Friday, August 1, 2014

When Ya Get Drafted

Surly. I know you're not reading this, but I'm going to vent at you anyway. It's your tires, man. They suck. I mean, they don't suck. What sucks is that they cost so much and last for such a little time. I'm talking fat bike tires, of course. Shit's spendy. In March or April I bought a new Knard for my Pugsley. I needed a decent tire for riding a mix of road, MUP, and dirt. Nates are awesome for dirt and snow, but are way overkill on pavement or other hard surfaces. My old Endo gave up the ghost - completely bald, the fatty took a shot to the sidewall that cut a gouge like that purported to be inflicted in the side of christ. I hadn't a choice. I had to get something new. I was going to go with the Vee Mission tire from my local big-box outdoor retailer whose common name is three letters long. The reviews I'd read weren't that great for the tire, but it was cheaper than the Surly offerings. Instead, I decided to spend my money at a local shop. Their options were: BFL, Snowshoe, Knard, Endo. Of the four offerings only the Knard and Endo would fit my ride. The Endo, while a good tire in its day just wouldn't provide the type of on-trail grip that I wanted. So it was the Knard. I've given some review of my impressions of the Knard on this very blog before. (Clicky-clicky) I like this tire. It does well on mixed surfaces. Or it did. Now... not so much. Here's the thing - I've got under 5000 miles on this tire. Well under. In commuting let's estimate where I'm at - padding the mileage a bit: (5 days x (12 miles x 2 trips))x 20 weeks (Again, padding here a bit.) That gives me 2400 miles in commuting. Let's go ahead and throw in another 1200 miles in recreational riding - single track, beaches, some pavement, etc. That's 3600 miles. A fair number of miles, I suppose. But in those miles a strange thing has occurred. The center row of knobs remains nearly like brand new. The row just to each side of the center is where the oddness occurs. See the small knobs are almost completely gone and the larger knobs are heavily worn. Doing the math, I guess the cost per mile isn't that much, but I'd like to ride a tire for longer than a season before it balds out. $.0275 per mile if I'm doing the maths right. Even so. I don't like tire shopping.

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