Monday, March 31, 2008

The Flat Master

My Poprad is the king of flat tires. Never in my cycling life have I had a bike that pffffffts as much as this one. It was about time I got to the bottom of this perpetual flattening.

I've had the bike since early December, and I'm on tube number 10. That's a bad number. The flats always seem to happen on the trail, miles from nowhere, at night, and when it's cold, windy, raining, or all of the above.

The tube I yanked out was an easy boo-boo to spot. 18/23c road tubes don't last long when ridden hard off road in 34c cyclocross tyres. So the first step was to dig the appropriately sized tube from my stash.
The next step was to go over every square inch of the inside of the tyre for any type of thorn or piece of metal that could be responsible for repeat flats. I became intimately acquainted with the backside of this Bontrager Jones cxr. And my fine toothed comb yielded...nuthin'. Not a hint of anything that could have caused a flat. This was to be a process of elimination exercise, and I eliminated the tyre as the source of my troubles.

So a thorough exam of the rim and rim strip followed. No burrs, splinters, shrapnel or raised welds that could puncture my tubes. So I sat there, scratching my head trying to think about how I would go flat if I were a tube. That tought didn't do anything except make me feel bloated.
Could it be possible that I have had a combination of bad luck and a really bad bunch of tubes? I haven't kept track of what brands that I had used, so I would just graba new box from the shelf, pump her up to about 75 psi, and see what happens.

I was pretty sure that what I was about to put in there was dfferent than what I had used previously because I didn't recognize the threadness chrome valve stems. Interesting.

A few minuted later the tube was installed and fully over-inflated to 80psi to ensure the bead would seat well. I picked up the wheel for a visual inspection of the bead and...

The son of a b$%#ing crap load of monkey dung was hissing at me, mocking me to my face! Lousy sack of vile body fluids! Miserable useless elephant fecal matter soaked in rotten toe cheese juice!

I give up. I grabbed a DIFFERENT BRAND of tube, installed it and cranked 'er up to 80psi. No it's a waiting game. Will it be flat by morning?
Monkey dung.


Jen said...

ack and i thought i was the flat master. i hereby bequeath the title upon you. that one picture of you is scarey dude. later!

Gordon Wadsworth said...

Warren, You need to go tubeless with that puppy. Get on that, stan's has their new kit you need to get man. DO it!

TSWimba said...

I need to buy stock in some tube companies.

Could you make any good local bar recommendations in the Roanoke area? While coming over for the Dragons Back we need a spot to quench our thirst.


Skmeetz said...

The best non-smoking, great music, excellent beer destination in Roanoke is called Blue 5. GREAT food also!
I will not be racing at Dragon's Back this weekend. I bought a new house and the closing date got moved up by two weeks. My wife and I have one week to pack all of our worldly belongings, so guess what I'll be doing this weekend???

Wes at East Coasters said...

First: I second Warren's recommendation of Blue 5. Best beer list around and the food is FANTASTIC (though pricey).

Second: Warren, maybe some Slime tubes might be a good choice? Or just come over to the cyclocross dark side and go tubular. Mmmmm...tubular tires off nice.....