Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Cyclists and Punctures - Jun Shen

Racing is extreme condition has pushed the tyre manufacturers to keep improving a tyre’s puncture resistance, weight, aerodynamic, rolling resistance and so on. However, there is no tyre company that can guarantee cyclists a 100% puncture proof tyre. Generally tyres are divided into two types which are the clincher and the tubular. Both clinchers and tubulars have different method for fixing flat tyres. Let me share with you some of my experience training for multisports. I’ve had many punctures during training rides over so many years as a triathlete, I’d carry whole set of puncture fixing kit with me every time I ride on the road. A spare tube, hand pump and lever all will be secured under my saddle.  One fine day I went cycling with my team mates, some brought their tube and some don’t. We had 3 tubes in a group of 9 cyclists, never did I expect all of our tubes would be used. When the 4th puncture occurred, we had nothing to fix the flat. I was lucky to find a grocery shop in “no man’s land” at Bangi area, bought super glue and picked up a piece of plastic and trying to patch it. I managed to patch it after 5 attempts, it was really messy with the glue hardened on my fingers. How I wished I had a patch kit with me at that time!
Tube vs Patch Kit (Writer's own investment)
Moral of the story, during training rides, no one could forecast how many punctures you’ll be getting. Tips for the blog readers, always carry a patch kit. I’ll always try to patch the tube unless the puncture occus at the valve area because I might get another puncture before I got home. The cost of an inner tube ranges from RM15 to the high end RM60 whereas a patch kit costs less than RM15, normally consists of at least 6 adhesive patches,  a buffer and intructions sheet depending on the brand. The glueless patches are the easiest option compared to those with patches need to be glued. 6 adhesive patches will definitely be your lifesaver in case of multiple puncture in training rides.  Everything is wrapped up nicely in a mini plastic envelope. In addition, patching tube is more economical than discarding the whole tube. However, once you got home, remember to replace the tube with a new one as some of the patches would degrade over time.

Shared by Team2ndSkin Athlete,

Chan Jun Shen

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