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Newbie question on tire care ...(15 posts)

Newbie question on tire care ...jkh
Oct 29, 2001 12:49 PM
Hi,
I have had my first road bike (with GP3000) for more than a month and I have already punctured my tires 4 times. I just rode on normal paved road in residential areas in Los Angeles and never took the bike off-road. I always keep the tires at 110psi. Can someone give me some advices on this issue. I am tired of changing the tube almost every week.
Any advices will be appreciated.
re: Newbie question on tire care ...bikedodger
Oct 29, 2001 1:06 PM
My flats have always come in bunches. I am now on the no flats part of the cycle.

Usually when I am getting lots of flats there is a reason. Where on the tube are the flats occuring? If they are on the spoke side (the inside) then the rim tape needs to be replaced.

Most road debris tends to collect near the edge of the road. Try riding a little farther from the edge to avoid the excess debris.

Mike
re: watch where you're ridingdzrider
Oct 29, 2001 1:11 PM
Learn to pay some attention to what your wheels roll through. It ain't worth dying to avoid a flat, but go around glass, metal, or anything you can't identify.

You may also try to verify that your pump or pressure guage is giving you an accurate reading.

Before you inflate the tire go all the way around the rim on both sides pushing the tire away from the wall of the rim looking for the tube. You shouldn't see it. Then pump up the tire.
Another thought on tube inspectionjagiger
Oct 29, 2001 1:22 PM
You might want to partially fill the tube & check to be sure that the tire is not pinching the tube. This way the tube may also work it's way free by pushing back the tire to inspect. I had a tube pinched this summer & it was like a shot gun blast!!! Scared the heck out of me.

Also, when repair a flat, check the tire at the puncture to make sure there isn't something let behind (glass, nail, etc.) that's stuck in the tire & would end up causing another flat.

Beside that, look out for road debris & ride on.
Is mostly luck and watcxhing where you are goingbear
Oct 29, 2001 1:24 PM
I have the same tires,,the entire summmer no flats in the ny area and then one sunday both tires flat at the same time..I only had one tube with I figure I would never use[ thanks God for cell phones],,I now carry 2 tubes and a mini pump and a path kit,,,,I know what ypu mean,,,is not FUN... it takes you a couple of rides to enjoy riding again...some of the above suggestions make sense to me,,,
try some different tiresDog
Oct 29, 2001 1:18 PM
Try the Continental Gatorskins or Michelin Axial Selects. The harder, thicker rubber compounds drastically reduce punctures. They are usually cheaper, too, and last longer.

The 50 grams or so weight difference will not make a difference in your ride speed in any noticable way. Unless you are dualing it out for the local crit championship, I'd suggest using the more durable tires. I've learned this many times over the hard way.

Doug
re: avoiding flats in the cityguido
Oct 29, 2001 2:30 PM
I've ridden on glass, tacks, nails, coat hangers, over potholes, steel plates, and other enivronmental hazards on city streets, including LA-San Fernando Valley.

My 18 years' experience has been, the skinnier the tire, the harder it has to be aired up to do its job, the more flats you'll get. Rider weight is concentrated on a smaller contact patch on the road surface. The tire must be harder to avoid "pinch flats," and won't flex over little pieces of glass. For that reason, I've never ridden on anything less than 25C. In fact, 28C has always worked out best for me in an urban environment. 28Cs aired up to 100psi don't seem to pick up as much glass as smaller tires do. 110psi makes a tire pretty hard, and more susceptible to cuts.

And then, of course, you have to ride on clean roads, the cleanest you can find. If you can't, ride as much as possible on the part of the road surface cleaned by the motor vehicle traffic. Avoid dirty shoulders. If you're commuting for example, the residential side streets might be debris free, while the main arteries will have all kinds of junk on them, just laying along the sides of the road ready to give you a flat. On a highway with paved shoulders, there's twice as much chance you'll get a flat on the right side of a shoulder than the left.
The real reason I think...LC
Oct 29, 2001 2:30 PM
I have had this happen before a couple of times. I could never find the reason why I was getting flats, and even had other people look at the tires also. What I eventually found was that there was a very small hole that when under pressure would allow the tube to be exposed to road debre. Just looking at the tire off the wheel I could never spot the hole.
re: Newbie question on tire care ...jkh
Oct 29, 2001 2:32 PM
Thanks for all the replies on my posting.

All the flats that I had were caused by either some tiny debris or thorns on the road. I guess I just have to be more carefully when riding. I'm only a little bit frustrated because the tires couldn't withstand these kinds of small debris.
Tire saversKerry Irons
Oct 29, 2001 6:33 PM
There is an old procedure that those of us who grew up with tubulars used regularly - use your fingers to lightly brush the tires after riding through any debris. Some care needs to be exercised to avoid getting your fingers caught in the rotating wheel, but it is really quite easy to do and can easily done safely. Also, there used to be a common device called a tire saver, where a little wire rides lightly on the tire to continuously clear the debris.
re: Newbie question on tire care ...Giles
Oct 29, 2001 5:02 PM
I also ride in LA and had the same experience with my new bike. I got a flat every other time I rode. Is is was not some glass or thorns etc. It was... rim tape. If the shop did not do a good job with the rim tape you will get flats that are totally out of your control. Thats where I would start.
here's a tipDutchy
Oct 29, 2001 5:37 PM
I was at the Tour Down Under last January and the bike mechanic was checking the tyre for bits of glass.
Since then, before every ride I check the tyres with a watch makers screwdriver.
Just look for ANY small cuts and have a good look to see if anything is still in the hole,
then just flick it out with the screwdriver. Sometimes you have to let all the air out so you
can pinch the tyre to make the hole open up to get the debris out. Don't dig too deep or you
will go through the tyre casing.
I have dug out 3 pieces of glass, a wood slinter in the sidewall, and a piece of wire that made
the tyre go flat when I pulled it out.

Doing this has saved me 5 flats while out riding.

CHEERS.
I second this advice.cyclinseth
Oct 30, 2001 7:11 AM
I check my tires this way before or after almost every ride. I rarely ever get flats any more (never a big problem in the past though).
By the way, don't use ultra-light tubes. They are just too darn flimsy.
buy a pair of armadillos!Rusty McNasty
Oct 30, 2001 5:34 AM
they don't ride really nice, they are heavy, and the red sidewalls are ugly, but it sure beats changing flats!!
re: Newbie question on tire care ...Me Dot Org
Oct 30, 2001 10:27 AM
I ride in San Francisco, a fair amount of road debris on GP3000s. I've had very good luck with them (no flats in 1500 miles, rear tire nearly bald now). As has been said, sometimes you just get unlucky. I've had periods where I seemed to flat every other ride. Anyway, here's my advice:

As has been said, check your rim tape. Cheap to change, and can make all the difference.

Good tubes can be as important as good tires.

Examine your tires CAREFULLY. Any sidewall cuts? Superglue 'em, or (if cuts are too big) time to replace the tires.

Besides being careful where you go, USE YOUR GLOVES. Brush off your tires with the leather inserts of your gloves while you're riding after you've gone through a dirty spot. It takes a little practice (careful with the rear tire - press the back of your hand against the back of the seat tube before moving it towards the tire) but I think this can prevent glass cuts.

I run my Conti's at 120 p.s.i. with no problems.