Let the Record Show …

…That I have successfully patched the slow puncture on my bike – something that involved removing and replacing a fairly new Marathon Plus tyre (and by ‘fairly new’ I mean ‘replaced this year’ – I like to get my money’s worth out of a bike component). Not only that but I did it with a minimum of swearing, sighing and looking around for A Man To Help. In fact, the tyre was actually the easy part (I may have been watching a few YouTube videos on the subject) – the difficulty came in getting the back wheel back into the dropouts and (embarrassingly) trying to pump the wretched thing up again afterwards. The other half did wander past at that point, heard me muttering something about why presta valves are even allowed to exist,* and beat a tactical retreat. The whole thing still took an hour, but that did include the whole ritual of waiting for the glue to get almost dry on the patch and washing approximately half a kilo of mud out of my mudguard.

Anyway, it doesn’t exactly count as ‘getting the hang of bike maintenance’ in 2018 but it has at least convinced me that I’m not going backwards. Next step – the unassisted roadside repair. Hopefully not any time soon though …

* despite explicit instructions to the bike shop to the contrary, I still have one wheel with a schraeder valve and one wheel with a presta valve although someone has now shown me how to turn my bike pump inside out so it can handle both kinds. I’m still unconvinced that whatever benefits there are to a presta valve are worth their tendency to just dump all the air out of the tyre in an instant if you look at them funny while detaching the pump. But no doubt there’s a YouTube video that will enlighten me…

10 Responses to Let the Record Show …

  1. Andy in Germany says:

    Well done.If you think Prestas are bad try the Dunlop, which is a thing of evil and wants to kill you.
    To release air you have to turn the collar holding the valve in, but if you turn too far all the pressure sends valve and collar shooting out. If you are lucky it merely whizzes past your ear without hitting anything vital and lands somewhere in a dark inaccessible corner,leaving you with a gaping hole in the tyre and no way to plug it.
    Unfortunately the otherwise sensible Dutch use the wretched things, so the front wheel of the Bakfiets is so equipped.

  2. Lizzie says:

    Like you I’ve replaced an inner tube at home, and successfully patched a hole, but have yet to do it at the roadside. And I’ve only done it on what I think of as my simpler bike….. so I just gaily cycle on hoping it will never happen when I’m too far away for Husband to come and get me. I am also much comforted by famous lady cyclists who couldn’t mend a puncture…. and yet travelled thousands of miles.

  3. buckyrides says:

    Good job fixing it. It thinks it’s one of those things that as you do it more and more it becomes easier and faster. Cannot count how many I have fixed but I also used to work in a bike shop where we did that a lot. On the subject of valves, one of the big differences between Schrader and Presta is that the latter comes in many different lengths for different types of rim, and also many different rubber sizes. Not sure why – maybe a manufacturing capability thing but that’s part of the reason that presta is more prevalent in bikes.

  4. disgruntled says:

    @Andy – it’s good to know the Dutch have some cycling related weaknesses
    @Lizzie – hopefully it won’t happen on the Brompton which has a hub gear (but at least is easily rescued if need be)
    @buckyrides – my plan was to get some practice in by just taking the tyre on and off multiple times, but I never got round to it … hopefully I won’t get too much practice the hard way now

  5. Michael says:

    My understanding is that the advantages of presta valves all revolve around skinnier, high pressure tires and rims. So I’m not sure why those of us that are running lower pressure, wider tires and rims have to use them. Last summer I managed to unscrew a valve core and have it go shooting across a room.

  6. disgruntled says:

    No presta fans on here then?

    • Andy in Germany says:

      I am a Presta fan I forgot to add that I replace all Dunlop/Schraeder tubes with Prestas as soon as I can… I suspect it’s a bit like the PC/Mac/Linux argument…

  7. I’ll put my hand up – I’ve always preferred presta valves for bike tires. They’re certainly better suited to low-volume tires (since the pump head isn’t holding the valve open, you don’t lose as much air when connecting and disconnecting it), and I don’t find them at all difficult to work with. Of course I’ve been using them for decades…

  8. squaretaper says:

    I think Presta valves are for pressures that keep the valve pretty firmly sealed even when not screwed tight. Smaller valve hole counting for more in a narrow rim also sounds plausible. https://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/presta-schrader.html

  9. disgruntled says:

    I should probably learn how to use them properly then …

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