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riding front tire when flat

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Just a short note, here.. i'm still in utah. ..stopped for a construction break with my daughter's house in ogden. internet is sketchy.. pics & ride reports will come later.

But i thought i'd post a little comment about riding a tire flat. I was heading up to ogden a couple of saturdays back, when i got a front flat. I had ridden through the 'hell's backbone' trail, & was just outside of boulder, ut. There was about 25 miles to go, all pavement. I had my cool spoons, but no patch kit or tire pump. I asked a couple of rv'ers if they had a tire pump in their rigs, but no offers.. one of them had bicycles loaded on.. i guess they were trying to help the environment by keeping a motorcycle off the road.

But i did get back on! I just put on my trusty zip ties!

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I kept it around 30 in the mountain switchbacks.. elevations were in the 9k range. After about 10 miles of riding, i saw a camper with quads off the road. I stopped & asked if he had a pump, & he generously offered to help. I pumped the tire up, but could hear it losing air fast. I got on the road, but only got a few mile before it was gone. So i continued plodding along on the side of the road. curves are tough with a flat.

I made it into Torrey, ut. which is near capital reef, my destination. The garage was closed, but the convenience store had a patch kit, & air was near, so i commenced the patch.

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I found a plastic bucket & tilted the bike onto it for a stand. took off the wheel, tire & tube. A local character stopped by, already full of beer, & offered his observations & running commentary. I patched the hole, which wasn't too big, & pumped the tube up to check for other leaks. My helper was watching closely, & might have bumped the bike, or the bucket just buckled & the bike came down on me, the gallery, & the newly patched tube. My associate helped me reposition the bike back on the bucket with too many assurances that he did not bump the bike. I reassured him that he surely didn't bump it, but the bucket just buckled, like buckets do when supporting a 300# bike.

But now i had a big cut in my tube. I put a bigger patch on it, tested it, then mounted it. It seemed to hold air. I bought my new friend the biggest can of beer they sold at the market, & after a few more stories, bid my farewell. It held up fine through bryce canyon, & made it nearly 100 more miles before i noticed it was flat again. I still had nearly 200 miles to go, it was gettin late, & was to I-15, now. I found a station who let me use their air, took the tire off, & tried to patch it again. The station owner had a bigger patch, & suggested putting it over the old patch, so i did. It seemed to hold. I gave him $10 for his patch & air, then started on the long ride on the freeway.

I tried to keep it under 65, riding behind some slower trucks. But less than 50 miles & i was flat again. There was nothing around, & slim chance of finding a tube, so i shifted my weight back & rode. I-15 is pretty straight, so i could cruise at 60 without much trouble. I made it to Provo & called my daughter. She was coming back with her boyfriend from a bicycle race in Wyoming, & would be several hours before she got home. It was after 8, almost dark, & i still had about 80 miles of freeway.. city freeway.. to go. No point whining. get on the bike & ride. It was pretty stressful.. trucks passing.. lane changing, curves & traffic on a saturday night. I could only do about 60 comfortably. There was no swerving or sudden stops for me, so i had to look ahead & hope to be lucky. I was. No problems.. no trips to the IC unit. City traffic in Ogden was just as tricky.. turns were very difficult. The front would wobble around the corners. It was after 10 when i got in.

Naturally, it would be the front, instead of the rear teraflex, which will run flat easily.

But short of carrying a spare tube, i had no other option. I put a total of about 180 mile running flat, most of which was on the freeway at 60mph. I kept my weight back & avoided sharp movements or braking. I used the rear brake when stopping. I slowed way down when turning.

I think i will add a patch kit & a small bicycle pump to my travelling tools kit. But it is good to know that in a pinch, you can ride it flat. My front was getting a little worn, anyway, so i replaced both the tube & tire when i got to my daughter's house.

It might have been different if i'd have had a lot of weight, but i travel light, & only had 20# or less in my tail bag.

I had just gotten the motion pro aluminum spoons.. they are nice. They make changing a tire in full gear a lot easier. They were pricey, but i was glad i had them, though why have them with no tire patch?

