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I just read the "what do you carry to fix flats" thread, and I have a question. I'm getting ready to move to a "real" road bike with real road tires (up from my Cannondale Road Warrior 2 with 85psi tires) - do high psi road tires flat that easily? Most guys seem to be carrying 2 or 3 tubes, extra co2, etc. Are flats just a common occurance with "real" road bikes?
 

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I have found that if you pump your tires up to the recommended PSI before every ride, that it drastically reduces the number of flats you will get. Many flats can be attributed to pinched tubes. I carry one spare tube and 2 co2 cannisters. Hope that helps.
 

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Some thoughts.

I must have been fast asleep—when did 'road bike' become a synonym for 'racing bike'? :D

More seriously, carrying all that extra stuff has not much to do with the frequency of flats. The fear is that you'll install your only tube improperly and blow a hole in it with your only CO2 cartridge. Since real road bike riders often go on fast group rides, flat repair is usually done in a hurry while surrounded by an impatient and smart-ass crowd, so chances for a bad tube install are high. And even if you're an expert flat repairer, it's nice to have an extra tube and cartridge to give to those who need it.
 

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For flat repair on under 30 mile rides I carry one tube, 1 flat repair kit, and 1 mini-pump, and 1 set of tire levers. For longer rides I carry a second tube.

The number of flats you get will vary dramatically with the road conditions, your riding style, and your tire choice. Diammonte Ultra lights flat if you look at them the wrong way- great tire by the way, at least the way they feel. Specialized Armadillo Elites (not the red walled ones) are good, but do feel a little dead at lower speeds. I'm using Continental 4000s with the new black chili compound which seems to be a happy medium.

And while the prior rider was correct in that pinch plats occur if you under inflate the tires, the more pressure you ride the higher the incidence of tread puncture by glass, thorns, and metal. (This is where riding style comes in- if you don't hit big bumps at speed you won't get pinch flats). Naturally, you want to inflate tires to a pressure based on performance for your weight- not fear of flats. The heavier you are, the higher the pressure. Too soft and you'll have increased rolling resistance and pinch flat potential, too hard and you'll transmit every bit of road unevenness into your nether region while not giving yourself any real advantage in reduced rolling resistance, and on very rough roads may actually increase the energy needed to counteract the vibrations. Be Goldilocks- look for that happy medium.
 

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If you really want to eliminate flats altogether, go tubeless. While I have over 3400 miles on tubeless with no riding flats, I do carry a small patch kit and one co2 (not sure why). I do not carry a tube on any rides at all anymore.

The reason for the success of tubeless is the Kevlar (arimid) belt that goes over the entire tire instead of just the sidewalls (typical on most tubed tires). Kevlar is the material used in bullet proff vests and is very difficult to cut.
 

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The worse the weather conditions, the more likely the flat. My only on-road flat this year was after having ridden about 30 miles in very hot, humid conditions. It happened on the only stretch of busy, shoulderless 2-lane road in my route, in the full sun with no shade or breeze in sight. And of course it was on the rear, so I had to contend with chain grease and all that. Believe me, that's a lot different than changing a tire in a quiet, cool garage!

So it was no surprise when I found the tire flat again this weekend when I took the bike down for a ride. I thought I did it all right, but maybe the pint or so of sweat that I dripped into the tire while remounting it ate through the tube. :(

But anyway for the OP, I always carry a spare tube, a patch kit, a couple of CO2 cartridges, and a mini-pump.
 

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rochrunner said:
And of course it was on the rear, so I had to contend with chain grease and all that.
There is no reason to ever touch the chain when changing a rear. Shift into the lowest cog, keep the bike upright and remove the wheel that way. I'm always amazed at how many people I see touching their chain when they change a flat. Usually they have the bike upside down.
 

