Saturday, 27 July 2019

things that go bump in the night...

During the week I live in "the city" and come home on the weekends. Surprisingly (although I live in a rural area) the footpaths (that's sidewalks for Americans) in "the big smoke" are shitloads worse than they are here in the countryside. Here are some examples of what I encounter every day:

I photographed this during the day, but experienced it first at night. It was clear that my OEM headlight was barely up to snuff, so I got a brighter one. Stuff like this looks innocent to anyone used to riding a bigger wheeled (and thicker tyred) bicycle:

... and you may be tempted to steer around that puddle, but when you look up close you'll find the reason why when you did, that on your scooter you heard that loud "BANG" when you hit it.

Yep, to your tiny 8 inch wheel that's a rather large whack it's going to get.

When you start looking around you'll see more of them...


as well as cunning shit hiding in places you just won't see:


So if you were on a scooter like a Xaiomi and your tyres weren't pumped hard, then there's every chance that when you hit that you'd be walking home (and or late to work) and then joining the legion of sufferers who are going through "changing the tube hell" (google it).

This is exactly the reason I picked a scoot with non-penumatic tyres like my Mercane.

Now if you (as do I) commute home in the dark often enough sometimes you miss this sort of detail  and then you'll eventually (despite every endeavor) hit one of these bumps and hear that "BANG" as your rubber tyre absorbs what it can, and your suspension tries to give a bit too, but inevitably your tyre and rim will squeeze that tube to a pinch and its leaking. Inevitably however you'll find that some of the hits will leave a deeper mark (if you bother to inspect your rims that is).

So far I've had some doozies (because I live in the bum-hole of SEQld; where maintenance is irrelevant to a bankrupt council)

Eg this one which clearly flattened the rim a bit:

and this one which went "full on" in impact ...

but being exactly on the support "spoke" couldn't just bend the rim ... and you know when you look at it I felt that one don't you ;-)

If I was on a Xaiomi that would for sure be a "walking home" ding.

As well there have been sharp stones which have put cut marks into my tyres which would have been punctures for sure

and this one which was probably a pinch as I went over one of those concrete bits at an oblique angle

And so?

Now none of this has stopped me, delayed me or prevented my scoot from keeping on keeping on. Yep, no flats, no down time, no late for work, no pushing it home, it just keeps on going.

Eventually that rim will need to be replaced, but when that time comes, I'm quite sure that doing so will be

  • less difficult, 
  • less expensive and 
  • less time consuming...
than all the fucking flats I'd have had in the last 2 months of scootering around the shit roads of Logan City. Eg this thread on reddit is just typical.
Spent 2 days and over 6 hours trying to fix and replace a tire on the M365. They made it practically impossible to do, I have looked at some youtube videos and they make it seem like its way easier than it actually is to replace it. Does anybody have any tips?
So exactly as I anticipated at the start: pneumatic tyres and small wheels is a bad combination.

Now its worth pointing out here that the Mercane has quite soft and pliant surface rubber (unlike the implication from people saying "solid rubber"), which provides excellent grip even in the damp. In fact I'm sure that half the reasons why those puncture (of a pneumatic) type penetrations have occurred is because its soft pliant rubber ... but because its a foam filled tyre it just keeps working.

Now, keep in mind that the force of impact = the mass multiplied by the velocity squared (yes squared) so this means that for every small increase in speed the force applied when you hit a bump goes up much much more.

If anything it might be nice if the tyres were a bit thicker ...


daffy said...

Thats not the Queens Rd intersection is it (off loganlea rd)?

obakesan said...

In the video, yep ... sure is.

Unknown said...

Did u find any videos on replacing them I just did the same to mine slight flat spot or should I just wait till I right the rim off

obakesan said...

the rims are split rims, so it should be just a matter of buying the halves (or one half) as needed and removing the bolts, separating the halves from the motor and replacing one (or both) side(s).

Myself I'm hoping that the combination of tyre wear and fractures of the edges (I still keep hitting things from time to time) will come together at (perhaps) the 2 year mark (I'm more or less at 1 year mark now) and I'll just buy whole wheels (which will give me spares for the motor!!)

They're remarkably robust