A clever story about a flat tire, Caveman teeth and ingenuity.

I never tire of this episode from XTERRA Richmond Virginia 2009. “Tire” pun intended…

Dan Hugo and I  pre rode the XTERRA Richmond course shortly after our arrival from XTERRA Northwest Cup in Coeur D’Alene, where I had a 4 inch nail puncture my tubeless tire in 2 places. See previous blog.

My replacement tire was in the mail, so I rode the tire with the 2 nail holes, and just put in a tube. Of course it flatted. I changed the tube. It deflated faster than I could pump. Before putting our last tube in I carefully inspected for sharp objects.

It also deflated faster than what I could pump.

We still had a lot of riding to do and I wasnt going to call it quits.

I was going to make that tire tubeless again- no matter what!

First I used a bottle cap to scoop the sealant from the healthy front tire and put it in the rear. With the 2 huge holes.


Hoping the front tire seals up, (since I took out almost all the sealant) I poured energy drink in the tire…


Dan had one tire plug. (used to plug small holes in tubeless tires) We cut the plug in half and hoped the 2 small plugs would seal 2 big holes. Of course they didnt. So I took left over electrical tape, wound it into rope and plugged the hole. Like so:

You may also wonder what I did to get a tubeless valve. Thats easy, I used my Caveman teeth and chewed the valve stem out of a ruined tube…


Electrical tape instead of shop bought tire plug and the wounded tube with the valve was chewed out…

Sidewall punctures are notoriously hard to seal and despite the 1/2 tire plug, rolled up electrical tape and energy drink mixed with Slime and Stans it still kept leaking.

That is where the Boer* came out of the Caveman. In South Africa we say:  “a Boer makes a plan” so I wound a tube tightly around the tire, covering the 2 holes.

* “Boer” is an Afrikaaner or farmer from South Africa- famous (0r infamous?) for being able to make something out of nothing- using only baling wire and a pair of pliers. Or Duck Tape and an iPhone cord these days…


Winding tube around leaky tire…

To anchor the loose end, I tied it around the hub and got immense pleasure from cutting the left over tube off with the razor sharp brake rotor. (Usually reserved for cutting your fingers with) Instead of using my teeth again… (the rubber leaves a funny taste in your mouth)


With this clever trick, the more air pressure you put in, the better the system works.


In fact it worked so well, we finished our 5hr ride, which included a coffee and cake stop at The Crossroads cafe, right on the course.


Rear wheel good was new. No, BETTER than new!

The soft tube rubber offers such great traction on these wet, rooty surfaces that at the next Specialized tire testing I’ll suggest we cover the tire with a layer of tube for extra traction.

In fact, I think I should apply for a position at Specialized engineering…


The next day the tire was still 100%!

4 Responses to “A clever story about a flat, Caveman teeth and ingenuity”

  1. patrickdegoede Says:
    :mrgreen:Reading the stuff you pull off never ceases to amaze our entire shop staff, especially the mechanics!! Greetings from a cold Namibia..
  2. gmandy Says:
  3. ZimRor Says:
    You can take the dutchman out of South Africa but you can never take the “make a plan” out of him…….
  4. mforty Says:
    You are THE man… Caveman MacGyver..

    Great job in Richmond!

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