Fix-A-Flat

Saturday while in between monkeying with the Miata I also fixed the flat on the tandem. Pulled the tube out and pumped it full of air. It came right back out. In a rush. Sounded like from the valve stem. I put it under water in the bathroom sink and air bubbles came cascading out from around the base of the stem. It was not patchable.

Neither I nor the local bike store had the proper sized (26 x 1.25) tube with a presta valve on hand. She said she would order a couple and I figured I would use the tube I had that was close (26 x 1) to get by until they came in.

When we got up this morning to go for a bike ride, sure enough the tire was flat again. Not a big deal, we were going to ride our single bikes anyway, but I’ll take it apart tomorrow to see if I can see something. Maybe there is a sharp edge on the rim where the valve stem passes through.

Started up, went down, still down.
Miata Top Tran?si?tions since 10/24/08: 1156

For The Want Of A Tube

We really wanted to ride the tandem to work today, so Tuesday we drove over to Augusta to see if we could find a tube at one of the downtown bike stores.The first stop was Andy Jordan’s and when the fellow asked what I needed, I told him, “A 26 x 1.25 tube…” he starts towards the shelf with all their tubes on it “…with a Presta valve.” He comes to a halt and says, “We don’t have any. We could order you one?” We tell him thanks anyway.

Stop two, a mile away, we enter Outspokin’ which I had called earlier and they had said they had what I was looking for. I figured we would be in and out. We were greeted and asked what we wanted. I told him and off he went. We wandered the store a bit while we waited. We drifted deeper in the place the longer our buddy was gone. We circled back to the desk about the time the employee came out from the back empty handed. He called over to the owner, who joined him looking on their self full of tubes. He finally said the closest thing he had was a 26 x 1.75. I told him I didn’t think I could get something that big in the tire even in its uninflated state. I bought the thing for two reasons: one, he said he’d give me my money back if it didn’t fit and two, it was our only hope of riding the bike to work on Thursday.

When we got home I pulled the wheel and took out the flat spare. Turns out there was a sharp edge where the stem passed thru the rim, so I tried filing it down a bit. To further protect the stem I added an extra layer of rim tape. After about five minutes of stretching and tucking I managed to get that x-large tube inside the tire as best I could. Pumped it up to 100psi and waited for the bang of a pinched tube or the hiss of a small leak at the juncture of stem and tube. Nothing.

We opted to go for a quick ride around the block as a final test. And much to my surprise it held up. Wednesday morning on the way by to the car I squeezed the tire, expecting a flat, but it was still inflated. Nice.

Wednesday night it was flat again….

Started down, went up, went down, back up, still up.
Miata Top Tran?si?tions since 10/24/08: 1159