Monday, March 5, 2012

Rear Flat on the Mundo

On Sunday we decided to hitch the trailer to Kyle's bike, pack some water and snacks and head off to the grocery store which would make a 6.7 mile trip on what was one of the loveliest day's we've seen yet this year.  With the exception of about 5 blocks our whole trip there was on a cycle path with gently rolling hills which made it really nice.  We stopped halfway for a rest and Jack got to play and run for a bit, it really seems unfair that the person with all the energy is the one that gets to just sit there.

When we were about 2 blocks from our destination I noticed the bike was incredibly hard to cycle, at first I thought I was just really tired and therefore it felt harder to cycle; alas I had a rear flat tire.  A rear flat is notoriously hard to repair on the Mundo and has been one of my greatest fears since purchasing the bike. We walked to a gas station to put some air in tire on the off chance it was a very slow leak, but it had deflated before I'd cycled a block.  So we walked back to the store, got some groceries and a can of fix a flat and decided if it got us home then it was totally worth destroying the tube for. Well it didn't make it back, it made it about two-thirds of the way home, so we had to walk a few miles.  I've always thought the Yuba is not easy to push, but it was especially awkward and heavy with a sleeping baby and a completely flat tire. 

The bike shop is clear the other side of town so my riding days may be numbered until I can get a ride from someone to have slimed tubes put in and some of those thorn proof liners and possibly upgrade the tires.  I really would like to have a good grumble about the costs and annoyance factor of not being able to ride- but I'm trying to remain positive. Interestingly enough the bike community in general seems to not carry repair kits, pumps or smiles in this area, we found very few friendly faces and even when we were obviously having mechanical issues no one glanced in our direction which was a bit of a let down. I know as drivers there was no way we'd pass up helping a family (especially with a small child) who we're in a fix.

 So to end positively- look at that lovely weather we enjoyed, it was gorgeous and Jack had a lovely nap on the walking part of the trip. We made it home relatively easily and enjoyed a cheesy pizza and an ice cold beer as a reward for our troubles!


  1. Hey Lindsay,

    Bummer about the flat, don't let it discourage you. The rear wheel of the Yuba is definitely hard to get on an off but not impossible a stand definitely make it easier though. The most common type of flats are "pinch flats". The most effective thing that you can do to prevent pinch flats is keep your tires well inflated try to stay in the upper part of your tires recommended range. Tire pressure is easy to forget about especially if you are only riding a couple of days a week. On my road bike I pump my tires almost daily and on My Yuba once a week. the other thing you can do to prevent pinch flats is to avoid riding over curbs and potholes anything that has more the about an inch of height should be consider a hazard and ideally avoided. If unavoidable try to slow way down to reduce the impact on your tire.

    If punctures are your problem make sure you are scanning the road ahead for things like glass metal and gravel and avoid them and if you cant immediately stop to check your tires and remove any debris. If you find yourself frequently coming across debris in the road or on paths you travel then I would start considering buying puncture resistant tires and tubes.

    I hope to hear that you are back up and rolling soon


    1. Joshua- It's amazing that you describe exactly what happened. My tires were a bit low and we had planned to stop and pump them up but before we got there I went down a small rut (about 2 inches) and felt the tire go flat. Thank you for sharing that! I do expect a learning curve with all this stuff and I'm certainly not discouraged (although there were moments yesterday!) Now I'm just frustrated that I can't ride again and I really wanted to get out everyday this week.

      I do think punctures are a problem here as there seems to be glass and goatheads on most of the trails and even in the grass. The roads are very gravely in the rural areas which hides the glass too.

      Thanks for the info and positive message - Lindsay

    2. I had never heard of a goathead before maybe because I live in the north east USA so I looked it up that is a particularly nasty looking plant.

    3. YES! Joshua they are awful! I'd never seen them before moving to the West Coast either.

  2. Pinch flats are the worst. They are sometimes very hard to patch and the fact that they are easily preventable makes even more frustrating when it actually happens.

    Here's my trick, always carry a spare tube, patch kit and small pump. You'll never need it. I've had 3 flats in 22 years of heavy riding, 2 happened meters from my home and one was while riding trails after voluntarily leaving the tire pump behind. It's Murphy's law in reverse if you want.

    Gerry :)

    1. Gerry- You are so right! I'm pretty sure I angered this Murphy fellow at some point because he's always governing my life! Although just mentioning this has probably put you in danger of not making 22 days without a flat now!


