The front tire (a Primo Comet blackwall) on Mary’s Tour Easy was flat when we rolled out of the garage a few days ago. While a flat isn’t pleasant at any time, it’s much nicer to find one at home, before the ride, rather than out on the road!
I figured the tire ate something sharp that managed to work its way through the tire liner and into the tube; that’s rare, but it sometimes happens. These two pix of the tread show why we use tire liners: sidewall-to-sidewall nicks, cuts, gouges, and gashes, despite the fact that the herringbone tread has plenty of life left in it. Click the pix to enlarge, if you dare…
And another section; it’s like this all the way around the tire. I think this one is the better part of a year old, so it has maybe 2000 miles on it. It handled 200+ miles along the Pine Creek Gorge rail-trail this past summer, which was sharp crushed gravel, but most of the cuts came from roadside debris on our ordinary utility rides around home.
As it turned out, the tire liner had prevented all those punctures from reaching the tube, while killing the tube all by itself. The sharp edge where the the two ends of the liner overlap had worried its way through the tube.
The tire liner wasn’t a genuine fluorescent green Slime strip, but some translucent brown thing. The difference: Slime liners are thinner and don’t have nearly this much abrasive power.
Alas, I didn’t have a Slime liner in my stash (remedied with the most recent bike parts order), so I put the brown liner back in with a few layers of genuine Scotch electrical tape to build the end up a bit. There’s really no good way to feather the end without making it into a ragged knife edge.
New tire and tube, of course. I’m not that crazy!
With any luck, the liner and tape will behave for another few years, until the tire wears out, and then I’ll replace everything. Other than this event, flats aren’t a big part of our riding experience.