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First Aid

I always carry an Epipen and antihistamine powder for bee stings.


post-ride nutrition

What about beer?  Carbs, hydration, ? ? ?

post-ride refreshment/recovery

What about beer?

first aid kit

I carry a minimal first aid kit on all rides as a practical matter.  On several iterations of a very popular state ride, I have had occasion on each annual ride to render some assistance, as there are very many riders with quite varied skill levels on that tour.  What do I carry?  It fits in a snack-sized zip-top bag: cut-off toothbrush for very bad abrasions, multi-antibiotic ointment, plastic cut-covering strips, soap, gauze pads, adhesive tape, a roll of gauze.  Getting the junk out of abrasions quickly can make all the difference between infection or not.  You have non-sterile water in your water bottle, but soap cleans it up.  Be prepared to help your fellow riders out.  It might be you who need the help.

first aid

prone to road rash and other abrasions, i carry a few bandages, triple cream, sunblock [charity rides always have mini freebie versions of this stuff] lipstick mascara and detain spray or ambesol. lipstick and mascara because DAMMIT i wanna look good in the ambulance [unfortunately too true] detain spray or ambesol because those are the most effective pain killers for the worst 'saddle sore abrasion ever' with 75 miles left to ride ... don't ask for details, just trust me.


I keep a small supply of basic first aid items in my pack at all times and have needed them for myself only a couple of times in more than 10 years.  However, I have helped enough other riders (and hikers) to keep replenishing my supplies about every six months.

After helping a small child once who had wrecked during his family's ride, I realized kiddie bandages make the owie go away better than treats or hugs, so I always keep at least three of those on hand now.  During my last Play Nurse session, the wounded child actually requested a specific bandage!!!  (Which I did not have then but do now!  Spider Man apparently has more healing powers than Hello Kitty, neon pink or camo...)

Wind tunnel


You should work with Specialized and do a Mythbusters article. There are so many 'aero' claims out there with convincing arguments that this is really needed. For most of us, just making several 'free' to 'almost free' changes might decrease aero drag - some are listed below.

For example,

1) Golf ball type dimples on helmets and deep dish aero rims claimed to decrease wind resistance. Myth or reality? 

2) I have heard that if running 1 water bottle on a bicycle, it is more aero to mount the water bottle on the seat tube than the downtube. Myth or reality? 

3) Several people I know were shoe covers all year round since it is more aero. How much does this save?

4) Wind tunnel tests --> some companies place a 'dummy' on the bike when aero testing, others just test the bike. To me it makes sense to test with a simulated person on the bike since that is how it will be ridden. It would seem that bicycle #1 by itself could be more aero than bicycle #2, but, when adding a dummy, the results could be that bicycle #2 could be more aero than bicycle #1.

5) The 2014 trend is to run slightly wider rims and tires. Everything else being the same, how much more drag, if any, is a 25 than a 23? How much more is a 28 than a 25. On my bike, I'm kind of limited in the fact that the widest tire I can run is a 23. A 25 rubs the seat stays.

6) Since they claim that shaving legs is more aero than not shaving legs, does the type of handlebar tape make a difference? 

7) The trend has been to go fatter handlebars with fatter gel tape, how much aero drag does this cause.

8) Are some sunglasses more aero than others?

9) Of course, if I lost 20 pounds, that would help considerable in the frontal cross section as well as with climbing.

Jim, thoughts?

Nice punch list

Thanks a lot, Rick, those are awesome suggestions and I would love to get back into the tunnel and experiment with these things. My visit was only for 2 hours on a Friday night and we did as much as we could in that time with 2 very different racers on the bike. I don't know if I'll get a chance to get into the tunnel again but what I'll do is try to reach out to Specialized for feedback and see if they've already done any of these tests. When I was inside the tunnel, Specialized's engineer covered a lot of stuff with the class but I couldn't hear what he was saying. So it's possible he answered some of these questions but I just didn't hear him. If I can find out anything I'll let you know. Great ideas. Thank you!


