School girl errors – puncture misery.


To finalise the winterisation of my old Le Monde road bike, I took delivery today of new handle bar tape and two Gatorskins continental tyres. Waiting impatiently for the delivery man with the tyres I pulled off the old bar tape and set about redressing the bars with the funky blue & grey new tape and shiny anodised bar ends.

I then gave the bike a good clean and lube as still no sign of the delivery van. They were now stretching the 10am to 2pm delivery slot and as darkness was approaching I realised I wouldn’t be hitting the road today for a ride – grrrrrrhhh. 😦

In anticipation I took the wheels off the frame and prised the front tyre off with ease.

With chilly fingers from the cold bucket of water and being outside for a while, I went indoors to get a coffee and heard the pitch door bang. It was my delivery of two tyres – like early Christmas. Don’t you love Wiggle’s next day delivery.

The Gatorskins were recommended on our sportive ride on Sunday and with my slip sliding antics I knew I needed some new rubber if I was to have half a chance of staying upright for the rest of the winter.

Well these Gatorskins live upto their name – they are tough & strong little buggers. I fought and wrestled with metal tyre leavers having snapped three plastic ones. The cold temps may have had some affect but putting new tyres on a wheel rim for the first is tough going.

Tyre seated in place, rims in place and a few beads of sweat springing up on my brow, I grabbed my track pump.

Pump pump pump whoosh whoosh whoosh.

Mmmmhh had I bent the valve ? No all OK. Lever off one side of the tyre and extract the tube.

I’d only gone and pinched the inner tube in two places but only had one repair patch 😦

Time for the spare tube on the bike. Another wrestle with the tyre and the new tube was in place and they tyre seated in place.

Pump pump pump whoosh whoosh whoosh.

Aaaaggghhh 😦 what now ? I’d checked the inner tube was OK before I inserted it into the tyre.

I’d only gone and pinched the inner tube again ! And had no repair patches or spare tubes 😦

Epic fail due to schoolgirl error.

Now both wheels are off the frame and I will be heading to my local bike shop with a shopping list of four new inner tubes, pack of repair patches and a sheepish request that they finish off the job I made such a hash off – two new tyres & tubes fitted to my wheels so I can get back on the road.

So after a day of waiting as excited as a five year old on Christmas eve for my tyre delivery, my mood was left as deflated as my inner tubes by sunset. 😦

Highs and lows of cycling and a lesson in being prepared. At least it was a lesson learnt and better I ran out of spares at home rather on the road.


  1. Before you put on the new tires dust the inside with flour or talcum powder. Same with the tube. Toss the deflated tube in a baggie with the powder and give it a good shake to coat. The powder will help the tube slip and slide away from those annoying pinch points.

    • I will be investing in more tyre levers, talcum powder and more patience in future !
      Thanks for the tip about the tubes. I must hav exchanged 100’s punctures over the years for myself and others on road and mountain bikes, but tees Gatorskins got the better of me and I forgot the basics as I wrestled with these tough skins.

  2. Gatorskins are tough to get on indeed… Next time put a few pounds in the tube, then insert the tube in the tire (stems at the tire logo!)… Then, and this is a little tricky to explain in writing, once you get the first bead into the wheel (easy), then put one or two inches of the second bead into the rim… From there, you work both hands in opposite directions bringing the second bead into the rim until they meet. Much easier this way , no pinched or twisted tubes.


    • Cheers – I will have to practise that technique before I have a puncture for real on the road.

      I did have some air in tube but think I pinched the tube trapping it on beading or with tyre lever.

      Maybe need to get those tough Gatorskins on & off a few times to ease them.

      • Won’t help, they’re just tight. I’ve got a couple myself though I switched to Specialized Turbo Elite’s… Half the price, almost as sticky and they’re easier to install… I also got two flats on the gators to none on the turbos.

      • Ah wish I knew that before I bought them ! But they were recommended as tough & puncture resistant
        Desperately needed new sticky rubber.
        Felt like I was wrestling a gator the strength & tightness of those tyres.
        Live & learn. Thanks for advice

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