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  1. #1
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    Flat Tire ... questions

    Today during a group ride I had a flat....two actually. While fixing the first one I did not
    adequately check the tire and as another rider helped me the second time he found a small
    burr that I missed. My fault, and it caused the other rider to ride home without a spare, which
    I will replace next week with two tubes.

    At home, I checked the tire with a flashlight and was unable to find a hole left by a burr
    or whatever he found. Checking each tube I found a single hole in each. Sooooooooo.

    Question one is how did something get inside?

    Question two is what is everyones favorite 700x28 foldable, flat resistant tire. I currently have
    700x25's but hope the 700x28 will give a softer ride. Thanks.

    LastPlace

  2. #2
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    Some of the holes are very tiny, and you problably just couldn't see it.

    700 x 28's give a little softer ride than 25's but don't handle as well and are heavier. That's the trade-off, IMO. I use Specialized All-Condition Sports. 20 bucks and tough as nails. Not a high-perfomance tire but great for training. Don't be tempted by the Armadillos. They won't flat but feel like riding on Flintstone tires made of stone. I've used Continental Gator Skins, which ride great but didn't seem to last.

  3. #3
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilG
    Some of the holes are very tiny, and you problably just couldn't see it.

    700 x 28's give a little softer ride than 25's but don't handle as well and are heavier. That's the trade-off, IMO. I use Specialized All-Condition Sports. 20 bucks and tough as nails. Not a high-perfomance tire but great for training. Don't be tempted by the Armadillos. They won't flat but feel like riding on Flintstone tires made of stone. I've used Continental Gator Skins, which ride great but didn't seem to last.
    Have you tried the new model Armadillo tires? IMHO, they are much better, and the stats show about a 20-25% reduction in rolling resistance. Yes, the old Armadillos were slow, but I find the new model to be comparable to other tires.

    The last flat I got was a tiny steel wire coming through the casing, and it was almost impossible to find as a cause of the flat, and left no viewable hole. It was also a real challenge to get out.

    I have used 700x23's, 700x25's and 700x28's, and consider the 700x25's the ideal all-round tire. They will go fine through gravel, give a satisfactory ride and yet do well on a "road" surface.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  4. #4
    Senior Member freeranger's Avatar
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    One way to try to find the source of the puncture is to run a dryer sheet (one of those paper-like dryer softener sheets) around the inside of the tire-when in snags (and they snag real easy) you have the source.

  5. #5
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    I completely agree with the Fox about the armadillos. I guess I am not much of a believer in the "Rolling resistance" stuff.

    Tom

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    As the other post said, the hole was probably just too small to find. I've probably had 200 flats (30 years riding in Big Thorn Country; I've had as many as six in a century), and I can't remember more than two or three that I could actually see as a hole in the tire.
    As for big tires, try Panaracer Paselas. I've used them for years, in sizes from 28 to 35 (I weigh 240, and I gave up on smaller tires years ago) and never had a complaint. They feel MUCH better than Armadillos, which I hated, and on the 28s and 32s I don't notice any difference in handling or acceleration. I use 35s at 75-80 psi on my Atlantis, and I can feel some increased rolling resistance with those, but the cushy ride is well worth it.
    Last edited by Velo Dog; 07-01-05 at 03:33 PM. Reason: fix my stupid typo

  7. #7
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    Thanks for all the replies. I decided to go with Specialized 'All ConditionPro's' because
    they were local and reccomended. I was hoping for 700x28's but those only come with a
    wire bead and I hope to work up to some light touring and wanted something that I can
    fold up if I ever get to that point.

    One LBS owner promised me free Armadillos if these Pros' ever got a flat so it was hard
    to pass up. Thanks again for all the help.

    LastPlace

  8. #8
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    Add a set of Mr. Tuffies and you will go a long time with not flats.

    I got 5+years on my road bike with no flats due to me Mr. Tuffies.
    Schwinn Super Le Tour
    Specialized Rockhopper 05

  9. #9
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    You get FREE tires if you EVER get a flat? He's shining you on. Flats are an absolutely unavoidable part of cycling. I'll be interested to see what happens when you go back.

