Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Rolling with the punctures

I think I need to confess here that I can't change a bike tyre. On the few occasions that I have had a puncture, Mr Aggy has been around and changed it for me.

However, when I go out pedelecing, Mr Aggy is probably not going to be with me, so I need to be mindful of this possible problem.

I am a member of the RACV 'bike assist' that gives emergency assistance to bike users; but I've read on the forums that the car mechanics aren't particularly good with bikes. Also, they take ages to come. And what if I'm on a bike track - how will they find me?

The other worry is that the slick styling of the Gazelle bikes, (chain case, internal gears etc.) makes it difficult to take off a tyre and fix a puncture in the usual fashion. Fortunately  there are a some discussions on the internet that show you what to do. These seem good:

The solution seems to be simple - don't remove the tyre! Just pry off the tyre and pull out the tube. Look for the puncture and fix it. Sounds easy doesn't it? However, I can see a few issues here. I've never levered off a tyre and the procedure for finding and repairing the puncture seems quite tricky. Also, having fixed the hole in the tyre, how on earth do you put it all back together again?

So, I'm still a bit worried about punctures. The Gazelle comes with Schwalbe City Lite tyres which I gather are quite puncture resistant. But quite puncture resistant ... Hmmm, I think I need better than that...

After a discussion with the very helpful Sean at MySpokes (where I've ordered my electric bike), I have decided to replace my original Gazelle tyres with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres. These are very puncture resistant, and with a bit of luck I will never have to mend a flat! But just in case, I think I will carry a puncture kit and print out the instructions.

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