Anyway, i haven't posted much, but will have a few more adventures (misadventures?) upcoming.

I'm looking forward to getting back home, & hope to return in another couple of weeks.

later.

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scotty:cool:

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I am glad to hear you made it back OK, and look forward to your ride report!

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+1 zip ties in a pinch

Nice pic! I spent a week in Ogden / Salt Lake on a business trip - Awesome!

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Inovair secondwind pump, extra CO2 cylinders, patches, glue, tire irons, extra front tube, all in a front fender pack.

OHH! and the tywraps. Glad you made it ok!!!

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Just when you thought you knew it all someone posts a great idea. Zip ties for flats; I'm going out this morning to buy some. Great contribution to this site. Thanks.

I carry of all of the tire repair stuff with me but once I was unable to repair a torn tube with a patch and the zip ties would have been the solution.

I recently got loaded up for a 1 week ride and packed a couple of tubes in my luggage only to discover that they had dry rotted and were now no good. I went out and bought some heavy duty tubes which really take up a lot of space. Does anyone know how to store regular tubes and prevent them from dry rotting until you need them?? The ones that dry rotted were about 6 months old.

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I love the free air sign!👍:worthy:

me too.. i had to take that pic.

I very seldom have a flat.. ride easy.. and i prefer to travel light. But i think i will toss in a small bicycle pump & some patches, at least on longer adventure rides. I wonder if those thin, clear ones the mt. bikers use would work on moto tubes in a pinch? I know once a tube of rubber cement is opened, it's just a matter of time before it dries up. I suppose it would be best to keep an unopened one in the patch kit.

Like Yanni, one of the main attractions of the tflex is the ride flat feature.. but in the thousands of miles i've put on the tflex's, i've yet to have a flat. The michelin desert i had on the front wasn't bad.. i kept the weight back & it tracked fine as long as i didn't have any sharp turns or sudden stops.

zip ties have replace duct tape for me in the emergency dept.. both are probably a good idea. It is amazing what you can patch together with some zip ties & duct tape!

scotty:cool:

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Wow Scott, talk about adventure. Going that far on a flat front, and on the freeway, shows that you have either got some serious avocados or are just plain nutz:crazy:. Anyhow I'm glad you made it. To bad they don't make a terrorflex for the front. Be careful on your way home. We've got the Laughlin to Barstow to Laughlin ride coming up soon. BTW, if you decide to try to get back home on that Michelin, I've got 739, 745, or 952 you're welcome to. Take care.

Tim

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Hey Scotty give me a call when you get a chance. Glad to hear you are OK I have just been frantic with worry about you:crazy: :worthy: Well maybe that is a little over exaggeration:excuseme: but middle aged crazy as you are I knew you would pull through.👍 And of course I would never mention that Tim & I tried to talk you into getting a new front tire before you took off:prof: No would never do that:naughty: Ah, kids you just can't tell them anything:bonk:

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Wow great story. Riding a flat on the freeway. Wow...

I always carry a spare front tube and sometimes two if it's going to be a really tough ride. I try and keep my speeds down below the pinch flat threshold, but I'm not always successful with that. I pretty much change all my tires so I can replace a tube in about 15 min. A front tube will work in the rear tire.

I don't have one, but the Second Wind pump really sounds like the one to get. It's a hybrid that can use CO2 cylinders or manual pumping. The best of both worlds.

One problem with patches is the tube must be close in size to the tire. If it has to expand much to reach the tire then the patch will usually move and lose it's seal. What ever happened to those old time vulcanizing patches that you lit with a match. Those things really worked. The modern glue on ones suck in comparison.

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I think some of the new glues vulcanize like the old camel burning ones. And the advantage of the newer Rema style is the patches are thinner and cause less problems between the tire and tub than than the old thick Camel style stuff. These Rema patches from Germany are the best I think. Most mountain bike and road shops have them. Or did where I used to live. Rema makes them for trucks and everything. ebay has them on their euro sites too.

