Exploring New Areas Unprepared-Lessons Learned- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Exploring New Areas Unprepared-Lessons Learned

    Before the experienced riders rant, I should've known better...but got too comfortable with "reliability".

    I honestly blame newmarketrog for this incident, but being honest with myself I know it was 100% my fault.

    I planned a ride about 45 minutes away in a pretty remote area of Wisconsin. They just started grooming singletrack this year, and I was very excited to ride some fresh snow before a week long cold front was expected to move in. I knew the trail conditions were going to be difficult, and wanted to swap my 4.8" Knard out (I was running a Knard in the rear cuz newmarketrog ranted sooo many freaking times about how great it was in da snow ) for a Lou.

    Rule #1: Don't make last minute changes and expect them to work as planned....they usually don't.

    I have never had an issue with getting a tire to seat tubeless on my Mulefuts, but guess who was up until 11:30pm the night before the ride messing around with the setup? After finally getting Lou seated on the wheel, multiple bubbles from the cutouts in the Mulefut meant I had a tape job that went bad. So I brought everything up to the shower, washed all the sealant off, dried everything off, and threw a tube in.

    Rule #2: Don't depend on an unproven setup.

    I head out onto the trails and am having a great time. A snow machine was used to pack the snow down, and although it was fairly cold (11 degrees), the snow hadn't quite setup yet, which meant it was time to drop the pressure. After riding for a bit I noticed my efforts were labored and man was I going slowww...a quick look down at my rear tire and that thing is almost flat. [email protected]

    Rule #3: Make sure the items in your kit/saddle bag will actually do what you think they will.

    I had put close to 600miles on my bike with ZERO tire pressure related issues, and became a little too comfortable with the reliability of the setup, meaning I considered a frame mounted pump to be obsolete. I double checked my saddle bag the night before and confirmed that I had a Co2 inflator in there, but no patches. I pull out the Co2 kit and realize that the wrong sized Co2 tube was supplied w/ the kit, and the head on the kit was for Schrader valves. Wait…this was the Co2 inflator I found on the side of the trail this spring*idiot*. I managed to get enough Co2 into the tube to keep me moving, but it wasn’t long before I was riding on the rim.

    Rule #4: If you are unfamiliar with the area, carry a map.

    Although I am fairly familiar with the area I was riding, if you asked me to find the quickest way out of the woods and to the trail head, I would have to rely on using the singletrack as I have zero knowledge of the ski trail layout. I was able to plot the fastest way out of the woods, and was able to shave a decent amount of time off my hike-a-bike.


    Exploring New Areas Unprepared-Lessons Learned-hr1.jpg

  2. #2
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    They were only failures if you learned nothing from them. Sounds like you did learn some things.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadgerOne View Post
    They were only failures if you learned nothing from them. Sounds like you did learn some things.
    This.

    These are good reminders for all of us. Sometimes it's the "experienced riders" who become the most casual and get caught unprepared.

    Thanks for sharing your learning.
    "The only way we can truly control the outcome of a ride is not going on it, which is a choice I'm unwilling to make." -K.B.

  4. #4
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    You can turn a presta valve into a schrader by just cutting the top of the valve cap off.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dilligaff View Post
    You can turn a presta valve into a schrader by just cutting the top of the valve cap off.
    Interesting idea! I haven't used valve stem caps for years, they just get lost and are a pita w/ winter gloves on.

  6. #6
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    I keep them on so they don't freeze and in case I need to borrow a schrader only air pump, which has only happened once (thankfully).
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Nothing to see here, move along folks.

  7. #7
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    Sounds familiar to my last experience...when you don't have a flat for the entire summer you get used to things "just working".....got a flat bad enough to let out all my sealant, then discovered my spare tube didn't have a stem long enough to pump up through my deep rim...doh. 8 mile hike to think about that mistake ....

    It is good to have reminders every now & again though

  8. #8
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    That sounds like my typical ride when I wonder off into uncharted territory.
    I always have some kind off issue, and I'm notorious for getting lost.

