Posts Tagged ‘tyre’

Tub Curses.

October 26, 2010

Curse No.1
Jon was over, my pal and I was too busy wrestling his gear cable out of his ergo shifter to remember the auction I had ending at roughly 8 oclock. After a quick panic, some frantic typing and with 50 seconds remaining I tapped my figure in and bid. Or so I thought, I was not logged in. So, that beautiful set of handbuilt lightweight tubular racing wheels that were to be mine, went to someone else, for considerably less than I would have offered. A carefully selected bunch of swear words later and some european style hand gesturing I calmed down and forgot about it, that was until the following morning…

Curse No.2
Out of bed and ready for work I peep out of my window and the weather was OK for my daily commute so I thought I’d take my new, mid 80s time trial bike out, the exact bike that the previous evening’s misbid was for. Yes, it has wheels on it already but they have really seen better days, the rear tub has a bulge at the valve so I feel like I am riding on an egg and the front, well let’s just say it’s a bit crusty. You can see where this is going… Exactly halfway to my destination and it’s raining, not too bad, my jacket will take care of that. Next though, the sound of rotating air exiting a tyre made it’s way up to my ears. Bo**ocks, I havn’t had a flat in so long, I suppose it had to come sooner or later though right? I just wish it didn’t come today! What followed was an hour’s walk to work in the rain wearing carbon soled shoes with cleats attached. Awful.

I figure me missing that bid last night and my puncture this morning is the gods telling me something and I’m listening. Tubular tyres do have a romance that wired tyres do not, they mostly work better in practice and certainly look better but on my walk home tonight, bike being pushed with my right hand I shall care not of any of these things.

All hail the clincher.

To Tub or not to Tub.

May 6, 2010

Of late I find myself riding my track bike less and less in favour of a freewheel and 12 gears. Maybe it’s my age and me suddenly worrying about the future of my knees or maybe it’s simply the ease of a freewheel and it’s allure, I don’t know.

So, there sits my track bike, with it’s deep section rims, sealed bearing hubs and clincher tyres – the perfect set up for a commuter and a summer slammer. But as I said I hardly ride it these days so just recently I made the decision ( anal as it is ) to take this 1976 hot rod back to it’s former glory and hook it up with what it has no doubt been yearning for since it’s purchase over a year ago. Low profile tubular rims and tyres laced to cup and cone and easily servicable campagnolo pista hubs.

Such a beautiful sight to behold is a track bike in period correct attire. There is one problem, however. In my haste I did not fully appreciate the rigmorole involved in applying tubular tyres to their rims.

Last night, I spent well over an hour trawling websites and blogs trying to find a definitve answer as to the best method of attaching tyre to rim and, well, by far the funniest explanation and in some ways the most truthful came from the Bike Snob… Totally lulled into thinking he was actually being serious I read on until he began talking about the best method of tyre stretching “The best method is to slip the tire over a street sign and then fasten it to the bumper or ball hitch of your car. Then put the car in gear and slowly accelerate. Once the street sign begins to bend the tire should be sufficiently stretched”. Duped. So I headed over to Jim Langley’s webspot and had a read, until he points out the tools I will need: good tubular tires (this is crucial because crummy tires can be very difficult to install properly, often wear prematurely and develop glitches such as the basetape separating from the tire) ,glue (clear or white glues are easier to use and less messy than red ones; my favorite is Wolber, if you can find it) , plastic baggies ,used sew-up rims or wheels, cone wrench, medium emery cloth, acetone, spoke or piece of wire, flux brushes (available at hardware stores for next to nothing) . Far too complicated for me and in one of his opening paragraphs he speaks of rolling tyres off rims – scary.

The best website I found with a no bullsh*t approach was Park Tools. Straight to the point with factual info on how this task is to be done, for new rims and used, I found this article very helpful, although now I am looking to read more about tub tape… maybe that is an easier, less messy and less fiddly solution?

Tubular tyres on the road it seems is most certainly an acquired taste, but it is a fact that they have their benefits, of which we will not speak of at this point because I think overall, clinchers will always win, simply because of their versatility. That said, my track bike does not need versatility right now, what it does need, though, above all is to look pretty, standing in the corner of my dining room with the wheels that were meant for it.

I am not a ‘fixie’ skidder and I do not plan on riding it that much in the near future so once I have attached these tyres to their rims using either glue or tape I think I’ma be alright, plus overall, the Raleigh will thank me for it.

Winter Warmers.

December 1, 2009

So this morning was the first morning that a frost was there waiting for me as I wheeled my bike out of my house and onto the pavement and It was this very frost that prompted me to do my ‘Winter warmers’ list.

So here it is. A list of necessaries and maybe some unnecessaries that I and maybe you will need to get you through to next year’s sunshine warm, dry and safe.

