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Hot Hot Heat

July 30th, 2010 [print] Go to comments

It seems Missouri is either getting dumped on with ridiculous rain storms, or we’re trying to dry out with triple-digit temps.  The humidity has been a pretty consistent 70% or above for most of July, so even when it’s under 90°, it still feels like it’s well over 100°.  I don’t mind the heat or the humidity, although I wouldn’t complain if it’d cool down for a week or so, but what I do mind is a new thing phenomenon I’ve never dealt with before.

With this being my first summer on a road bike–as opposed to a mountain bike with semi-slick tires–I’ve picked up a new annoyance:  once we hit 100° or more, my Maxxis Re-Fuse tires turn from rubber to glue, and begin picking up tiny pebbles as I roll over them.  The hotter it is, the worse it is, and last Tuesday’s ride was the worst so far.

Click for larger image

That rock is not just sitting on top of the tire, it’s practically glued to it (it’s a little larger than most of them, but it made for a good photo).  Rolling along, I’ll begin to hear a tick-tick-tick noise as my tires conform to the shape of pebbles, and the only way to get them to break loose is to stop and flick them off.  It always happens that the flat side of the rock has enough smooth surface area to become stuck, but I worry they’ll eventually work themselves through the rubber and puncture an innertube.  The tires are left with permanent marks on them at the point of contact, but appear no worse for the wear.

On the positive side, the Maxxis tires are holding up well, and so far, I’ve only had one serious puncture (I lost my rear tire to a screw of some sort in May and had to buy a replacement, but not before patching the tube and doing a century, plus 200 more miles on a tire with a hole in it!).  Next week we’re supposed to have 100+ heat indexes for a few days straight, so it looks like I’m going to be in for a lot of this crap for quite a while still.

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