If I were a doctor, I’d be world renowned as Dr. Oops. Since I probably wouldn’t pass the exam, I’d be the guy injecting I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter into the lips of unsuspecting club-hopping duck-billers in a seedy office in a downtown Miami alley. You can get away with anything in Florida. Judging from what happened while installing a tire on Saturday, I’m convinced. As a surgeon I’d break the tip of the scalpel off on the incision and mistakenly leave the piece in your brain right next to a sponge. Oopsie. Sorry ‘bout that.
I bought a new road tire on Saturday, a replacement Vittoria Open Corso EVO CX. Three woots for this tire. While pricey, costing five bucks more than the tried and true Continental GP 4000, I think the Vittoria’s have better cornering and descending grip and comparatively feel more supple on the road. The trade off is they don’t last quite as long, but I still got well over a year of riding and racing out of it. The red logo also matches my bike. I probably could’ve got a few more weeks from them had I rotated the tires a 2nd time. The rear was the first to thin out and expose the threads under the tread in a small area. After a slight LMFAO wiggle-wiggle-wiggle in the rain slicked early laps of the Harrison’s Tomb OSRS race last Saturday saved by what I described to another racer as steering with my nutsack, I headed up to the shop to replace Mr. Baldy.
The Vittoria Open Corso CX is one of those tight clinchers. While its good to know the tire’s going to stay on the rim if you flat, its takes some serious man-mitts to coax it on and off the rim. Not a very “quick change” friendly tire on a group ride. Even slower since I don’t have man mitts. After rotating the front tire to the rear, I got most of the bead of the new tire on my front rim with my thumbs, save 8 inches. So I pried the remainder with a tire lever. Tink!
The tire lever broke. I swear I heard the piece fly and hit my spoke. I was at BioWheels bike shop where they gratefully give team members who supposedly know what they are doing stand privileges. After Saturday, I may be relegated to the stand outside of customer view. Thinking the piece flew a few feet, I jokingly asked Bob working next to me, “Did I get you with that?” “Nope,” he said with a chuckle as he handed me a second lever to finish the job. With two torques of the new lever, I hit my tire with air and I was on my way.
|Tire Lever Shrapnel|
It was in the 70's and sunny, so I took the long way home, probably 10 miles. Approaching the stoplight 2 blocks from my house, the new front tire went squishy. “Eh…new tire, old tube. That always happens,” I thought. It went down slow as I coasted to the light. I walked the last block and put the bike in the Man Cave stand at home.
My suspicions were confirmed removing the tire. Behold! The broken tire lever nugget stayed in the tire. File that under “do it right the first time.”