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Thread: Tire help!

  1. #1
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    Tire help!

    Need help picking out the right tires for my giant trance x3. I have a very bad thorn problem in my riding area and get constant flats, the thorns are all very small but very sharp which also can pierce though tire liners occasionally, so I'm looking for a solid sturdy tire (Kevlar)Is what im told, for mosty trail riding some down hill and some street. That offer good protection against thorns.

    Im just looking for advice on a solid setup like tire+ tire liner , or just Kevlar tire

    Please let me know some brands / model number because Im a complete bike noob.

  2. #2
    Clueless genius
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    In mountain bike tires, Kevlar is usually used in the tire bead, to make them lighter weight and able to fold rather than as a puncture protection layer like in commuter tires. Tire liners rarely work well, in fact, they rarely work at all. Tubeless might be the best way to go. It can be difficult sometimes, but it's really the best flat protection out there. You get rid of the tube and have a liquid sealant inside the tire that fills punctures. You can also fill some tubes with tubeless sealant (I've done it in the past. It works better than pre-filled tubes with slime, but it's not perfect).

    For going tubeless, unless you plan to pay your shop to do it, I really do recommend the "Ghetto" method over the stan's kit. It's cheaper, and quite frankly, it works better.

    If you have 26" wheels, track down a 20" tube with presta valves. A 24" tube can work, but it's not ideal. If you have 29" wheels, a 24 or 26" tube will work. Stretch the tube around the rim (with the tire off obviously) and then "butterfly" the innertube down the middle so it's sliced open and pulled over the rim well. Remove the talcum powder inside it, clean with rubbing alcohol, and test fit the tire. Make sure it'll at least partially inflate without sealant before using it. After that, follow the instructions on the sealant bottle for getting that added and sealed up. With some tires, they come with kinks in the bead area and you'll need to have them inflated for a while with a tube to round it out before it'll work tubeless. Or pay your shop to do it.

    Look for tires marked "UST" or "Tubeless ready". I've personally had the best luck with WTB's "TCS" (tubless compatible system. Basically a UST tire bead with a slightly better sealed than normal casing), and Continental's "Pro-tection" tires. (after given time to even the bead out).
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    It's worth trying a puncture resistant tire. Due to branding concerns, the puncture resistant belt isn't always called "kevlar," but I think it pretty much is always the same material. What tires do you have now? There are multiple versions of most tires, so if you're happy with what you've got, other than the flats, more of the same, with more puncture protection, could be just the ticket.

    I read great stuff about tubeless too, just haven't tried it.

    Is "some down hill" actually downhill-specific trails, or do you just mean that your trails sometimes lose elevation?
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Ghetto tubeless video on YouTube (YouTubeless?)

    how to do "ghetto" tubeless part 1 - YouTube

    Spykr: If you have to unmount the tire to replace it or whatever, do you need a new inner tube to mount the tire again?

    Thanks.
    Last edited by DennisF; 11-24-2013 at 02:35 PM.

  5. #5
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    If you're determined to stick with tubes, I would look into these:

    Front:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Rear:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    I had Armadillo road tires on my road bike and didn't have a flat for over fives years until they finally started to come apart. They rode rougher than regular tires for sure, but they are tough (maybe tougher) than nails.

    If you're open to going tubeless, it sounds like you're a prime candidate as far as your riding environment goes. However, the other side of tubeless is having a little bit of mechanical ability and paying attention to your sealant drying up. The good thing about every Specialized "2-Bliss" tire I have dealt with (and these tires are '2_Bliss') is that you can easily seat the beads with just a floor pump, so they are pretty easy to live with even if you just have basic equipment.

    Hopefully, your rims are easily prepared (compatible) with something like a Stans rim strip (and tape) kit.

    Tubeless is more work in the garage to set them up, but generally far less work on the trail after that. I can't go so far as to say you'd 'never' have a flat on the trail again. But the number of trail flats due to tread punctures will be as close to that as imaginable.

  6. #6
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    For what it's worth I haven't had much trouble with flats, despite all the thorns in Southern California's dry brush. I use plain old tubed tires and get a thorn flat once a year on average. The key is inspecting the tire closely before placing the new tube inside, because the goathead thorns can hide a broken section inside the tire and spike the new tube too, leaving you walking miles back to your car. Some people love tubeless, but I've never tried it. Just don't use lightweight racing tires, I did that once and they were literally shredded in the first 5 miles of use. (Continentals)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DennisF View Post

    Spykr: If you have to unmount the tire to replace it or whatever, do you need a new inner tube to mount the tire again?

    Thanks.
    If you fully remove the tire, then maybe. It depends on if you damage the tube when unhooking the tire. But when you're just unhooking one side, or part of one side to fill/replace sealant, you will not. Unless of course you tear it. Use plastic tire levers (like a "quik-stick") to reduce the chance of that happening.
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  8. #8
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    I asked my friends who have been riding for years and the tyre they all recommended was the Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
    I think it's a tubed tyre, but they are supposed to be just about the most puncture resistant tyre you can buy.

    However this is not from personal experience, it is just what I have been told by my friends.

  9. #9
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    Thanks Spykr, that's good to hear. I was wondering if the tube would stay in place after you had cut it. If you had to buy a new tube every time, it would hardly seem worth the hassle.

    I have a friend with non-TLR wheels who will be interested in trying it. I use Slime for autos a la Walmart, so it will not be an expensive experiment.

