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  1. #1
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    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)

    First, here is a brief history from the time I switched to a road bike for my daily duties. I love the quickness of the road bike, but my lack of knowledge is severely hurting my commute.

    I bought the bike for next to nothing, and immediately started commuting on it. It rolled great for a few weeks. Then I got my first flat. I took the tire off, and the rubber around the bead straight crumbled. I think ancient tires and rim strips were the culprit for this first flat. In and effort not to invest too much money in the bike, I got some good rim strips and some tires from Jenson's bargain bin. They were 700 x 23 Kenda Konstrictors. What attracted me to these tires were the low weight, low price, and the supposed iron cloak flat protection. After a week of commuting I caught my first flat. I couldn't find any cause. Another week goes by, and I catch a second flat. This time, there is a minute piece of pea gravel that penetrated the Iron Cloak. I was so frustrated that I took a couple of weeks off of commuting. When I got back on, I had one week of successful commuting, and then bam, another flat hits me. I am not sure what caused the flat, but there was a pretty big puncture in the tire. I hung the bike up again, and put Vittoria Randoneurs on my Amazon wish list. I received a pair for my birthday this weekend. I excitedly threw them on my rims and put the rims back on my bike. I pumped them to the suggested max PSI. As I went to spin the front wheel, my hand slid down the tire as it was completely lodged against the top of the fork. AHHHHHHHHHHHH

    I had put the 32 mm on my wish list. What a putz am I. Well, the letter that came with the tires from Niagara Cycle Works seems very customer service friendly and has an address for returns. Hopefully I can get an exchange or a refund for the price of shipping. It might just be better or me to sell these on Amazon or Ebay myself. Guess I have to go with the 28s.

  2. #2
    weirdo
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    What a bummer .
    I ordered the wrong size from Harris over the summer and they let me exchange them for the size I had realy wanted in the first place, only charging me a few bucks for shipping. Hopefully Niagra will be so accomodating, but I have to say I was surprised when Harris did that for me- couldn`t have blamed them (or Niagra) if they hadn`t gone that far.
    Recalculating....

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    D'oh!

    Unfortunately, low weight, low price and flat protection seem to be a "pick 2" proposition. Or "pick 1" if you're me. I haven't bought a new tire for my commute bike... ever?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    For me, the Vittoria Randonneur has been the best balance of weight, price, durability and ride quality. There are more durable 700c tires on the market, but they cost a lot more and ride a lot worse. I've ridden my 32c pair over some very gnarly stuff over the past year, and they still look brand new with no flats to date. The only notable drawback is that they only seem to roll well when near max PSI.

  5. #5
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    OP Update

    Well, I read Niagra Cycles return policy, and it stated you could return any item that was not opened for 30 days (buyer responsible for shipping). I called them right after I figured out the problem and left a message for the customer service department to find out if they would take tires back that had been installed but never ridden. I never heard back, and I never followed up. So, I guess I will guess I will try and sell them online. You live and you learn. I will probably get the same thing in a 25 or 28.

  6. #6
    jrm
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    Ive had

    Quote Originally Posted by codwater
    Well, I read Niagra Cycles return policy, and it stated you could return any item that was not opened for 30 days (buyer responsible for shipping). I called them right after I figured out the problem and left a message for the customer service department to find out if they would take tires back that had been installed but never ridden. I never heard back, and I never followed up. So, I guess I will guess I will try and sell them online. You live and you learn. I will probably get the same thing in a 25 or 28.
    good results with the 25 and 28c panaracer tservs here in oakland.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  7. #7
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    I had the same Flat problem with 700X23C tires on my road bike. I had an old pair that I used for "on the trainer" duty that were a bit wider and stronger. No more flats. Road it all summer no problem. Granted, I'm a big guy so with that amount of Pressure and wieght, something has to give when I hit a bump. Good luck.

  8. #8
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    Tire Update

    S, last I wrote, I had recieved 32mm tires accidentally, and they did not fit my bike. I tried to return them to no avail. So, as I justified my non-commuting butt to Dixie last week by saying I was waiting to buy some better tires that fit, he suggested I call one of our riding buddies who has a bike store's worth of parts and tools in his shop. I emailed the guy and asked if he would check for a few part I needed, and I told him the situation concerning the tires.

    When he contacted me back, he said he had a spare set of 28mm, but they weren't anything special. His solution to my problem was, if the tires don't fit the bike, let's see if we can make the bike fit the tires. I stopped by his house and showed him how the tires fit, and he said we could fix it. A couple of hours with a grinder and a few beers later, my bike is fitting fat boys . A small amountof steel got shaved off of the top of fork, and the rear brake got a diet as well. I will attach pics of he bike when I get home from work today.

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    When I read the suggestion to "make the bike fit the tires" I thought you meant "new bike" .
    Even if you didn`t get yourself a new Aurora, Tricross, or Volpe out of the deal, I`m anxious to see how you managed it.
    Recalculating....

  10. #10
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    Well, here are the pictures. The first two are the full bike. The next few show the newly acquired clearence. The next one show a side by side of my old tire and my new tire. The last one is the shaved down fork. It was too much touble to show the shaved down brakes, and you really can't tell they are shaved down because they are are shiny aluminum.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0189.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-full-bike.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0185.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0187.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0188.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0190.jpg  

    More Tire Woes (My fFault This Time)-dscn0192.jpg  


  11. #11
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    I forot to add that my bike had finder gromits near the drop out, but there was nowhere to attach the rack at the top. I had been riding around with it ziptied. My friend took care of that problem too! You can see it in the pics.

  12. #12
    weirdo
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    Looks like you`re all set!
    Recalculating....