Post-ride nutrition tips

You suggest eating within the 15-minute window post-riding because 'muscles replace their fuel (glycogen) much faster and more efficiently if you eat carbohydrate immediately after a ride. The longer you wait, the less eager your muscle cells become to refill with glycogen.'

Does this mean your muscles will continue to replace fuel, but more slowly, over time? Or is there a total real loss to muscles if you replace more slowly?

Thanks, Dave.

coffee and deydration


In this week's Coach Fred section, John commented about his" FTP" and I've received several questions asking what the initials stand for. FTP is Functional Threshold Power. This is usually defined as the average wattage you can maintain for a certain length of time--usually 30 to 60 minutes.

You can determine your FTP by checking average wattage for a 40K time trial--but that's a tough way to get the information! An easier way to determine it on a bike or an indoor trainer with a power meter is to go as hard as you can for 20 minutes. The resulting figure will be slightly higher than your true FTP due to the shorter duration so simply subtract 5% from the average wattage to get FTP.

FTP is a good indicator of your fitness. How that wattage translates to performance, especially on climbs, is determined by your bodyweight too so often the wattage is divided by body weight in kilograms to get a "watts per kilogram" figure. So if you determine your FTP to be 280 watts and you weigh 70 kilograms (154 pounds) your watts per kilogram is 4.0. 

Fred Matheny

Senior Cycling

Maybe its just SoCal but there is NO senior cycling here. Guys like Wayne Stetina (61), 3x Olympian and winner of numerous Nationals titles still rides and is faster than most 25 year olds. Another is Kenny Fuller who has to be 66 or so now, 2x olympian and numerous National and world titles still rides and races and is as fast as any 30  yar old out there. Kal Szkalac (1986?) who in his younger days won Boby Building  Mr. Universe title and competed at Mr. Olympia still races and wins almost every 60+ event he races in. Just for the heck of it he races in the next 2 lower categories at each event as well. I sometimes ride with a group of 75+ year olds who in their younger days have numerous National titles. The dont pull much, but they stay up with any group they decide to ride with. 

Senior cycling just means you are that much more seasoned. These guys in SoCal do not slow down when they reach 60.

Tubeless poll needs another choice

The poll on tubeless needs another choice IMHO.   I'm pretty sure I'm not alone in having tried tubeless tires, loved the ride, yet have gone back to clinchers because the tubeless are just too much trouble.  With tires like Conti's new 4000 S II, clinchers continue to impress with a great ride and simplicity.  ...alan


Alan, please comment


Can you explain why tubeless tires are just too much trouble. Having ridden thousands and thousands of miles on tubeless, I find it the opposite. After mounting the tire, put 1oz of Slime in, then go and ride. If you run over something in the road, the slime will usually stop the leak quickly, so that you dont even have to stop. Where with a clincher, you would have to stop, change tubes, blow tire back up then ride. So I would like to hear why you think they are too much trouble?

I Added Your Choice, Alan

Good call! And thanks.

-- John

Tubeless isn't that complicated

The information presented here really muddied the difference between "tubeless" and "tubeless-ready" tires and stated that there were risks with the latter that are not present with the former. That is simply not true.

"Tubeless" tires are constructed with non-stretch beads the fit tightly to the rim. They also have an air-tight rubber lining (essentially a partial tube) laminated to the inside of the casing. You can mount them on tubeless rims and they will seal. The liner adds weight, which is why they're heavier than comparable standard clinchers.

"Tubeless-ready" tires use the same construction as tubeless, but without the air-tight liner. They fit and seat the same, but they're designed to be used with sealant and will not seal without it. Since they don't have a liner, they weigh about the same as a comparable standard clincher.

Contrary to what was presented, there is no serious risk of tubless-ready tires coming off of the rim or "burping". While it's true that sealant can lubricate the beads somewhat initially, once any sealant that gets between the tire and rim dries, there is no increased likelihood of a bead slipping off.

