Update: 9/23/2018

Tip of the day: Never ride a bike with a headache.

Today I took the Pinnacle out for a spin outside of its ordinary trail. The weather was quite nice. Feels just like an early autumn day. It rained some Friday morning, leaving the rest of Friday damp and gloomy. But the rest of the weekend has been terrific. Unfortunately, I sacrificed my Saturday to catch up on some work.

There’s one problem, though. Today, I woke up with a headache. Thinking it may go away, I got ready and headed down to hop on the Pinnacle.

Needless to say, it didn’t get better. I took some additional breathing breaks and didn’t push as hard, but the headache still persisted. But I still got to where I wanted to go today – a place where I’ve actually never been to.

The ride to my destination is fairly hilly. The ride there was mostly nice downhills, but what goes down must come back up. After reaching my destination and finding that my supposed shortcut was one way only (and I was on the wrong side), I had to take the hills back up and retrace my steps.

Just a view of the nice weather…

The trip was a great way to exercise the Pinnacle’s drive train by taking it through the gears. The gears shifted fine, as they have been.

Worn out by the time I got back home, I took a nap to sleep my headache away. Thankfully, that worked.

More Tire Fiascos…

Historically, I’ve had hit-and-miss results with the $4 Bell/Cheng Shin Tire inner tubes I buy from Walmart. It seemed like their 26×1.95 tires that I got for my old mountain bike were all duds – they all seemed to be defective. But I’ve actually had fairly good luck with the 27×1 1/4″ tubes that I’ve been buying for the Pinnacle.

That is, until today. No, the Pinnacle didn’t experience a third flat tire. I bought two tubes last week – one to replace the old tube that had failed, and another as a spare. The replacement tube seems to be holding okay – not perfect, but not to a concerning point.

I decided to test out the other tube I purchased as a spare today by inflating it some. The other CST tubes I’ve purchased for the Pinnacle seem to be of decent quality – the rubber seems to be of consistent thickness, there seems to be no obvious defects, et cetera. This, oddly, wasn’t the case with the CST tubes I purchased for that mountain bike.

The spare tube happened to be a lemon. After inflating it, parts of the tube started to bulge outward. This isn’t a big deal – it just means the thickness of the rubber isn’t consistent. When mounted inside the tire it should inflate properly. I had this problem a lot with the mountain bike CST tubes, but this is the first time I’ve had it happen with a road CST tube.

Battle of the Bulges: some of the bulging areas on the spare tube, particularly next to the valve stem and at the top of the image.

But what is a problem is the weaknesses. When I inflated the tube, I noticed that within the weak/bulging spots there were some defects in the rubber that resembled pinholes. Some of which went pretty deep. While inflating, all of a sudden one of these defects must’ve stretched to a point that it split the tube open. Oops! (Thankfully, it wasn’t inflated too much – so it just caused a dull psst rather than a ear-ringing bang.)

So now I have two tubes to “recycle” – one of which didn’t even see a second on the road. I plan on using them in an upcoming post about what you can do with them after they’ve failed. Even if it doesn’t hold air, a $4 tube can be turned into numerous things that can be pretty useful.

Weather Cracking…

While inflating my rear tire, I noticed a bunch of cracks in the sidewall. They’re fairly harmless – caused by the UV rays. I found it odd considering the front tire shows no sign of cracking.

Some of the UV cracking on the rear tire’s sidewall. The front tire has no cracks…

While taking pictures of the cracks, I noticed that the max pressure on the rear tire is actually rated at 70 PSI. I’m thinking about taking a slight risk and increasing the pressure in both tires by 5 PSI, bringing the rear to 70 PSI and front to 65 PSI.

Website

Lately, posts on the website have been almost exclusively for the Pinnacle. The Pinnacle has been a project I’ve been working on for quite a while – really, since I started the blog back in post #3. I’ve been trying to get back into bicycling, hoping to get into a better shape. It was something that I really enjoyed doing back in middle school, but it dropped off when the Pinnacle started having issues.

I’ve been taking a hiatus from posting about computer-related topics. I felt I needed some time away from it, and cover another one of my interests.

I’ve also been busy with a lot of other things, and I’ve had some personal challenges arise. Therefore, those take my priority.

I’ve received some photo submissions for the Kewanee Boiler portion of my website, which will be online when I get a chance.

Update (9/23)

Turns out the blown tube isn’t 100% useless. By tying off the ends tightly from where it split, you can turn it into a balloon of sorts. It actually holds air much better than I expected, although still nearly useless.

The tube balloon…

Thanks to that clever hack, I was able to inflate the tube and get a picture (although a poor picture) of the holes that I was referring to. This hole didn’t go as deep as the one that popped the tube (obviously), but it is there…

A defect in the rubber, in the bulge near the valve

Perhaps the tube would be a good subject to seeing just how much air it can take?

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