23 November 2011

Bye Bye Baldy

When I was originally ordering my Brompton and looking through the myriad options, the one I thought was simplest was the choice of tyres. The Schawalbe Kojaks were high pressure - so low rolling resistance, have a “Raceguard” strip, and are lighter than the alternatives. A no-brainer, or so I thought.

Now, nearly a year later, I’m not so sure. On my full size bike I have some Kevlar lined tires and they have lasted for years with only two punctures. I was hoping that the “Raceguard” part of the Kojaks would work similarly effectively. Unfortunately it simply doesn’t - I’ve had around 7 punctures in under a year, cycling perhaps 3 miles per day (and I wasn’t cycling for a couple of those months) which is too many for me. Below you can see some of the chunks gouged out of my rear tyre by bits of glass and sharp stones.

Having looked around a bit, it seemed that the Schwalbe Marathon Plus is the way to go for reliability, so I ordered a pair of those. I saw a number people online complaining that they were very difficult to fit. Fortunately during my research I also found a video that explained how to fit them fairly easily. The trick is to squeeze the sides of the tyre inwards so that you can push them into the well in the middle of the wheel, this then gives you enough slack to get the last bit of tyre over the rim without needing any tyre levers.

I’ll update this blog in a few months with details of any punctures or any other issues with the new tyres.

[The links to Amazon on this page won’t cost you anything, but will make me some money if you buy through them]