Muddymoles mountain biking in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

My exploding bike tyre

Posted by Matt | April 19, 2007 | 3 comments so far

I was reading Al Leigh’s recent post on the Pickled Hedgehog about his difficulties performing basic bike maintenance. His resulting wheel explosion reminded of the time I too managed to detonate what seemed like a nuclear explosion in my garage.

What happened to lead to near Armagedon was that I embarked on the innocent pursuit of replacing a punctured inner tube on my Marin Muirwoods (mention of which makes me turn all nostalgic – but that’s for another post I guess).

Anyway there I was pootling about my garage. The sun was shining, I had the garage door open and having replaced the tube and tyre it was soon time to breath life back into the wheel.

Searching around, I found the track pump I had borrowed from Dave (on a longer term basis than he anticipated at the time). Marvelling at how effortless it was to quickly get air into the tube I enthusiastically worked the pump until the tyre was inflated.

I then picked up the wheel, astounded at my technical prowess when there was an ominous creak from the tyre – well it was ominous in hindsight. At the time, as I stood there at the entrance to my garage I just thought it was the tyre settling on the rim. Then, all of a sudden – B-A-N-G!!

Literally, the tyre and tube let go in catastrophic fashion with the wheel jumping out of my hands (I don’t think I dropped it and screamed) and crashing to the floor. The effect was greatly amplified as I was standing a) next to the tyre when it happened and b) at the front of my garage which acted like a giant megaphone announcing my incompetence to the close where I live.

With my ears still ringing, even my wife was moved to open the front door to see if I was still alive and had all my limbs roughly where they had been 10 minutes before.

All that the effect lacked to really convey my startlement was a black face covered in soot like you see on cartoons where some hapless character has detonated half a ton of TNT in their face. Again.

So, doubtless as Al Leigh already suspects, clearly he is not alone. And this time round, I’m going tubeless which should offer untold possibilities for more inept faffing.


About the author

Matt is one of the founding Molefathers of the Muddymoles, and is the designer and main administrator of the website.

Having ridden a 2007 Orange Five for many years then a 2016 YT Industries Jeffsy 29er, he now rocks a Bird Aether 9 and a Pace RC-627.

An early On-One Inbred still lurks in the back of the stable as a reminder of how things have moved on. You can even find him on road bikes - currently a 2019 Cannondale Topstone 105 SE, a much-used 2011 Specialized Secteur and very niche belt drive Trek District 1.

If you've ever wondered how we got into mountain biking and how the MuddyMoles started, well wonder no more.

There are 3 comments on ‘My exploding bike tyre’

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  1. richard says:

    Hah! Great description of the effect.

    I did exactly the same thing when halfords sold me some tyres for my road bike that were too loose for the rims. pumped up to 90PSI and pushed tyre off rim then exploded (similar effect in my garage too). Took them back to halfords who said nah mate, must be you. so i suggested they put the tyre on with exactly the same result echoing around the cavernous warehouse that is a typical Halfords branch. At least they agreed to swap them after that 🙂

  2. Muddymoles says:

    How to: repair a tubeless (UST) tyre

    Just how do you effect a repair on a UST tubeless tyre, if you’re new to them and maybe a little unsure?

  3. Related: How to: repair a tubeless (UST) tyre | Tips | Muddymoles: Mountain biking (MTB) in the Surrey Hills and Mole Valley

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