Bicycle Mechanics - Tire liners or Slime tubes
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Old Flat Wheels
09-19-11, 11:06 PM
I own a Gravity Avenue road bike with 700 x 25 size tires. I am running lite 700 inner tubes with Kenda entry level road tires running 90 psi. I am fed up with the flats on every ride over 5 miles. I live somewhat on the outskirts of a city with many country roads that make riding amazing with the road to my self. I like to bike about 35 plus miles per ride.I cant decide if I should run ultra lite slime tubes or a good set of liners. I am not too worried about weight right now but dont want to carry two bricks along also. What is recommended for my rides?
09-20-11, 12:02 AM
I think better tires with aramid or kevlar reinforcement would be your best investment. With the Kenda tires about the only thing I would expect to hold up for you would be thorn-resistant tubes, which I don't like the ride of at all.
I have Mr. Tuffy light liners now, I can hardly tell they're there. However, I view them as a supplement to a good tire. Not something that will turn an entry level tire into a great one.
I had zero luck with slime sealant. All it did was plug up the valves eventually and make an even bigger mess when you have to fix a flat.
09-20-11, 09:17 AM
09-20-11, 10:56 AM
Kevlar tires is my vote. I have never used the liners or slime so I can't speak to how well they work
09-20-11, 10:57 AM
Be sure the liners are installed correctly. If not they can cut the tube even more easily than the junk on the road that you're trying to avoid. But truthfully I think you're going to have a devil of a time fitting tires that narrow with liners. If it comes down to your roads just being loaded with glass, thorns or wire from old tires then I'd also suggest getting good flat resistant tires as a first line of defense.
So what sort of things are causing the flats? Are you picking out shards of glass or wire from the tires with each flat? You ARE finding what caused the flat and prying or picking the glass or wire out of the tire, right? Or possibly you're running too low a pressure for rough roads with lots of pothole edges and your pinch flatting. Or are you in an area that has something growing with heaps of big thorns?
One flat per ride of 35 miles indicates that it's not the tires but how they are inflated or how you're mounting them or that you live in a thorny area or that you're not removing the cause of the original flat so the glass or wire shard makes a new flat. I've ridden lots of country roads and unless your area is using broken glass as their pavement filler I just can't see getting flats that frequently unless you're doing something wrong.
Ever since I started using Continental Gator Skins I haven't had a flat. Good kevlar tires are well worth the extra money.
09-20-11, 12:46 PM
Every rotation the overlap in a separate tire liner moves, a little.
use a lot of talc, and taper the strip on the end with the bench grinder, [quickest]
a Schwalbe marathon plus tire puts the strip of similar polymer under the tread
Continental is starting to offer similar, too..
What's causing the flats?
Are the holes on the tread side or the rim side?
Index the tires to the valve stem so that you can line up the punctures with the tire and the rim.
Analyze each flat until you know what caused it. This can be done after the ride.
Heavy tires will make your bike feel sluggish.
Have you tried higher pressure? 90# doesn't seem like enough for a 25 mm road tire.
09-20-11, 02:19 PM
These are the things that cause flat tires:
1) Improper tire pressure. Ensure that your tire pressure is where it should be every ride. This, sometimes, means that you will have to pump your tires up before each ride. Flats caused from this condition usually have two punctures, close together. The punctures are often time referred to as snake bite and are a result of the rim edges cutting the inner tube when going over a bump or crack in the road.
2) Improper installation. Ensure that you did not pinch the inner tube during installation. This will usually reveal itself upon pressurizing the tire but might not until a day or so later.
3) Road debris. You have to watch where you are going and avoid road debris. This is not always possible but you need to make the effort. If you do run through some crap (ie glass), stop immediately and clean off the tire. Be careful and don't cut yourself. If left uncleaned, that little piece that did get stuck in the tire will eventually work its way through the tire and into the inner tube.
4) Riding style. When you see a crack or bump in the road coming, ride light. In other words, legs bent and be prepared to lift your weight off of the bicycle ever so slightly. You will even become proficient at getting the front light and then the back, almost all at one time.
5) Something in the tire, rim liner or tire itself. Check the inside of the rim very carefully, looking for sharp rim edges or anything that could puncture the inner tube. Do the same for the liner. Then check the inside, and the outside of the tire.
If you are getting repeated flats, chances are pretty good that you have a thorn, or a piece of glass, or anything sharp, embedded in the tire itself. When you check, look at every square inch of the inside of the tire, attempting to sort of turn it inside out. Use a magnifying glass if you have to. My guess is that this is the repeated flat problem you are having.
An embedded piece, sometimes, is not visible until you stress the tire. Turning it inside out and making little folds, over and over as you go around the tire just might reveal the little culprit.
6) Rotten luck. Not much you can do about that.
Hope this is a help and, for my money, forget the gorilla snot and get decent rim liners, not tire liners.
09-20-11, 02:38 PM
I discovered Mr Tuffy through BF and am SO happy with them. I stopped getting flats, and I ride with more confidence. Not that I crunch through broken bottles on purpose, but (I feel) I don't have to be paranoid about every glittering particle in the bike lane.
At my LBS (Performance) one of the workers expressed his (a) approval of Mr Tuffy, as well as (b) his preference for Mr Tuffy over Slime. We didn't really go into details though.
09-20-11, 03:18 PM
Tubeless with Stans sealant. Stans really seals tires well. It is sealing 4 thorn punctures on my front tire and I haven't had any trouble. bk
Old Flat Wheels
09-20-11, 11:07 PM
I want to thank everyone here for the advice. Everyones input have helped me solve my flat issues.
The tires had been getting flat by thorns from country road cycling. I hate those pesky things.
Did everything mentioned here and now can ride worry free. I will get a better set of tires though when money permits. The Kendas came with the bike and I am sure they are for rolling off the assembly line. Happy rider :0) now. Thank you all.
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