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  1. #1
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    Thorn proof 27 x 1 1/4" tube in 27 x 1 3/8" tire?

    Hello fellow bike riders, glad to meet you! Yes, this is my first post and I joined specifically to ask this question:

    I'm riding a Miyata road bike, a 12 speed. Just brought my bike to a shop for the first time in my life (I've always done my own repairs). Had a bunch of stuff done so I can ride the hills again. It would have taken me over a week to do the stuff that needed doing, would have needed at least one new tool to disassemble my bottom bracket, decided to find a good shop and have it all done at once, which I did.

    I have been riding Kenda K161 27 x 1 3/8" tires (a lot of the roads are very rough around here and the thicker tires help with that). I always ride with polyurethane liners in my tires, cuts down on my flats frequency tremendously. I actually glue them into my tires using contact cement to get them centered in place.

    I came upon a thorn proof tube and put it in my back tire a few months ago. It was about 11 ounces, had one patch. Don't remember if I put that patch on myself, but a few days ago the tire went flat because a slow leak had developed at the edge of the patch, and I discarded that thorn proof tube. I have put in a regular 27 x 1 1/4" tube, but figure I'll lower my already low frequency of flats by inserting thorn proof tubes (I hate flats, of course nobody likes flats!).

    OK, so I go on Amazon and order three thorn proof tubes, Sunlite Thorn Resistant Bicycle Tube 27 x 1-1/4 (700 x 30-35) SCHRADER valve. They are $8.29 a pop:

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I received them today, am amazed how heavy they are: 15.59 ounces. My other one was 11 ounces, the regular tube I just put in was 4.8 ounces. So, obviously these are thick and relatively rigid compared to ordinary 27 x 1 1/4" tubes. Is it OK to use them in my 27 x 1 3/8" tires?
    - - - -
    One other question: Looking at my settings, there's one item that I have a question about. What is the default thread age cutoff (i.e. 30 days, 90 days, 120 days, year, all)? It doesn't give a clue.
    Last edited by dmusicant; 01-20-14 at 08:25 PM.

  2. #2
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Normally that would be totally fine because the tube will stretch to fit the tire and that's a really small difference. I expect it will be fine for you too, but if the tube is so rigid that it gets hard inside the tire and the tire still feels lumpy, it's not going to work. That's a worst case scenario that can happen when using a tube that's WAY too small in a really fat tire. As long as the tire firms up when you put air in the tube you're fine.

    BTW are there that many thorns in your area? Are you getting puncture flats from those or other road hazards?
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  3. #3
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    Given that it will work for 30-35mm on a 700c rim, even though a 27" rim is a little bigger I'm pretty confident it should work. 32mm is 1 1/4. 35mm is 1 3/8.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    Normally that would be totally fine because the tube will stretch to fit the tire and that's a really small difference. I expect it will be fine for you too, but if the tube is so rigid that it gets hard inside the tire and the tire still feels lumpy, it's not going to work. That's a worst case scenario that can happen when using a tube that's WAY too small in a really fat tire. As long as the tire firms up when you put air in the tube you're fine.

    BTW are there that many thorns in your area? Are you getting puncture flats from those or other road hazards?
    I suppose there are thorns. Maybe I'm thinking wrong. I figured a "thorn proof" tube will be harder for a variety of objects to penetrate, including staples, glass shards, what have you. There's a fair amount of broken glass around here. I sometimes spot a patch and try to avoid it, often don't see it in time. I always ride with gloves, and many a time I've passed a gloved hand over my front wheel while riding after riding over a patch of broken glass thinking that removing slightly embedded shards might prevent them from penetrating deeper into the tire, eventually leading to a flat. Gets my gloves dirty! Of course, that does nothing for the back tire. To get that one, I'd have to stop and inspect, not something I do. I have suffered a number of staple and even nail punctures in the past. I just figure a "thorn proof" tube is going to have a significantly lower incidence of flats than a "normal" tube. Am I wrong about that? I have ridden a lot, but I'm not very knowledgeable about a lot of bike things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    I think they are just thicker, hoping that the thorn won't reach all the way through.
    Are they listed as thorn PROOF or RESISTANT?

