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Old 09-09-06, 04:08 AM   #1
Carusoswi
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Glass in my puncture resistant tires

I purchased a pair of Schwalbe Stelvios for my Cannondale back in June of this year. I have experienced a couple of sidewall punctures, a couple of tube valve failures - but, this week, I had a piece of glass the size of the tip of a nail that penetrated the "tread" area of the tire. These are supposed to offer puncture protection owing to the Kevlar in the area of the tire that contacts the road. This piece of glass was what you might expect to see if a car windshield shattered - not a big, sharp, dagger sized slab, just a bit of glass a little larger than a grain of sand.

It obviously lodged in my tire and worked its way through. I thought that would not happen with these tires.

I am now an expert at patching tubes and have developed a nice collection. I am half tempted to go back to my Armadillos. I never experienced a puncture flat using them.

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Old 09-09-06, 05:44 AM   #2
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Puncture resistant not puncture proof.
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Old 09-09-06, 05:55 AM   #3
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Why wouldn't you go back to your Armadillos?
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Old 09-09-06, 06:49 AM   #4
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How lucky are you normally? I think that i know.

Most puncture resistant tires have a kevlar or similar cloth under the tread. If you are unlucky enough to get a piece of glass between the threads, too bad. Armadillos are made, or least they used to be made, with an additional layer of chopped up kevlar fibers that overlay the cloth. That makes them both more puncture resistant (good) and stiffer (bad).

For the record, I have punctured an Armadillo but that was a piece of glass with the approximate dimensions of a small sword.
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Old 09-09-06, 09:13 AM   #5
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I just get punctures. No matter what type of tyre or what type of terrain. We ride a lot of Hedge lined trails- hedged with hawthorn- blackthorn or just non descript thorny bushes. Occasionally the farmer will decide to trim the hedges. If we knew he was going to do it- or which hedge he was going to cut- We would avoid that path. We don't even get an idea there will be a problem. We will be 2 miles into a 5 mile trail and that is where he has decided to cut the hedges. Thorns all over the path and it is a succession of hissing sounds until you give up and carry the bike for the next few miles. Then there are the flints- The big ones the size of footbals do not cause a problem until you hit them- then it is a snakebite. Problem with Flint is the small shards that appear anytime. My tyres get cut to ribbons and I am lucky if I can get 500 miles or so out of a rear tyre.Front is normally better but they get long cuts in the carcase and then have to be scrapped.

The only puncture resistant tyre that I have ever used- were made out of such hard rubber that grip was a problem and were so heavy that I kept looking to see if I had a puncture as I had so much drag. They still got punctures but these tyres were the exception to the rule. They were indestructable and I eventually scrapped them due to age and not wear.
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Old 09-09-06, 12:03 PM   #6
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Don'tcha just hate it when that happens????????

ANY tire will flat so be fair about it, mate.
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Old 09-09-06, 09:51 PM   #7
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Flats are a pain in the a**. I ride around this park with many serious bikers. This week was the week for flats. I had 4 flats in one day. I checked the outer tire, nothing there. Some experienced bikers checked my tires, could not find anything. Slow leak no matter what I do. Brought it to LBS for analysis. Cannot find it. Darn it. Pain in the a**. I will report the findings next week and many $$$ later. BTW, checked the wheel for nicks and scratches, nothing there either. A mystery.
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Old 09-09-06, 10:37 PM   #8
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I have 1.5" Armadillos on my tour'd up mtb. In a little over a year, they are the only tires that have flatted out of three different bikes til I got my new Sequoia. The All Conditions on the Sequoia flatted when I looked at them wrong. The Armadillos took hits from an urban mine-field. A 1-1/4" sheetrock screw, a bent nail, and two very respectable chunks of glass. The last chunk took several blocks to do it's evil. By then I was almost home. Haven't flatted an Armadillo since May. Can't complain.
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Old 09-09-06, 11:20 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Don'tcha just hate it when that happens????????

ANY tire will flat so be fair about it, mate.
Yea, I just hate it. I had two flats on my rear wheel during my 40 mile ride today. Both were from the outside, although I could find nothing that had punctured the tire. There were a few marks on the inside from previous punctures - so, perhaps those allowed stones or whatever to cause a problem. I covered them with self-stick patches after the second failure and rode 20 miles or so without another flat (not sure that proves anything) - I'm getting really good at changing tires - I'd prefer to maintain my amateur status, however. I'm thinking it may be time for some new tires.

When the bike was new, I swapped the C'cross OEM tires before taking delivery and put on 23c Armadillos. They didn't puncture - well, let's say they didn't flat as a result of punctures, but they were heavy.

I prefer riding these Stelvios, but I am really tiring of all these flats. But, to be fair, I do have a couple thousand miles on these, and they do have a number of areas where previous "attacks" have left scars. The problem, as Stepfam points out, is all the crap I have to ride through to get anywhere. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it amazes me to get honked because some driver thinks I'm in his/her way when, in reality, the area of the road where I'd be happy to ride is just chock full of broken glass, bottles, cans, all manner of crappy stones, etc.

