Archive for the ‘Tires, tubes, and wheels’ Category
Yup, yesterday I had my first flat of the year. It happened only about a mile from my house.
Strangely, I enjoyed fixing the flat. This is the first time I found fixing a flat fun. I have become competent at fixing flats with lots of practice but for the last few years just haven’t had many.
Being prepared made a big difference. I had the equipment listed in my Tire Repair Tools Post and that made me feel confident and helped me relaxed. The other thing that helped a lot I had no time pressure. This was a legs loosening ride after a bad calf cramp a few days earlier and I had no need to get a long ride in.
For my Northwest Tour this year I installed self sealing tubes to prevent flats from thorns. Riding with self sealing tubes taught me a few lessons.
My Ryan Vanguard is hard on rear tires (26 X 1.5 typically) especially when loaded for self contained touring. The worst situation I’ve encountered was while touring in Newfoundland and Labrador.
I started the 1000 mile ride with more gear than usual because of the weather (July is typically low 60′s during the day and high 40′s at night with a wind you can’t believe unless you have been there). I had been riding on Avocet Slicks and knew they wouldn’t last too long loaded so I brought 4 spares (2 Avocets and 2 Hutchinson Top Slicks) with me and 8 tubes.
My gear was heavier than normal about 60 pounds (I still had a 7 pound tent and a Holofil Sleeping Bag). Of course, we hit rain the first day and what started out as 60 pounds of gear probably weighted around 90 pounds. I am not light about 220 at that time. Combine a ton of wet gear with a heavy rider, a heavy bikes (about 40 pounds with faring), and the Vanguard’s poor weight distribution, you have a plan for rear wheel disasters.