Thursday, March 27, 2008

Flat tires suck

I read Commute by Bike's recent post about flat tires with a bit of smugness. My last on the road flat tire was in 2001. I remember it vividly. I was doing the GOBA trip. I was between Wellston and Nelsonville. I was busy chatting to my riding partner and hit a giant piece of metal in the road. It went right through my tire and sliced the tube. I was able to patch the tire with a Power Bar wrapper and electrical tape. I always carry extra tubes, so that was an easy swap. It was also the first time I realized using a mini-pump while sitting with my back to the road looks a lot like I was masturbating. I still hear about it from friends who saw it.

That flat tire sucked. If you have ever been on a trip like GOBA, the best camping spots go to the people who ride the fastest. Because of the flat, I spent the night on pea gravel. To tell you it was uncomfortable would be a joke. It was awful. It was not as bad as the next night where the rain flooded my tent, but it was awful.

After that, I became obsessive about preventing flats. The day I got back, I ordered Conti's Ultra Gator Skins. I religiously checked air pressure. I started carrying two tubes, just in case. It must have worked because I have not found myself changing tires on the side of the road in almost seven years.

My luck ran out yesterday. I took the girls up to the post office to buy some stamps. My general pre-ride check did not turn up anything. We rode around the neighborhood with the four-year-old saying hello to everyone she saw. We got to the post office without a problem. On the way back, the trailer felt funny. I pulled off and found a chuck of glass in the trailer's tire.

I never thought about beefing up the standard tires on the trailer. I'll be heading to the bike shop tomorrow to figure out my options.

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Hilton Meyer said...

Tubeless is all I can recommend

Smudgemo said...

Tire liners will probably be your best bet if the wheel size is somewhat odd. I've had excellent luck with Specialized Armadillos on my commuter. One flat in 1.5 years isn't bad considering the areas I frequent.