TIRES needed Near Eastern part of Pyrenees

Discussion in 'Europe' started by WhereIsBobL, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. WhereIsBobL

    WhereIsBobL Been here awhile

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    I will be needing tires very soon. I am in the Rhone-Alps today, but will be in the eastern end of the Pyrenees in a couple of days. Can anyone recommend a tire shop in that area? I am flexible on location, but my route will have me going through the Verdon Gorge then over there. I try to avoid cities whenever possible.

    2011 Triumph Tiger 800 XC with 180,000 miles on it.

    =============
    UPDATE

    To clarify and update.

    I am in Artignosc-sur-Verdon, France, which is within 120 km of many motorcycle shops. My front tire is getting close to dangerous so I don't want to risk putting much more than 100 to 300 km on it, so no site seeing until I source a tire.

    I would rather have it mounted, although I prefer to remove wheels from bike if possible. The easy way is to just show up at a shop, ask, and have them order tires then hang around the town until they arrive. Should be only a day or two. But better if I could talk to them before I arrive and just stay here until they get them.

    I tried calling a few, none spoke enough English to determine which tires were available, although the closest one does have a suitable front if necessary and could get me in right away. I was able to message that place (translate) and a few other places, which said they will let me know what is available, so I will see what they can do.

    Most likely I will just have to let the closest place order one, which adds a day or two here, with no real chance to see the Verdun Gorge or anything for those days. That's the bummer part, surrounded by great scenery and roads, and no real way to see them until I get a tire.

    All my fault of course, I thought I had a few more days of tread.
    #1
  2. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    If you are in France almost any bike shop will do that has that "happy" feel. I don't know if internet providers have become dominant, but bikes of all sizes are common.
    If in doubt, ask at an Auto Ecole, they run bike for their teaching programme and will replace lots of tyres.


    I have never had to use an overseas bike shop in 40 years, but smaller places like Le Puy, St Flour are large enough to have s decent catchment area to support proper bike shops.
    Google will give directions and throw up far more, but you don't have to use the first one you find.
    #2
  3. Herman1

    Herman1 Been here awhile

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    To add to Nick most moto shops are on the outskirts of towns especially industrial estates. Don't get hung up on it being a tyre shop or a big dealership as more often than not it will sell Honda bikes, all manner of scooter brands that you have never heard of , quads , mowers, and the odd lorry.
    #3
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  4. WhereIsBobL

    WhereIsBobL Been here awhile

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    Well I under estimated how fast the curvy roads would eat my front tire. I am at gorge du verdon but need a tire now. maybe 200 to 300 km left. maybe more, but risky. need to find a place that speaks English AND has a tire. Will call around when the shops open. Plenty of shops within that distance, but English speaking could be an issue.
    #4
  5. pip_muenster

    pip_muenster curious

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    There are quite a few British retirees or expads in that area, maybe try your luck on a uk forum such as ukgs or adventurebikerider.com
    In Germany, you can buy tires online and even arrange installation, balancing etc. through webpages which can be switched to English - maybe there's something similar in France?

    That said,
    in my experience you don't need a common language to discuss a tire change. Not even Google translate.
    #5
  6. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Tyre = pneu. How much? = c'est combien? Merci = thanks. Bon Route = Have a great trip.
    What more do you need that translate on google can't provide?

    I started riding in France many years ago with less French than I learned at school, and far less French people spoke French than now. I am failing to see the problem?
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  7. WhereIsBobL

    WhereIsBobL Been here awhile

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    Little things like "do you have this specific tire in stock, if not, when can you get it? If I arrive today can you change it? Etc, Etc, Etc. I am talking calling a place to find out if they have what I need and can do the work, or if not, can I just hand them the rim, or can I use the compressor. Etc. Heck, we had complications trying to do this in Ireland in August.

    But thanks for the help.
    #7
  8. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    Write it down - tyre names if available are the same. Tyre sizes are universal. Learn: today, tomorrow, next week.

    You are in Europe, there tend to be no big bike tyre fitting places. Some, but in the conurbations. You asked about France, the market there still tends to be small shops that order the tyres in when customers ask for them.

    Me and many others use online suppliers. You ring them up, order what you want from their stock and have it delivered to your place or a shop or one off their list of fitters.
    I use MyTyres out of Germany (site is in English) I have used Blackcircles. There are others.
    Make sure the tyre is in stock - I had to wait for a specific tyre for the car once, took several weeks which I guess you want to avoid.

    My only experience with a workshop overseas was a broken throttle cable. Out in the middle of nowhere. I ended up asking in a "motorculture" ag rototiller type place. They did it straight away, refused any money, even a "pourboire". Really good job, still in place decades after.
    I have read of many people having similar experiences.

    My take, a bit of humility, an attempt at the language, and an offer of cash.
    Arrogance and entitlement, English only and a card (for a small job) are maybe not appreciated.
    #8
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  9. WhereIsBobL

    WhereIsBobL Been here awhile

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    FWIW, using the phone and translated e-mail I found a place a shortish ride away that could get me tires quickly. This helped since I really could not put much for miles on since my front was bald in places. I could not drive around talking to places. Manosque Bike https://www.manosquebike.fr/ had a few tires they could have gotten for the next morning. I chose the Tourance which I thought was the best choice of the list for me. I don't really care for the Tourance, I thought the handling was fair and the wet performance less than favorable.

    Well, a miscommunication caused me to get Tourance NEXT, which is a 90/10 road tire. I am OK with that, as I don't often do off-road while travelling alone, at least not anything that can't be handled on most bikes at slow speeds.


    I was thinking my very worn bike (almost 200,000 km) was starting to have a problem. The handling was getting really weird, especially with rough pavement. Grooves and stripes made the bike feel squirrelly. Wet weather was a disaster waiting to happen. Curves were getting a bit exciting, and not the fun kind. I am used to rear tires getting square and the weird handling that comes with that, but this was different.

    Well, this new set of tires fixed all that. Damn it rides nice. The best I can think is that since the tires are dual compound, and the front was so worn, that it seriously changed the flex of the front. The bald strips to either side of the center, with the center much less worn, was probably what was causing all the weirdness up front. When I poked the tire, you could see how flexible the bald strips were, but the center much less so. This is the first time I have had that kind of severe variable wear on a front.

    And a shout out to Manosque Bike, they were willing to fit a tire they had in stock same day, or order these tires for next morning installation. They squeezed me in first thing in the morning. I couldn't be happier.
    #9
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