    EDIT: looking at the link they state RESISTANT, having a thicker bottom.
    You need to READ the description.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Used thorn resistant inner tubes in wheels I toured for 9 months from SW Ireland, to NE Scotland..
    puncture free ..

    they do let you know quickly when under inflated, as the rolling resistance increase is felt,

    but topping them up solves that, and they roll fine when fully inflated ..

    Using them in daily riders and trailer tires as well .. Now..



    Adequate air retention for several weeks in those situations..

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    I think they are just thicker, hoping that the thorn won't reach all the way through.
    Are they listed as thorn PROOF or RESISTANT?

    EDIT: looking at the link they state RESISTANT, having a thicker bottom.
    You need to READ the description.
    Yes, of course, it's largely semantic, but you are absolutely correct. Of course, no tube is thorn proof, nor can be short of being made of steel, or perhaps kevlar, I don't know. Anyway, what I'm after is enough "resistance" to justify the additional weight and cost. I figure the additional weight is 22 ounces if I use two of these tubes over "normal" tubes. Also to consider is the fact that accelerating the bike with tubes that add 22 ounces requires more leg power than accelerating a bike with 22 ounces heavier frame. That's because you have to increase the angular momentum of the wheel, so there's an additional amount of force needed to get the bike to achieve a given additional speed. Anyway, I won't worry about that if I can reduce my flats considerably, and I figure this should. It's not something I can quantify. One thing I do know, those polyurethane inserts I use drastically reduced my flats frequency. I'd say by at least a factor of three. I'm using inserts that were designed for wider tires. They work anyway, and by using them I'm sure I have avoided some flats I would have gotten otherwise by virtue of objects penetrating somewhat up the sidewalls of the tires.

    This is slightly off topic, however I'm wondering why bike tires need such frequent reinflation. What causes air to leak from the tubes? I use those Schrader valve caps, but I was told those are not used in order to keep air in, but to keep dirt and debris out.
    Last edited by dmusicant; 01-21-14 at 12:25 PM.

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Combining them with a puncture resistant Tire with additional barriers in the tire


    may get you the reliability you seek .. IDK what is found in 630 tires (27")

    as the market place is focused on 622 (700c) and that is where the product diversity is.



    Mr Tuffy (etc.) polymer tire liner strips and Thorn resistant innertubes may get some of the puncture resistance

    you desire..

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmusicant View Post
    This is slightly off topic, however I'm wondering why bike tires need such frequent reinflation. What causes air to leak from the tubes? I use those Schrader valve caps, but I was told those are not used in order to keep air in, but to keep dirt and debris out.
    Air slowly diffuses through the rubber of the tube. This is more of a problem with narrow, high-pressure tires used together with light weight (i.e. thin) tubes, and the diffusion rate is much faster when using latex instead of butyl rubber tubes (it's also faster when inflating with CO2 instead of air). The thicker thorn-resistant tubes should hold air pressure significantly longer than regular tubes but usually the part of the tube that rests in the rim channel is of normal thickness and only the part under the tire tread is thicker so there'll still be some air loss.

    I found that the thorn-resistant tubes did indeed cut down on the number of flats, esp. when used in places with lots of thorns such as southern Arizona. But the thicker rubber also increased the rolling resistance and I've opted to deal with a few more punctures in exchange for easier pedaling.

  11. #11
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmusicant View Post
    I suppose there are thorns. Maybe I'm thinking wrong. I figured a "thorn proof" tube will be harder for a variety of objects to penetrate, including staples, glass shards, what have you. There's a fair amount of broken glass around here. I sometimes spot a patch and try to avoid it, often don't see it in time. I always ride with gloves, and many a time I've passed a gloved hand over my front wheel while riding after riding over a patch of broken glass thinking that removing slightly embedded shards might prevent them from penetrating deeper into the tire, eventually leading to a flat. Gets my gloves dirty! Of course, that does nothing for the back tire. To get that one, I'd have to stop and inspect, not something I do. I have suffered a number of staple and even nail punctures in the past. I just figure a "thorn proof" tube is going to have a significantly lower incidence of flats than a "normal" tube. Am I wrong about that? I have ridden a lot, but I'm not very knowledgeable about a lot of bike things.
    Fair enough. Sounds like there are a lot of road hazards in your area. That's unfortunate.

