Puncture Nation

posted by: Emma

Four spare inner tubes, one spare tyre, two bicycle pumps and twelve Park Tool SuperBike maintenance at Kiyikoy Patch repair patches seemed a bit of overkill for two cyclists with just two weeks of cycling left of a six month cycling trip which has been stopped by minimal flat tyres to date. What tyre-some disasters could possibly befall us?

Balding Tyres

Worrying about bald patches on my front tyre (which I first noticed in Sarajevo), we decide to replace it with the folding tyre we’ve been carrying. One day after we’ve changed tyres and thrown my old tyre in the bin, the tread on Justin’s rear tyre starts to peel off. We curse our timing as my tyre might have lasted the distance.

Three days later we manage to replace his tyre with one pilfered from a brand new mountain bike for sale in Chenbeyli.

Rapid-fire loss of inner tubes

  • We find that the cheap Chinese branded inner we purchased in Spain had a faulty value when fixing our first Turkish puncture in Inhisar. It is binned immediately. Justin's shredded rear tyre
  • An inner tube blows up with a deafening bang while Justin is swapping Emma’s balding front tyre for the folding.
  • A bike shop owner in Chenbeyli tries to help by fitting a new rear tyre for Justin, but in the process seats the inner tube badly and creates a snake bite which is larger than our patches.
  • Our remaining spare inner tube plus the four on the bikes are now held together by many repair patches, after at least ten punctures over our last few days on the road.

Bicycle pump stops pumping

Our till now reliable Topeak RoadMorph bicycle pump slowed at first, then stopped working all Fixing punctures near Muslumtogether. We’ve checked reports online and our diagnostic is that the o-ring has probably disintegrated. We may have been able to fix it ourselves if we could only figure out how to pull it apart enough to reach the o-ring. Luckily we have been carrying a cheap mini-pump which does the trick in an emergency.

Lessons then?

  1. Probably not a good idea to run Panaracer Paseala Tourguards for 11,000km before putting new tyres on. We should have sourced replacements in Istanbul.
  2. Always carry a spare pump and learn how to service your pump before hitting the road.
  3. Four inner tubes are definitely not too many to carry.
  4. Basic 26” tyres are easy to source even in remote bits of Turkey.

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2 responses to “Puncture Nation”

  • Well done for getting through all that with sense of humour intact!

  • Cat on September 20th, 2010 at 6:11 pm
  • Well done guys! I am so impressed and admire you both no-end for every milestone reached on this epic wonder-trip. Is it really 5 and a half months already? What are your plans after the 6 month mark? I really wish you continued success and fun-filled adventures. I enjoy following your progress. All the best, Dean.

  • Dean Murray on September 20th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

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