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Old 09-27-08, 12:41 AM   #1
lhbernhardt
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Daily punctures - must be fall

I think I must have had punctures ("flats" to you Neighbours to the South) every day now for the past several days. I even had both tires go on one ride.

When it starts raining here in the Vancouver area, all sorts of debris gets washed onto the road shoulder, right where I'm riding. So I have to be more vigilant and dust the tires more often.

As well, the sidewalls start to fail near the bead as the sidewalls on older tires start to rot. I had the front tire pop on me yesterday. I heard the explosion of the tube and then the front of the bike felt dead.

But at least it's still warm enough to replace the tube. The worst time to have a puncture is when it's around freezing, and rain is falling, and you can't get your fingers to work, and the sweat is starting to make you feel very cold.

The other sign of fall/winter is the brake blocks start wearing. I've gone all summer without having to replace the brake blocks. I think I've got at least 5,000 km on them. These same blocks will only last a few weeks in a typical Vancouver winter. I must go thru about four or five sets of brake blocks each winter (and then one set all summer). And the wet, gritty blocks tend to grind down the rim braking sufaces. I think I get about three years on each rim before it stats to crack, or the top of the rim gets deformed (pushed out by the pressure in the clincher tire). The interesting part is trying to figure out when the rim is going to fail. I've had rims crack, with resulting blowout as the tire bead comes off the rim and the inner tube has nothing holding it at 120 lbs. I've ridden home on wrecked rims with shredded tires. You want to make sure you get every last kilometer out of the rim...

L.
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Old 09-27-08, 05:24 AM   #2
RoMad
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What about getting a winter bike with disc brakes? Here in Florida the problem that causes flats is sand spurs. They look like grass growing but have little pods covered with very sharp spikes and they stick to whatever touches them. I usually don't even push my bike in the grass I pick it up. When they mow the sides of the bike trail and roads the mowers throw them on the trail so you have to try to avoid running over grass clippings.
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Old 09-27-08, 06:54 AM   #3
byte_speed
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You mentioned old tires. That is one of the ways I decide when to replace worn tires. Two or more punctures in a week and the tire is gone if it shows any signs of wear. It is very rare for me to puncture a new tire.
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Old 09-27-08, 07:43 AM   #4
ilmooz
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I get great flat protection with Continental Gatorskins on my road bike and Top Contact on my hybrid. Over 4,000 miles combined on these two year old tires without a puncture problem.

In fact, so confident am I that I will throw this statement in the face of karma - there's no way I'm going to get a flat during the remainder of this year's riding.
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Old 09-27-08, 08:13 AM   #5
BluesDawg
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^^^doomed
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Old 09-27-08, 09:22 AM   #6
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Getting wet here in Seattle, too - working furiously on my "rain bike" (bike #4 on the list below). Put new Marathon tires on it, which weigh a ton but seem pretty rugged...
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Old 09-27-08, 06:10 PM   #7
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I will keep banging my happy drum. Go airless, because of puncture issues I did and have not looked back. I went to a touring tire and had it manufactured to a 110-120 psi rating. The place is in Colorado, the man's name is Ron.

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