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Old 08-16-07, 11:49 AM   #1
PunkMartyr
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Bullet proof tires

Called the LBS today and they said they have some piercing resistant strips they can line the tires with for added armor. They mentioned something about thorn resistant tubes. Should I ask for this also or will the slime tubes I have already on be fine you think?

Bike (Schwinn Skyliner) is just used for short distance transportation, so I dont mind if it makes it heavier etc. I want the most protection I can have against flats. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:08 PM   #2
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Slime will work temporarily but it will leak air faster than an unpunctured tube. I'd go for the thorn resistant tubes especially if you don't mind the extra weight. I have thorn resistant tubes on all my bikes and with a combined 2800 miles between all 4 bikes no flats whatsoever.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:17 PM   #3
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Thorn resistant tubes are just regular butyl tubes but have thicker walls. They're intended to prevent punctures because the offending pointy thing has to go through a thicker piece o' rubber. Slime tubes allow the puncture but then seal it with magical goo. I've heard the Slime tubes work pretty well for small punctures and not so well for bigger ones. Tire liners (the strips your shop is offering) prevent punctures by adding an extra layer of stuff for the offending pointy thing to go through but they're also another thing to deal with when changing a flat. None of these things will prevent flats entirely. Nothing will. And all of 'em will make for a little heavier and rougher riding wheel. I'd recommend a good belted tire (like Specialized Armadillos, Continental Gatorskins, Panaracer Tourguards, etc.) and being prepared for and getting proficient at changing flats. As always, just my $0.02.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:21 PM   #4
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Changing flats sucks and takes away the stigma that my bike is an indestructible reliable tank with its only drawback being that its up to me to provide the power. Then again I haven't been hit by a car yet either that might do that too.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:25 PM   #5
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Changing flats sucks and takes away the stigma that my bike is an indestructible reliable tank with its only drawback being that its up to me to provide the power. Then again I haven't been hit by a car yet either that might do that too.
Oh, please don't get me wrong. Changing flats definitely sucks! Especially on your commute. But it's just that they're an inevitable part of commuting. There are a few manufacturers offering airless tires. I've heard they're a pain-in-the-arse to get on the rim and that they ride like jack-hammers but they're probably the only "sure-fire" way to prevent flats.

http://www.airfreetires.com/

http://www.flatfreeusa.com/eng/produ...s.php?cat_id=1
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Old 08-16-07, 12:32 PM   #6
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I don't put much trust into thorn resistant tubes and tire strips. In my opinion the best way to prevent punctures is to use a good rim strip (Velox is the most trusted) and a good tire. Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires are probably the closest to bullet proof you can find.
No pneumatic tire is going to be completely free of flats but the above combination is going to be very close.
Craig
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Old 08-16-07, 12:35 PM   #7
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And all of 'em will make for a little heavier and rougher riding wheel.
Thats debatable. I've been using the thorn resistant tubes and I regularly run them at 115-120 psi on my 700x23's and the only time I've encountered rough riding is when the road itselft is rough. They are slightly heavier though but nothing a little gearing doesn't fix.

I guess I favor them because they cost considerably less than good tires and the only time you will really have a flat is if you encounter goat heads, nails, and other lengthy puncturing objects. You know, things that good puncture resistant tires can't defend from either.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:39 PM   #8
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I'd recommend a good belted tire (like Specialized Armadillos, Continental Gatorskins, Panaracer Tourguards, etc.) and being prepared for and getting proficient at changing flats. As always, just my $0.02.
That's my feeling as well, go for the medium- and heavy-weight belted tires... don't worry about tire liners or slime tubes or thorn-resistant tubes.

I personally have been using the Panaracer Urbanmax (comes in 26x1.25" or 700Cx32mm versions, I think) for over a year now. I used to get flats nearly every week I'd say, and have had NONE since switching to the Urbanmax, even though my commute doubled in length. (Okay, I had one flat, but it was due to a bad valve stem, not a tire puncture ) The Urbanmax is $20 at PerformanceBike. If you ride on paved roads, strewn with glass, gravel, and the occasional metal shard... they're a very good option.

EDIT: Here they are: http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...slisearch=true

Last edited by moxfyre; 08-16-07 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:41 PM   #9
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I don't put much trust into thorn resistant tubes and tire strips. In my opinion the best way to prevent punctures is to use a good rim strip (Velox is the most trusted) and a good tire. Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires are probably the closest to bullet proof you can find.
No pneumatic tire is going to be completely free of flats but the above combination is going to be very close.
Craig
I've heard really good things about the Marathon Plus tires. I'm definitely going to try a pair the next time I need tires for my commuter.
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Old 08-16-07, 12:47 PM   #10
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I have Specialized Cross Roads (the Flak Jacket version) and slime tubes. This is a heavy combination and not cheap. I have had one flat in 500 miles since I got the tires. The slime seemed to plug the hole during the ride, and deflated in my garage a few days later. I found it difficult to get a patch to stick to the tube where the slime had leaked out and had to resort to using alcohol to clean it off, and there was slime all over the inside of the tire. I don't think I'll try Slime again. The tires will probably last forever, they show no signed of wear after 500 miles. Next time I will get normal tubes. It takes what 5 - 10 minutes to swap a tube? I allow that much extra time for the commute anyway.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:02 PM   #11
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and good wide rim tape. Say goodbye to flats.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:07 PM   #12
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I have Nashbar Prima II kevlars with tire liners. Seems to do the job very well despite glass everywhere here in Chicago. No puncture flats. Dirt cheap too.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:08 PM   #13
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You've had unusually good luck then. I've gotten several flats with my Panaracer UrbanMax tires. The last one was a pinch flat (hit an exceptionally sharp curb when going too fast), previously a couple punctures from glass and one from metal. They're decent tires for the price, but I wouldn't say they're fantastic.