Tubeless rims come in two types, those with no holes though to the inside and those with visible spoke holes on the inside. The former allows tires to be mounted without any special preparation. The latter requires application of sealing tape (usually provided with the wheels) to cover the spoke holes. Either one will accept tubeless or tubeless-ready tires and either can be used with sealant. Some tubless rims with spoke holes are referred to as "tubeless compatible", meaning that they are designed to fit tubeless tires, but require sealing tape to work with them.

Most tubeless rims have hooked beads, but the latest designs have stronger, straight beads. Either design will work.

In short, there is nothing to fear with tubeless. It's a technology that's been proven on cars, motorcycles and mountain bikes for many years. The road bike technology is still evolving somewhat, but it's here to stay and I expect that it will become even simpler in time.

It's tubeless-ready that's the issue

I'm sorry to disagree with you, Bnystrom. You're entitled to your opinion, but people are rolling off these tires and getting hurt. I mentioned two I heard from recently and there are plenty more stories out there if you ask around. It may be that companies are producing sub-standard tires and wheels and calling them tubeless-ready to take advantage of the popularity of tubeless technology, though you would hope that wouldn't happen. In any case, you won't roll off Hutchinson tubeless tires and that's why I said to stick with them. The whole point was to prevent roll-offs, which can cause some of the most serious crashes/injuries.


Jim,Ive heard the same


Ive heard the same horror stories on tubeless-ready.

Again, tubeless and tubeless ready are not the same thing. A true tubeless uses an entirely different rim than "tubeless-ready" which uses a standard clincher rim with some retrofit to simulate a tubeless rim. 

***If you are thinking about going tubeless, get a set of tubeless wheels (Ultegra, Dura Ace) then you have a real option of running either true tubelss tires or clinchers.

Senior rider training

I'm a 67 year old rider who resumed road cycling in 2005 after a 15 year hiatus. Since 2006, I've ridden several centuries a year including the Triple Bypass, including the Double Triple in 2011 and 12. Back problems in late 2012 and knee problems in late 2013 kept me off the bike for December - January in both cases in contrast to 2012 when I started the year with 12 weeks of trainer workouts 6 days a week, putting in 8-11 hours a week, mostly endurance and usually 2 days of hard intervals. I posted PRs in 2012 for time and power and have never made it back to that level. What I'm finding in my trainer workouts is that I can reach my threshold and VO2 Max power goals in an interval but I can't hold them as long as I could a couple of years ago. I'd like to think this is because I just haven't built as good an endurance base as I had a couple of years back but wonder if it's realistic to think I'll ever get back to that level, or beyond, at my age.

icing is in play?

Just had my knee replaced and Dr. Mirkin's article through me for a loop.  Further research on the internet, if you can call it that,  at least shows the topic to be controversial.  To me it seems the theories abound but the facts are scarce.  On the other hand, a Dr Mirkin's opinion carries alot of weight.  I hope we can rely on him to continue to work this issue.  has some very interesting comments and is worth reading.

Embarrassing Moment

It was April Fool's Day 2009!  On the previous ride, a spoke had broken on my rear wheel, and since I had not fixed it, I swapped wheels with my trainer bike.  Unfortunately I did NOT swap tires.  Apparently the trainer tires had "aged" enough that they had lost their grip.  So as I was swooping down the S-curve about a mile from home - where I had been perfecting my downhill turns - the tires slid and I went down hard on my right side.  I kept sliding and sliding (thinking, "Man, this is bad...") and finally came to a stop just before the ditch line.

I unclipped and stood up, and then noticed a car which had been behind me stopped.  It was an elderly couple.  She called out, "Are you OK?"  Making sure that my undamaged left side was facing them, I said I was fine and would call my wife to come get me.  She got back in the car, he shook his head, as if to say, "You idiot!" and off they went!

Tubeless Tires

I have been running Hutchinson Fusion tubeless tires with Fulcrum Racing Zero wheels for the last four years.  I've logged about 20,000 miles with only three flats and all of these were big punctures from a nail, glass and a piece of sharp metal. Going tubeless was one of the best upgrades I have made in years. Installing the new tire is a little harder to do as is changing a flat, but it is well worth the extra effort. Fewer flats, lower tire pressure, better ride quality and lower rolling resistance.  The closest you will get to running tubulars. I will never go back to regular tires.

