Blog: Tires

16 Feb 2015

Tire check every time

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Sometimes it’s the simplest things that get overlooked. When you’re mounting tires, are you checking the bead is seated evenly? All the way around? On both sides? Not pinching the tube?

If you care about true wheels, you should care about true tires. You should give this topic special consideration if you run premium tires with supple sidewalls (e.g. the great tires from Compass) and it’s mandatory to ensure your tires are well-seated for tubeless applications.

Last month I replaced a worn set of tubeless tires with fresh rubber and overlooked the bead not being seated evenly in one spot. I achieved a tubeless seal so surely everything was fine? No — over a span of a few centimetres I allowed the bead to fold under itself. It was immediately obvious that alignment was lost because a big wobble was visible when spinning the tire. I inspected it in the truing stand and the wheel was physically out of lateral true by over 2mm! I pulled the tire off and the wheel sprung back to fine form with runout less than 0.2mm (that’s also low spoke count wheels for you).

16 Aug 2014

Compass tires

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I’ve been testing the new lightweight, supple tires from Compass Bicycle. The quick summary is I’m really enjoying them: I’ve found the grip on these tires to be excellent in high-lean turns and the overall comfort to be second only to tubeless tires. They come in a good variety of sizes and I’m pleased they measure true-to-size, which is common problem with some manufacturers.

14 Sep 2013

Mounting tight tires

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Sometimes it can be difficult to mount a specific tire on a specific rim. It should be simple but feels impossible so you’re not happy at all. But don’t give up hope — think of it as a puzzle. Read more →

26 May 2013

Road tubeless not so sure

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I’ve been riding my road tubeless wheels lately, playing with tire pressure. I started a little high but dropped down to 85psi on the front and 90psi on the rear. The comfort of the tubeless Ultremo ZX is beyond what I am used to from clinchers but fast and sticky at the same time. Really nice.

Unfortunately the experiment came to a premature end today when I hit some unknown particle and sliced the rear tire. The cut was far too large to be managed with sealant and, adding insult to injury, sealant sprayed the face of the rider on my wheel. Without any loss of control I rolled to a stop and was pleased to find the tire well-seated in spite of total deflation.

The flat happened on Highway 8 east of Calgary at a spot covered with oil residue — yesterday that spot was host to a head on collision between an SUV and a semi-trailer truck. The SUV was launched 90 meters backwards; the truck caught fire and burned out. The SUV driver was killed and the truck driver was taken to hospital with injuries. Makes a wrecked tire seem insignificant.

It’s hard to say if another tire would have survived. The Ultremo ZX, at least in its clincher version, is known for performance but not for durability. All the same I’ll get another and continue my road tubeless experiment. If the replacement fails as quickly, I’ll draw more severe conclusions.