  9. #9
    beer thief
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    Good stuff. There's only one way to get experience.

    Another one to remember is make sure your valve stems on replacement tubes will actually extend far enough through your rims (if running deep rims). Fortunately I discovered this while setting the bead for tubeless in the warmth of my loving room.

    edit - oops, Shark beat me to it

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by radair View Post
    there's only one way to get experience setting the bead in the warmth of my loving room.
    tmi

  11. #11
    beer thief
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    tmi
    Oops! Living, not loving!!!~

  12. #12
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    Lesson learned here as well

    Half mile of push-a-bike on postholed singletrack or 200 foot "shortcut" to the road...
    Exploring New Areas Unprepared-Lessons Learned-img_20160103_193010%5B1%5D.jpg

    It took half an hour to push the bike that 200 feet uphill to the road in waist deep snow. Next time the singletrack looks like crap I'm just turning around.
    The leg bone's connected to the Cash Bone!

  13. #13
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    Been there, done that. These learning experiences tend to suck a lot more when the temps go down. Thanks for the reminder!

  14. #14
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    I find it helpful you tear apart your hydration pack/frame bag or wherever you carry stuff on your bike every 6 months or so. Clean and inspect stuff. Replace what's missing or damaged.

    One time I found I had been carrying around a rear dérailleur that got ripped off a while back!
    Safe riding,

    Vik
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  15. #15
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    Always carry a pump and tube and patches, even for short rides. If a short ride might turn into a long ride you have zero worries. If you feel like going further, and exploring more you can with no worries.

  16. #16
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    I had a 3 mi hike in rain after dark. I pinch flatted on the fatbike and only had 1 patch. Pulled out my spare tube and tried to inflate it only to find out the "new" tube chaiffed through on 2 spots from bouncing around in my pack. Now tubes get packed in a ziploc with baby powder. I also carry a minimum of 4 patches.

  17. #17
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    For those of us with Mulefuts, remember that the ease of breaking the seal and getting a tube in is dependent on the tire. Some are not that bad and some are next to impossible even in the best of lOving rooms. (sorry radair, I couldn't pass that up). Nates are easy.
    Dash Pt. State Park (Tacoma), Big Sky Montana during Snowboard Season, Duluth Mn, a couple of times of year incl. Xmas.

  18. #18
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    My pack has an outside zipper that allows me access to my pump or my bear spray. The compartment is intended for avalanche probes, but works rather nice for these items. If I was back to running a frame bag again I'm sure I'd keep them in there, but no matter what, I always bring a pump, a tube and patches. I haven't had ANY tubeless fatbike flats, and I'm on the 2nd season, but I never trust tires to that extent, especially when we are using so little air in the first place.
    Last edited by Jayem; 01-11-2016 at 11:02 PM.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonshonda View Post
    Interesting idea! I haven't used valve stem caps for years, they just get lost and are a pita w/ winter gloves on.
    Well now you'll have an excuse for them! I'd just mail you my old ones but your LBS will probably give them to you for less than the cost of a stamp. If not lmk and I'd be happy to get rid of them.

    I run Schraders on all six bikes because you can fill up at any gas station for 50¢, and unscrewing the valve is dumb. On tubeless, I run stem caps with core removing tools, which come with every bottle of Slime. You never know.

    Don't forget a Clif bar in case it takes a long time to get back home!
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  20. #20
    beer thief
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    Quote Originally Posted by vikb View Post
    ...One time I found I had been carrying around a rear dérailleur that got ripped off a while back!
    Good advice. On our road trip last June i cleaned out my pack to find i had been carrying rocks my GF collected days earlier and forgot about. By the end of the trip i was carrying a tube, clif bar and phone in my jersey pockets and letting her carry the pump & CO2. That'll teach her!

    Smart phones have some awesome GPS apps these days, which can be really handy for figuring out where you are and how to get back to the car. The two i use most are Gaia GPS, which was $20 but is a great tracking app (and super useful for planning trail work). There are similar free ones, of course. The other is Maprika if the location's maps are available. Invaluable for navigating in foreign terrain!

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