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  1. #1
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    The effectiveness of tire savers

    On 2013 Jan 17 I installed a pair of 'tire savers'. On 2013 May 19 a
    goathead thorn punctured my rear tube. I had traveled 2,180 miles
    without punctures. The rear tire had 2 goathead thorns embedded in
    it, a tire liner had 1: the one that punctured the tube. I use 700x25
    tires.

    In the previous 22,000 miles I had 47 tube punctures (total for both
    front and rear).

    I bought my tire savers from the chain-l.com guy. Another fellow on
    this forum sells his own version. I have no reason to believe that
    one model is better than another: they're simple.

  2. #2
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    Mine are definitely better, they're BLACK.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  3. #3
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I use to use Mr Tuffy's but found goatheads did penetrate those too. Also Mr Tuffy and Slime liners will eventually chaff your tube and rub and hole into it causing a leak so you have to sand down the edge that contacts the tube to a paper thin thickness to prevent that. I now use Panaracer FlatAway in my rear tire on my touring bike because getting a flat on a touring bike is a bit of pain with having to remove the panniers, then the fender, then the wheel etc, I don't want to be bothered.

    But I did discover something interesting about liners, the Mr Tuffy and the Slime liners cut like butter when you go to trim them to fit, but the FlatAway was a pain the arse to cut.

    As far as tire savors go, I haven't used those since the tubular days, they do work but not all the time. I still got flats but instead of 2 or 3 a week maybe 1 or 2.

    In reality tires are suppose to be the first line of defense against flats. Once I got a set of Specialized Armadillo tires I never needed liners after that, and no goathead, or anything else, ever penetrated one of those tires in 15,000 miles of using those tires. I was so confident it the tires ability to not get a flat I switched to ultralight racing tubes after the first set of tires wore out. There are a few other tires too that can ward off Goatheads, but those I've found to be among the best and cheaper then others.

  4. #4
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    As a lifelong user of tubulars I might add that old tires, where the rubber it thoroughly cured are much tougher, and much slower to flat.

    I still don't ride tires until they've aged about a year or so.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  5. #5
    Senior Member craigrrr's Avatar
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    I have RhinoDillo Liners in my tires cause I was getting flats daily due to goatheads, I now have not had one flat in the last 700 miles.

    If you have a tire liner try this test with a tooth pick as shown in this video approx at time 1:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=e9vLa32mOhk

    , I did and the tooth pick does break, I also tried this test with a self tapping screw it does go through but is very very hard to do so.

  6. #6
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I still don't ride tires until they've aged about a year or so.
    I wouldn't say that too loudly around here, there are a lot of forum members who think tires are not any good after a year...I disagree. While I'm not so sure if waiting a year makes them tougher, but I do know it doesn't hurt them either. I bought a 84 Fuji Club that was stored in a garage attic 5 days after it was purchased new in 84 two springs ago, I bought it with the original tires and tubes and neither have any cracks and the tube didn't stick to the tire, I actually rode on the tires for about 200 miles before getting a set of modern flat resistant lighter folding tires, I still have the tires and their still perfect. And I've ridden on tires season after season for 4 or 5 seasons with no cracks on the tires; my wife's MTB has a tire on it that is 9 years old, stored outside in the summer and garage in the winter no cracks in those tires either. I do have a set of cheap Walmart tires that came on a kids bike that is about 9 years old and those tires are cracked like a jigsaw puzzle.

  7. #7
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    Tire rubber duro goes up with age (up to a point) and, IME the harder, cured tread material is much more resistant to the small nicks and glass cuts that are the major causes of flats.

    Generally, my old ratty tires can outlast many replacements on the other wheel, and if they can survive a year, tend not to flat until the UV and water finally gets to the walls and they begin to break apart.

    In that respect tires are like jeans, they get better with use until they get so good they just fall apart.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I've had significantly fewer goathead flats after installing tyre-savers. It takes many revolutions of the wheel to pound the goathead through the tyre-casing, tyre-liner and tube. The tyre-saver scrapes them off on the very first 1/2 revolution of the wheel.

    Not quite so significant reduction in glass-shard flats. I suspect they're small enough to just slip under the tyre-saver.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Mine are definitely better, they're BLACK.
    Hey, FB. I wasn't even aware you were selling them. Cool. I can't find them on your Chain-L site though. I'd be interested in seeing them. Thanks. RB.

  10. #10
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    I've had significantly fewer goathead flats after installing tyre-savers. It takes many revolutions of the wheel to pound the goathead through the tyre-casing, tyre-liner and tube. The tyre-saver scrapes them off on the very first 1/2 revolution of the wheel.

