Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
So on this morning's commute in I caught up to a guy on a really nice looking single speed, and as I was passing him I heard his rear wheel go flat. I stopped to check if he was ok - no he wasn't - he had no spare tube, no patch kit, no way to remove his rear wheel. Luckily I had all 3. I first tried to patch it for him, but my cement tube didn't have enough glue so ended up giving him my spare tube (we were a fair way from a train station or anything). I asked for $5 for the tube but to top it off he had no money either
So if you're commuting.. be organised and carry gear to get you out of trouble! Also make sure you know how to use said gear. When I handed him my tyre levers to get the tyre off he clearly had no idea how to use them!
He didn't walk it, I gave him my tube (and let him use my pump)! I think I may have been a little too nice
It was a new bike and he said he was going to ride every day, so I'm hoping he was a learner (he was also wearing jeans and what almost looked like a stack hat!) and that I will meet him again. If I do I'll a) check that he now carries spare tubes and whatnot and b) ask for $5.
No need to carry spares because a nice cyclist will come along and give you a tube. Saves $5 every time! Besides, spares look tres uncool on my fixie .
Well Philip, you still did the right thing - and that's what counts. Here's a smiley for your trouble
(A tool to get the wheel off? It wasn't quick release on the rear, because it's a fixie? I don't carry that tool, I guess I wouldn't have been able to get the wheel off for him if it was me.)
Since moving from my MTB to a roadbike, I've not been carrying any extra kit to fix a flat tyre.
I know I'm tempting fate, but I figure the time it would take for me to pull over, change the wheel and inflate it to 120PSI with a hand pump, I could just walk the bike either back home or keep going to work and deal with it later.
Its only a 9KM commute, so I'm not too fussed either way..
C02 inflater, best $20 you'll spend.
"...for many people your life is not worth the effort it takes to pay attention or the extra few seconds they may need to wait before they can safely get around you."-BikeSnobNYC
If you are happy to manage the consequences for yourself then not carrying spares is fine, it is your choice.
However I am really interested to know: what is so problematic about carrying the spares given that after you walk home or to work you still have to fix the flat ...how does spending 30 minutes walking your bike make that more convenient than fixing it on the spot???
I think it's downright rude to sponge off the goodwill of others. I always carry what I need to get home under normal (foreseeable) circumstances.
Philip, you're a better man than I, even though I would have stopped to help pump a tyre or even patch one.
I would have said "sorry mate, I can't help you any more than that - I need my spare ..." after I had established the glue was dry. I see no point leaving myself vulnerable to the next bit of glass on the road because some fool can't look after himself.
Pax, your point is a good one.
Nah he is a fixie rider ... remember they don't need brakes or helmets or it seems tools or tubes or patches .... amazing things fixed speed bikes are
Even for 9km, if you get a flat at 4 or 5k you won't be happy pushing a bike to work or back home. Have you ever pushed a bike even for 1km? It's an awkward pain in the arse. And with the hand pump you only need to give the tyre enough pressure to get you to your destination, even 70psi will do the job. I've gone 40km on about 80psi no worries.
My back tyre "popped" on Saturday on my first 100k ride. Just before it popped I saw a huge bulge out the side, but hoped I could make it home as I was 10k's from home. Didn't make it though.
I bought a basic fix-it kit when I bought the bike, but this would have been the first time I'd use it. Tried to take the back wheel off, but the carrier seemed to interfere with the quick release, so I thought I couldn't get it off. Walked to the bike shop:(
At the LBS the guy turned the quick release as far as it went and then started removing the wheel. Didn't actually seem him get it off, but it seems like the carrier didn't bother him much.
So, I had the equipment, just not the knowledge.
Just wondering what a minimum kit is to carry for longer rides.
I am guessing at least one spare tube, pump, tire levers, money and mobile phone.
Having never changed a tube, I am not sure what else I would need.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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That's pretty much it, unless you need something to get your rear wheel off (as some SS/FG riders do.) I usually carry my multi-tool too, but I'm overly cautious and independent. ) I also carry a patch kit or self-adhesive patches in case I get more than one flat.
I carry what Graeme has suggested plus a second spare tube. I am not good at trying to find holes in tubes on the side of the road when it is blowing 30 + km/h and it is dark and raining
The other thing I have is spare batteries for my front and rear lights (well I forgot them today didn't and guess what went flat .... )
I only carry the spare tube as a preventative measure. I haven't had a flat for about 18 months (~10,000 km), but I know as soon as I forget the tube or patches, I'll get three in one ride ...
Better practice! It's not always easy getting those tyres on and off, let alone making sure the tubes aren't pinched between rim and tyre. Easier to learn in your living room than on the side of the road.
I also carry tyre leavers (3) I can get the tyre of the rim but I usually have the shakes and it take to long for me to do it and it is a lot faster with leavers
Yeah, gotta watch those pumps! On Tues arvo, mine fell off and lodged in between my small front chainring and my my frame. Lucky I was crawling up a hill at walking speed at the time it happened coz I would have hated for it to happen at speed
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Two suggestions. Mount it on the left hand side and add a Velcro strap to provide extra security. The falling off is not uncommon.
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