As a cyclist, or triathlete, one thing we all seem to stumble on from time to time is getting a flat on a ride. Some of these unfortunate events happen when you are close to home, and simply require a quick and easy change. Other times, they require a phone call…assuming you are in cellular range. But on occasion you are faced with a unique challenge that you wonder if there is a solution to.
One such challenge I have been faced with from time to time is when the puncture size is so large, that the tube will actually come out of the tire upon inflation. These can happen on the “tread” of the tire (part that touches the road) or on the sidewall (part that does no touch the road where all the tire information is). If you do not notice this, after you install a new tube and inflate it to 80-100psi, the tube can come out immediately, like a kid blowing a bubble, and explode. Though it makes one hell of a sound, it will still cost you the price of a tube (about $4-$5). One expensive firecracker.
A couple weeks ago, I, once again, experienced such an event. I was riding with Jessi as she was conquering her ascent of Mt. Spokane, and to my fortune, I flatted near the base. As I waved her on and told her to go one without me (between the rapid panting) she continued up the climb and I allowed my wheel, with the deflated tired and tube, rumble to a stop. Upon my inspection of the tire, I saw that there was a pretty big slit in the tire that went through the casing as well (meaning the slit went all the way through to the tube). Normal punctures are caused by small sharp objects like glass, nails, staples, etc. The impact those have on a tire itself are quite small and the tire can normally handle installing a new tube and you are on your way. But when the cut is so large, as stated earlier, you have to get a little more creative.
All the supplies
Here is a picture of the cut in the tread
The cut being a little more visible
The inside of the tire...it's actually bigger than it looks in the picture
So the next steps are the exact same when you change a flat. The critical part is to make sure that you place the covering over the whole. It would be easy to have it slip when you put the tube in or when you inflate it.
However, I have to say that I did not use a CO2 cartridge on this one, which I normally always do. I used this cool little mini pump that fits INSIDE my under-saddle bag. It took quite a few pumps, but was well worth it. It is made by Innovations. I added this to my repair kit after having my CO2 inflator not work. Believe it or not, this has happened twice to me when I am out by myself. It is pretty frustrating when you have 2 tubes and 2 CO2 cartridges, but you cannot get the air into the new tubes! And that is where the cell phone comes into play.
Yup, it works
I hope you never flat, and if you do, you don’t have to implement this strategy. But if you do end up having a large hole, or slice, in your tire, don’t freak out. There is an easy fix.