BANG! John in front didn’t see the pothole until it was too late. I hit it. Hard. The impact was so sudden and so jarring it ejected my bottle from it’s cage! Luckily I caught it with my cat-like reflexes and managed to hold my line. At first I thought I’d got away with it, but a few later…
PSSSST! Psst, psst, psst, psst…
Damn. Front flat. These wheels aren’t tubeless so I’m going to need to pull over.
Luckily the air was escaping relatively slowly. I managed to roll a further 100 metres to the T-junction and pull over on a wide bit of dirt verge. Let’s get this done!
Sam and John get a free masterclass in efficient roadside repair.
By the time the rest of the group had circled back to me I’d already removed front wheel, had the old tube out, and was unrolling the new one from my saddle bag. No messing about! As this was a pinch flat, I didn’t need to check for any sharp objects in the tyre, but ran my finger around the inside just to be sure. Then it was in with the new tube, re-seat the tyre by hand, and gas it up! Paul hardly had time to whip out his phone for the mandatory “everybody watch” photo!
Efficiency is key when fixing a flat on a group ride. If you’re on your own and the weather is nice, sure you can take your time, patch the tube, even inflate using a mini-pump if you carry one. When a group is waiting for you, speed is of the essence. Plus you don’t want to be fumbling about and causing delays with all those eyes on you. You’ll never live down at the café!
From rolling to a stop to clipping in again was under five minutes.
You may have spied in the first photo that I had a Latex tube in there. I’ve been trying a different brand and they seem far more durable. I only run them in these deeper 60mm Roval wheels. Later that evening I inspected the offending tube and found the “snake bite” double hole trademark of a pinch flat. Apparently you can patch Latex tubes with some success, but I’ve not ever tried. That might be a job for the weekend.
And in case you’re wondering, unfortunately no. These wheels aren’t tubeless compatible!