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  1. #1
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    Flats..so many flats

    Hi all,

    So I've been over to Mountain Creek in NJ a few times this summer and, low and behold, every time I go I manage to get at least 1 flat (i
    pulled off 2 the most recent visit). I've got an enduro bike (YT Capra AL), so the tires don't have the extra thick casing of DH tires. I do, however have the extra thick DH thornproof tubes in. I don't run the tires at super high PSI, or super low...usually hover around 28-30 PSI. I've gotten flaps after rock gardens, jumps, drops...and even one unlucky flat where I apparently rode over glass on the road to Creek. I ride most of the trails at Creek, minus the double blacks (Dominion, etc.), and I think I'm at a decent skill level as far as technical skills go.

    Anyways, my question(s) for you all is: Does anyone else have similar problems riding and constantly getting flats? I ride mostly XC but have been doing quite a bit of park this summer and I believe I'm at about 8 flats in the past 6 months (great track record, huh). If not, is it a matter of me choosing terrible lines, high/low PSI, or just plain old bad luck? I'd like to think it's more of a luck, or lack thereof, but if anyone else has experienced similar issues with flats that'd be reassuring

    One positive from all the flats is I'm just about as good as changing up the tubes as the bike mechanic at Creek is!
    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure." - Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
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    If you're running tubes and getting pinch flats it's a PSI issue more often than not.
    PSI needs to go up a bit.
    If it's objects penetrating the tire, then going tubeless is your best remedy.

    Either way, consider going tubeless and running a true DH or "enduro" casing.
    Maxxis calls it Double Down, Schwalbe calls it Super Gravity.

    If you're sticking with tubes, then the solution is higher PSI and burlier tires.

  3. #3
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    Tubes are a mistake. Full stop.


    Now that we're running tubeless, gotta consider the tire casing. It's tempting to run single ply nonsense, and they're light, but they're super bouncy once you get them up to a reasonable pressure where they don't bottom or fold over. Far more sensible to run heavier tires. It's up to you to determine how much tire you need to run to have non-bouncy tires that don't whack the rims, but keep in mind that it's easier to feel heavy tires at the beginning of a ride than at the end.


    My big bike sees more mtb vacations than it does local trails, so i always have to reevaluate my tire pressures/choices when i ride it.
    "Things that are complex are not useful, Things that are useful are simple."
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  4. #4
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    Well, barring moving to tubeless, sounds like ramping up the PSI the next time I head over to the bike park is my best bet. Unfortunately, I can't go tubeless with the tires I've got as they have far too many little holes and cuts to support the sealant (I think..). Next year I'm probably going to invest in new tires - the Maxxis Minion DHF/DHR combo. Those look like they're for pretty gnarly stuff and have the double ply casing.
    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure." - Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
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    Get rid of the tubes. Done.
    Denver, CO

  6. #6
    EAT MORE GRIME
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    I used to flat 3-6 times a year

    since going tubeless...no more flats.

    I ride the same or worse (harder on tires) than before...just not flats

    [I still always carry a tube just in case, but haven't needed it]
    "Put your seatbelt back on or get out and sit in the middle of that circle of death." - Johnny Scoot

  7. #7
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    With the tubeless valves in, is it a pain to install a tube if you do manage to flat?

    I hear the tubeless crowd loud and clear, I don't want to invest in new tires with just a few weeks left of riding for me before school starts up again. I do have rim tape and the tubeless valves already, just need sealant and new tires and I'll be good to go.
    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure." - Abraham Lincoln

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPearlman View Post

    Anyways, my question(s) for you all is: Does anyone else have similar problems riding and constantly getting flats?
    No, because most of us run tubeless.

  9. #9
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    15 years of DH, 250lbs +, 30psi, DH tires and DH tubes- 2 flats. The tires are the issue, not the tubes. Tubeless is great if you like tires rolling off of rims and having to fill them up every ride. Again, it's the XC tires that are your issue. Ttyl, Fahn
    Hubbard Bike Club

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    The tires are the issue, not the tubes.
    I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by BPearlman View Post
    Unfortunately, I can't go tubeless with the tires I've got as they have far too many little holes and cuts to support the sealant (I think..). Next year I'm probably going to invest in new tires
    When I was using tubes I always knew when it was time for a new tire when I started getting lots of flats. I don't know what tires you're using but no matter what they are they're way more susceptible to flatting when they start getting thin and cut up.

