Thursday, January 15

Share the Wisdom Wednesdays (on Thursdays): Part Eleven

Firstly, in case you missed the pro tip for washing your soiled bike gloves that was buried at the bottom of Tuesday's post (if you already read the entirety of Tuesday's post, skip down to Canoe Reeves answering a banana):

"Here's a tip for gentle washing of your gloves (at home or at a stage race).  Wear them in the shower and use them as a wash rag.  You'd be surprised how clean you can get them with bath soap and some scrubbing of your body... and you won't rag your gloves out in the washing machine or accidentally toss them in the dryer."

John thought it was amazeballicious, so I reposted for the attention-lacking folks.

So here's another one from the "do as I say but not as I do until it's way too late" department.

I normally put on fresh tires at the beginning of the "season."  Sometimes I swap tires for conditions (muddy/dry) or technical (flat tire inducing) terrain.  Generally, there's enough swapping going on that my main bike sees @ four different tires sharing the load from April till September... and then some.  Unless I tear a irreparable hole in the tire, which rarely happens... but it does happen.

Then I leave them on there. They'll be worn, abraded, ready for retirement. I still keep using them.

And then there's that ride, usually in the mountains, when I realize I'm pushing my luck.  Leaves everywhere, wet roots and rocks hidden below.  Still, I'm on worn-out tires.  They continue to hold air (enough to finish a ride).  They still have adequate knobbage for identification purposes.  They still go in circles and keep my rims off the ground, but that's about all they do.

They are pretty much worthless when I find myself in need of anything similar to traction.  Steering and braking are greatly compromised.  I'd be better off trying to slow down by dragging my Oakley crabon knuckles on the ground.

The last couple rides where I've found myself in the mountains, it's been obvious that it's time to change this habit and stop being so cheap.  It's affecting my ability to really enjoy the ride, what with all the stops to clean the shit out of my chamois.  I'm also taking an unnecessary risk in the interest of saving and amount of money that comes nowhere close to the amount of my emergency room copay.

Example.  Here is the tire that was on my bike as of last week:

Well, apparently I deleted the photo I took of my chewed-up, wasted tire.   I assure you, it was something.  Trust me.

And here's what a new tire should look like:

Yeah, deleted that one as well.  I realize that I coulda google image searched for a picture of a brand new Maxxis Ardent 2.4, but the new, shiny duck seemed more relevant in this case.

So for now on, I plan on running tires that are not on their last legs October thru March.  It's plain stupid.   My advice to you is to do the same.  Don't be a cheap ass during that one time a year when you need traction and control more than ever.  You're never going to make it to the "season" and the chance to enjoy fresh meats if you're walking around on crutches.  If you really want to be semi-cheap, save yourself a few dollars and buy the wire bead version and get the benefit of adding "load" to your "training."

BUT DON'T GO FULL-CHEAP.  It's stupid (I would know).


Fatmarc Vanderbacon said...


I typically have the exact same cheap ass off season tire habbit. The AKA on the back of my bike is a file tread right now. I need to stop being a cheap ass and put a new tire on. Funny reading that... my exact same thought process... Now to find some new tires...

good on you. Good advise.


TheMutt said...

I haven't changed my tires in a long time.

I haz no excuse other than being lazy.

moe said...

On top of the price of a tire, I always have the price of the wasted Stan's in the back of my mind too. I hate wasting that stuff. It's like liquid gold....