Oscar Sevilla revives the retro puncture safety hack on the Vuelta a San Juan


The professional peloton is a hotbed of futuristic technological advances; the slicing fringe of our sport with the quickest bikes, the lightest parts and costliest equipment, all designed by a few of the brightest engineers in our sport.

So it’s uncommon for a driver to dive into the historical past books and apply a generations-old puncture safety hack, however that’s precisely what Óscar Sevilla (Medellín-EPM) did on the Vuelta a San Juan.

In a video posted to the staff’s Instagram forward of the ultimate stage, the 46-year-old Sevillian proudly reveals off his “trick” of fixing a number of inches {of electrical} tape – at a price of simply pennies Tor wrapped the seatstays and fork legs of his $14,000 S-Works Tarmac SL7 highway bike. The tape is positioned so exactly that it touches nearly each tire to “sweep” away any particles picked up from the highway.

“It’s a trick I discovered right here in Argentina,” explains Sevilla. “These days you get plenty of thistles, small bits and items, and other people strolling round have them on their sneakers. And so they trigger plenty of punctures.

Seville’s Hack is a makeshift reproduction of a small add-on accent discovered on bicycles as early because the Forties, presumably even additional. Often called flint catchers, tire sweeps, tire wipers, and maybe optimistically even tire savers, they mounted to the brake mounting bolt and featured a small D-shaped wire that wrapped across the floor of the tire.

“Tire wiper (opens in new tab)” by Rene Herse (Picture credit score: Rene Herse)

Like Seville’s piece of duct tape, its objective was to take away bigger items of particles that had grow to be hooked up to the tire earlier than it may transfer round once more and be pushed additional into the tire, the place it might probably trigger a puncture. Although they’re lengthy out of fashion, you may nonetheless purchase them, with retro connoisseur Reneherse providing a pair for $18.00 (opens in new tab).

Curiously, Sevilla’s bike is fitted with Roval Rapide CLX II Aero wheels – as confirmed on this separate Instagram submit – that are tubeless suitable. Regardless of that, and his apparent issues about punctures, Sevilla’s wheels are wrapped within the non-tubeless Specialised Turbo Cotton clinchers, well-regarded for his or her low rolling resistance however not as well-known for sturdiness or puncture safety.

Specialised makes a line of tubeless prepared tires together with the brand new Turbo line. So it’s unclear why Sevilla didn’t simply use the expertise at their disposal. Possibly the staff had nothing however the Turbo Cotton tires obtainable, or perhaps Sevilla belief their Sweeper hack greater than tubeless tech.

No matter his reasoning, it appears to have labored. His teammate Miguel Angel Lopez went on to win the general win and Sevilla themselves completed safely within the subject concurrently stage winner Sam Welsford.


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