A Day Late For Pancakes

Well, it had to happen sooner or later.

Today was my first puncture… ever, as far as I am aware. Certainly since buying the road bike, and honestly, I never think I got a puncture as a kid. Probably because I never inflated my tyres.

And I think inflating my tyres might have been the driver behind today’s pin-prick pop. Well, either that or going down crappo gravel dirt tracks.

Speaking of the crappo gravel track, I pulled over on the road there to take a nice snap. However, as you may recall, I recently broke my phone (well, my replacement, replacement phone), and I have ruined the camera. Here we go:

Nice and blurry because the lens is full of water. I mean, good times.

In fact, every time I’ve been down this road, something bad has usually happened. At least, when coming from North > South. When heading south > north, it’s always been fine.

Well, anyway, shortly after, as I was meandering down this partially flooded, oil slickened, gravel and mud death trap of a track, I heard a snap. A bit like when you ride over a stone and it pings away. I think that’s when it happened.

Fortunately it didn’t deflate right away, not a big bang. It was a tiny pin sized hole – as I found out much, much later.

I managed to cycle on quite a way before I realised that I had a puncture. There have been times before when I thought I’d punctured, only to stop and press the tyre and realise it’s fine.

Today was a different story.

Even through my sunglasses I could see the tyre looked flatter, and fatter than usual.

As I stopped to check it, it was definitely squishy.

And as I’d stopped, that seemed to make it worse. There was no way I could cycle home on that.

Pretty sure I shouldn’t be able to “pinch” my tyre like that.

Anyway, I’d not taken my saddle bag today. Chris, you idiot, I imagine you’re saying, why would you leave that most important piece of kit behind?

Well, truth is, even if I had had it, there’s no way I could have done a road side repair.

It took me a full hour, with the help of YouTube, to figure out how to change the inner tube. I am actually pretty chuffed I managed it. I had visions of me pinching the tube and popping the replacement, but so far, it seems to be holding its shape. I guess if it’s flat over night, I’ll know I failed.

I have managed to repair the other tube. I used a Specialized Flat Boy sticker thing, and I’ve popped it (no pun intended) back in my saddle bag as a spare. I’ve ordered a replacement for the used inner tube, so I’ll have a new one, and one that’s repaired but possibly good enough if I end up with two punctures and am far from home.

As it was, I rang the Mrs, who dutifully came with a car full of kids to collect my sorry arse and drive me home. So I didn’t complete my full circuit. Bit frustrated about that.

Anyway, there we are. If only it had popped yesterday, it would have made the perfect pancake related blog post.

8 thoughts on “A Day Late For Pancakes”

    • I guess I’ve been lucky. Having to wait till 28th Feb for replacement tyres coming from Amazon (via Barcelona, apparently). Still, they were much cheaper than I found anywhere else – gone for Continental GP5000, hope they fit. Be my luck that they don’t.

      It turned out I hadn’t removed the glass wedged in the gash in the rubber. I took a photo and sent to a friend who knows all about cycling and they said it looks like there’s still glass in there. This was after I’d put in the new tube and inflated.

      Long story short, I’d run my hands around the rubber inside and out, but missed that it was wedged in between the crack. Glad I didn’t ride on it. That would have been an epic fail. Anyway, I removed it, but that’s why I’ve gone and bought new tyres – figured it wasn’t worth the risk.

      Roubaix is going to have to wait. I’m thinking of getting a Specialized Rock Hopper – the basic model, and some mountain bike kit – so I can go riding in the filth / when it’s raining & windy, but go off road where it’s hopefully a little less exposed (e.g. down the woods).

      • The Conti’s are a bugger to get in and off the rim, I bought a set of 4 seasons once and man, almost killed my thumbs getting them on. I stick to Schwalbe Pro Ones for the Tarmac these days. But there are some YouTube videos to help.

        Is Amazon cheap where you are? I usually get my tyres from Merlin. Even paying $35NZD for shipping it’s still usually close to half the price I’d pay locally. Joy’s of living in a remote island I guess lol.

        Rockhopper is a good idea, although I’d go with the Chisel Comp if the budget allows. 1×12 speed with Deore/SLX and Rockshox Judy fork. Otherwise try and go Rockhopper Elite or above, the base Rockhopper isn’t 1 by and crap front shock, I had a mate with one and it weighed a ton and shifted like crap, he moved it on after about a year.

        • There’s still plenty of time to cancel the Continentals – not due till Sunday, and the weather outside right now is teasingly pleasant, so I’m keen to get rolling.