    Not quite so significant reduction in glass-shard flats. I suspect they're small enough to just slip under the tyre-saver.
    I wonder why those tire savers that people lost interest in using them when clinchers came along?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rootboy View Post
    Hey, FB. I wasn't even aware you were selling them. Cool. I can't find them on your Chain-L site though. I'd be interested in seeing them. Thanks. RB.
    I'll take a photo, then try to figure out how and where to post it.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I wonder why those tire savers that people lost interest in using them when clinchers came along?
    Most wired-on tires have thicker treads, and are less vulnerable to the types of small shards and flints that tire savers best defend against. Flats are less expensive, and simpler to repair than with tubulars, plus other options exist, such as slime, and Mr. Tuffys.

    I'm an easterner so the goathead issue doesn't exist for me, here the enemy is broken glass. Also the move to PVC soda bottles, combined with deposit laws has done an amazing job reducing the amount of glass on urban and suburban laws. In the case of deposit laws, it's a rare example of a regulation that actually did what it was supposed to.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    I read a blurb from Sheldon Brown saying that those tire savors are of dubious value, could that be why they fell out of favor? I use to see them a lot in the 70's and I used them too, but I haven't seen one on a bike since then.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by rekmeyata View Post
    I read a blurb from Sheldon Brown saying that those tire savors are of dubious value, could that be why they fell out of favor? I use to see them a lot in the 70's and I used them too, but I haven't seen one on a bike since then.
    With all due respect to SB, his comments on this were his opinion, and probably based on Mr. Brandt's claim (theory) that the embedded shard type of flat never happens, and glass or flints either puncture immediately, or not at all. OTOH, there's plenty of evidence that some (maybe not a major percentage) flats come from embedded shards that don't immediately push through, and flats can be prevented by flicking them out before they work through.

    Who knows who's right, but those of us who wiped their tires clean after riding through a glass field, either with tire savers, an old credit card, or our gloved hands seemed to do better that those we rode with who didn't. Even though I made and sold tire savers for years, I'm agnostic. When I rode tubulars in the city, I have tire savers mounted, but couldn't stand the noise, so I had them off the tires and would push them down for a second or two when I thought it would help.

    Since I was selling them, I might add that what killed the business was the massive shift to mtb, during which dealers shifted 95% of their product mix to that category, and road stuff was relegated to the fringes. The other cause was a change in dealer attitudes, wherein they changed from being advocates who sold stuff, to places where people could get what they asked for. That model doesn't support fringe product, because people don't ask for things they don't know exist.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    I've had significantly fewer goathead flats after installing tyre-savers. It takes many revolutions of the wheel to pound the goathead through the tyre-casing, tyre-liner and tube. The tyre-saver scrapes them off on the very first 1/2 revolution of the wheel. Not quite so significant reduction in glass-shard flats. I suspect they're small enough to just slip under the tyre-saver.
    Ditto; The value in tiresavers is that they can usually scrape off items that stick to the tire before they have time to go around a few times and get driven though the layers. If one hits something really pointy and hard, then the T/S will either just bounce over it or knock it out of the tire. Eitherway, hitting one of that quality of pointies is either a slow leak or a immediately flat. The T/S just decreases the possiblities. BTW: Odds get better if one carefully bends the loop to closely match the shape of the inflated tire.

    /K

  16. #16
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigrrr View Post
    I have RhinoDillo Liners in my tires cause I was getting flats daily due to goatheads, I now have not had one flat in the last 700 miles.

    If you have a tire liner try this test with a tooth pick as shown in this video approx at time 1:50 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=e9vLa32mOhk

    , I did and the tooth pick does break, I also tried this test with a self tapping screw it does go through but is very very hard to do so.
    Did you listen to the video closely? did you notice the quick disclaimer? The disclaimer said, it was tested to be found out to be the toughest ploy liner on the market. Notice the listing of liners it tested against? All poly liners...NOT ONE KEVLAR LINER! That's because liners like the Panaracer FlatAway are tougher and lighter, and had they tested their liner against the FlatAway the poly would have failed miserably.

  17. #17
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    I had only occasional flats before I moved to Albuquerque. I bicycled an all-mountain route from Los Angeles to Canada (then across the plains to New York) in 1989 and didn't have a flat until Wagontire Oregon (southeast corner) and that because I wore out the tread of the rear tire and the tube escaped the tire. I credit that experience to Mr Tuffy tireliners.

    In Albuquerque the goatheads worked their way through tireliners, including my Mr Tuffys. I now use 2 tireliners in each tube: old Slimes and new StopFlats2s. I went through a gallon of sealant before deciding that it caused more trouble than it helped: when it doesn't seal a puncture it fouls the adhesive of the patch. Kevlar-belted puncture-resistant tires didn't stop goatheads.

    I don't claim that my experience will be everyone's.

    Ozone damages rubber. A tire left out in a high-ozone area will eventually crack. Tire-agers in high-ozone areas will have a different experience than those in low-ozone areas.
    Last edited by RandomTroll; 05-28-13 at 12:50 PM. Reason: added thought

  18. #18
    Senior Member mrrabbit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Mine are definitely better, they're BLACK.
    They're supposed to be yellow - like a NASCAR racing car stripe!

    =8-)
    4000+ wheels built since 1984...

