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do i need a new tire

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

I have been riding only sporadically the last few years.  But early this summer I lost 30lbs and the bike now feels good again.  I just got my first flat on the rear tire and I noticed there are "some" threads showing through, on quite a few spots.  I changed the tube on the road and it got me 4 miles home but I'm wondering if I really need to change the tire right away.  (even though I'm going to get a new tire tomorrow). 

 

also, if any bike wizards are tuned in.  My stem seems too long.  I read somewhere that the front part of the stem should be measured with elbow from from of seat to back of stem, and that's what mine is.  But them my stem is forward about 4-6" and it just seems like it is hunching me too far forward.  what's the rule?

post #2 of 19
I'd recommend getting a new tire, SnowbirdDevotee--probably two. Tire rubber does not age well, and when those threads start fraying, you're just asking for a catastrophic failure, probably at the worst possible time. A front tire blowout at speed is not pretty on a bicycle!

The stem measurement advice you've received is common, but it represents a pretty upright, "recreational" riding position at best. (Although the "rule" I've heard is from front of saddle to handlebar, which varies with stem length; measuring to back of stem would be meaningless, although it might be useful in determining frame dimensions.) I can tell you that the distance from the front of my saddle to my handlebar is a lot longer than from my elbow to my finger tips. I don't think much of that "rule." If it's uncomfortable for you, as you suggest, a shorter stem may be in order. You may also be able to solve the problem by adjusting your saddle forward, but that will have other ramifications in your riding position. As with fitting ski boots, there are many complex relationships and if you don't know exactly what you're doing, you're well-advised to seek a competent bike fitter for help.

Also, as you ride more, your flexibility will increase, and you may find that you prefer the setup you have now.

Good luck!

Best regards,
Bob
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Bob.  It feels great to be in shape again.   I went from about 212 to 186 since Memorial Day.  I'm hoping to pile on some miles before it gets cold. 

 

Yeah, guess this is not a good time to be a cheapskate and put the new tire on, but it's more that I hate getting my hands all greasy. 

 

This bike has served me well for almost 10 yrs, but I'm thinking it might be a size too big for me. 
 

post #4 of 19
Well done taking the weight off. How did you do it? Diet? Exercise? Both?

Definitely get two new tires. You'll feel more secure, and the biking will help keep the weight off.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 

I took it off using a version of the HCG Diet using drops.  It came off in one month-June.  I didn't exercise at all that month.  Exercise isn't really recommended for that diet because you don't want to get the hunger worked up. 
 

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

That was sound advice re the new tire.  I bought tires today, but decided to chance one more ride and did 20 miles on the threads.  Lucked out, because when I got home I see a big bubble in the sidewall, i don't think it would have lasted many more miles.  I'll get those tires on this evening.  It feels so good to be able to whip out 20 miles w/o being tired.  Makes me feel less of a poser and more of an athlete again. 

post #7 of 19

Next time you see threads while doing an on-road tube replacement, see if you can sleeve the tire with a gum wrapper or dollar bill or ... something

Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

That was sound advice re the new tire.  I bought tires today, but decided to chance one more ride and did 20 miles on the threads.  Lucked out, because when I got home I see a big bubble in the sidewall, i don't think it would have lasted many more miles.

post #8 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cantunamunch View Post

Next time you see threads while doing an on-road tube replacement, see if you can sleeve the tire with a gum wrapper or dollar bill or ... something

post #9 of 19
New tires, yes. Harden up and get your hands dirty!cool.gif

Fit. This might be contrary to what you've heard so far. The length of the stem is only one part of the equation of fore/aft 'length' fit on the bike. There's the height of the handle bars in relation to the saddle, and yes, this is effected by arm length, but even more critically, flexibility in your hips. The great flat backed position that strong road riders/racers ride in is something that most have worked hard at over time and often with the help of good coaching and bike fitting. It sounds to me that your stem is too long for your level of flexibility. When I used to do this years ago, we'd work with a rider and make very gradual changes, maybe .5cm max. in saddle position, handlebars, saddle height, pedal and foot alignment, etc... to avoid injury and keep variables in control and to a minimum in the process of working toward a more efficient/effective riding position. It's not unlike the process one goes though with ski boot and bind /ramp/alignment issues. Sounds to me that having your current riding position evaluated while riding would be a good starting place. Your stem length might be correct, but only when you're more flexible, strong, and ready for it. But honestly, there's no way to know without seeing you on your bike.smile.gif

