Saturday, June 27, 2009

494.5 Miles Flat Front Tire!

Today I took a ride on the Thun Trail from Birdsboro to Pottstown, then back to Birdsboro. The ride was 17 miles. This is the same ride I took on May 24, 2008 and on June 13, 2008 .
I got a flat tire about 4.3 miles into the ride.

I had just passed over the Schuylkill River when I noticed that my front tire was going flat.

I carry everything I need to change a flat. I have a spare tube, tire levers, CO2 inflator and a multi tool. However, In my over 3500 road and trail miles, I have yet to change a flat in the field. I was a little nervous using the CO2 inflator since I had not done that before and I only had one 16g cartridge.
Oh, one thing I was missing-- mosquito repellent. They were terrible!

I flipped the bike over and removed the front wheel.

Using the tire levers, I removed one side of the tire. Then removed the tube.
I checked for the cause of the flat and found 2 sharp thorns. Later at home I confirmed that it was a thorn puncture flat by the location of the hole.
I replaced the tube with a Slime SmartTube.

My inflator has a CO2 cartridge stored in it. I turned the cartridge to the proper orientation, then screwed on the valve top.
I then unscrewed the presta valve on the tire to allow the CO2 to enter. Then I slide the inflator on the presta valve. Then I lifted the handle and pulled the trigger.
The tire inflated properly. Later when I got home I checked the pressure and it was about 20 psi. I topped the tire off to 35 psi.

I then put the wheel back on and was on my way.
I was surprised at how many people passed by while I was fixing the flat and didn't even ask if I needed help.

On my way back from Pottstown I did reach 500 miles!

Right in front of this pretty building.

Back at Birdsboro.
I stopped for a cup of coffee at Turkey Hill.


frank said...


Buy some slime and put it in the tubs. Never have to worry about thorns again. Believe me, we know about thorns out here in Arizona.

I'll post your ride on my site. You should climb in the blogger/biker rankings!

McCarthyink said...

First, I want to say thanks for your great blog. I was struggling to figure out what size of Fantom to buy -- or even if I should buy a bike I couldn't ride at all. But then I found your blog and discovered that our measurements are identical! I bought the same size (even the same seat post from Nashbar) and I couldn't be happier.

Sorry to hear about your flats. I had a couple right off the bat due to nasty thorns in my neighborhood park. I replaced the tubes with these pre-slimed tubes from REI and haven't worried about it since. You can check them out here:

Thanks for the great blog!

D. Parker said...

Mike, I just found your site and I have found it to be a great help. I just read the sizing post and I was wondering if I could ask your height. My inseam is about the same as yours but I have a long torso. I am about 6'1" and I was wondering about the top bar length on the 17 inch model. Any information would be helpful. Thanks for such a great blog. --Dan

Mike said...

D. Parker

I am 6'0" and also have a long torso. The 17 inch frame has been fine for me. If you don't ride aggressively (since you would have less clearance)and you think you wanted to be stretched out a little more, the 19 inch frame would probably also work well.


SS:Mtn Biker said...

Great post (and belated congrats on the 500 mile mark),especially the detailing of fixing a flat,that would be helpful to beginners,kudos for posting it up :)