Rapha long sleeve Merino Base layer.

Because I find that now the short sleeve base layer I have coupled with short sleeve jersey, armwarmers and stowaway just isn’t enough to keep mr frosty out.
£55 From Rapha.


Because that strip of muddy water that sprays it’s way up past my saddle and onto the complete rear of my person will be tolerated no more. Thing is: I hate guards, I think they look like rubbish BUT they are indeed needed so after a hunt I found these, SKS Race gaurds, The sleekest of them all.
£31.99 from Chain Reaction.

Rust Prevention.

If I cannot afford the next item on the list I will have to go down this route. Because steel as we know rots and rusts and the wintery salt and slush on our British roads may well cause the demise of my cherished Team Pro.
J.P Weigle’s framesaver £12 from 18 Bikes.

An Aluminium track frame.

Because simply put – I would not need to care about it. This material handles the winter very well in my experience and the clearance ( on the frame pictured ) is also good for bigger tyres ( see the next item on the list ). In my mind I currently have the Nelson track which has drillings for both brakes and the geometry is also very good – tall and short. The Dolan Pre cursa ( pictured ) is also a favourite. After having owned one of these last year I have hankered after another for months so… let the mental tussle begin!
Nelson £225 from Cyclebasket.
Dolan Pre cursa £270 from Italian Solutions.

Bigger Tyres.

Randonneurs, especially because every experience I have had with them have been nothing but good. Good grip, good puncture prevention ( there I said it! ) and now also available in 25c for those who want them fat… but not that fat.
£14.50 from Parker Int.

Good coffee.

To get the blood flowing through my veins just that little bit faster preparing me nicely for my daily commute into work. Damn I love a hot espresso in the morning!
Espresso Crema Coffee Beans £9.30 from Pumphrey’s

A Brake.

Because when riding in the wet and having to deal with drivers who like me ‘just want to get home’ a brake could mean the difference between me getting home safely and getting home with a bruised arm.
Campagnolo Veloce Skeleton £79.88 from Wiggle.

German Sausage.

Because my weekly trip to Birmingham’s Xmas German market with my woman and friends makes a week’s worth of commuting in the cold and wet just that little bit more worth it. I look forward to Friday nights in December because of this and especially that great big pile of wooden goodness that is the Bratwurst stand. BBQd loveliness full of god knows what but it tastes so, so good!
£3.00 from the German Market.

So there we have it… the list, if anyone has any other suggestions on how we can all get through the grim dark and wet time of year we lovingly call Winter please leave a comment. Let us know how you do it, what tricks do you have for fending off mr frost and his ice brothers?

Oops, I did it again.

June 26, 2009

“What more tyres?” Is what she will say when I get home tonight.

The white one isn’t mine though folks I promise, that is my boy Dan’s for his new White Velocity and the Red ones are of course mine… all the way from Landan.

I saw them whilst at Tour de Ville T’other day and I simply couldn’t resist. Even if they sit in my cupboard marinading for a few months they are still worth it.

Red tan wall Vredestein Ricorso’s… Ouch!

tyresss 002

Thanks Posty.

June 24, 2009

Today after a wait over the weekend my tyres came!

tyre 001

I have been rolling on an absolutely beautiful NOS Michelin tan wall for a few months now and while I do have another for the rear I have limited the use strictly for the front as I know for a fact that on the rear the Michelins would last no longer than a few days.

That is where these bad boys come in… With quite a thick TPI these will last a while and it also means that I get to put on a pair of tyres, on a pair of wheels, something I have wanted ever since I got my Raleigh, I am going for that authentic ‘tubs’ look you see. Up until this point I have been on a low profile rim on the front with my Michelin and a Black Schwalbe Stelvio / Black deep V on the rear but no more… It is pairs from here on in!

So they arrived this morning and I was so stoked with them that I immediately went to order another pair but to my surprise I found they had sold out, they were only £9.95 too! I was even going to open it up to all you guys too so you could get your tan wall fix too but alas, all gone.

Vittoria Goodness pt 2

February 18, 2009

Next time I am buying two so I have one spare… I love them.

£11 from wiggle.

Vittoria goodness

January 26, 2009

My Vittoria Randonneur landed saturday.


First impressions are very good, however I am coming from using a beat up old slick for a couple of months!

The Vittoria has a good hold in the wet and is not too sticky in the dry thus letting it slice real nice when jamming the rear wheel.
The main reasons for me purchasing this tyre though has to be it’s price ( approx £11 ) and what you get for that price… puncture protection and super long lasting. Neither of which I have had before.

This is a great winter tyre and I would recommend it highly.
Grip one here

It also comes in white if you fancy hunting around on the interweb.

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