Punctures or not

Just over two weeks ago I got another puncture. My Schwalbe Durano tyres have been getting very battered with lots of nicks some of which have caused punctures so it wasn’t particularly a surprise.

It happened just as I arrived in the centre of Leicester and it was a sudden deflation.

A bit frustrating as I choose to travel completely unprepared. I have read all the magazines, books and blogs describing all the tools and repair kit I should carry, but I choose to carry nothing most of the time.

One reason is that mostly I ride my bikes for transport and I have enough stuff to carry already for work, shopping or whatever.

Another reason is that I have chosen everything on my Bike for Life for it’s reliability, carrying tools around is unnecessary when a bike is properly reliable. Now the Schwalbe Durano’s have been a slight compromise on this front. I switched to them from the totally reliable Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres in the summer for two reasons a) for a bit more speed (saving nearly 1kg helped) and b) for a bit more clearance, the Marathons are a bulky 700xx40 while the Durano are a slim 700cx32

Anyway, so I was in Leicester on a cold damp afternoon with a flat tyre and no tools. Made more complicated by the Atomic22 Infiniti3D locking the wheel on.

However, in the end it proved to be no real problem. I popped into Future Cycles. They didn’t have any suitable latex foam or slime which would have been one possible solution. But after a quick look the cause of the flat was obvious, a shard of glass that I was able to pick out. So I bought some new tyre levers, some patches and borrowed their pump. Fixing an obvious puncture like this is very easy without needing to remove the wheel and so within 15 minutes I was on my way again for about £5, so no big deal.

Since then, I have refitted a Marathon Plus 700cx40 to the back wheel, but this time I have used smaller spacers between the mudguard and the frame which has increased the tyre clearance a lot. I have also moved the mudguard stays from the dropout and bolted them to the rear rack which also helps with clearance.

For the front I have just fitted a slightly smaller Marathon Plus (700cx35) which hopefully should avoid problems with the mudguard rubbing and trapping grit and mud as much.

I think I’ll stick to the Marathon Plus tyres for my Bike For Life, their reliability and longevity fit with the rest of the bike much better. While the Duranos are faster they are much more prone to punctures and have only lasted just over 2,000 miles.



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