I suppose the day had to come some time when I had to give up Buttercup's pretty yellow Continental 4000 tires. They were out of stock and I needed new tires and tubes NOW in preparation for my two triathlons in September.
My new choice was the red-striped Michelin Ironman tires. So we've gone from German tires to French tires. I wonder if that will change Buttercup from an aggressor to a surrender monkey? Or just give her a little more fashion sense?
The Contis have a trace of tread and a flatter rolling surface, while the new Michelins have a narrow rolling surface and no tread at all. I'm told the tread on bike tires is basically cosmetic for the consumer and they don't really affect handling - we will see about that!
Buttercup still pines for fancy carbon race wheels, but she's not getting them this year. Maybe next year.
PS: If you can't do at least this much maintenance on your own bike, it's high time you learned how. Lots of local bike shops or outdoorsy stores like REI have basic bike mechanics courses for low cost - it's one of the best investments you can make in happy cycling to take one!