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28 Apr

Tubeless pinch flats

Posted by Bold Apps

Yes it can happen. On 300km audax on saturday 27th April, about 60km in, I hit a big stone and the IRC Formula Pro tyre I had mounted lost air very rapidly. The puncture was a This 5mm cut along above the bead. It is not a puncture that cannot be easily fixed by inserting a tube as it is not easy to boot that area. 

A 3.5mm Maxalami plug did fix the hole but the tyre developed a hernia and the plug pushes out above ~15psi. So I rode 8 miles home to swapped wheels. Incidentally the tyre still is inflated to that pressure 24 hrs later and it would have got me further. 

I bring this up because I get the odd email about this sort of failure from time to time. The customer normally find the tyre fails without warning and thinks its the tyres fault. That's unlikely but hitting a stone or pothole at some point and thinking all is well is likely. This can weaken the tyre and it then fails at a later date. 

These failures do happen to other brands of tyres too. IRC normally replace  the tyre even though it strictly is not a warranty. The Formula Pro X-Guard tyre due to the puncture protection belt does seem to fail seem to fail so if you ride on back lanes that are full of holes or venture down bridleways/gravel sometimes the X-Guard tyres are a better bet.

The IRC Formula Pro RBCC is a race tyre and while normally long lived and reliable they are not invunerable and more easily damaged than its hardier brother. This however this is the case with all race tyres. We all want nice fast rolling tyres but in reality these are racing tyres. 

A weakened tyre should have telltale bulges or other deformaties.  Tubeless tyres are should therefore be inspected. Just because it's holding air dies not mean all is well. The moral is check your tyres. 

My failure did happen after I spent a few rides bouncing down bridleways. Did this weaken the tyre, I don't know. I did hit the stone fast and just before I hit it I did think that's looks sharp and I hope... Bang.

The other morale is carry Maxalami plugs. There is nothing that can't be fixed even if it temporary, that is fixable with these plugs. A tube is not the answer as there is no way you'll get a boot to stay put just above the bead when mounting the tyre.

 

 

14 Mar

ENVE rims - warning

Posted by Bold Apps

The bead hooks on the ENVE SES road rims (rim or disc brake) are simply not conforming to any standard. The bead hook is not properly shaped and as a result can cut into tyre just above the bead. It won't happen to every tyre but how much contact the tyre has with the "sharp" edge will be important as will the type of tyre. That means tyre pressure is important (too low and the risk of cutting should increases) as is the amount of tyre deformation caused by cornering. Tyres with reinforcement at the bead will be less prone to cutting as would low TPI tyres. Let me emphaise that all tyres are susceptible to damage though. The rim bead hook design is at fault not the tyre. No tyre is actually safe to use on these rims due to the increased risk of failure. 

In my opinion no tyre should be used with these rims. I noticed this 18 months ago but I refrained from publishing due to lack of proof (sample size too small). Some warranties for IRC tyres on these rims have cropped up. 

If you suffer a tyre failure on an ENVE rim I therefore cannot consider a warranty issue. Your tyre maybe replaced as good will but in my opinion you should be returning your wheels to ENVE for a refund. 

I think there are issues with DT Swiss road rims too but that is due to the size of the bead hook (too small) and the wrong orientation. Tyres with reinforcement at the bead are best used.

 

 

14 Mar

IRC Serrac XC tyres

Posted by Bold Apps

I got a chance to put these tyres through there paces at the weekend - IRC Serrac XC 29x2.1. Kings lynn winter series round 2. The weather was cold by Suffolk standards and it was snowing. The trails were wet and mucky. Normally I find grip and issue with the tyres I normally use. The IRC's are mounted to a set of Velocity Blunt SL rims with a 20mm internal width. Yes they are narrow but they work. The tyres sit 50mm wide which is to be expected on a narrow rim. The tyre however, even though it is narrow can really perform. This rider lacks talent. On the straights they roll well (diificult to tell if they are quicker or slower than other fast tyre - they were not a hinderance though) but in the mud they gripped well for a narrow tyre (maybe because it was narrow). No mud stuck to them either which was nice. I have been in races before where my tyres (Challange one tubular turned into a ball of mud - these where the worst MTB tyres I have ever bought). Also they were surprising comfortable and I ride a rigid Kenesis FF29. It took 2.5hrs of the increasingly wet gloves to numb my hands and it is the cold that did that - biy it was painful. On the road I have noticed road tyre like grip on wet roundabouts. Most MTB tyres even the tubulars I use (Vittoria and Dugast) just dont corner that well on wet tarmac, these IRC's do though. My only wish is that the tyre was wider but as it weighs only 520g I am not complaining. The tyres helped me to 12 place. If I had not packed the race in 11 minutes before the finish (I could have done another lap) due to being boarderline hypothermic I would have finished higher up. All in all a good tyre and one I will enjoy using and wear out.

 

02 Feb

Tubeless tyre road side repair

Posted by Bold Apps

As a follow up to my guide on living with tubeless tyres I have done this short video to show you how to deal with a puncture that wont seal. The tyre used is an IRC roadlite 23mm and the sealant used is Effetto Mariposa. Orange seal or Zefal would also work well but the Effetto Marioposa sealant is ammonia free. Tyre worms and flexible superglue to the rescue.

24hrs later the tyre is holding 90 psi just fine.

 

 


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