Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Tioga Comp Pool Tire Update

If you go back to my article of 10/26/07 you will read how I changed over from Scorcher TR to Tioga Comp Pool Tire and how time would tell how they fare. The Scorchers basically wore out at 4100 mi and needed to be replaced. I was having trouble justifying the cost of replacement and decided to go with the Tioga Comp Pool tires at 1/2 the price.
It is now 20 months and 4100 miles later and the Tioga tires are still good. You can see by the pictures that there is still plenty dimple left and I believe I would be good for another 1000 mi. I am not flat prone. I had only 1 flat with the Tioga tires same as the Scorchers with the Kevlar belt. I pulled out this tiny piece of metal thread that caused the flat. I talked with my LBS owner who advised me it was from a steel belted radial from a car. Who would think.
Based on my tests the Tioga Comp Pool tire performed better in wear, road just as comfortable with minimal rolling resistance and flats as the more expensive Scorcher TR.
This is not to undermine GS Scorcher or any other tire company. The problem for me is just how expensive bicycle tires are. Spending $35 plus for tires that will last 1-2 yrs of cycling is ridiculous when compared to car tires lasting 50,ooo mi plus. Now they are talking about radial tires for bikes at the cost of a car tire.
I will now get off my soap box. The problem for me now is I believe the Tioga Comp Pool tires will be a thing of the past. I am afraid when I am ready to buy they will no longer be available.
My hope is that some tire MFG will come out with a good bicycle tire that will last a long time at a good price. Until then.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Trike Carrier

I needed a way to carry my Trike down to the shore for our summer get-a-ways. I have a Hyundai Accent which will accommodate the trike inside if I am the only one in the car. That is rarely the case when heading south as my wife and dog come also. The car does not officially allow a hitch and getting a roof rack for such a small roof line was not easy. Anyway, after much research I found a roof rack under $165 delivered. It took about 1 hr to attach and uses self sealing screws. I was concerned about leaking into my roof liner, but, the salesman assured me the screws work great. It's been a while and so far so good.
The roof rack looked great on the car. Now how to attach my trike. It became a problem as the trikes width is a hair smaller than the rack's width. I decided to put 1 wheel on the inside and 1 wheel on the outside of the tracks. Seemed like a good idea. I secured it to the rails with various straps. It worked OK going down, but not on the way back. I had to stop 4 times and re secure or loose the trike.
Today on my ride I thought about adding some sort of aluminum channel. I put the trike on the car to see how it really fit so I could determine the parts I would need. As it turned out I found out if I put the 2 cross bars about 6 in apart I could cradle the tires. It looked great and seemed very secure with adequate tie downs. I didn't like the idea of not being able to fully open the trunk as the rear wheel came down a bit on it. I used the same concept only reversed the trike and placement of the cross bars. It is even easier to roll the trike up the front hood than the rear hatch. All works without a problem. I wouldn't do this with a new car. Fortunately this car owes me nothing and has many dings, scratches and scars. I still prefer to carry my trike inside, but that is not always possible and this works economically for now.
I have added some pictures. Please note the seat and rack are normally removed.