All the bad weather we've experienced in the recent weeks has allowed much time to anally compulse over equipment.
A few weeks ago, while pre-riding the course for the Tour duh Charlotte (updated info on the race in 1.5 weeks BTW), I experienced a flat. I pulled my out my tube and proceeded to fix it, but found that my tube had a hole in it. Meh.
When I went home, I got all forensic on the situation.
My last flat was probably almost a year ago at the Trans-Sylvania Epic. That means this particular tube coulda been stored on a bike in a tight bundle for more than a year. Dunno. Really.
Many of you know that I'm quite the tight bundler. I'm an expert in purging the air and wrapping the tube in many rubber bands and or sheaths made from old 26 X 2.2-2.5 tubes. I like my bundles tidy... what can I say.
Upon inspection, I found the hole right at the corner of the first and most tightest inner fold. I have now made multiple running changes to how I do things.
Tube on the left, .90mm thick butyl rubber, loaded into Race 3 Strap, ready to ride.
You can see the sharp fold in the tube on the right. I've always known that thin tubes are fragile, but the weight weenie/neat freak in me ALWAYS carried them. I've known they are susceptible to getting holes in them, either in a saddle bag, hydration pack, or strapped to the bike. I told myself I would check them from time to time... you know. I didn't always do that.
Four changes future forward.
1.For day to day use, I will be carrying the .90mm thick tubes.
2. I will not be bundling them so tight. It's not as important to bundle them anyways. I got into the habit to keep them neat and because I've known people to strap on a tube with no rubber bands only to have them unravel in wet conditions.
3. I don't need to bundle them so tight because of the Tube Tarp.
4. Race tubes. I'm still going to use them. They'll be tossed loosely in a drawer, under my work bench, in a dark place until I need them. Then I'll roll them up, stick them in a Tube Tarp, use them for a race, and then return them to storage.
I just wasted too much time searching something Sheldon Brown wrote about tube storage... couldn't find it. Something about not folding them... oh well.
*LATE EDIT: In the interest of science, I pulled out my three other race-ready bundled .60mm tubes (two were strapped to saddles, one in a drawer), unfurled them, and inflated them. None of them lost air over the course of three days.
**REALLY REALLY LATE EDIT (Mar 12th): I made an installation video and put it up on YouTube to make everyone's lives betterer. I'll post it again next week when everyone is paying attention, but for now, here it is.
I thought I'd have more time this morning to mention something else stupid I did recently, but I've wasted too much time with this PSA. This is the last post of this week. Tomorrow is my day off from blogging. On Thursday, I am taking the day off work in order to ride Pisgah with a bunch of yinzers from Pee-Yay. Thursday night is dinner with Mike McCormack, promoter of the Breck Epic (who I think it going to literally twist my arm to come this year). On Friday, I'll be sleeping off the sushi hangover and after work, I'll be heading out to NAHBS events... nonstop... from then until Sunday.
And since I won't be back until next week...
If you want a Faster Mustache kit, you must order it by the end of next week.
I see you here first: