Tag Archive: Tyres

I woke this morning to note that it was blowing a gale and lashing it down… No cycling outside today I thought.  I did the school run and as we travelled down the A1 the skies looked like they had the potential to break out nice.  Half an hour later and whilst still blowing a gale the skies were blue and thankfully the rain had ceased.  My new Trek 1.5 is in the workshop at the moment getting the once over.  Last week 90 miles into its new life it started to make a dull thumping noise and not the type that comes from something simple like a chain rattling off the front derailleur.

So I reached for my mountain bike, an old faithful friend that I’ve always enjoyed.  It’s been a while and as I looked at it I remembered that with the last puncture I had put the front tyre on wrong with the directional arrow rotating in the wrong direction.  I’d suggest that that’s why the last time I was out on it there was more water hitting me from the tyres than the skies… Giving the high level of water on the road I decided that now was the time to amend the error.  What a struggle I had getting the tyre off.  It was 4 degrees and the cold tyre was just refusing to stretch off the rim.  Frustrated and in an unusual moment of genius I put the wheel on the radiator in the kitchen and in two minutes the tyre just popped off with the slightest encouragement from the tyre lever.


Eventually I got out complete with my new winter Lycra bib tights on, would they be too warm?  Well, we were about to find out.  Once out of the village and onto the open road the wind hit me relentlessly hard.  I started to question if this venture was wise but the mountain bike whilst slow was making comfortable work of it; I took the pressure off to be fast and told myself to relax. It was going well but after a while you really begin to notice just how slow a mountain bike is.  I was sitting at 10mph, now to be fair the wind had a lot to do with the lack of velocity but I couldn’t help but get frustrated.  If I was on my road bike I would be sitting at 15mph, a full 50% faster.


As I reached the brow of a hill having clocked up 12 miles and just about to head for home I could feel the joy within me well up.  I was out in very inhospitable conditions and winning.  I wasn’t tired or cold, this was fun and I was enjoying it.  The thought came to me that I had worked my way from hatred to love.  The initial hatred of the wind and the cold and the hatred in the early miles for cold muscles and reluctant lungs but as everything warmed up and the blood began to flow easily, love for the task arrived.  I could hear the question being asked was there other things in life that I needed to push from hatred to love with.  Dieting is the obvious one but are there others? Are there areas of life where I just need to push on through … food for thought.


Home was in sight and the wind had taken its toll on my legs, I was tired but feeling on a high. As I climbed the last hill before home I was glad of the triple on the mountain bike, the gearing really is nicely spaced out on the bike.  It’s a bike I think I’ll keep for some time to come.

Winters a coming…

Winter is approaching and the time to get your bike ready for it is here!  The first thing I’ve bought for my new bike is a new set of winter tyres.  Being a fan of Cycling Plus and bikeradar.com I’ve read a review or two on winter tyres and one that consistently got favourably mentioned was the Michelin Krylion Carbon.

Expensive to be fair but given were I live and the fact that the car gets regular punctures never mind anything else I thought it best to buy as bullet-proof as I can.  I mean who wants to be stranded 15 miles from home in the heavy rain and freezing wind??

As you can see in the photo they arrived in a box big enough to house a family of 4 courtesy of Chain Reaction. Whilst that made me snigger getting them on the bike didn’t, it was a right royal nightmare.  3 tubes later and a set of busted tyre levers the bike stood tall showing off her new hardware.  Would the tyres be as good as reported?

Yesterday I took the bike out for a quick 30 miles and I was amazed.  I went for 700 x 25’s, a bigger tyre than the factory fitted ones but in theory should be provide more grip and comfort and when it comes to winter I’ll take all the comfort and grip I can get.  I was expecting the bike to be a little less responsive as a result of slightly heavier and fatter tyres but I’m glad to report that I was wrong, way wrong. The bike is a lot more positive to power whilst providing a definite increase in comfort and confidence.  I’m certainly very happy with this purchase and have no hesitation in recommending them to you!

Just put them on with patience 😉

Normally I’m a stickler for ensuring that the directional arrows on tyres of my bikes are pointing in the right direction. Not that I know why other than if that’s what the manufacturer says so then that’s what I do. However I just noticed a tyre on my MTB is the wrong way round, I must have put it on in a panic one day when I used the bike for commuting and got a puncture. Does it make that much difference? Should I be bothered changing it?