BTW, I have been using tubeless on my mountain bike for the past 12 years and have never had a flat because I can run with low tire pressure that prevents punctures.

Kevin, Are you using the new

Kevin, Are you using the new 2-way fit (like Shimano Ultegra) which is a tubeless rim that can also run clinchers or the standard Racing Zero clincher? If the clincher, what system did you use to convert to tubeless? 


1) I have heard its always best to run a true tubeless wheel if you want to run true tubeless tires.

2) I also run the Hutchison Fusion 3 tubless tires. They are long lasting and with a little slime, not a lot of flats. I had an issue with the older Fusion 2, both delaminated on the inside and Hutchinson relaced with the Fusion 3 that have held up perfect!

3) For those that dont know about Fulcrum, they are a 'Campagnolo' company whose wheels are spec'd to work with the Shimano drivetrain. Campy and Shimano are incompatible so Campy came up with an idea to start a new company and take market share away from Shimano. 

Embarassing Moments

Having finally given in and switched from toe clips to clipless pedals, there was the usual breaking in period of learning the art of timing getting out of them and getting your foot down.  With the first few attempts having all the grace of a goonie bird landing, I thought I had the hang of it.  Off I go on my daily commute.

Three days in a row, negotiating traffic and stopping at lights and stop signs go without a hitch.  However, arrival at the gate is another matter.  Now add in fumbling with an ID card while slowly moving along in line with the cars and trucks.  (A bicycle is a vehicle.)

The first fall was just as I crossed the fenceline into the base.  The car behind me saw me clearly, and then, "Where'd he go?" as I dropped below his line of sight over his hood and sprawled on the pavement.  Fortunately, he waited for me to get up before trying to proceed.

The next day, careful not to repeat the prior incident, I unclipped and rested my foot off center on the pedal.  Thinking this would allow me to soft pedal along in the slow moving line, I paid more attention to the other vehicles and promptly forgot exactly how my foot was positioned.  When I got to the guard post, I went to lift my foot and heard that distinct click that tells you, "You may not have been clipped in before, but you are now".  And over I went.

Having learned my lesson(s), the third day, I got up to the guard and presented my ID with no problems.   Upon being told to proceed, I try fumbling to put away my ID, clip into the pedal, and get underway, all at the same time.  Did manage to accomplish two of the three.  The initial push off only got me so far before losing all momentum.  And for the third time in three days, over I go.

Lesson learned?  Follow the example of the motorcyclists.  Don't fumble with anything your ID until you are stopped in front of the guard.  Then take the time to put it away before moving.  It's less entertaining for the vehicles behind you, but easier on the bike and the body, not to mention your riding clothes.

Tubeless tires

After reading Jim's dissertation on keeping up the new tubeless tires, I think I'll stay with my clinchers, thank you.

No Thanks to Tubeless....


I don't think you're alone in thinking they're perhaps more trouble than they're worth. I see a poll question in the near future!

-- John

John,  How are they 'more


How are they 'more trouble than they are worth'? True, you really should run a true tubeless wheel so a new (or ebay) wheel purchase is required, but you can get a great bang for the buck with Ultegra. They are simpler when needing to change a flat (i.e., no pinch-flat tubes) and if needed, the insides are prepared so that you can use a patch to cover any hole. If running slime, then just keep riding. The tires last a long time and the ride is better, softer, smoother than with a rock hard and bumpy tire/tube. 

Excessive Sealant

One thing I've found during years of using sealant is that sealant manufacturers typically recommend using much more than is actually necessary to seal typical leaks. While that's good for their bottom line, it's the primary cause of the formation of "oysters" and sealant balls inside tires. I typically cut the recommended quantity by 1/3 to 1/2. What you need is enough to completely coat the inside of the tire, plus a modest amount of extra to deal with larger leaks and compensate for loss and drying over time. This method has worked perfectly for sealing flats and does not require cleaning the inside of the tire before adding more sealant, but it does require adding sealant more frequently (3-4 times per year vs. 2).