I will say that having flats is not without it bright side. I make a point of taking a deep breath and making an appreciative observation that I'm still out amongst nature, that I have spare tubes, a pump, and enough know-how to get her changed and be on my way.

The real kicker today (Grouch, you were asking about how lucky I am?) was that one of the pads on my rear disc brake fell out after the second tire change. I didn't realize it until I tried to use the brake only to discover that it was totally non-functional. Passed one bike shop - but the guy was out of stock. You can chalk that problem up as one of the disadvantages of disc brakes - not that it should ever happen, but it did. I doubt anyone could share a similar experience with standard rim type calipers - they have their faults, but I imagine it's almost impossible to have one of your brake shoes fall off.

Oh, well, it's all in a day - tomorrow, I'll pick up a new set of pads and give it another go.

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Old 09-10-06, 05:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jit4
Puncture resistant not puncture proof.
Absolutely.
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Old 09-10-06, 05:47 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jit4
Puncture resistant not puncture proof.
I totally agree. However there is a way to hedge your bet against eventual punctures. I also ride puncture resistant tires. I check after every ride to see if any glass or metal pieces are lodged in the rubber coating. It takes a while to push a piece of glass through the kevlar (normally) so by getting that threat out of the tire early I extend the time between flats significantly.
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Old 09-10-06, 05:49 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carusowi
When the bike was new, I swapped the C'cross OEM tires before taking delivery and put on 23c Armadillos. They didn't puncture - well, let's say they didn't flat as a result of punctures, but they were heavy.
Some thoughts:

1. Personally, I would never run 700x23's - especially Armadillo 700x23's. The Armadillos 700x23's ARE extremely stiff - I guess they have to stick a lot of Kevlar into a small space? I much prefer 700x25's in general, as they allow one to go through some mild sand and gravel, while I find that 23's don't. And in particular, I find that 700x25's Armadillos work better all around. 700x25's also corner better.

2. The latest versions of the Armadillos are lighter and less stiff than the original versions. They seem to me to have less rolling resistance.

3. If you DO want to run 700x23 Armadillos, I have a set of the older version that are in good shape and I will never use. I took them off and replaced them with the 25's.

4. I am now using tubes with the new "True Goo" in them as opposed to the previous "Slime". My LBS will no longer carry Slime, preferring the Goo.

Out here in Goathead Land, I have picked up 6 Goatheads in one day. Without the above, that would have been 6 flats.

Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-10-06 at 05:56 AM.
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Old 09-10-06, 08:04 AM   #13
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I don't especially like flats when riding, but hate them more when driving. Changing a bike flat is a whole lot easier than changing one on my car. I guess I see flats as part of the price we pay to ride. Kind of like cleaning and lube for the chain. Don't like to do it, must it has to be done. My own experience has been that it doesn't matter what kind of tire I'm using, eventually it'll get a flat. Agree, however, that some are better than others at not getting a flat. I also think that tubes are more of an issue than tires, given most of my flats in the last three years were the result of "ultra light" tubes having leaks at the valve stem. I no longer use "ultra light" and haven't had one of those leaks/tears in 2600 miles.
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Old 09-10-06, 09:01 AM   #14
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Thanks for the offer on the Armadillos. I took that same tire off my bike at the last tire change. The "tread" surface wore very flat on mine - and I just got tired of them. I will say that they never flatted due to any sort of puncture. I do like the feel of the Schwalbes, and, I guess, my preference for tires dictates that I'll have to put up with flats.

I am guessing that the current set of Schwalbes have seen their better days - several little pock marks where stuff has tried to get through and didn't - some that penetrate all the way through.

I spend most of my time on road surfaces, and I love to ride at speed. That is why I prefer the skinnier tire. The bike will accommodate MTB tires, though. I might spring for a set of wheels and try them at some point. It would be interesting to see just how much speed I actually give up if I went to a wider smoothie. Maybe my LBS can let me try some out.

Although I am obviously groaning and moaning in this thread, I have to concede that there are periods where I can go weeks (and many, many miles) without a flat. I have just had a rash of them lately - most all of them involving some sort of puncture on the tread side of the tube.

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Old 09-10-06, 03:48 PM   #15
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Well, I have decided (right or wrong) what must have been happening to cause the flats that I experienced yesterday. I think that small openings left by previous puncture "wounds" must have allowed the tube under pressure to sort of find its way into those little cavities and then, either spring a leak from overstretching into the opening or getting pinched or some such thing.

I had a container of self stick patches that I never use to patch tubes, and I used a couple of those over those "wounds" that were visible from the inside of the tire. Took a 20 miler with no problems whatsoever (of course, 20 miles proves nothing, but what I think becomes reality for me . . . at least until the next flat!).

I also stopped by the local LBS for a set of pads for my rear disc brake - $20 - blah!

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Old 09-10-06, 03:54 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jit4
Puncture resistant not puncture proof.
ding ding ding!
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Old 09-10-06, 04:05 PM   #17
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Kevlar belting and such is really great, I do notice a decrease in the amount of flats I get, (I ride every day and sometimes go a whole year without a puncture,) but you still can't ride over everything under the sun. I avoid glass and most other things in my path unless I have no choice but to run over them.
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