New Moon Ski & Bike co-owners Joel Harrison (left, holding a pesky V2 Aero wheel) and Chris Young. Photo by Kristy Harrison, courtesy of New Moon Ski & Bike
BY BRUCE STEINBERG
[Amazing V2 Aero Tire-Changing Videos at end of story]
Chris Young, co-owner of the New Moon Ski & Bike Shop in Hayward, Wisconsin, now sits upon a lofty pedestal existing in my mind’s eye. You see, I was moving on bald tires, one having shown the denim look of a tire ready to blow. I’m talking about my V2 Aero 150 roller ski tires, of course. But in trying to swap the tires and tubes out on my Jenex tire-changing station, the axle that holds the wheel in place snapped, rendering the device useless. Actually, I had grown frustrated with the station, my ability to use it successfully hit or miss. All other methods proved impossible.
There they sat, my beloved V2 Aero 150s, bald, tired-denimed, and dangerous rather than safe. Although thinking it would be a Hail-Mary pass, I called the New Moon and co-owner Joel Harrison answered.
I explained my situation, then asked if there were any other types of roller skis as road-forgiving as the 150s. Joel sighed before he answered: No, he told me, there really isn’t any other roller ski that rides as smoothly. But he wasn’t ready to have me give up on my Aeros.
Joel: “Have you seen Chris’s YouTube video on how to change V2 150 tires?”
Me: “Why, no. I haven’t.”
Joel: “The first one shows how to take the tire off, using a single tire iron. It’s just over a minute and a half long.”
Joel: “The second shows him putting a new tire on. That’s longer, at just under three minutes.”
Me: “What-what?! (Gasp)—not possible!”
Joel: “Take a look.”
So, I did. In the YouTube search box, I typed in “New Moon Ski and Bike Aero” and up came both videos. I couldn’t believe what I saw. Part one, taking the tire and tube off the rim, is only 1 minute, 32 seconds long, including the time Chris paused to provide instructions. Part two, putting a new tire and tube on, also with time taken to provide instruction, comes in at 2 minutes, 57 seconds. Watching Chris’s magic in action, I thought there had to be some sort of soul-selling to the Devil going on here. Not yet willing to strike a deal with the Devil, I gave Chris’s instructions a go, watching the videos as I worked, using metal tire irons I bought for under seven bucks on Amazon (3 in the set).
And … ?
I called New Moon and got Chris. I told him, “I didn’t change the tube and tire at Chris speed, and I needed to use two irons instead of one to put a new tire on, but I took the tire off in two minutes, 40 seconds, and put the new one on in 4 mins, 22 seconds. My time before your videos was, well, embarrassing and sometimes never, with injuries.”
“You timed yourself?” Chris asked, laughing.
“Of course. This was the second tire change and I couldn’t believe how fast it was the first time, so I timed myself on the second one.”
I then proceeded to fan-boy Chris, gushing over his talent, his teaching skills, being amazed, too, that when I had asked him how he learned these simple and fast techniques, he answered that he had figured them out. Most of all, Chris thanked me, the fan-boy, repeatedly, for letting him know the video had helped me, that hearing this meant a lot to him.
Did Superman ever thank the people he saved?
Chris, as a co-owner of a shop that sells all sorts of roller skis, didn’t push new-equipment sales, but instead helped me keep, maintain, and use what I already owned. Those new tires and tubes I used, after all, had been wasting away on a shelf for nearly a year while I was slowly giving up on my V2 Aero 150s. For the same reason, Joel deserves a spot on the pedestal, too.
Meanwhile, when the snow was gone, I spent my skiing time on my Aeros, wheel-safe and tube sound, thanks to Super Chris. My roller skiing hero!
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