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I think some of the new glues vulcanize like the old camel burning ones. And the advantage of the newer Rema style is the patches are thinner and cause less problems between the tire and tub than than the old thick Camel style stuff. These Rema patches from Germany are the best I think. Most mountain bike and road shops have them. Or did where I used to live. Rema makes them for trucks and everything. ebay has them on their euro sites too.

I will look for the Rema Items. Thanks!

I carry a patch kit but it's mostly for emergencies or for unprepared friends

I'm riding with.

I learned long ago to carry spare tubes. As we all know, a front 21" will work in the rear most times. I rode out of Baja for 3 days, 500 miles with a 21" in my rear tire. But I mostly always carry TWO tubes. One on front fender, the other in tail pack or somewhere.

I always have my front fender tube bag mounted up, even on short rides. On group rides ... we just never patch a tube when on the road. Better to just toss in the new tube and RIDE!! :ride:

BUT .... Always check inside the tire for staples, small nails, Cactus spines or whatever. Use your hand ... carefully.... to feel for anything inside. This is a very common mistake and has been the cause of many riders stuck in the Mexican desert at night. (no trail markers, No lights, no towns, just deep sand and Cactus)

In some areas, especially in the desert or in COLD Winter areas when OFF ROAD, it's most important to get back to civilization ASAP before dark. You can Always patch that old tube back at camp, Motel or around the camp fire with a cold beer. Much nicer way to go IMHO! :smirk:

Great pics! Thanks ... and always carry tubes and 3 tire Irons. One Ty Davis style and two normal shorties.🤣

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I will look for the Rema Items. Thanks!

I carry a patch kit but it's mostly for emergencies or for unprepared friends

I'm riding with.

I learned long ago to carry spare tubes. As we all know, a front 21" will work in the rear most times. I rode out of Baja for 3 days, 500 miles with a 21" in my rear tire. But I mostly always carry TWO tubes. One on front fender, the other in tail pack or somewhere.

I always have my front fender tube bag mounted up, even on short rides. On group rides ... we just never patch a tube when on the road. Better to just toss in the new tube and RIDE!! :ride:

BUT .... Always check inside the tire for staples, small nails, Cactus spines or whatever. Use your hand ... carefully.... to feel for anything inside. This is a very common mistake and has been the cause of many riders stuck in the Mexican desert at night. (no trail markers, No lights, no towns, just deep sand and Cactus)

In some areas, especially in the desert or in COLD Winter areas when OFF ROAD, it's most important to get back to civilization ASAP before dark. You can Always patch that old tube back at camp, Motel or around the camp fire with a cold beer. Much nicer way to go IMHO! :smirk:

Great pics! Thanks ... and always carry tubes and 3 tire Irons. One Ty Davis style and two normal shorties.🤣

+1.. my long ride adventure kit will contain a lightweight spare tube.. just one 17" for my knobbied wrx.. a small pump, & a patch kit. I have a co² pump, but i don't think i'll carry it on long rides. I seldom have flats.. this one was the only one i had on my drz for 3 years. I used the tough teraflex on the rear, which i got because it would ride flat, & tried to keep good tires & a heavy duty tube on the front. I've used my alloy tire spoons & tool kit for riding buddies & their issues more than mine. But for a long solo ride, i think a spare tube is a good idea. And for shorter day rides, it's also good.. like 54321 said, you just toss on the new tube & ride.

scotty:cool:

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fwiw, I've used hose-clamps instead of zip-ties for the emergency flat tire trick also.

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Good hose clamps are a good idea. Some friends have those BIG Ginormous Zip Ties, and they work pretty well, but the rear tire is much harder to use zip ties with. The SS hose clamps are best on the rear tire .... but they may scratch your rims. :smirk:

On my DR650 I carry a hand pump all the time. I mount it on the bike.

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On one trip I carried my Pump on my rear rack, Now I carry it here:

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Home made stand off to keep soft bags out of wheel. Pump zip ties on.

Funky, cheap and functional

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Short Tire Irons zipped tied under bash plate.

On the road solo in Death Valley. Titus Canyon. NOTE Tube on front fender.

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