Psssst! Guess what?

Couple of weeks ago, out on the new fixed wheel bicycle, about 5 or 6 miles from home, tonking around the big rowing lake at the Water Sports Centre and psssst! Guess what? A puncture. I’d gone out ill prepared - no repair kit, no money, no pump, no mobile, so I had a long walk to my Dad’s house, listened to his bowls stories for a bit and cadged a lift home.

Last Saturday, out on the fixie again, this time with pump and patches. The weather was nice, and I rode further than expected, taking the fixed wheel 700c x 23 mm road bike along the river bank. The really bad decision was the short cut along the unmade farm track, and Psssst! Guess what? A puncture.

The new patches I’d bought are cr*p. By the time I realised the repair hadn’t worked, psssst! Guess what? I noticed the other tyre was flat too. Two punctures! No wallet, no money, and 20 miles from home. Fortunately I had my mobile, and the third person I rang was able to rescue me.

Out today on the Bacon Slicer: the 700c x 23 mm uni. 7.5 miles, 50 minutes, no dismounts, and a dog runs across in front of me and I have to step off. Swearing, I step straight back on and I carry on until 1 hour 55 minutes and about 17 miles covered. I pull up next to my car. I change my shirt, then pick up the uni… psssst! Guess what? I must have punctured it in the last few metres of the ride.

I recognise this is a poor advertisement for the merits of 700c X 23mm tyres for cross country use…

very creative use of onomatopoeias.

SLIME! May not last more than a day or so, but it’ll be good enough to get you back home!

Ever noticed that the word “onomatopoeia” doesn’t really sound like anything?

Slime: that reminds me of a psssst! that I forgot. Out on the KH24 yesterday in Merrie Sherwode when I came across a mountain biker who was glumly pushing his bike. He had no pump and no patches, but he did have slime in his tubes. I lent him my pump. No luck. He applied one of my patches. No luck. He then span the wheel hard again and the combination of the slime and the patch appears to have done the job.

His parting comment to me: “I suppose you just stay on the blue routes on that?” To which I replied, “Usually I take the narrowest track I can find, and sometimes go off piste altogether.” He was astounded.

Slime usually won’t work on pinch flats or straight cuts, but is very effective for smallish, round punctures; they are the most common, unless you’re doing big drops without enough air pressure!:stuck_out_tongue:

That is exactly why I never do big drops on my 700c x 23 mm. That and no other reason. Nothing bigger than 19’6":wink:

Were they self-adhesive or the glue on kind? I take a pack of the self-adhesive ones with me on all trips (in addition to a spare tube), but they suck. I use them only until I get back to my house, and then promptly replace them with glue on patches. I’ve never had a problem with glue on patches.

i recomend wilkinsons patches. They are glue on ones. I just had to put two on my inner tube. I managed to get a double puncture… either way they cost me 72p for the whole kit with 6 patches and both worked. WHich is a first i always found that with my old patches i had a success rate of 1/2. WHich meant lots of inner tubes.

sounds like you may have a problem there actually. Id like to be sure you don’t have any loose spokes or anything like that. Also, if you skid or otherwise lock up the cranks to stop on the fixie then you’re going to lose tires pretty often from that

my spokes are all nice and tight, just given them all a nice little tug - and i was doing a 180 down a 3 set and landed funny - locking the cranks on landing. I’m not saying it wasnt normal that one was pretty deserved.

The other tubes where mostly lost to tyre pressure, as most trials riders do i bet, i like it as low as possible but well its not always a good idea, and sometimes i dont carry a pump and carry on abit too far. Mostly my gapping seems to kill tubes more so than plain drops.

When i kill a tube i always ride with higher pressure for a while then it gets lower as i dont pump it up and since i like it more that way i just leave it and then it pops again…

i hope that was understandable…

Sorry to hear your bad luck Mike.

I must admit I was a little disappointed: I was waiting for you to say something like “I had a puncture on my new fixed wheel bike. Fortunately it was the front wheel, so I merely popped a wheelie and continued my ride as a unicycle.”

Great story, Mike, but what bad luck. I only seem to get flats when I’m not prepared for them either.

Stupid question: I know a fixed bike only has the one gearset, but does it freewheel or actually pedal in both directions, like the locked hub on a uni? So you can use brakes or leg backpressure to slow down? Thanks.

Typically I believe the terminology is that a “fixie” has only one gear and no freewheel mechanism. A “single speed” has only one gear but does have a freewheel.

I’m actually slightly tempted to rebuild my existing (old, cheapish) mountain bike as a fixie or single speed. I think I’d like the feel, and it’d cut down on things that can go wrong :slight_smile: Maybe one day… conversions need to be done properly tho, else you end up with things unscrewing if you apply backpressure - erk!

I’ve heard that putting talc on your tube before you put it in your tire/on the rim helps a lot with pinch flats that are so common in the trials world.

yeah i use chalk. Not sure if it helps much but put it in anyways :smiley: talc might be easier to use cause grating chalk is alwyas a pain - i’ll get me some talc when i run out of chalk.

Maybe you should get some tyres with better puncture-resistance? They’ll be a bit slower but not as slow as stopping to fix a flat!

Do tyres with puncture protection help with pinch flats? Thought that was only forks. Thicker sidewalls might help, but then so would a bigger tyre. There’s a time and a place for practicality.

I say use more pressure. Less pinch flats, but it’ll be even faster rolling and have less control, so it fits the bacon slicer ethos nicely. 'course, you may already be at 120psi or so, in which case it could be awkward. 150 should be alright though. Maybe.


Some of the more expensive Schwalbe ones do (they have ‘Snakebite Sidewalls’ or something like that), 23mm ones probably don’t though. I was thinking more of the ones with Kevlar layers to protect from thorns and other spiky things.

yeah you can get thornproof tubes - although the 20" ones dont extend enough and so wont fit on a 19" mod tyre.

They are really thick but kind of heavy. Maybe they would be good for muni.