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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Rode in my first organized ride today--the Grizzly--which a part of the Grandfather Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina. The ride is 65 miles with 7000 feet of climbing. I've been riding a mountain bike for about two years now, but just got my road biike in early May--but climbing Beech Mountain has been one of my goals, and this ride brought us up the back side of Beech and down the front. My only goal was to finish!!! Despite heavy rain every day this week today was clear and dry. Well, less than two miles into the ride my rear tire flats--made me thankful for packing two tubes. All is well for the next 41 miles. I make it to the top of Beech--without stopping in the process--and I am pumped. A mile into the descent guess what--my rear tire blows. I do manage to hang on and pull over without going down, but my buddy is long gone down the road. While I fix the flat, I call my wife and have her come get me to take me down the last two miles of Beech where I will catch up with my partner. He is in a groove so he keeps going, some friends meet me there to give a hand pumping the tire up to pressure--and suddenly--it blows. We check the tire, one of them fetches a new tube from their car and we begin again--and it blows. Seems I need new rim tape!!! My day was finished. I accomplished my goal of climbing Beech but failed to finish, although I was feeling good and am certain I would have made it. DNF due to mechanical issues does not make me happy. And to add salt to the wound, I got grease all over my new jersey!!! Any cleaning suggestions?

Thanks for letting me rant a bit, and I have enjoyed lurking around since getting my road bike!

PJ
 

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blowboat said:
We check the tire, one of them fetches a new tube from their car and we begin again--and it blows. Seems I need new rim tape!!!
As always, before fixing a flat every effort should be made to determine what caused it. Eliminate the cause before replacing the tube.

If the rim tape is really shot and you can't get a replacement, you can try a temporary fix - such as a few layers of newspaper rolled to size and carefully placed inside the rim under the new tube.

(One thing that can cause apparent rim tape problems is spokes that are too long. If the ends of of the spokes are extending above the inside of the nipples, you need your wheels rebuilt with shorter spokes.)
 

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That sounds like me a few years ago. Got a flat, couldn't find any reason for it, put a new tube in, inflated it, BAM! More feeling around for something, got nothing, new tube, inflated it, everything is good, ...BAM! It was like a gun firing. Repeat at least once more, same results. Finally I discovered there was a cut in the sidewall of my tire, so the tire bulged out and exploded (literally). A guy offered me a tire boot, which I installed, but I didn't think it would survive another 40 miles back to the car. All this happened at the lunch stop of the ride I was doing, so I hopped in the SAG wagon and into the sunset.
 

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Before you put your jersey in the washer, spray all the grease spots with full strength Simple Green. Soak them. Let it sit for about 5 min., then put it in the washer as usual. Check it when it comes out. If the grease spots are still there (unlikely) repeat.
 

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Sorry about the flats bro, I mean Blow. It is all part of learning. You will have many flats in the future, but I'll bet none are from bad rim tape. You did get over Beech Mountain.
 

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Mr. Versatile said:
Before you put your jersey in the washer, spray all the grease spots with full strength Simple Green. Soak them. Let it sit for about 5 min., then put it in the washer as usual. Check it when it comes out. If the grease spots are still there (unlikely) repeat.
I've also had good results 'blotting' grease stains with WD40 and paper towels.
 

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You weren't the only DNF

Hey blowboat:

I was working the Aid Station at the top of Beech. (I was the guy wearing the Campy t-shirt.) You can feel very proud that you made it to the top of Beech as that is a beast of a climb. I remember you because you were the only rider to come back up the hill. You looked strong and you would have made it all the way.

I heard from someone at the endpoint that there were about 20 DNFs out of 90+ riders.

All that rain left debris all over the road. One guy told me he had flatted 4 times before getting to the top of Beech. At least the rain had stopped. I saw what the descent down Beech would have been in the rain--very scary.

I hope to see you there next year.

Ken
 

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blowboat said:
And to add salt to the wound, I got grease all over my new jersey!!! Any cleaning suggestions?
Sure, buy yourself a bar of Irish Spring or Coast (usually go for 2/$1 at a local 99cent store). Soak the jersey in water and scrub with the bar of soap. In little or no time the stains will disappear, after which you can just then toss it in the wash.
 

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Your story brings back a lot of bad memories. I went tubeless 2800 miles ago and haven't had a flat while riding since. But nothing is worse than a front flat on a fast winding decent.

7000 thousand is a great day for anyone let alone someone new to road riding. Your mountain biking background has likely taught you how to suffer well. Way to go!
 

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mohair_chair said:
That sounds like me a few years ago. Got a flat, couldn't find any reason for it, put a new tube in, inflated it, BAM! More feeling around for something, got nothing, new tube, inflated it, everything is good, ...BAM! It was like a gun firing. Repeat at least once more, same results. Finally I discovered there was a cut in the sidewall of my tire, so the tire bulged out and exploded (literally). A guy offered me a tire boot, which I installed, but I didn't think it would survive another 40 miles back to the car. All this happened at the lunch stop of the ride I was doing, so I hopped in the SAG wagon and into the sunset.
Couldn't find a reason for the flat? If you match your tube with the tire, you can find where the flat occurred. Lining the tube up should have shown you that sidewall cut immediately. Certainly, after the first replacement tube blew. I know it was a learning experience for you, but really . . . :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thaks for the replies and the encouragement. I was much relieved after pulling my jersey out of the wash to see it clean! I guess I should have said that after we popped a tube filling it with air, we found the bad spot in the rim tape and attempted to fix it--bit no luck. So, I picked up some much better tape today and some new tubes and hopefully will be back in the saddle by tomorrow night! (With much new knowledge!!!)
 

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Also check your rim for small burrs - next time also check the tubes to see if the flat occurs at the same place - this would indicate something on the rim or in the tire is causing the flats, allowing you to more quickly get to the real problem.
 
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