Flat me!

Ongoing repair work in Upper Manhattan extends past the 181st Street IRT station to the handball courts in Fort Washington Park, near 158th St:

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Twice in a week on the ride downtown, my friend has run into these giant metal flat-causing objects: the first one, the bobby-pin shaped thing, actually did not itself puncture the tube: the pictured object had run itself into one of the rubber studs on the tire and out again, without puncturing anything airtight. A similar one had gone in at a deeper angle, passed through the tube and out again, and left two holes. I only found the pictured one while inspecting the tire after patching the flat.

Today’s evil coil of wire had such a latent desire to come along on our journey, it had managed to lodge one end of itself into the tire and through the tube. I could hear the other end flapping against the bottom of the luggage rack as she rode along. A hundred meters later, she halted, and I held it the coil in place while deflating the tube, then popped the bead off the rim and saw it projecting a half-inch through the tire and into the tube.

While I glued on the patch, she went to investigate: apparently as the workmen resurfacing the handball court scrape the cyclone-fence door open and shut, the metal pieces break off and stay in the pathway, waiting to ambush passing cyclists using the Hudson River Greenway.

Maybe slick tires are the answer, because the detritus seems to stick between the studs and work itself into the tube. Any thoughts?
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3 thoughts on “Flat me!

  1. I would have recommended Mr. Tuffy (just a layer between the inntertube and the tire)….but those metal pieces…they must be pretty sharp to poke through like that.There are foam innertubes…but those aren’t fun :/

  2. James, I have never tried the Mr. Tuffy myself, but I have tried those <br/>special thicker puncture-proof tubes. As I recall, the first week I <br/>had one mounted, I ran over an extremely sharp screw on Ave C and 10th <br/>St and lost all the air. I couldn’t patch the special tube, because it <br/>was so thick the (relatively thin) patch wouldn’t stay on. <br/>&nbsp;<br/>I’ll look into the Tuffys, thanks.

  3. aw jeebus, jonathan, those are some rough looking flats. I would say slick(er) tires, but keep em big & puffy for all the bumpiness you’re hitting in the city there! I have been getting lots of flats this summer, too, don’t know why, and my tires are still pretty new. just learned recently that mountain bike tires are actually made of softer rubber than tires made for roads — which makes them wear down faster & get more stuff stuck to/in them than road/slick tires do. my housemate had a similar problem with the special "unpuncturable" tubes, one was punctured, but he couldn’t fix it, because the ‘self-healing’ goo kept leaking out the hole & messing up the cement of the patch.

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