This tyre is too hard…May 15, 2015 at 09:16 | Posted in bicycles | Leave a comment
Tags: bicycle, cycling, puncture, rim, tube, tyre
I finally got around to buying a new set of tyres for my fixie; you may recall the one on the back was rather the worse for wear, and I had to rather hurriedly replace it with whatever I could get at the time.
Well, the new tyres arrived, and sat in the shed for a few more weeks until at last I decided to put them on the bike. All easy-peasy,I thought, and within a few minutes I had taken the old one off the front, ready to replace it with a shiny new one.
Put it over the rim; bit of air in the tube, tuck it in, press the other edge over the rim, la la la – I hummed to myself as I worked, figuring this was all be done in a few minutes and I’d be swishing along on my new rubber.
And then I got to the final bit of tyre – you know, the really tight bit that’s a bit of a fiddle to get one. It did feel very tight, but I went back to the other side, worked the tyre around, pulling it around – something that is usually enough to do the trick. But no, it still stubbornly refused to pop on. I had a go with a tyre lever; I have a flat yellow one that works well for this.Then I tried a more heavy duty one. And another. Then I snapped one of them in half. And then bent another. No joy. That last bit of tyre just was not going on the rim. I scratched my head. Why was this so hard? I’ve replaced hundreds of tyres over the years, and never had one this intransigent. I’ve also never snapped a tyre lever, let alone two.
I took the tyre completely off again, and started from scratch. Round we went, popping it on, la la la, until – the same problem. I wrestled with tyre levers some more, but nothing. This was getting ridiculous!
Mrs Chillikebab came out to see how I was doing, and I had to admit that I actually could not put the tyre on the wheel. She suggested I might have to put the old one back on and go to the bike shop, and that made me feel simultaneously cross and ineffectual. Buoyed up by anger, I had one last go at the tyre with two tyre levers, and – pop – it finally went on. Phew.
I got my pump and started to put some air in. Whoosh. The air was leaking out as fast as it was going in. I had ripped a hole in it with the tyre levers; something that all the books say to watch out for, but which I had never before done.
This was not going to defeat me. I started again, this time paying a little more attention to where the tyre bead was sitting on the rim as it went on. It was sitting quite high on the rim, quite firmly held in the groove around the edge of the rim. I realised that by squeezing it in I could pop it deeper into the rim, against the rim tape. This gave me much more slack at the other side, and it was a doddle to pop the last bit of tyre over with just my thumbs. All so easy. As I then put air into the tyre, I could hear the tyre bead popping into its correct place all around the tyre.
So why the dramas? Have I never had a rim with such a pronounced groove just around the rim before? I have no idea, but I was able to put the rear one on with no fuss at all – and this is a different rim (the original Salsa one, rather than the Velocity one on the front).
So finally I was done. My thumbs hurt, I was dirty and sweaty, had broken four tyre levers and spent nearly an hour wrestling with it. But there is always that slight glow of satisfaction that comes with overcoming adversity…