Flat Tire, Stranded Again

Excuse me a minute while I blow off some steam.  I’m stuck at work right now waiting for my wife to come pick me up because I got a flat tire today.  Talk about annoying.  I never carry spare tubes or anything with me, so a flat tire just means I’m stuck. Transit isn’t really a viable option out here in Golden Valley where I work. It’s totally frustrating.

So why don’t I carry tools with me?  Well, I have recently started carrying a multi-tool with me (after Jimmy got on my case last time I was stuck), but not a tube.  Part of the problem is that I rotate between 2 or 3 bikes, each of which uses a different size wheel,  So I either have to carry 3 tubes around with me all the time, or else each day swap the tube out for the right one. Oh, and then I’d have to start carrying a pump with me, too.

I guess it just seems like too much of a burden to carry all that stuff around with me every day.  It’s easier to just get stuck once in a while.

I’m curious how other full-time cycling commuters out there handle this.  What sort of tools or spare parts do you usually carry with you while you ride?

7 comments to Flat Tire, Stranded Again

  • I *always* carry an extra tube and patch kit and pump. Each bicycle has a saddle bag with its appropriate tube in it. I never have to think about it. I have a couple different pumps and some are mounted to the bikes and never come off, so again, I never have to think about it. Actually though I am shy one pump, I think. So I do have to shuffling things around sometimes.

  • Me too. I outfit each bike with at least a small under seat wedge bag that just fits the tube, patches and a little tiny bike multi-tool. Two of my bikes have frame pumps, the other two have small CO2 thingys. Getting a flat always sucks as much, but at least you've got more options.



  • I think this is a Collins thing. I would definitely prefer just getting stuck once in a while to constantly shuffling and rotating all kinds of crap around. I never carry anything on my bike either (though I don't ride nearly as regularly as you do) and I think the occasional inconvenience balances the wonderful daily convenience of non-shuffling. Though I can't think of any non-biking examples off the top of my head I know the same principle governs lots of other decisions in my life, too.

  • I, too, always have my tool puch w/ mini pump and assorted tubes in it. Although, the whole saddle bag thing sounds like a good idea, and I might need to work that out.

    Last summer I got a flat in every race I did, and it blew my summer race series. All three occasions involved me not having the right sized tube with me, which sucked. SO, I changed my ways and have been prepared ever since. I hate being stuck, unless it is on my own couch. But that's just me.

  • Sunday morning, when I walked out to my bike after a night shift, I found my front tire flat. Bummer. So I took it off and carried it home on the bus. Of course that means I'm on foot the next workday to take it back. I keep a pump at work but nothing else. I know that doesn't make a lot of sense, I had planned to get some spare tubes, just haven't yet.

    The problem I have with repairing them at work or on the road–knowing that flat tires and bad weather go together– is that I have a hard time locating a leak without water. This weekend: tubes for sure.

  • @Gastro – it sounds like we are equally lazy.

  • @David – well I suppose that's an idea.. I could just keep the equipment at my desk at work, since so many of my flat tires will be discovered right outside the building at the end of the workday…