Weston Chain Gang

Welcome to the Weston Chain Gang forum. We are a group of cyclists that ride regularly from Weston-super-Mare. We meet at Priory school on Saturday at 8:45. Rides vary in distance between 60 and 100 miles with a stop for cake. Ridet nec genere!

    Bike Maintenance for Beginners - how to fix a puncture.


    Posts : 348
    Join date : 2012-07-01
    Age : 105
    Location : Weston-super-Mare

    Bike Maintenance for Beginners - how to fix a puncture.

    Post  showmethecakes on Sun Feb 09, 2014 5:15 pm

    Obviously the best thing is to avoid punctures in the first place. This can be achieved in several ways. First, never go out on your bike. Keeping your bike parked on carpet is a good way to avoid sharp objects. If you do have to go out on your bike, fit it with either wooden or solid rubber tyres. You may still get the odd small prick stuck on your wheel but this is normal for a group ride.

    If you don't have access to solid tyres try wrapping your wheels with bubble wrap. You will be able to continue cycling with up to 200 punctures before having to resort to either changing the bubble wrap or patching up the holes. If you do use bubble wrap make sure you have 200+ patches with you. Elite riders may prefer the helium filled Super Record bubble wrap. It will save you 0.6 grams but that Italian technology comes at a price!

    Should the unthinkable happen and you do actually get a puncture you will need to follow these basic steps to get back on the road.

    Stop immediately and shout PUNNNNCCCTTTUUURRREE!!!!! Wait 10 minutes while everyone carries on up the road to the cafe. After 30 minutes when it is apparent they have purchased coffee and bacon rolls and will not be returning take out your spare inner tube. That's right, the one you hope you remembered to pack last night. Turn your bike upside down and let all the tools fall out of your saddle bag. Take the offending wheel out of the frame and cast an eye over the tyre. You won't find anything but it makes you look professional.

    Hack at the edge of the tyre with a lever until you gain some purchase under the wall of the tyre. Push down hard until the level is flush with the spokes. Take a second lever and hack at the tyre about 4 inches further along. Again, once you have gained some purchase under the tyre push down hard. Listen carefully for the sound of a metallic 'ping' followed by a swoosh of air. That will be the first lever travelling at some speed into the nearest hedge/ditch/ dark forest. Stop the next motorist that passes and ask to borrow a screw driver. These work just as well.

    Having removed the tyre take out the tube. Pump a little air into the tube and listen for the tell tale signs of rushing air. Put the tube up to your face to help locate the hole. If you can't hear any air coming out look for the 6 inch gash in the side - this will be the cause of the problem. Throw the tube into the nearest hedge (for later collection so as not to cause litter in the countryside). Unless of course you happen to have stopped next to a refuse/recycling centre. In which case just lob it over the fence.

    Gently inflate the new tube to about 160 psi as per the tyre rating. This will ensure your tube will cope with road racing. Let it down and put back on the wheel. If the tube has stretched too much put it in your pocket and use it on your mountain bike when you get home. Take out your second spare tube. Count the number of patches already on the tube and make sure it is road worthy. As a rule of thumb, if the tube is less than 10 years old or has less than 15 patches it should be okay.

    Replace the tube and tyre and re-inflate. The common options available here are to use gas canisters, a micro pump, track pump or 'The Daddy'. If you use gas canisters, make sure you picked up the correct CO canister or you may have a soda stream experience. Most people would carry a micro pump in their pockets because of the weight saving and convenience. These are about the size of a bic biro and cost around £694,000. You can achieve pressures of around 60 psi after 36 hours of pumping so certainly enough to get you home. Track pumps are not commonly carried although a bearded rider who looks like he's been crucified is a sure sign of a track pump fan. Finally there is 'The Daddy'. These are old school pumps that will inflate quickly and effortlessly to the required pressure.

    It will take some effort to get the desired pressure back in the tyre. Watch the pressure gauge as it slowly goes up to 158, 159, 159.2, 159.4, 159.5, 159.6.........159.9. If there is a loud explosion at this stage either you didn't check that the tyre or tube were seated correctly or your rims have just blown off your wheel. Phone your wife/husband and get a lift home. Take bike to bike shop and ask them to fix it. They won't think your stupid - honest!

    Posts : 514
    Join date : 2012-06-24
    Location : Worley

    Re: Bike Maintenance for Beginners - how to fix a puncture.

    Post  Martin on Mon Feb 10, 2014 8:00 am

    I love the section on pumps!
    You forgot to mention that when pros patch their tubes their patch of choice is the porn patch.
    You could also add a section on tubs :-)


    Posts : 9
    Join date : 2013-06-23
    Age : 29
    Location : Weston-s-Mare

    Re: Bike Maintenance for Beginners - how to fix a puncture.

    Post  Meirion on Fri Feb 14, 2014 11:57 pm

    We could all chip in for our own team car, then fixing our own punctures would be a thing of the past... or gatorskins, they never puncture, I hear they make bulletproof vests from old ones, any puncture to a gatorskin is a conspiracy, there was an episode of X Files on the subject I think.

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    Re: Bike Maintenance for Beginners - how to fix a puncture.

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