I grabbed the tri bike (that didn't need the tire changed) and noticed that the rear tire looked like it was developing a side wall "hernia" or possibly a hole. So I figured I'll use the new tire to put on the tri bike prior to the race Sunday and go get another tire for the road bike. Problem solved! Not so fast, stupid was what the tri bike was saying to me. First, couldn't get the wheel off. There is a lever on the wheel called a 'quick release' and today it was anything but. Whoever put my wheel on at the bike shop must have looked like this:
The lever would not budge. It was on so tight and I couldn't get it to move. So I looked around the house and found a wrench and that gave me enough leverage to get to open. Now I'm thinking I'm home free. I've changed dozens of tires and can do it blindfolded. Again, famous last words.
I get the tire levers out, get the tire and tube off the rim, inspect the tire and realize it was a time bomb waiting to go off. Good decision to change it. At this point I'm feeling really proud of myself for catching a potential problem instead of it rearing it's ugly head on my ride. I take the new tire and start to mount it on the wheel. Next up is the tube (I remember to put on the valve extender). This too goes on pretty effortlessly. Now I have to put the tire completely on. I get about 7/8ths of the way around and notice that it's going to be a chore to get the rest of the tire on. Most tires are "soft" enough that you can finesse them on. This one was stiff and had no give in it. I see it was going to be a battle of wills here. You have to be careful to not puncture the tube when putting the tire on so they recommend you don't use tools. There was no way this tire was going on. At this point I was struggling to get it to budge. And when it would go one, another section came out. Motherf&*er. Seriously, I am now 30 minutes into a change that should take at most 5 minutes and the tire is still not on. The ears of the guys at the bike shop must have been ringing because I was cursing them out. First for tightening the quick release too much and then for this crappy stiff tire. I considered going down to the bike shop for help mounting the tire, but now I was so angry and fed up that there was no way I could get behind the wheel of a car.
I can totally understand why Normann Stadler had his mental breakdown in Kona. I was seconds away from tossing my wheel out the door onto the lawn. I called Wingman to vent. I told him to not be surprised if he comes home and finds my bikes strewn across the front lawn in pieces. I was so fed up with it. He told me to leave it aside and he will look at it when he gets home. After I got off the phone I went back the wheel. I will not let it win. I did a big no no and grabbed the tire levers. Finally got the tire on. I grabbed the pump and started putting air in it. Guess what - dummy here punctured the tube with the levers while putting the tire on. They don't call me "Hero of the Stupid" for nothing. Now I have to start all over again.
I repeat the whole process of removal and putting the tire on. I am still stuck with not being able to get the tire on all the way. Now I just walk away. I sat down and watched some TV. I could hear the wheel taunting me from the kitchen. It's like Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell Tale Heart" where he can hear the heart beating from under the floor, but really it's just in his mind. My wheel was saying "Hey jackass, why don't you grab levers again." I started thinking "of course this tire is puncture resistant. You'll never ride it because you can never get it onto the wheel!!!!"
Finally Wingman got home and attempted to put the tire on. Even he struggled with it. I'm glad I wasn't the only one. He wound up using the tire levers as well but he didn't puncture the tube. I filled it up and we got the wheel back on the bike. Once I calmed down some more I sent an email to the bike shop telling them the tire sucks crap. Well, maybe not in those same exact words but you catch my drift. I have to take a ride down there this morning to pick up a new tube and I'm bringing the wheel with me so they can see the tire. I can't keep a tire on the bike that I can't change so I will have to get a new tire.
Yep, Ringo was right "It don't come easy"........................