Monday, 5 May 2008

Replacing Tyres

The weather earlier this week was getting invitingly warm in the afternoon. Looking out of the window at work, it made me want to go further afield on the route home. I set off riding thinking I'd take the road to Rishton and go through Great Harwood to Whalley to make the journey about 15 miles. Before I got to the Rishton road, I was looking at blossoming trees and hearing birds chirping their spring song and thought a trip down the canal towpath would be nicer. I hadn't gone more than a few hundred yards before my rear tyre punctured.

I'd run over an old bramble despite trying to avoid them on the path. I was surprised how quickly my tyre went down. I soon had it fixed and was on my way again but the experience was interesting for a couple of reasons. One was that three other kind cyclists stopped to ask if I needed help. It was very heartening and reminded me of tales my grandfather used to tell me about the halcyon days of motoring when motorists used to stop and help others. Thanks to the cyclists for asking. The other was, that although a tyre has tread, it doesn't mean it isn't worn out. I did know this one needed replacing because the casing was cracked. Winter cycling has taken its toll on quite a few bits of my bike and my intention was to swap bikes to allow my commuter some time in dry dock but I hadn't realised the tyre's internal carcass had deteriorated. Inflated to the maximum pressure this would have created a gap in the tread and exposing the inner tube enough to allow it to be easily punctured.

When inspecting tyres it's worth looking for cracks and exposed threads and internally for any discoloration of the internal rubber which could indicate ingress of water and dirt through the outer tread -all signs the tyre is on its last legs and worth replacing to avoid an untimely repair stop. I replaced mine with a Schwalbe (27in) tyre with integral puncture protection.

No comments: