August 29, 2014
Unless I were to puncture a tire while rolling into my driveway at the end of a ride, I can't think of a flat tire scenario that wouldn't cause my heart to sink. Flat tires aren't the worst thing that can happen on the road, but they are extremely annoying. In fact before we get too much further, let's run through my top five reasons flat tires are annoying:
All other annoyances are amplified, whether they be the heat, the cold, the rain, the wind, mosquitoes, or that dog that keeps barking at me.
Just a couple weeks back I suffered one of my signature flats while on a road ride. I was about 15 miles from town, on the busiest stretch of road, during the hottest time of the day, not a strip of shade in sight, and low on water. I did happen to have a tube in my saddle bag that I was reasonably sure wasn't already punctured, and was reaching for my tire levers when I remembered the Espresso Inflate and Repair canister in my jersey pocket.
Made by Effetto Mariposa, and sold through Cantitoe Road, this is a C02 canister that also fills your tube with a foam sealant. Just fit the hose over your Presta valve, and unload the canister in your tube. It is claimed to fix punctures up to 1mm, and I would agree with this based on the size of the glass shard I pulled out of my tire. I was able to get my 700x25 tire up to about 90psi, which was plenty of pressure to roll home.
At $15, a tube is most certainly cheaper, but under the right circumstance, it's worth its weight in gold. You might also want to go ahead and fill your tube with their sealant out of the gate to prevent flats in the first place.
Photo courtesy of Effetto Mariposa
TOURING GEAR & TIPS is written by Joshua Tack of Adventure Cycling's member services department. It appears weekly, highlighting technical aspects of bicycle touring and advice to help better prepare you for the journey ahead. Look for Josh's "Fine Tuned" column in Adventure Cyclist magazine as well.