Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tire Tube Leak

I went for a ride on my tri-bike on Friday for the first time in several months.  I've been riding my road and mountain bike whenever I had the courage to brave the cold.  Most of the time I've been inside on the trainer.  I can't wait for spring to get here.

While on my ride Friday I had a flat.  Looking back, I had noticed previously that the front tire was completely flat whenever I checked it as it hung on the rack in my garage.  I blew it up and it seemed fine.  I rode with Susan a bit before going out on my own.  I planned for to ride about 50 miles by myself.  The weather was sunny and around 60-degrees.  I was on my way home when I noticed the front tire pressure was low.  I stopped at a red light and pushed down hard on my bike's handlebars.  The tire was really low.  I had to stop and do something.  I decided to take the easiest route.  I called my wife with my cellphone.  She'd surely come get her stranded husband.  She didn't answer her phone.  Dang!  Option two - call again - no answer.  Dang-Dang!  I was on my own.
Park Tool (blue) and  Bontrager (red) tire levers
I had a spare tube, Park Tool tire levers (blue), two CO2 cartridges and an Air Chuck Elite mini inflator.  Everything I needed to replace the tube and get home.  I prefer the Bontrager levers (red) though.  They have a little bump that helps keep the lever on the rim.  I took the front wheel off of my bike and got to thinking, I don't want to do this, here, at this red light 10 miles from home.  I decided to take the second easiest route.  I put the wheel back on my bike and re-inflated it with my CO2 cartridge.  This quick fix would get me home.
Leaky tire tube stem
At home I removed the suspect tube and inspected it in the kitchen sink.  I found the leak to be at the stem.  Not at the valve itself but just below that between the cap and stem threads.  I looked through my bike stuff and found another tube loosely laying amongst my bike stuff.  I checked it out in the same manner.  It had the same leak.  That's odd!  I threw both of these tubes in the trash and checked out a third tube still in its box.  It was fine, problem solved.

A second but shorter ride along a similar route two days later went uninterrupted.  Much of this route is on the same streets as where the Southern Crescent Cycling club group rides.
I got home just before dark.  Great ride!

Thanks for reading.