Downtown Bike Shop

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Rimerman
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Got a flat on the way into work this morning. Is there a place in downtown Pittsburgh that can repair it for me?


robjdlc
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Stop by Venture Outdoors, they usually have some basic repair stuff.

304 Forbes.


Rimerman
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I was hoping there was a repair place downtown. I am at work for the day and in my business clothes. It’s my rear wheel and would like to stay clean. I have an extra tube.


netviln
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As a note, I use an old water bottle, one that has a wide mouth, as sort of a mini tool pack. I keep a patch kits, tube, levers, multitool, set of batteries for my lights in it. Just drop it in my water bottle cage. I also have a mini pump on my frame. I have used it 3 or so times in the last year of commuting.


bikeygirl
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Nothing downtown that I know of… the closest, I think is Ted’s Excellent Bike Repair in the South Side…

2110 E. Carson Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


edmonds59
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Golden triangle bikes should be able to help you out, under the liberty bridge.


robjdlc
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I always forget about golden triangle.


Boazo
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Hey Hi, the 91A or the 1 bus will get you to Sharpsburg. You can catch the 91A at the Liberty and Wood T station on Liberty, you can get a schedual inside if they’re not out. Or the 1 across on the other side of Liberty. About 3 out of 4 busses have racks I think. See the PAT website for a video on how to use the racks if you haven’t used one before. the bus fare is $2.


netviln
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Where downtown? If you need, I will help you out about lunch time.


Lyle
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reiterating: Golden Triangle bike rentals, at the jail end of the trail.


bd
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I’m downtown as well in the old Westinghouse building and dressed like a slob if you are near there.


Rimerman
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Looks like Golden Triangle is the place. The feedback and offers of assistance are very much appreciated.

The irony in all of this is that last night I went to Dirty Harry’s and had two new tires put on my bike. The old ones were showing signs of dry rot on the sides and I was concerned that I would end up getting a flat. I figured better safe than sorry. Anyways, I ended up getting the same size tires (26 x 1.50) but with a less aggressive tread. I hope the less aggressive tread does not turn out to be the culprit.

NETVILN: Thanks for the tip about the water bottle. That will work perfectly for me since I am not using the water bottle cage. I currently carry a tube and levers in a very small pouch behind my seat.

BOAZO: Thanks for the very specific bus info. The video is excellent for someone like me that wouldn’t have a clue what to do. I haven’t been on a PAT bus since I was a kid coming into town for opening day at Three Rivers.


netviln
Participant
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Make sure you check your air pressure.. the only time I usually get pinch flats is when I have not checked my pressure and it has gotten a little low.

I ride on 25mm tires and keep mine above 100 psi. when I do, I never have any problems. If you had new tires put on, maybe they werent pumped up as high as they should have been, or stretched a bit since they were put on and the pressure dropped accordingly.


BradQ
Participant
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Yup, all about the pressure for pinch flats. I’ve found that I can ride just about anything without pinching on 28mm tires at 100psi.

I’ve still not met the owners of Golden Triangle, but all I’ve heard are good things about that place. It always slips my mind as a downtown shop as well.


dwillen
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If you just changed tires, its likely a pinch flat, rather than some crap you rolled over.


Lyle
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just to be pedantic, and I know Brad can take it .. pinch flats are all about air volume and rider weight. There’s a chart somewhere, and I think it might have been Brad that posted the link. Something from BQ?


BradQ
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Nope, not familiar with that chart actually.

I think riding style has more to do with it than much else though. Some people can get away with skinny tires and no pinch flats while others of the same weight can’t help but slam into sharp edged holes and curbs and end up with flats. Gotta roll with what works for you.

In general though, bigger is better. Fit the biggest tires you can on your bike, fill them up to the recommended pressure and go.

With the recent tire change there may be two other causes of the flat, both of which I’d think a shop like Dirty Harry’s would catch if it was an issue. The rim strip could have moved over time and with a new installation is now causing a flat, or the tube could have been pinched between the tire bead and the rim on installation also then causing a flat.


brian j
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In general though, bigger is better. Fit the biggest tires you can on your bike, fill them up to the recommended pressure and go.

As the sage Grant Petersen said: air is the cheapest suspension system you can buy.


Rimerman
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I never checked the pressure after the new tires were put on. I got the flat just after passing through the “bumpier/larger gravel” section on the railroad access road between Millvale and Sharpsburg. If anything the tires may have been over inflated. I may have been bouncing around a bit more than usual in that section.

Personally, I hope the tire change installer was the culprit and not my tire selection. That would ease my mind over my decision to get a more road friendly tire.


Nick D
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Tom at Golden Triangle has helped me out with tubes/tools a few times–super nice guy. More importantly, he sells popsicles.

Also, watch out for the homeless guy that hangs out around there and claims to work there–when I say watch out, I don’t mean avoid him–strike up a conversation with him.


Boazo
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Did you have to walk all the way into town from outside Millvale ?!


Ohiojeff
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It was me that posted the link. It was in Adventure Cyclist.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/resources/200903_PSIRX_Heine.pdf

But bigger tires can ride at pretty low pressures. I think a 1.5″ tire would be around a 35 to 38 mm cross section. You could run 50 pounds in there and be safe from most pinch flats.

@rimerman given that you had new tires put on, my guess would be a bit of tube caught in the tire bead. On a road tire doing that that would probably cause a flat immediately at a high pressure but on a bigger tire perhaps not. Enough jostling around though and it is sure to slice the tube.


Ohiojeff
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More importantly, he sells popsicles.

This is news indeed!


joeframbach
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Hmm. I weigh 160lbs, and run 23mm at 105psi. Looks good!


Ohiojeff
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In practice I find you can cheat those numbers down a bit. You could probably run 95 in the front and 100 in back and not get flats unless you bump over a lot of curbs, big rocks etc. I weigh 190 and run 100 up front and 110 back on 23s which the chart doesn’t recommend. Only pinch flat I’ve gotten was from an encounter with the meteor crater of 2nd avenue.


Rimerman
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I turned around and walked back to 13th Street Riverside Park (around two miles), got in my truck, and begrudgingly drove to downtown. I parked my vehicle in downtown garages for over ten years prior to biking, but it really annoyed me today to fork over the $15 bucks. I contemplated walking into Millvale Riverside Park. There is a bike rental place there. I figured they might be able to repair the tire but I wasn’t sure.


Boazo
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Ahh … that’s 2- 3″ diameter railroad ballast where Rimerman got his flat for those reading …


joeframbach
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That’s gross. How long is the stretch? I’d also worry about wobbly wheels after a ride like that.


Boazo
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Its not a real long stretch, maybe a few hundered feet. Also its packed down pretty well. There used to be a series of giant mud puddles there and the RR filled them up with ballast. Oh, I’m just guessing they’re 2-3″ , I never actually measured them. Its fine on my 26 x2″ mtb.


Rimerman
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The “rough” area in question takes me about two to three minutes to ride through. It’s not that long.


Lyle
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unless you get a flat.


joeframbach
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And a bent rim.

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