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My bike, a Specialized Secteur Compact

My bike, a Specialized Secteur Compact

I love to ride bicycles. Always have, probably always will. Lately, I have been in distress because every ride would result in a flat—usually the back wheel. About two weeks ago, I set out on a ride and got a flat after about two miles. So, I called home, had a tube brought to me; less then two miles later, you guessed, the deflater gods visited me again. I was beginning to think this bike was jinxed and was seriously considering replacing it. That day I left my wheel at the local bicycle shop and a few days later, learned that the rim strip was the culprit. The rim strip goes between the inner tube and the rim. It’s meant to protect the tube from any sharp edges from the spokes or the spoke holes.

I was psyched when I got it back from the bike shop and had visions of no more flats. Wrong. Very first ride…flat. Inspection. Either the shop missed a few places where the rim strip was out of place or it shifted.

Velox rim tape

Velox rim tape

Determined to not be deflated any longer I ordered Velox rim tape. It came in yesterday. Installed it. Went for a ride. Flat. What the œˆø˜∑¬¨!! Well, it wasn’t the rim. It was a faulty patch on the tube. Put in a new tube; out again…oh, you guessed it, flat. Another faulty patch. New tube. Short ride, no flats.

This evening, another ride, only about five miles, but no flats! You must understand, I’m the “go a mile, get a flat” guy. So, to go five is a miracle in my book.

Having worked in a bicycle shop while in college, I should have known better. Should have known to look more closely at the rims; but I was convinced that I was having what are known as pinch flats (tube, when going over a bump, get pinched between the tire and rim, producing two small holes that look like a snake bite). All the time, it was the rim strips.

So, if you’re plagued with flats, take a good hard look at your rim strips and do yourself a favor and buy some Velox rim tape and get back in the saddle!

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