Sunday, May 19, 2013

Flats in the Rain

Okay, this is a physics/engineering question.  Happily, a friend called last night to see if I wanted to go for a bike ride this morning.   Just what I needed, a leisurely few laps of Prospect Park.  I woke up bright and early to find out that it was raining.  We texted back and forth, but ultimately agreed to give it a go.  Bottom line is that it was wet but pleasant, and I'm feeling lots better for it.  Only glitch was a flat on the first lap.  Again, good that I had a friend along, as my spare tube and CO2 cartridges are on my other bike which is in the shop.  I now owe J__ a tube and a cartridge. . .

Here's the question:  Why do riders get more flats in the rain?

Oh, and one other thing, if your hands are wet, don't let the CO2 cartridge touch your bare skin when you fill the tire.


  1. You pick up grime on your tires. It works its way in and eventually causes the flat. You can mitigate by wiping your tires off by hand whenever you stop, but it's an imperfect solution (obviously).

    Also, if you are riding mostly less than hilly terrain, there's a strong argument for going with slime tubes for everyday use. Will avert all but the most extreme of tire failures.

  2. It was no big deal. The tires on the new bike turned out to be pretty easy to roll back on without pinching. The only tricky part is that you can't stand a tri bike up on its handlebars like you can a road bike, so I looked a bit awkward wrestling with bike, wheel and chain . . .

    I did give myself a frost burn with the CO2 cartridge, though. I had cycling gloves on, but with open wet fingers, it was sort of like what happens in a Christmas Story when the kid licks the frozen flag pole . . . Laughs all around . . . Should have thought of that . . .