Sunday, September 12, 2010

Stretching Tubs

An untimely midweek puncture to my front aluminium tubular left a rather gaping hole in my wheel collection as crazy working hours ruled out having the energy to repair said puncture, and the heavy rain we've been having (as well as the time required to change brake pads) ruled out running the carbons. As an interim solution I resorted to running clinchers and thought I'd use the opportunity to stretch my inventory of spare tubs on said punctured wheel. All good, but not much to write home about I hear you say. Well, if I am going to say something, I shall use this opportunity to whole heartedly slag off clincher wheels. Sure, they go round, and you will get from A to B, but in one fell swoop I managed to make my bike feel like it was someone else's. Most disconcerting was my new found inability to go around a corner. Leaning the bike into a bend and scrubbing the brakes just slightly made the front wheel feel like it wanted to go straight on as if I had a puncture. The theory that you do all your braking before you turn is all well and good but not practicable on HK roads. This adds up to a very nasty feeling and enough to make me almost crash when trying to descend the 1in7 dropping into Happy Valley in a thunderstorm. An unpleasant experience, but a good timely reminder that clinchers (esp. on a Trek) are the axis of road cycling evil. As an aside, you will note that I have a long way to go in storing my tubs until I can catch up with Lance's efforts to break this axis via his Belgian monk strategy.