Just a short post to tell you that the tires I ordered are here. It’s a set of Heidenau K60 Scouts, and I am now going to spend the weekend figuring out how to carry them on the bike all the way to Volgograd, where I will have them fit while the bike is being serviced in preparation for Kazakhstan.
I decided to take this ones because I have had good references from other riders, they seem to be a good compromise – not to radical on the road, grippy enough off road, and they seem to last much longer than other knobbly tires, important since I expect them to last all the way back to Europe.
I will also be taking a puncture repair kit and a compressor but I have my doubts about taking tire irons. I have never tried to replace a tubeless tire, and it seems to be very hard to do on the roadside, especially breaking the bead. Can anyone advise me on that?
I was hoping to carry them lying flat on the passenger seat and the back rack, but I also have to carry a rather big Ortlieb Rack Bag (I did not want to have too many little bags attached to the bike, they might easily get stolen in short stops to get supplies), so I am not very sure how to position them. I will experiment this weekend.
On a side note, this week I gave my sister (who lives in Madrid) the application forms and paperwork to get a Kazak visa. I do not have a hotel reservation or an invitation letter, but it seems that there is a simplified application process for Spanish citizens. Let’s see if we get lucky.
Have you considered finding someone to hold them for you in Volgograd? I bet you can find someone on the Hubb very easily.
You’ll definitely need tyre irons mate, how you gonna pull out your tubes when you get a puncture without them? I strongly suggest you carry at least one spare tube front AND rear. When you get a puncture replace the tube and repair it later when your at your campsite. I carry the DRC Pro combination tyre iron and spanners. Carry plenty of gaffer tape to use as rim tape – spokes caused most of my punctures due to disintegrated rim tape. Get a valve stem puller it will save your knuckles your sweat your time and your patience. try and get a buffer/stitcher combo tool as it will really help patch the tubes.
If you haven’t done it before it’s very easy, there are lots of videos on YouTube. The side wall on the rear K60 is very strong so it’s hard to break the bead, but it is possible. Here’s my comprehensive puncture repair kit.
ADV air compressor
Spare heavy duty tubes front & rear
Combination tyre irons & spanner (front & rear)
Talcum powder (sprinkle on tube to reduces heat friction)
WD40 (lubing up the bead makes MUCH easier -its all about technique and lube, LOL – seriously, if your really struggling you’re doing it wrong)
Gaffer tape (use it as rim tape to protect the tube from the spokes)
CO2 cannisters or a Hand pump (just in case the compressor fails)
2 x rims savers (I don’t bother with these usually, they’re a PITA)
Tyre pressure gauge (keep a spare in your tank bag and check pressures regularly)
Valve adaptor (for hard to reach valves when using gas station compressors)
Razor blade (general utility)
Patches assorted sizes
4 x vale cores (I’m always dropping and losing these)
Valve core removal tool (lets the air out quickly)
Vulcanising cement (patch glue)
Buffer/Stitcher combo tool (invaluable for repairing tubes – you roll this over and over the patch to ensure a good adhesion)
Sliding T-bar, E12 socket & T45 torx socket (specific to my bike – I have these so I don’t need to open my main tool kit)
Bead buddy (makes things so much easier holding the bea – saves carrying that third tyre iron)
Valve stem puller (this makes the most frustrating part very easy)
Valve stem nuts (I’m always dropping and losing these too)
I use the side stand trick to break the bead. 1. Put the bike on the centre stand. 2. Secure the centre stand with a strap or cord. 3. Extend the side stand out. 4. Put wheel on the ground next to the side stand. 5. Position side wall under the side stand. 6. Pull the bike toward you using weight of the bike to break the bead, 7. turn the wheel and repeat until you break the remainder of the bead with your feet. Simplez! The front type bead can be broke just by standing on the side wall.
Hope this helps.
Wow! Thanks, that’s a very comprehensive kit, but your GS had spoke wheels and tubes, didn’t it? My bike is on alloy wheels and tubeless tires – I know it’s not the best combination to go offroad, but as you very well said, ride what you’ve got, and there are no spoke wheels for the Strom (well, there are custom-made ones at 2,000€!) I was counting on taking a tubeless tire repair kit and the spare tires in case the puncture is a cut or a gash the repair kit cannot fix.
My bad, I completely forgot you was on alloys and tubeless. Well they’re much easier to repair and a lot less hassle. I recommend the Stop ‘n’ Go tubeless repair kit, its easy to use and very effective.
In the wilderness I might be tempted to take a spare set of tubes and 2x tyre irons. If you split a tyre you might get out of trouble by putting in a tube. Of course if you do carry your tyres you can just change it out (but not without irons).
Tyres are very easy to change with just a bit of lube and a couple of small tyre irons. Setting the bead on tubeless tyres can be a bit tricky but there are a few tricks to doing it – the fire trick is the best. If I were not going into the wild I’d just take the Stop ‘n’ Go and that’s it.
Just take it easy on alloy wheels off road and you’ll be fine, the adventure really begins when things go tits up anyway (I’m paraphrasing Ted Simon). At least that was my experience with punctures in Siberia, after going through my spare tube I was rescued by a biker and stayed with him for a week.
Bon Voyage comrade.