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I am SO FRUSTRATED! After spending a big part of my day off today fixing the ninth (or was it the tenth?) flat tire of Clyde's short life, I took him out for a ride. The tire sprang a hissing leak again just I was sailing across the Rose Quarter Transit Center, a point about equidistant from home and work.

I walked Clyde for several blocks, but guess what? Walking a bike with a totally flat tire is exhausting, annoying and embarrassing! So I locked him up at the mall, caught a bus home, drove back, and nearly cried trying to get Clyde disassembled so I could squeeze his carcass variously into the back seat and the trunk of my car.

Both wheels had to come off. The seat had to come off. The rearview mirror broke. The chain may or may not still be on the sprockets.

Poor Clyde

I was so angry and frustrated that I was gonna back up to the bike shop door, pop the trunk, and say, "Charge me whatever you want, just put it back together and make the fucking tires not go fucking flat all the fucking time."

But I didn't. I took the rear wheel in, explained how many flats I've had, and begged the mechanic for a valid diagnosis of the problem, which is rapidly making me afraid to ride my bike.

His answer: defective inner tube. That was a new one. And, "I ride the best bikes in the world, and I had one last summer that got a flat every week. It was just a run of bad luck." So, you know, imagine how it's going to be with not the best bike in the world...

At least he didn't charge me.

Clyde's body parts are still out in my car. Tomorrow, in the precious, precious daylight, I shall put him together again and try to go for a ride. Cross your fingers.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
I don't know about a string of defective inner-tubes, but I did have one bicycle in the dim dark past that had a slight protrusion on one of the rims and that caused a series of annoying flats.

If it's the same wheel that's having the flats then check the rim.

Edited at 2009-11-28 04:15 am (UTC)
Nov. 28th, 2009 04:17 am (UTC)
Really? Well, we found a sort-of defect on the front rim--since corrected with fresh new thick rim tape. And I haven't had any more flats in front since then. I've examined both rims pretty carefully, and so have the bike mechanics at the shop, but one more flat in back and I'm going to raise a ruckus.

Thanks for the tip!
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:02 am (UTC)
damn! that's so frustrating!!! (and maybe you should get one of those removable trunk bike racks at some point? 'cause then, you know, you could take it up to that beach we went to and ride around there!)

i agree that i has to be some kind of defect on the rim itself. or maybe the bike tire is bad? like maybe there's an edge that's not quite meeting the rim properly and therefore any time you hit a bump, the inner tube gets pressed against the rim and causes the flat. is the hole for the flat always along the side of the tire? 'cause i think that would indicate the rim being the problem...

i'm sure you've tested using the correct air pressure already, right?

hope this gets figured out already! and does your bike come with a factory warranty of some type? maybe the manufacturer can help?
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:32 am (UTC)
One of the most frustrating things is that the flats are all over the map--it really does seem to be a run of bad luck--a regiuar from-the-outside puncture here, a defective tube there, an actual rim problem in a couple of instances. Tire pressure is pretty accurate.

IDK. I'm far from giving up. I like riding too much and I'm in no position to re-buy.

As to the bike rack, Clyde is 6'7" in length. That's pretty wide--like, way wider than my car! To cycle at the beach, I'd probably just rent a bike down there. But doesn't that sound like fun?
Nov. 28th, 2009 06:41 am (UTC)
holy crap! that *is* long! i just didn't realize. wow.

omg. he's as tall as jared padalecki's brother! hee!!
Nov. 28th, 2009 06:47 am (UTC)
*fugues off, imagining One Padalecki strapped across the car...*
Nov. 28th, 2009 03:59 pm (UTC)
I saw someone riding a unicycle to the Uni yesterday and thought of you!
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:44 pm (UTC)
Unicyclists amaze me. You can never stop pedaling. But at least they have only one damn tire to go flat.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2009 05:49 pm (UTC)
LOL! They do have a viscous liquid that you can coat the inside of the tube with that's supposed to seal small punctures as you ride. The bike shop put some of that inside my last-but-one tube.

When it punctured anyway, and I pumped air into it to determine where the hole was, white slime came spraying out the hole, all over my porch.

(Deleted comment)
Nov. 28th, 2009 11:35 pm (UTC)
Please tell Mr Kis that after having spent the afternoon repairing Clyde, repairing to a whisky shop sounds like a lovely, lovely idea.

And yes, I'm operating on the assumption that my run of bad tire luck is just that: bad luck. Hoping for better ASAP.
Nov. 29th, 2009 02:46 am (UTC)
Ack! I'm sorry for poor you and poor Clyde. I'll keep my fingers crossed for your flat-free future.
Nov. 29th, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
Thank you! I am cautiously optimistic this evening.
Nov. 29th, 2009 09:17 pm (UTC)
If it's a bad run of tire luck -- and that does seem the case -- then I must say, I have a slightly diminished esteem for bike tire manufacturers. S has had a similar run of tire luck in the not-yet-a-year since he got his bike.

Oh that, and popped wheel spokes. Seemed to happen every couple of days there for awhile. Sometimes he could repair it himself, but often, it required taking it into the shop for them to fix, and sometimes even replace. After the 6th(!) spoke replacement, I completely lost it. Because a) it's not cheap, and b) wtf??

Well, finally someone told him that he was carrying too much weight in his panniers for the rear tire and that was causing the popped spoke issue. That seems to have done the trick, though I'm rather baffled why that wasn't mentioned sooner or even at the beginning that there was a weight limit.

Still have the tire issue, though. It has improved, now that I think of it, but there for awhile, I would've sworn that the bike tire manufacturers must take their lead from the pantyhose industry....
Nov. 29th, 2009 11:15 pm (UTC)
The weight issue has crossed my mind, though from everything I can understand, I'm not overloading my bike/tire structure with my, you know, weight. And I haven't popped spokes, but I can totally see the bike shop selling me a bike that's not heavy-duty enough for my body, and then blaming me for being too large for my bike. Or not wanting to mention it.

S and I ride the same make of bike, if I recall correctly--Specialized Globe--so now I'm really wondering about the tire thing...

I'm back in business today, but it'll take some extended no-flat time before I'm sanguine about it again.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )



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