road racing and mechanical repairs

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road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:42 pm

what do you guys do when road racing, when you get a mechanical (flat tyre, etc.)?

i'm attempting a return to regular road racing after a loong time, have been doing crits. in a crit, you just walk your bike back to the pits if something goes wrong. that's not really an option for road racing.

what is the norm? spare wheels in follow car? CO2?
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by BNA » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:49 pm

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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby twizzle » Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:49 pm

Tube in jersey. CO2, levers and some "instant repair" patches in the saddle bag to cover gashes in tyres.

Beats waiting for the tail car, who might not have space for a bike anyway.

If using tubes with removable valves - make sure the valves are in tight BEFORE the race.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby jules21 » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:04 pm

thanks Twiz. will do.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:18 pm

Funnily enough in Oz even in crits I would have a tube and CO2 can in my pocket... you get a lap out so if you can change your tube in comfortably under 2 minutes you can usually jump back on.
Here I carry nothing except my iPhone for strava :lol: ... laps are no longer than 12k's so I can ride back happily on a flat tubular. Longer races spares go in the follow cars.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby lock_ » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:23 pm

I've always been a pump+multitool+spare link+tube+patch+levers kinda guy. Raced many a crit with all this hanging out my back pocket, that is until a more experienced racer mentioned I didn't want to land on my back with that stuff in there. So from then on, for crits, I just left it a the start/finish line.

Of course I take it all with me in a road race, for fear of being stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Rode over to the Northern Combines Hell of The West race on Sat. After fulfilling my volunteer duties I positioned myself near the end of the gravel section, probably had about 4-5 guys puncture in front of me. Most carried enough equipement to get them back to the start line. The one guy on tubulars had to wait for the follow car to come through, and scored a ride back. Now, at least in the Northern Combine, there's only 2 follow cars spread across 5 grades (+juniors). So you may be waiting a while for a wheel. It's pretty much a race-ender really, no lap outs in a road race. If you're running tubulars; well I'd see if the follow car is willing to take a spare for you just to get you home.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby MREJ » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:10 am

One tube and Co2. I don't use tyre levers. The risk of one puncture is very low; the risk of more than one, or a mechanical requiring a multi-tool, is even less. I take off the saddle bag and pump and leave them at the start.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toppity » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:35 am

I run sealant in my tubulars which has saved me a couple of times. I carry a multi-spanner as well. On the odd occasion I race clinchers I carry a spare tube, co2, patches and a multi-spanner in a food container that takes up one of the water bottle holders. I've never been a massive water drinker while road racing (as these are usually winter races) so one 600ml bottle does me for races under 100km.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Apr 17, 2013 6:14 pm

lock_ wrote:I've always been a pump+multitool+spare link+tube+patch+levers kinda guy. Raced many a crit with all this hanging out my back pocket, that is until a more experienced racer mentioned I didn't want to land on my back with that stuff in there. So from then on, for crits, I just left it a the start/finish line.

Of course I take it all with me in a road race, for fear of being stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Rode over to the Northern Combines Hell of The West race on Sat. After fulfilling my volunteer duties I positioned myself near the end of the gravel section, probably had about 4-5 guys puncture in front of me. Most carried enough equipement to get them back to the start line. The one guy on tubulars had to wait for the follow car to come through, and scored a ride back. Now, at least in the Northern Combine, there's only 2 follow cars spread across 5 grades (+juniors). So you may be waiting a while for a wheel. It's pretty much a race-ender really, no lap outs in a road race. If you're running tubulars; well I'd see if the follow car is willing to take a spare for you just to get you home.


Just a correction lock_ The one bloke with no spares got stuck out on the road, any of the others would have been in the same position without spares. A tubular can be peeled off, replacement installed, inflated and have you back on the road faster than clinchers. (Only if you have a tyre lever, last time with a well glued tyre, I nearly tore my thumbnails off trying to remove the tyre.)

My experience is that if you can chase back on after a puncture you are probably in the wrong grade.

My club also stipulates that riders have both a spare and an inflator as part of the race rules, however I don't know of anyone being penalised for a breach.

toppity wrote:I run sealant in my tubulars which has saved me a couple of times. I carry a multi-spanner as well.


Sealant is good, but not as good as a spare. I'm fortunate that punctures in my race wheels are pretty rare, so I don't penalise myself with sealant, it also means that I can repair it afterwards. It all depends on your puncture profile, I don't recall having patched a tubular more than twice during it's life.

Cheers,

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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toppity » Thu Apr 18, 2013 9:59 am

^^ good post. I tried to have a go at repairing the last tubular that I got a flat in as it was nearly new. I couldn't even get the backing tape off in one go so I gave the attempt away. I wish Jack was still about God rest his soul.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Apr 18, 2013 10:47 am

toppity wrote:^^ good post. I tried to have a go at repairing the last tubular that I got a flat in as it was nearly new. I couldn't even get the backing tape off in one go so I gave the attempt away. I wish Jack was still about God rest his soul.

My dad repairs tubulars but he's 90 and has enough to keep him busy with the guys from my club.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby lock_ » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:00 pm

Good point ironhanglider, forgot about that. There's still a few guys you see racing with a folded up tubular jammed under their seat, not too many these days though. Good to get you home, but I can't imagine you'd want to race on it after a roadside repair, but you're going to be at least 5 minutes down by then anyway.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby jules21 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 1:07 pm

appreciate all the replies.. i'm not worried about chasing back on - once I've got a puncture, I assume my race is over. i'm happy to just be able to ride back to the pits.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:25 pm

lock_ wrote:Good point ironhanglider, forgot about that. There's still a few guys you see racing with a folded up tubular jammed under their seat, not too many these days though. Good to get you home, but I can't imagine you'd want to race on it after a roadside repair, but you're going to be at least 5 minutes down by then anyway.


