& Customizing Ur Ride
Bicycle Commuting & Customizing Ur RideTires & Tubes
Choosing an Inner Tube Valve stem type
Choosing a Slick type Tire for the Rear Wheel
On a Decimal 26x1.5 front bicycle wheel rim it is possible to run bicycle tires and inner tubes sizes 26x1, 26x1.25, 26x1.3, 26x1.5 and perhaps greater, because of drag caused by increasing the width of the tire I stop at 26x1.5, as increased drag means decreased speed, ease of pedaling and enjoyment, and can mean longer more exhausting commuting times. For the rear tire I run a 1.5” wide tire because the weight distribution of my mountain bike frame geometry tends to load the rear wheel and I run a rear luggage carrier that is in constant use. At this time around 2009, it is difficult to find a 26" wheel size slick bicycle tire, with what use to be normal durable amount of rubber on the sidewalls. If buying slicks to put on the rear wheel of a MTB or ATB compare the thick side wall of a good thick wall knobby tire to the side wall of the slick and if the rubber is it is not relatively the same thickness it is not likely a good choice for a reliable rear wheel tire. Currently Innova Swiftors are the only tire that I know of personally, that appear to have durable normal sidewalls the 1.5” wide tire being reinforced more with thread cap side wall ribs, one to each side of the thread, which is not as pronounced if existing on at all on the 1.25” width Swiftor tire.
Back to reality, for wheel gear calcuations a 26"
rim measures about 22.5" from outermost outside edge of rim to outside edge of rim not 26", and a 26"x1.5" (Innova Swiftor)
slick tire with a worn flat crown measures about 24 3/8" (24.375" Dia) or about 24 7/16" dia or greater new. A
26"x1.5" tyre might perhaps measure as large as 24 1/2" dia NEW with no wear. The rear drive wheel of a bicycle is
considered the final drive gear of a geared bicycle and the diameter of the rear wheel and installed tire affects
the upper end of the bicycle and the highest gear or fastest pedalable speed attainable by the bicycle, this
too is effected by the overall weight of the rear wheel and tube and tire and resistance to pedaling and to rolling over the
pavement. The wheel gear is measured as the outer most diameter of the tire mounted on the driven wheel of the bicycle.
The wheel gear is the measure of the outer most diameter of the tire of the bicycle wheel connected to and driven
by the chain or drive shaft. A larger diameter wheel gear should have a faster higher potential upper end, and the
larger the wheel gear the less rpms, it spins less so it provides a smoother ride with less vibration and less wear on
the bearings and bearing races. The cons of a larger wheels such as a 700 or 27" wheel is that it is harder to maintian the
spokes and rims and keep the wheel rims true.
Running Slicks and Experiencing Flats & inner tube & tire side wall blow outs
1 to 3 flats a week while commuting, Particularly the rear wheel bottoming out and getting pinched between the bicycle wheel rim and the road, can be a sign that the tire sidewalls are not thick enough, this can be affirmed if the tire side walls rip open often, and are easily damaged by just running with the inner tube slightly under inflated, a tire like this might give 9 months of service at best, but is not worth the constant fear of sidewall failure, and the inner tube bubbling out thru the sidewall, and the ride becoming bumpy, risking a blow out, and the tire and tube might even be ruined the first day, if run under inflated over a bumpy surface. If a tire side wall is too thin it is more than likely the tire is only possibly good for a front tire unless the rider is very light. A Ritchy Tom Slick tire perfoms well as a front tire and are available in 26x1 and 26x1.3. The 26x1.3 performing better for general purpose ridding as it rolls over obstructions easier, if attending to tire pressure and topping up the air just about daily. Thin wall tires appear not to hold air in the inner tubes as well as thicker wall tires, and the inner tubes have to be pumped up more frequently for safe damage free running. When adding a heavy load to you bike check that the air pressure in the tires is substantial enough for the load, and add some air if necessary. A problem with changing temperatures and tires and tubes is that often the pressure in the tire will change and needs pumping up, particularly right after pumping up a freshly installed inner tube, after riding a few feet either the inner tube stretches or the air settles and the inner tube needs more air before ridding further to prevent damage to the tube and tire, although it seemed hard and full to capacity with air a moment ago. An air pressure test should be attended to before every ride, by pressing opposing fingers against the tire sidewall to feel the air pressure inside, if the sidewall air pressure is anything but almost hard firm than air pressure should be added to the tire.