    Disclaimer:

    1. I do not claim to be an expert in bicycle mechanics despite my experience.
    2. I like anyone will comment in other areas.
    3. I do not own the preexisting concepts of DISH and ERD.
    4. I will provide information as I always have to others that I believe will help them protect themselves from unscrupulous mechanics.
    5. My all time favorite book is:

    Kahane, Howard. Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life

  19. #19
    Senior Member SJX426's Avatar
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    Tire Saver - Old school (in the shadow of the crown):

  20. #20
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    FB, do you still stock/sell them? I met a friend's ancient ten-speed just yesterday, and admired his tire savers (seemed more substantial, more of a blade than a wire), and he lamented that you just can't find them anymore!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    FB, do you still stock/sell them? I met a friend's ancient ten-speed just yesterday, and admired his tire savers (seemed more substantial, more of a blade than a wire), and he lamented that you just can't find them anymore!
    Yes, I have plenty @ $8.00 inc. postage. Each additional @6.50pr. But you might not have seen mine. Mine have a wire on the tire same as in the photo, then black Vinyl tubing, and a flat stamped A shaped mounting part, vs the formed wire most have.

    There are nicer ones, that use a sprung scraper blade, made in France, I believe, but they're usually pricier.
    FB
    Chain-L site

    An ounce of diagnosis is worth a pound of cure.

    “Never argue with an idiot. He will only bring you down to his level and beat you with experience.”, George Carlin

    “One accurate measurement is worth a thousand expert opinions” - Adm Grace Murray Hopper - USN

    WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rekmeyata's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RandomTroll View Post
    In Albuquerque the goatheads worked their way through tireliners, including my Mr Tuffys. I now use 2 tireliners in each tube: old Slimes and new StopFlats2s. I went through a gallon of sealant before deciding that it caused more trouble than it helped: when it doesn't seal a puncture it fouls the adhesive of the patch. Kevlar-belted puncture-resistant tires didn't stop goatheads.

    I don't claim that my experience will be everyone's.
    I never saw the need for two tire liners, but like I mentioned before the Panaracer FlatAway is far tougher against flats then Mr tuffy and the assorted poly type of liners.

    Your experience with Slime goo is the same as mine; so is the kevlar belted tire thing too. That's why Conti Gatorskins failed so miserably against goatheads. I don't know what Specialized uses in their Armadillo tire but it works great, so good I never needed a liner, or thorn tubes, or slime filled tubes.

    Living in high vs low ozone, not sure what you mean, I use to live in Los Angeles area back in the 70's and 80's when pollution levels were a lot higher then today and still didn't have issues with tires cracking before they wore out, even stored tires didn't crack. I have had or seen cheap Walmart type of tires crack fast but not decent tires at least not over a 6 year period that I had tires sitting on one bike I rarely used.

  23. #23
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    We have a LOT of goatheads in this area. I find that most goatheads are picked up in parking lots, rest areas, and on paved trails where newly cut grass has been blown onto the trail. In my opinion the best way for a road bike rider to avoid goathead flats is to avoid goatheads. I never ride or roll my bicycle across grass or through weeds.

  24. #24
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    quoth rekmeyata:

    'I never saw the need for two tire liners'

    The Slimes alone weren't working. When I shopped the StopsFlats2s
    looked like the best choice. I saw no reason not to use both; I hoped
    they would move a little bit between themselves and cut goathead
    thorns or, at least, tilt them away from going directly through to the
    tube. I saw no kevlar liners so I didn't look hard enough. I'll keep
    them in mind.

    'Living in high vs low ozone, not sure what you mean, I use to live in
    Los Angeles area back in the 70's and 80's when pollution levels were
    a lot higher then today and still didn't have issues with tires
    cracking before they wore out, even stored tires didn't crack. I have
    had or seen cheap Walmart type of tires crack fast but not decent
    tires at least not over a 6 year period that I had tires sitting on
    one bike I rarely used.'

    It's no secret that ozone attacks rubber. It was the subject of my
    Father's master's thesis in 1947. Perhaps rubber makers have found an
    ozone-resistant formula.

    Quoth Al1943:

    'We have a LOT of goatheads in this area. I find that most
    goatheads are picked up in parking lots, rest areas, and on
    paved trails where newly cut grass has been blown onto the
    trail. In my opinion the best way for a road bike rider to
    avoid goathead flats is to avoid goatheads. I never ride or
    roll my bicycle across grass or through weeds.'

    I'm out to have fun, which means not staring at the pavement the whole
    time and traveling through drainage ditches and catchment basins and
    dirt trails in the foothills... The goathead-freeest places are
    well-traveled roads: car tires pick them all up - but that's no fun.

    I also use the extra-thick Sunlite 'thorn-proof' tubes. Not sure they
    help.

  25. #25
    Senior Member rootboy's Avatar
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    Shameless self-promotion plug. Here's the ones that I make. 3 different attachment types. Brake center bolt. Bolt to fender. And surround fender brake bolt attachment. PM me if interested.



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