Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
My commute these days is pretty solid (50-80km most days) and so I'm getting flats pretty regularly- three in a week isn't uncommon. And I've been patching the tubes (they're getting to look pretty dodgy- the one I did tonight already had 5 patches on it.........) So it's costing me a fortune in patches. I've been buying these RAV X repair kits but they're $6 each from Bike Barn in Parra.
I'm happy with the patches (they stick and etc) but there's only six patches in a packet and I'm just wondering if anyone has come across a cheaper source of patches ? Can they be bought in bulk ?
OK..... I'm a tight-arse but hey... I'm surviving !
As Kuufu says, try tougher tyres, Schwalbe or Gatorskins.
I always got a flat when it rained, occasionally two, and had to ring the missus to rescue me. Istopped commuting in the rain.
I now run Gatorskins and Mr Tuffy liners and rarely get flats.
At $6 a strip of patches they'll save you a bit, not to mention your time.
I said three flats in a week isn't uncommon-particularly if it's damp-....... but it's not normal either. Sometimes I'll go a whole week without one at all-but that's rare. I'm using the Maxxis Refuse tyres and have been happy with them overall, although really it's just inertia that keeps me buying them, and yes they do get worn down pretty thin and then the flats are more common. I fitted a new one today, and the old one was through to the canvas in one spot......
I did try those Mr Tuffy liners but took them out because the end corner of the liner chafed a hole in the tube ! No joke ! It happened twice before I realise what was happening. I've decided they're not a good idea if you're doing a lot of kms.
I've seen the patch kits on ebay etc, but.............. usually the kits contain a variety of size patches most of which are at least twice as big as they need to be. It's a shame someone doesn't sell a kit with about 10 or 15 nice little patches and enough glue to do the job........ for about $3.50 ........
this isnt going to make you feel any better but the more patches the thicker the tube
as others have mentioned new tyres may make cycling life better
Orbea Erandio Hybrid
Go wider tires, and for puncture protection. I do 60km day, and run with 28C Schwalbe Marathon Plus rubber. So far over 4000km and no punctures. Marathons are heavy, but I'd prefer taking an extra few minutes on my ride rather than stopping and cursing all too frequently.
De Rosa Macro | Trek Superfly 100AL Elite | Claud Butler Sovereign
Spend the money on better tyres instead. A pair of Schwalbe Marathon plus tyres from CRC will set you back about $35 each (last time I checked). I run 700x28c Marathon Plus tyres on my commuter. I've done almost 11,000km this year and I have only had one puncture, which was caused by a large building going right through the top of the tyre and just touching the tube. As a commuter you don't want to be changing flats every other day.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
What u doing riding over buildings?!?! U must be riding a 29er
I just cut patches out of old tubes and stick them on with quick grip. Remember to put the quick grip on both surfaces, allow to touch dryish and ta da.
Works better if you round off the corners of the oatch you cut. If you have access to a decent sized wad punch you can cut out heaps in no time.
Never had one fail
I have tried every brand of patch I can find, non, not one, not even the old tube and quick grip lasts more than an hour or 2, I have given up patching and just change the tube, sick to death of crap patches.
What pressure do you run? I like 100psi, on a 700 x 25, but on a patched tube, anywhere over 80 psi means instant fail. I have patched about 3000 MX bike tubes with no issues, it seems the higher pressures are the issue, I think my method is sound. please tell me the secret as using tubes at $8-10 each is getting out of hand, not to mention wasteful.
gretaboy will back me up (if he sees this). commuting when paths and roads are covered in crap means you can use only 1 tyre - schwalbe marathon plus. have done about 4300kms on mine, no punctures. should get about 5000kms out of the rear tyre.
they are a heavy tyre (more than twice the weight of a standard 23c tyre). i run 700x25c and I run them at high pressure (we'll say 115psi so I don't start an argument)
That seems strange Eugene.
Do you give both surfaces a quick sanding, quick grip on both surfaces and wait till it goes touch dry?
I run 100 psi on the front and 120 psi on the rear on my commuter and on my road bike when training.
I run 120 psi on the front and 140 psi on the rear when I race. I've never had a puncture during a race but then I have only done about 10 races.
I use Continental Race 28 tubes. Used to use Race lite but found they punctured too easily.
Where's il padrone's picture of an inflated Vittoria Randonneur with a tek screw sticking out of it? That's another option for a tough commuting tyre...
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Darn autocorrect! Building tack is what it said before autocorrect intervened
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '09 Electra Townie Original 21D
Nitram....I was at one stage in a similar position. One week I had 5 punctures, 3 in one morning commute alone. Was about to give up the commuting as a result of getting weekly flats. I travel 45 k's each way and over so much crap its not funny. I also weigh 95-97 k's.
