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I Need Help Avoiding Flats!(14 posts)

I Need Help Avoiding Flats!Indurain 03
Jul 19, 2003 6:57 PM
Does anyone have any suggestions that would help me to avoid a constant stream of flat tires. I have had two flat rear tires in the last three weeks. I checked the tire and there is nothing unusual. Are there special tubes out there that are somewhat puncture resistant? Thamks for the help!
Try new tiresmickey-mac
Jul 19, 2003 7:04 PM
I used to spend a lot of time at the side of the road repairing flats. However, I've been riding Michelin Axial Carbons for over two years and have had only a few flats in that time. Nothing I've ridden has been close on puncture-resitance, even with lightweight tubes.
re: I Need Help Avoiding Flats!BrianU
Jul 19, 2003 7:19 PM
Make sure you check the rim tape and maybe look for any sharp edges on the inside of your rim. Check your tire pressure. Personally, I think running lower tire pressure can make the tires more likely to get puntured.
I do not know about special tubes, but you can get tire liners. I used them on my mountainbike and they worked great, but I have know idea how well they would work on the smaller tires. I would think they would work fine, although they are probably a real pain to install. Another route is some kind of re-enforced tire, like the Continental Ultra Gatorskin for example.

Jul 19, 2003 8:10 PM
some companies make super thick "puncture resistant" tubes. Although they seem to work pretty well, they can weigh almost two times as much as a good lightweight tube. You can really feel the difference. But if you hate flats that much......

First, analyze the problem.Spoke Wrench
Jul 20, 2003 12:11 AM
Examine your flatted inner tubes. Where is the hole and what does it look like?

If the hole is on the inner circumference you have a rim or more likely a rim strip problem. Make sure that your rim strip covers the rim from flange to flange. The tiniest little crescent of a spoke hole showing will cause repeated flats.

If the hole is on the outer circumference, that's a puncture. If getting repeated flats is a new thing for you, carefully examine your tire. If you mount your tire with the label adjacent to the valve stem, look to see if the holes are in the same place on your inner tubes. If so, you have something stuck in your tire and it will continue to cause problems. If you can't find it, don't keep trying, just junk the tire. It'll be well worth the price for your peace of mind.

If you are getting punctures in several different places on your inner tubes, you might want to consider more flat resistant tires or finding less glass strewn places to ride.
Basic cycling hygeine: wipe after going...BergMann
Jul 20, 2003 9:23 AM
Do you "wipe" down your tires with a gloved hand after going through suspicious looking debris, or when it sounds like something is stuck in your tire?

The front tire is easy: slowly lower your slightly cupped, gloved palm onto the tread _in front_ of the fork/front brake, and once you've made contact, rock your palm back and forth to make sure you've cleaned the full tread.

The rear is a bit trickier: hook your thumb around the outside of one of the seat stays, and _carefully_ insert your hand into the rear triangle, just above the tire. Repeat the wiping motion described above, but be careful - press too hard and your hand could be thrown by the tire and wedged between the tire and seat tube, at which point a puncture would be the least of your worries.

With practice, this will become second nature.

Good luck!

PS - stay away from insert "strips" between tube and tire -- even on MTBs these things totally deaden the feel of a tire. A reinforced tire with an extra layer of kevlar built-in would be a much better route.
lower your pressureTig
Jul 20, 2003 10:41 AM
If all the above advice doesn't work, try lowering your pressure from the usual 115 or 120 psi to something closer to 100 psi (for 23c width tires). Thanks to "Uncle Al" (Al Ardizone owns Cascade Bicycles in Montrose, CO and contributes no nonsense tech articles to, I've done this for almost a year now and have experienced far fewer flats. Some people out there are naturally thinking that this will cause pinch flats. Al weighs 225 and runs 95 psi in front, 100 in back, so he's proof that pinch flats aren't a problem at this pressure.
Learn more from him at
Slime Liners!Asphalt Addict
Jul 20, 2003 11:41 AM
I've been using one on the rear tire after having numerous flats(glass, stickers, sharp stones). Have not had a flat in two years! These things work and they cost a whooping $5!
Watch where you are going.MR_GRUMPY
Jul 20, 2003 4:04 PM
80% of flats on clinchers are from hitting pot holes or rolling over stones. Don't do that.......10% are from not checking out the last flat properly (glass still in tire) ......10% is from glass and other small objects in the road. Nothing you can do about that.
re: I Need Help Avoiding Flats!torquecal
Jul 20, 2003 4:09 PM
A lot of good advice so far, I can only add a little bit. Specialized "Airlock" tubes have saved me from numerous goathead flats. I recently replaced a tube that showed pinpoints from seven punctures that self sealed.

Last year I rode with both Mr Tuffy kevlar tire liners and the Airlock tubes. This year I've been experimenting without the liners. So far so good but goathead season isn't here yet so I'll reserve final judgement. Either way, I'm really impressed by how well these tubes work.
use continental grand prixmazobob
Jul 20, 2003 6:27 PM
I rode coast to coast on the kevlar and didn't get a SINGLE FLAT! this is the regular grand prix not the 2000 or 3000. they cost about 35 bucks and are plenty fast
Continental Ultra Gatorskinsfbg111
Jul 20, 2003 7:52 PM
Although already mentioned, I'll second these. I started biking a year ago, and within two months of starting I had gotten four flats, all at very inopportune times. I switched to Conti Ultra Gatorskins (kevlar) and have not a single flat since. I swear by them...
Jul 21, 2003 2:20 AM
Armadillos. I think they are mde to run over anythng. Damn near as punture resistant as you can find. Not the best rolling tire and a bit heavy but you will not be changing flats again.
Specialized Armadillos, Liners if that doesn't work. nmMXL02
Jul 21, 2003 7:21 AM