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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-08-00, 08:49 AM   #1
RainmanP
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Having just experienced my second flat in three days of commuting (I was out of town until yesterday so today was my first day riding since last Friday), I am ready to get serious about preventions. Cambronne and several others suggested Slime or one of the other similar products. When I called my regular bike shop, as well as a couple of others to see if they had slime, I got varying responses. None liked Slime-type products because they say they make a nasty, hard to clean mess when you do have a flat. One shop said don't do anything; just get faster at changing flats. Another shop talked me into kevlar liners, which another shop said could CAUSE flats. I bought them, but did not have a chance to install them before my ride today. Boy, am I feeling stupid. And confused.
So my question is how do you feel about the alternative prevention methods? How about the Slime messiness issue? Anyone ever have a flat caused by kevlar liners? I plan to install one or the other this weeked (12/9-10).
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Raymond
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Old 12-08-00, 04:57 PM   #2
Chris L
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Kevlar liners are fine

There is nothing wrong with kevlar liners. I used one on the back wheel for about 12,000km last year and didn't get a single flat in that time. Unfortunately none of the bike shops in my area seem to have them anymore (if anyone knows where I can get them can they please post it here). They even survived when a nail got driven into the tire on a commute one morning.

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Old 12-08-00, 07:11 PM   #3
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Slimer ou pas slimer, c'est la question...

I have used Performance ST-K kevlar belted tires on my commuter hybrids since 1994, and they work very well. I also use their GT-K tires on my weekend road bike. Good flat resistance.

I modified my hybrids' rims to accept Schrader valves, so I could use Slime in them... Result, no sudden flats in years, only the occasional annoying slow leak... easy to locate... just look for the green ooze.

Here is my experience with Slime:

Pluses:

Inexpensive, reusable.
Easy to install, not noticeably heavy (to most riders.)
Water soluble, easy clean-up.
Non toxic, won't eat flesh or fabric.
Will seal small punctures almost permanently.
Will seal larger damage long enough to make it home.

Minuses:

Must use Schrader valves. Will clog Presta valves.
Patching a slimed tube requires patience.
Adds 4oz of extra weight to each wheel.


Overall, Slime and kevlar belts make a very secure combination, at least until affordable tubeless self-sealing technology makes its way to bicycling!


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Old 12-08-00, 07:32 PM   #4
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Chris L...

Here are two US companies that may have what you're searching:

Performance Bicycle. Go to http://www.performancebicycle.com. I believe they sell kevlar liners, along with many other gadgets and products.

They should be able to ship to your part of the world.

Also, there is Bike Nashbar, at http://www.bikenashbar.com, who have similar products, with enough variety to make them worth checking out as well.

Use a credit card and there is no need to make currency conversions... Your statement will arrive showing what you spent in AUS $. (The internet is a wond'rous thing, n'est ce pas?)
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Old 12-09-00, 04:43 PM   #5
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Thanks!

Thanks for your advice Cambronne, I'll check those out. The only worry is that at the current exchange rate, the Australian dollar couldn't buy it's way out of a wet paper bag, but I'll work something out for that one.

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Old 12-11-00, 07:47 AM   #6
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Need to do anything to tire?

Thanks for the responses. I decided to go with the kevlar liners for the time being. The lady at the bike shop was pretty persuasive.
Next question. Do I need to do anything for the hole in the tire? One of the flats I got must have been a chunk of glass that, obviously, cut a little hole in the tire. Nothing obvious or gaping, but more than just a little pierce. Is it necessary/advisable to do anything about it like a patch on the inside?
Thanks,
Raymond
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Old 12-11-00, 10:36 AM   #7
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If the hole is in the middle of the tire, you can do one of these things:

Apply a tube patch to the inside of the hole, and add a layer or two of electrical tape, or duct tape. (The glue that will stick to a tube is not so very good to stick to the tire... different material.

Or, you can cut a small square of cardboard from a tube box, and tape it in place. It will stay there, protecting a potential weak spot, until you finally need new tires.

If the hole is in the sidewall, and you do not wish to replace the tire right now, apply several layers of electrical tape on the inside.

Tips: Remount that damaged tire on the front wheel... it will take less punishment there.

Also, there is a product called "Shoegoo," one can find it at building supply stores... it will fill the hole, and stick FOREVER. (I patched a cut on the surface of the back tire of my Yamaha YZF 600 about 3,000 miles ago... and it is still there!
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Old 12-12-00, 02:17 AM   #8
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flats and tire holes and Slime alternative

Don't bother trying to fix a hole in the tire unless the cord(s) are broken- no need to fix otherwise.
If the cords are broken you'll have use a material that is as strong as the casing of your tire. I've always used "dead" silk sew-up (tubular tire) casings to make tire patches. You might try the sidewall/casing of a good quality clincher or a very strong fabric. When you make your patch be sure it covers a wide area around the hole so it will give adequate support and not "flex" loose, for lack of a better description. Try to get your mating surfaces as clean as possible and "roughen" them a bit to improve adherance with your adhesive/glue. Don't forget to dust the area with talc (baby powder) so your tube won't stick to the tire, possibly causing another flat, also suggested when patching your tube .
If you need a quick fix on a ride to keep the tube from being exposed- stick a mylar (Power Bar) wrapper or a piece of dollar bill beween the tube and tire.
I always carry an old foldable tire with me in case of a slice, tear or blowout. I've very rarely needed to use it but when I did I was VERY happy I'd carried it along and REALLY needed it in the middle of NOWHERE.
Tufo (sew-up makers) Market some liquid latex type stuff that works really well and uses less "liquid" to do the job, hence it's lighter and you can get it into Presta valves by taking out the inner valve assembly. I made a "straw" out of a brake housing by cutting a bit of the plastic from each end to fit into the tube of latex and the valve hole to make it easier to get the junk into my tires. Damn, it's nice not to throw away or fix sew-ups anymore

