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Old 06-01-11, 09:16 PM   #1
no1mad
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Fed up with frustrating flats

Or maybe I should get some new tires?

The tires are OEM. The bike is an '06, bought new in '08, but largely ignored until last year. They look like to be in decent shape still, but I've been averaging like 1 flat a week for the last 2 months.

The latest flat revealed nothing- nothing in the tire, the wet test on the tube showed no escaping air. I put a new tube on the bike and let the old one hang in the garage to dry overnight. It's now flat again ( or has less air in it now than it did 24 hours ago).

Any ideas?
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Old 06-01-11, 09:35 PM   #2
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Bontrager raceline lights have worked well.
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Old 06-01-11, 09:57 PM   #3
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You're missing something. Check the valve gut to make sure it's tight. There is probably something in the tire causing your problem, like a small thorn that you can't see very easily. I don't know what size of tire or what kind of bike you have but if you're not a weight weinie, I recommend getting tire liners.
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Old 06-01-11, 11:26 PM   #4
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The OEM tires on my bike rode nice but had practically no flat protection FWIW. I had more flats on those in a month than I've had on all my other tires combined.

You might also want to check your rim tape.

If there's no obvious hole in the tube try moving the valve around and listen for escaping air or wet the base of the valve.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:11 AM   #5
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I recently got fed up with flats on my OEM tires, and switched to Specialized Armadillo Infinity tires. I definitely feel the increased weight of the Armadillo tires, and the ride is much more harsh. I'm not especially impressed. My bike used to feel like an untamed stallion. Now it feels like I'm riding a John Deere riding mower.

I ordered Mr. Tuffy tire liners last night, so I can swap back to my comfy OEM tires.
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Old 06-02-11, 08:54 AM   #6
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I had some wtb flatasaurases on my long haul trucker, lots of flats. I bought some Mr Tuffy liners, still had some radial wire flats, but was a definite improvement. Now I have Marathon Plus tires. One flat in 4 months and that was from running over barbwire.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:26 AM   #7
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Sometimes a leak is so slow then even in a wet test you have to hold the tube underwater for a long time and watch very closely for escaping air. And even then sometimes all you will really see is air bubbles forming on the surface of the tube. Make sure you are dunking the valve as well. I would check the inside of the tire for anything embedded, make sure your rim tape is covering all the spoke holes, and check the valve stem hole in the rim for anything sharp.

I run Continental Gatorskins. They seem to have a reasonable balance between rolling resistance and flat protection. I am now up over 4000 miles since my last flat, and have only had that one flat in over 8000 miles.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:26 AM   #8
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I like the regular Marathon tires (not the plus). They have a good combination of flat resistance while still giving a lively ride. The Marathon plus is more flat resistant, but also very heavy and you end up sacrificing a bit of ride quality for the flat protection.
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Old 06-02-11, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlmostGreenGuy View Post
I recently got fed up with flats on my OEM tires, and switched to Specialized Armadillo Infinity tires. I definitely feel the increased weight of the Armadillo tires, and the ride is much more harsh. I'm not especially impressed. My bike used to feel like an untamed stallion. Now it feels like I'm riding a John Deere riding mower.

I ordered Mr. Tuffy tire liners last night, so I can swap back to my comfy OEM tires.
I have no idea why, but I had MORE flats when I switched to Mr. Tuffys!

I really recommend two tires as a good compromise between road feel and flat resistance...I really like the oridinary Rubinos (not the pros) and, of course, Gator Skins.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:38 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Or maybe I should get some new tires?

The tires are OEM. The bike is an '06, bought new in '08, but largely ignored until last year. They look like to be in decent shape still, but I've been averaging like 1 flat a week for the last 2 months.

The latest flat revealed nothing- nothing in the tire, the wet test on the tube showed no escaping air. I put a new tube on the bike and let the old one hang in the garage to dry overnight. It's now flat again ( or has less air in it now than it did 24 hours ago).

Any ideas?
I feel you, I really do. When riding w/a time limit any problem gets magnified. Flats suck the joy right out of any type of cycling. That being said I'll make my experienced and reasoned recommendations. First get good quality tubes. Specialized, Continental, etc. High quality rim tape like Zefal. And make sure it's the right size for your rims.

Bite the bullet on rolling resistance and get one of 3 brand/makes of tires. Schwalbe Marathon Plus, Specialized Armadillos or Continental Gatorskins. I've been running SMPs for over 3 years now and have had a flat, slow leak and a blow-out in over 19,000 miles on 3 different bikes. And the blowout was the fault of a weak spot next to the patch on the tube I was running in the rear tire of my loaded utility bike. Wouldn't recommend Mr. Tuffys unless you're running low psi mtb street tires. They'll cut into the tube over time on high psi road tires.

Check your rims for burrs and run your fingers(carefully) around the inside of your tire(s) as there can be a small piece of metal or glass not visible from the out side...been there.

Btw, my flat frustration got so bad I bought a pair of Nu-Teck airless that were used for 3 years. Didn't get any flats, but they slow one's mph down by a significant amount. Made me a stronger cyclist, though.
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Old 06-02-11, 10:55 AM   #11
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I will only run two tires (no pun intended) Marathon Plus in the spring, summer and fall. Nokian Mount and Ground W160's in the winter. Reliability and safety are paramount in my corner of the 'verse.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:10 AM   #12
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I had a super small pinhole in my tube where it did not show air bubble even drowning it it a bucket of water. What did the trick was to inflate the tube and immerse in water while sqeezing about 8 inch of tune with both hand with a twisting, stretching and compression motion. Eventually it will show up.

