Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Adventure in Tube Changing

I have had a slow leak in my front tire for a month now.  If I pump it up right before a ride, it seems to hold.  But the second I take my eyes off my bike, the leak... leaks.  If I leave it over night, my front tire will lose pressure down to about 20PSI.  Left for a full day, it'll be entirely flat.  Even by the time I finish a ride and get my bike off my rack at home, I'd notice a softening.

Since that could be a problem, I decided to change my tube so I wouldn't have to worry about that on race day.

Now, I've been having tire adventures all summer.  I started off running my tires at the same pressure I'd run my last bike at- 90PSI.  And it was ok.  But then I talked to other people with cool bikes, and a few people thought that was ridiculously low.  I was actually setting myself up for pinch flats!  So I increased it so now I've been running at 105PSI, and that seems to be good.  I may go with 100PSI for the race because I want to be sure I'm stable on those descents, but I'll take advice on that one.

My rims are also the first set of really good wheels I've ever had.  I've always ridden on stock wheels before, because a priest just can't afford a $600 and up wheelset... at least, not as long as she is paying off student loans and a car.  I mean, I buy bike stuff by saving up my "allowance" every week, like a little kid.  But when I bought this bike, the fabulous owner at LifeCycle threw in this gorgeous set of Airgo wheels.

Ok, ok, I understand they are just "ordinary" regular high-end fabulous wheels, but they are my first set of regular high-end fabulous wheels.   It's not like they were made of carbon fiber and Bumbleflex.  Still, I really notice the difference between my old stock wheels and these.  Though I'm considering buying the stock wheelset as well to have "heavy" wheels to ride on the trainer all winter.

But because they are my first set of nice wheels, I am petrified of doing something terrible to them.  Part of me was convinced that if I took a tire lever to them, I'd knock them out of true.

Biker friends promised me I couldn't do anything bad to my wheel.  Go for it!

So this weekend, I screwed up my courage and took a tire lever to my wheels.  The tire popped off pretty easily! I still need to practice, but it was doable.

The tube, on the other hand...

First, I discovered a huge air blob in my wheel.  Bike friends reassured me this was fine.  Then my valve was too short.  So I had to go visit the guys at LifeCycle.  They are so awesome.  Finally, I had the right tube in hand!

I put it in, pumped it, and today it is still holding pressure, 24 hours later!  Now to ride it!


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