[CR]Tyre wiping - a fool's game or necessary evil?

Example: Racing:Beryl Burton
Date: Thu, 14 Jul 2005 17:05:45 +0100 (BST)
From: "Sam Alison" <sssamcz@yahoo.co.uk>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOODR1ccFdUKz00005d82@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
Subject: [CR]Tyre wiping - a fool's game or necessary evil?

I was interested to read Ted's comments below on tyre wiping or 'gloving' as he refers to it. My understanding was that should a shard of glass hit your tyre (or vice versa) the initial impact is what would force it in far enough to your tyre to puncture the tube. If it doesn't cause a puncture on first impact, it's not going to. Therefore putting your hand near whirring spokes, flying shard of glass, and narrow gaps was a foolhardy thing to do with no perceivable benefit - other than perhaps making you appear a "real bike rider" or even, if your style is smooth enough, a "cogniscenti di gruppo".My very much ad hoc and admittedly not statistically rigorous survey conducted during riding with wipers and non-wipers over the years seems to show very little difference in puncture rate between the two.

Sam Alison

London, England

Regular sew-up maintenance: As some of you may have surmised, once I started racing back in '46/'47, I've never owned a bike without sew-ups. In the early years all our riding was done on track bikes and fixed gear. a little later we used road bikes, but winters and early spring was always ridden with a fixed wheel. During the few off season months, we put on clincher wheels witha 64" + or - fixed gear ratio and rode around with our bars reversed, six-day neutralization style, and skitched around in the snow and rain having fun. Sew up casings didn't like snow and frost and mud. Other than that it's always been sew-ups, almost 60 years! Here are some of the basics: The old sew-ups and many today will stretch under constant pressure. To prevent this on our good racing tires we always deflated them about 25-40 pounds to keep the tight pressure stretch prevented. Our old heavy training tires weren't so critical, so we didn't bother. Hey, nobody's perfect. If a tire was glued on for the road we would reglue every spring, if the tire had been on all year unflatted and still was sound. We always wiped our tires off before leaving on a ride, and after coming back. That way if something was lodged/stuck in the casing we could flick it out and if there was a serious problem, it could be taken care of before the next departure. While riding we would regularly glove our wheel with our fingertips to knock off any debris that might have stuck in the strip to keep it from puncturing through. Smart riders would always get off on the pavement and then carry their bikes across any lawns or dirt/gravel next to the roadway. The same is true at the tracks and infields. When cleaning your tires while riding, take care not to get your fingers/hand jammed in behind the fork or frame. For the front wheel/tire, do it the same way as if you were going to stop, only just use your fingertips to smooth over the top without pressure. Do it in front of the fork, NOT behind! For the rear, use your thumb as a guide to keep your hand outside of the seatstay, DON'T get it caught between the seattube and chainstay! Gently rub the top of the tire to clean anything on it off. Your thumb will hold your hand outside the chainstay, while your fingers go arount it and touch the tire for cleaning This discipline will prevent a lot of punctures while riding, especially when you have to ride through glass, dirt, stones, infamous triangles at intersections, etc. Don't leave your bike parked or stored in the sun for any long periods of time if possible. Keeps the tires from drying out prematurely and getting overinflated by solar heat buildup. I've seen tires/tubes blow out while resting in the sun. Practice gloving your wheel for stopping with both hands. You never know when balance or whatever won't allow you to use one hand, so it's safer to be versatile. The same goes for stepping out of your toe clips and straps. Learn to use both feet for balance safety. Common sense practices like these are good for your clinchers, too. If you put tires in a car trunk/ boot, use tire covers. If you can't find any tire covers, get some old sewups, 25/28 mm, cut the stitching, remove the tube, and stretch the empty casing over your mounted tire. Cheap, and it works!This prevents the casings from rubbing together and wearing through. Many's the rider driven several hundred miles to a race/ ride and had his casing worn through or punctured! Not a nice scene. This may sound like a lot of bother, but the process only takes seconds or a few minutes to do. Once you get in the habit, it's psychosomatic and you won't even think of it any more, all routine and the sign of a real bike rider. If you're going to ride these nifty old machines, you have to act like they belong to you and you know what they are all about. Wouldn't want the brass to melt and flow out of the lugs because you mistreated your trusty steed and it went into decompositional culture shock. How about a few more hints from some of the other cogniscenti di gruppo. Ted Ernst Palos Verdes Estates, CA

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