    As for folding tires, just FYI, you can fold a wire-bead tire small enough to fit in a largish seat pack, a jersey pocket or to strap on a rack. It's sort of hard to explain, but it's a little like folding those pop-open tents or windshield screens. Basically you hold the thing in two hands in front of you, palms up, then rotate your wrists inward so the tire kind of flops over on itself. You'll wind up with three loops, maybe a foot in diameter, and you can fiddle that into four loops, then secure it with tape or a piece of twine. Sorry to be so vague, but I don't have a tire in front of me and I'm trying to visualize it. I have one in my handlebar bag right now, because I noticed a sidewall cut in my rear tire when I was leaving for work this morning and didn't have time to change it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Have you tried the new model Armadillo tires? IMHO, they are much better, and the stats show about a 20-25% reduction in rolling resistance. Yes, the old Armadillos were slow, but I find the new model to be comparable to other tires.
    Thanks, I didn't know they had been changed. The older ones were just brutal to ride IMO.

  11. #11
    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Have you tried the new model Armadillo tires? IMHO, they are much better, and the stats show about a 20-25% reduction in rolling resistance. Yes, the old Armadillos were slow, but I find the new model to be comparable to other tires.

    The last flat I got was a tiny steel wire coming through the casing, and it was almost impossible to find as a cause of the flat, and left no viewable hole. It was also a real challenge to get out.

    I have used 700x23's, 700x25's and 700x28's, and consider the 700x25's the ideal all-round tire. They will go fine through gravel, give a satisfactory ride and yet do well on a "road" surface.

    How do you know if you are buying the new Armadillos, did you buy from a web site saying they were new? I am interested in them. Thanks

  12. #12
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    I had the new Nimbus EX Armadillos on my bike for a couple weeks and HATED them. I put on a set of Pasela Tourguards and the bike was transformed. The 700x32 Paselas weigh about 1/2 what the 700x35 Armadillos weigh, and the Pasela has a very compliant ride. I wasted $60 on that pair of Armadillos.
    ---

    San Francisco, California

  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glassman
    How do you know if you are buying the new Armadillos, did you buy from a web site saying they were new? I am interested in them. Thanks
    You can only get new Armadillos from the Specialized web site or a Specialized dealer. The Specialized web site only sells the newer model.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
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    Velo Dog,
    The LBS owner also sold me the bike and a bunch of other stuff so
    if I complained enough he would probably fork over. He is also SAG on the
    Friday evening Beer Ride so if I get a flat he's going to have to wait on the
    beer. Also, now that I'm carrying two tubes I'll probably never get a flat.

    I did notice that the bike seemed a bit skittish tonight but that may
    have been the thunder storm that hit us about ten miles out. Thunder and
    lightning all around and driving rain.

    As far as the bending a wire beaded tire goes, you are basically saying
    to fold it in a fighure eight fashion. We do it all the time with photographic
    reflectors, which are much like car shades but I'll admit I had never thought
    of that. Thanks again.

    LastPlace

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by neilG
    700 x 28's give a little softer ride than 25's but don't handle as well and are heavier.
    The wider tires actually handle better then the narrower tires not worse. The wider tire means more rubber on the road thus more traction for both cornering and stopping. Plus they have the added advantage of being safer on uneven, cracked or broken streets; PLUS they last longer...BUT they will have more rolling resistence thus will not be as fast as a narrower tire on smooth surfaces, but on rough surfaces they will actually be faster then narrower tires. Yes, the wider tire rides smoother and they obviously would be heavier then a narrower tire.

    I think 28's are a tad too large anyways, I think that a 25 or 26 would be wide enough.

    The Armadillos are the the most flat resistent tire on the market and I used them for over 18,000 miles in Goathead Country and only had 2 flats, one from a faulty tube and the other from allowing the tire to wear down to the cords. They can be harsh riding due to their flat resistent sidewalls which are also the toughest sidewalls on the market; but I never pumped mine up to max psi, I only put 95 in the rear and 85 on the front so the harshness was no longer an issue. One of the reasons tires become skittish is due to too much air psi for the weight of the rider.

