Monday, May 30, 2011

Connected Center Tire Talk With Tiffany...and Mr. Pump

Sometimes A Bike Commuter Wants An  Urban Assault Tire Like The AlphaBite by Kenda

Tiffany’s a young woman who works at Sally’s Boutique, aka the Salvation Army thrift store on Bank Street in downtown New London. I was paying for a few pairs of half-price pedal pusher pants the other day when we got to chatting about riding a bike.
“That’s my bike over there,” Tiffany said.  “I ride to work every day.” She smiled sweetly.
 I looked and couldn’t believe my eyes. “Why, you ride a purple mountain bike, too!”

After admiring the similarity between her bike and Purple Haze, my own commuter ride, my gaze focused on the tires. “And yep, you’ve got connected center block tires. I bet you like’em, too.”
Tiffany’s commute from Crystal Avenue takes her along a couple miles much like the rest of the streets in this coastal New England city. Say hello to pot holes and chunky concrete.
BikemanforU calls our connected center ridge (or block) bike tires “urban assault tires.”  Their large air volume cushions against bumpy pavement. The connected center rides smoothly over hard a hard surface, making the commute fast enough for a reluctant cyclist and even a devoted rider like Tiffany, who, fiancé notwithstanding, declares “I’m in love with my bike.”
What Tiffany and I like most is the stability we get riding through gravel parking lots and the unavoidable sand that collects against the sides of wind-blown streets. The traction comes from long flattened lugs on the sides of what some call an aggressive mountain bike tire.
 “What about clay?” Mr. Pump wanted to know when I shared my commuter tire theory about connected centers.  “Clay would pack into the tread.”  His observation comes from 35 years experience living and breathing the bicycle industry. 

Neither Tiffany nor I have encountered any clay on the ride to work, though that’s not to say it isn’t lurking somewhere. Only time will tell. 

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