Tag Archives: tyre

Time for Some Maintenance?

By the way, this blog is going to run for a few issues – you’ve been warned!
I have just worn my rear tyre down to the canvas (thought the ride was a bit bumpy!), so I began to think it was time to take all this maintenance a little more serious. So I reached for the bike catalogue I had in the house and perused what was available.
First of all, obviously, was the tyre. I came across one that seemed just the job. It fitted on almost any rim as well.

Fits almost any rim, exceptional merit - that'll do

Fits almost any rim, exceptional merit – that’ll do

Then I noticed the wheels and chain needed a bit of attention, found some tools that would be ideal.

Yes, a Special one.

Yes, a Special one.

Just the job, that's the tyres & chain sorted

Just the job, that’s the tyres & chain sorted

But after all this work my mits were mucky so a little something to clean me up.

Now, where's the nail file when I need it?

Now, where’s the nail file when I need it?

If only I’d looked a little further I could have got the whole caboodle in one though.

Now that's a set, shame it's not a Scottish one.

Now that’s a set, shame it’s not a Scottish one.

While I’m doing all this, I better start collecting some tools as well to help me in my tasks.

Great - handy spanners to fit everything on the bike.

Great – handy spanners to fit everything on the bike.

Oh dear, it doesn’t stop there, I’ll need some stuff for punctures, getting the tyre off and re-inflating it. Of course there’s something in the catalogue for me.

That'll do.

That’ll do.

And a most excellent pump

And a most excellent pump

And one of these for good measure

And one of these for good measure

Superior Tested Oil never goes astray

Superior Tested Oil never goes astray

The list goes on . . . .

The list goes on . . . .

and on . . . .

and on . . . .

and on . . . . .

and on . . . . .

And of course this!

And of course this!

Then I look at the date on the front of the catalogue and it all became clear.

I wonder if they are up to the 131st Edition now

I wonder if they are up to the 131st Edition now?

Ah well, looks like I’ve left it a wee bit late to order from this one. Maybe it’s time to upgrade the bike? Now where did I put that catalogue?


8th Time lucky?

After numerous repairs, sorting time again

After numerous repairs, sorting time again

Back home from South Africa. Fabulous roads, lots of sun (winter but 25 degrees C in the sun), but on a borrowed mountain bike.

Offroad could have been fun & I managed a couple of dirt roads. So what went wrong?

First of all, bits were hanging off & needed adjusting. Flat tyres and a bit sad altogether. So a quick go-over, trip to the garage to blow up the tyres (no pump available) & then head out on the road. Discovered only a few of the gears were working and the bike weighed a ton. More adjustments but to no avail, not worth spending too much time so I was just grateful to be out on two wheels.

Next ride the rear wheels skewed & hit the frame. So a quick walk back, re-adjust, tighten up & go, with the spanner in my pocket.

Another ride, 2 1/2 miles out and a strange bump, bump, bump from the rear tyre followed by an explosion. The workers on a nearby building site looked up in amazement (fear?). The rear tube had forced it’s way through the back tyre, which was pretty bad having been used for slides & skids, and had not lasted long.

Walked back, then next day off to the bike shop for a new tyre. Because of crazy thorns off-road a ‘tubeless’ solid tube was fitted. Looked like no tubes so no hassle.

After a couple of rides, after 10 miles and 1/2 a mile or so from the house. strange wobbly sensation from the back wheel & rubbing again. Dismounted & found the tyre had dismounted too. A guy walking passed tried to help me ease it on again but no luck, so another walk home.

Back to the bike shop. Discovered the wire had ripped right out of the bead of the tyre. Neither I nor the shop had seen it before (or so they told me). New tyre was then fitted so it should be hassle free.

Out again next day, just got 1/2 mile from home. The new tyre started coming off the rim again. Walked back and gave up as I was coming back home in a couple of days.

Then, back home to Scotland – hurrah a decent bike, no hassles at last. Boy, was I wrong!!!!

First ride out, great going way better than expected, except one of the farmers had put a water hose across the road, with a metal cover on top. The sun was out & I didn’t see it till the last moment. At over 30 mph, managed to jump the front wheel over but smacked it a bit with the rear.Waited for the hiss, but nothing so completed the ride.

Next day out with the B-Spokes (a group of mainly FOSSILS), so went through to the bike – flat. In double quick time whipped the inner tube out, chucked a new one in and pumped up the tyre. Noticed the rear gear cable was looking a bit frayed. But, no time to wait – sped off to meet the others.

Good ride, good coffee, good scones but 2 miles from home, guess what? Yes, the rear gear cable snapped so I waved the others on ahead and slowly made my way back.

So, the conclusion is – not much really, except to hope for a better few weeks and a wee reminder that checking the bike is a good thing? Maybe all bad things may come to an end?

Give me my bike back

Near Platrand, South Africa

Near Platrand, South Africa

I want my bike back

Maybe South Africa doesn’t want me to cycle? And I want my bike back?

Staying with my step granddaughter here, gorgeous weather mostly, but . . . .

The only bike is an old heavy mountain bike. Only three gears working on the back cassette and they keep slipping. Three on the front, but squealing and complaining, plus desperately hard to change up. Is it worth trying to adjust, probably not as just an hour on the bike is enough anyway and I could make it worse

On the first ride out no pump to be found to blow up the tyre so a visit to the local garage. On the second ride out I discovered the kids had been practising skid stops so the tyre was well worn in places. About 2 miles from the house the tyre suddenly started bumping and then exploded, causing the guys at the building site next to me to gaze in astonishment. Especially as I’m sure a fossil like me in Lycra is a rare sight here. The cause, a big rip in the tyre. So off to the bike shop & had a tubeless tyre fitted.

Next ride out OK except I stopped for a pee on a dirt road up into the hills and I managed to puncture myself on a vicious thorn tree.

Next less than a mile from the end of a ride the new tyre suddenly slipped off the rim, luckily I was going slow at the time. There was no wire bead on it!!! Ah well.

So what conclusions? The cycling here is interesting! Folk seem friendly with lots of waves and cheery helloes. The way of life scenery is so different with the Drakensberg mountains in the background behind the savannah. The motorists are mainly very accommodating, and the roads excellent. Makes me yearn for my Specialized road bike instead of trundling along at 10 mph.

But I’m still so grateful I’ve been able to get out! The world seems so different on a bicycle.