Ken and I were out for a ride yesterday. It was supposed to be an epic shred through the Edmonton river valley from my place to Terwilliger (a singles-track mecca) in the south west of the city. The ride there went to plan – including both of us surviving our own spectacular spills. Ken’s slide out won for most blood drawn, while I’d have to say my endo over the bars might have won for style points. Both of us walked away from the spills no problem and we made it to Terwilliger where we thoroughly hammered the the trails for a good hour. One the way back however, I felt my rear wheel was going “thud, thud, thud…” and when I looked down it looked warped. I stopped immediately and got off to take a look.
I had no idea a tubeless UST tire could do this but it was ballooning out like my tire had grown a goiter! I had it pumped up to about 38 psi, nothing horrendous, but I let the air out to about 20 psi to save it from exploding. Being about 20 km from home at this point, neither Ken nor I were thrilled with the idea of walking our bikes. Thankfully, USTs run really well a low psi and I was able to limp the bike home on this grotesquely deformed tire. The upside to all this, I went out last night and picked up a new set of Specialized Fast Track Pros, and a set of Schwalbe Racing Ralphs. Though I’m really excited to run both, my thinking is that I’ll put the Fast Tracks on, and save the Racing Ralphs (a more all-around/all-weather tire) for the Transrockies in case we see some wet conditions and get into the mud :-)