Pinnacle Flat Tire: 9-9-2018

My ride in today’s picturesque weather was cut short by a small thumbtack…

After three days of gloomy weather with nothing but rain and clouds, I was finally able to take the Pinnacle out today. As the saying goes, there were blue skies after the gloomy weather. The weather was perfect… not too hot, and not too cold. Seeing it as a perfect day to go out and get some pictures of local landmarks, I set out after pumping the tires up on the Pinnacle.

Both tires dropped about 20 PSI since I inflated them nearly two weeks ago in this post.

Then I set out on my way. Things went fine for a couple blocks, then a strange noise was coming from my bike. There was something stuck to my front tire.

After pulling over onto the shoulder, I discovered a golden thumbtack lodged itself into the tire. I pedaled back to campus quickly to a bike work stand with the tools needed to remove the wheel and tire off the bike. After peeling the tack out of the tire, it took a few minutes to fully deflate.

A view of the evil golden thumbtack which decided to ruin my trip.

The timing of this couldn’t have been more perfect. I purchased a patch kit last night during a trip to my local Walmart, and this was the perfect opportunity to put it to use.

After doing the “walk of shame” with the bike back home, I went up and patched it.

The process of finding the puncture wasn’t hard at all. I didn’t even have to submerge the tube in some water. Inflating the tube slightly allowed enough air to come out of the hole to make it easily found.

The puncture

Armed with my patch kit, I scuffed up the tube with some sandpaper before applying some rubber cement. Then the patch went on. It actually took me two tries to get the patch to adhere right, since I didn’t apply enough cement on the first round.

Letting it dry, I removed the cover. Viola! Pumping the tube up revealed that it didn’t leak, and the patch seemed to be on fairly tight.

The patch

Then it was back to the bike repair stand. The tire came back off, and I reinserted the tube. Mounting went fairly straight forward, then the wheel went back on the bike. It was inflated to 60 PSI, which is it’s normal pressure.

The tire under pressure again.

Then it was off again. After getting the rim mounted back on the bike, I took it for a 3-mile ride. While that doesn’t sound like much, it was partially uphill, and majority on the side of a major highway. Although I had to stop a couple times and take a breather, the bike seemed to run fine. It has been the longest ride so far on the Pinnacle since it was pulled out of “retirement.”

I normally replace tubes, but I decided that I’ve spent a lot on tubes and it never hurts to patch them a couple times before replacing them. Plus, since the Pinnacle is set to be replaced soon, I decided that it wouldn’t be wise to replace the tube.

The tire that was punctured is the Bell with Kevlar. While the tires on the bike has done a stellar job at resisting punctures from small things such as small glass pieces and plastic, this just means the tires are not immortal to such hazards.


Rusty spokes

There was one thing, however, that concerned me slightly while repairing the flat. I noticed that some of the spokes were extremely rusty. While I’ve seen the rust before, I never noticed that they were that rusty.

I haven’t (at least to my knowledge) broke any spokes on this bike. But with the amount of rust on the four spokes on the front tire, I wouldn’t be surprised if one goes soon.

Spoke #1
Spoke #2
Spoke #3
Spoke #4

This is another reason the Pinnacle is going to be replaced soon. Both rims on this bike are toast, and have been for some time. Both rims are warped out of shape, and the rusty spokes are not helping matters.

The Pinnacle has been serving me fine so far. A couple weeks ago I did take a spill while riding to class as my laptop carrying case decided to wrap itself around the gear shifter and yank it up into the highest gear. But I recovered quickly without any injuries or anything damaged and continued on my way.

Stay tuned for the next update…

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