Pretty in Pink, dunno why
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Redondo Beach
Gad, I'm stupid sometimes...
..and I should know better.
This is a cautionary tale, and is a long story.
I came back from a ride where I was running knobbies and changed them out for my normal road tires.
After installing the front tire, I couldn't find my valve stem cap, one of those metal ones with the built-in valve core remover. No worries, it's on the floor somewhere and I've got several spares in the tire tool box. Replaced it and cleaned up the shop.
A couple of days later I noticed the front tire was low. Bummer. I've installed bike and motorcycle tires more times than I could even hazard a guess at, but you pinch one once in a while.
Off comes the wheel and out comes the tube. I ran my fingers around the inside to make sure there was nothing sharp in the tire that I might have missed the first time or that I might have picked up in those couple of days. Nothing, so I chalked it up to a pinch. Better be more careful with my technique.
It was the day before my long trip and I pulled the bike into the shop to load it up, change oil, and generally ready it for the trip. Up at 5 the next morning to get ready to roll, and find the front tire is flat. Expletives deleted....
Quickly changed the tube AGAIN (using a patched one), this time being extra careful with the install and doing a more thorough search for something sharp embedded in the tire. Nothing.
A couple of days later, up in Bridgeport, I woke up and found a flat tire. Now we got some good expletives to delete.... Maybe it was a bad patch, or I got hit with bad spooning technique a couple of times in a row. Dunno.
Aired up and rode. The next morning, flat again. Aired up and rode. Stopped in Susanville to visit Walmart - came out and it was flat. Kudos to some local guys at M&S Motorsports - they couldn't help me out with a fix (I didn't want to try a campsite fix - seeking professional help at this point, M&S had no machine and declined to take the risk. Totally understand.), but they did Google and call around and hook me up with Lee's Honda-Kawasaki over in Redding. Aired up and rode. The guys at Lee's were waiting for me when I arrived. Got me in and out in no time with a new tube and a good balance job. Fine, off to Mt Shasta.
Woke up in the morning to a flat tire. OK, we got some REAL good expletives now!
Aired up and rode, repeatedly, until I finally said "screw it" a couple of days later in Merced and put a can of Fix-A-Flat in. Problem solved. I had not wanted to do this, fearing balance problems with the liquid in the tire. None were ever noted.
This morning was my first chance to tear it down to find what the real problem was. I took the tube out and removed the tire from the rim. Sure enough, there's a hole in the tube and what looks like some abrading and puncturing from something sharp that MUST be in the tire. I picked up the tire and started to very carefully examine the inside, feeling my way along - learned a long time ago that I can easily feel what I can't see, so really don't LOOK at what I'm trying to feel. I could find nothing by hand, so I started a visual inspection.
Funny, but it took a couple of minutes to actually notice it, but guess what was rolling around inside the tire?
Yup, the valve stem cap that I had lost a couple of weeks earlier.
Gad, but I feel stupid....
Tom [email protected]
“Neither of the two people in the room paid any attention to the way I came in, although only one of them was dead.”
'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.”
Sting like a butterfly.
Last edited by Tom Schmitz; 06-04-2010 at 01:48 PM.