    Still, a tube that weighs nearly a pound is freaking heavy. A normal tube in that width should weigh roughly 1/4 that. I have tires that weigh half what your tube weighs! But they're light racing tires and would not survive many road hazards. My point is, if you can get away with puncture resistant tires and tire liners (assuming they're lighter) I would definitely do it.

    BTW do you ride in the gutter? Riding in the lane traveled by cars and not as far into the curb as possible not only makes you safer but is also a much cleaner place to ride. Less gravel, glass, etc.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
    Fair enough. Sounds like there are a lot of road hazards in your area. That's unfortunate.

    Still, a tube that weighs nearly a pound is freaking heavy. A normal tube in that width should weigh roughly 1/4 that. I have tires that weigh half what your tube weighs! But they're light racing tires and would not survive many road hazards. My point is, if you can get away with puncture resistant tires and tire liners (assuming they're lighter) I would definitely do it.

    BTW do you ride in the gutter? Riding in the lane traveled by cars and not as far into the curb as possible not only makes you safer but is also a much cleaner place to ride. Less gravel, glass, etc.
    The worst of the road hazards here are the rough roads. Some portions of the ride into the hills that I started doing a few weeks ago after having my bike fixed are awfully rough, even for me with my relatively thick tires. I wonder how it feels to the many cyclists I see who are riding thin road bike tires, and I see many of those guys.

    I am wise in the ways of bike riding, particularly in urban environments. I see bicyclists doing things that would make my skin crawl were it me. They ride busy streets when far less trafficked streets would do as well (I used to, but at some point decided to avoid busy streets if possible), they ride within a foot of parked cars. A friend of mine was "doored" and needed to have his jaw wired back together. I was doored around 25 years ago, quite a few miles from home coming back from a temporary job in an area I was not familiar with. I pulled a bandaid out of my wallet, slapped it on my hand and dismissed the apologetic couple who emerged from their car on the busy street with a wave of my hand and rode home. Once burned twice shy, I maintain a safe distance from parked cars. Just today I was riding and a woman opened her car door as I was approaching her parked car from behind, it was astounding how far that thing reached into the street. It must have been well over 3 feet, close to 4 feet. There's no guarantee that a car stopped in traffic will not have one of its doors suddenly open.

    Debris in the road, well, I watch for it, it's part of my mindset. I try not to go too close to the gutter, and if I do, I'm imaging the surface carefully. I spot glass, but it's not always possible to spot it in time, if you spot it at all. Nails, tacks and staples, well you're not going to see most of those.

    Maybe I should just ride normal tubes, given my liners strategy. My thinking now is to use the thick ones on the back and ride the normal ones on the front. The back tire, they say, gets ~60% of the weight, so it's more apt to force something through the tire. Also, the back is 3x harder to fix, either on the road or at home. The back is where I had my first thorn resistant tube. I bought 3 last week at Amazon. I think I'll only use one at a time, always on the back. Should last me a long time!

    Thanks for the replies. I'm glad I found these forums, my previous online activity concerning bikes was in the bicycle newsgroups.
    Last edited by dmusicant; 01-21-14 at 06:58 PM.

  13. #13
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    Have you used, or would you consider using kevlar-belted tires, either with or without liners?
    RANS V3 (steel), RANS V-Rex, RANS Screamer

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    Quote Originally Posted by JanMM View Post
    Have you used, or would you consider using kevlar-belted tires, either with or without liners?
    I hadn't heard of them. Are they good at reducing flats?

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    Can'tre Member 3alarmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmusicant View Post
    I hadn't heard of them. Are they good at reducing flats?
    ...much better than "thorn proof" tubes, which aren't really, and are heavy and impossible to patch well.

    Skip the liners, which are hard to mount well and increase rolling resistance dramatically.

    Armadillos get good reviews in terms of flat resistance, but they are a hard riding tire if you're interested in performance.
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    No wonder everybody hates you.

