Q&A: In a tight tyre spot
Q: I put a winter training bike together this year and took advantage of Ribble’s offer of a set of Campagnolo Vento wheels with Continental Ultra Sport kevlar tyres. All was well until I punctured while out on a club run. It took four of us to manhandle the tyre off and then back on again and we even managed to bend a metal tyre lever into the bargain.
None of us are inexperienced cyclists, but no one can recall such a problem removing and then refitting a tyre.
I have asked around and some people reckon it’s the Campag rims that are the problem, some say it is Continental tyres, and some say it is the combination of the two!
As I have just purchased these wheels I would rather not have to fork out on another set, but I am wary of heading out alone in case of another puncture.
Can you please advise if the problem lies with the rims or the tyres (or both) and can you recommend a decent winter training tyre that fits Vento rims without the fitting of them becoming a group activity?
A: You really shouldn’t have this much difficulty removing a tyre, though I should stress that some cloth rim tapes can make it harder. Assuming you have the standard-issue plastic rim tape fitted to your Ventos then the problem must stem either from the tyre being too small or the rim being too large – inaccuracies in manufacturing aren’t unheard of.
The simplest way to find out what’s at fault is to try swapping tyres with a clubmate; if he or she has the same difficulty then you’ll know there’s a case for complaint to the tyre stockist.
Likewise, if their tyre proves difficult to fit on your bike, you know it’s the wheels that are at fault.
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