Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mystery of the tubes that blowed - Part 2

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this two part post, I found the tires of my wife's bike were in questionable condition. Hence, I decided to replace them with brand new tires. I needed 700x38c and I couldn't think of a better choice than Schwalbe Marathon HS420 tires. I got these from Bill @ Wallingford Bicycles. As  one would expect from Wallingford, the good arrived soon after ordering, as promised.
All my bikes, have Schwalbe tires and I have never had a problem with Schwalbe products. They are very reliable. I look for durability and puncture protection in a tire product. Schwalbe Marathon, Marathon Extreme HS402 and Marathon Plus tires provide me the comfort I need, in knowing that they will not fail me on the road.

Below are some pictures of Schwalbe tires on my bikes.

1. Schwalbe Marathon Plus 20x1.75 Tires on Meera

2. Schwalbe Marathon Plus 700x36 on my Americano

3. Schwalbe Marathon Extreme HS402 26x2.5 Folding Tires on my Thorn Nomad

4. Schwalbe Marathon 16x1.5 on my Brompton

5. Schwalbe Marathon 700x38c tires on my wife's Raleigh C80 Hybrid

I do have a pair of tires which are not Schwalbe. These are the Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires that came stock on my Americano. Since getting the Chukker wheel with the SON dynamo hub built a couple of years ago, I have not used the front wheel from the Americano, very often. I keep it aired and it is hanging in my workshop. I left the rear tire of the Americano as is. It is still the original Vittoria that came with the bike.

The Schwalbe Marathon tires come with GreenGuard*, which is a 3mm thick band of highly elastic India rubber under the tread. One-third of the GreenGuard is made of recycled latex products. I have the Schwalbe Marathon tires on Brahma.
One other thing I have noticed with Schwalbe tires is that you don't have to air the tire for a very long time, even if you ride it everyday. Some of my bikes have both the tires and the tubes made by Schwalbe (my Thorn Nomad, my Americano and my Brompton, for instance) and I do not air these tires for longer than a month at times and the tire pressure does not drop significantly** (< 5 PSI, at the maximum).
After the "blowed tubes" incidents, described in Part 1 of this post, I bought 2 more Avenir 700x35-45c tubes from Amazon. I try to buy locally, but none of the shops I called (the ones in Dallas/Irving) carried 700x38c tires or accessories.

Given the task of mounting the new tires and tubes on the Raleigh, I donned my nitrile gloves, got my Park Tool Tire Levers and tubes and went to work.
It took me more than a single attempt to get the tires to mount properly on the rear wheel, but the front wheel  was a breeze. I got the new tires and tubes mounted, aired-up the tires just a tad along the way, checked for any knots or bumps or irregular seating of the tires and then I aired-up the tires, using the guidance on the sidewall (I only put 60 PSI in the new tires) and mounted the wheels on the bike and put the bike back on the trainer. So far so good, things are working.

So, I thought the repairs on the Raleigh were done.

Little did I know: looks like the Raleigh could use some new brake pads. I am thinking KoolStop Salmon.
Well, I gotta order some brake pads now and get the old ones replaced. Anything for my good wife!

That's where my adventures stand as of now!

Any thoughts on what kinda of pads I need? Any suggestions?? Thanks in advance.

Peace :)

PS. * Information on GreenGuard courtesy of Wallingford Bicycles.

PPS. ** Significance referred to in this post is not to be confused with statistical significance testing.

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