with my trusty manual pump. Got another strike a few minutes later, repeated, eventually realizing my air pump was broke and instead of adding air I was subtracting it, call it a math problem, sounds stupid as hell but by the time I figured it out, the tire was way too low to ride.

I had a spare tube, and a patch kit, but without air??! I briefly considered blowing it up using my incisor teeth and lung power, but decided that was crazy talk, and then came to grips with the fact I was out a ways, it was getting very late on a very hot day, I'm an old fart, and was pretty much screwed. So I put the tire back on and started humping down the trail, trying to remember why I had opted to leave my 52 volt LUNA electric pump in the plane instead of taking it on the ride, weight savings I guess. I mean why take two pumps!

After one hell of a long walk, and back home in my shop, I started thinking.....: get one or two of those little CO2 cylinders IN ADDITION to taking a high quality air pump, whether manual or electric. I had also screwed up when I zip tied my spare tube to under the seat, my tool kit didn't have a small pair of dykes, I did have a Leatherman type tool with cutters, but they were like a needle nose, the cutters were in a ways. I had a knife also, but the zip tie was a heavy one, and tight, so it was real tricky using either tool without ruining the new tube. This was all time and effort wasted before I realized I had no way to blow it up anyway! I reattached my spare tube this time with para cord and a truckers hitch knot, next time I won't waste 10 minutes trying to get the damn thing off, while also risking a puncture. The para cord is always handy stuff to have around anyway, much handier then a slit/used zip tie. The heck of it was, I had 29 AH of fully charged battery on board (which added to the fun once I started pushing the bike out) and a working e pump, but not with me, lesson learned.

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by MadRhino » Jul 29 2018 5:43pm

Compact items you should have on the bike: Co2 inflator and cartridges, small bottle of green slime sealant, tubeless grade rim tape.., apart of other mechanic tools of course.

The solution in your particular, seemingly desperate situation, was to fill the tire with spruce needles, or other light weight dirt that was available.
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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by Voltron » Jul 29 2018 9:56pm

I had to do that with roadside straw one time... it took about three stops for refills as it compacted down but good to go after that.

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Alan B   100 GW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by Alan B » Jul 29 2018 10:02pm

I don't know how often air pumps fail, but having a CO2 backup is quite small and could be practical. It is always tough to decide how much to carry. It also depends on just how far out one is going and whether others are around, or whether help might be available.

Having a higher quality pump might be sufficient, perhaps testing it more often.

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Rassy   10 MW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by Rassy » Jul 29 2018 11:24pm

Wow, I never would have thought about filling the tire with something solid. Grass, pine needles, your sweat shirt or jacket. Makes sense though, sort of like using one of those "solid" tubes. Might be a little hard to get the tire bead on, but that would be a small price to pay to have transportation again. Thanks for the idea!
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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by lionman » Jul 30 2018 2:58am

Here is Australia there was this TV show back in the day called "Bush Mechanics" where these Aboriginal guys would get old crappy cars going with whatever they had lying around. Pretty funny show.

On one episode they filled tyres with spinifex, a type of grass that grows in the dessert here. It worked ok to get them home but I'm not sure how realistic that show was and how much was just for entertainment. :lol:

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by craneplaneguy » Jul 31 2018 7:58am

I have to admit, it never occurred to me to stuff anything in the tire! But on the other hand, if it had, by the time I had done it, and I guess the intent would be to make it rideable, I could have walked out, which I did. I did have cell service, so I called the motel across town, I was comped for, begged a bit, and the manager's buddy came and got me once I made it to the trail head. I made him take 20 bucks, it would have been another several miles across town, in the heat, screw that. I probably wouldn't have thought it would work, and would have begrudged (that a word?) the time it would have taken, only to find out I STILL had to hump it out. BUT, I sure as hell will remember that possibility if ever in the same situation, for sure. My air pump WAS high quality, 25 years ago, it just wore out, I had gotten used to trusting it, thus the "unexpected". I'm taking the electric pump from now on, it moves a lot of air for what seems like no juice use, not enough to matter anyway. Plus a CO2 backup. Part of my decision making process in how much backup/tools and parts to take is influenced by the fact I will be carrying it in my small plane, where weight and volume is always an issue.

