My Progress

Monday, April 27, 2015

This short ride brought to you by Challenge latex tubes!

So I did some tinkering on my bike the other day as I wasn't riding due to getting a cortisone shot in my right elbow.

I'd previously discovered a nice site regarding rolling resistance and bike tires.  And in my never ending quest to go farther and faster while being fatter and lazier I'd made the decision last summer to move over to the Continental GP4000SII tires for their low rolling resistance.  I'd also decided to run latex tubes as that makes them even faster.

What I didn't count on though was no one in the area or at the big bike expo that is always Wichita Falls and Hotter than Hell carrying latex tubes.

Fast forward a couple of months and wandering around Lawrence KS for the Octoginta I discovered a shop selling off their latex tubes, I managed to snag two Vittoria's and one Challenge tube and went home with latex tubes to feed my need for speed.  And then they proceeded to sit in a drawer for the next several months as I promptly forgot about them.

Rediscovering them the other week, I finally put them in my bike.  God was looking out for me however as I put a Vittoria in the front wheel and the Challenge tube in my rear wheel.

Tires pumped up, bike prepped, several days off the bike, light wind and I was ready to fly.

Got out of the subdivision, hit the main road, lit up the big ring and brought the CA2.0 up to cruising speed of 25 or so and then KABOOM!  The Challenge latex tube chose that moment to depart from this world.  And in the process chose to vent it's frustration by attacking my drivetrain.

At 25+ mph coming to a stop was less than entertaining.  Not having a tube in the equation meant that I was running on a thin sidewall of my nice Conti GP4KSII and my rim.  This fact made me a little less than happy.

It took some time with a dremel tool and my Spyderco diamond sharpening stones to work out all the burrs and jagged bits on my rim.  The tire might not be a total loss as I can boot it and let my wife use it for an indoor trainer tire as she recovers from rotator cuff surgery, (she's really thrilled!).

So one cheap Challenge latex tube cost me a new Continental Grand Prix SII, (on sale at Performance for $OUCH, a couple of lightweight butyl tubes, (screw latex), and courtesy of Ebay, a new to me Hed Ardennes SL rear wheel for really cheap, (for what it is).