It is possible to get better performance out of a thin wall tire by installing a Thorn Proof inner tube with about a 2.5 mm inner tube wall thickness, but this is a heavy durable tube and you are going to feel the weight of spinning it with your legs, and it will not coast far or fast. Thorn proof inner tubes work well for the rear tire if the bicycle frame geometry is such that a lot of loading is transmitted to the rear wheel. Heavy thorn proof inner tubes migrate in the direction of rotation and move between the wheel rim and the tire unless fixed by some sort of vale stem fixing means to the rim, that means either an externally threaded valve stem or improvising. A comical problem with the weight of the thorn proof inner tube is that after about one ride it moves between the rim and tire in the direction of rotation of the spinning wheel, so that with a regular Schrader valve the valve stem angles away from the direction of wheel rotation, so that after a while an air pump head can not be mounted on the valve stem to pump up the inner tube and the inner tube has to be removed and reinstalled only to migrate to a upon ridding to unserviceable position again. See picture below of angled valve stem where an air pump head can not get to the angled valve because of obstruction by a wheel spoke.
There is a DIY remedy to the problem. ¼”
nylon cable clamps can be used as clamp on collar with a 8-32 nut and bolt as the fastener and perhaps two washers, the lighter
the better, an aluminum binder screw and post can be used the post must be of the type with a thru hole female so the female
end can be threaded on from the back. A aluminum binder post is a 8-32 thread and is the lighter choice. Cable clamps ¼” 18 pieces per pack GB Gardner Bender PPC-1525 For hanging electrical wiring
available at Home Depot and perhaps other hardware and electrical supply stores, or on the Internet.
There is a DIY remedy to the problem. ¼” nylon cable clamps can be used as clamp on collar with a 8-32 nut and bolt as the fastener and perhaps two washers, the lighter the better, an aluminum binder screw and post can be used the post must be of the type with a thru hole female so the female end can be threaded on from the back. A aluminum binder post is a 8-32 thread and is the lighter choice. Cable clamps ¼” 18 pieces per pack GB Gardner Bender PPC-1525 For hanging electrical wiring available at Home Depot and perhaps other hardware and electrical supply stores, or on the Internet.
27 inch tire suggestions: Kenda KrossCyklo tire 27 x 1 3/8 (37-630)
A high performing tire good for most disciplines of ridding and most styles of 27 inch wheeled bicycles is the Kenda KrossCyklo tire which is a 27 x 1 3/8” (630 mm diameter ISO) 37-630 metric tire. It is a 70-PSI maximum inflation pressure mini knobby tire. Great urban, touring and trail durability and performance can be had riding the Kenda KrossCyklo tire. The mini knobby tread was sufficient to keep above a lot of the urban glass and road shoulder debris and suffer less flats from puncture and embedded glass. The tires are 37 mm or 1 3/8” (1.375”) wide a little wider than 1’or 1 1/8” or 1 ¼ so there is more shock absorption when falling into surprise potholes. The maximum tire pressure 70 psi is lower than a 100psi or 90-psi tire. I did not notice that changing to the 1 3/8” mini knobby tread caused more drag during riding, it may not have because the rubber may have been harder less gummy and the side walls more supportive so the tire retained more of its shape and had less pressed out foot print where contacting the ground. The tires have durable “normal “ thickness side walls and the wire bead is sufficiently covered, so that repairing flats does not usually expose the wire bead and ruin the tire as can happen with some more fragile tires, when care is not taken removing the tire from the rim. The rear tire wore out first as is usually the case. Visually it was easy to tell when to get a new tire by the depth of the knobby tread which I would wear flat and then rotate the front tire to the back and put a new tire on the front, this was about every year with a huge amount of ridding. If a tire is starting to give a lot of flats it can be an indicator that the tread has worn thin, with a knobby the depth of the tread is measurable and it is easier to tell the condition of the tire by just looking at it. One new tire a year was a good investment. The only thing I did not like was the tan sidewalls, as black walls are my preference because it does not show the dirt. At the time I think they where called K-nobby or K-nobbys but that may have been the nickname used at that particular bike shop. I would still be ridding 27 wheel frames if I had a collection of safe frames. My entire 27” bicycle frames had C shaped rear dropouts and no inverted U shaped rear dropouts, and with pedaling force my rear wheels would separate from the bicycle frame in traffic. At that time I would go thru one or two 27” rear wheels a year because they would tend to