  10. #10
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    Straight slime will not work. Most bike shops will have little bottles of Stan's sealant for 4-5 bucks. Those are good for sealing 1 tire. And don't worry, you're not going to need to open up a tire for a good while. Really only to replace sealant or if you get a sidewall cut. And to replace sealant all you'll need to do is unhook 1 side of the tire, or just part of 1 side, and add more!
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

  11. #11
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    Really? Is there something about the ghetto setup that requires top-quality goo?

    I started with Stans, and no question it really seals up great. But it is such a mess, impossible to clean up after, and dries out pretty quickly in my experience. I just ride over thorns and stuff, not nail beds like in their videos .

    I use regular old Slime for tires (not inner tubes) on me and my son's Treks with Bonty Mustang TLR rims, with Bonty tires and Continental Race Kings for almost a year now and have been very happy with it. When it does get dry, just add water. I do dilute it with about 30% water so it distributes around the inside of the tire easier.

    I have also used Bonty Superjuice which works fine also. I much prefer it to Stans. However, I can't see that it is any better than the Slime.

    Really, the goo doesn't seem to be that critical at least with Trek's TLR system. The Conti didn't even leak around the rim like the Bonty tires do until you slosh the goo around. I bet oatmeal would do in a pinch.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffj View Post
    If you're determined to stick with tubes, I would look into these:

    Front:

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Rear:

    Specialized Bicycle Components
    I agree, those tires are tough as nails (:P). Like jeffj said, if you stick with tubes tires like these are your best defense, maybe slime as well if that doesn't do it.

  13. #13
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    Tubeless w/ Stan's is the best remedy for thorns IMO. I don't really agree with all of the other touted benefits of tubeless setups (weight, lower psi, smoother ride, etc), but the ability to avoid puncture flats is enough for me!

    Good luck.
    '11 Specialized Enduro Expert for the trails
    '13 Felt Z4 for the road

  14. #14
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    Really any tubeless sealant will work. Stans, Orange seal, other various products. The big difference between Stan's and the Bonty stuff, is that Stans is latex-based (which is also why it tends to dry out faster), whereas the bontrager stuff is glycol-based(dries slower, but doesn't let them tout the "eco-friendly" badge like Stan's does. Not that it actually makes much of a difference). I recommended Stan's initially because it's not too pricey, very easy to find, and works pretty damn well.

    If the automotive stuff is working well for you, then keep using it. I know a guy who would use tractor tire sealant and...it worked exceptionally well. But it's also a "bit" toxic. I advise adding some extra particles to the slime (glitter. Obviously red glitter if you want to ride faster.) and be generous with how much you use. Even so, I'd advise stans/superjuice/TCS sealant/etc over it. Slime is designed to fill small punctures and seal them, tubeless sealant is designed to coat a large area and make it airtight.

    Really, the biggest impact is going to be your tire choice. Full UST stuff seals the best, but it's heavy. Trek's TLR system uses a UST-like square bead to seal against the rim tighter, as do many other "tubeless-ready" systems (WTB's TCS system, Geax's TNT system, Conti's RTR, Kenda's Sealant-ready, etc, etc, etc, etc). Then it's combined with a reinforced casing that's more air-tight than a normal tire, but still requires sealant and not 100% air-tight like UST in order to save weight. Generally, these kinds of tires are the best trade off between price, weight, and air retention. Most tires nowadays have a UST or tubeless-ready equivalent. A bit more expensive, but absolutely worth it. And if you get as many punctures as you say you do, might even pay for itself with not having to buy tubes all the time!
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

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    Thanks for the info!

    Instead of glitter, the Slime tire goo has a lot of what appears to be lint.

    Yeah, the toxicity . I'll remember not to eat it, and we don't have any little children anymore. My brakes use mineral oil, so it's comforting to know I could eat that if I ever got hungry on the trail.

  16. #16
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    Well, the OP has been silent so far.

    If he decides to go tubeless then this information will help him out.

    But otherwise, l would suggest the Schwalbe Marathon Plus as a very good tubed puncture resistant MTB tyre.

  17. #17
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    The glitter is added because Slime's particulate isn't that great at doing its job! not a TON of glitter, but just a bit. Mix it up before adding to the tire.
    2009 GT Sanction 2.0
    2007 C'dale Prophet 5
    1994 C'dale M400

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    Thanks for the comments everyone much appreciated! I checked the armadillo's they look really good. And also at the Schwalbe both look great and have good reviews from what I seen, Anyone have any experience with either one and could recommend one over the other? And should I just use a regular tube with slim? Or a thick tube also? Or a tire liner lol im just not sure which is the best / cost effective way to go.
    I love mountain biking but I honestly quit because I literally get a flat tire every time I ride and cant affoard to keep buying tubes. The area's I ride are within 5 minutes from my house and theres just these smalls thorns in unavoidable bushes that put like 20 holes in my tire then I spend an hour removing every single one to only Miss one tiny one and get another flat its just so annoying and frustrating.

  19. #19
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Don't keep buying tubes... or at least buy fewer.

    I hang onto my flatted tubes. When I have six, I patch them all at once. I've never had great luck patching tubes in the field and hanging onto an opened tube of glue for too long has usually just led to me having a solid tube of glue, not being able to use it again. So I use up an entire patch kit when I get rolling. The other thing is that you can set yourself up to do it assembly-line style and knock 'em out in about a half hour. I don't know about you, but I don't make $70/hour. So for me, this is not a bad use of time.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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