Saturday, July 05, 2008
Five times since May I have replaced tubes on the front wheel of my Xtracycle. First time: since I'd tried to feed my shoe to the tire and the fender had chewed it up, I replaced it. Yes, it was holding air, but in something like four places layers were flapping in the breeze.
This meant the tube was still peachy. So, I considered it "partially inflated" as recommended by the Directions For Fixing Flats, tho' I let all the air out I could through the valve.
Twice, that time, I got the tire on with great effort and fervor and leaving it near the halogen light to get warm... and both times sacrificed the tube in the process.I don't remember if the tube had air in it the second time...
The third time I put in a new tube without any air... and it went on sweetly and easily.
Last Thursday I am greeted with a flat tire and snagged a healthy tube from another bike... it hadn't been inflated since January but there was still air in it.
Tube sacrifice. Six hands tryin' to get that tube on. Fun, but it didn't work.
Next time I got that fresh, new tube and figured I"d even be careful tucking it neatly and deeply into the tire. (THey're 32's, by the way.) My lil' thumbs needed only the usual "we are mighty!" incantations.
I've heard people recommend against buying Hard Case tires 'cause they're so HARD ... to put on... but I wonder if they've tried it with flat tubes.
There's an alternative called the Quick Stick that's more portable:
I've had difficulty with very narrow tires, but not 32mm. When you install the tire, the inner tube should have just enough air to keep its shape - no more.
These suckers are literally *hard* - enough less flexible that they're hard to manage.