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I think the reason people with "real" road bikes carry more gear for flats is just because they do so much more riding. You gotta figure, the more miles you put on the more flats you're going to have. As a generalization, someone who's pedaled 3,000 miles this year is far more likely to have had a flat or two than someone who's pedaled 300 miles. :) After 1 or 2 flats in the same year, you find yourself real motivated to carry all the stuff that you'll need to fix a flat. :)

Personally, I find the most maintenance free patch repair kit is an extra tube, a patch kit, tire levers, a pump on my bike, and an extra tube at home. I don't like CO2 both because I'm afraid I'll use it wrong and end up with a spent cartridge and no way to pump up my tire, or I'll have one of those annoying things where I keep flatting the tire over and over again (though I haven't actually run into that situation in the last 5 years). And I'm afraid that I'd use up my CO2 successfully inflating my tire, then forget to replace the cartridge.

I like to have a spare tube at home so if I use the old tube, I can throw the new tube on my bike right away when I get home.

I would never ride without a flat repair kit, but if you're afraid of flats you can also buy flat-resistant tires. As someone else mentioned, the Specialized Armadillos are reputed to be nearly flat-proof, but they also have a reputation of having a terrible ride. Continental Gatorskins seem to be fairly well balanced, or if you want a little less flat protectection but a faster ride, I've read good things about the Continental GP4000s's.
 

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yakky said:
There is no reason to ever touch the chain when changing a rear. Shift into the lowest cog, keep the bike upright and remove the wheel that way. I'm always amazed at how many people I see touching their chain when they change a flat. Usually they have the bike upside down.
How does that work? I'm trying to imagine how I would get the rear tire back into the chain without touching it after changing a flat, and I can't see it...would love to know how to do it. :)
 

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One hand on the wheel, the other on the back of the saddle.

PaulRivers said:
How does that work? I'm trying to imagine how I would get the rear tire back into the chain without touching it after changing a flat, and I can't see it...would love to know how to do it. :)
Drape the chain over the smallest cog by using the teeth of the smallest cog as your 'fingers' after bringing the cog into the chain loop. The chain loop will be open and hanging down if you lift the bike by the saddle. As said, this only works if the derailleur is in the smallest cog position. To make sure it is, develop the habit to always shift to the smallest cog before you take the wheel out.
 

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for flats, i have:
-mini pump with volume/pressure settings
-CO2 inflator
-3 C)2 catridges
-two tire levers
-2 tubes
-1 patch kit
-cell phone

i need my redundancies.especially after this weekend. two flats. two different wheels. grrrr. one required a new tire.
 

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For repairs I carry:

1 Tube
1 Patch Kit
2 Tire Irons
1 Chunk of old tube in case I need a boot
Some electrical tape wrapped around my patch kit
Frame Pump

I am also frugal with the tubes. When they flat I take them home and patch them. After they have about a half dozen patches then I toss them.

When on group rides pay attention to people who flat. It is amazing how many will toss a tube because it got a flat. When they go to toss the tube ask if you can have it. Take it home and patch it. If you do a lot of group rides you will never by another tube again.
 

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PegLeg said:
For repairs I carry:

1 Tube
1 Patch Kit
2 Tire Irons
1 Chunk of old tube in case I need a boot
Some electrical tape wrapped around my patch kit
Frame Pump

I am also frugal with the tubes. When they flat I take them home and patch them. After they have about a half dozen patches then I toss them.

When on group rides pay attention to people who flat. It is amazing how many will toss a tube because it got a flat. When they go to toss the tube ask if you can have it. Take it home and patch it. If you do a lot of group rides you will never by another tube again.

If you're going on a group ride that leaves from a bike store, it's way easier for most of us to spend $6 on a new tube than it is to patch the tube. :)

Not to say that you shouldn't - if you feel it's worth your time, by all means go for it! The one caveat I would mention is that if you rarely get flats (like I do), it's best to have your spare tube be new and patch-free. My dad (I'm 28 now) always used to use patched tubes as the emergency spare tube. Half the time the spare tube's patch wouldn't hold up when we needed them. Didn't seem to have that problem with a patched tube that was already on the tire, though. I think the patches hold up a lot better when they're on the wheel, pressed up against the tire. When they're in the bag, they're bent...I don't know, they just didn't seem to hold up very wheel when they were in the bag.
 

