Saturday, August 22

ABC Off!

Armadillo Still Mounted on Frankenbike's Rear Wheel. Sidewall Was SAD, but Tread Separation was the End of the Tire
I’ve been an ABC Quick Check Failure for many years. It isn’t that I don’t DO ABC Quick Checks, but rather that I typically make a mental note to “fix that later” as long as I decide it will not keep me from completing my immediate trip. Sometimes, that approach proves less than satisfactory. Sometimes, it merely allows one to combine multiple fixes into one session. I’m fortunate enough that this time, I got to do the latter.

This all started back in late spring. My rear tire on Frankenbike was flat one morning. Adopting my usual approach, I pumped up the tire and it held air just fine for my morning journey. The next morning it was flat once again. I pumped it up again and this time it stayed inflated for an entire week. After about four episodes, I decided that my wife’s bike needed exercise (she rarely rides it) and I’ve been using it for the entire summer. After some experience with it, I’ll make a future post about my summer with “modern” bike technology. Needless to say, while I was going through these gyrations I was making mental notes about truing my front wheel and adjusting the brakes, not to mention cleaning and lubing the chain. I also picked up a new tire; a low-cost Kenda.

This all came to a head this week when my three daughters came to visit. Suddenly, Frankenbike was needed for transport once again. I pumped up the tire, but unlike past episodes, this time, the tire went flat within a couple of houses and the kids were not really enthused about riding “Madeline.” Apparently, fixies are not everyone’s cup of tea.

To make a long story short, the family wanted to motor in to the big city (Aberdeen and Hoquiam) to go shopping. My request included four spokes and some rim tape. I already had bike chain lube handy. I provided the old, broken spoke so they could be sure to get the proper length. In due time, I had the parts, including an extra roll of rim tape (for reasons unknown). I set to work and discovered just how pleasant truing an old rim can be when you have a bike stand, a comfortable chair to work with, and you are not in any rush.

Now there ARE a few extra items that don’t entirely fit within the narrative. They include:
  • This is my second Armadillo tire that failed by separation of the tread from the casing. I am now “Armadillo-free” in Ocean Shores.
  • I discovered that rim strips, such as the Origin 8 I have onBuddy, are much less universal than rim tape such as the Velox I used in this repair. The Origin 8 does not come in a 27-inch size and I don’t know if the 700c strip would fit. I’m guessing it’d work fine since the rims are not that different in size, but when the “LBS” bike shop is 30 miles away, I voted for rim tape that’ll fit ANYTHING.
  • I used an ultrasonic parts cleaner to clean the chain. It worked OK, but I was wishing I had either my Park Chain Cleaning tool, or my trusty can of carburetor cleaner.
  • Shiny new spokes really make their 30-year old ancestors look LAME
  • I'm not sure if this is typical, but my new Kenda was MUCH easier to fit to the rim than any Specialized, Vittoria, or Continental I have recent experience with. No "must use hook bead rim" nonsense, either. It also seems that 28c wide Kendas are wider than 28c Armadillos.
  • While I was fixing stuff, I fixed my second floor pump as well (it had a failed pressure head) using the head from my lousy third floor pump. My favorite floor pump, shown here, is still in Texas.
  • Aberdeen, besides being the hometown of Kurt Cobain of "Nirvana" fame, was also the home of America's most prolific serial murderer; Billy Gohl. While there are no records of Billy's first six years of operation, 41 bodies were recovered in his last three years in Aberdeen.

Armadillo Tire as Removed and Ready for Trash. Note the Separation Between the Tread and the Still-Intact Casing
I'm Not Sure WHAT that White Spot is, but it was on the Inside of the Tread When the Tire was Removed


GreenComotion said...

Time to ditch Michelin and go the Schwalbe route yet? :)
Have a Beautiful Day!
Peace :)

cafiend said...

I've also seen high quality tires separate at the bead from age and weathering. We're talking Continentals and other name brands. Your photo shows the bead tape starting to release. This was dramatically overshadowed by the tread separation.

Not all tires of any advertised width are created equal. Sometimes they're taller more than wider or vice versa, or just plain come up skimpy.

Khal said...

How old was that tire, by the way? Dry rot or casing just defective?

Steve A said...

The tire is about four years, but the bike has been kept inside except when being ridden. Armadillo sidewalls all seem to deteriorate quickly compared to other tires.

Post a Comment

No Need for Non-Robot proof here!