My bike’s tires were old. Original to the bike. Which I purchased in January of 2000. For bike tires to last as long as they have is a small miracle.
Riding a bike in the city streets of Philly is like riding through a minefield. Not only do you have traffic, pedestrians, and other bikes, you have the streets. The streets themselves are their own challenge. Potholes. Debris and trash. Broken glass. Carpet staples (caused one of my flats). Bad repair jobs. Street car rails. Sink holes. And that’s a short list.
So I was getting fairly frequent flats. Because as careful as you may be, that carpet staple is hard to see when it’s raining. And my tires were old. And weren’t designed for street riding. They were just a layer of rubber, no liner, and made for trails and soft ground. When I got my most recent flat yesterday morning on my way into work, I decided to do something about my frequent flat problem when I took it to the shop for repair. I decided to get new tires.
Tires that were made to deal with the hazards of city street riding. Tires with an extra layer of tough rubber built in. And a nylon mesh webbing lining the interior to resist punctures. The tires I got were recommended by the guys in the shop and were what I considered affordable (as in not set me back more than $100 for front and rear plus labor). These guys ride the streets every day. These shop guys have more than one bike outfitted for different purposes, and the one outfitted for the streets use these tires. I’ll take that recommendation, thankyouverymuch.
So I have shiny new tires! It is a bit odd to have such shiny new tires on a bike that’s definitely not shiny (wow does my bike need a tune up and a good cleaning). But I’m sure the the new tire look won’t last long. I give them less than a week before the road grime covers up that shine. Especially since it’s raining today.