          I had a look at the Schwalbe Pro Ones, though I am confused by the choice. Please could you let me know the exact ones you use? Sorry for being such a newbie.

          Here’s what I see on Amazon, for example:

          Amazon is the first place I look for everything. Just had to buy a new set of computer parts today as my desktop PC decided to die overnight. It’s definitely comparable to dedicated PC component sellers, and for cycling purchases, when the brands are available, it is usually competitive or cheaper. It doesn’t carry a lot of the cycling specific brands for jerseys / clothing though. I’ve also used Mantle, who I think are in the Netherlands, and Evans, and Sigma Sports. The most expensive has been Sigma Sports, but they have good service.

          I guess we do also live on a remote island – it wasn’t remote until 52% of the people here decided to leave the EU. Now I can’t get oranges from the super market, and the price of everything in general is heading upwards. It’s good times.

          Cheers for the tips on the mountain bike front. My biggest concern at the moment is where I would store it. My Allez lives inside on the turbo. Well looked after, my friendly bike. But a second bike couldn’t live in the house, which would mean it needs to live in the shed. And our shed is junk, so it would probably rust. I’m sure there are solutions, but it’s all expense.

  1. I usually go for the Pro One TLE, TLE means Tube Less Easy, but then I run tubeless on my bikes. Schwalbe One is another good option, probably slightly cheaper than the Pro Ones but also slightly heavier but also more hard wearing (apparently) from what I’ve heard, I’d stay away from the Pro One TT as owners complain of frequent punctures. Also go for the 25c, 28c would just fit on the Allez but you’d end up with rubbing under the top of the front fork and inside of the chain stays (happened to me running 28c on my Tarmac and to a mates Allez).

    Ah yes, the age old question of where to store the bikes, you could get a bike cover to go over it in the shed. I bought one from AliExpress for bugger all to use with my MTB before I sold it, did the trick for me.

    • Tube Less Easy. I like it. No doubt it would be anything but easy for me. I wouldn’t even know where to begin with tubeless. GCN, I suppose.

      I have to say, all the choices is an absolute minefield for a newb. I think I should have gone in the shop and asked, rather than gone straight online. Or at least rang up a place and spoke to someone first.

      I’ve gone with “Continental Unisex – Adult Grand Prix 5000 Bicycle Tire, Black, 28 “| 700 x 25C” – so that says 25c, which sounds inline with what you’re saying, but then also includes 28, which is making me question everything about my life. Perhaps what we need is a website where I can plug in my exact bike and it tells me what would work. Or maybe most people aren’t as clueless as me, or they see sense and go in a shop.

      Tbh I think if I owned a Tarmac, it would have to live in a display cabinet. Them things are pricey.

      I hadn’t considered AliExpress. Never even been on that site, but have heard about it. I thought it was all knock offs and stuff like wish.com ? I saw a big thread about it once, somewhere (think it was Trace Velo on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYuKCZ35_lrDmFj2gNuAwZw) where the Chinese factories make e.g. a frame for some big brand, and then they take the exact design and sell it for 1/8th of the price without the brand name. Chinese carbon, or something. Given I can’t even figure out how to order a replacement tyre, I’m some way off a custom build road bike.

      • You could checkout ProBikeKit.co.uk I get emails from them and they have some sweet deals on tyres at the moment.

        AliExpress is good for some stuff, I would never buy a carbon frame or wheels from them. I have bought some Shimano bits from them and they were legit. Also good for general items. The Wahoo HRM strap you bought from Amazon likely came from AliExpress but with a reseller added their own markup. I bought 3 for like $15NZD inc shipping. Only problem is in covid era the shipping takes ages (1-2 months) they also have a good disputes process, I’ve had a couple of packages never arrive and got my money back no worries.

        • Awesome, cheers for the link. Not heard of them before.

          Regards the Wahoo Tickr / strap, I sent the strap back. That was from Amazon. It didn’t work. I replaced the entire unit, got a Wahoo Tickr 2. It’s frequently intermittent, too. Really disappointed with them tbh. Without being able to go to a shop and try on a watch, buying the Garmin watch without seeing it was a non starter for me. The only other option seems to be the Polar strap – way more pricey, but at this stage I’m kinda done with the Wahoo stuff. Maybe I’ve been unlucky.

          I suspect all my PC kit is coming on a slow boat from China tbh :/ Amazon sell a bunch of it – 50p for the item, and £2.49 for postage. Comes in 1-2 months as you say. Probably drop shipped. I’m being taken for an absolute ride.


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