Bicycle Mechanics - Flat proof tires
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07-01-11, 03:32 PM
I have to ride on a road covered with glass everyday and the amount of flats I get anymore is just ridiculous. What would be the best solution for preventing anymore flats? I read a little bit about air free tires but I guess they slow you down some, but never found how much. I bike long distances (150 miles max) but don't ever race.
07-01-11, 03:38 PM
Well, I don't think they'd be called "flat-proof" but I've ridden over LOTS of glass with my set of Gatorskins, and so far, knock on wood, no flats. Just did a nice half-mile of glass-littered road this morning in Oakland to prove their mettle.
Are you sure all the flats are caused by glass?
Do you check the tube to see what side the hole is on?
07-01-11, 05:56 PM
Make sure you don't still have shards of glass embedded in your tire. These will cause repeat flats.
I don't have to deal with such hazards, so I can't recommend any good tires. But whatever you do, DO NOT get airless tires. They are total junk. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#airless
07-01-11, 07:17 PM
you havn't mentioned whether or not you have tried any remedies as yet.
choices are special belted tires, tube goo, tire liners. possibly others.
if you are the belt and suspenders type you could try all three. i think if things were bad enough i might consider all of them, or possibly carrying my bike through the worst of it...
... But whatever you do, DO NOT get airless tires. They are total junk. http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#airless
I beg to differ. They're different, and offer another set of compromises. I got a set of a fairly hard compound, and whatever change in rolling resistance there is drowns in the other random factors influencing my commute. Time door-to-door is the same.
They do ride hard though, and are a bit squirrely on cobbles. But certainly flat proof.
Softer compounds are supposedly worse in terms of rolling resistance. But for a commuter I'd rather take 5 known minutes extra than the unknown hassle of a flat.
I have no experience with flat proof tires but... I swear by Specialized Armadillo tires with Forté Thorn Resistant tubes. I was a commuter for 9 years over some pretty rough conditions. In my experiences, this combination worked best. One stretch I went 2 years without flatting on my commuter. I use this combination on my S/S and road bike now.
07-02-11, 05:22 PM
As long as a tire involves pressurized air, there is no such thing as a flat-proof tire. With goo, slime, belts, and special tires you're just buying time to find the the cause of a puncture before it causes any damage.
07-02-11, 05:32 PM
Panaracer T-Serv is quite durable as far as protection against road junk.
Pretty fast-rolling too.
See if you have room to put a wider tire in the frame. Wider tires are naturally more resistant to punctuses. Its a simple pounds of force per square inch thing. Then go for some quality tires with puncture protection built-in. Modern anti-flat protection is tougher than Kevlar!
You might want to consider tougher tires and tire liners (flat sheet of material that is sandwiched between the tire and tube) since they prevent debris from getting to tube. They are reasonably light and not messy (like slime or other tube sealants). "Thorn proof" tubes are usually just thick wall inner tubes that may give you an extra millimeter of material, but seems like a few more rotation of a the object in the tube would eventually pierce the tube. Slime is a semi fluid gel that coats the internals of the tube, so any punctures would be sealed.
The number one defense should be preventing debris from penetrating the tire (consider Continental Gatorskins, Specialized Armadillos or Bontragers "Hardcsae" line of tires)
The second line of defense should be preventing debris from touching the tube (tire liners)
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