Commuter Tire Question- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuter Tire Question

    So... When it comes to fat wheels, I have all the angles covered.
    Skinny stuff, not so much. Maybe someone can help.
    I ride a Dahon Vigor P9 every day. The reason I ride that is that I'm allowed to bring a folding bike on the train during rush hour. There's not enough time in the day for me to commute all the way by bike.
    Anyway, the wheels that came on the bike were seriously lacking.
    I built new wheels and specifically chose Velocity Cliffhangers for rims for the width, strength and tubeless ability. I set them up tubeless and learned that Stan's doesn't hold at 60 psi. There was a hole in the rear tire from glass and it would not seal.
    At first, I thought about patching the tire from the inside but then realized if I get another puncture, it probably will not seal and just keep spraying sealant. I can't have that on the train.
    I used liners for some degree of flat prevention and am currently running tubes. The shop suggested I put Slime in the tubes. Anyone tried this and have any success?
    I need this bike to remain dependable because on days I have to pick up my son from school, a flat that makes me miss a train could be a problem.
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  2. #2
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    I inject my kids' tubes with sealant (I use a homebrew latex-based sealant) and have had good results stopping goathead punctures, etc. The only downside is that as it slowly dries out and you add more, there's no way to clean the old stuff out, so it accumulates over time. Not a huge deal for the commuter in my opinion.

    That said, my kids tubes are running at like 35psi.... would it seal up at 60psi? not sure. Probably better than a tubeless set-up.
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  3. #3
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    Thanks. Wouldn't really be bad. I'd just change the tubes every so often. Rear tire lasts me about a year so there's my interval.
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    If you're worried about sealant spraying on the train, Slime (the brand name) is far nastier stuff chemical wise than latex sealants. A better product for tubes is True Goo. The shop I worked at used it with great success. A bonus, it's water based and non-toxic/drain safe.

    Good luck.

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    Wow! Thanks. That looks perfect.
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    What tires are you using? 20" ? Tried marathons?

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    The bike came with Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Still on the front. The rear is some Giant tire the LBS had layin' around.
    I was going to put Big Apples on it next time it needs tires. Are the Marathons better?
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    Schwalbe has a great rep for some really tough, flat resistant tires. But the make like 100 different ones. Go to their web site and check it out.

  9. #9
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    Yes I think your Supreme has better puncture protection then "some giant tire my lbs had."

    Marathon Supreme HS 382 | Schwalbe North America
    Is this the tire?

    If so, the supreme would have probably just crushed the glass and kept going.
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    I've yet to puncture my Schwalbe Marathons in about 2,000 miles with it's fair share of glass and debris. I did have bead failures but that is supposedly sorted out with newer tires. You could combine them with heavier "thorn resistant" tubes and they'd be really tough to puncture if you don't mind the weight.

  11. #11
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    The Marathon series covers a wide range of tires. Some of them are bombproof, but what you don't see on paper is how bad the ride quality and rolling resistance becomes. If it was just the extra weight I could deal with it. Same goes for the super-stiff "flatfree" tubes. I have 32-622 Marathon Supreme Evo tires on one bike and they ride well and are fairly resistant to punctures. I've had one flat with them but it was a couple of years ago.

    Big Apples are well protected and ride well also.

    With wider tires you can reduce pressure, so tubeless isn't out of the question.

    Carry a tube and tools and learn how to change the tube quickly. That and the addition of just a few minutes of headspace time to your commute means things don't fall apart even if you do get unlucky one day.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57 View Post
    Yes I think your Supreme has better puncture protection then "some giant tire my lbs had."

    Marathon Supreme HS 382 | Schwalbe North America
    Is this the tire?

    If so, the supreme would have probably just crushed the glass and kept going.
    Yeah. That's them. Probably get another one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    The Marathon series covers a wide range of tires. Some of them are bombproof, but what you don't see on paper is how bad the ride quality and rolling resistance becomes. If it was just the extra weight I could deal with it. Same goes for the super-stiff "flatfree" tubes. I have 32-622 Marathon Supreme Evo tires on one bike and they ride well and are fairly resistant to punctures. I've had one flat with them but it was a couple of years ago.

    Big Apples are well protected and ride well also.

    With wider tires you can reduce pressure, so tubeless isn't out of the question.

    Carry a tube and tools and learn how to change the tube quickly. That and the addition of just a few minutes of headspace time to your commute means things don't fall apart even if you do get unlucky one day.
    Exactly how I did it that day. Ran to the subway, got to the railroad, fixed the flat on the train on the ride home, rode to school and picked up my son.
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  14. #14
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    Ive never ran tubeless on my road or townie bikes b/c i like to run higher pressures than tubeless allows. That said there are some sturdy 20" tires out there to use with regular tubes but slime IMO is overkill. Just steer clear of routes with large amounts of debris.

