Normally I can deal with frustation, be it in my job or in my personal life. Shit just happens and it’s mostly not a complete dealbreaker. Today however is a bit different. I purchased new tires for my Cannondale CAADX cyclocross bike because the old ones were close to retirement. They didn’t have any grip and they had a tendency to slide even when breaking mildly.

After doing a bit of research, I decided to order WTB Riddler 37C. They’re a tad wider than the Sammy Slick I was riding before, which means I can get a way with less pressure and thus ride with more comfort. Their rolling resistance is superior, they have excellent grip on gravel and they’re just nice to ride. Because WTB has years of experience with mountainbikes, their stuff also tends to be well tested and built.

Yesterday I unpacked them, removed my old tires, checked the rim for any dirt and put the new tires on. That’s when I noticed that they don’t fit perfectly on the rim, even if they should, according to the specs. The tire has a slight uneveness that is noticeable by just turning the wheel and looking it at straight.

After a bit of googling, I found a few suggestions on how to fix that. Put a bit of soap on the part of the tire that sits in the rim, put 1 bar on them, then walk the wheel over the floor and if none of that helps, go 1 bar over the specified maximum and wait for the tire to just “pop” on the rim. None of that helped.

After 2 hours of trying and swearing, I gave up. I’ll ride it today for a short trip with a friend, but at every full turn, I’ll be reminded that it doesn’t fit perfectly and that I failed to fix it. In all the years of riding bicycles, I never encountered a problem that I couldn’t solve on my own. Until now.

Sometimes, I just lack the patience to fix something and I’m reminded that there’s a reason for having experts for everything. Tomorrow I’ll let a more experienced bike mechanic work his magic on it.

Daniel Heitmann

Another opinionated Systems Engineer. Hi!

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