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  #16  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Nath View Post

I don't carry anything to lube the tyre/rim for puncture repairs on the road. I can't be doing with the hassle of carrying yet another plastic container to break or burst and make a mess of my other gear. .
A block of old fashioned green hand soap works well and won't make a mess. Chop with a knife and add 50/50 to warm water if you have the facilities, rub on if you don't. Depends on the tyres and rims of course, the Triumph and XT work fine without, BMW F650s and Guzzi 16-inch rears require a three ton press, ten-foot poles and three Rugby players!

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  #17  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Fixing flats is one thing - you'll have to do this on the road at sometime so you should be prepared, and experienced. Being able to change a tire is also good to know - or good to know that you can do it if ever required.

Of course, if you're at home, got the tools, why not - just to keep in practice.

But...if you're changing your own tires (even fixing flats) in them undeveloped countries, you're wasting your time. I mean, every town has a tire change expert, and they charge so little, so its also not a matter of cost. (you aren't that cheap, are you?).

I mean, changing tires - you get to decide when and where to change them - not like a flats that may happen at the worst possible time, worst possible place. So why not pay some guy the equivalent of a to do the grunt work. And besides, it is very entertaining to see the tools and techniques these guys have developed - maybe even show you a few good tips you can employ next time you really need to do it yourself.
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  #18  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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I'm a distrusting person. If they do a bad job, it's me that's got to face the consequences.

Eg dodgy heat vulcanised repairs failing. Putting a hole in your only 21" tube with massive tyre lever meant for truck wheels.


My mentality with bikes is to do everything myself. You can only know for sure if something's been done properly if you do it yourself.


Also, I forgot to flog the usual dead horse on tyre changing: I reckon most people carry tyre levers that are bigger and heavier than they need. I carry two 6.5" levers, and like I said no lube. On last years trip I fixed five roadside punctures, plus changed five tyres, with just those two short levers. It's not very often you have to do it, so I think it's well worth having it slightly harder on those rare occasions, but save space and weight over carrying three longer levers. If you practise it at home when you're swapping tyres, it's easy when you need to do out on the road in remote places.

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  #19  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Nath View Post
You can only know for sure if something's been done properly if you do it yourself.
This doesn't necessarily apply to me, but maybe that's just me. I've proven time and time again that I'm not to be trusted as a mechanic!

I'm with Quastdog in this case: people change out tires, oil, cables and other stuff for free (with the purchase of a tire, oil, cables or parts) or just a dollar or two. Often they do better using my tools, rather than theirs. Sometimes I need to show them how, but as often I learn better ways than I've been using.

It's different in Europe and North America, where a tire change costs $40 if I can persuade someone to do it. It's different also in Puerto Varas (Chile), where to my astonishment I couldn't find anyone to change either my oil or a tire for me. And it's different on national holidays, during festivals, in the middle of nowhere and the middle of the night--you need to know how to do as much as possible on your own.

Mark
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  #20  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Every situation is different.

I agree with Nath, to a point. 17" or 18" tube tires are easy to work on, only short levers are required. But, try working on the 17" and 19" tubeless rims on the BMW! Apples and oranges! Use the tools you need for your specific bike.
On all previous trips i changed and repaired all of my tires. Not that i'm cheap or distrusting, i just feel the need to fix my own bike as i am mechanicly inclined to do so. So far, on this last trip, ALL of my patches have failed... miserably . Can't explain why or how, but i need to review the type of patches and glue i have been using.
The Vulcanizadores here in Mexico are true pro's IMHO. They all have a bench grinder for cleaning off the old rubber on top, this is key to making a good patch. They also use good quality patches and glue. They also test their work in a tank of water. They also have reputations to maintain, something that goes a long way in these countries if you want to eat. If i can, i'll get my tire patched by one of these guy's, but only once have i gotten a flat within walking distance of one, a rare ocurance indeed!
BTW... gas works well as a temporary lubricant for sealing the bead. No smoking please!
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  #21  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
I agree with Nath, to a point. 17" or 18" tube tires are easy to work on, only short levers are required. But, try working on the 17" and 19" tubeless rims on the BMW! Apples and oranges! Use the tools you need for your specific bike.
Why would you need to on tubeless?
You should be able to plug most punctures on those fairly easily...

BUT I do agree that one needs to practice this before going on a trip...as punctures are an inevitable part of every trip...

PS. To answer the OP's original question...yes...on various bikes, F650, K75, Ascot, R75, VStrom, Iveco Daily, and Landcruiser...all by hand. Its why I prefer tubeless
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  #22  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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The problem with rims designed for tubeless tires are the safety lips and the fact that they are generally tight.

I've always used 2 8' levers on the tubeless rims but it requires a bit of practice. As lubricant I use dishwashing-soap. Put some soap on your finger and apply on the last 15-20cm when you put the tire back on.

