Pay more, stay inflated

So what do bike riders hate most after bad drivers? Punctures, of course. You can survive for months unscathed and then you’re hit by a triple deflation outrage in as many days.

It’s my own fault, I’m to blame, I was getting overconfident. Having survived the majority of 2011 without a single flat I thought I had become invincible and hatched a cunning plan. Of course it backfired spectacularly and as my penance I spent last week inflating leaky inner tubes at the roadside.

The cheap tyre experiment was not a success. I had stopped puncturing, so reasoned it didn’t matter what tyres I rode. Some brands are a lot more expensive than others so I swapped my usual £80-per-pair of choice for some budget entry-level rubber at considerably less than half the cost.

It didn’t seem sensible wasting good product on the grit-strewn streets so I decided I was going to make do with my budget compromise.

What could go wrong? The back wheel became a little less grippy out of the saddle and I began confusing flint cuts with the tread pattern.

I persevered at my peril.

The more you pay, the less you puncture. It really isn’t more complicated than that.

Robert Garbutt is editor of Cycling Weekly