At what point do you give up?

Posted on 1:57 PM by Schottler

Just got back from racing Rhett's Run here in Columbia. It has rained the last few days, the trail was VERY muddy. I don't do too bad in the mud and was pretty excited about racing. I put on the Mountain King 2.2's with Stan's sealant. These tires are pretty heavy at a little over 700 grams, pretty aggressive, and good in the mud. The SI joint hurt the whole 30 minute ride out to Cosmo park, but started loosening up while I rode around there before the start. Not many people showed up, but Aaron Elwell (Super fast KC Pro), and Breslin took the trip out.

The start of the race Breslin and Elwell tore off the front and I was riding behind Musselman. Up the first climb Musselman let me by and I caught up to Breslin and Aaron, and I then took the lead through a super mud bog that took some power and monster trucking skills. As most people know, I am good at monster trucking stuff.

Me and Elwell rode together for the majority of the first lap, trading places when we flew off the trail. Towards the end of the first lap I hit the gas up a few climbs and built up a small lead, about 1 minute ahead at the end of the first lap. the time was 25:25, not bad for a SUPER muddy 4.9 mile loop. I turned on cruise control, took the corners easy, payed super close attention to where my wheels were going so I wouldn't flat, and drilled the climbs and power sections. About 3 or so miles into the second lap I started passing the sport riders. One of them told me to pass on the right, so I went off the trail to get around and immediately heard the awesome sound of air and stans shooting out of my tire. Immediately dismounted, put my finger over the hole with hole on the bottom to let the Stans seal it up. Waited 2-3 minutes for it to seal, no air was coming out, put some c02 in it and started going, then it opened up again. Time for a tube. At this point, 3-4 minutes after I flatted, Elwell roles by followed by Musselman a couple minutes back. I spent probably 10 minutes trying to get my tube in, I somehow managed to get my spoke through the tiny slit in my rear derailleur, so it was stuck and nearly broke my derailleur. SUPER DUPER.

I rode for about 1/4 mile until my tire went flat again. Apparently there was a thorn in my tire that the Stans sealed up, so it popped the tube. The first flat was a 1" slit in the tread, as usual. I walked through the mud back to the finish, my SI joint was completely blown up at this point, very painful to move my right leg.

Anyway, another race DNF. I don't know what the deal is, how do I manage to flat every tire I put on? The light ones, the heavy ones, tubes and tubeless. Do I just suck at mountain biking? I put so much time, effort, and money into training, racing, and prepping, but it doesn't matter. How much more of this can I take before I just quit and move on to something else? I'd say road racing, but I flatted out of the last one of those I did. Everyone at the race recommends going back to a 26" bike... which would handle more smoothly. Something else I was thinking about... I usually run 30-40 PSI in my tires, would higher pressure's cause more sliced flats since the tire wouldn't deform around whatever they are rolling over?

3 comments:

AaronE. said...

25- 26 psi sounds better. its not the wheel size unless you use superlight tires to counteract the humongous wheels. You using 60tpi tires?? they are heavier but much sturdier. One flat in 2 years and it was a nail using Michelins and bontragers.

Heavy D said...

Stans sealant is the suxor. Ok it is not that bad, but my homemade brew seems to work better at sealing. Case in point, I had one of those huge 3 inch thorns broke off in a tire. It finally worked its way out and the Stans just shot out like milk. I put my homemade goop in the tire and it sealed instantly. It lasts longer too.

I will get you the recipe and a sample to try out. I will bring it by the shop this week.

Donovan (Heavy D)

Jeff Winkler said...

I agree with Aaron, you could run a little lower pressure. I run 27-29 psi (26" wheels). I ran 29-30 in the tubed tires yesterday. If you really think you are picking bad lines, just try backing off about 5% and maybe you'll be smoother than when you are on the rivet. Just a thought.

Of course if its just bad luck, there's not much you can do but soldier on.

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