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  1. #1
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    Oh no, a "weight weenie" type of question! Tubes!

    I found my commuter bike (TBA with pics). The patience and browsing Craigslist and Ebay have paid off. Originally was looking for a frame--new or used--to build on but was also keeping an eye out on a complete bike. Well, found a complete one that fits me well and is light. First thing is to swap out the crap parts (entry-level bike but from a good manufacturer, can we say Cannon-). Anyway, I'm sorta hooked on the idea of a light and fast commuter/city bike. I have two FS and both aren't the lightest. I want something nimble, yet I know it seems almost oxymoronic to want to build a light commuter, after all commuters aren't designed for speed because they carry things. Well, I'm going for the minimalist concept. One thing I don't want happening on a commute--or any ride, for that matter--is a flat, so I had originally decided on going for Slime tubes. But they're quite heavy compared to regular tubes, and this fixation on lightness has made me reconsider. I have a set of Michelin City tires, which are designed for city riding. I read somewhere that as long as you have a set of good puncture-resistance tires then you don't really need all that tube protection stuff, like liners. My question is what's the best tube for a light commuter? Should I go with Slime tubes or just trust the Michelin tires? There is tubeless, but I'm not ready to go there yet.

  2. #2
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    Slime Lite tubes?

    The tires will probably protect you from most flat causing nasties, but reset your tire pressure before every ride to avoid pinch flats. I run Gatorskins (700x23) with standard tubes at 110psi, and have ridden through dirt, rocks, glass, over 2x4s, etc. Tire pressure is key for my setup.

  3. #3
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    The only advice i can give is carry a pump/Co2 inflator with you and a tube and or patches in a saddle bag. Regular tubes are fine. I checked walmart tubes and they have this super heavy duty one that weighs like 2 lbs. Your better off carrying extras anyway they might as well be light.

  4. #4
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    I always carry an extra tube, patches, and a converting pump, like the Topeak Morph.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    I always carry an extra tube, patches, and a converting pump, like the Topeak Morph.
    Same here.

    Also, I ran Michelin Transworld Cities for a while on advice of LBS, and I have to say that's the only place this particular place has ever steered me wrong, those inverted treads were just total debris/flat magnets, on the road/trail conditions I have anyway. Across bikes I've tried them in 700x28, 700x32, 26x1.5, high pressure, mid pressure, but always a very consistent result, lots of flats. I wound up having the 2nd or 3rd thing I did after getting into work every day spinning the wheels to pop pebbles, glass, whatever out of those inverted treads.

    I am all about the low pressure big apples now.

  6. #6
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    I hate slime for several reasons:
    It's messy when you do have to change a tube.
    It freezes at approximately 14 degrees F, creating a wobbly wheel until you park your bike inside all day and it thaws out for the ride home.
    It's heavy.
    It does't stop flats other than small punctures (I live in goathead territory...nasty thorns that create holes bigger than slime can handle).

    I also tried the 'slime' brand tire liners (like tuffy tire liners) and they gave me pinch flats because the sides aren't tapered like tuffy's...they wore a groove in the tube all the way around the edge of them that wasn't patch-able.


    I now use 'Tuffy' tire liners and standard tubes, and schwalbe Kojack tires (basically a super tough touring tire). That combo is not incredibly heavy (definately lighter than slime), and It's been pretty good to me. I've had 2 flats since the start of August (both from goatheads that breeched security. I hate those plants).

    I also carry a spare tube, patches, and a CO2 pump with two refills...I keep a floor pump at work so I don't waste CO2 canisters.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
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    I just run Ritchey Tom Slicks 26x1.4" @80psi or so, with thin light tubes....carry one spare tube, a patch kit, and a mini-pump (a Doubleshot, iirc...been awhile since I've used it). I've been fortunate in my years of commuting in that I've flatted maybe twice..... I usually just replace the tube, continue to work/school/home, and patch the tube when I get home, and either keep that as my spare, or switch it back out with the recently replaced tube.
    *note to self* - I realize I shouldn't have posted, as I'm surely doomed to start flatting regularly.....life's "funny" that way (and not haha funny... )

  8. #8
    Ride Responsibly
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    Change tires when the tread looks thin and use a tube smaller that the tire size for a "Light" tube.

  9. #9
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    I used to average 1 flat a week mtn biking. Then I got sick and tired of it so I put in some tire liners as a temporary fix until I bought everything to go Stan's Tubeless but... I haven't had a flat for over a year.

  10. #10
    PCC
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    On my commuter bike I would not use thin inner tubes. Thicker tubes keep the air in better and are a little less prone to punctures. This means that if I'm in a rush to get out of the house and on my way to work I don't have to worry about not having enough air in the tires most of the time. Out of habit from riding high pressure clinchers with thin tubes on my road bikes I top off the tire pressure before every ride but I find that my commuter bike requires less air than my roadies do.

    Also, I run kevlar belted tires on my commuter (Forte brand) and have not had a flat, yet. I ride that bike through some of the worst areas around here with plenty of glass on the streets and have not had a single flat with these tires. I've had at least four or five flats on my roadies this year so far but I do put in roughly 8 times more mileage on those bikes every month.

    A trick that I read about but have not tried, yet, is to get inner tubes that have a removeable valve and squirt an ounce of Stan's sealant into the tube so that smaller punctures would self-seal without the weight penalty of running a Slime inner tube. I think Michelin or one of those European tire manufacturers make inner tubes with a removeable valve.

  11. #11
    I Ride for Donuts
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    Quote Originally Posted by PCC
    Also, I run kevlar belted tires on my commuter (Forte brand) and have not had a flat, yet. I ride that bike through some of the worst areas around here with plenty of glass on the streets and have not had a single flat with these tires. I've had at least four or five flats on my roadies this year so far but I do put in roughly 8 times more mileage on those bikes every month.
    I have Forte Versa-Trak K tires with the kevlar belt on my mountain bike, and I've had a couple of flats from goatheads, but other than that they've been pretty good. I'm on my second set, and I've found that they wear out long before the tread wears down. The areas between the treads started peeling away, exposing the kevlar liner beneath. Weird. I probably got 2000 miles out of them before that happened though.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
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    I go light and tough with Reflex tubular rims (~390g) and Tufo Diamond D28 CX tubies (~350g). They're light, roll smooth as buttah @90psi, and I also put an ounce of Stan's in there for small nails, goatheads, etc. If anything punctures that's so big the Stan's won't seal, you can ride a flat tubie for miles with no real harm to the tire or rim (at least not with the cheap Tufos I use) and swap out the tire when you get home (or get to work, depending on the direction). I live in Socal, not sure about the Stan's freezing in more...inhospitable...climates.

  13. #13
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    Don't worry too much about being a weight weenie when it comes to commuting..unless you are in an area with alot of climbs. If my CrossCheck weighs less than 35 pounds I'll send everyone a free set of wooden fenders...lol
    I run the stock Richey SpeeMax with standard tubes. Once I quit playing with air pressures (MTB Mentality) and just aired them up to the max rated pressure, I havn't had a flat. When I did have flats, I was running slime. If you've never had to replace a flattened slime tube, you're not going to want to. If you have you'll understand why I'll never use them again.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

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