    I do think tubeless is best for all around trail riding but I wouldn't know about downhill specific stuff.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by scottzg View Post
    Tubes are a mistake. Full stop.


    Now that we're running tubeless, gotta consider the tire casing. It's tempting to run single ply nonsense, and they're light, but they're super bouncy once you get them up to a reasonable pressure where they don't bottom or fold over. Far more sensible to run heavier tires. It's up to you to determine how much tire you need to run to have non-bouncy tires that don't whack the rims, but keep in mind that it's easier to feel heavy tires at the beginning of a ride than at the end.


    My big bike sees more mtb vacations than it does local trails, so i always have to reevaluate my tire pressures/choices when i ride it.
    Yep, if you are bringing your enduro bike to the bike park, it's worth it to have a set of DH rubber tires (maxxis minions, might as well go for the best) to switch out for those DH days.

    I remember renting a DH bike at keystone that came with a 2.3" rear maxxis highroller or something and tubes. With normal pressure, above what most run, I would flat launching into a certain rock garden no matter what I did. I tried it several times (and brought it back down the mountain for them to fix), but it simply didn't work. The tire was too skinny without enough volume for that kind of riding and the tube was a weak point. Not everyone needs wider than 2.3" tires, but this was a pretty nasty section and at those speeds on a full on DH bike, I'd go with a slightly wider tire and tubeless. I'm certain it would have been fine given my experience DHing in many other places, including solid rock at South Mountain and Bootleg.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  12. #12
    J:
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    +1 need the tougher tires, too many flimsy rubbers these days
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  13. #13
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    I have been riding DH for 20 years. I have had two flats in the last 15 years. The key is real dh tires, real dh tubes and a min. of 25 pounds of pressure. Tubeless works well but after a few months in real DH Hcore stuff, they burp and leak.

  14. #14
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    Are you watching the UCI world cup today? This is why tubeless blows!
    Hubbard Bike Club

  15. #15
    J:
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    Get a pressure gauge and use it, simple. Just look at the weight/casing thickness spec before purchasing next...you want at least 1,000g bare minimum...don't pay any attention to the tire name for toughness...a lot of times a legacy name is a lame moniker used to sell junk

    Here's an example of the "easiest tires to tear apart" in history= 2.3" Maxxis Minion DHF & DHR (DownHill Front & DownHill Rear @ 700g each), naming a product downhill doesn't mean d!ck
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by J: View Post
    Get a pressure gauge and use it, simple. Just look at the weight/casing thickness spec before purchasing next...you want at least 1,000g bare minimum...don't pay any attention to the tire name for toughness...a lot of times a legacy name is a lame moniker used to sell junk

    Here's an example of the "easiest tires to tear apart" in history= 2.3" Maxxis Minion DHF & DHR (DownHill Front & DownHill Rear @ 700g each), naming a product downhill doesn't mean d!ck
    Not sure if the 2.3s are made completely different but this is totally the opposite of what I've experienced with my Minion 2.5s and Highroller II 2.4s -- they outlast every other tire I've tried and generally perform better too. Conversely, I had a Scwhalbe Magic Mary on the front for a while in which the cornering lugs started to tear off after one ride and the tire became dangerous after just a few weeks of use. Never buying one of those again.

    Anyhow-- as others have said here, the tires and/or pressure is the issue here, not tubeless vs. tubes. I've been running tubes forever and I rarely get pinch flats at 26-28 psi. Used to go full seasons of DH at Big Sky-- the home of axe-shaped rocks, without ever getting a flat running DH casing 2.5s and moderate pressure with DH tubes.

    I ran ghetto tubeless for a while and had my front tire blow off the rim instantly in a high speed corner-- sending me to the ground hard. I don't doubt that real tubeless is a great move but it'll cost ya.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by LarryFahn View Post
    Are you watching the UCI world cup today? This is why tubeless blows!
    That really sucked but flat tires have been altering DH results since long before tubeless.
    I brake for stinkbugs

  18. #18
    J:
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    The indonesian rubber (schwaby) is like air puffed whipped cream compared to the taiwan treadz...when comparing tire weights/sizes, just look at the specs and use logic
    video=youtube;][/video]...

  19. #19
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    Thanks for all the information (and keep it coming!). So right now I've got Maxxis High Roller IIs 2.4" on my bike, they came with the bike when I bought it. They've got around 500 miles on them, and the majority of those were in real rocky New England trail riding. I definitely will say I've been lazy about the PSI..I rely on a hand pump I've got and there's no gauge. I'll have to be better about checking that in the future. When I go to the bike park on Tuesday I'll make sure there's 30 up front, 32-34 out back.

