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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 10-16-04, 09:20 PM   #1
Frank B
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grrrrr... tires

Well, I've started commuting this year around august and plan to continue for as long as I can. One of my frustrations though is that as it stands right now, if I pass over the tiny glass remnants of a broken bottle... I can pretty much count on hearing a hiss of leaking air a few seconds later.

6 innertubes in 2 months. Me no like.

So.... I'm seriously considering new tires, and before plopping something like 60 dollars down, I want to make sure they're going to work.

Right now I ride 700x28c. I commute 10 miles round trip to college every day plus errands on top of that. One the weekends I try to go out and get a nice good distance(maybe 70 ish miles), and am considering touring shorter trips(maybe 400 miles) in the future. Oh and I like speed.

Any ideas/suggestions?
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Old 10-16-04, 09:25 PM   #2
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Use the palm of your hands(need gloves) to brush off the tires after you ride through any crud.
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Old 10-16-04, 09:43 PM   #3
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ya a good one is a tire liner one of them are called tuffy liners (kevlar) I've never had a flat from glass using them for 4 years now but do get pinch flats from Big Curbs ..Steeker
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Old 10-16-04, 10:10 PM   #4
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bonganger race lites hard case. I have ran over a lot of glass and other stuff only one punctrue in about 5000 miles that was from a nail through the side.
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Old 10-16-04, 10:41 PM   #5
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Wimpy tire. Get belted...
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Old 10-17-04, 04:46 AM   #6
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Are you using a kevlar banded tyre? Specialized amadilllo have a good rep for being tough, if a bit slow. With decent quality rubber, your puncture rate should go down to about 1/1000miles.
Are you discarding inners after each puncture? I usually get about 5 patches on mine before I discard them.
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Old 10-17-04, 07:12 AM   #7
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Try these, they seem to hold up to glass. however a big wire stsple will get through.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...eid=&pagename=
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Old 10-17-04, 08:08 AM   #8
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I use Specialized Armadillo Nimbus 32c. Rode about 4000km so far (commuting, road riding and loaded touring) and got one puncture on the back tire after 3500km. I'm satisfied with them.

Edit: make that two flats... got another one yesterday.

Last edited by Erick L; 10-20-04 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 10-17-04, 10:23 AM   #9
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Frank B: A tire you should consider is the Continental Attack/Force pair. See:
http://www.worldcycling.com/merchant...gory_Code=TIRE

They certainly meet the requirements you mention. The 4 and 5 ply count should make them resistant to punctures, and the hight tpi count of 370/430 should certainly give you low rolling friction. The only objection I have to them is that I had great difficulty mounting them on my rims. It requires considerable strength which I lack in my old age.
A few rules to avoid punctures are as follows.
Stay as far from the curb and gutter as it is safe to ride.
Where it is safe to do so, ride in the tracks of automobiles because they pick up and distroy all those things that puncture bike tires.
Look ahead and avoid running over anything but smooth pavement avoiding leaves, rocks, gravel, sand, and above all glass and metal objects.
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Old 10-18-04, 09:43 AM   #10
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Before you go out and spend money on liners/belted tires, are you keeping your tires inflated all the way?
I'm riding on fairly skinny slicks (700x25, I think), but I keep them at 125 psi and I've gone over plenty of glass and other hazards with no flats.
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Old 10-18-04, 09:54 AM   #11
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I have had a very good experience (so far -- knock on wood) with Schwalbe Marathon Plus. No punctures in nine months and 2,000+ miles; versus my norm of 9-10 punctures. Although they have low rolling resistance, they are also quite heavy, by contemporary US cycling standards. This could be either a benefit or a disadvantage, depending upon what you want in a tire.

<http://www.schwalbetires.com/on_tour_trekking.php?Nickname=MARATHON%20PLUS&Image=TireImages/marathon_plus.jpg>

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Old 10-18-04, 11:03 AM   #12
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I use 28's in everything except snow. I think they are the minimum width for commuting. I agree about the kevlar liners-they work great and save you the money of buying more expensive tires. I have never had a flat go through them (I did have pinch flats from underinflation and once a piece of glass went through the side of the tire).