Exactly what I do! Great

Exactly what I do! Great minds think alike!

Embarrassing Story

Clipless pedals of course. When I started riding with them I was mostly fine, but starting on an uphill and getting my foot into the pedal as I did so would weigh on my mind.  When rolling up to an intersection where I knew I'd have to start uphill I'd begin thinking about how I'd do it, what gear I should be in etc. One night, commuting home from work I was so fixated on these concerns that I didn't realize I had reached the stop sign until I was about to run it.  I grabbed the brakes, realized I was still clipped in, and fell over on my side (mostly on the ball of work clothes in my messenger bag forunately since this was on blacktop) and realized I was right next to a car.  The woman in the passenger seat rolled her window down and looked out a me and said "Are you okay?"  My reply, "Yes, maam, but I am an idiot."  She had no idea what to say to that and just rolled up her window and they continued on.  My wrist hurt for a week.

Embarrassing Story

So last fall I rode the Hilly Hundred in southern Indiana for the second time. The year before I had trained a reasonable amount and was able to make all the climbs but one. That one climb is very steep and I've heard only 25% of the riders make it up without walking. I had made it all but the last 20 yards before having to clipout and walk the last little bit.

Needless to say, making all the way up was motivation for much of last summer's riding. When the ride came around I was well prepared from having done as much climbing practice as possible leading up to the ride. Its a two day ride and the first day went reasonably well but I didn't fly up some of the climbs as I had anticipated and I was left with a little concern about making it up THE CLIMB. So at dinner with friends that night I declared that I would not clipout during the ride the following day. I would make it up that climb or fall over. Toward the end of the day we approached the climb and I was totally psyching myself up, visualizing powering over the last of hill and cresting the top. A few minutes later it happened and I felt like I'd won a race. It was very exhilerating. 

From that hill we had about 10 miles to the finish of the ride. As I crossed the finish line with two close friends we saw hundreds of people taking pictures and congradulating each other for finishing the ride and decided to take a group picture. I moved to the side of the road and pulled into the grass. As I did this my tire basically stopped in the very mild swale and I fell over in the grass. Ten yards after the finish line I fell over because I didn't clipout. Everyone within eyeshot saw it happen including the young lady I fell right next to. I very smoothly rolled over toward her and asked "How ya doin"?" and we struck up a conversation like we knew each other and I completely intended to do what had just happened. She was nice enough to take the picture of the three of us after we were able to stop laughing at what had just happened. It was a very fitting end to a great ride with great friends.

Embarrassing Story

One of my earliest embarrassing moments is the same as my teammate David Ertl. In 1972 I had a new 10 Speed from a bicycle shop (my first bicycle from a real bicycle shop).  I was riding on a street that veered off both to the right and also to the left.  I turned to the left and was headed to the apartment where I lived.   I had my head down and was charging away and just after I turned left I ran into the back of a parked car.   I picked myself and my bicycle up and looked around; my first thought was I hoped that no one saw me do this!!!   I was relieved that there was no one else around.  The fork on my new bicycle was bent and had to be replaced.   The bicycle was a very low end 10 speed but at that time I did not have much money and it was a big investment for me.  I believe that I spent around $100 for the bicycle which was a German brand, Kalkoff.   I did have many good experiences with this bicycle.

Weather URLs Now Updated

Sorry for anyone who had trouble with the URLs in the Quick Tips column today. We've fixed them in the Newsletter now, so they're good to go.

-- John

Siva Atom

Hope you guys can do a review of the Siva Atom when it becomes available.  It sounds like a great solution for keeping electronics changed up.  I can't use my smartphone to run any of the cool apps out there because it runs out of juice after 5-6 hours (I go long distances, and I'm really slow too).  I'll be curious to know just how much it can power - for instacne, can it run a headlight while still charging a GPS?  How weatherproof is it?  Lots of questions about it.

Thanks for the great weekly update on all things cycling!

Brian R. - Greenville SC


The article is great and timely!