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Panaracer Urbanmax (comes in 26x1.25" or 700Cx32mm versions, I think) for over a year now. I used to get flats nearly every week I'd say, and have had NONE since switching to the Urbanmax, even though my commute doubled in length.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:26 PM   #14
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Enough said. They're a great tire and still roll fast considering their bomb-proof protection. Also, not super expensive at BikeTiresDirect.com

Bal
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Old 08-16-07, 01:44 PM   #15
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I gave up on Armadollos because the weight and stiffness of the tire walls gave an awful ride. I have found lighter tires with Kevlar belt and bead + Mr Tuffy liners have given good puncture protection without taking the enjoyment out of the ride.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:50 PM   #16
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I use kevlar belted tires as well as tire liners with slime tubes. Ain't much you can do about big honkin nails or screws, but if you live in an area with big thorns/goat heads (I'm in Albuquerque), then the slimes are your best friend. Even with heavy duty tires and liners an occasional thorn will get through. And I would suspect it would get through a thorn resistant tube as well. With a good slime tube, it's not a problem. Otherwise you get a flat. It's a nice last line of defense, as eventually a goat head will puncture through even the toughest defenses.
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Old 08-16-07, 02:16 PM   #17
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tough tire + homebrew tubeless ($5 maxxiss strips & homebrew sealant) = happiness

over 1000 flat-free miles in 3 months. Picking glass, metal shards, etc out of tires on weekly basis. Looses 1psi per day. Me happy.
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Old 08-16-07, 03:33 PM   #18
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You've had unusually good luck then. I've gotten several flats with my Panaracer UrbanMax tires. The last one was a pinch flat (hit an exceptionally sharp curb when going too fast), previously a couple punctures from glass and one from metal. They're decent tires for the price, but I wouldn't say they're fantastic.
That's a pity I guess I have been lucky then. I do know that they work far, far better than the lightweight Kevlar 28mm tires I used before them.

It seems like there is a certain amount of luck in EVERYONE'S tire preference (except for maybe the Marathon Plus, which everyone agrees is heavy and indestructable). I suppose that's why there are so many brands available. As soon as each of us finds something that works, we stick with it.
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Old 08-16-07, 07:10 PM   #19
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I'm not saying anything that hasn't already been said, but just wanted to further support the Schwalbe Marathon Plus statements.

I commute everyday here in colorado 24 miles RT on some roads that have a lot of "stuff" on them, and with most other "tough" training tires on my road bike at best I'd get a flat every other week. Since putting these on around 1,000 miles ago, not a single puncture flat. I don't even try to avoid debris anymore only big things like 2x4's

They're not expensive ~$35 a tire, and last around 5-8k miles, can't argue with all that.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:26 AM   #20
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and good wide rim tape. Say goodbye to flats.
+1

I've dug some massive pieces of glass out of Marathon Plus tires tires, and kept on riding. Nothing compares.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:13 AM   #21
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<snip> support the Schwalbe Marathon Plus statements. <snip> Since putting these on around 1,000 miles ago, not a single puncture flat. I don't even try to avoid debris anymore only big things like 2x4's

They're not expensive ~$35 a tire, and last around 5-8k miles, can't argue with all that.
+1 On my Fuji Touring I am forced to ride through areas that people seem to intentionly cover the road with shattered glass (I live near texas motor speedway hm) and there is tons of random metal and wood on the sides of roads probably from all the development going on.

I find myself having to be really careful when I'm with my wife. She has a road bike with armadillos but they just can't take the crap my marathon plus tires does with 300+lbs of bike+rider pounding on em. I have mr tuffy liners in there just in case but nothing has ever gotten to em
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Old 08-17-07, 09:02 AM   #22
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Armadillos have great puncture resistance but not very good rolling resistance.
Gatorskin has slightly less pr but much better rr.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:20 AM   #23
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I run Specialized Armadillo tired with tire liners and slime tubes. I've only had this combination on for about a month, but I have picked plenty of glass and other debris from the tires. Prior to these, I had Continental Town & Country tires with liners and slime tubes. 3 flats in 3 months made me go to the Armadillos.

As far as I'm concerned, Slime has only one real advantage. When you're sitting on the side of the road doing a change, that bright green gunk makes it easy to see where the puncture is so you can slap a patch on it. To me, that "feature" is worth the extra price.
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Old 08-17-07, 02:37 PM   #24
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I've heard really good things about the Marathon Plus tires. I'm definitely going to try a pair the next time I need tires for my commuter.
I've been running a set of marathon plus for two months now. They are considerably heavier than Gatorskins but also 3X as "thick" thru the rolling part of the tire. I got the 700 x 28 but wish now I had gotten the 700 x 32.
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Old 08-17-07, 07:09 PM   #25
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We have lots of "goat head" thorns in this area which tires attract like magnets... I got real tired of fixing flats every ride or so and went with the Specialized Armidillo Nimbus on my Cypres and Crossroads on my MTB... I put in the strps and thorn proof tubes... Over a thousand combined miles now and no more flats.. Amazing.. As for slime. IMHO that stuff sucks... It will fill a small hole but then it hardens, lossens up and leaks again.. It will also plug your valve stem with time and work back up into your air pump if you aren't careful...
The Specialized Armidillos are a little heavyier then regular tires and do roll just a little harder but to me it is worth it for bulletproof tires..
Now the throns stick in the tire and I listen to them clacking as the tire goes around but never a flat... Neat...
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