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Thread: Walk of Shame

  1. #1
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    Walk of Shame

    I have been trying to do a 20 mile loop around a lake by me everyday/ every other day primarily to get in shape. I'm new at all of this and have had my 1.1 for about 2 weeks. First of all it felt like I was pedaling into the wind coming off the lake no matter what direction I was heading.

    Then about a half-mile from my house, I got my first flat. Luckily I had a spare tire and cartridge on me. I watched a few videos last week about hints to change a tire so I was feeling pretty confident...

    Things I learned-

    1. The single tire lever I had was a piece of crap...snapped in half. I ended up using my sunglasses instead because the tire lever snapped in half.

    2. The C02 cartridge makes a loud popping noise when I forget to unscrew the valve. I thought the inflator was busted and so was my hearing

    3. A cop stopped to ask if I wanted a ride home, but my pride was too great. I eventually pulled up some videos on my phone, but ended up just walking it home and figuring it out in the garage.

    I dipped it off at the LBS for it's first tune up and they said I wouldn't get it back for 6 days because they are just so busy...

  2. #2
    Endurance Cyclist
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    6 days for a tune up!!! Yikes. The sad thing is It's going to sit there until about an hour before you go pick it up.

    Wind around bodies of water tend to really suck. They swirl so you always seem to be in a cross or headwind. I ride around the "lakes" in Lakeville, MA a couple of times a week and it's always like that.

    Now that you were able to "practice" at home, you should have no trouble the next time you get a flat and trust me, there will be a next time.

  3. #3
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    =(

    I know the feeling. My dad was/is a cyclist, so when I started, he told me about today's cheap levers, & told me to get some aluminum/steel ones. Haven't broken after about 6 flats in two years. My first flat, I had no spare tools (forgot em, along with the gloves, shoes, helmet, lol) but I decided to ride a little bit anyway. Got a flat, had to hitch a ride back to my car from this father & son. I learned that day, people do not pull over for anything, it's only the truly good people who will lend a hand in any situation. Also learned to check that I have everything twice before leaving to the group ride.

    LBS for a Tune-up? You should've tried it yourself I think, serves for experience just like your first flat has. Unless it's a time issue. Hope it doesn't happen again.

  4. #4
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    Good on you for getting out there. You're finding out the ins and outs of what to carry.
    For the 6 day LBS, next time ask if they take appointments. So, if its 6 days out, drop it off on the evening of day 5, pick up on day 6. I do that fairly regularly when I have the LBS do work. And for anyone who crabs about DIY tuneups vs using the LBS. Sometimes I do it myself, other times its a time factor, or for some bikes, they came with free tuneups.
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  5. #5
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    Yeah, plastic tire levers snap, metal one scratch/nick rims, what you'll want is a plastic/rubber coated metal tire lever.

    Six days is outrageously long turn over time for a tune up, make an appointment next time. I took my bike in one time to have the bars wrapped and they ended up keeping my bike for 4 days, that was the last time I used that shop.

    Even better would be getting an instructional bike service manual and some basic tools, so you can learn how to do your own maintenance, you'll save money in the long run.
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  6. #6
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    Nothing wrong with easing into maintenance. I prefer to do most of my own tasks too, but I get help from my local shop when something requires a special tool, or if I'm just not getting to it.

    I've always just used a pump for inflating my tires. Partly it's that I already have it. But I'm also just as happy not to have yet another thing to carry around with me, and replace when I flat a tire.

  7. #7
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    Pedros tire lever X 2
    Portland designs inflator
    Topeak micro blaster just in case

  8. #8
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    Shops are super busy this time of year. If the bike is working well, shifting ok and the wheels are somewhat true, I would wait for the tune-up. Pedros used to make what they called Milk Levers, a wider plastic lever that worked very well. I'm not sure if you can still get them. Another good lever is the one made by Park Tool. Tire and wheel combonations can make it almost impossible to change roadside. I stay away from michelin tires with my Campagnolo wheels for that reason. Few years back I vacationed in RI., doing some nice scenic loops when I had a flat with the above tire and wheel combo. After breaking my two levers I decided to walk back the last mile to the B&B. Not wanting to wreck my good cycling shoes I went the way in stocking feet. I spent the next few days with my feet in the ocen nursing the half dollar size blisters I got from the hot pavement!
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  9. #9
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    ^^this^^

    Those Pedros Milk Levers are/were great. After snapping some Bontrager levers putting Gatorskins on some vintage wheels, I used some old Milk Levers. Double lever flip and a loud POP, and the tires went on some Wolber Gentlemans. Yeah!

  10. #10
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    Yeah, though not metal, the Park Tool levers are tougher and won't snap. Haven't used Pedros, but have been told by LBS folks they are better still.

  11. #11
    Fred the Clydesdale
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    +1 for the Park Tools plastic levers!

    I bought a multi-tool that supposedly had tire levers. Well, it does, but they broke. I bought the Park levers, had a flat and fixed it! Yay!
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  12. #12
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    I've busted a bunch of the Park levers. Pedro's are the best!

    Forget CO2. Get a good frame pump. Air is free.

  13. #13
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    As far as levers go - I have yet to break a Park Tool Lever, but I wore one out. Have changed about 100 tires on them over the last 5 years (Doesn't ANYONE on group rides know how to change a tire???). Best $3 on a cycling accessory I have spent.

  14. #14
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    Not many of us like riding into a headwind. It's just so much more fun going fast with the wind at your back. There are no good answers that will make you like wind. But here's what I've found.

    1. It helps if you can get into your drops but the position can be pretty uncomfortable to stay in very long. Keep practicing, maybe make some adjustments to your stem or handlebars, do your best and it will get somewhat better.

