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Saturday, September 18, 2010

Foolkiller Express Update

I know I posted 'up to the minute' pics just yesterday, but things changed.

When taking those pictures, I noticed the front tire was starting to show me chords in a couple of the shallow parts of the tread. I showed the Trek Store guy who warrantied out the rear tire Monday. I noticed it in one or two places on the back tire when fixing the flat last Sunday, and it was in a dozen places by the end of that ride, so I feared the problem would accelerate.

I envisioned myself trying to find enough scratch to buy a tire from a vendor on Bike MS or else throw it in. And those vendors on the tour, they aren't exactly discount operations, they know if you need it to finish, you'll pay a premium. Roj rode something like a hundred miles with a broken cleat last year rather than pay what they were asking for a replacement.

I think, from what the guy said, the cracking of the rubber was what decided it. I may be a big guy, may ride a lot, but rubber should still be supple after a year, not be cracking apart.

As an added bonus, the new tires are the slicks I tried to buy in the first place last year. I was under the impression they didn't make slicks in my rim size, but I guess it was a matter of what they had in stock. I know it was right before Bike MS and I wouldn't have been in the mood to wait for something to ship.

This, by the way, totally made up for the time I thought Trek should sell me a helmet at cost after I'd ridden a year in one way too small (that they sold me as a 'universal' size).

Trek's stuff ain't cheap, but it definitely inspires customer loyalty when they'll stand behind a product with no-hassle like this. I don't know if there was a quality control issue one day in the tire factory or what, but that could happen with any tire. Pretty much everything I've replaced on this old Diamondback in the sixteen months I've been riding it is Bontrager, this makes those purchases feel pretty smart.

My Bro was saying the other day about how you could, at one time, buy a Bontrager brand bicycle, but not after Trek bought them and made them a parts & accessory brand. I'm coming pretty close to riding a Bontrager bike at this point, the saddle, cassette, tires, tubes, seat post, handlebar grips, and the gooseneck all came from the Trek Store.

The Trek Store guy encouraged me to not max out the tire pressure to the 110 psi they're rated for. He said the rims might give where the bead grabs, I'll have to do some research to see if I have the nerve to push it above 90.

I was going to ride from my Mom's today, but a storm was supposedly coming. It missed me and one of my potential routes entirely, but I played it safe. Cleaned my chain and rims up a bit more from their over-oiled state. I oiled up after a ride in the rain and the oil collected gunk. The oiling was the right thing to do, I just should have done the second step of wiping it down.

The rag I had grabbed, completely at random, to do this chore turned out to be an old MS150 t-shirt from when my Bro rode it back in the day.

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