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    Well, one big consideration is how it rides. IOW, as stated, the roads I ride, in particular the hill ride I've gotten into again lately, features some very rough ill-paved, deteriorating asphalt roads. Even the city streets here are fairly rough overall. Therefore I ride 27" x 1 3/8" tires, the biggest fluffiest softest tires I can get on my bike. A quick look at Amazon doesn't show any kevlar tires like that. Maybe I should stick with liners and one thorn resistant tube on the back. I'd say that the smoothness of the ride is just as important as the flat-resistance.

    Maybe I should give some thought to getting a bike with bigger (thicker) tires, a hybrid of some kind. However, I'm used to Maes handlebars where I have a couple of hand positions for relief. Hybrids and mountain bikes appear to have just one hand position. I don't know if I'd like that.

    I'm not going to win any races with liners and a thorn resistant tube in the back and it will be more work to get from point A to point B, but smoothness of the ride and preventing the inconvenience of flats are important considerations.
    Last edited by dmusicant; 01-30-14 at 04:15 AM.

  17. #17
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmusicant View Post
    Therefore I ride 27" x 1 3/8" tires, the biggest fluffiest softest tires I can get on my bike. A quick look at Amazon doesn't show any kevlar tires like that. Maybe I should stick with liners and one thorn resistant tube on the back. I'd say that the smoothness of the ride is just as important as the flat-resistance.

    Maybe I should give some thought to getting a bike with bigger (thicker) tires, a hybrid of some kind. However, I'm used to Maes handlebars where I have a couple of hand positions for relief. Hybrids and mountain bikes appear to have just one hand position. I don't know if I'd like that.
    Look into cyclocross bikes. They have cantilever brakes and can fit wide tires. Any proper cyclocross bike should easily be able to fit 700x38 tires (your 27s are roughly 35mm wide) and the 700 size has more tire selection in that width range.

    Cyclocross bikes are still light and fast, and ride basically like road bikes, but have more room for tires and fenders. Sort of like what road bikes used to be, and what they should still be today (in some people's minds.) Today the only type of road bike you can get is a "race" bike that may only fit 28mm tires or narrower. A cyclocross bike would fit your needs a lot better than a MTB or flat bar hybrid.
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  18. #18
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    Thank you FastJake. Can a cyclocross bike be fitted with Maes style handlebars or any handlebars that allow more than one hand position?

  19. #19
    Constant tinkerer FastJake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dmusicant View Post
    Thank you FastJake. Can a cyclocross bike be fitted with Maes style handlebars or any handlebars that allow more than one hand position?
    Cyclocross bikes already come with drop (Maes) bars, which is why I suggested them. You could always put drop bars on a flat-bar hybrid but that approach generally comes with compromises and is almost never financially sensible.

    You can also look for an old touring bike, but I suspect most cyclocross bikes have more tire clearance which is why I suggested them.
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    Cyclocross sounds ideal to me. Wish I'd encountered this a month ago, before I brought my bike into a shop. I'd done all my own repairs on all my bikes before that. This bike is riding well now. Maybe I'll ride it a few years then ditch it for a cyclocross.

    I'd gotten out of the habit of hill climbing, hadn't done it for years. I'm doing it almost daily now, however I am slower than a lot of folks. People are passing me a lot as I climb about 1200 feet into the hills, then down. This happened ten years ago when I did the ride, but I got faster. I'm getting faster again. The first time I tried the climb around 6 weeks ago I barely made it the bike was in such bad shape. The bottom bracket was way out of adjustment. Found a great bike shop on Yelp. I told the guy I could have done all those repairs but it would have taken me 10 times as long and I wouldn't have done as good a job. It's totally true.

  21. #21
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    I am using Kevlar tires now and am doing well as far as # of flats. I was putting about100 miles a week on my bike and only got one flat in 2013.
    That said I was afraid of flats. I used Kevlar tires, thorn resistant tires and even had slime in them.
    However my only flat was from glass on a sidewall, where there is not Kevlar, and the thorn resistant tubes did not help, and the slime just made a big mess as the cut was big ( it was sharp, hidden in a light dusting of snow)
    anyway,
    doing that repair, I switched to standard tubes, no slime, no liners, but stuck with the Kevlar belted tires.
    I have noticed a smoother rolling wheel ( used the same type and brand tire so that was not it) without the fat tubes and slime
    At first ride, I really did not expect there to be much difference and I did not notice when pedaling, I noticed it when coasting

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