  13. #13
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    You can even fit fenders, if you need them. Well maybe sections of fenders, and not between tires and brakes but above the brakes. The flat style fender would work best for that. Rack over brake bridge to seat tube. The rear part of the rear fender from the back part of the rack to stays to P clamps if no fender bosses. A two part front fender either side of the crown, with the front one above the brake, you may need a second reversed front fender to get the stay mounts and stays. May have to shorthen the bottom of the front fender for foot clearance, though. The brakes will get stuff on them without fenders, so no big deal if they aren't protected as long as you and maybe the front drivetrain have some relief.

    Adding 32 mm tires to a stiff riding frame that had 23 mm ones, makes a huge difference to the ride. You have almost twice the volume of air!

  14. #14
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    Flats!!!

    Thanks for the info Brian. I'm not sure I will need fenders, but if change my mind that info will be useful.

    Well, I did it. I got too cocky on the new tires, and I ended up popping them both. I was so excited about the tires, I took the long way home. Over the course of 6 miles, my confidence slowly built. First I rode down a slanted curb that usually makes cringe at a slow pace. No flats! Ok, great. I was forced over by a car onto a grate. I cringed a bit. Once again, no flats!

    At this point my confidence was high, and my cringes are starting to fade. There is a 20 foot long grassy area I needed to ride over to get a nice bike path. On my old tires, I dismounted and walked. This time, I railed it. No Flats! A little bit later rolled down a grassy hill into a sandy gravel patch. At this point, not only am I confident, I am feeling daring.

    For the next few miles (the bulk of my ride) there wasn't really anything to test my tires. But once I got within a mile of home, I saw the railroad crossing for a mini child size train that runs through the park. I decided to try and get my bike airborne. BAD IDEA! I got up to about 20 mph, hit the ramp up to the tracks and pulled up hard on the handle bars. Well, I didn't exactly get airborne. What I did was hit the tracks dead on at an insane speed. I heard my tubes pop, and the sad hissssssss followed.

    I was feeling frisky, so I locked my and gear up and finished the last mile of my commute with a brisk jog. I came back with my car and picked my bike up. I haven't changed the tubes yet, but I plan on doing it soon, so I can get back on the bike. I think I know the tire limitations now!
    Last edited by codwater; 01-12-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  15. #15
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by codwater
    At this point my confidence was high, and my cringes are starting to fade....

    ....BAD IDEA!

    Thanks for the entertainment and better luck next time!
    Recalculating....

  16. #16
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    Getting older either made me less daring or incapable of the speed or lift to try that! But would I have tried when younger? I'll plead the Fifth! Hope your rims took the punishment. We learn from our mistakes.

    PS: Tire-eating grates (rare now) scare me! As do wet angled railroad tracks.

  17. #17
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    Update

    Well, I haven't been commuting as much since school started. I only takes about 40 minutes to get from work to school. I could do it, but there would be zero margin for error.

    I have, however, been commuting every day I don't have class, and I have been trying to run as many errands on the bike as possible. There have been no flats since my last "daring" episode. I have toned it down a bit. I pretty much pretend I am on my old 23 tires, avoiding all potholes, cracks, and road anomolies. After my commute tomorrow, I will have put enough miles on the tires to feel fully confident that I made the right choice.

    I think I will take your suggestions, Brian, on the fenders. I am still having slight clearance issues. the two sections of my commute where I have to ride very short portion of grass and sand/gravel are giving me trouble. The grass and the grit are getting lodged between my brakes/frame and my tires. Would fenders help? I read your post again, and it seems like that is what you were alluding to.

    Anyway, I can't reccomend the Vittoria Randoneur Hyper tire enough. I also want to stress enough to stay away from Kenda Konstrictors. I guess that is what I get for going completely bargain bin on the first set of tires.

  18. #18
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I ride harder than that on my 23s. However, I recently killed the Kenda I had on the rear of my commuter - tread cut, didn't want to rely on a boot forever, and thought it might happen again someplace else anyway. I think a lot of it has to do with the quality and materials the tire is made from.

    Adding fenders can be a simple or complicated proposition, depending on how much fender you want. A set of clip-on fenders that don't pass through the fork crown or seatstay bridge should be very easy to put on. I'd say they're about 70% as effective as full fenders.

    If you want full fenders, it's going to be a bit of a project.

    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by codwater
    ....I think I will take your suggestions, Brian, on the fenders. I am still having slight clearance issues. the two sections of my commute where I have to ride very short portion of grass and sand/gravel are giving me trouble. The grass and the grit are getting lodged between my brakes/frame and my tires. Would fenders help? ....
    I was alluding to riding in the wet, or on road surfaces with crud you don't want thrown in your face or on the bike. (Think livestock trucks.) Here sections of fender in behind the fork or rear brake and in front of the brake bridge and front brake, could do 90% duty especailly with a strip of tape joining them.

    However, you are picking up pea gravel or flintkote chips grass and things on the tires, so fenders aren't going to help because you don't have room to even get their smoother surface past the crown or brake bridge. For example a few winters ago, I ran 27 x 1 1/4 with about 3 mm of cleararnce (10mm is recommended) and flintkote chips and leaves sort of ground their way by. The fender had a tiny bit of give and no place for the stuff to jamb up. You don't have even that much room for a fender at the tight spots. Andrew shows an example, there are lots ov variations on the theme.

    The old thorn scratchers might be the ticket, since they goathead thorns off the tires. I did not search to see if they are rarer than hen's teeth, an older lbs may have some long discarded ones for cheap. Some cyclists like them for riding where there is a lot of broken glass so the pieces are scarped off before they come aropund to hit the road again and be forced through the tire.

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