    Specialize does make a tire called the All Condition Pro tire or the Mondo Pro with a smooth tread (I'm now using these since I no longer live in GoatHead Country) that has their Flak Jacket puncture resistence belt similar to the Armadillo though not as heavy. It also is a FOLDING tire that comes in sizes from 700x21 to 700x25 and the weight for the 25 is only 235grms for the All Condition and 220grms for the Mondo.

  16. #16
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Two quick items:

    1. to find holes, go to old method, immerse tube in water and look for bubbles. For the smallest pin holes you might have to refill the tube a time or two.

    2. Schwalbe makes some great puncture resistant tires:
    2.1 marathon slick, kevler belt and smooth tread
    2.2 marathon, kevler belt and thicker tread
    2.3 marathon plus, kevler belt and 4mm of tread that thumb tack will not puncture.

    According to site, they're tires are standard in Europe. Rolling resistance is good and as a bonus they have reflective sidewalls for those unfortunate times you are out at twilight.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  17. #17
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    I've never had a problem finding a hole in the tube. With the tube out of the tire I pump a bunch of air into the tube making it very large.

  18. #18
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    Dude, don't toss your tubes...learn to patch with glue-on patches, they actually make the patched area STRONGER than the rest of the tube.

  19. #19
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    Right don't just toss your tubes-repair them. But you can use either glue or glueless patches, I prefer the glueless patches because their faster and just as permenant.

  20. #20
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Glue patches all the way. On any trip i bring a spare tube and a patch kit. If i get a flat i put in the spare tube and save the one with a puncture. When i get home, repair the punctured tube using the flat kit. But bring the kit anyways incase you get a flat on your other tire
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  21. #21
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    I don't know what kind of riding you are planning but in my opinion flat resistant tires, tubes, liners, etc. add weight in the worst possible place on your bike. If you are careful and stay aware of where the risks are you can probably ride with a minimal number of flats and without sacrificing performance. Three good rules to follow:

    Pump your tires up before each ride
    Keep you tires out of grass and weeds at all times
    Use Velox rim tape on all wheel rims.
    Replace your tires before the casing cords are showing

    Al

  22. #22
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al1943
    I don't know what kind of riding you are planning but in my opinion flat resistant tires, tubes, liners, etc. add weight in the worst possible place on your bike. If you are careful and stay aware of where the risks are you can probably ride with a minimal number of flats and without sacrificing performance. Three good rules to follow:

    Pump your tires up before each ride
    Keep you tires out of grass and weeds at all times
    Use Velox rim tape on all wheel rims.
    Replace your tires before the casing cords are showing

    Al
    Around here, in goathead land, the goatheads get blown right onto the cement trails and roadways. They are so small you can't see them. No way you can avoid them except by keeping your bicycle in the garage.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Around here, in goathead land, the goatheads get blown right onto the cement trails and roadways. They are so small you can't see them. No way you can avoid them except by keeping your bicycle in the garage.
    We've got more goatheads than flies in an outhouse. I ride in the tire grooves where the car tires pick up all the goatheads.
    Every year at the Hotter'n Hell Hundred, Wichita Falls, Tx, I see many riders sitting on a pile of goatheads trying to fix goathead flats that they picked up at the last rest stop. I always carry my bike across grass at rest stops then check the tires on the pavement before starting out. Most flats can be avoided.

    Al

  24. #24
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    And how many road bikes do you see riding across grass? Goatheads come loose and/or grow in the cracks and crevices of roads, this is where I picked up all my flats, not by riding across grass! And you can't spend 100% of your time riding in the tire grooves; heck I doubt you could spend 25% and if you can then those are lightly driven roads which means not enough cars have cleared the grooves of goatheads. You sound like you never lived in goathead country.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze
    You sound like you never lived in goathead country.
    Most of the goathead flats I see are from people rolling their bikes through grass in parking lots and rest stops, not riding in grass.
    Have you ever been out of Indiana?

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