At 60 and riding about 5,ooo miles a year, had my first knee done ten weeks ago.  As stated, initial TKR recovery can take a bit longer.  Started road biking last week, having been on the trainer (at PT and at home) for the last four. 

One thing that my ortho said cycling was definitely the one thing that had extended the "life" of my original equipment well beyond when he thought it needed to go, about ten years ago.

Steve Bayard notes a slightly higher cadence now.  There is some good logic that recommends a higher cadence for anyone with knee issues.  The higher cadence in a slightly lower gear means that for the same speed, the force required on the pedals is less.  This reduces overall strain on the knees, but it also means the synovial fluid (the body's natural joint lubricant) can flow more easily between the friction points and has more opportunities to do so. 

Less stress + more lubricant = happier knees!


A TKR is not quite me at this stage luckily but I recently had some cartlidge removed from both knees and have found that road pedals are better for me than MTB.  I unclip by turning my heel inwards rather than outwards and my Time RXS's allow me to do that. I did have Shimano MTB pedals on my cx bike and have since had to switch to road pedals as they didn't allow me to unclip twisting in. Whether I will be able to go back to them, well only time will tell.

I've told someone else with knee issues about my unconventional unclip and he has converted as it is a more natural movement.

Thanks for the article - it may be where I will heading as the years progress.


If you like the Shimano MTB (SPD) pedals, they can be adjusted to allow unclipping with either movement (twisting the heel inboard or outboard).  Try it each way for both legs.  My left knee prefers twisting outboard, my right, inboard.  Have been using the SPDs for years without a problem.

Shaving Legs

Tried it.  Kept freaking out my wife when she rolled up against a clean shaven leg under the covers that wasn't hers!

As for dealing with road rash, my first aid kit includes a razor.  Whether it's an arm, a leg, a shoulder, or a head, sometimes getting all the hair out of the way during initial cleanup / triage is the best way to prep for further scouring and bandaging.

Another tubeless fan

Last season I rode on Schwalbe tubeless tires and had zero problems. I had a Stan's Tubeless wheelset and used the sealant included with the Schwalbe tires. They mounted easily and sealed with a floor pump. No flats, no burps.

Favorite Weather Site

The Aviation Weather site was pretty and had some interesting data, but I get all that I need at these links.  NOAA is pretty much where everyone else gets their data from, so why not go to the source? Start at enter your location and you'll get a five day forcast that looks pretty much like everyone elses.  Bookmark it.  Now go to the lower right and click on the Hourly Graph and you'll get at 48 hour graph with just about all that you need.

My final tools are the Animated Regional and Local Radars from like wise find your are and bookmark them. (be sure and click on animate after finding your region)

Getting the local radar is a little trickier.  Find your area code (capital letter & # area) and edit this link

I find this one much easier to read than most of the other radars.  Your mileage may vary.


I have being using tubeless road tires for 3 years. I use Hutchinson fusion 3 tubeless tires on Shimano DuraAce tubeless rims together with Stan’s sealant. I have ridden on this setup for about 10000 klm in the last 3 yrs. I use tires with inner tube on my training rides, and only use the tubeless setup on Brevets and races.During this time, I have experienced only one flat that was caused by no sealant in the tubeless tire.

I would highly recommend this setup since it minimizes the flats, and the ride is more comfortable with the same tire pressure. I don’t have an escort with spare wheels during the races, and getting a flat on a cold rainy night during a Brevet is very uncomfortable.

However, in my opinion, there are some disadvantages that I have experienced. The biggest problem I found was sealing the tire to the rim. I use a house compressor and still have a lot of difficulty. So once you have added the sealant, and sealed the tire to the rim you are ready to good. However, the sealant eventually dries out and you have to add more by lifting a small section off the tire off the rim with a lever or squeezing the tire off the rim thus breaking the tire to rim seal. Then the problem starts again with trying to seal the tire to the rim.

I have solved this problem by replacing the Shimano presta valves with Stan’s that have a removable core, and I add the sealant through the valve thus avoiding breaking the rim to tire seal. Another advantage of a removable core valve is when installing a new tire you get a higher flow of air that assists in sealing the tire.

