fixing a puncture out on the road...with no bowl of water!!

duds
duds Posts: 15
edited February 2010 in Road beginners
A real newbie question, not wanting to be stranded miles from home and my only experience of repairing a puncture is at home in the kitchen with a bowl of water looking for air bubbles..how do you find the puncture whilst out? also is there any quick self adhesive patches you can get rather than messing about with glue and chalk..or would you just carry a spare tube and swap it over

cheers from a real newbie

mark

Comments

  • Ands
    Ands Posts: 1,437
    Well, you could find a pothole full of water :D . But I prefer to carry spare innertubes.
  • If you pump the tube up, and then listen to wearabouts the air is coming out, and then if you can see the puncture, then you can repair them, if you can't see it, what I do is I lick the inner tube in that general area, and it blows a little bit of air onto your toungue, really unhygienic... But it works!!

    Self adhesive patches, these are pretty good!!
    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?PartnerID=79&ModelID=7206
  • Yes you can get self adhesive patches I use either Leeches of Park Tools Patches. Park are the better ones and come in a handy little container. Its easiest to look fo the offending item in the tyre, either inside or out and them compare that to the corespondign area on the tyre and just look/listen for the hole. TBH though its easier just to fix it at home and put a new tube in out on the road. I usually have patches and a new tube though for those times when the farmer has just cut the hedge :roll:

    Edit: beaten to it but those are the patches that I meant
  • dennisn
    dennisn Posts: 10,601
    Usually you can pump up the tube after you get it out and feel and or hear the leak.
    As for patching on the road. When I used clinchers, I just carried a couple of light, spare, tubes and did any patching that was required at home. Then carry the patched tube as a spare.
  • desweller
    desweller Posts: 5,175
    I use my ear, or pump the tube up and try to detect the leak using my lips.

    If it's raining and/or your hands and clothing are mucky I find it's hard to keep the patch and tube clean enough though.

    So I carry a couple of spare tubes and repair the holed one when I get home.
    - - - - - - - - - -
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  • iain_j
    iain_j Posts: 1,941
    Easiest to replace it with a spare tube, and fix the punctured one when you get home.

    I carry self-adhesive patches too in case I get more punctures than I have spare tubes. My experience of these patches is they don't last anywhere near as long as "proper" patches but they'll do to get you home.

    As for finding the hole with no bowl of water? Pump the inner tube up (off the wheel of course), cup your hand loosely round it and slowly run your hand around the tube until you can feel the air escaping. Might need to pump it up again a few times before you find it.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    You can also use Skabs, pull out offending tube, find hole, patch it. Put new tube in and inflate. then if you puncture again you still have a back up of a patched tube, gives it a bit of time to go off. Don't forget to feel round the inside and outside of the tyre for sharps.
  • Blow it up and hold it close to your lips as you rotate it slowly through your hands. Lips are among the most sensitive parts of the body and you will feel the air coming out even if it's only a tiny hole.
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    what I do is I lick the inner tube in that general area, and it blows a little bit of air onto your toungue, really unhygienic... But it works!!
    Blow it up and hold it close to your lips as you rotate it slowly through your hands. Lips are among the most sensitive parts of the body and you will feel the air coming out even if it's only a tiny hole.
    +1 to the second strategy from Tigonabike, but if you also lick your lips (as opposed to the tube) they are even more sensitive due to evaporation of moisture. Generally the only type of puncture you can't find this way (and which really does need the bowl of water) is the very slow sort that deflates overnight and will not prevent you getting home anyway.
  • cw42
    cw42 Posts: 205
    Don't forget to run your fingers around the inside of your tyre before you put your newly fixed tube back on! :)
    live long, eat biscuit
  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355
    Tubes are so cheap these days, changing the tube is easier and reliable, assuming you get the offending item out of the tyre.

    Then you can have a beer while repairing it.

    Or chuck it and have a beer anyway 8)
    Richard

    Giving it Large
  • GiantMike
    GiantMike Posts: 3,139
    As above, replace tube and repair punctured one at home.

    I wouldn't use self-adhesive patches unless I really had to. The older-style adhesive and rubber patch ones are permanent repairs, whereas the self-adhesives give up after a while and then can't be re-patched because they've runied the tube.

