I don’t intend to devolve into a chasm self-pity but that seem to be the trend lately. Instead of bucking the trend, I might as well go with the flow. With that in mind, I’ll remind the reader that yesterday my road bike resorted to auto-cannibalism and ate its own rear derailleur, taking the hanger as a dessert.

While I was quite put out by that whole fiasco, by the evening I had managed to gain some perspective. Since Le Plastique was out of commission, I set out to finally get the Redline into wet weather commuter mode. I got out the clamps and wrestled the Schwalbe Marathon Plus 28mm tires onto the rather narrow Rolf Vector Comp rims. The rear tire went on with some sweat and very minor swearing.

With the lessons learned from the rear tire, I managed to wrestle the front on in record time — perhaps five minutes. Now time to pump it up. Let’s try 90 psi. Okay. Pull off the pump head and psssssssssss. You guessed it, the valve stem came off with the pump head. Vicious cursing ensued.

Okay, regroup. I’m not done. The tire comes off rather easily, I get another tube, and get the whole thing back together with some more sweat and a few clamps. Pump it all up and gingerly remove the pump head from the valve stem … so far so good.

Now to put the bike up on the repair stand. Rear wheel goes on and spins fine. What’s this? The bottom bracket feels like got glue in it, not grease. Still, it will work for a few days until I can replace it. But where’s the right side pedal? Oh yeah, I scavenged it for the Mercxk after its pedal body separated from the spindle before my stroke race. That’s no biggie either.

Now for the front wheel. What’s this? Low pressure? You have got to be kidding me. Slow leak, I guess. Must have pinched it while mounting the tire. Now I’m done. Won’t be riding for a couple more days.

Then I went in and tried to print some invitations for my daughter’s birthday party and found that MS Word had somehow uninstalled itself and wanted the product key. I had no idea where that product key was. However, my internet peeps came through and suggested OpenOffice. Twenty minutes later, I had that installed and another thirty minutes and a bunch more cursing, I had the original Word file massaged into an acceptable format to print using OpenOffice.

Then I went to bed.

At least the commute to work (in my car) wasn’t too bad.

3 Responses to “Stiff tires”

  1. brian johnson says:

    Sounds like you need Kool-Stop’s tire bead jack.

    The old Campy Omega Strada rims on my old (and only) road bike HATE any sort of tire and refuse to play well. The Campy rims seem to have a special sort of hatred for Continental tires.

    I’ve broken numerous tire levers– even Quick Sticks! — and sprained thumbs trying to mount tires to these rims. I would frequently pinch flat the tube with a tire lever. Fixing a flat in my shop is seriously a 15 minute job. On the road? I sit down and take my helmet off… I ain’t going anywhere soon.

    The tire bead jack is a burly tool that give no quarter to the wretched Campy rims. KA-POW! That tire is mounted.



  2. Brooke says:

    It’s not that they are hard to get over the rim. It’s that they are practically impossible to get the bead to stay hooked on the rim. Getting the second side started is the tricky bit. As long as I use a couple of wood clamps, I can get them on in short order now. I just hope that I never have to change a flat. That’s what they are for anyway.

  3. gewilli says:

    word on those marathon plus tires… g-damn they are hard to put on, and i’ve been doing the impossible clincher install for years… think yhose old Trek Single track rims hard to put on…

    esp when you put them on a set of open pro rims only to find that they are taller than the plain marathons and that bike can’t use em and you have to switch them all back and then try to get them on a CPX21 rim. At least they seem more or less bullet proof… just wish they wore as well as conti rubber does/did…

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