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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

Not hard to imagine this scenario: You've just finished a busy week of work. You're tired, run down, aware more than ever that you aren't getting any younger. But you recognize that summer in the alpine is fleeting, ephemeral, oh-so-precious. You know you'll be lethargic on the climb, but you're acutely aware that you'll feel umpteen times better if you get some rarified air in your lungs, incinerate some endorphins, and liberally paste your shins with wildflowers that didn't have the good sense to grow outside the trail tread.

You motivate.

With limited daylight left you know it won't be an epic. You reach for the light pack, fill a single bottle, don helmet, shoes, chamois, gloves, and head out.



The climb is slow, as expected. But the world -- despite how advanced summer already is -- is a riot of greenery and wildflowers. Lupine, columbine, aster, paintbrush, skyrockets, larkspur, mules ears, and limitless skunk cabbage stretch to every horizon. You aren't moving fast, but you're *exactly* where you want to be.



90 minutes of climbing -- some of it deliciously technical -- bring you up to the limit of where trees can grow, providing views so expansive you can't quite focus on distant ranges. Could be the lack of oxygen. The grade relents and you feel the inexorable, delightful, never-not-amazing pull of gravity as you start to gain speed. A trickle of spittle hangs in the corner of your mouth, so heavily are you salivating over the approaching descent.

Within the first hundred meters your speed increases to the point that you can pump, carve, and hop the bike easily. You immediately remember why you're OK with a 30# sled, so capable is it once beyond walking speed.

But then -- a noise: thwapthwapthwaphissthwaphissthwaphissthwapHISSSSSSSSSSSSssssss.



Gah. Never even saw it until it was *in there*.

A cursory glance shows that plugs -- even many, stacked -- just aren't going to solve this. You break the bead, pull the valve, stick in the tube that's been rattling around unused in your pack for -- how long?! -- and start pumping.

The bead seats. Pressure is enough -- or so you hope. Who even knows what pressure to run with tubes anymore?!

As you install it back into the frame it happens: ssssssssssssssSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSsssssssssssssssss.

Removing the wheel again you discover that the base of the valve in that old tube has cracked, failed. Irreparable.

Damn.

Your riding partner offers his tube, which quickly proves to be even older than yours, and won't take any air. With not a single patch between the two of you, your ride just ended.

You bid your riding partner good luck as he begins the much-anticipated descent.

You turn 180* and begin walking your bike back down the hill.

You possess the presence of mind to enjoy the views as you walk, acutely aware that 30 extra grams worth of patch kit would have allowed you to solve this problem sans hoofing.



Check your kit before your next ride. Don't let this happen to you!
 

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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Already checked my kit at the checkout - I don't run paper thin XR2s.
You're always such a positive ray of hope.

You're totally right that I should probably never run XR2's again -- the two failures I've had over more than 9k miles of riding definitely point to them being utterly unworthy.

Or, not.
 

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Great reminder! I’d should probably date my tubes with a paint marker as they are so infrequently used.

I recently had to plug a small hole in my son’s tube, and while I had a patch kit, I could not get the patch to stick well enough to stick...
 

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I also carry a curved upholstery needle and dental floss for such an occasion. That looks pretty unlucky though. Definitely a good reminder to keep up on those forgotten frame pack items!
 

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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I also carry a curved upholstery needle and dental floss for such an occasion.
I carry those on multi-day trips too.

Also: It cost me 79 cents worth of aquaseal and this tire is repaired as though it never happened. Not realistic for an on-trail repair but works well and reliably once back home.
 

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If a tube is in a pack long enough to rot, a patch kit would have been junk too. You are doing better than I was last winter. I got a hole the size of my thumb in a fat bike tire. My sealant was dry, not that it would have mattered much with such a big hole. Then I pull out my only spare tube ... listed as 2.2-2.4 ... just a little small for a 4.8 tire. I installed it anyway, and it aired up with a funky bulge in the tire. I stubbornly rode forward on the trail completing the 14 mile loop rather than go 2 miles back to the trail head, and I made it.

I've been using radial car tire repair patches and vulcanizing cement with success on tires. I back fill any holes or slashes with superglue after inflation. I don't even want to think about how many are in my rear tire right now (5).
 

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Hitching a ride
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You're always such a positive ray of hope.

You're totally right that I should probably never run XR2's again -- the two failures I've had over more than 9k miles of riding definitely point to them being utterly unworthy.

Or, not.
I'm just sayin man, different philosophies here. Incidentally, the last flat in our group was a guy on a 2.6 XR2 on the rear. The next week he had different tires.
 

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change is good
Switchblade with a 38, 29+ rigid WaltWorks
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I'm just sayin man, different philosophies here. Incidentally, the last flat in our group was a guy on a 2.6 XR2 on the rear. The next week he had different tires.
Yeah, but this isn't Mikesee's first rodeo. I wouldn't use those tires but I'm heavier and I don't ride as smooth. I know this because it's not my first rodeo.

I change my tube and patch kit once a year in my pack. When I remember.......

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

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This place needs an enema
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Yeah, but this isn't Mikesee's first rodeo. I wouldn't use those tires but I'm heavier and I don't ride as smooth. I know this because it's not my first rodeo.
I use the XR2 this time of year because I spend a chunk of time in the alpine, where things are faster, smoother, less chunky.

In about a month I'll switch back to XR4 for the fall desert-bashing season.
 

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The hazards or running tubeless, you need to set reminders every 6 months to get a fresh spare tube. Never would have happened in the old days, back then spares got regularly used.
 
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