Tyre pressure problems

Day 310, Wednesday 27 June 2018

In contrast to yesterday, it was a lovely day it was for a ride today. I joined a group of North Harbour Ulyssians for a longish ride up north.

At Kaukapakapa, a rider pulled over and told me his tyre pressure warning light had come on. After kicking his tyres, he decided to ride on to Wellsford and check the pressure at the service station there.

At Wellsford, he pulled into the Caltex service station, and a little later came over to the rest of us to report that the air pump wasn’t putting air into the tyre, but allowing it out, so the tyre was now completely flat. I gave him a CO2 canister to partially inflate it and suggested he ride 100 m up the road to the Mobil station. A little later he was back; he said he’d pumped the tyre up at Mobil, but by the time he’d returned it had lost almost all pressure again. We spent some time trying to find the source of the puncture but there wasn’t enough air in the tyre to detect a leak, so we all went to the Mobil together.

The bike has unusual valves, and there was a poor connection made with the air pump at Mobil just as there had been at Caltex, so no air was actually getting into the tyre. Another rider with the same make of bike said there was an adapter to improve the connection, but he did not have his one with him. While we were brainstorming ideas, another rider tried using the air pump on the other side of the wheel, and using the back nozzle of the pump which was possibly less worn, and the connection seemed better. We realised that the pump could not feed air into such a flat tyre because there was no pressure for it to sense, and there was a button to inflate a completely flat tyre to deal with this situation. That button did the trick!

It was now well into lunchtime and we’d only done half the distance we had planned, so we cancelled the rest of the ride and went to Te Hana bakery for lunch. The rider with the tyre problem shouted the rest of us coffee to thank us for the help. After lunch, he headed for his motorcycle dealer to buy a valve adapter so this problem will not reoccur.

20180627_132134Distance travelled: 190 km. Total distance so far: 39,703 km

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