Attention cyclists! If you have yet to check out the great comic strip Yehuda Moon and the Kickstand Cyclery by Rick Smith, you absolutely must. It’s basically about this shop in Cleveland, which has to be a crazy coincidence (that’s where I’m from!). Not surprisingly, Rick himself is from Cleveland as you discover in Cranked‘s eye-opening interview.
The shop is run by two guys– one a total parody of your typical down to earth Rivendell Reader fan (this is the voice of Rick he admits) and another more of a hard-assed roadie type. If you dig deep into the pages you’ll discover the shop was somehow started because of a cyclist getting run over by a motorist. One day, a city council guy shows up and asks them to remove it.
You can read the strip for more on the serious side, though. What I want to focus on is on the humor. Today’s strip made me laugh so hard I couldn’t stop, honest, for 10 minutes straight. Every time I thought about it I would just laugh again. See for yourself:
When I stopped guffawing though it really made me realize how true it is. I run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on both my tikit and my Pocket Llama and am constantly told by people about faster tires. I’ve been down that road before, and as a recovering weight weenie, I can tell you there are very few instances I’d actually want those faster tires. I mean, I like riding bikes, not changing flats.
Do I care about a loss of 1-2mph? Hell no. Tim Link, who runs the same tires and has a bit of a racing background, agrees. Furthermore, Schwalbe and Rivendell (and likely others) believe that sometimes a wider tire can be faster. For the Marathon Plus tires, they are certainly heavier, so they’re a bit slower. But not much.
So my suggestion, as Joe says in the comic: "%$@*# flats." I will warn you they’re not exactly "unplattbar" but the only things that will get through will be like big rusty nails, so they’re essentially flatproof. Figure 1-2 flats a year. You can get Marathon Plus tires in the Bike Friday store for all the 406 (e.g. New World Tourist but not Pocket Rocket) bikes here (1.75" / 70psi — ignore the 50psi we say and if you don’t believe me check the Schwalbe website) and the 349 bikes, including the tikit, in a 1.375" / 95psi configuration by calling our service department.
Big wheels, don’t fret, as Schwalbe makes a range of possibilities that should be easily sourced from any local bike shop. Try their dealer locator and if that doesn’t work, just order off of Schwalbe’s website.
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