[Edited by pat5319 on 12-12-2000 at 03:37 AM]
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Old 02-16-01, 08:29 PM   #9
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Great advice, Pat5319

Pat5319 gives good practical advice for tire repair. I never tried the Power-bar trick, but it sounds interesting.

I can tell you from experience that patching your tire with a tube patch does not work. If it does work, you could probably get along without it in the first place. I tried it once and within 1/4 of a mile, the tube and patch blew right out of the hole (at 90 psi in the tire).

I tried Slime, but didn't like it either. Slime has some kind of fiber in it. It looks like cellulose fiber, but hard to tell. Anyway, the fibers balled up inside the Slime container (probably from being shaken). I couldn't get the Slime to squirt from the bottle and into the inner-tube for love or money. It kept getting clogged along the way.

A couple of days ago, I saw some self-repairing bicycle inner-tubes at K-Mart. They were about $5.00 each. These might be worth a try.

If you are getting flats more than once every, say 4,000 miles, then you should invest in new puncture resistant Kevlar tires. I noticed several advertised in BICYCLING MAGAZINE this month.

Mike
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Old 02-19-04, 04:44 PM   #10
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I've found that Tuffies are helpful. I've had mixed results with Slime.

I'd advise looking for the thickest, toughest tires you can find and adding Tuffies. I've never had a flat with my winter Nokian studded tires, for example. Most bike tires are optimized for light weight, not puncture resistance.

I have had flats caused by kevlar liners. If improperly installed, they can wear through the tube. However, I wouldn't leave home without them.

Paul
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Old 02-19-04, 05:42 PM   #11
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The most effective flat prevention method I've ever used has been riding on debris-free asphalt. Seriously!
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Old 02-19-04, 10:06 PM   #12
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I don't use the kevlar liners but can testify they do work since I have had 3 used bikes that came with them installed. In each case, the tires went for a noticably longer time without a flat. When it finally came time to fix the 1st flat, I discovered the liner. My commute is fairly short & flats aren't much of a problem or I would use the liners. Also, I did use some silicone sealer to successfully fill a tread hole left by a chunk of glass on a brand new Continental TT about a year ago, last time I checked it was still doing the job. I decided to fill the hole when I found a sharp little piece of rock in it a few days after the flat. Don
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Old 02-19-04, 10:33 PM   #13
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If your on a road bike DO NOT USE SLIME! Slime is totally worthless in sealing of flats once the air pressure exceeds 60 to 65PSI; then as the stuff is spitting out you get green slime all over the inside of your rim. If flats are a concern you could get a kevlar tire that weighs on the average of 300 grams plus you could add a Mr Tuffy or a Slime liner that weighs 90 grms then you have to use a thicker tube (120grms) because the liners can wear through those thin racing tubes, then after all of that still have problems with sidewall penetrations. If you want the best flat protection currently available then go with the Specialize Turbo Armadillo. This tire weighs 360 grms but you can use the Specialize ultralight 65grm tube, so your total weight will actually be less than the liner route.

I carry an assortment of flat repair stuff with me because I commute and ride in remote areas where a walk would be very long, so I carry 6 glueless patches (I aways attempt to fix the tube first) a spare tube in it's box, a spare ultralight folding tire (in case a main tire gets destroyed), and a boot patch (if a main is patchable).
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Old 02-23-04, 01:58 PM   #14
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Flats

I agree with the LBS people that slime makes a mess. It can be useful sometimes, but it does make a mess to clean up the next time you have a flat.

I've never owned Armadillo's, but I understand they offer some of the best protection against flats.
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Old 02-23-04, 02:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RainmanP
Thanks for the responses. I decided to go with the kevlar liners for the time being. The lady at the bike shop was pretty persuasive.
Next question. Do I need to do anything for the hole in the tire? One of the flats I got must have been a chunk of glass that, obviously, cut a little hole in the tire. Nothing obvious or gaping, but more than just a little pierce. Is it necessary/advisable to do anything about it like a patch on the inside?
Thanks,
Raymond

You could get some tire boots. They are like the self stick plastic tire patches that Park sells.
You could also try some kevlar tires. Performance sells some, and the Specialized Armadillo(what I use).
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Old 02-24-04, 08:41 AM   #16
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I have had only one flat since I put in Kevlar liners, and that sneaky little ****** piece of glass slipped in just next to the liner. Before the liners, I was getting a flat every fewweeks. Winos like to drink and throw their empties on and around the bike path.
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Old 02-25-04, 08:26 AM   #17
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Boy, someone was rooting around in the BF attic to dig this thread up from 3 years ago when I was first getting started. As a REAL updated update I now use thorn resistant tubes AND Tuffy liners AND kevlar belted tires (Specialized Infinity Armadillos and Avocet Cross II K). The three together do a pretty good job as long as I put the tubes in right!
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