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"Under pressure"

I’ve been having a go at my bicycle, which has been merrily rusting away in the garage for the last 3 years. The chain had about seized up, and both tyres were flat – and both brake cables had a lovely orange tint.

So several days of soaking in oil and working it in didn’t help – time for a new chain, I think. But rather than do this straight away, I decided to have a good go at the seized links with a pair of pliers.. lo and behold they soon free up. A bit more oil and a bit more working and the chain is functioning perfectly. All the gears and the brakes are fine too.

Back tyre had just suffered through general seepage I think – topped it up and it’s holding the pressure nicely.

Front tyre was as flat as a pancake… Can’t remember the last time I fixed a puncture, so it felt like having to work it all about again from scratch. Somehow satisfying though. Oh, except for the fact I didn’t manage to repair it, and the tyre went flat again within a few days. Ho Hum.

One fairly major discovery was that while I was re-fitting the outer tube, I noticed it had writing on the side. “What’s this?” I think. “Inflate to 35 – 55 PSI”. 35 to 55 PSI?!?!?! That’s an enormous pressure – more than the pressure in our car tyres!! I happened to have a pressure gauge with me, so I tested the back tyre (which I’d inflated to about what I’ve always inflated tyres to).

15 PSI

So I hammered away at the pump for 5 minutes.

25 PSI

Another 5 minutes, and I’m starting to get worried the tyre will explode.

35 PSI

I’m a “middle of the range” kinda guy, so I’m aiming for 45. The tyre is already like a band of steel – I could hit it with a hammer and I think the hammer would come off worse. Another 5 minutes hard labour and it’s finally at 45.

I haven’t had the chance to test the ride, because of the front-wheel puncture, but it will be very interesting to see!

Interesting, on the way to work the next day I sauntered past a police van (one of the big riot ones), and noticed that the tyres on then should be inflated to 35 PSI!! On the other hand, an F1 car is a mere 16 PSI.

For the metric monkeys, my bicycle tyres have a pressure of just over 310 KPa.

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