I'd be happy to race on it (not that there's much racing left at that stage). My spares have old glue on them, the rim has glue on it, and combined with the pressure from a 16g CO2 canister it will hold well enough for road racing. The corners in road races are not usually at the limit of traction unlike a crit. Someone on rec.bicycles.tech once did the maths and figured out that with ordinary cornering, the forces are still acting within the width of the rim and so would not roll the tyre. The problem is when you get extraordinary forces typically when the wheel gets airborne and lands with a sideways force, such as what happens with a pedal strike or landing a bunny hop. (I have known riders who bought a wheel and tyre and raced on it happily for weeks before discovering that there was no glue on it at all!)

I typically use a mostly worn out, repaired tyre as a spare. When I have gone to pull it off afterwards it is still quite a job, I'd be quite happy to race a road race on it.

Thanks for the kind words suggesting that I am some kind of artisan dinosaur by repairing tyres, but the fact is that I am simply too cheap to buy new tyres more regularly. In fact when I returned to the tubular fold I only bought two tyres, and the guy at the shop gave me two more punctured ones which I repaired for use as spares.

The tyre companies are making it harder, I have heard that some tubulars (newer Vittoria?) are now made with the base tape so firmly attached that it is virtually impossible to remove, and Tufo tyres are tubeless and therefore not able to be repaired at all.

There is an American company'Tire Alert' which apparently pulls the whole tyre apart, inserts a new tube, sews it back together and installs a new base tape for a reasonable fee. It'd be nice if a similar service existed in Aus.

Cheers,

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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby you cannot be sirrus » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:46 pm

I carry a spare tube and CO2 but have never needed it. If I can finish the race I get 4 consistency points instead of 2 might mean a bottle of red at the end of the year or not. :)
If I do puncture it would be race over but I'd rather fix it and ride back (plenty of short cuts on most of our routes) than wait for the following car and get back later.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toppity » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:48 pm

IH, mine was a vittoria that I tried to repair. I got about 6" of base tape off before I tore it. I thought that one tear would be o.k. and then tore it again after another 4" had come up. :roll: So I gave up. I reckon you might be right about a local tubular repair service being viable given the numbers seeing the benefits of tubulars these days
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toppity » Thu Apr 18, 2013 3:52 pm

jules21 wrote:appreciate all the replies.. i'm not worried about chasing back on - once I've got a puncture, I assume my race is over. i'm happy to just be able to ride back to the pits.

the reason why I mentioned sealant Jules is because in last years C grade Sale to Bairnsdale I punctured 20kms in. The sealant did it's job. A bloke even tried to convince me to stop because he saw "heaps of white stuff come out". I kept on going and still snuck a win.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby jules21 » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:01 pm

toppity wrote:the reason why I mentioned sealant Jules is because in last years C grade Sale to Bairnsdale I punctured 20kms in. The sealant did it's job. A bloke even tried to convince me to stop because he saw "heaps of white stuff come out". I kept on going and still snuck a win.

fair point toppity - unfortunately i'm running clinchers with tubes, so for me a puncture means getting off the bike. with decent tyres, I rarely get a puncture, it's more just on the off-chance of being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby Derny Driver » Thu Apr 18, 2013 4:08 pm

toppity wrote:IH, mine was a vittoria that I tried to repair. I got about 6" of base tape off before I tore it.

No mate, you cut the base tape in half and peel up about 4cm of it. That's all you need.
The trick is to peel the base tape and unpick the stitching at EXACTLY the spot where the hole is.
To find that exact spot takes a lot of practise and time, you need little clamps to clamp off sections of the tyre. You clamp sections off and inflate the rest of the tyre and leave it ... if it stays up then you know the hole is not there. By a process of elimination over a period of hours / days / weeks you pinpoint the exact 4 cm section where the hole is. Unpick there, patch it, stitch it and reglue the SMALL section of base tape.
I should get my dad to do a youtube clip or something. You need a lot of patience and lots of practise. Most people just buy a new one rather than fiddle with them.

Talking of punctures in races, I rode off second scratch in a club handicap race once, got a flat, changed it and pumped it up with a mini pump, and jumped onto the scratch bunch who had started behind us at 3 minutes. It was probably about a gap of 2:30 by that stage. That was a few years ago but Im still pretty proud of that. I reckon I could go under 2 mins with a CO2 canister.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby toppity » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:08 pm

very nice DD. Thanks for the info. I'll give it another try now I have a little knowledge (dangerous thing that). Get him on Youtube mate. It would be great stuff.
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Re: road racing and mechanical repairs

Postby nickobec » Thu Apr 18, 2013 5:58 pm

I blew up and was off the back contemplating pulling out at the end of that 8km lap. When about 4km from finish and about 200m before a corner, a spoke broke, puncturing my tube, blowing the clincher of the rim, jamming the tyre between the frame and wheel, locking the wheel. Glad I managed to stay upright as I bounced down the road on my rim.

Looking at my damaged rim & buckled wheel, I decided my race was well and truly over, threw my bike over my shoulder and was walking down to the marshal on the corner to try and cadge a lift back at the end of the race. When the Club Commissaire stopped and gave me a lift back to the start finish line.

Next week the Club Commissaire gave all riders a lecture on the rule that requires you to carry a spare tube and inflation device. Note, he saw my toolkit including tube, CO2, tyre levers, so I don't think it was aimed at me, but the timing was strange.

If I was in the middle of nowhere I would of replaced the tube and attempted to get home, but all the metal shards on the rim would of made it a slow job to get it right.
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