Another problem is that eventually you need to take the tire off the rim, and clean both from the gummy residue that the dry sealant forms. This cleaning needs some effort.

Also, there is a very gradually pressure drop about 5 psi per day which is not really an issue

I am not going to address the issue of corrosion of the rim from the sealant because I have not concluded the exact cause of it.

Overall, there is a huge benefit of tubeless road tires, but you need a lot of patience for setup and maintenance.

I don’t think there is an issue with pinch flats because you would never run intentionally such a low pressure on a road tire to cause a pinch flat.

The above is my personal experience in using tubeless road tires for 3 years, and I hope it helps potential users.



DONT USE STANS - it will cause corrosion to form on inside of rim. Unofficially, Shimano recommends against using Stans, but recommends Slime instead.

I have seen this rusting 1st hand when a friend of mine came by and had a slow leak. We removed the tire and spent the next 2 hours cleaning up the rims and digging out all of the old Stans and corrosion. At the same time, I needed to put a new front tire on my bike so I popped of the old Tubeless and proceeded to use 3 paper towels to wipe out the old Slime. No corrosion, an easy cleanup and easy installation.

Thanks for your review of tubeless

Thanks very much for sharing your experiences with tubeless wheels/tires and the tips you've learned YannisG. I just want to point out, that a lot of your negatives are related to the sealant.

So it's only fair to tell everyone - so that no one gets the wrong idea (a common misunderstanding, too), that you do not need sealant with genuine tubeless tires and wheels. They seal just fine without any and you avoid all the hassles of sealant at the same time, plus the small weight increase.

And, for seating the tires, you can use soap and water or bead soaps, or Armorall, etc. That will make it easier. If you have a seating tool, that helps, too. Another trick is to gently but forcefully strike the tire at the point it's dipping below the rim, on the floor. You do this by swinging the wheel down so that the tire only hits the floor and try to create a force pulling the tire out of the rim. Of course, this takes practice and has to be done carefully. It's an old bike mechanic's trick. Another one is to place the tire where it is not seating in the jaws of a vise with wood blocks between so that the vise cannot damage the tire. Held in the vise like this you can gently rock the wheel in the appropriate direction and leverage the tire and get it to pop out and seat at that point. But, again, you definitely need to clamp carefully so as not to damage the tire in any way - watch out of the rim, too, of course.

Thanks again!

I beg to differe with you


I beg to differ with you, but, as a long term tester, you DO NEED to run some sealant in the tire. No tire seals perfectly and the sealant will ensure an air thight fit. Also, if getting a flat, the sealant will usually stop the leak so fast that you can continue riding. 

tubeless road (clean out?)

Thanks Jim for further dialogue on road tubeless.  My experience with 6 sets of tubeless road wheels in the family has mostly been good.  The ride is lovely and the peace of mind is a relief, given two of those wheelsets get ridden in the Hollywood Hills area of So. Cal. with frightening grade percentages!  The two Campy Zonda Two Way fit wheelsets were a piece of cake, as was the Mavic Ksyrium with no spoke holes - all with Hutchinson intensives.  The American Classic Victories and the The Dura Ace both with Itensives and Campy Neutron Ultras with IRC's (all with Stan's tape) were a little more problematic to get to seal but ultimately worked fine.  I have used Stan's sealant in all wheels and have refilled them without removing and cleaning the old out.  Your article suggests they should be cleaned before "recharging"  - is this really necessary?  As an aside, one of the Intensives would not hold air and I discovered what must have been a flaw in the casing.  An area in the sidewall about the diameter of a Chick Pea was "porous" upon testing with soap and water.  I remounted and recharged and was careful to roll the sealant around inside - focussing especially on the problem area and bingo - no probs since.


Jim, thanks for yr response.

I know some riders use tubeless tires sealant free, but the sealant actually seals the tire from small punctures. As I mentioned above, the only flat I have experienced with this setup is when I had a small puncture, and there was no sealant to close it.

