Last time I bought bicycle brakes, I opted for the slightly more expensive (but more ecofriendly) cartridge model. Instead of replacing the whole composite brake pad, metal and all, you just slide out only the rubber bit and replace that.
Less waste. Makes sense.
Now, I had known for awhile that my back brakes were wearing down. I even went and bought some new cartridges. But did I actually install them? Of course not.
The thing with cartridge brakes is that they have a little metal pin that keeps the rubber bit in place (see photo), and if you let your brakes wear down too much, or don’t have them adjusted properly, the pin can, apparently, rub along the side of your wheel.
And if there is a piece of metal rubbing along your bike tire, you can pretty much bank on blowing out the sidewall and getting a flat.
I think you can guess what happened.
So because I was too lazy to spend 5 minutes putting in a new brake cartridge, I wasted a whole tire. I know I can recycle it, but what a frikin’ waste! (Not to mention the fact that I had to take the bus to work this morning.)
Moral of the story: a little work now means a lot less waste down the road.