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Flat Tires(11 posts)

Flat TiresMarcB
Aug 1, 2001 8:50 AM
Well, another ride and several flat tires. I am coming to the conclusion that the best way to avoid flat tires is to use a regular tube (not the ultralites) and the plastic tire liners. It adds weight, but who wants to change flats. I am discovering that the Kevlar tire liners are not very effective in preventing flats, unfortunately. And the ultralight tubes flat if you look at them cross-eyed. So, it's back to regular tubes and Mr. Tuffy's. Seems to be the best combination for avoiding flat tires. Sure do hate the extra weight, though.
Where and on what are you riding?!?RhodyRider
Aug 1, 2001 9:16 AM
Why so many punctures? Geez, I'm going to jinx myself, but I'm riding between 110-140 miles per week and I've had only three punctures since April. This is normal road riding, nothing creative. Mostly rural roads, granted, but the same asphalt and whatever-else surfaces that the rest of the US has. And normal detritus and winter leftovers, too.
I run Panaracer Category Elite 23c tires (outdated & bargain-bin, but I like them...) and el cheapo butyl tubes on Mavic Reflex rims. I run 'em hard, though - max psi is supposed to be 125, I hammer 140 in there normally.
Maybe you should stoke up the psi? I don't know about those tire liners, either - perhaps more harm than good? Try high psi in a butyl tube without any adders, maybe it'll work for you.
re: Flat TiresDave Hickey
Aug 1, 2001 9:41 AM
Marc, I have Mr.Tuffy on all my bikes. Sure it adds weight, but I don't want to change flats. I live in an area of north Texas where there is a lot of new construction and broken glass. I've had one flat in two years and that was a six inch nail. No liner would have protected my bike from that. Unfortunately, I'd become so use to not having flats that I didn't have a tube and Co2. I had to call my wife to come and get me. Needless to say, I'm carring tubes and C02.
try Specialized AirLok tubesterry b
Aug 1, 2001 10:02 AM
I run these tubes exclusively as I live in the center of the thorn universe (southwestern desert.) They are not heavy like Slime tubes and not prone to the valve problems that Slime gives you with Presta valves. They self seal pretty quickly and very effectively. I have found that by the time I actually get a puncture that the sealant can't deal with (like a nail in the riding surface and out the sidewall) the tube can have 5-10 other holes that I never even knew about. The tubes are slightly more expensive and can be hard to find but in my opinion they are absolutely worthwhile.
re: Flat TiresVictorChan
Aug 1, 2001 10:36 AM
I generally have issue with the rubber material used on the tube. The tube cracks and then you have small holes leaking air out.
wow, that's a lot of flats.jw25
Aug 1, 2001 11:11 AM
Hope fully this won't jinx me, but I've yet to flat on the road. I'm a lightweight, true, but the roads here (central PA) are far from smooth or swept, and I'm using Michelin Airlight tubes.
Where do the tubes punture? I've come to suspect rim tape in most cases of frequent punctures, due to my own experience with some mtb wheels. I'd recommend fresh Velox tape, just to be safe. After all, 2 rolls is roughly the price of one tube, and may save bunches down the road.
If the holes in the tube are on the tread side, maybe there's a tiny sliver of something stuck in the tire. I've had to invert and flex all of a tire to get a tiny thorn out, that was randomly popping tubes, and causing slow leaks I couldn't track down. Either that, or the tire liners themselves can be hard on tubes, though the Mr. Tuffy's are pretty good. I'd recommend a piece of duct tape across the overlapping section, sometimes the flexing of the tire can cause a shearing action there, and tubes hate that.
I am curious as to what tires you run, too. Might be worth upgrading to something tougher, like the Conti Gatorskin or Specialized Armadillo.
Maybe another rider has hexed your wheels? In that case, either visit the shaman or plunk down some cash and get a new bike (once it's infested with demons, there's not much you can do). Been winning the club sprints lately?
Good luck with it. Jon
I run lightweight tubes and Michelin Axial Pros, which...Biking Viking
Aug 1, 2001 12:04 PM
...are the most puncture resistant tires I've ever tried. I average one flat every 1,700 miles or so and it's usually a thorn or something explainable.

What are you riding? What causes all the flats? If there's something stuck in the tire, you need to get it out before you put in a new tube, but you knew that.

Something is wrong....DINOSAUR
Aug 1, 2001 2:25 PM
I average about one flat per month (probably more now since I have jinxed myself). You should not be getting so many flats. I run ultra light tubes and the only problem I have is with the valve stems. I presume it is the rear tire? Peel off your tire, tube, and rim tape. Carefully examine the inside of your rim. Run your fingers around and see if you can locate a burr. Are you flats occurring in the same area of your tube? Do you have a nipple head protruding? Get ahold of some light grade metal sandpaper and lightly sand the inside of the rim. Make sure that you get rid of any metal particles when you are finished. You might have to use a metal file if it is a nipple head. Carefully examine your rim again and make sure you have not missed an area. Install new Velox rim tape. Be carefull when you mount your tire back on your rim, perhaps you are receiving pinch flats because they are not installed correctly. I blew a new tube today in my garage as I didn't check to make sure that the tube was inside of the tire, it happens to the best of us when we are in a hurry. I have yet to resort to Mr. Tuffy's, flats come with riding, and tire liners are expensive and heavy.

It might be helpful to know what tire/tube/wheel combination you are using. You can make changing flats easier by using co2.
re: Flat TiresCarbonRide
Aug 1, 2001 7:42 PM
This is an intersting and worthwhile thread. Here is an example of my experience. From January to June I had one flat. From late May to late July I had twelve flats. What changed? The tires. From Jan. to June I was riding Hutchinson Gold clinchers and from late May to Late July I was riding Vittoria Corsa Open Pro CX's. You might consider changing tires to help your situation out. After switching to Continental GP 3000 two weeks ago I have had no problems. Also you might want consider two sets of tires, one for training and one set for races.
re: Flat TiresMarcB
Aug 1, 2001 8:35 PM
Good point with the tires. I have recently changed the tires on my road bike to Vittoria Action HSD's. They are basically a training tire. The prior tires, an inexpensive brand, never flatted. However, I believe that the problem may be with the 12 year old rim tape. I noticed that both punctures were on the inside rather than the outside of the tubes. Also, I noticed a bit of a sharp edge where the (old) rim tape overlaps on each wheel. The tape may be puncturing the tubes. I checked the tire (outside and inside) carefully and did not find anything unusual. Hence, I am leaning towards the rim tape being the culprit, although I am not certain that this was the cause. I will replace the rim tape and see what occurs in the future. Thanks for the input!
re: Flat TiresAustinTexasRider
Aug 2, 2001 5:16 AM
I had a flat due to rim tape. I put the tape on which started and ended too close to a hole without overlap. I fixed the problem temporarily with a clif bar wrapper until I got home. Rim tape will definately cause em'.