I did think of taking the tire completely off and riding out on the wheel, but I've seen enough cop chase videos to see that that usually doesn't end well.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by kdog » Jul 31 2018 8:12am

Those snake like tubes seem like a good idea too. The ones you can put in without taking the wheel off, for the hub riders amongst us. Pop the tyre slide them in, pump or co2 and your done. Cause taking off a hubby out bush (or anywhere out side your she'd really) ain't gonna happen most of the time. OK small hubby's are probly easier but still a pita.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by wturber » Jul 31 2018 4:59pm

What's wrong with taking a second small, lightweight hand pump? They're cheap and lightweight.They work perfectly well with or without batteries, don't run out of CO2 cartridges and effectively cost nothing to operate.
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8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by markz » Jul 31 2018 7:27pm

3 miles on a remote trail is different then my 5km ride east on the rim in the city to hit the nearest Canadian Tire, buy a $5 tube, $5 flat head screw drivers and a $25 pump. Return pump and screw drivers, now head the other way west.... good to go right?............. for another 2km and a flat, more spoke breakage. F'it kept riding for 3km then pancake time! :oops:

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by LockH » Jul 31 2018 11:48pm

Watt... Nobuddy has mentioned liquid latex yet??? Got a little/cheap inner tube valve extractor, plus a big container of liquid latex, and have been rolling for many months now w/zero tire inflation problems. Just a thought. :mrgreen:
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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by MadRhino » Aug 01 2018 2:44pm

LockH wrote:
Jul 31 2018 11:48pm
Watt... Nobuddy has mentioned liquid latex yet??? Got a little/cheap inner tube valve extractor, plus a big container of liquid latex, and have been rolling for many months now w/zero tire inflation problems. Just a thought. :mrgreen:
I did suggest Green Slime. My favorite. :mrgreen:
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by Voltron » Aug 01 2018 2:58pm

Yeah.. The liquid latex ends up clumping up if you don't spin them every day. The Orange Seal brand seems a little better than the Stans. I got one wheel in that the fluid dried up, and left pebble sized blobs rolling around inside... It sounded like a rain stick until you rode fast enough to where the g forces held them in place... Lol
I've had a lot of success with the genuine Slime brand.. Not so much with some of the others.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by wturber » Aug 01 2018 3:23pm

MadRhino wrote:
Aug 01 2018 2:44pm

I did suggest Green Slime. My favorite. :mrgreen:
My biggest problem with Green Slime is that if it does not work on the road and fails to stop the leak, it can leave you with an awful mess to deal with in addition to the flat. That said, it has thrice saved me from having to remove the rear wheel and replace a tube. So far I've managed to only have to deal with the mess at home. This last time was REALLY messy.

Whining aside, I still use Slime and carry a terry towel with me as part of my road kit.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by MadRhino » Aug 01 2018 6:05pm

I use it for 10 years. When green slime doesn’t succeed, the tire and tube are going to garbage. Yet, it did happen only twice in 10 years, and tires were due for a change anyway.

Most of the times I’ve had to fix a flat with slime and co2 cartridge, were those times I had posponed a tire replacement. Usually, I don’t let tires go weak. I have no excuses, for I always have many on the shelves. It does happen when the weather is nice, and I decide to ride instead of doing maintenance. Once I was riding with a friend and told him before entering a trail: I shouldn’t climb here with a worn out tire. That was one minute before it blew out.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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wturber   10 MW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by wturber » Aug 01 2018 6:32pm

The specific situation I have in mind was recent and cause by two staple punctures. One of the punctures didn't fully seal. I'm assuming that was because the staple stayed stuck in the tire and possibly kept disrupting the seal. But the seal was good enough that I could ride for about 10-15 minutes before needing to refill again and I got home. So no field repair.

But when I got home and pulled the tube and tire I was presented with a real mess. There was a LOT of Slime liquid in the tire - enough to pour. The liquid had oozed out between the rim and tire bead and sprayed the back of the bike. It was real messy. It was nice to be home and able to sop it all up with paper towels , wash my hands and clean the tire, rim and tube with rubbing alcohol. On the road it would have been resolvable, but also an annoying mess. Especially at night.

BTW, I actually had five punctures, three of which had penetrated the tube. Why? Well I discovered that there were hundreds or maybe thousands of staples scattered into a short section of bike lane that I ride through. I've since made two stops to pick them up with magnets and probably need to make one or two more passes to see if I can pick up more. Here's a picture of what I've collected so far.
Staples.jpg
"Commuter - DC Booster"
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8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by markz » Aug 01 2018 6:35pm

Yeah a large discarded speaker magnet would do the trick and some time.

Better yet if you know some roofers, they got them 4' long magnets for picking up nails on the customers lawn.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by wturber » Aug 01 2018 6:40pm

markz wrote:
Aug 01 2018 6:35pm
Yeah a large discarded speaker magnet would do the trick and some time.

