Flat tires...grrrrr!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Flat tires...grrrrr!!

    I'm starting to enjoy by bike commuting more and more. I just finished buying all the rain gear I could need so now weather is no longer a problem. My big problem is flat tires! It seems like every 2-3 weeks I am getting one. I need something more reliable...what do you guys do about this?
    The guys at the lbs, despite their normally good advice, haven't really been able to give me good advice on the subject. They said that the thicker tube tires don't really protect against road debris (actually it even says so on the box). So what other options are their? Maybe a different tire (running Kenda Kross Plus semi slicks right now)? Btw this is a mountain bike not a road bike.

  2. #2
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    Puncture resistant tires and tubes, try going tubeless and maybe take a different, cleaner route.

  3. #3
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    Cheap tires seem to have the best flat protection. Lots of heavy thick hard rubber.

  4. #4
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    My advise would also be to convert to tubeless.
    After that, the only needed intervention will be to add some of the evaporated fluid every few months.

  5. #5
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    Been there, done that!! That was until I got a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres. They are unbelievable. I've pulled out 6mm long pieces of glass, bits of wire and thorns, and have yet to have a flat (after 3000km). Once a week, I dig out all the "foreign objects", and start the new week afresh.

    I had tried tyre liners which did help, but were not nearly as effective as the Schwalbes. Forget about the extra weight of the Schwalbes too - It makes no difference to commuting. The "racers" will tell you differently, but guess who's laughing when Schwalbe-mobile passes them sitting on the side of the road fixing a flat (and who's racing to get to work anyway).

  6. #6
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    Once I changed to folding tyres, I changed from the traditional wire bead to Kevlar, fixing a flat is effortless in comparison, by no longer having the need to use tyre levers. Getting a flat nowadays is fun ... relatively speaking.

    Although I have tubeless tyres, I still use tubes.

    The only downside, is the expense. Here in Oz, the Kevlars are 3x the cost of the wire beaded tyres. I find they are well worth the extra bucks. Also, since I changed from Kenda to Maxxis, I feel cheated ... because I haven't had a flat tyre in a long time, for many months.

    Warren.
    Last edited by Wild Wassa; 10-03-2009 at 01:24 AM.

  7. #7
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    Another vote for Schwalbe Marathon Plus, no punctures from sharp objects in three years, had one where I went over a stone - which pinged sideways into the bushes by the side of the road - and caused a slow abrasion puncture on the side of the inner tube, but that would have happened regardless of tyre type.

  8. #8
    Ride = Life
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    Run StopFlats 2 Tire liners

    I use Run StopFlats 2 tire liners. They come in sizes for everything 700c, 26", 29", etc.. so you can find the model that matches your current tires. I have them on 29" Commuter bike and run standard tubes. I have over 1000 miles on those tires/liner/tubes and no flats. I'm using the Vittoria Randonneur (700x48) tires front and rear. I carry extra tube, patch kit, and pump. Mostly for backup. That combination is fine for commuting, costs around $16, and requires no maintenance.
    "Riding is about rhythm and flow. It's the wind in your face and the challenge of hammering up a long hill…" - Gary Klein

  9. #9
    Jason
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    If you see glass in your path... turn. Or, use puncture resistant tubes and tires. The tires and tubes on my SS are cheap Kendas and I haven't punctured yet and I have gone through glass in the bike lane several times accidentally.

  10. #10
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    Looks like I moght be going with Schwalbes. Just my luck, after fixing a flat on my front tire this morning before coming to work, I got a flat on my rear while on my way to work. The Schwalbes look kinda expensive but if they stop my flats they will be worth it.

    And glass isn't my problem. It some sort of wire or something....it's just a pin hole puncture that takes for ever to find when I'm patching the tube.

  11. #11
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    Tire arround 25-30$
    Thick Tube (Optional)
    Stan notubes (in the tubes)
    Don't forget to pump your tires every 3-4days

  12. #12
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    Also make sure you have decent rim strips and get whatever caused your flat completely out of the tire before you put in a new tube.

    and seriously look into going a different route.

  13. #13
    jrm
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    Have you tried

    a different route? or vary where you ride on the street of the route thats giving you flats.

  14. #14
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    2-3 weeks of flat is quite unusual. How long has that been continuing? 2-3months? Average for me is once every 6 months

    Once or twice of such things happen may due to bad luck. But I don't think flat can occur that often. Unless the route u take is really full of dangerous sharp debris. Or u ride super fast(Average 30m/hr) that u run over sharpel before u can see.

    Check yr tire carefully inside and outside before u mount on wheels. I heard of a case of one commuter too complain abt getting flat regularly once a week. After it happen for continuing of 2 months. He do a serious check on the tire and discover a very small fragment of sharpel inside the tire that cos premature flats.

  15. #15
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I agree, if you're getting flats that often then you really need to alter your route!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJester
    The Schwalbes look kinda expensive but if they stop my flats they will be worth it.
    Start by buying one for the rear and see how it goes from there.

  17. #17
    Let the good times roll.
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    I used to have the same problem with frequent flats while commuting. I've only had one flat since switching to tubeless and Stans sealant over a year ago. That one incident happened because I let the sealant dry out, and was easily fixed once I got back home by re-filling my tire with Stans.