    Having tries all the 'easy' options, I now use these:

    http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/Models.aspx?ModelID=5371
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    I agree too that the easiest thing is just to carry a spare tube and repair the puncture at home. However, being able to easily patch a tube while you are out is a useful skill to have, as you know you can rely on it if you run out of tubes. I usually only carry one spare tube and a repair kit, it's very rare I get two punctures and it's less to carry...
  • tenbar
    tenbar Posts: 94
    I always carry a bucket of water with me for this very reason. :lol:
  • or you could always surreptitiously ask to borrow your mate's water bottle..... take it from there :D
    Go for the break
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  • mtb-idle
    mtb-idle Posts: 2,179
    as said above, carry a spare tube and put that in then find the hole when you get home (just make sure you check the tyre inside to pull out whatever it was that caused the flat in the first place.

    However, it is quite easy to find the hole out on the trail. Put air into the tube and move it around slowly. you will hear/feel where the hole is.

    If you cant get enough air in to fiill the tube the hole is too big to be repaired anyway.
    FCN = 4
  • duds
    duds Posts: 15
    thanks for all the replies, this is a very helpful forum...i was expecting much more sarcasm than i actually got :lol:
  • CiB
    CiB Posts: 6,098
    tenbar wrote:
    I always carry a bucket of water with me for this very reason. :lol:
    Carbon bucket I hope.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Or.................Use the force ?
  • Flasheart
    Flasheart Posts: 1,278
    duds wrote:
    thanks for all the replies, this is a very helpful forum...i was expecting much more sarcasm than i actually got :lol:

    Guys!! we're letting the side down it would appear :roll:
    The universal aptitude for ineptitude makes any human accomplishment an incredible miracle. ...Stapp’s Ironical Paradox Law
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  • duds
    duds Posts: 15
    most disappointing amount of wit :oops:
  • dilemna
    dilemna Posts: 2,187
    In the past I have run down to a nearby stream and plunged the inner tube into a still pool away from the white water searching for bubbles only for the tube to leak loads of bubbles before realising that these bubbles are due to nearby underwater plants giving off oxygen. So next course of action is to find a cattle troff but you always end up treading in cow or horse sh1t which really ruins your day. The pong stays in your cleats/spds for months despite using lots of scrubbing with bleach to try to get it out.

    Obviously you will need a towel to dry your tube once wet or even better is to carry your gf's (or bf's) hair dryer to dry it really quickly.
    Life is like a roll of toilet paper; long and useful, but always ends at the wrong moment. Anon.
    Think how stupid the average person is.......
    half of them are even more stupid than you first thought.
  • Scrumple
    Scrumple Posts: 2,665
    Carry a spare wheel on your back.

    If you want to be hyper chav, have a soft focus picture of a dog on it too, as a wheel cover.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Maybe you could also have one of those fleeces with Wolves on it, think Steven Seagals mum, and when it takes forever to fix your flat you can simply pop on your fleece to keep you nice and warm. Every angle covered. :wink:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/45597917@N05/4336238031/
  • MattC59
    MattC59 Posts: 5,408
    Lick the entire tube and look for some bubbles :D
    Science adjusts it’s beliefs based on what’s observed.
    Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved
  • NWLondoner
    NWLondoner Posts: 2,047
    No problem finding my puncture yesterday.

    I could hear the bloody thing gushing out the air while riding FFS
  • neeb
    neeb Posts: 4,470
    Actually, a bowl of water or even a compact kitchen sink can easily be suspended in front of the handlebars on a road bike, in the bracket formed by the tops of the bars and the STIs/ergos. As well as providing the necessary facilities to find punctures, it also does away with the need to carry water bottles - you just need to lean forward to drink. You can even dunk your head in it to cool down in summer.

    The many uses of the kitchen sink as a piece of bicycle equipment far outweigh the slight disadvantages (weight, tendency for spillage etc). You soon learn not to brake when riding in a group, and the spillage in the other direction when going up hill is actually quite refreshing. If you are adept at riding hands free you can even take the washing up with you to save time and allow you to get out earlier.
  • A couple of thoughts on the 'don't fix it just put a new one in' front. First - absolutley agree about replacing the tune rather than mending it by roadside. But if you don't find out what caused the puncture, you're likely to be looking at the same scenario again a few miles down the road. And unless you check on the tube where the hole is, you're so much less likely to find the tiny piece of flint that always seems to cause it! Second thought - please take your tube home with you. I've seen several slung on the side of the road during sportives, and it's a foul, anti-social habit. Unlike on the TdF your detritus isn't going to be seized on by adoring fans and taken home as a souvenir...

    And a third bonus thought - if you claim to be green, mending a tube must save a hell of a lot of carbon?
    PS - In September 2010 I’ll be cycling 900 miles from the East Midlands to the Med for cancer research. To find out more about Mids2Med 2010, or to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/mids2med2010