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    Thanks for all the help, guys. I've figured out tubeless is not the answer. I need to be able to fix this on the train without making a mess.
    I'll make sure I stick with protected tires. The one I picked up to replace my worn Marathon is crap. Lotsa volume though. I like the ride.
    The bike rolls fantastic with 60 psi in both tires.
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    In Germany we have this stuff here: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Pr...utzband-p2209/

    Don't you have something like this in the US?

    I am using it 10 years already and this is placed between tube and tyre, preventing punctures. The advantage is, is that you can use any kind of tyre and you are not pinned on one the megaheavy slushy "plus" models, that are safe, but also work like an anchor.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclingdutchman View Post
    In Germany we have this stuff here: https://www.bike-components.de/en/Pr...utzband-p2209/

    Don't you have something like this in the US?

    I am using it 10 years already and this is placed between tube and tyre, preventing punctures. The advantage is, is that you can use any kind of tyre and you are not pinned on one the megaheavy slushy "plus" models, that are safe, but also work like an anchor.
    Yes. I used something just like that for now.
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  18. #18
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    solutions

    A combination of tire-liner and tube-sealant (Slime, etc) has always worked well for me, and gives a bit of freedom in choosing tires,
    since flat protection is already taken care of.

    I think the best tire on the market for included flat protection is probably the Schwalbe Marathon Plus, but it may ride slow if you're used to a fast tire.

    Another option is using airless inserts, with a suitable tire.
    I use these regularly. You don't get the same coast-to-pedal purchase that you do with pneumatic tires, i.e. they take getting used to,
    but you simply can't beat the reliability.

    If going airless, there's a few things to keep in mind:

    * You want to use a drivetrain that emphasizes leverage over speed.
    (longer crank arms, taller overall gearset, ex. 14-32T, 14-34T rear cog,
    single front, maybe 38T or less, etc)

    * The tire should fit the insert as snug as possible,
    especially with Stop-A-Flat inserts,
    or else they'll ride slower than they are already.

    * also make sure you have a comfortable saddle. It just helps.

    ---------------
    There are two or three brands of tube-inserts that I know of:

    Stop-A-Flat - I use these regularly. They are slow but affordable, and
    they are light, reliable and maintenance-free.
    You'll want to get a set of cheap tires that fit well,
    with tread suited for your path/commuting conditions.

    Hutchinson - These are sold with a set of tires designed for them
    by Hutchinson. they are more expensive, but
    may be worth the investment.

    Kenda American Airless - originally designed for wheelchairs,
    these can roll while supporting heavy loads, BUT
    they are heavy themselves, and only re-purposed for bikes, by cutting up sections of existing wheelchair inserts, enough for a bike wheel circ, and then pointlessly gluing them together (the glue separates while installing or removing, but
    is otherwise not an issue, as the tire and rim keeps everything together).
    However, it is a problem if they send you disfigured, mis-shapen inserts,
    that affect the profile of the tire when installed. The quality is a gamble,
    as they will send out irregular/misshapen product with no customer service
    or returns.
    Kenda owns them, but I don't think you are dealing with Kenda on them---
    more likely an old tire company/factory with a bunch of lifers running extruders, overseen by slave-driving higher-ups.

    I do not recommend dealing with Kenda American Airless
    for bicycle wheel tire inserts:
    They have no customer service, other than
    to state that their bike inserts are non-returnable, due to being 'custom made' (which is a joke): again, all they do is cut up existing product and then glue it together. Sometimes the material is horribly irregular and misshapen, affecting ride quality and tire/wheel profile, and they will not accept returns.

    HOWEVER, if you find that you do need them (best for heavier loads),
    do the wheel math and figure out how much material you'll need,
    based on bike wheel circumference, rim width and tire width.

    Then, based on their existing product line (for wheelchairs)
    order however many units (hoops) you'll need,
    of a smaller-circ existing wheel product they already make, and then,
    if the quality is okay, use that to make the inserts yourself.
    The material is a very dense, urethane foam, and has just a bit of give. So,
    your best bet, after doing you measuring calculations for circumference, is to then allow for maybe .25" to .5" more product, then stuff them in the tires you're going to use. This will give the best fit in the tire.
    You don't need to glue the sections (which you've measured and allocated
    for each wheel) together. The tire and rim will hold them in place once installed.

    Wear goggles and gloves for safety, while fitting the insert-loaded tire onto the rim. With the insert in the tire, You basically get one bead-side on the rim, and then use big burly Downhill tire levers (Pedro makes stout, powerfully good ones), to get it all on the rim (wide rims are best, over 1" wide is recommended for the Kenda AA inserts). Heavy-duty zip ties help during this process also.


    ------------------------

    I have timed my commute using inserts versus pneumatics,
    with my fastest pneumatic commute time (25 min) ---- 32% faster
    than my fastest *recorded* time on Stop-A-Flat airless inserts (37 min).
    However, I have to say that I've never really gone 'all-out' just to see
    how fast I could complete my commute on airless.
    Last edited by 2wTrekr; 10-24-2015 at 02:14 PM.

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