Monday, October 24, 2011

Flat tires

I have had a bad run of luck with flat tires recently.  I guess that is not the worst problem to have, but it can be frustrating.  The first was a couple of weeks ago.  When pulling off the pump head, I split the tube where the stem attaches.  I take responsibility for this and should have been more careful.

On Saturday when I was heading out, the back tire was soft.  Upon inspection, there was a thorn in the sidewall.  I then used my second spare tube.

 On Sunday I had a ride planned with my neighbor.  As I am getting ready, I have another flat.  This is a pinhole without a recognizable culprit.  I patch the tube and fortunately had the foresight to borrow a tube for the ride.
Sure enough 20 miles into the ride I hit a pothole and the tube splits.  It was a quick change and the CO2 cartridge worked great the first time out.

Frustrated, I head to the bike shop that was having a Buy 1 Get 1 free sale on tubes.  I pick up 4 tubes.  Two required spares, one to return to my friend, and a fourth.  I also decide to buy a $65 Continental Hardshell Gatorskin rather than my usual $35 Vittoria Rubino Pro.  This thing was a beast to put on.  It was a folding tire, but even the first edge was tough.  The second bead was even worse and I ended up pinching the tube with tire levers trying to put the tire on.  After patching the tube, I did finally get it assembled.  When I finally get the wheel back on the bike, the rim is no longer true.  I ended up truing it on the frame, but am worried about spoke tension and longer term health of the wheel.  I am also curious to see if there is air in the tire today or if I did further damage.  If so, I am taking it back to the local bike shop. 

Over the past few days I have also used 3 of my last 4 patches from my Park Tools GP-2 patch kit.  These things were life savers and I am definitely buying a couple more as they only cost a few dollars for 6 patches with is much cheaper than $6 per tube.

Having the bike on the stand that long did allow me to scrub the drive train and try out Finish Line’s Gear Floss.  These are clever microfiber ropes to clean inside the cassette.  It is clever product and worth the $6, but I would not recommend these as they are kind of unnecessary.

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