If nothing shows up with that method, then try inflating the tube in the tire and rim to the highest psi rating and soap the air valve for at least half an hour. The leak sometimes only shows up under normal running pressure b
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Old 06-02-11, 11:10 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Wouldn't recommend Mr. Tuffys unless you're running low psi mtb street tires. They'll cut into the tube over time on high psi road tires.
That's my worry. I've used Mr. Tuffy's very successfully on my mountain bike tires, but have never tried Mr. Tuffy's on high PSI tires. I run my OEM Sirrus tires around 92 PSI, front and back, which is much higher than my mountain bike tires.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:19 AM   #14
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I ran Tuffy's on high pressure road tires at one point with disastrous results. Nashcomm's post makes a lot of sense...I wasn;t sure what was doing it to me, I just knew I was getting more flats with the tuffys.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:26 AM   #15
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That's my worry. I've used Mr. Tuffy's very successfully on my mountain bike tires, but have never tried Mr. Tuffy's on high PSI tires. I run my OEM Sirrus tires around 92 PSI, front and back, which is much higher than my mountain bike tires.
I'm running Mr Tuffys on 100PSI Kenda Kwests, over 1500 miles here with about 2 puncture flats. Both pieces of trash went through the liner! One was a 2" finishing nail, the other was (not kidding) a toothpick, the fat resturaunt kind. I've had a couple of other flats, mostly from cheap tubes splitting. The tires eventually get chewed up from being punctured and riding over trash, but they're cheap enough, I just buy another set and swap the liners over.

If I had money, I'd run Schwalbe Marathon Plus's. If I had a LOT of money, I'd have Schwalbe make me a batch of them out of blue rubber.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:31 AM   #16
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I'm running Mr Tuffys on 100PSI Kenda Kwests, over 1500 miles here with about 2 puncture flats.
Did you do anything special to the Tuffy's, when you installed them? Sanding the edges, duct tape between the tire and tuffy, etc.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodway View Post
Sometimes a leak is so slow then even in a wet test you have to hold the tube underwater for a long time and watch very closely for escaping air. And even then sometimes all you will really see is air bubbles forming on the surface of the tube. Make sure you are dunking the valve as well. I would check the inside of the tire for anything embedded, make sure your rim tape is covering all the spoke holes, and check the valve stem hole in the rim for anything sharp.
+1

Also run a cotton ball along the inside of your tire. This may even give you a clue as to where the leak will be. This kind of slow leak generally means something has barely pushed through the tread and is poking the tube. Whatever is causing it is very probably still in the tire.
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Old 06-02-11, 11:53 AM   #18
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I've had a lot of nearly undetectable leaks come from underneath those adhesive backed tube patches.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:37 PM   #19
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Did you do anything special to the Tuffy's, when you installed them? Sanding the edges, duct tape between the tire and tuffy, etc.
Nope, nothing. Just put them in the tires and made sure they were smooth. They're 26x1.5 tires.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:39 PM   #20
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Bontrager raceline lights have worked well.
Correction: Bontrager RaceLite HardCase tires.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:47 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Or maybe I should get some new tires?

Any ideas?
Continental Gatorskins. They ride nice (better than some non flat-resistant tires), fight off most road debris (tire wires still do you in), and are long lasting.
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Old 06-02-11, 01:57 PM   #22
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That's my worry. I've used Mr. Tuffy's very successfully on my mountain bike tires, but have never tried Mr. Tuffy's on high PSI tires. I run my OEM Sirrus tires around 92 PSI, front and back, which is much higher than my mountain bike tires.
The SMPs come in 700x25mm and while they clear side to side one has to consider the internal fork crown clearance issue. That's where I ran into a problem on my C'dale SR300. The SMP was too thick vertically, so I ordered a standard Marathon which had slightly less thickness and the tire was able to clear. But, I run an SMP on the rear. 3 years zero flats. On my 80s Fuji fg conversion there was plenty of room...in fact I could run 37mm w/no problem, but stayed w/25mm to minimize rolling resistance. Once again 3 years no flats. My utility bike has 700x28mm. Couldn't be more pleased w/the results. 3 years 2 rolling flats and one overnight slow leak.

Thought about running Tuffys w/t SMPs, but figured eliminating a possibility of a pinch flat w/them outweighed the extra protection. If you're going to run them in your rb tires I'd recommend sanding the edges and covering the overlap between the tube and the liner w/some sort of soft edge tape.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:02 PM   #23
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The OEM tires on my bike rode nice but had practically no flat protection FWIW. I had more flats on those in a month than I've had on all my other tires combined.
I had a lot of flats with my OEM tires as well. Kendas. They were awful and I swapped them out right quick.
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Old 06-02-11, 07:56 PM   #24
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I use Continental Ultra Sports 700x23c on my commuter with Mr tuffys and havent had a flat in a while, but I have already slipped and fell on grease =/ so no more slick tires on the commuter...
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Old 06-02-11, 07:56 PM   #25
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I had bad experience with tire liners. It eventually shifts with time inside the tire and causes pinching. I've been very happy rider ever since I discovered Schwalbe Marathon tires. I used Armadillos before but I felt the same: very harsh ride.
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