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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 01-27-12, 12:26 AM   #1
toastytoad
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New to forum and commuting, need tire help

Hi new to the forum and just starting to commute via bike,

my commute to class is about 20miles round trip and right now I am getting flat tires about every other day, my bike has cheng-shin tires on it and I think there to blame, they seem overly soft and all the flats I am getting go straight through the tire

So can anyone recommend some super-tuff 700x40c or larger size tires? I dont really ride when it rains and stick pretty much to the road, although roads here are filled with gravel/glass/and generally uneven pavement



Also here is my bike, Bought from bikesdirect for 450$, I really like the Nexus 8 Speed Hub so far, also added a rear rack, Love everything except for the tires

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Old 01-27-12, 05:47 AM   #2
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus are the most flat resistant tires you can get. They're heavy, though.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:54 AM   #3
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Not sure about the Marathon Plus being the most flat resistant or not, but all you really need is Specialized Armadillo All Condition tires, their a bit lighter then the Marathons but extremely flat resistant to the degree of being either an equal or maybe one step below in flat protection of the Marathon, but both are the two best tires for flat prevention on the market.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:55 AM   #4
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus are the most flat resistant tires you can get. They're heavy, though.
+1 ^ This is confirmed!


To Bike Forums, ToastyToad!

Our Members Will Assist You As Best We Can!

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Nice Motobecane Hybrid Commuter!

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Old 01-27-12, 07:20 AM   #5
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I've been running Specialized Armadillo tires for a couple of years now, and I am pretty happy and only had 1 flat in 10,000 miles. They are heavy and super stiff, this translates into high rolling resistance, but when the alternative is stopping and patching a tube every 60 miles, I'll take the extra resistance. If you need a tire with a little tread on it, you should check out the hemisphere armadillo http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=64140 , or if you want something that will be more of a traditional road tire, you can check out the nimbus (this is the one I run on my cross check) http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCEqProduct.jsp?spid=64136


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Old 01-27-12, 07:54 AM   #6
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There's lots of tire choices, both the Armadillos and the Marathons already mentioned are excellent. I use Continental SportContact which are bulletproof also (I am at a little over 500 miles on these without a puncture). I also have a set of Geax Evolutions that went a little over 1000 miles before I replaced them with the lighter Contis. When looking for a puncture-resistant tire, generally the lower the TPI, the more puncture resistant the tire. My SportContact tires are 60 TPI, the Evolutions are 26, both numbers very low relative to generic tires. Continental also has a tire called Gatorskin that is nice too. Don't despair, there are lots of great choices! In other threads people have claimed thousands and thousands of miles without punctures.
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Old 01-27-12, 07:58 AM   #7
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There's lots of tire choices, both the Armadillos and the Marathons already mentioned are excellent. I use Continental SportContact which are bulletproof also (I am at a little over 500 miles on these without a puncture). I also have a set of Geax Evolutions that went a little over 1000 miles before I replaced them with the lighter Contis. When looking for a puncture-resistant tire, generally the lower the TPI, the more puncture resistant the tire. My SportContact tires are 60 TPI, the Evolutions are 26, both numbers very low relative to generic tires. Continental also has a tire called Gatorskin that is nice too. Don't despair, there are lots of great choices! In other threads people have claimed thousands and thousands of miles without punctures.
Looking at the pic of your Bike toastytoad, you have reflective sidewalls on your current tires - if you want to keep reflective sidewalls, the Conti SportContact has them.
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Old 01-27-12, 08:01 AM   #8
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If you are having flats every other day, I suspect some other issue is going on. Perhaps your rims have a burr or some imperfection that is causing flats. Also, if you are new to cycling, you may not be pumping up your tires with enough pressure. Running tires with not enough air often leads to pinch flats, when the tire compresses against the rim when hitting potholes, bumps, etc. Also, it might be your riding style -- namely, riding too close to the side of the road. Glass, rocks and other debris tends to collect along the edge of the road, and if you are routinely riding through that mess, you will get a lot of flats.
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Old 01-27-12, 08:04 AM   #9
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Your experience is exactly the same as mine. I've gone with Panasonic Ribmo. I'm currently riding 32mm tires. 28mm set is on the way. I've had one flat in the year and a half of riding them. I put a Mr. Tuffy liner in the rear because something punched a good sized hole in it. The story I have on Ribmo is that the government of Japan sponsored a design competition to develop a superior tire for the Japanese commuter. I find the best price on Amazon, usually via Niagara Cycle Works. I'm now a repeat customer of the Ribmo.
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Old 01-27-12, 09:34 AM   #10
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Just ordered 2 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, they were on sale and got them for 62$ shipped, hopefully these will stop the flats


I almost postive that its the tires that are causing the flats as I always top off the air before rides(right around 75psi, per sidewall marking) and thinking it might be the rim I ran a light and my finger down the inside but couldnt find anything sharp
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Old 01-27-12, 09:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by toastytoad View Post
Just ordered 2 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, they were on sale and got them for 62$ shipped, hopefully these will stop the flats


