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  1. #1
    I love speed
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    Do Kevlar tires *REALLY* protect against flats?

    Hi, I am new here and I am in love with this place! Bike Utopia!

    I own a 2000 Schwinn Mesa MTB. Over the years, i realized I hate the slow drag i get from kbobbies on my MTB, so i came across some thread here and I decided that I am going to get me some Ritchey Tom Slicks because I want to maximize my speed and rolling distance whilst not peddling. My main objective is to get my MTB as fast as Possible yet with some dependable durability to it. I basically ride on city streets/roads and sidewalks.

    i came across some website that had the Ritchey Tom Slicks but made with kevlar. I wanna know, if kevlar tires really *DO* protect *siginificantly* against flats or is it all just marketing.

    I have this doubt because the Schwinn shop owner where I purchased my MTB says I'll still get flats with kevlar and that kevlar only adds a little bit more protection, but flats are ineveitable even with kevlar.

    I apologize for any incompetence in my post but I am really new to all this amazing stuff I am seeing here on the bike forums. Just trying to absorb.

    Thanx for helping!!!!

  2. #2
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    You'll still get flats, but at a rate about 10% those without kevlar. It works for thorns, small pieces of glass and many metal pieces. A long piece of glass, screw, or funky metal debris may still get thru. Schwalbe marathons and specialized armadillos have the best reps for flat protection. Marathon Plus will protect against tacks and should be slightly lighter than your MTB tires. Most riders on forum with schwalbe tires ride with marathons to save a bit of weight. They even have a slick version. Some riders say they have riden thousands of miles without a flat.

    You could also add a mr tuffy liner. some swear by it, but I think it's unnecessary.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  3. #3
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    kevlar won't help with pinch flats. i use tire liners (slime makes some, and there are others out there too) to help protect against punctures from glass and other crap on the road...works well for me.

  4. #4
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I have several personal favorites that never seem to get flats, Specialized Armadillo, Continental Gatorskins, and Vittoria Rubino Pros. The Conti's & Vittorias aren't available in 26", sorry.

    They're all Kevlar belted and I get flats maybe every few thousand miles if not less frequently. Now I could mark it up to the super thick "tread" (they're actually slicks) on the 'dillos or Conti's, but the Rubinos are a pretty smooth rolling tire with a more traditional surface and they're also pretty flat resistant.

    So can I say that Kevlar makes a diff? Nope. But I know the tires I run with it also tend to flat infrequently.

  5. #5
    coitus non circum. Mars's Avatar
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    I'm a believer. I ride a 38 mile round trip mile commute. On my racing road tires, I got 3 flats in 5 days. Since I switched to Armadillos, I have not had any.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?"

  6. #6
    I love speed
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    Are there any Armadillo tires that are in comparison with the Ritchey tom slicks??

    I mean is there an armadillo version that will give me lots of good speed?

  7. #7
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    It's difficult to prove a negative, but I haven't had any flats due to penetration of the tire carcass since I have been running Panaracer Pasela TG tires.

    I have had a flat, but it was due to a problem with a rimstrip.

    Perhaps I would not have had any flats with non Kevlar belted tires, but I doubt it, seeing all the glass and crap I ride over. I believe the belts are effective at minimizing flats.
    ---

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  8. #8
    Macaws Rock! michaelnel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystickid
    Are there any Armadillo tires that are in comparison with the Ritchey tom slicks??

    I mean is there an armadillo version that will give me lots of good speed?
    IME, the Armadillo (Nimbus EX anyway) has high rolling resistance and gives a really stiff unpleasant ride.

    If you want "good speed" it's going to come from your bicycle's engine, not the tires.
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  9. #9
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    I think the "Tom Slicks" have Kevlar beads, not kevlar belt. So it's foldable but not more puncture resistant than regular tires.

    Here is a lot on tires: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/tires/622.html

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html
    A California ordinance states that a $500 fine will be given to anyone who detonates a nuclear device within city limits.

  10. #10
    Burnt Orange Blood Longhorn's Avatar
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    My Armadillo tires are "city tires" -- very little tread. I think they even have "city" in the name but I don't remember it exactly. The resistance is much better than the hybrid tires I had previously.