G-clamps, lubricants and extra levers are extra weight, which I don't need. Like several others I wouldn't handed it over to an African bush-mechanic with 1m levers and a sledgehammer.

Once I got my battery charged in Zambia and it looked like a football when I picked it up. Needless to say it was completely dead and it was my problem.
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  #23  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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-1 for Slime. I hit a nail on the motorway, which shredded the flat tube as I came to a halt. Too many punctures, didn't reinflate, can't hold enough psi to be ridden to reseal etc.

Carry it if you like but it doesn't beat a tube and patches.
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  #24  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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I ran an 18" tube in a 21" wheel for around a hundred miles. Didn't feel right and I didn't go above 40mph because I was flat out of other options (pun intended!). When it came out I was expecting the heavy duty 18" tube to be wrecked, but it was absolutely completely 100% fine.

I don't want to speculate whether it's a good idea or not, but to say that it's not possible isn't what I've experienced.
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  #25  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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2x8' levers

Quote:
Originally Posted by AliBaba View Post
The problem with rims designed for tubeless tires are the safety lips and the fact that they are generally tight.

I've always used 2 8' levers on the tubeless rims but it requires a bit of practice. As lubricant I use dishwashing-soap. Put some soap on your finger and apply on the last 15-20cm when you put the tire back on.

G-clamps, lubricants and extra levers are extra weight, which I don't need. Like several others I wouldn't handed it over to an African bush-mechanic with 1m levers and a sledgehammer.

Once I got my battery charged in Zambia and it looked like a football when I picked it up. Needless to say it was completely dead and it was my problem.
MY MY alibaba just where on your bike do you store your 8' tyre levers
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  #26  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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MY MY alibaba just where on your bike do you store your 8' tyre levers
Haha, from now on I will only use the metric system, goodby to yards, miles, feet thumbs and elbows
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  #27  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by quastdog View Post
But...if you're changing your own tires (even fixing flats) in them undeveloped countries, you're wasting your time. I mean, every town has a tire change expert, and they charge so little, so its also not a matter of cost. (you aren't that cheap, are you?).

I mean, changing tires - you get to decide when and where to change them - not like a flats that may happen at the worst possible time, worst possible place. So why not pay some guy the equivalent of a to do the grunt work. And besides, it is very entertaining to see the tools and techniques these guys have developed - maybe even show you a few good tips you can employ next time you really need to do it yourself.
This is probably the best advice so far. I know Mex, Cent. Am have lots of Llanteros or Vulcanizaduros (tire repair guys) but is this the case in other parts of the world as well?

I remember seeing them in India and Thailand. In India I was not on a bike but saw tons of random shops for bicycle and motorbikes.

Depending on where you are it can be worth it to just ride on the flat to the next Llantero shop. Yes, you sacrifice the tube but if it's 100F and alone in the desert or it is getting dark, sometimes moving ahead is best ... tube be damned!

I found the guys in Latin America to be generally very good changing tires, I assist getting the wheel off/on but then they handle the rest. If in a town they can even get tubes sometimes, if you need an extra. Best way to go for sure.
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  #28  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by Mr. Ron View Post
So far, on this last trip, ALL of my patches have failed... miserably . Can't explain why or how, but i need to review the type of patches and glue i have been using.
I can explain it. Many new tubes are now made of Buytal (sp?), not natural rubber, or a blend of Buytal and Rubber. We've been running into the same thing. Nothing sticks to them. This is why I like plenty of spare tubes! Most tubes state what they are made of. Natural rubber seems to be the best, but nothing beats a Mexican tire guy. Awesome.
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  #29  
Old 15 Mar 2010
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Originally Posted by MotoEdde View Post
Why would you need to on tubeless?
You should be able to plug most punctures on those fairly easily...

BUT I do agree that one needs to practice this before going on a trip...as punctures are an inevitable part of every trip...

PS. To answer the OP's original question...yes...on various bikes, F650, K75, Ascot, R75, VStrom, Iveco Daily, and Landcruiser...all by hand. Its why I prefer tubeless
Vstrom is tubeless.

On tubeless, yes, most times a string plug will work. I carry three different types just to cover various punctures.

But sometimes some Godawful thing may be stuck right through your tire, or you may have sidewall damage. I had a frickin' screw driver through a tire one time! In this case, tire has to come off. A good tire shop (in the 3rd world) can often fix these big holes using big patches vulcanized on the inside. Even side walls can be repaired. Would I ride them at 100 mph? No, but most times they will get you to your next stop and a new tire. You can also fit a tube in this situation if tire isn't too badly mangled.
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  #30  
Old 16 Mar 2010
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So far, on this last trip, ALL of my patches have failed... miserably . Can't explain why or how, but i need to review the type of patches and glue i have been using.
For me, when a patch fails, I attribute it to inadequate roughening of the area to be repaired. The most important item in the patch kit is a good roughener. Little bits of sandpaper don't do the trick - you need something really abrasive, and do a very thorough job of scuffing the rubber.
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