Thursday, October 18, 2007

The curse of the commute

OK, so a couple of weeks ago I decide to ride to work. It's got a few hills in the way, nothing I couldnt go over at a nice easy rate. But, halfway to work that first time I break the chain. Roadside fix, get to work, no biggie. Going home, the thing threatens to bust again, so I stop, call the family, and they come rescue me from the roadside. At least the two guys who passed me as I sat under a nice tree asked if I needed anything.

So, yesterday, for an Australia-wide initiative originating in Victoria called 'Ride to Work Day', I do the same.

Pretty much halfway in, again, this...

I noticed the back was going a little squirmy, and look down to see a slowly deflating rear. Stop, climb off, break out the mini-pump. The second I put the pump head on and flicked the lever, the valve completely detaches itself from the tube.
So, quick change, fresh tube, pump it to 60PSI (about as good as I can get with the mini-pump and enough to get me riding), and off to work.
I was trying to figure out why this happened, as its never happened to me before. I'm thinking maybe I ran the ring too tight against the rim, and in using the floor pump to hit 110PSI its stressed the joint so much that riding has pushed the limits of the tube. That, plus a 90kg rider, and a few bumps on the way has seen the flex in the valve overcome the tube. Cause the valve was pretty tight against the rim it has had nowhere to go. Except for out.
Maybe if I'm doing this more often I should get some 28C wheels instead of 23C's.
Insert tagline here...


Big Mike said...

I think there's been a bad batch of tubes sneak past customs. From 40 punctures in the past 18 months about 7 or 8 were detached valve stems. I don't use the little nut on the stem so that's not it. I am 106kg though so maybe it is a weight thing. Sadly none of my bikes (except the $20 MTB I ride to uni) will fit anything beyond a 23c so I can't help with the experiment.

The Great White Hype said...

I hope its not a bad batch cause I've got these tubes in three other wheels...better take more than one spare tube for Sydney to the Gong ride in two weeks.

Fingers crossed that its a one off event.