Friday, September 14, 2007

A good use for money

For the second time this week, I left to go home, only to find that my bike had a flat tire. Tuesday was a puncture, yesterday I had a little hole in the tire which caused the inner-tube to pop. Because of the size of the hole in the tire, a new inner-tube would not have fixed the problem (the tube sort of leaks out of the hole and pops). I needed to fix it, but I didn't have a spare tire with me, only tubes. I had heard of using dollar bills before, but I had never actually seen it done. So I pulled out my wallet and grabbed a one dollar bill and put it inside the tire, over the hole. I then put in a new tube and it worked like a charm. In fact, i didn't have a chance to change the tire last night, so I'm still riding on it.

I was also proud of the tube I put in. It wasn't a new tube, I went through all of my new tubes on Tuesday when I ended up staying up late fixing inner-tubes because they all had holes in them (there were 5 that I fixed that night). During my inner-tube repair marathon on Tuesday, i ran out of patches. Of course the patch kits come with plenty of vulcanizing solution (some people call it glue, but really it isn't), but not enough patches. So I cut up an old inner-tube and used those for patches. You see, that is the beauty of vulcanizing solution, it isn't glue, it actually melts the rubber on the inner-tube and allows it to dry and chemically bond to the patch. If I use an inner-tube as a patch, then, theoretically, it should work. As I already said, I'm still riding on last night's repair job, so using an old piece of inner-tube works great for patching punctures.

Now I'm going to try to stop getting flats, I think that would work far better.


Emily Allan Wood said...


Bri-onic Man said...

I've heard of using the dollar for a tire boot but never seen it in practice. Congratulations!
I too got very tired of having my rides interrupted by flats. The local shop (good ol' Bikes and Beyond) had some Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase tires on sale a while back and I have had ZERO flats since I put them on. They are heavier than my other tires, of course, but that just means I feel that much faster when I swap them for serious riding.