One more question – Flat Tires
May 15, 2009 at 3:21 pm #2832CandiceParticipant
I joined a women’s riding group and at the meeting last month we were shown how to plug a flat tire so we can keep riding but based on a couple of things I heard, I don’t think that would work on my tire since I have spokes. Does anyone know if that’s true? Something about tube vs. bicycle tire and mine would be like a bicycle tire? So, if that’s the case, what do I do if I get a flat? Call the tow truck I guess would be my only option.
The other thing is, that I have read I need to check my spokes to make sure they are not loose, what happens if one becomes loose and I’m still riding? AND when I get a new tire do they just give me the rubber part or the whole wheel with new spokes?
These questions probably seem really lame but I am mechanically dumb so I know I don’t know things now but once I figure it out I’ll remember. Actually getting a motorcycle has already helped me pay more attention to my car and my lawn mower, I know more than my husband now! Hee hee.
CandiceMay 15, 2009 at 3:59 pm #18568megaspazParticipant
If the tire isn’t too badly damaged you may be able to fix it. If it went flat gradually, it’s probably a puncture that can be patched. How you patch a tire depends on whether it’s tube-type or tubeless. Many current bikes have tubeless tires that can be plugged from the outside. A few machines have spoked wheels that require the use of innertubes. A “blowout” on a tube-type tire is usually a tear in the innertube rather than a tire failure, which means you need to replace the tube.
The quickie approach just to get you to help is to squirt some sticky “inflato-goo” such as ThreeBond Seal ‘N’ Air inside the tube or tire through the inflation valve. The goo seals the leak and the propellant gradually inflates the tire to a modest pressure. The inflato-goo should be considered an emergency solution, since it makes any future repairs problematic. However, I have resorted to the puffo stuff after running out of other options. (Test bike, Sunday afternoon, bike shops closed, no plug kit on board, no centerstand, ferry to catch—you know the situation).
Now, if you can actually patch a tire, the general rule of thumb is patch it if the nail is in the center of the tire, replace the tire if you get a nail on the sides.May 15, 2009 at 4:51 pm #18571briderdtParticipant
Bike tires have tubes in them. The reason yours does is because the spoke holes cannot seal air inside the tire. When you get a puncture on a spoke-wheeled bike, you patch the tube (unless there’s a large-ish hole in the tire, in which case you replace the tire).
You most likely won’t know if a spoke gets loose while you’re riding. And it’d be pretty rare for that to happen. On bicycles, you see the wheel wobble a little bit (and it can be an issue with brake caliper clearance — not an issue with disk brakes on a motorcycle).
When replacing or repairing a tire, you’ll get the rubber part only. The rim and spokes are all part of the wheel (what holds the tire).May 15, 2009 at 5:44 pm #18574roborabbitParticipant
Don’t trust the patch kit / sealant goo. It’s a temporary fix to get you home or to a bike shop to get the tire / tire and tube replaced. I’m assuming it’s the same for bikes as it is for cars. I’ve used the stuff on my car tires once and figured everything was fine and kept driving on the patched tire. 50 Miles later the tire had a really bad blow out on a local highway. (Going about 40-45 mph). Got lucky that it was the middle of the night and the highway was empty. So the moral is don’t trust an “AS SEEN ON TV” product with your life. Get the bike home(or to a bike shop) and get the tire replaced.
Btw a tip for saving money on tire replacement. Take your tires off yourself, it’s fairly simple and all the directions are in your M.O.M. Since you won’t have the tools for replacing the tire yourself this is one of the only ways to save on tire replacement (the tools for peeling / putting a tire on a rim can run into the thousands). So take the tires off yourself and bring them into a shop. It can save you about 50-150$ depending on the shop. It’s also way faster. No waiting while the guy who strips the rims goes through his work pile.
Almost forgot, if you do remove the tires yourself make sure your bike is extremely secure. Coming back home with a new pair of tires and finding your bike laying on its’ side is going to suck.
Some tips from a novice who’s still waiting for his MSF -_-;;May 16, 2009 at 12:04 am #18589briderdtParticipant
I don’t remember the name of it off the top of my head. About the size of a paperback book, has multiple ways to hook up to the battery, fills a rear tire in about 5 minutes. Maybe some one can help out with a link.May 16, 2009 at 5:44 pm #18603SantaCruzRiderParticipant
All great feedback, but I’m wondering if what you’re asking is: if I get a flat while out on a ride in the boonies, will I be able to fix it on a bike with spoke wheels?
Short answer is: probably not. Here’s why.
Spoke wheels: As mentioned, spoke wheels have tubes and loss of air means the tube has blown or has a hole. To fix it, you’ll need to removed the wheel, remove the tire, put in a new tube and then put it all back together. Adventure riders live for this stuff, but most of us are not prepared or wanting to do this kind of thing. Typically, this means a call to AAA or your BFF with a truck.
Cast wheels (no spoke): No spokes usually means no tube, so it’s just like a car tire. If you’re lucky, the flat was caused by a nail or something similar. Pull the nail with pliers and then use a glued tire plug to seal and you can be back on the road in a few minutes. It’s wise to treat the tire gently and I’d probably cruise back home or to the nearest cycle shop to get the tire inspected and either replaced or properly patched on the inside. As megaspaz said, a puncture in the sidewall (too muh flexing) or a slash means you’re toast and puling out the cell phone.
As for spoke tightness, you should occasionally inspect the spokes by pinching then together in pairs (with your fingers) to see if they are uniformly tight. If you find a few that are significantly looser, it may indicated that your rim is going out of true. This is an easy fix at any cycle shop. If you’re out of the road, unless you just hit a curb, I wouldn’t fret about the spokes.May 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm #19094RabParticipant
Slime Power Sport Tire inflator. A bit cheesy but fine for occasional and emergency use:
Another alternative is CO2 tubes.
For the garage, I have one of these which works great for me:
You can find them cheaper if you shop around.
I also use Ride-On TPS in my tires which is the same principle as “Slime” tire sealant but for motorcycles (high-speed). I’ve never had a puncture since I started using it, but don’t know if that means anything or not. It was well rated by Larry Grodsky and is apparently used by police and transport companies etc. so seems legit.
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