I know I’m tempting fate and it will probably annoy the Puncture Fairy, but I’m going to discuss…shhhh…Punctures. Do you think she heard?
As you all may (or may not) remember I’ve had my share. The worst occasion was a whole 7, yes seven punctures on one MTB ride along the Clent Hills. But I’ve had them regularly on my MTB commuter along the roads and canal towpaths over time.
I can deal with punctures no problem, on a MTB ride or a road cycle on my Giant Defy 2 they are just part of cycling’s rich tapestry, something to become proficient at repairing, taking the time out to relax while you fix them and generally enjoy the ambience of being outside.
It’s on a commute that you can do without them. That’s when they become a pain and in my experience they happen in the dark, wind and rain. Add on the time factor for added pressure and well, you can just hear the PF laughing her little head off!
Obviously Sod’s Law go hand in hand with the Puncture Fairy. That is if you’re not prepped it will definately happen, or if you are prepped it will happen at the worst time.
I am always prepped. It’s my OCD I think! Or my military trained anal attention to detail. Whatever, I never go on a bike ride without the proper kit.
My Puncture Fairy repellant kit consists of:
2 inner tubes
Puncture repair kit
3 steel tyre levers
Good quality pump
The above kit is a cure rather prevention.
Now here is where I’m really pushing my luck with her. Read this bit quietly and don’t tell anyone.
I can only go on my experiences but since this blog entry here I have not had any punctures on my commuter MTB. If you read that blog you’ll see why.
Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tyres I did a bit research back when I was plauged with punctures on my commute and decided that I’d chance those tyres. I’d read about Slime, and other preventative products but finally on the advice of my LBS Red Kite Cycles who run both Road and MTB racing teams that Schwalbe was the way forward.
They certainly work as advertised as I have been MTB commuter puncture free since July 5th 2010. That is both off road, towpath and on the road.
Here’s the downer though. They come at a cost in ride quality. I wouldn’t fit them to my road bike or my full suspension MTB. They are very heavy and you do notice them, where other tyres are just fit and forget.
So, in conclusion, if you want puncture free commutes where repairing the tyre and tube is just too inconveniant, then they’re the way forward. But if ride quality and a svelte rolling feel is important to you then you’d better have a the right kit with you!
Thanks to Steve over at the There and back again Blog for the idea for this missive.