The triathlon training blog of Phil Barnes

Pit Stop


I have a confession.

I lie awake at night worrying about getting a flat tire.

I can change the tire on a car - no problem.

On a bike. I've had varying degrees of success.

Fortunatley / unfortunately, I blew my back tire this morning on the trainer. A rather non-dramatic event. No bang. No high-speed wobble. Just a massive decrease in resistance, leading to wicked "virtual" power output.

This happened at approxmately 40:00 out of a planned 60:00 ride. So I quickly hopped on the treadmill for an impromptu brick.

That left the tire still to be fixed.

Later in the day, I brought the bike down to the garage, and tried my best to simulate a race-day "pit-stop". The key to this exercise, was, as I told myself: Slow and steady. If I were to rush it - I'm sure I would screw it up, and end up taking much more time.

So, methodically, I unhooked the wheel, undid the tire, removed the bad tube, swapped in the new one, replaced the tire on the rim, pumped like hell and put the wheel back on the bike: 9 minutes and 30 seconds.

Not terribly fast, but at least I know, if it happens in a race, it can be done in under 10 minutes. I will repeat this exercise in a couple of weeks, when (hopefully), I'll be putting on my outdoor tires for real outdoor biking.

3 things:

Thing 1: Putting the tire back on the rim; the last 5% of rubber, for my tires anyways, is a real how can I say it politely... B##ch. You gotta really work that thing.

Thing 2: I have a manual on-the-bike-pump. I pumped like hell, and only managed to get about 55 psi in the back tire. I will have to either consider CO2 or practice pumping.

Thing 3: If a tires gotta blow. Please don't let it be the back one. Rehooking the chain in the gears is not fun.