Minor rant time.
So after L’Etape I stopped off at the LBS to get a new chain and out of sheer laziness I decided to ask them to replace the inner tube in the tire that blew. Pretty vanilla fixes really. Later that day I picked up the bike. It was only when I got it home that I noticed this…
Can you see it?
Let me point it out…
Can you see it now?
Here’s a comparison to the other wheel…
See it now?
You see there is a rule “Tires are to be mounted with the label centered over the valve stem. Pro mechanics do it because it makes it easier to find the valve. You do this because that’s the way pro mechanics do it. This will save you precious seconds while your fat ass sits on the roadside fumbling with your CO2 after a flat. It also looks better for photo opportunities”
Here is another take on the same issue; “Most good bicycle mechanics pay attention to the orientation of labels. The most usual custom for tires is to locate the label right at the valve, facing to the right. Some justify this on the grounds that having a standard tire mounting orientation can make it easier to find a thorn or glass sliver in a tire, once the hole has been located in the (removed) tube. While there's an element of truth to this, placing the label consistently is really more about pride of workmanship and attention to detail”.
Ok you may think of this as sheer roady snobbery and you may be right but consider these two points. That 48mm threaded tube is probably $1-2 cheaper than the one I wanted; a 60mm smooth stem tube, the LBS just short changed itself. More importantly, if they don’t pay the attention to detail when changing an inner tube what else are they ignoring…brake service anyone!?
I follow Doctor D on Facebook, if you want to see how a bike can be maintained check out his Facebook page…he is a man who has learned to dance with the devil and where the details are for sure…unfortunately for me he lives in the UK!