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  1. #1
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    How often do you get flats in miles?

    Got my first flat today since I started commuting again. About 110 miles into my commuting career. I see threads saying how often people get flats but people always answer how many per month, year, etc. About how many miles do you guys go between flats?

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    Everyone is different. Assuming we all keep proper inflation to prevent "pinch flats", it primarily depends on the quality of your tires and the cleanliness of the surface you ride on.

    How much attention you pay to road hazards also plays a factor, as does luck. I was getting a flat every hundred miles on the cheap tires that came on my touring bike, but when I switched to some high quality Continental touring tires and so far have gone over 1,000 with no flats. Unfortunately, there are also "tire gods", and I have just angered them by stating that I have benefited from their benevolence and gone 1,000 miles without a flat. They will punish me with a flat on the way home, I'm sure.

  3. #3
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    They're not like oil changes. It's fate assuming you take care of your equipment. Sheesh...don't they screen these posts.

    You could go a few thousand miles without one.

  4. #4
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    Puncture-resistant tires are your friends.

    I average 3,000 miles between flats on the rear. About double that on the front. With my mileage, that works out to about one per year per bike.

    EDIT: Prior to switching to puncture-resistant tires, I averaged one per month per bike, or about every 200-300 miles. That cured me of cheapie tires PDQ.
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    snob rogwilco's Avatar
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    I once had three flats within 200 metres. That might have been because I failed to remove a glass splinter in my tire though.

  6. #6
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    I lost count, but I think I had ten flats in the last two weeks. Went through a whole new patch kit, not to mention three tubes.

    Before that, no flats for several months. Somewhere under a thousand miles, I guess.

  7. #7
    Senior Member EKW in DC's Avatar
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    Puncture flats on the roads/MUPs? I've had 2 in roughly 4,000 miles of commuting and other general riding over the last two years. So, so far I'd say one evey 2,000 miles.

    [KNOCKS ON WOOD]

    But I currently ride 35mm tires, used to ride on even wider tires, and seem to be blessed w/ pretty clean roads. I've had two or three more caused by my stupidity (e.g., broken Presta valves, etc.), but I don't think those are the kind of flats you're talking about.

  8. #8
    On a Mission from God FunkyStickman's Avatar
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    When I had a road bike, I'd get tons of flats until I switched to kevlar belted tires (IRC Triathlons). On the MTB, it depends. Sometimes I've gone weeks without flats, and sometimes I'll pick up a piece of metal every day.

  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent0 View Post
    Got my first flat today since I started commuting again. About 110 miles into my commuting career. I see threads saying how often people get flats but people always answer how many per month, year, etc. About how many miles do you guys go between flats?
    Flats are a random event. You could go years without one and then have 20 in a day. Who knows when they will strike. Here in Colorado, we have Tribulus terrestris (aka goatheads, tackburrs, stickers, puncture vine) that are just starting to fruit. From now until late October, you can get flats by the dozens in a day depending on where you ride and how unobservant you are. Or you can ride for months on end without any problems...especially if you have proper tires, puncture protection and make the proper sacrifice to the proper deity But the Goathead gods are fickle.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member mtnwalker's Avatar
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    With regular tubes I had a flat 10 miles away from my house on my first ride. Replaced the tires with thorn resistant tubes, 8600 miles later I got a puncture flat 2 weeks ago from a 1 inch wire.
    "Of all the things I like bestos, I like asbestos." - A co-worker

  11. #11
    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I'd guess I get one every 1500-2000 miles. I've been plagued this month, however. I flatted a tubular, 2 road clinchers and 2 MTB clinchers.
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  12. #12
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    About every 2,000 - 3,000 miles. Get good tires, keep the pressure up and don't ride in the gutter where all the garbage is.

  13. #13
    South Denver Commuter Leiniesred's Avatar
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    I'd say one flat per 2,000 miles.

    TrueGoo in the tubes means I probably have lots of punctures, but they usually self-seal. I kick out a goathead/day from the front tire in the season (which, as mentioned above, is just starting up again here in Denver.)
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Lot's Knife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    You could go years without one and then have 20 in a day.
    No you couldn't.

  15. #15
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    one every 632 miles
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
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    Thanks for the replies, guys. Lol @ above. I never worry about pinch flats because I check tire pressure every couple days if not more often. There's only about a mile of road on my route that isn't pretty clean which I guess is where I picked up the flat this morning. Still can't figure out how it happened since the tire appears clean and I have Serfas Secas with flat protection. I just wanted to know if this is something I can expect to happen every week and a half or if the gods just didn't want me to get too enthusiastic early on.

  17. #17
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lot's Knife View Post
    No you couldn't.
    Do you live where these things grow?



    Trust me, you can go for years without a flat and then have 20 in one day. Been there. Done that. Have the t-shirt
    Stuart Black
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  18. #18
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    I agree with cyccommute (should there be a "L" in there or am I crazy)
    Once ran over one of the plants and immediately had 10 to 20 holes in each wheel (on somewhat worn knobby tires). These plants grow in full sun, flat, dry areas, they grow very low to the ground.

    Those goat heads are out there now, ready to be launched (in my area, norcal). I sometimes do some gardening on my commute to remove these near the road before they mature. They can go through about anything once mature.

    Now with my 26x1.95 armadillos, and slime tubes, I go >6000 mile between flats on my commute route. If I see an attached goat head, I stop and remove it, then spin the tire, the slime fills the small hole 80% of the time.
    Last edited by buzzbee; 07-29-10 at 01:56 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member devianb's Avatar
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    At least a 1000 miles in between flats. They rarely happen while out riding.

  20. #20
    on by skijor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
    one every 632 miles
    So you switch bikes every 631 miles. Simple. Just like leaving the TP roll nearly empty for the next person to change

  21. #21
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skijor View Post
    So you switch bikes every 631 miles. Simple. Just like leaving the TP roll nearly empty for the next person to change
    Yea, I have two bikes and 3 wheel sets.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
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  22. #22
    of Clan Nrubso ChrisO's Avatar
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    Knock on wood, 1500 miles on my LHT with Conti City Contacts and no flats. I'll probably get one on the way home now that I've said it out loud.

  23. #23
    Senior Member coldfeet's Avatar
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    Oh! You're just asking me to jinx myself, aren't you?

    I have had one flat in the last year, that's.... lots of miles, at least 3,000, maybe as much as 5,000.

    I have sometimes wondered about the wisdom of spending on good tires, ( Schwalbe ) then I read a thread like this. I do consider myself very fortunate that I don't live where the Goat Heads grow. About 90% of my time is on MUPs, but the road sections have a lot of gravel wherein the sharp little metal bits like to hide.

    On average, I help out others with flats about 5 times as often as fixing my own.

  24. #24
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    Well so far with my Specialized Armadillos, I've had them 4 years and 12,000 miles and not even had to pump them up yet, although in a few years I fear they might wear out, but hey

  25. #25
    Very, very Senior Member JPprivate's Avatar
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    I started keeping track of commuting miles since Dec 2009 (total: 1700 miles). I have had two flats (both in June). Additionally, I had two flats, on errand rides (for which I don't keep track of the milage). All my flats happened in the summer. I have good tires: Panaracer t-serve (2 flats), Marathon Plus (1 flat), Stock tire (which was replaced soon after, 1 flat).

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