Spent two hours mounting my new Serfas Seca tyre on the rear wheel of the IRO. The Duro Hypersonic tyre had one large gash that went right through the casing. It survived the round trip to the Lyric Opera, but I still don’t trust it.
First tried mounting it with a new Performance thorn-proof tube. Thick tough heavy tube. Inflated it a tad too much before trying to put it on the wheel. As a result couldn’t get the Serfas tyre entirely on over it. Wasted an hour trying to do it, breaking one of my plastic tyre levers in the process, before finally throwing the towel in and removing the tube. Couldn’t deflate it further (it was barely inflated but because it’s so thick to start with it took up a lot of volume anyway) so inserted a much flimsier Novara tube instead. Still a lot of trouble getting the Serfas on, although much less than before. Last 40 degrees of so just wouldn’t go in, and when it finally did go in, it was at the cost of another broken tyre lever and signficantly shortened fingernails. And it still wasn’t right, because the section of the tyre near the valve had trapped part of the inner tube against the rim. Lucky it was that section, because I spotted the problem by how the valve wouldn’t move in and out of the rim hole. If it had been any other section I probably wouldn’t have noticed and would have had a blowout. After some fiddling around (levering that section of tyre in and out several times while pushing the valve around wildly) the tube finally got into the right position. Whew. No more riding time left. I’d only anticipated spending half an hour on the silly thing. Never thought the Serfas could be more difficult to mount than the Armadillo, and I’d mastered that already without breaking any tyre levers. If I ever get a flat on the road I’m pretty screwed. And I bet I’ll get flats because despite being more difficult to mount the Serfas seems to be much less tough than the Armadillo. To tell the truth it is at most only marginally tougher than the Hypersonics! But at least it hasn’t got any structurally damaging gashes yet. Only a matter of time.