If you’re me, you’ve been secretly worried that you’ll get a flat tire on your cargo bike. I’ve taken the kr8 1000+ miles with no problems until today.
It’s right to be ready since flats are inevitable but worrying is overrated. I was worried it will happen when I was out without my tools. It did indeed happen that way. No pump, no patch kit, nada. Particularly with the kids, I was worried it would happen in a place where I don’t really want to stop. It indeed happen at the busy and semi-sketchy part of our route. Not the sketchiest, and at least there was a sidewalk. It didn’t happen at night and I did have a load of groceries for the kids to devour while I waited for my wife to pick us up with tools.
That being said, I was left with the fundamental question: what do you do with a cargo bike too big to put in the car? The answer, which I didn’t know I knew until today is: you improvise a fix in the field and then take care of it.
Improvised fix: reducing total weight and topping off the tire every 2 minutes to limp to the bike shop.
Taking care of it: The local bike shop is super-friendly and nice but they didn’t have a great plan for working on the kr8. Unsurprisingly it was “too big” for their stands and their plan started with taking the wheel off and billing hourly. I certainly didn’t expect to pay the going rate for a standard tube change, but was just not optimstic. End result: my busted bike and I go home to invoke the magic of the Workcycles Escape Hatch in much less time and at no added cost.
First, of course, I found where the puncture hit, felt the tire to ensure it was cleared out, and then tried to patch the tube without taking anything apart.
Then I removed the 3 bolts holding on the escape hatch (and the torque arm for the roller brake) using 10mm socket and wrench on rear. I don’t know if it’s theoretically possible to pull off the brake and hatch arm together but it wasn’t happening for me until I detached the torque arm bolt.
Here’s the hatch plate on the ground and the wheel in all its non-drive-side glory:
I took off the nut and the roller brake slid right off, though I had to angle it to get it past the end of the hatch. Should have made a video because it took me forever to get the angle right when I put it back on…
New tube went in so easy that I didn’t stop to take pictures. Carefully placed it in tube and gave it a couple rounds of super-low pressure inflation, made sure the tire was seated in the rim without any bulges, and then put everything back on in reverse order.
As of tonight (and after a test ride) everything seems fine. Stay tuned for updates, though hopefully no flats for another 1000 miles.