Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Flat Tuesday

One tire was harmed in the making of this post

I like cheap and reliable things which give you some warning before they fail. So when my cheap and reliable commuter tire starting making this "flup-flup-flup-flup-flup" sound without actually going flat, I knew it was trying to tell me something. Something like, "Hey, you got your money's worth after umpteen thousand miles of riding back and forth to work, it's time to go ahead and put the new one on."

That's almost a perfect scenario for me. To feel like a nice, reliable thing nicely and reliably notified me that it was time to celebrate a product well used, and move on. Looking at the photo above, the tire is perhaps a bit beyond that point, but nonetheless it soldiered on, and did not actually fail me on my commute. The "flup-flup-flup-flup-flup" sound was that flap of sidewall hitting the brake arm every time around, and for both the flap and the brake arm, I am grateful that they informed me prior to a blowout or some other less pleasant failure mode. That's pure wear you see there, as far as I know: I don't think I ran over something, and I'm sure that the brake pads aren't rubbing the tire. That's just several thousand commuting miles taking its toll. Call it Spring, Summer, Winter, rain and beating sun, just adding up, just breaking down.

Thank you, cheap reliable tire, for performing your lowly but vital task for all those miles, and for letting me know when it was your time to go. Happy Flat Tuesday!


  1. Occasionally, tires fail in a cyclist-friendly manner. http://dfwptp.blogspot.com/2013/11/abc-and-armadillo-tires.html. What brand/model was your own tire?

    1. The following is not a product endorsement. Steve, these are Nashbar Streetwise-K (kevlar belted) tires. I believe riding conditions, methods, and techniques have a lot to do with tire performance and life. Also that expectations affect evaluations. My commuting through the desert on flat streets is probably not "typical" conditions. My expectations are specific and also probably not typical. But these work great for me as good cheap all-arounders.


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