  11. #11
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    IMHO when discussing tires you get what you pay for.
    I travel hundredths of miles without LBS support anywhere near. I had terrible situations when I paid no attention to the tires. I wised up. Speciallized Armadillos and top of the line Continental and top of the line Bontragger (spelling?) are all very good. No flats for thousands of miles. My thanks to these companies.
    My bikes are: Cannondale R2000, Trek 7700, Cannondale Tandem.

  12. #12
    Senior Member JavaMan's Avatar
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    It is not just marketing - You should get fewer flats with kevlar belts.

    The kevlar fibers have a higher tensile strength than nylon, which makes them harder to break. So it's more difficult for anything to push it's way through them. They also make for a harsher ride in my opinion.
    JavaMan!
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  13. #13
    I fear angry birds Santaria's Avatar
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    Du.
    Du hast.
    Du hast does not mean does.
    Do.
    Do Kevlar.
    Do Kevlar tires 'really' protect...
    THE DEVIL

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  14. #14
    kdboxerdog
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    Lots of miles on my armadillo's. No flats. They are worth every penny. I have noticed somewhat more resistance as far as speed goes, but certainly faster than stopping to repair a flat. I have owned both 25's and 28's and feel the 25's are MUCH faster.

  15. #15
    I'm Carbon Curious 531phile's Avatar
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    Another vote for armadillos. I think I have about 5 or 6 bikes armed with armadillos. Never ever had flats due to road debris. Knock on wood. I had get one flat, but it ws due to a pinch flat when I installed a new tube. The trade off for the flat protection is that they are heavy, but I rather have headache free and flat free rides over faster rolling wheels. Don't get me wrong, though. Fill them out to their max tire pressure and they still have low roller resistance, meaing you'll go fast.

    Kevlar works. Period. It's proven. Bulletproof vest are made of kevlar.

    Quote Originally Posted by avner View Post
    I loled. Twice. Then I cried. Then I rubbed one out and cried again, but thanks for sharing.

  16. #16
    kipuka explorer bkrownd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mystickid
    H
    i came across some website that had the Ritchey Tom Slicks but made with kevlar. I wanna know, if kevlar tires really *DO* protect *siginificantly* against flats or is it all just marketing.
    Make sure what you're looking at is kevlar BELTED and not just kevlar BEAD.
    --
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  17. #17
    I love speed
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    Okay,

    It seems like Armadillo is the way to go. Now the final question is which of these three Armadillos is the fastest?

    1) 05 ALL CONDITION ARMADILLO TIRE

    2) 05 Infinity Armadillo Tire

    or

    3) 05 Nimbus Armadillo Tire


    BTW, Sorry to be of topic but I need to know this sice I don't know too much about Bicycles....

    My MTB tires say 26" X 1.95. What is that 1.95 # represent??

    The smaller that number gets, suppose I buy like 26" X 1.4 tires mean that i get faster speed due to a thinner tire touching the ground??????

  18. #18
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    thin, fat it doesn't matter. Your total vehicle weight will be the same size contact area where the tire hits the surface. Thin tires will have less width and more length but no tests I know of talk about that as significant. Thin == fast is from thin tires weighting less and so acceleration is quicker. Once up to speed, fat and thin are about the same. The difference is how much cushion you have to absorb bumps along the way. thick tires will tend to swallow bumps and not beat you up so much. If your ride has lots of stops, you want thinner tires. If lots of open pavement, you want fatter tires so you have more energy left. In between it's a coin toss.

    see sheldon brown's site for decription of tire sizing and problems with sizing. Bottom line, use the euro size for accuracy and not other numbers.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    you'll really like the tom slick. I just put some on my MTB and the roll really well.

  20. #20
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Thin and fat does make a difference. Thin tires can be pumped up to higher pressure due their lower volumes. It is true that the contact patch will tend to equalize across different width tires, but pressure is key as well. If you + your bike weigh in at 180 lbs (let's say) and you're running a fatty that inflates to a max pressure of 60 psi, you're going to be looking at a 3 square inch contact patch (3 sq. in. * 60 psi = 180 lbs).