  18. #18
    Ride-Drink Beer-Repeat
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    I use the Performance Forte Gotham ($12.00). Very thick tire. I also use a slime tire strip($5.00). I don't like tubless and just put stans in my tubes.
    I unscrew the top of the valve stem and let the valve drop it into the tube. I punch the tube to hold it while I fill it with stans. I then just push it back into the stem and srew the top back on. I can buy the cheap tubes this way.
    We have goatheads this time of year and to hard to avoid them. This is the best situation I've found.
    The Internet: All the piracy, none of the scurvy.

  19. #19
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    another vote for Schwalbe Marathon Plus. my city is dirty...their is hardly a route without some debris. totally worth the money...plus they have a nice reflective strip.

  20. #20
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    There's not really any other routes that I could take. Unfortunately I'm a poor college student and don't live in the best/cleanest part of town right now. But yeah I need to do something....
    Saturday morning I woke up, patched a flat (front tire) from the previous day before riding in to work. Just before getting to work, I got another flat (rear tire this time), patched this at work. On the ride home, I got yet another flat (rear tire again). Sunday I didn't ride, then today (Monday) I got another flat!!! I'm gonna call the lbs in a little bit to see if they carry those Schwalbe's

  21. #21
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Are you checking both the outside surface of the tire and the inside before remounting? It sounds like you could have objects lodged in the tire that continue to puncture the tube, if you're getting flats every day. Also, as others have mentioned before check (and possibly replace) your rim strips to see if it isn't just your spokes popping the tubes.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 – May 16, 2010

  22. #22

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    Another thumbs up for tubeless. I am running 32mm 700c tires on my 29er MTB wheels and have had no flat issues (just need to refresh the stan's every couple of months).

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SilverJester
    There's not really any other routes that I could take. Unfortunately I'm a poor college student and don't live in the best/cleanest part of town right now. But yeah I need to do something....
    Saturday morning I woke up, patched a flat (front tire) from the previous day before riding in to work. Just before getting to work, I got another flat (rear tire this time), patched this at work. On the ride home, I got yet another flat (rear tire again). Sunday I didn't ride, then today (Monday) I got another flat!!! I'm gonna call the lbs in a little bit to see if they carry those Schwalbe's

    Gotta go find a cheap slick or semi slick tire with a proper puncture protection layer...

    Conti Sport Contacts work for me...

  24. #24
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I had the slime tire strips in my MTB tires for a few months... if the tire pressure goes down at all, they start to dig into the side of the tubes, and they actually GAVE me flats.. when I went to patch the tube, I couldn't, because it looked like someone had taken a razor knife and cut two stripes all the way around the tube where the edges of the liner had been. They don't taper on the sides like the tuffy liners do. I'd stay away from the slime liners. Just my .02
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  25. #25
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    flats seem to come in clusters, i'll go months with nothing then all of a sudden... Hutchison carbon comps are very good for light tires,the Vittoria Zaffiros that came on my fixxed gear bike are supposed to be very flat resistant,cheap, and longlasting,,,heavy though.

  26. #26
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    I've had great luck with the Panaracer T-serv. Thick rubber, aramid protective belt, and very sticky. Good on both wet and dry pavement too. Nice balance of durability vs performance. They also come with a reflective sidewall.

  27. #27
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    I was having a similar problem with frequent flats until I mounted Panaracer Urban Max tires. I've had one flat in over 1600 miles since. They're cheap too. Hope this helps.
    I'm here for the OT

  28. #28
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I have the best record with my road bike with fancy tires (Conti GP4000S on the front, Vredestein Fortezza TriComp on the back.) Neither of those is available in a 26", although I think Conti has a pretty nice road tire in that size. I think that part of it is that the puncture resistant belt is pretty nice, and part of it is the high thread count means it's harder for an object to work between the threads, and the tire will deform around a sharper thing rather than puncturing.

    It's also important to have proper tire pressure, and to inspect your tires from time to time. I never replace a tube without finding out why I got a flat - if it's a puncture, that tells me where to find the piece of debris that caused it, if it's still in my casing. Also, every now and then I'll look over the outside of my tires slowly and carefully under a good light and pick out any debris with a knife. The casing and breaker belt are easily strong enough to stop a piece of glass that's stuck in the rubber, at least for a while, but those can work their way through eventually.

    I think clusters of flats often come from the same piece of debris, or from picking up a lot of broken glass or bits of asphalt all at once and then having them work their way through the casing one at a time later on.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  29. #29
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    I just got some Conti Ultra Gatorskins. They have a really nice smooth ride that is not harsh, or at least less harsh since I commute on a road bike.

  30. #30
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    another vote: schwalbe marathon plus

    I have had only one puncture in 5 years...

  31. #31
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    Goat head thorns here are worse than anywhere else in the US I think. I run with HD thorn resistant tubes, sealant, and Mr. Tuffy liners. The tires I'm currently using are Vittoria Adventure Comforts (700C x 35) and these also are puncture resistant. No flats so far.

    Here's a cross section of these tires:

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