Better yet if you know some roofers, they got them 4' long magnets for picking up nails on the customers lawn.
I'm using four neodymium magnets harvested from hard drives. They do pretty well. It's just that once they collect a certain amount of staples, they stop picking up any more. And its a pain to strip the staples off the magnets while standing by the side of the road in 100 deg F heat. So I pick up what I can. Put 'em in a bag in my basket. Strip staples of at home. Repeat.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

craneplaneguy   10 kW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by craneplaneguy » Aug 02 2018 11:16am

wturber wrote:
Jul 31 2018 4:59pm
What's wrong with taking a second small, lightweight hand pump? They're cheap and lightweight.They work perfectly well with or without batteries, don't run out of CO2 cartridges and effectively cost nothing to operate.
Well, the electric pump is no problem to power up as I already am carrying batteries! I at first was concerned about it's electrical consumption, but it is so little it's not a factor at all. Weight is about the same as a hand pump, not a big factor there. I like the compactness of the CO2 inflaters, and their weight. I went down to my local bike shop, and they had them for Presta valves, and I am a Shrader valve guy, so ordered one in that handles both types, I DON"T want to have use any adapters, and generally loath Presta valves. It's a Schrader valve world out there in general, and I've never been let down by one, and don't see why I need Presta on my bikes! You are correct in that TWO ways of pumping up a tire when out a ways makes sense, over just one, I can vouch for that concept, now......

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MadRhino   100 GW

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by MadRhino » Aug 02 2018 12:24pm

Yep co2 cartridges is the best to carry on the bike, and the best to inflate a tire. It is quick, so tubeless compatible (useful when the tube is finished and you fill green slime). Quick inflate does set the tire instantly. Shreader of course on our side of the sea. In EU, Presta is the standard. Here it is taking off for small tires, road bikes...
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by amberwolf » Aug 02 2018 1:14pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 01 2018 3:23pm

Whining aside, I still use Slime and carry a terry towel with me as part of my road kit.
FWIW, those cloths that are terry-like but are more instant-absorbent of water based liquids are also better at absorbing and wiping up the slime. I can't remember what they're called.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by amberwolf » Aug 02 2018 1:21pm

wturber wrote:
Aug 01 2018 6:40pm
markz wrote:
Aug 01 2018 6:35pm
Yeah a large discarded speaker magnet would do the trick and some time.

Better yet if you know some roofers, they got them 4' long magnets for picking up nails on the customers lawn.
I'm using four neodymium magnets harvested from hard drives. They do pretty well. It's just that once they collect a certain amount of staples, they stop picking up any more.
FWIW, the stronger a magnet, the closer it holds it's field to the surface of the magnet. So sometimes a combination of strong magnets and weaker ones may pick up more stuff than a strong one. Or a weak one with a steel backing.

For my yardcleanup tool (to get welding slag and anglegrinder throwoff, so I don't have sharp shards for the dogs toes to pick up) I use a board with a bunch of small ceramic (lower strength) magnets screwed to it's underside, and a "tow string". Walk around the yard draggging that behind me in the dirt areas around the back porch/etc wherever I was doing work, and it picks up a cloud of debris. Used the same basic thing to clean up a few bike path areas over the years, tthouggh I don't have that particular one anymore.


The hard drive magnets will pick up bigger/heavier things, but they won't necessarily grab the small stuff from as far away.

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by wturber » Aug 02 2018 4:25pm

amberwolf wrote:
Aug 02 2018 1:21pm

The hard drive magnets will pick up bigger/heavier things, but they won't necessarily grab the small stuff from as far away.
The staples jump on the neodymium magnets from about an inch away. The limitations seem to be that the magnet itself is small and that there are so many staples that the magnet quickly gets "clogged" by a cloud of staples that become attached. There are just a BUNCH of these staples in the lane. I'll probably tape the four neodymium magnets I have to a board or stick so that I can be more methodical about the area I'm sweeping and get this mess more thoroughly cleaned up. My first device was more of a string of three magnets encapsulated in electrical tape. The issue there was clogging and keeping the magnets from sticking to each other.

Last edited by wturber on Aug 02 2018 9:31pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by georgefromvt » Aug 02 2018 8:24pm

I carry a can of tire inflator, works OK providing leak isn't too large.
https://www.amazon.com/Ultra-Bike-Tire- ... op?ie=UTF8
Inflator sealer.jpg
Inflator sealer.jpg (41.45 KiB) Viewed 1293 times

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Re: Trail flat, an unexpected problem.

Post by markz » Aug 25 2018 8:26pm

I got me a slow leak flat today, noticed the rear wheel wondering so I pinned it as far as I could go, pumped it up again, 3-4 blocks, pumped it up, Husky gas station, and got the tube replacement time down to an art form. Not sure what happened, didnt bother to keep tube to find out, but maybe I should have actually now that I think of it. Oh and the "Professional" "Wheel Guy" who did an amazing job, just didnt orientate the valve hole spokes properly. And I see darker dirt around the spoke holes, spoke prep perhaps.

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