    On the other hand, if you can drop down to 1" tires and inflate them to 100 psi, your contact patch will only be 1.8 sq. in. which will result in a significantly faster roll.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    Thin and fat does make a difference. Thin tires can be pumped up to higher pressure due their lower volumes. It is true that the contact patch will tend to equalize across different width tires, but pressure is key as well. If you + your bike weigh in at 180 lbs (let's say) and you're running a fatty that inflates to a max pressure of 60 psi, you're going to be looking at a 3 square inch contact patch (3 sq. in. * 60 psi = 180 lbs).

    On the other hand, if you can drop down to 1" tires and inflate them to 100 psi, your contact patch will only be 1.8 sq. in. which will result in a significantly faster roll.
    Very interesting for me please. This is not a hypothetical question.
    What if the surface quality is poor? Cobblestone, lousy pavement, broken pavement in the so-called bike lane, crushed lime stone roads and bike paths with lots of pot holes.

    What happens to efficiency of skinny Vs fatter tire if you rattle over those kind of roads?

  22. #22
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    What happens to efficiency of skinny Vs fatter tire if you rattle over those kind of roads?
    There's evidence that in those circumstances the ability of a bigger tire to absorb the irregularity and continue rolling offers lower effective rolling resistance than the skinnier tire at a higher pressure.

  23. #23
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    i want to throw out something i have yet to see mentioned here.. my Lemond came with Bontrager Racelite tires. i assumed (incorrectly) that they were prolly cheapo tires and almost changed them out from the get go.
    since then i have never owned a tougher set of tires... and i was a die hard gatorskin fan before riding these.
    i just bought a new set of Bontragers last night, they are kevlar belted and a buck or two less than the Armadillos if that is a sell to anyone.
    personally, i think they are better looking, but they lack the channels that the armadillos have for water displacement. i have never tried the armadillos they might be a better tire.

    i can say that in the 1500+ miles i put on those Racelites i had only one flat... which is unheard of for me.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by podman
    ... i think they are better looking, but they lack the channels that the armadillos have for water displacement...
    This is an interesting read about tread significance on thin on-road bike tires

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html#tread
    "Bicycle tires for on-road use have no need of any sort of tread features; in fact, the best road tires are perfectly smooth, with no tread at all!
    Unfortunately, most people assume that a smooth tire will be slippery, so this type of tire is difficult to sell to unsophisticated cyclists. Most tire makers cater to this by putting a very fine pattern on their tires, mainly for cosmetic and marketing reasons. If you examine a section of asphault or concrete, you'll see that the texture of the road itself is much "knobbier" than the tread features of a good quality road tire. Since the tire is flexible, even a slick tire deforms as it comes into contact with the pavement, acquiring the shape of the pavement texture, only while incontact with the road.

    People ask, "But don't slick tires get slippery on wet roads, or worse yet, wet metal features such as expansion joints, paint stripes, or railroad tracks?" The answer is, yes, they do. So do tires with tread. All tires are slippery in these conditions. Tread features make no improvement in this."
    A California ordinance states that a $500 fine will be given to anyone who detonates a nuclear device within city limits.

  25. #25
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by podman
    i want to throw out something i have yet to see mentioned here.. my Lemond came with Bontrager Racelite tires. i assumed (incorrectly) that they were prolly cheapo tires and almost changed them out from the get go.
    since then i have never owned a tougher set of tires... and i was a die hard gatorskin fan before riding these.
    i just bought a new set of Bontragers last night, they are kevlar belted and a buck or two less than the Armadillos if that is a sell to anyone.
    personally, i think they are better looking, but they lack the channels that the armadillos have for water displacement. i have never tried the armadillos they might be a better tire.

    i can say that in the 1500+ miles i put on those Racelites i had only one flat... which is unheard of for me.
    Podman:
    I also have Bontrager Racelite on one of my bikes which is exposed to incessant pounding on poor quality roads. No problems. So I agree with you.
    On a Tandem on the same lousy roads, I have very good experience with Armadillos.
    On a Racing type road bike I have top quality Continentals. I will let you know if they will hold up. So far, so good.

    Prior to that, I bought cheap tires. I was a steady customer at LBS since I was to lazy to fix my own flats. Now I have no flats. They are missing me.

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