    2. What's more important is going down in gear to maintain your same effort and cadence. For me, there's kind of a pride thing that kicks in when I look down and see I'm only doing 9 mph. But I just have to get over that. Fighting the wind, trying to maintain anything like the speed I'd normally be doing without the wind is a big mistake. I quickly burn out and it's just not fun at all.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    Not many of us like riding into a headwind. It's just so much more fun going fast with the wind at your back. There are no good answers that will make you like wind. But here's what I've found.

    1. It helps if you can get into your drops but the position can be pretty uncomfortable to stay in very long. Keep practicing, maybe make some adjustments to your stem or handlebars, do your best and it will get somewhat better.

    2. What's more important is going down in gear to maintain your same effort and cadence. For me, there's kind of a pride thing that kicks in when I look down and see I'm only doing 9 mph. But I just have to get over that. Fighting the wind, trying to maintain anything like the speed I'd normally be doing without the wind is a big mistake. I quickly burn out and it's just not fun at all.

    So, does that mean you don't care for the Milk Levers?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackbeerthepirate View Post
    So, does that mean you don't care for the Milk Levers?
    I was responding to the part of his comment about riding into the wind, not the part about changing a tire. Apologies for taking us off-topic.

  17. #17
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    Pedros levers. I carry two on every bike.
    C02 cartridges only work once and may not inflate your tire all the way. Mini pumps are forever. Well, almost forever until the seals go bad and fail at the worst possible time but usually you'll notice the leak. Anyway, I always carry a minipump and optionally a CO2 inflator as well. I highly recommend a minipump with a short hose.

    A basic bike maintenance class is worth every penny. I've never actually taken one. But, I assume it would be worth every penny as it would be a lot quicker and easier than learning everything the hard way like I did. Or learn everything the hard way. That can be worth a lot too.
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  18. #18
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    Double-plus on the recommendations for the Park and Pedros levers. Carry a pair of either when you kit out your toolbag. I was surprised the first time I used a CO2 cartridge at how cold they got when empty. Freezer burn! Otherwise, if they don't fully inflate your tire, it'll at least be better than decent to get you home.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nonsleepingjon View Post
    C02 cartridges only work once and may not inflate your tire all the way. Mini pumps are forever.
    I always carried a frame pump. But for my new bike, I've been sufficiently wrapped up in weight to talk myself into a cartridge. Now I'm rethinking it, for exactly the reasons you cite. Anyway, if weight is that important, it can be solved for money with the Lezyne Carbon Road Drive 2.

  20. #20
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    I always carry 2 tire levers and they're always either aluminum or steel. I don't like plastic tire levers and it doesn't matter what brand. For th record I have never broken or seen a plastic tire lever break. That doesn't matter. I don't like them because they're too wide & too thick to easily slip under the bead of a tight tire. The metal ones are much easier to use. Period.

    If your forearms and hands aren't exactly like Popeye's, or maybe you're old and have arthritis like me, here's a tool that's worth its weight in gold. Actually, it's cheap as dirt as does a truly amazing job.
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  21. #21
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    This is intended to be helpful, not critical.

    Watching videos to learn how to change a tire, then trying to remember those videos just seems silly to me.

    While you're waitign for the bike to get tuned up, practice changing tires in your living room a few times. Also practice removing and replacing the back wheel.

    I'm sure that if you just practice changing a tire and tube a couple of times, you'll learn how to finesse it a little rather than break levers. I've never bought anything special in tire levers -just the cheapos the bike shop has in a box on the counter. I've never broken a plastic one. Use finesse rathr than brute strength, and, IMHO, you should use 2 or 3 rather than one. I always carry two, but have three in my home bike tool box.

    Again, I've never broken a lever, even the cheapest plastic ones. About 90% of the time, especially with an older tire, I can do it with my thumbs, and I'm not a big strong person, in fact, I have girly hands and have never done manual labor for a living for the past 30 years. The trick is to get the tire seated in the rim so the circumference involved is minimal.

  22. #22
    Mad-one...
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    Quote Originally Posted by agrats84 View Post
    I dipped it off at the LBS for it's first tune up and they said I wouldn't get it back for 6 days because they are just so busy...
    Next time that happens, make an appointment for 6 days from now and just bring it back - that way you still have your bike to ride if you so desire... Just a thought.
    There is NO rehearsal - this is the real thing.

  23. #23
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    Minoura aluminum levers- they've never let me down.
    http://www.minourausa.com/english/tool-e/atl-e.html

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicole Hamilton View Post
    I always carried a frame pump. But for my new bike, I've been sufficiently wrapped up in weight to talk myself into a cartridge.
    In my estimation, weight isn't the reason you carry cartridges, speed is. If you flat with other people, it's nice to be able to inflate your tube fast, rather than spending time pumping the tire up with a pump.

  25. #25
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    Nice work using the sunglasses as a DIY tire lever. I'd never have thought of that, and probably wouldn't have done that anyways, simply because I wouldn't want to break my glasses. In an emergency, you can also use the QR lever as a DIY tire lever -- I've seen a buddy use that method, but I've never used it myself.

    I carry two Pedro's levers. I generally don't have to use them with my 25c tires, but I'd rather not get stranded because I couldn't get the tire on/off. I've used metal levers before -- I like them just fine, but they feel too small in my hands, and I like how the Pedro's levers (like most plastic levers) snap together for easy storage.

    I used to use CO2. It works just fine, but I prefer my Topeak Micro Rocket. It's actually more compact than a CO2 chuck with two cartridges, and it's nearly as fast as CO2 anyways.
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