February 24, 2009

The shape of things to come

By Anna | 15 Comments »

Puggles (formerly known as Geot) got his first flat this weekend, and, although I had the required tool and extra tube, I didn’t have anything to pump it up with (and didn’t think I had the lung power to make that happen).  Puggles and I decided to walk home, and he sat alone and dejected, a crippled mess, for a couple of days.  

Sunday I got my shit together and decided to fix that flat (new game show?)!  I had to find a wrench to get the tire off (which, I didn’t realize at the time of flatness, I don’t have in my bag either…time for more tools) and then slammed it around for a little while trying to get the tube out.  I had success in the end, and felt pretty good.  So good that, after that was over and done with, I got out in the chill of the morning and cleaned that bad boy and lubed up the chain . He’s looking pretty spiff at the moment, and I think we’re both feeling like a new…being.  
Thanks Homewood Cycles dudes for teaching me how to treat my bike right!
I’m thinking about getting some of those CO2 cartridge things.  Does anyone out there use those and think they’re worth it?  The biggest problem I have with this whole biking thing is the amount of money I’m having to shell out. grumble.
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  1. On February 24th, 2009 velofolk said:

    I haven’t actually used them, but I’m not a big fan of the CO2 cartridges, for a number of reasons.

    1. You only get one shot per canister. If you screw it up, you’re left with either using another cartridge, pumping up the tire by hand, or, if neither option is available to you, a long walk home.

    2. What they lack in aesthetic they make up for in added landfill.

    3. They’re relatively expensive, especially over the long haul.

    4. It seems to me they are designed around speed and convenience, and you don’t strike me as the type who rides with an eye toward speed and convenience (i.e., in that customary sports enthusiast sort of way).

    Just my two cents (though probably not actually worth the full value thereof).

  2. On February 24th, 2009 Urban Cyclist said:

    I agree with the above comment. You only get the single use out of a canister, so if you get a second flat you are out of luck. You also spend more in the long run with repeated purchases.

  3. On February 24th, 2009 Elisa M said:

    Anna, I got a GREAT pump. I have had to use it multiple times on the side of the road and it is very user friendly (and small and pretty). I would highly recommend it. http://www.amazon.com/Topeak-Master-Blaster-Aluminum-Bracket/dp/B000ZKATWY/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&s=sporting-goods&qid=1235490521&sr=8-7

  4. On February 24th, 2009 chiggins said:

    CO2 thingies do mean replacements, there’s ones that take a threaded CO2 cartirdge so that the head weighs less, but the other ones take standard cartridges which cost a heckuva lot less because they’re not bike specific.

    Kent Peterson likes these pumps a lot, which seems like as good an endorsement as parts get.

  5. On February 24th, 2009 The Village Scribe said:

    As long as we’re recommending pumps, I recently discovered the Park Tool PMP-5 Dial-Adjust Frame Pump, which is an incredible, full-size frame pump, that can be adjusted to fit multiple bikes.

  6. On February 24th, 2009 spiderlegreen said:

    As for tools. Crank Brothers has a compact, multi-tool that doesn’t take up hardly any space at all. It has worked well for me.

    $$$ is slowly making me take better care of my bike and learn more DIY.

  7. On February 24th, 2009 GhostRider said:

    CO2 canisters are recycleable, at least…and cheap ones can be had if you go for the unthreaded BB gun cartridges made by Daisy or Copperhead. Just make sure your inflator will take unthreade carts.

    All that being said, nothing is better than a small frame pump…Topeak, Lezyne, hell — an old Silca frame pump! A lot less to go wrong, a lot friendlier for the environment, and a great upper-body workout to boot ;)

  8. On February 24th, 2009 larry said:

    co2 – just say no
    too many disadvantages, things they don;t do well


  9. On February 24th, 2009 Anna said:

    i actually have a travel pump, i guess i just need to get some sort of adapter for it – doesn’t fit on the presta valves. sounds like i won’t be getting CO2 though, so yay for that!

  10. On February 24th, 2009 anna said:

    Oh cool. I had to fix three tires this year (because of the nasty split and cullet on the road). Didn’t have problems for years before, so first had some trouble fixing the tire, especially the rear one. First I found it difficult to find the hole, but by now I have a good technique for that (pumping up the inner tube really big – or if that doesn’t work holding under water). Well, I was always quite happy and felt like a real mechanic when I managed to fix it and had horribly dirty hands afterwards :-) .

    I always have a small pump with me which I could also tie to the bike if I wanted to (but I fear that it would get stolen, so I always take it with me). It’s not a CO2 pump, cause I don’t like the idea of piling up garbage and having to buy cartridges all the time. But it’s not much bigger and quite light. It’s a Injex Lite Zoom 24X with multi valve head (wow, what a name!). Unfortunately I only found a german link: http://www.actionsports.de/Pumps/SKS-Injex-Lite-Zoom-Minipumpe::8962.html But well, I’m sure there are many other ones of that type around..

  11. On February 24th, 2009 2whls3spds said:

    I tried CO2…once. Got a Topeak Road Morph, liked it so well I bought a couple more to stuff in the saddle bags of my other bikes. Money well spent.


  12. On February 24th, 2009 Chris said:

    I must have spent the price of a decent bike on pumps, and I have to say, the best thing is a long frame pump.
    They work as well as the best little pumps, but cost a fraction of the price. I once dropped a hugely expensive Blackburn pump, my mate who was following me rode over it, and it was noodled. It cost the same as six of the ones I use nowadays.
    And I’m assuming you have a track pump. If you don’t, get one. I promise it’ll be one of the best cycling purchases you ever make.

  13. On February 24th, 2009 letsgorideabike said:

    I carry a mini hand-pump, but don’t really have any advice. Just wanted to say that flat tires suck :)


  14. On February 25th, 2009 matt said:

    Buy a nice FLOOR PUMP and keep your tires aired up. I check everytime I ride.

    Buy nice tires with some sort of FLAT PROTECTION. You could buy cheaper tires but I don’t enjoy walking home so I don’t. Current faves are Maxxis RE-Fuses (30ish/each).

    Check the rimstrip when installing the tire/tube. If a spoke/bur/valve hole are causing the puncture you will continue to flat.

    I’ve used small pumps but getting to 120psi is impossible. Plus they can snap. Or you could drop them. Or someone could snag it. THE ONLY PUMP I WOULD TRY IS THE FULL SIZE FRAMEPUMP THAT SOMEONE ALREADY MENTIONED ABOVE FROM PARK TOOL.

    I currently use a CO2 cannister and have for years. carry 2 cartridges, levers, patches, and a tube. I flat a couple times a year and ride 2000+ miles a year.

    All comes back to nice tires though.

  15. On February 26th, 2009 Palm Beach Bike tours said:

    I carry CO2 cartridges, but I also rely on a Topeak Road Morph with gauge. Here’s a review I did last week, along with some hints for dummies (namely me) and pictures of how I mounted mine.

    Here’s a review I did last week, along with some hints for dummies (namely me) and pictures of how I mounted mine.

    What always amazes me about CO2 cartridges is how much heavier they get when they are empty.

    At least,that’s what I assume, because the routes favored by go-fast weight wienies are littered with them. I can only assume it’s because the empty canisters and flatted tubes are so heavy that they have to be jettisoned like anvils and cook stoves in pioneer wagons crossing the Sierras.

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