I almost postive that its the tires that are causing the flats as I always top off the air before rides(right around 75psi, per sidewall marking) and thinking it might be the rim I ran a light and my finger down the inside but couldnt find anything sharp
I think you'll be very happy with your Marathons! BTW Welcome to the community!
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Old 01-27-12, 09:45 AM   #12
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Another tip for finding hard-to-find pokey bits on the inside of your tires is to take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of your tire. It will snag on any sharp spots.
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Old 01-27-12, 09:58 AM   #13
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Replace your rim tape with velox cloth tape, should run you less than $5.00 per wheel. Esp. if it cheap plastic or rubber. Then check the inside of the rim and spokes for sharp edges. Fresh good tubes will help as well.
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Old 01-27-12, 10:20 AM   #14
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Another tip for finding hard-to-find pokey bits on the inside of your tires is to take a cotton ball and run it around the inside of your tire. It will snag on any sharp spots.
Good idea
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Old 01-27-12, 10:40 AM   #15
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I've only used the Armadillos, but I was having the same issue; a flat every other day. I almost quit riding because of it. That was on my road bike. I am now regularly riding my 2011 Diamondback, and using the stock tires that came on it. I may splurge and get some Armadillos though if I start having problems again.
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Old 01-27-12, 12:19 PM   #16
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I have been running the Marathon Supremes 700x28 on my 20 mile round trip commute everyday through winter for three months and have only had one pinch flat so far.
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Old 01-27-12, 12:58 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by toastytoad View Post
Just ordered 2 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, they were on sale and got them for 62$ shipped, hopefully these will stop the flats


I almost postive that its the tires that are causing the flats as I always top off the air before rides(right around 75psi, per sidewall marking) and thinking it might be the rim I ran a light and my finger down the inside but couldnt find anything sharp
Have you actually identified punctures in the tube and objects that have penetrated the casing of the tire? Simply losing air could be a tube with a loose valve or a slow leak with isn't uncommon with brand new or cheap tubes.
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Old 01-27-12, 01:34 PM   #18
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You were correct to suspect that the Cheng Shin tires are the main culprit. Cheap tires rarely have any sort of puncture protection belt built into the them.

You should be very safe with the Marathon Plus tires that you ordered, and the price you paid is a bargain. It will take you some time to wear these out, but while riding them, pay attention to how you like the ride. As you gain experience, you may not need all the protection that a Marathon Plus affords, and there may be other ride characteristics that become desirable to you.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:42 PM   #19
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Looking at the pic of your Bike toastytoad, you have reflective sidewalls on your current tires - if you want to keep reflective sidewalls, the Conti SportContact has them.
So do the SMPs.

If you decide to attempt to mount the tires yourself purchase a Kool Stop tire lever and it'll cut your 'cuss rate' by 90%. SMPs are very difficult to mount w/limited experience.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:49 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by tarwheel View Post
If you are having flats every other day, I suspect some other issue is going on. Perhaps your rims have a burr or some imperfection that is causing flats. Also, if you are new to cycling, you may not be pumping up your tires with enough pressure. Running tires with not enough air often leads to pinch flats, when the tire compresses against the rim when hitting potholes, bumps, etc. Also, it might be your riding style -- namely, riding too close to the side of the road. Glass, rocks and other debris tends to collect along the edge of the road, and if you are routinely riding through that mess, you will get a lot of flats.
I agree. Examine the tire next time you get a flat to find out the cause. It seems highly improbable you'd get that many unless there is glass all along the road. I wouldn't fit heavy tires unless its a last resort.
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Old 01-28-12, 03:43 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by toastytoad View Post
Just ordered 2 700x38 Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, they were on sale and got them for 62$ shipped, hopefully these will stop the flats


I almost postive that its the tires that are causing the flats as I always top off the air before rides(right around 75psi, per sidewall marking) and thinking it might be the rim I ran a light and my finger down the inside but couldnt find anything sharp
You got a good price on those tires, you would not have gotten the Specialize that cheap due to their price fixing policy. You can save some rotational weight by using ultralight racing tubes instead of thorn resistant, or standard tubes. The tire is so well defending the tube against flats having a thick tube will do nothing but add weight.

Those tires will stop 99% of all flats, no tire is flat proof so be prepared for flats just in case. Make sure you take a pump, spare tube, patches and glue unless you use glueless patches, and tire irons. Always be prepared.
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Old 01-28-12, 04:02 AM   #22
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus are the most flat resistant tires you can get. They're heavy, though.
Yep... as far as I can tell they are all but indestructible. I've ridden my MTB (26x2.0" Plus tyres) over all sorts of stuff and never flatted. One time out on a ride with a group of friends we'd covered 150 miles in two days and about half of the group had had at least one puncture. I'd pulled things like an inch-long thorn out of my tyre and just thrown them in the hedge or the canal.

One other point about them, they are much harder than regular tyres to put on and take off, so if you are using them make sure you've got levers. They will also make your ride harsher as they won't give as much as regular tyres.

They do typically have reflective rings around them which seems like a nice touch, and if you want something with more tread try the Plus Tour. If you want the tread but a lighter tyre try the Extreme. It lacks the plastic lining but seems pretty resilient to flats (not tyres as previously written.... d'oh!).
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Last edited by contango; 01-28-12 at 10:18 AM. Reason: fixed stupid error
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Old 01-28-12, 06:20 AM   #23
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Mounting Marathon Plus can be a biatch, they are notoriously tight but help is at hand.
When you have the tyres off the rim, remove the rim tape, check that spokes are not protruding into the inner, check the valve hole and join for sharp edges and take off with fine emery cloth. Fit velox cloth rim tape and fit a new, quality brand inner tube. It wont be coming out in a long while. Make sure that the valve is well aligned and fitted in the rim, you dont want to stress the inner. Basically, the tyre wont puncture and the main cause of flats will be stress and damage to the inner tube.
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Old 01-28-12, 08:19 AM   #24
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Mounting Marathon Plus can be a biatch, they are notoriously tight but help is at hand.
When you have the tyres off the rim, remove the rim tape, check that spokes are not protruding into the inner, check the valve hole and join for sharp edges and take off with fine emery cloth. Fit velox cloth rim tape and fit a new, quality brand inner tube. It wont be coming out in a long while. Make sure that the valve is well aligned and fitted in the rim, you dont want to stress the inner. Basically, the tyre wont puncture and the main cause of flats will be stress and damage to the inner tube.
Excellent advice
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