That’s No Pinch, That’s a Puncture (Just For Cyclists)

Since January my main work-horse of a bike has been shod with Michelin Krylions – I’ve sung their praises before and will happily continue to do so.

Today, I punctured for the first time this year. Yes, it was on the bike with the Krylions on but I can’t complain – over half the year riding on this region’s poorly-maintained, pot-hole-ridden, flint-strewn roads before a flat tyre is remarkable.

There is a lesson from today though: the tyre went down, I rode (gently) along a few feet to somewhere suitable to fix it. Hunting for the hole in the tube, I found two – the tell-tale sign of a ‘snakebite’ – a puncture caused by hitting a pot-hole and the inner tube getting pinched between the tyre and the rim. The lane I was on was a typical South Oxon mess so that seemed feasible even though I wasn’t aware of actually banging into one hard. I had checked the tyre quickly for an alternative cause but stopped when I found the twin holes.

A few hundred yards further on and I had a second puncture. To cut this story short, the snakebite was real but had been caused by rolling along on a flat to find somewhere to fix it. The cause of the initial puncture was a razor-sharp flint shard which, because I’d left it in the tyre, gave me the second one too. The lesson is the obvious one: don’t be fooled by apparent snakebite punctures if you’ve done any distance at all on a flat.