Goodbye old friend.

I follow quite a few bike blogs and micro-blogs, and whilst in the most part they’re brilliantly constructed and written, all they end up doing is making you want to buy the latest… whatever. Which is a road I don’t think I’d ever want to go down. However…

On Sunday, as the weather outside continued to disappoint, I took care of some much needed bike maintenance on the Fuji. I replaced the brake-blocks, stem-cap, finally replaced the bottom bracket (which hopefully will put an end to the clicking), and retired my rear tyre. Now, normally I wouldn’t give this a second thought. I didn’t tell you when I replaced my rear tyre three times in the first five months of last year. So why have I stopped to think about this particular tyre, and why are am I bothering you with it? Well, you see, this tyre has suffered more abuse than any tyre I have ever owned. And, whats more, has never let me down… never mind it’s self.

“We need to all buy Gatorskins,” said The Bear, whilst we we’re preparing for The Ride last year. At the time I still had the tyres that came with the bike, and whilst they were starting to show signs of wear they were doing okay. I had seen The Bear wreck a pair of Continentals on a 70 mile bike ride earlier in the year, and he was currently on another set of Conti’s but still suffered from the odd puncture. Kens bike had come with Conti’s and seemed to be plagued by punctures. What made Gatorskins so special…? Before I looked for them in a shop, I expected them to be expensive. They are not, at all… so what makes them special…? Well I know of six that have gone from one end of the country to the other without getting a single puncture. The rear tyres in particular also had to deal with the weight of, and the slowing down of the trailer we towed. Mine, in particular, had to contend with a far too steep descent with at that point a very overloaded trailer. Since then, it’s seen me through an entire year of riding… and still no punctures.

It’s such a shame that I’ve now had to replace the rear one, but it had started to become a little transparent in the centre. However, there is no prize for guesing what I have replaced it with.

If you ride roadie, buy a pair of Gatorskins. You will not regret it.

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