Commuting: The bike says no

A sight seen too often lately
A sight seen too often lately

I’ll have to say, the beginning with the Ultimate Commuter hasn’t actually been very ultimate, to say the least. After only four days of riding I got my first flat, and I shrugged it off as a freak accident and luckily I had my brother to bail me out that time as I was quite a long way from home that time.

Two days later I was riding back home form my local bike shop, where I was talking about the weird flat I’d suffered – got about a kilometer away from the LBS and I felt the flaccid front wheel doing its best to bring my mood down. Luckily this was only three kilometers from home, so I walked, cleats grinding on the asphalt, in the mild rain to home to change another tube. I started to get the feeling this wouldn’t be the last time.

All of the punctures were on the inside of the tube and there was nothing in the tyre, so it has to be something to do with the rims and the rim tape. So, Wednesday, when I got my next flat 4 kilometers from home going to work I bought new rim tape for my front wheel, which always had been the sufferer of these mishaps. When I stripped the previous rim tape away, there was some kind of metal powder or small shards in the tape, so maybe those could be the cause of all evil.

Thursday I was feeling good because of the rim tape and hoping all would be well, and it was for 17 kilometers before I hear a pop and hiss from the rear and the dread crawled up my spine to realize I’m up for mechanic duty yet again.

Now I’ve got new rim tape in both wheels, which I will install after work Thursday, here’s hoping that’s been the issue.

At least I’ve learned to change tyres very quickly.

Also, fun fact, no one stopped to help. Maybe I look to professional.

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By Markus Sandelin

Markus is a bike commuter gadget freak who is learning the ropes of the bike world, you can find him all around the web - but you can start with his twitter at @banton.