Cheers!
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks.  I've been riding MB and road bike for well over 25 yrs and have done 7 triathalons.  But I'm not really a bike techie and have forgotten more than i knew in the first place.  At least the road bike is now clean, and next I have to work on the road bike.  Both have years of grime on them.  I have a special gear cleaning brushing coming.  I'm trying to work on the seat position.  I think the bike is a size too big, but okay for my purposes.  If I keep at it and pile up some hundreds of miles, I may have to consider upgrading with a new one, but am not at that point yet.  Like my skis I usually wait until my bike is outdated, then wait a few more years.
 

post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 

The new kevlar tire only lasted 41 miles!!  At first I thought maybe I pinched the tube while wrestling it on. (a tough job with a brand new tire), but upon inspecting the tube I found a small stone sliver had punctured my brand new tire, it felt like a thorn on the inside.  I put a new tube in and rode 22 miles on it today, but I am asking should I patch the tire.  It's not a gash, just a small puncture, should I put glue or patch on the inside?  In Zinn I read that the tube will eventually find it's way out of that tiny hole???

post #12 of 19
Pop in a folded $1 bill between the tube and the tire.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

The new kevlar tire only lasted 41 miles!!  

 

What tire are you using?   It sounds like you have a training-type tire where the only kevlar is in the bead.    

 

It may be time to shift to something more durable, with aramid cloth between the road side rubber and the tube side. 

post #14 of 19

After many punctures I've ended up shifting from 23mm tyres to 25mmm Gatorskin Hardshells on my road bike. Now close to 3,000kms without a puncture and plenty of wear left in the tyres.

post #15 of 19

Second what Taxman said. Continental Gatorskin Hardshells are bulletproof. I've got about 600 miles on mine and haven't had a single flat, and I KNOW I've ridden through more than one broken six-pack. Expensive, but absolutely worth the cost. Kevlar is the greatest.

post #16 of 19
Thread Starter 

>What tire are you using?

Vittoria Zaffiro Pro.   What category do  they fit in.

I'll get 100 miles in this week.

post #17 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowbirdDevotee View Post

>What tire are you using?

Vittoria Zaffiro Pro.   What category do  they fit in.

I'll get 100 miles in this week.

 

Training tire.  

 

 I ride Rubinos (and Hutchinsons)  in that category - no first-hand experience with the Zaffiro.    

 

 As a general observation, it should be quite possible to get a tougher tire , but you will lose some cornering suppleness and you will lose that "I am totally gripping the road" feel that keeps the rear wheel kicking on climbs and gives confidence on descents. 

 

If I were in your shoes (and on a budget), I'd probably sleeve the Zaffiro,  order 2 new tires in 700x25 or 700x26*, and ride the Zaffiros until those arrived, then put them back on come winter for use on the trainer. 

 

*I hope your bike isn't a late-90s job with super-tight brake clearances that barely admit 700x23.

post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

>I hope your bike isn't a late-90s job

No, it's a mid 2000's Trek "job". 

hey guys.  thanks for all your help.  see you on the road!
 

post #19 of 19

You should be fine.  My Trek 1.9 takes the 700x25mm Gatorskin Hardshells without a problem.  Yes slower and harsher than the Vittoria Diamante Pros (700x 23) I  was running a while back, but in the end it is much shower having to stop and fix punctures and going to 25mmm from 23mmm takes away some of the harhness as well as providing a little extra rubber for a more glued to the road feeling.

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