Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Bike Repair - Fixing Your Tires With Four Quarters, A Binder Clip, And Vulcanizing Cement

OK, I'll admit it.  I'm crap at bike repair.

Maybe that's too harsh, lets take a step back and say "I'm out of practice" and leave it there.

Isn't that what someone says when they try something old again after a while and find out that they're crap at it?

I was at 1 hour into my workout and only one block from the house when the tire felt funky.  Looking back I had a low tire.  When I stopped I found a very sharp tack in the tire. 

It's South Florida.  Apparently your contractor doesn't keep his hardware on his truck as it bumps over a road.  Of course yours truly found the tack, but I've been told I've been lucky.  This is my first flat after about 1200 miles (1930 KM or 10909091 bananas).

So the picture shows my hack.  I used four US quarters as clamps held in by what we call a "Binder Clip" on each tube to make sure that the patches hold tight.

So guess what?  It worked.  In fact I did a nice 22 miles today on my bike at upwards of 22MPH at peak.  22 miles is about 36 km or a tasty 200000 bananas!

Oh and I had a hack for the "glue" since I knew that I'd be fixing three tubes.  I went to an auto parts store and got "Vulcanizing Cement".  Ask for it by name.  Get it locally since that price is 50% higher than what I paid for at the store.

Instead of the tiny little tubes that would run out on me, I got the 8 ounce (.2366 liter) tin with a handy little brush inside to slather the stuff onto your prepared tube.

Then the next day I used it to re-vulcanize my shoes that de-laminated because they're old.

Oh and do the vulcanizing outdoors.  The fumes from that stuff will not be a good thing to inhale.  Trust me, it smelled like a dance floor in a bar in the 1980s before we knew what we were doing.

Why the drama?  The tires I have are tight and I punctured the tubes when I put them on after wrestling them.

One After Another.  As in "Oh Sure, Bill, You Won't Need Two Extras So You Are Safe!".  No, but thanks for trying!

So it's back to the online marketplaces and find a pack of four inner tubes for the bike for $17 and keep the old ones for emergencies.  They've held pressure all week so far so it looks good.

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