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Old 09-10-05, 04:00 PM   #1
mystickid
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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!!!!
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Old 09-10-05, 04:09 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 04:12 PM   #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.
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Old 09-10-05, 04:33 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 05:16 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 05:22 PM   #6
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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?
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Old 09-10-05, 06:13 PM   #7
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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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Old 09-10-05, 06:14 PM   #8
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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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Old 09-10-05, 07:03 PM   #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
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Old 09-10-05, 07:56 PM   #10
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 09:11 PM   #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.
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Old 09-10-05, 10:11 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 10:33 PM   #13
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Du.
Du hast.
Du hast does not mean does.
Do.
Do Kevlar.
Do Kevlar tires 'really' protect...
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Old 09-10-05, 11:14 PM   #14
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 11:29 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 09-10-05, 11:38 PM   #16
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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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Old 09-11-05, 01:50 PM   #17
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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??????
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Old 09-11-05, 02:40 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:34 PM   #19
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you'll really like the tom slick. I just put some on my MTB and the roll really well.
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Old 09-11-05, 03:48 PM   #20
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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.
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Old 09-11-05, 04:57 PM   #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?
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Old 09-11-05, 05:19 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 09-11-05, 05:50 PM   #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.
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Old 09-11-05, 08:13 PM   #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."
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Old 09-11-05, 08:15 PM   #25
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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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