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Seeing as how tubes are relatively cheap nowadays - in the greater scheme of things - I don't carry a patch kit on most shorter rides in town (shorter is under 75 miles). I would rather avoid the hassle of patching a new tube in the sun and by the side of the road with a group or solitary riding. What I do is carry the tube with a puncture in my jersey pocket and patch it at home.

But a road tire/tube combo should be inflated to over 100 psi to avoid pinch flats, but road tubes quality control is not that good.

I have had good luck with Continental Race Lite, Vredestein, Specialized, and Bontrager tubes. All of these tubes are way under 100 grams, about 70-80 grams.
 

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E 12 said:
I just read the "what do you carry to fix flats" thread, and I have a question. I'm getting ready to move to a "real" road bike with real road tires (up from my Cannondale Road Warrior 2 with 85psi tires) - do high psi road tires flat that easily? Most guys seem to be carrying 2 or 3 tubes, extra co2, etc. Are flats just a common occurance with "real" road bikes?
In my experience, flats are not common, but when they happen, they seem to happen in quick succession. In other words, I can go for months without a flat and then have two or three flats within days or even on one ride. The primary reason, in my experience, for successive flats is that one often does not fix the first flat correctly. For example, about a year ago, I had four flats over the course of two days. There was a very small wire splinter inside of my tire -- I did not find it until repair #4. Another reason that one can have flats in quick succession is that you are riding in flat-prone conditions. For example, the roads upon which I usually ride do not have shoulders. Every summer I do a long ride to the beach that has about 50 miles worth of riding on shoulders. It never fails that someone does not have a flat or two on the shoulder portion of the ride -- you are much more likely to ride over broken glass on a shoulder than on the road where broken glass quickly is pulverized by cars.

The reason that I carry CO2, a mini pump and at least two spare tubes is that I not only have had more than one flat on a ride, but I often am far from home when I get a flat. Mrs. S has had to rescue me from the side of the road a few times. I have gotten no complaints when I have had a real problem (like being hit by a car or broken my shoulder in a crash). But, when your wife has had to drive 30 miles over country roads to pick you up because you did not have sufficient supplies to fix a flat, I can assure you that you will have sufficient supplies the next time that you ride.
 

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wim said:
Drape the chain over the smallest cog by using the teeth of the smallest cog as your 'fingers' after bringing the cog into the chain loop. The chain loop will be open and hanging down if you lift the bike by the saddle. As said, this only works if the derailleur is in the smallest cog position.
Yep, thats how I do it.

wim said:
To make sure it is, develop the habit to always shift to the smallest cog before you take the wheel out.
That makes getting the wheel out that much easier also.
 

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MarkS said:
In my experience, flats are not common, but when they happen, they seem to happen in quick succession. In other words, I can go for months without a flat and then have two or three flats within days or even on one ride. The primary reason, in my experience, for successive flats is that one often does not fix the first flat correctly....
dhtucker4 said:
Seeing as how tubes are relatively cheap nowadays - in the greater scheme of things - I don't carry a patch kit on most shorter rides in town (shorter is under 75 miles). I would rather avoid the hassle of patching a new tube in the sun and by the side of the road with a group or solitary riding. What I do is carry the tube with a puncture in my jersey pocket and patch it at home...
Yeah, that's why I carry a patch kit (one of those "peel the back off the patch" ones, not the kind that require glue) - my first step in fixing a tube with a hole in it is to replace the tube. But sometimes the 2nd tube also quickly gets a flat:
1. Because you didn't get the thing that caused the first flat out of the tire
2. Because you're on a stretch of bad road, so it's covered with stuff that punctures your tires
3. Because if there's a sizeable puncture in the tire, I like to put a patch over the inside of the tire there to plug the hole

Conversely, the reason I carry a tube is because a patch kit can't fix everything. If a flat is caused by a major blowout, a defective replacement tube, or if the area where the valve goes into the tube gets damaged, you can't fix it with a patch.
 
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