I tried gatorskins, durano plus, maxxi refuse and they all failed for me. They were all 700x23c in size too.
Have gone to Marathon Plus 700x25c and have achieved over 4200 k's with only 2-3 flats. I think the bigger tyre has certainly helped as well as the type of tyre. Would go to a 28c but want to keep mudguards so will stay with the 25's.
I also tried tyre liners and they caused me flats as well, quickly got rid of them.
I bet Eugene isn't roughing up the surfaces enough.
Eugene.. I use bosvit's solution... (except my glue of choice is shoe glue contact cement)..
Make sure you wail into the two surfaces (patch and tube) with some emery paper or those little steel cheese grater thingamies. It has to be nice an gouged, and none of the talcum stuff left over.
Smear glue on both surfaces, make sure its tack free and then press together.
Screw paying money for rubber patches and a tiny tube of glue!
Hmmm... strong vote for Schwalbe Marathons seems to be coming through. Come to think of it, I have them on my touring bike (with racks/panniers etc) and rode it from Adelaide to Melbourne the other year with no flats. Might be time to move on from my Maxxis Refuse addiction.
Any theories as to why wider tyres means less flats ? In another life I've always gone for the stock skinny 7.50 tyres on my 4x4 thinking that the narrower the contact patch the less exposure to nails and rocks and wire etc- the kind of things that cause flats.
As far as Eugene being unable to get the patches to stick, I've never had that problem, but I generally do repairs at home and give the area around where the patch is to go a little wipe down with thinners on a rag to clean it properly, as well as a light sand with the emery.
+1 more for the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres. Remember, the Marathon Plus are different to the Marathons: the former have extra layers of puncture protection, which although it makes them heavier, also makes them more puncture-resistant. I've been using them for several years now, and have had few issues with them.
Also remember to pump up the tyres to their maximum recommended pressure, or at least 3/4 of the way from their minimum to maximum: e.g. my Marathon Plus 28C tyres have mininum recommended pressure 60psi and maximum recommended pressure 100psi, and I typically inflate them to 90psi rear and 95psi front. Underinflation can lead to more punctures.
You would need rocks in your head to want to push around heavy Marathon Plus tyres. I'm about to complete a 1500 km tour, quite a bit of it on unsealed roads, using light and fast Marathon Supremes, without a single puncture.
I'd rather take the chance and maybe repair the odd puncture than push around nearly 2kg of unnecessary weight.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...
RonK....each to their own, but I know I would prefer to push around an extra 2kg of unnecessary weight for the simple pleasure of knowing that 9/10 I am going to get to work without having to change a tyre. I have gone through the frustration of multiple flats in multiple weeks, that is week after week, to know that pros certainly outweigh the cons.
I see the "extra weight" as a training tool anyway. If I want to try and match it with others, then I will swap over to "road" tyres.
Otherwise, when I have to commute with a bag that can add an extra 8 kilos on top of my 95-97 kilos, I need tyres that will do the job.
If the Marathon Supreme's work for you, great...I just know that since going to Marathon Plus's, they work for me
I used to use Marathon Pluses on a commuting bike, but switched to Marathon Supremes when they were released. They certainly roll better, and still no punctures. That's the point of them; pretty much the same puncture resistance but a better rolling tyre.
Perhaps "rocks in your head" is a bit much, but they're definitely worth considering. Marathon Pluses are proven, Supremes are only a few years old, but they do their job very well. I toured the USA on them recently and have them on my folding bike. Yes, I got two punctures in the USA; one from a packing staple and one from a tack on the road, both would have pierced just about anything. I'm using Panracer Pasela TGs on my commuting bike at the moment without fault. My wife's bike is fitted with Michelin World Tours - $9.50ea! - so far so good, but they haven't been on for long. I reckon one of the reasons I don't get many punctures though is that I run wider tyres at lower pressures. That’s not to say that they’re squishy and slow, but the extra surface area and lower pressure helps reduce the piercing of road debris.
I'd still have a look at Vittoria Randonneurs as well; another well proven commuting tyre.
Last edited by WestcoastPete on Thu Nov 15, 2012 9:35 am, edited 1 time in total.
For the 700x32C, the Marathon Plus tyres each weigh 800g compared to 375g for the Supremes, which is an extra 850g for the pair: nowhere near 2kg. I run 700x28C, so the difference is about the same: 860g. Given that I've ridden my 15kg Vivente World Randonneur tourer over 50,000km in the last 4 years, including some fairly long and hilly rides, I guess I just don't notice the extra weight.
Last edited by VRE on Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
I used to run them. I had a few punctures. And they don't last as long as the Schwalbes.
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