Keeping your cycle rolling

By reeset / On / In Cycling

Most folks know, I love cycling and am probably one of a relatively few number of folks that commutes any real distance that actually puts more miles on their bike than they do in their car.  I was figuring it out last year:  ~15,000 miles for the bike, ~10,000 miles for the car.  🙂 

So when I buy equipment for my bike, I rarely skim on the essentials.  However, for a lot of components, much of the cost difference comes from weight and some extra durability of materials — something most normal folks wouldn’t notice or probably even care about (exactly how many hundreds of dollars is shedding a few grams worth to you :)).  But the bike tires…that’s completely different.  Few things can make a commute miserable as a flat tire.  Since I bike year round, that means that 1/2 of year I’m riding in the dark, and the rain.  Stopping and trying to change a tire in that slop is not only time consuming but often times fruitless.  More than once have I pulled off a tire, changed it, only to have it flat 5 minutes later because some grime found its way into the inside of the tire (and how can it not in weather like this). 

So, the solution — Kyle had turned me on to the tires he rides in the winter, Schawalbe’s Marathon Plus.  These things are beasts of a tire (though I found a 700 x 25 to fit my bike) that I never really consider riding until I changed 3 flats in one day on relatively clean road.  Suddenly, adding a little extra weight to the bike didn’t seem so bad.

Well, its been almost 3 months and I finally got my first flat (which is coming close to unheard of.  I tend to throw out most tires after 4 months) and I’m impressed.   It was a slow leak that I actually managed to limp home on.  When I got home, I pulled a construction staple, ~1/2 long, from my tire.  It had just pricked the inner tube.  I love these things.  They’re a little spendy (as far as bike tires go) and I’ll only ride them in the winter (when flats are most plentiful) but am I ever glad that Kyle convinced me to get myself a set.  For any of you winter road warriors out there — they come highly recommended.


2 thoughts on “Keeping your cycle rolling

  1. I’m glad to see that things are so much better for you. I have found myself a little trick for flat tires. Any extra tubes I have around, I simply cut the noozle off (where you pump the air in to) and lay the noozleless tube inside the tire. Since the layers would be tire, extra airless tube, then the tube your using. The chances of getting a flat are close to nil.
    It’s cheaper, and it may be lighter for the bike frame.