New approach to flat fix

Use pliers to stretch the site of the hole away from the rest of the tube, then tie around the stretched area with string. I guess it’s a good use for the string from the pizza. Young man was collecting it (the pizza string) the other day and calling, “Pizza!”

I saw this on one of my favorites, the Afrigadget blog,

Flat me!

Ongoing repair work in Upper Manhattan extends past the 181st Street IRT station to the handball courts in Fort Washington Park, near 158th St:

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Twice in a week on the ride downtown, my friend has run into these giant metal flat-causing objects: the first one, the bobby-pin shaped thing, actually did not itself puncture the tube: the pictured object had run itself into one of the rubber studs on the tire and out again, without puncturing anything airtight. A similar one had gone in at a deeper angle, passed through the tube and out again, and left two holes. I only found the pictured one while inspecting the tire after patching the flat.

Today’s evil coil of wire had such a latent desire to come along on our journey, it had managed to lodge one end of itself into the tire and through the tube. I could hear the other end flapping against the bottom of the luggage rack as she rode along. A hundred meters later, she halted, and I held it the coil in place while deflating the tube, then popped the bead off the rim and saw it projecting a half-inch through the tire and into the tube.

While I glued on the patch, she went to investigate: apparently as the workmen resurfacing the handball court scrape the cyclone-fence door open and shut, the metal pieces break off and stay in the pathway, waiting to ambush passing cyclists using the Hudson River Greenway.

Maybe slick tires are the answer, because the detritus seems to stick between the studs and work itself into the tube. Any thoughts?
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Flat fix zen

I fixed another rear-wheel flat this afternoon. This one was a good-sized tear right by the valve, forcing the issue of whether to patch the tube or to replace it. So I duped my buddy Tom into helping me with the chain tension by first listening to him tell me about his Ancient Order of Hibernians chapter and then telling him about this cylinder recording of Edward Meeker singing ‘The A.O.H’s. [sic] of theU.S.A.’ from 1915.

It was a little tricky because the new tube had a shorter valve stem than the punctured tube, and its business end was just peeking out of the tube, not far enough to attach the pump. So I remembered a trick I’d used before and pulled out the Schraeder adapter, which was able to screw onto the end of the valve and allow me to fill the tube with air anyway.

The funny thing is that I spent the rest of the afternoon wondering if there was some kind of bad mojo that had caused my flat. I keep having to remind myself, “There’s plenty of air in the tube. I could hit a shard of glass or a staple any time. I had enough air in there for a week, so it’s not like there was some kind of slow leak. It’s a tear in the tube and there’s nothing I can do about it.”

New wrinkle for flat-tire fix

I apologize in advance for the annoying camera strap that gets in
picture no. 3, but if you can ignore that, you can see the business
part just fine.

 My new thing is to stick a safety pin gently into the puncture and
leave it there while I sand and spread the glue. That way I never lose
track of where the hole is. When I pull it out, I get a nice obvious
glue bubble too, which makes it easy to center the patch on the hole.

 Picture no. 1 is the tube at the puncture site, picture no. 2 is me
cleaning out the inside of the tire with a rag (use a cloth rag that
will catch on anything stuck through the tire), picture no. 3 is the
safety pin in place.

 In retrospect, I think I must have done a shoddy job of cleaning out
the inside of the tire, because I discovered another slow leak this
morning when I got back on the pony after my dentist visit. My gauge
told me it had gone from 100 psi to 60 psi in three hours, so I filled
it up again, went to the post office and to lunch, and then patched
the new hole in the siesta hour after lunch. (I would have
photographed that exercise except that I ran out of batteries after
this morning’s series.)