Also look at your emergency pump. Get one with a flexible nozzle. A hard minipump ruined stem after stem until I wised up.
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Old 10-19-04, 10:25 PM   #13
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If your commuting to work and are tired of having to fix flats on the way to work and want to reduce the likely hood of flats down to almost zero, then get a set of Specialize Armadillos and don't screw around with any other tire. I tried the screwing around with other tire routine, in fact screwed around with over a dozen different brands all promising to reduce flats. I averaged 3 flats a week PLUS no tire made it further then 750 miles before something fatally attacked it; this went on for about 2 years before finally a LBS told me about the Armadillos. Now after more then 15,000 miles I have had just 2 flats-one from a faulty tube, and the other from a worn out tire where something penetrated the exposed cording, and none have been destroyed before wear out. I was also dealing with Goatheads which I think are far worst then glass. But the Armadillos give you tremendous piece of mind; I can't count the number of times I crunched glass never got a flat. I do not use any liners (because goatheads have punched through), I don't use Slime tubes (because they don't work above 60psi), but I do use ultralight 65grm racing tubes.
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Old 10-20-04, 07:37 AM   #14
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What Froze said -- Specialized Armadillos get me to work and back over crushed glass.
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Old 10-20-04, 08:10 AM   #15
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Armadillos, definitely. They are pretty fast if you keep them pumped up hard. The only thing that has ever gone thru them is 1/2 of a razor blade (what was *that* doing by the curb?) Drawback: my LBS commented that they "ride like a garden hose" and it's true, but I've gotten used to it.
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Old 10-20-04, 06:35 PM   #16
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As far as Armadillos go I recently found a paper clip that had poked through my tire and hit the kevlar and bent out the sidewall like a fishhook. it was really funny to see. Couldn't figure out what was clicking for a couple of hundred yards. Any lesser tire would have flatted for sure.
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Old 10-20-04, 11:02 PM   #17
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i've been riding the Michelin Carbon's for a couple weeks now. they're expensive ($50 per pair on ebay, $40+ each retail), but they're excellent.

before that i was on Armadillo's. as mentioned, i switched because of rolling resistance, but they were bulletproof. also, after you see how hard they are to wrap around a rim, you'll hope you never get a flat with them. the sidewalls are incredibly stiff.

i like what xyz said above. using your hands to wipe of tires takes a bit of coordination, but it's a great habit. [with gloves] use the space between your index finger and thumb. the front tire is pretty easy to get to, behind the fork. the rear...well it's going to take some balance. be sure you aren't on bumpy ground, and i suggest reaching inside your leg and not around it.
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Old 10-21-04, 10:46 AM   #18
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Any thoughts on the Conti Ultra Gatorskins? I've heard good things about them, and am contemplating them vs the Armadillos. Do the Conti's roll better but with similar durability?
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Old 10-21-04, 10:50 AM   #19
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Avoid the glass. Wipe the tire with your gloved hand. There is no perfect tire, especially if you like speed.
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Old 10-21-04, 11:11 AM   #20
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If you are riding through the urban jungle, be very careful about wiping the tyre by hand. Apart from the dog poop, you can get discarded hyperdermic needles in druggier parts of town. Ive never heard of a needle puncture wound from a tyre, but Ive added it to my list of Things To Be Very Afraid Of.
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Old 10-21-04, 11:00 PM   #21
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Also be careful of the hand wiping techinque, I've known a few to break their hands and fingers trying to do that with the rear. They use to make a U shaped thing that attached to the brake caliper that extended down and just barely touched the tire, and it would take out stuff sticking out of the tire before it made it's second revolution.
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Old 10-22-04, 02:28 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froze
Also be careful of the hand wiping techinque, I've known a few to break their hands and fingers trying to do that with the rear .

Have you really? Of course you have to be carefull but has this really happened? I wouldn't recomend this for someone who is just starting out, but it's not that hard.
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Old 10-23-04, 06:16 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Are you using a kevlar banded tyre?
Right now I'm just using the stock rubber tires that came with the bike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelW
Are you discarding inners after each puncture? I usually get about 5 patches on mine before I discard them.
Yes. I thought Patches were for temporary fixes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows
Before you go out and spend money on liners/belted tires, are you keeping your tires inflated all the way?
I try to keep them at 85psi(max recomended) as much as I can.

Thank you for the responses!
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Old 10-23-04, 07:27 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xyz
Have you really? Of course you have to be carefull but has this really happened? I wouldn't recomend this for someone who is just starting out, but it's not that hard.
I exaggerated a little; over 30 years of riding I knew of one person that broke his fingers, another jammed and rubbed his skin raw, one somehow crashed his bike and said his hand caused it, and one got a staple that was in his tire to slice his palm (didn't see the staple). I wear gloves so I use to use the glove palm to rub the tire, or my shoe; with the Armadillos I don't even bother.
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Old 10-23-04, 07:44 PM   #25
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Check out Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. The part ofthe tire that is in contact with the road is 1cm. thick and they also have a Kevlar belt. I have 2 sets with a total of 9,000 miles on them and no flats. They cost about 50$ each in Canada.
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