be irreparably sprung untrue by pothole collisions at night riding thru the shallow edge of a puddle, with a surprise submerged pothole. Pinch flats or Snake bit flats are often caused by driving a tire into and against the far edges of pot holes where the two sides of the rim catch the walls of a smushed inner tube between the edges of the rim and the edge of the pavement and cause two parallel fang like perforations of the inner tube and sometimes even the walls of the tire. Avoid riding thru all surface water if possible. Florida Pot holes are more frequently at the edge of pavement vs in pavement as in the north and it is easier to fall off the edge of the pavement and suffer puncture or abrasion of the sidewalls on roads with little or no shoulder particularly in the dark or shadows, and that can surely flatten a tire. It is harder for me to service a 27” rear wheel that has longer spokes than a 26” rear wheel with shorter spokes and wider rim when the rear wheel goes out of true. My 26” wheels appear to be more durable than the longer spoked 27” wheels. A 26” wheel has to spin faster than a 27” wheel to attain the same speed and thus the ride might not be as smooth. 26” wheels appear to be significantly stronger and more successfully self-serviceable and less problematic than 27” wheels. 26” wheels stay true longer, are easy to work on and true can last until the side walls are totally damaged from being too thin from rim brake frictional wear, When the rims get worn thin on the sides from brake pad wear, the rims are then easy to destroy, and hitting an obstruction such as a small rock will usually bend the sides of a worn alloy rim beyond repair and the entire wheel will have to be replaced. Note a Kenda Cross Knobby Tire 26 x 1-3/8 Wire Bead GW will not fit on a 26” mountain bike wheel and a 26x1 3/8 inner tube or Kenda Cross Knobby Tire 26 x 1-3/8 Wire Bead GW thorn proof inner tube will not fit on a 26” mountain bike wheel as 26x1 3/8 is and ISO 590mm dia and a 26” mountain bike wheel is a ISO 559 mm dia. The Kenda Cross Plus Knobby Tire is also sold in size 700 x 38c, ISO Diameter: 622 with tan or black side wall for road bikes and there are other companies that make cyclocross tires.
Bicycle Tire Liner / Tube Protector Road Test (what goes wump, wump wump?)
On several occasions I have tried bicycle inner Tube Protectors called Bicycle Tire Liners which are a thick rubber strip that goes inside the tire behind the thread, between the tire tread and the inner tube. When ever I tried tire liners the point at which the two terminal ends of the rim strip met end to end caused my tires to run as if they where out of balance or out of true or had a badly seated tire or inner tube or the wheel had a flat spot or the tire and inner tube a bubble, and the ride was very bumpy and uncomfortable, so I always had to remove the tire liners and dispose of them. I carry tape for emergencies for bandages for human injuries or for patching holes in tires etc, and I have used tape sometimes for tire liners with better results and a smooth ride but there are iffy problems with tape application and the tape staying in place and wasting time and tape trying to install it and it is far easier all round to just buy a good inner tube and good durable tire and that if you feel that you have to use a tire liner it is a good indication that you should look for other equipment, such as a thorn proof inner tube or preferably a better tire and inner tube.
preride shake down
what you ought to do before throwing you leg up over the saddle
Check for bugs around where you are going to unlock or lock your bike particularly fire ants or hazards, fire ants infest telephone poles and trees throughout the south and will not fail to let you know it.
Press your thumb into the sidewall of both tires to feel the tire pressure
if the sidewall is softish pump up the inner tubes, if you press on the tread for a test it is not as good a reading.
Visually scan both sides of the side walls of the both tires for tears, bubbles and worn areas.
Spread the fingers of your hands and pull on the spokes of both sides of both wheels to feel the spoke tension
To find loose or broken spokes, Sheared off or damaged spoke heads around the axle flanges
Visually and mechanically check the quick release wheel latches of the front and rear wheel, to see that they are latched securely and not unlatched or loose.
Visually and mechanically check
For latched or unlatched brake cables
Grip the top of the tire and Shake the wheel to check for loose wheel bearings
Grab either crank arm and wiggle to check for Loose bottom bracket (crank bearings) or crank arms
Grab either pedal and shake to check for Loose pedal bearings
Visually check for hanging things like bungi hooks, straps clothing etc that can be come drawn into the spokes and wrap up in
Occasionally check the derailleur cage and cog wheels inside for tightness and wear conditions, etc.
Suggesting A tire http://www.motoemporium.com/firstgear/raingear/sierra.html