Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Slow leaks

I can't think of any aspect of bike maintenance that drives me farther up the wall than slow leaks in tubes. Especially with my Speedster. Why that bike in particular?
  • No quick release - The rear (internal gear) can't be and the front just isn't, and for commuting that's just fine (it buys me an extra 0.5 seconds) but for replacing tubes it's a pain
  • No work stand - The other bikes hang on a rack and I could probably get their (quick release) tires off on there, not the Schwinn because...
  • It weighs a lot - This is an old school steel tank, which I love, but the lean-against-the-wall style rack my other bikes are on wouldn't hold it
  • Full metal fenders with attached taillight - This makes it tough to just wheelie the bike up and over on the rear wheel, I get about 1/2 way and hit the fender
  • Odd tire size - When I had new wheels built I did the cool but not smart thing and kept the original S6 wheels, which makes getting new tires and tubes a pain (that will change soon)
  • Tires that don't sit easily - I don't know if it's S6 in general or just the tires I have, but they do not sit well on the rim so pinch flats are a constant source of worry
That's the beginning of the list, but you get the point.

For the last week I've been commuting on the Trucker because the Schwinn is flat in the back. I pulled it off this weekend, couldn't find a hole, put the tube back on and a few hours later (3 or 4) it was going flat again. In the end I will probably pull the tube and replace it, tagging it as leaking and fix it later (when I have access to my dad's fountain to find the leak). I think I'm also going to get new rim tape because the old stuff looks pretty shot, and some of the add-it-yourself anti-flat goop.

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