My wife was in desperate need of new tires. When you buy a used bike you don’t always get a good set of tires. We got a good price on it anyway. It really is a nice bike for getting to and from the store. However, the tires were really bad. We have been using the bikes as our primary transportation for the last month, and even more so recently as we have gotten used to where things are and how to get there.
She needed tires and I have been wanting narrower tires for my bike. Her’s is a “beach cruiser” style bike; a single speed bike that you sit up-right on and has fatter, mountain-bike style, tires. Mine is a mountain bike with 18 speeds, of which I generally only use 4. I had fairly good used tires on mine (it was a used bike too), but wanted the narrower tires for lower rolling resistance. I picked out the tires I wanted at the bike shop, but he only had one. He ordered a set for me on Tuesday which were to be ready for pick-up on Thursday. I knew that meant that it might not be until sometime next week before I got the tires, but at least they were on order. When I stopped by the shop on Friday morning the tires were not there yet. I had not planned to go back to check on them until Saturday, but ended up having to buy a new tube later on Friday afternoon. I was pleased to find that my new tires had arrived by then.
The reason I needed a tube that afternoon was that my wife’s front tire was so bad that the tube protruded out of one of the holes and got punctured. I patched the hole in the tube, but when putting it back together I broke the valve stem. That tube already had 3 patches in it. It had served its time.
A simple 45 minute job of removing her tires and transferring mine onto her bike while installing the new tires on my wheels ended up taking 2.5 hours. On top of that I managed to puncture one tube so badly that it needed 3 patches! I also broke another valve stem, but was ultimately able to salvage it.
The narrower tires roll better and will be much faster with less effort. There are downsides to the skinnier tires though. The ride is smoother on smooth roads, but much rougher on rough roads. Any linear crack in the road (going the same direction as I) tends to suck the tires in and makes it harder to control the bike. Those were things I knew and was prepared for since I have done my time switching between a road bike and a mountain bike back home. What was a funny surprise though is that the new tires make my bike considerably shorter. My kickstand is now too long!