The Race of Truth

We’ve all felt it; going over a bump or through a corner and feeling that unmistakable bit of slop in the handling that sends your heart straight to your feet. Hoping you’re wrong, you bounce the tire as you roll along, confirming you’ve got a puncture.

But it’s not really flat – not yet, at least. Just softening. The question is, do you stop or do you try to keep going and hope its a slow enough leak to finish the ride? Barring that, can you at least get to a comfortable spot to change the tire, such as the little café near the turnaround point. Everyone who has ever changed a tire knows that changing a tire with a coffee at hand is a civilized way to go about such things.

Or, hypothetically, you realize that you’ve forgotten to bring the little tool that removes your valve extender and valve core, making it impossible to change your tire. Which means you are now committed to a race against your slow leak to get home.

Forget the contre la montre; the real race of truth is the race against the escape of air in your tire as you speed home at full gas in an attempt to avoid a long wobbly walk of shame in cycling shoes.

Spoiler alert: I made it home. Hypothetically.

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70 Replies to “The Race of Truth”

  1. @Puffy

    I too ride tubs… what to do when they wear down? Run it until the canvas shows, handling starts to get dangerous and a high risk of puncture or tear it off and throw a new one on?

    I’m at that point now and by not making the decision (budgetatus vs conserative logic) I am making the decsion to run the gauntlet…

    I wish I knew the answer.

    In my younger more foolish days I ran clinchers and have ridden home a couple of times with a flat no problem….well, no major problem. Just make sure you take the tube out, don’t go any faster than your grandmother can walk and forget about cornering!

    If there’s no more riding it, send it to Buckit & get them to make you a belt/watchband.

  2. @Phillip Mercer

    I ride clinchers with friends who ride tubs. Nothing more irritating when they put in the sealant, pump up, we get going only for the sealant to give way again repeated three times in one ride…

    Surely there is one thing more irritating… listening to them prate on about how their tubs are So Much Betterer.

  3. @ChrisO

    @Phillip Mercer

    I ride clinchers with friends who ride tubs. Nothing more irritating when they put in the sealant, pump up, we get going only for the sealant to give way again repeated three times in one ride…

    Surely there is one thing more irritating… listening to them prate on about how their tubs are So Much Betterer.

    all this talk of sealant, syringes, vinyl tubing, valve stems etc , this is better how again?

  4. @Canucklehead

    I once rode over a screw that some plonker left in the middle of the road. Luckily the screw did not damage to my rim as it shredded my tire, tube and the tip of the screw punctured the rim tape and went in the spoke channel in my rim. Stupidly I repaired the tire on the spot. Two days later I had another flat. Repaired it. Another week later, another flat. This went on for about 2 months with flats every week. Until I finally figured out the when the screw punctured my rim tape, it exposed an inflated tube to the sharp edge of the spoke channel…with enough time and enough pressure and friction I eventually would flat. Many stops, repairs and much cursing was involved. Needless to say, I’m pretty meticulous about checking and rechecking every flat repair I do each time now. Didn’t flat for over a year after rotating my rim tape.

    Or just replacing the time tape…but this might be the best point raised on this thread. Flat? Fine. Check the tire for debris that caused it, and if it’s a big thing like a screw that went through to the rim, then you check the rim for sharp bits and fix anything that is abrasive before the next ride.

    We’ve all been there, son.

    For all you tub haters, bee tee dubs – we don’t have this problem.

  5. @ChrisO

    @Phillip Mercer

    I ride clinchers with friends who ride tubs. Nothing more irritating when they put in the sealant, pump up, we get going only for the sealant to give way again repeated three times in one ride…

    Surely there is one thing more irritating… listening to them prate on about how their tubs are So Much Betterer.

    Very clever, and also really made me laugh, despite how recumbent-esque the joke inherently is. Nevertheless, the strike at the heart of truth inclines me to award you +1 badge despite the fact that I also recall you telling me something along the lines of, “It’s going to be hard convincing the missus that I have to buy all new wheels to change over to tubs” on Keepers Tour when you were riding tubs and loving it.

  6. @frank

    @ChrisO

    @Phillip Mercer

    I ride clinchers with friends who ride tubs. Nothing more irritating when they put in the sealant, pump up, we get going only for the sealant to give way again repeated three times in one ride…

    Surely there is one thing more irritating… listening to them prate on about how their tubs are So Much Betterer.

    Very clever, and also really made me laugh, despite how recumbent-esque the joke inherently is. Nevertheless, the strike at the heart of truth inclines me to award you +1 badge despite the fact that I also recall you telling me something along the lines of, “It’s going to be hard convincing the missus that I have to buy all new wheels to change over to tubs” on Keepers Tour when you were riding tubs and loving it.

    I said that? Well I suppose if it was a way to convince the missus I should buy new wheels it would be excusable.

    Anyway, I’ll take badges when they’re on offer.

  7. @frank

    @ChrisO

    I thought it was you, but it could easily have been another one of you pommy twats.

    Wasn’t me. I’d already brought into the “tubs are so much betterer” thing that @ChrisO finds so tedious.

    Personally, I find the amount of flats that the clincher crowd suffer to be irritating.

    Btw, I’m sure @ChrisO will swear that he’s not interested in the game but the Aussies are in the middle of a very heavy defeat at the hands of the poms at Five Day English Baseball (the real world series). Calling him a pommy twat will cut deep.

  8. @chris

    Personally, I find the amount of flats that the clincher crowd suffer to be irritating.

    [ Redd Foxx voice ]
    You big dummy!”

    Your comment could hex us all! I’ve had a 2-year run on 4000s and Gatorskins, and now attempting to start another big lengthy run on Veloflex open and tubular.

  9. Although I did get into a supermarket checkout fight with a Frenchman this morning, so maybe I’m being assimilated.

    If the fuckers could understand queues they might have a hope of sorting out those migrants.

  10. Fixing a flat on a still muggy summer evening near a loch anywhere in Scotland is utter utter misery thanks to the Highland midge

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