  3. Lindsay,
    I'm sorry you had the mechanicals,my friend-had my kids and I been riding by we definately would have stopped (and I always overpack for mechanicals,especially flats, Wife doesn't ride-YET,this will be her year :) ). A pinch-flat is aggrivating regaurdless of on what bike,but one that's hard t get the wheel off had to be worse. Like the others said,don't let a flat discourage your though,it's just one bump in a sweet pedaled road. I admire you guys,especially for the lifestyle you're instilling in Jack :)

    The Disabled Cyclist

    1. Hi T.D.C!!

      Thank you for your positive message as usual! Its kind of been an annoyance but not discouraging. In fact I'm glad its over- I got and survived my first flat- no biggie! lol
      Now getting it fixed- so far Ive been working ever since Sunday (I take care of a friend's child) and this is such a tight financial spot for us that I haven't been able to afford the stuff I need to get it fixed. For some reason the family insisted mum by food not a pump and repair kit lol.

      Chat soon, Lindsay

  4. Total bummer about the flat but don't be discouraged. Fixing rear flat on cargos is always a pain.

    I use expedition tyres on my Mundo - Schwalbe Marathons. Bullet proof and only flat I've had was a huge nail that went through it. Nothing was going to stop that. Also heavy duty tubes helps as a last restort.

    Good advice tho from Joshua. Keeping tyres pumped up hard is essential. Also avoiding glass or other debris where you can. Also inspect tyres and dig out glass fragments with a nail or knife to stop them working their way through the tread.

    You are more likely to get flats after rain as glass fragments stick to tyres so check after rain. Any sticky substance like tar, resin from trees or chewing gum will attract glass.

    Think about carrying a bit lock or wheel your bike to a police or fire station so you can leave it there to get kids home as well.

    Finally, suggest you learn to fix flats. The bike shop can show you tricks to make it easier.

    Ride on! Richard (Sydney Australia)

    1. Hi Richard!
      I've heard really good things about those Marathons, seems a lot of people like them. And great advice about the rain and picking out tires- stuff I wouldn't have considered without hearing from experienced riders.
      I also like the police/fire dept. idea!

      Thank you! Lindsay

  5. I had to learn NOT to look at any obstacle I saw in the roadway in front of me, because more often than not it is a natural inclination to steer that front tire directly over what you are looking at. I practiced both hitting what I aimed at, and avoiding the things I saw (I practiced with crunchy leaves and acorn hats and caterpillars [avoiding those] on the bike trail, heehee).

    I haven't been able to get a flat tire (only 2 in the 6 months I've been commuting nearly every weekday) where the cause was obvious, so I always had to remove the entire wheel and submerge the tube to find the leak, then inspect the tire for the culprit. It helps to mark the tire where your valve stem is so you can match tube to tire and find the offending sharp thing easily. I also moved my wheel reflector to the opposite of the valve stem hole and (when I'm paying attention) mount the tire so the PSI recommendation is there and easy to find :)

    I've learned that I love the direct-pull "V" brakes on my hybrid Zoomie because it is easy to release the brakes (there is a "noodle" set in a bracket, it slips right out of it) to remove a wheel. But all the mountain bikes I've salvaged have side-pull brakes with no quick release mechanism. I think the fastest way to change a tire tube on those is to remove the brake pads- still a major pain.

    It's worth it to learn how to fix a flat, though, and carry a patch kit and tiny frame pump with you. Sometimes it's better than walking.

    Hope you get it fixed soon! Glad it didn't put a damper on your whole day.

    1. Hello Froggy! I was doing really well avoiding stuff but still got the flat, although who knows how much stuff we don't actually see, especially when going at a little speed.
      I never worried or had issues fixing flats before, but what I don't like with the Mundo is it's not easy without the double kickstand and its my child carrier- so I need it done right and even my LBS said they dread taking them on and off.
      I'm looking forward to getting it fixed SOON! Lindsay

  6. Sounds like a great time to tackle that fear of repairing a rear flat on the Yuba... not that difficult really. I have a repair kit on my yuba it includes patches, extra tube, CO2 filler with extra CO2, tire levers, an adjustable wrench that fits the rear bolt size, a bicycle multi-tool, bandaids it's better to fix it right then and there if you can than wait.... waiting means not having the yuba ready to go..which means more excuses to take the car!

    - Matthew

    1. Hey Matthew- We don't have a car:) So I may be taking the bus soon lol. We sold our vehicle last month and have been car-less for a few weeks now. So far so good, but Kyle will need a vehicle for work next month probably.
      Even if we did have a car I wouldn't drive it period. I'm very stubborn lol.
      Cheers- Lindsay

  7. I think first flats and first time needing a first aid kit are always bummers. Best to try and be prepared for either case. Flat repairs are less stress than boo-boo repairs.

    1. John -

      I agree wholeheartedly- thank you for reminding me to get my act together! Thanks for reading too;) Lindsay


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