Cycling Thread 4.0


all my road bike tyres are slick??? the tread on other tyres does nothing on a road.

I guess this is yet another example of my naivety and why I don’t deserve to be called a cyclist. Here was me assuming tread on a tyre helped with grip like it would on a car. That’s what I get for not reading up on things properly :frowning:

Elsewhere, one of the punctures I “repaired” is already deflating. Cycling is fun but it’s also great at making me feel utterly useless and about 6 inches tall.

bollocks to this. you’d outride us all in a race, plus you have the flashiest bike!

i think the whole tread thing is a very common misconception. only helps with softer / looser surfaces, not with grip on roads. for winter i’d pick something with a bit more puncture protection (because no one wants to be replacing tubes in the cold), but you still want something with decent amounts of grip (which comes from different compounds rather than the tread). i’m really happy with my tyre choices which i just use all year round, i don’t bother with summer / winter tyres. no problems in the wet / with mulchy leaves, and barely any visits from the puncture fairy.

did you pinch the new inner when putting it on?

Had a scary moment on a roundabout with gravel tyres on the other day. Wouldn’t have happened with slicks (or if I’d gone round at a more sensible speed)

Even in a car, for best grip on a dry road you’d want slicks.

The job of the grooved tread is to displace water.

Looks like I’m not using the right words or terminology again. In my head I say ‘winter tyre’ and I mean ‘something that’s more comfortable to ride in the wet’, which is not what winter tyres actually are. I assume a tread pattern helps with that because it displaces water, like on car tyres. That’s what I’m thinking about when I’m considering ‘grip’ here, not general contact with the road surface per se.


nope, tread doesn’t provide extra grip on roads unless you’re going well fast, so useless for bikes on roads

Thanks for the advice, I’ll have a think about alternatives.

TBH, that makes me feel even more of a pathetic noob right now - all style, no substance. All’s good when everything’s working well, but when something goes wrong on a bike it highlights just how little confidence I have regarding maintenance and how incompetent I am regarding fixing things. I can ride a bike reasonably fast, but that’s pretty meaningless and I don’t feel anything like what a ‘cyclist’ is in my head. Maybe that doesn’t matter, but beyond actually riding I feel more and more stupid and helpless with every passing month.

It’s possible, it was really difficult to get back on. There is also the possibility I didn’t fully check the tyre over after taking it off. I found a gigantic hawthorn that made me go “aha!” which I then removed. Did I check the rest of the tyre afterwards? I can’t remember. Possibly not.

Anyway, back to the drawing board. Cycling is supposed to be my stress relief valve for life, not another source of angst :upside_down_face:

This is key. It does not matter if you can’t change a chain or a puncture, or if you’re unsure of what a winter tyre is. That’s what bike shops are for. I never once attempted to fix anything on my bike when I rode (partly laziness, mainly scared of fucking up Campag Chorus, plus campag uses weird tools which I wasn’t investing in). Ride your bike, that’s all a cyclist is. Don’t worry about lack of mechanical knowledge or whatever.

*Understand your geographical location is a factor here btw, but the point stands


This is a big part of why I haven’t ridden in a year, massively sympathise with thst feeling :frowning:

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Yeah, perhaps I do just have to accept the fact I’m not great at doing these things, not worry about it and let people who can fix things take the strain. I think I do worry about remoteness and feel like I should be able to do more because “I have to”, but ultimately that’s silly - there is a tiny LBS here and also keen cyclists who do repairs as well.

At the moment I feel like the more I read about cycling the less I know. So frustrating at times!

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That never changes.


@Ella_Megablast it’s obvs great to have a go fixing stuff if you fancy it (and I didn’t mean to come across as condescending earlier, apologies if I did) but it is so so nothing about being a “cyclist”. I look at your rides on Strava and I’m in awe, so you can shove your “I’m not a real cyclist” waffle up your bum :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

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You’ll get there mate , it can feel slow at times but it will start to feel familiar soon enough. Although you will never stop getting stumped and frustrated either

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don’t worry, you didn’t come across as condescending. I suspect it’s just another symptom of a life-wide issue I have of allegedly being “book smart” but not at all handy and having “no common sense” (cheers for the ringing endorsement, Dad) and being horribly self conscious about it.

I’m trying to repair the puncture again. It’s sheer luck when I get a tyre back on successfully, because I have no tried and tested technique that actually works. I struggle to get the bead to sit nicely in the rim on one side of the tyre, let alone before trying to get the other side in. Does that matter? I don’t know. I’m yet to find a youtube video that actually explains how to fix a puncture in slow, very easy steps telling you what to look out for on the way. They’re all just “do this, do that, oh it’s so fucking easy” WELL IT ISN’T, ACTUALLY. And the more I struggle the more I get afraid of riding outside because if I’m struggling with this in the house how on earth am I gonna manage at the roadside in the pissing rain? And why was I so blasé about this before? This is why I run absurdly high tyre pressures, because I dread getting punctures.

(Blushes) Well, the feeling is mutual there because your rides certainly fill me with awe too :smiley:

It sounds to me like you possibly have a bad rim / tyre combo. As in, some tyres are really hard to get on and off of some rims. I’ve had this problem before and I had to buy new wheels to solve it

I’ll try and detail every bit of what I do if I need to change a tube:

Remove wheel
Deflate inner as much as I can
Massage the tyre all the way around the wheel - this makes it easier to remove (normally only do one side because lazy)
Directly opposite the valve at the other end of the tyre I pop a tyre lever in and use the spokes to hold it, and then I pop another in a few cms away, and then a third if I have it
Use the tyre lever underneath the bead of the tyre and slide that side of the tyre off of rim
Remove tube, inspect for hole and patch if necessary
Check inside and outside tyre for cause of puncture, remove offending article or use tyre boot if needed
Pump inner tube up only slightly
Pop tube into tyre
Starting at the valve end (v important), pop the bead back into the rim
If your tyres are tight eventually you won’t be able to push the tyre back on, if this happens, massage the tyre all the way around again multiple times where it’s already on the rim, this will give you extra millimetres of space to work with. Sometimes I also deflate the inner so that I have more space to work with
Go back to where you’re trying to pop the tyre on and gently work it in
If you’re struggling, use a tyre lever (warning: might pinch the tube)
Once it’s on, again, massage tyre all the way round checking it’s in the rim properly
Put wheel on bike

Wow I must be bored to write all that out

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Thanks :slight_smile: this seems to be what I’m trying to follow, it’s just actually doing it in practice that’s problematic! A problem I sometimes have when getting the first side of the tyre in is that the bead doesn’t pop into the rim part of the way round & sits in the centre of the wheel instead; maybe more massaging is the answer. Another trouble is that my hands/grip are very weak so I find that whole pushing the bead onto the rim physically quite difficult.

Just got it back on, was tight in the end but with a bit of fairy liquid & a tyre lever I got there. Hopefully I haven’t pinched the inner. Wasn’t seated perfectly but as per Mr Park Tool guy, inflating popped everything into place. Now to eat dinner, go to work and see if it’s still holding the pressure in the morning…

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The one time I tried to change a tyre I struggled for hours trying to get the tyre on until my hands were cramping, took the wheel into Halfords and the guy literally popped it on in about 30 seconds like it was nothing. And that’s why I don’t ride a bike anymore.

it’s sorcery, innit? I’ve barely got any prints left on my thumbs, and they’re cut and blistered too. The gravel bike better beware, because in the distance I can hear the Union and Crinan canals calling…