• You will notice that of the six riders whose wheels are visible only two are on light tyres, the others are on 27 x 1 and a quarter pressures (and single gears, although you can't see that). I don't know about the young rider on the right, but I do know that Jeff(light sweater, black and white cap) used to spend his lunch hours repairing his tubs (note for young readers: it used to be normal for workers to have an hour's break at lunchtime).

    My point is that most of the group preferred reliability to speed, and they thought light tyres were not suitable for this type of riding.

    About ten years after this picture was taken, I was going on these rides. One that I vividly remember, because I took a terrible packet, involved a lot of snow going through the Chilterns. One of us punctured a tub in that snow, he changed it quickly, but quickly punctured the same wheel again, and again and so on. I think he destroyed about nine tubs in all (we had a following car with spares).

    The next day we re-glued the rim and had no more trouble - the explanation seemed to be that after the first puncture the rim had got wet and this allowed the tub to move on the rim and tear the valve out of the tube.

    Within a year or so after this we were all using wired on 700's (and gears, I'm afraid) so the problem didn't re-occur. In fact it became difficult to carry on using tubs for this sot of riding because everyone else was on wired ons so no one else would have a spare to lend you if you ran out. That is likely to be a problem in 2022, although if I manage to come on 'The Hard Day' in the car (not guaranteed) I'll try to bring some spares.

    Let's remember that the puncture bogey is far more active in the wet, and it's hard to keep water away from the rim when changing a tyre in the rain.

    So my search would be for a 40 hole 700 rim to go on the Airlite with the damaged sprint rim.


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