Monday, 8 July 2013

An insidious slow deflation

Over the course of the last few rides I began to notice that the handling of the bike was not as good as I wanted. I thought at first it was just me and confidence problems. It all came to a head last week when, due to the dreaded resurfacing and the 'Slow Loose Grit' signs of my usual route home from work, I took the longer route home along the by-pass. This is a dual carriageway and I kept it steady not breaking the 70mph barrier. Even so, during a couple of overtakes I felt the back end wobble alarmingly as I crossed the central white line.

Over the next few miles handling got worse and the wobble set in. It dawned on me, and yes I admit to being really slow on the uptake, that I had a near flat back tyre. I managed to crawl the last bit to home. Tyre inflator confirmed a zero psi reading. I reinflated the tyre to the reccommended 41 psi and put bike away for the night. Checked in the morning to find the pressure had dropped to 35psi.

Overnight I had done some on-line research and decided on a pair of Bridgestone Battlax BT023 tyres. Local place quoted £275 fitted and balanced. 'Bit steep' thinks I. Another call followed by a very careful ride the few extra miles to Malton and I'd saved myslef fifty quid. Even tempered by the fact that I was riding on brand new tyres the ride back was the most enjoyable for a while. It will only get better as the tyres bed in.

I have to say it frightens me to think that I was riding at speeds up to 70mph on a nearly flat tyre. Big lesson learned.  

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