Combatting Thorns-
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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Combatting Thorns

    Being new to UT, this is my first experience dealing with the little thorny bushes. I went on a ride with my wife and 6 year old. This FAMILY ride was the Duck Pond paved path on Hill AFB. My son managed to navigate off the path a couple of times, but me and my wife stayed on the pavement. Out of 6 tires that touched the trail, 5 ended up flat.

    My LBS said to run either tubeless with slime or tire liners with a little thicker tube. Currently, tubeless is not an option. Maybe, in the near future, I'll upgrade to tubeless on my Superlight, but my wife's Jamis and my son's Scwinn will have to stay tubed.

    What are your recommendations?

    Also, for those that do run the liners, what are your tricks/secrets to keep them centered in the tire while installing the tube and inflating it?

    Thanks a bunch.


  2. #2
    Brass Nipples!
    Reputation: Bob the Wheelbuilder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    You probably ran in to some goathead thorns (puncture vine). They usually grow along roadsides or in otherwise disturbed earth. I've learned where they occur locally and just avoid those spots, but if you're unable to do that, you can use slime tubes in your regular tires, tire liners (Slime Liners or Mr. Tuffy brand liners) or thorn resistant tubes. I use thorn resistant tubes on my commuter bikes because they hold air really well and don't need to be checked as often.

    All the options add some weight. You don't run into these thorns in the mountains, so you generally won't need them for rides away from roads, bike paths, railway right-of-ways, etc.

    There are also solid foam-type tube replacements called No-Mor Flats that are really heavy. they might be OK for a child's bike that only gets ridden around a neighborhood.

    I haven't used liners in a long time, but you need to get them along the center of the inside of the tire and fit a partially inflated tube in the tire to hold them in place. Then you seat the tube/tire combo in your rim and finish inflating the tube.

    Welcome to Utah: the goathead state!
    {Principal Skinner} Hmm. Whoever did this is in very deep trouble.
    {Martin} And a sloppy speller too. The preferred spelling of 'wiener' is w - i - e - n - e - r, although 'e - i' is an acceptable ethnic variant.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    We have plenty of goat head thorns in the front range of Colorado too and by switching to Stan's No Tubes system, it eliminated any flatting problems for me. Check out Good Luck.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation: bogey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Stan's - definately

    I run tubeless with Stan's and it's great, definately what you need. I rode in phoenix recently and pulled 11 goat heads out of my front tire. Stan's sealed the punctures right away and the pressure is still holding after a month. Stan's all the way, you can use it with tube tires too, just talk to your LBS about it.

  5. #5
    Reputation: ricochet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    tire liners

    I run heavy duty tubes and tire liners in all of me and my families bikes(except the roadie) and have never had a flat. knock on wood.
    Some of the rides that I do here in northern Utah are covered in thorns, when I get back the tire is full of thorns, but no flats.

    good luck

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Here's one of the cheaper ways to convert to a tubeless set up. Not sure how well it protects against flats.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    If you are worried about weight look into some Panaracer Kevlar Flat Away liners that run arounf $17 ea. for MTB and $13 ea. for road tires.
    They work extremely well and add very minimal weight to the wheels..

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