I have spent many frustrating hours using soap and water plus manipulating the tire trying to seal it, so I finally went to the removable core valve solution. Maybe some of yr solutions work well, but there was a time, before resorting to the removable core valves, that I was ready to abandon the tubeless setup.

I also use tubeless tires on my mountain bike, but there sealing the tire to the rim is a piece of cake.



TKR Revision Surgery

I was very happy to see the article in the Mar. 27th edition about TKR Revision surgery. I am a 72 year old cyclist who had both my knees replaced in 2010 (8 months apart). I have been riding regularly since 1968, doing between 5,000- 7,500 miles per year, and I hope to live beyond the expected useful life of these devices. I have dreaded when the day would be here, providing I live that long, that I would have to have 1 or both knees redone. This article was very helpful and appreciated. It is also uplifting to know that the "shock abosrber" piece within the device can be replaced without having to remove the metal portion that has lodged itself to the femur and tibia bones, which from what I understand, leads to the most brutual recovery and rehab. Thank you again for this article. Jim Remillard, Cool, CA

TKR Revision

Ditto here.  I'm just a pup at 61 with three years on my bilateral TKR. My doc said 20 years before a 'gasket' change so I hope that warranty is good.  He also said that the surgery really take very little time, like 15 minutes per knee, and the recovery is better.

Thanks for sharing the experience!yes

Safety through gadgets


Safety through gadgets?  I don't think so.
I was disappointed to see the New York Times's naiveté in its reporting on "safety" gadgets.  These things don't make you safe.  Existing lights and THE RIDER'S OWN BEHAVIOR are what make you safe.
The inventors of these gadgets tend to be electrical engineers with no understanding of where the true issues in bicyclist safety arise, or of the well-established principles of traffic engineering.
Let's use the example of the laser-painted bike lane.  
Imagine yourself. . . driving a car and just wanting to get to your destination without drama.  You see a bicyclist ahead.  He's in his own lane.  You stay in your own lane.  His left elbow and your right mirror are only a foot or two apart as you overtake him.  Brush passes aren't any fun, and you just got one.
THAT is the behavior that bike lanes encourage.
IF the laser bike lane works as its inventors posit, that's the best its inventors can offer you.
How do most motorists perceive the laser bike lane?  We don't know.  But I don't care.  If I want other road users to notice me, I don't use lights on the pavement to make that happen.  I use lights on my bike and my position on the roadway to make that happen.  If your lights are sufficient, this is the same . . . day or night.  You don't need to re-invent the bike light.  You just need to reconsider how your position affects motorist behavior.
Now. . . let's get back to that motorist who is overtaking a bicyclist.  The bicyclist is directly ahead of the motorist.  Guess what happens?  The motorists CHANGES LANES to overtake the bicyclist.  It's EASY to get better behavior from other road users -- you just have to stop cringing to the right.
If you want photographic evidence, check out the cyclistlorax channel on YouTube.  You'll see countless videos that compare overtaking behavior with different bicyclist behaviors.  Curb hugging always loses out:
Most cyclists have spent their lives hugging the right curb.  The notion that they've been doing it wrong all these years can be disappointing to the ego.  I urge y'all to think about that.  Why continue with a stressful behavior when you can change that behavior and enjoy a greater margin of safety?

Tubeless Tires - The Best!

Several years ago after reading RBR reviews of tubeless tires etc., I got a conversion kit - Stans - plus Fusion 2 tires for my wife. The reason?  I wanted her to feel good about riding without worrying about flats which are hard for her to change.  The conversions worked after a fashion, but the tires lost pressure a little to fast for comfort.  After a few weeks, I converted to Shimano Ultegra wheels - Best decision we made.  We do run sealant in the tires and clean and replace the sealant ever few months.  Since the committment to tubeless wheelsets and tires, zero problems and a total of 3 flats in three years.  She rides anywhere from 100 - 220 miles per week, another bonus of tubeless tires!  Recently, she suffered a serious puncture but was able to ride 4 miles to a coffeeshop which would be impossible on tube tires.  For what it is worth, her tubeless tires seem to last about 2500 miles between replacements.  A little pricey, but well worth the piece of mind.

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