Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tips on flat tires

So it's 6am on race day at the Subaru Vancouver Half Ironman, wetsuit is almost on, when I discover that my front tire has lost  its pressure overnight, while in the transition area. Here are some lessons I learned:

1. Do not assume that because the bike was checked the day before, it will be fine that morning.

2. In addition to the usual tire repair kit on your bike (Tube, CO2, levers, hand pump, patches etc.), consider carrying a floor pump, a couple of spare of tubes and a spare tire (even if it's an older one) in your transition bag. Spare tire is a must when running tubulars.

3. If you choose not to carry a spare tire then opt for a few tire boots.

4. Wait until race morning to full inflate the tires. It makes detecting issues easier and prevents heat punctures if the bike has to stay in the transition are for extended peridos of time in the sun.

5. If you are going to be riding rough roads, consider some puncture-resistant slime tubes. Even though they are slightly heavier, changing flats, especially on sprint or olympic races, can lead to a significant time deficit.

Despite all these precaution, you might still find yourself in a situation where you have to change your tubes or tires unexpectedly. In which case, staying calm and focused will help you get the job done faster and more efficiently, without impacting your ability to get to finish line in a respectable time!

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