    Also, and I guess I should've mentioned this earlier..I'm in college so my budget for buying new things for my bike is pretty limited, hence not wanting to go tubeless this year. Changing the PSI that I run is definitely the easiest and cheapest option. After that, I'll probbly pick up Minion DHF/Rs for next year when going to a park..

    Thanks again for all the replies!
    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure." - Abraham Lincoln

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    ...

    I remember renting a DH bike at keystone that came with a 2.3" rear maxxis highroller or something and tubes. With normal pressure, above what most run, I would flat launching into a certain rock garden no matter what I did. I tried it several times (and brought it back down the mountain for them to fix), but it simply didn't work. The tire was too skinny without enough volume for that kind of riding and the tube was a weak point. Not everyone needs wider than 2.3" tires, but this was a pretty nasty section and at those speeds on a full on DH bike, I'd go with a slightly wider tire and tubeless.
    Jayem - was this bike's suspension set up well? I've ridden the Trestle demo bikes a few times, had such a bad experience with terrible suspension, stiction you wouldn't believe, poorly set up, etc that I don't use them any more (and bad brakes too). Got tired of wasting dh time at the shop to attempt more adjustments of equipment that likely needed to be rebuilt or replaced. I actually do better with my 429trail at Winter Park than I did with their bikes.

    I suppose my $.02 is properly set up suspension is huge, and maybe this is a reason why many of you report very different experiences with tubes and tubeless?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

  21. #21
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    I didn't read the responses, but I run Maxxis DH tires with Panaracer DH tubes. Pressure of 27 psi rear and 25 psi front. I weight 140 lbs and I pretty much never flat. I ride all of mountain creeks rough trails and never had any issues there.

  22. #22
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    I went to Creek this past Tuesday..did not flat! Still had the tubes in, but bumped up the PSI to 30 up front, 35 out back. Hit some of the trails there I've never hit before - Upper Dominion, Salvation, etc. Hopefully it is just that bump-up in PSI that'll make the world of difference. I think I'll end up picking up another set of tires for next summer when I do more park riding, maybe on those I'll go tubeless if I encounter more issues.

    Thanks again for all the information!
    "My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with failure." - Abraham Lincoln

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by BPearlman View Post
    Hi all,

    Save the extra thick DH thornproof tubes in. I don't run the tires at super high PSI, or super low...usually hover around 28-30 PSI. skills go.

    I'm at about 8 flats in the past 6 months (great track record, huh). If not, is it a matter of me choosing terrible lines, high/low PSI, or just plain old bad luck? I'd like to think it's more of a luck, or lack thereof, but if anyone else has experienced similar issues with flats that'd be reassuring
    :
    I don't think I have had 8 flats in the last 15 years...

    tubes = more pressure

    more importantly...buy some black gorilla duct tape. ....take your tires off and wrap the inside of the rim. throw away tubes... put tires back on....add 2 scoops of stans sealant...run your 25 to 28 and no flats...been riding tubeless for 12 years (i learned quick about pinch flats
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  24. #24
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    Information here is all over the map!

    Some key essentials that are true across the board:

    If you run tubes, you need higher pressures than you would think.

    ABSOLUTELY get a pressure gauge! Make sure your pressures are correct for every run.

    Tubeless is for sure the way to go, but tire quality will play big part in how it sets up.

    Age and condition of the tires play a big role in how they react to the terrain, and how easily they flat.

    I'm 240ish lbs, been riding DH for over 20 years, and I've had hundreds of flats. Unlike some others that get away with riding 700g tires... I shred tires and wheels. I do not ride slow, or very clean for that matter. Maxxis Minion DHF in the EXO tread will last a little while before it starts shredding the sidewall. I've even flatted a Minion DH tire that just got old enough where the sidewall gave out.

    For this year, my dream combo is now available and that's what I'm running on my DH bike and my AM bike: So far not one flat this year, been riding Trestle, Keystone, Steamboat with my Jedi and Balance, and I ride the Front Range trails on the Balance frequently.

    Front: Maxxis Minion DHF 27.5x2.5 WT 3C/EXO/TR @ 980g
    Rear: Maxxis Minion DHR II 27.5x2.3 3C/DD/TR @ 1005G

    For comparison, the Minion DHR II with the DH casing is 1315G, and NOT available in the TR casing, so it will require either a tube or a lot more sealant.

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