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Thread: Tire liners

  1. #1
    Junior Member jesseh627's Avatar
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    Tire liners

    I needed to replace a tube today and while in the LBS I asked a mechanic about the various tubes. Out of the blue he started talking to me about tire liners. I get the concept, but never know if someone is selling me a bill of goods, or if he is truly on to something. I've only been riding for a couple of years, and I've heard no one talk about tire liners. Would you all give me your opinions and experiences?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member h2oxtc's Avatar
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    By "tire liner" are you referring to rim tape? It's the thin strip that is tight around rim and protects the tubes from incidental contact with the spokes? If so, yup, I got 'em. For the weight, it's worth the comfort of knowing that there's one less vulnerability to potential flats.

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    Junior Member jesseh627's Avatar
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    I'm referring to a liner that goes between the tube and inner tire to aide in flat protection.

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    Hi,

    All of my (4) decent good value tyres have a built in liner aka puncture protection :

    folder : Schwalbe Tracer, Schwalbe Road Cruiser
    road bike : Schwalbe Speed Cruiser, Michelin City Road

    They weigh more than unprotected tyres, but less than budget tyres + liner.

    No punctures in 3500 miles +.

    Liners should be redundant for quality tyres chosen on weight versus protection.

    rgds, sreten.

  5. #5
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    No, liners like Mr. Tuffy's really work..though they don't protect sidewalls punctures & they add weight. If you're one to get tears or punctures in the sidewalls, forget'em. But, they do allow you to use your favorite tires, or cheaper tires, or lightweight tubes, and get a extra layer of belt protection. And you can move them from bike to bike. I think I road a tourer for two years with no flats and was amazed, and then when I was replacing the tires I realized I used Mr. Tuffy's when I set up the bike...good move. -> look at the reviews on Amazon.
    Last edited by FrenchFit; 09-26-13 at 12:29 AM.

  6. #6
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    Yeah Mr Tuffy's work alright. Better still carry pump, tube, spoons and patches though because they don't protect a sidewall flat as the previous poster said. I used them for years until I read somewhere that they increase rolling resistance (don't know that I could actually feel the difference).

    What they are excellent for is kids bikes if you don't want to be helping them repairing their flats all the time.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I run Mr. Tuffy in all my clinchers. Michelin Pro 4 SC + Mr. Tuffy rides better than Gator Hardshells or Armadillos, IMO.

    I didn't care for the Mr. Tuffy light, or ultralight, whatever they call 'em. Seemed to have less puncture resistance but little weight reduction, so just get the normal Tuffy.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Before I zeroed in on Scwalbe Marathon Plus tires, I used to run Mr Tuffy's tire liners. I used them on my fleet of 8 rental bikes, and never once had to dispatch a service person for a flat repair.
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    Yep-they work
    Mr Tuffy or other brands
    I think I use Slime liners-in any case they are tough green strips
    Well worth it-get them-
    I used to have maybe 6-10 flats a year-now maybe 1 per year-

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    they are strips, where they overlap, every time the wheel rolls the cut end moves against the tube ..

    over time, the end of the strip abrades a hole in the tube.


    taking the tire off, and adding more talc, may be a reasonable precaution to reduce that effect.

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    I tried tire liners for a while a long time ago. They add noticeable rolling resistance as well as weight and as noted above, eventually cause tube failures. With modern tires they are unnecessary. If you are having too many flats, try a different tire.

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    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Two problems with tire liners:

    1) Some (like Mr Tuffy) can have sharp edges and can themselves cut tubes. The "Stop Flats" brand is softer and doesn't seem to have this problem.

    2) They can add a lot of rolling resistance and slow you down significantly. I recently swapped tires and took out my tire liners and my average speed increased by over 1 mph.

    In general, I think you're better off with a tire that has flat protection built in. That being said, if you install them correctly and don't mind the loss of speed, they can help reduce flats.

    Cheers,
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    Quirky Grifter LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    I've never really had a liner wear a tube out from being chaffed by a Mr. Tuffy. Of course, I'll still swap out tubes for new ones every 2-5 years cuz a few items do get past a Mr. Tuffy so my tubes are somewhat fresh anyways. Remember to clean your tires from time to time, as a piece of glass or whathaveyou can work it's way through the liner if left in the tire.
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Lemond Buenos Aires Triple

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    Don from Austin Texas
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesseh627 View Post
    I needed to replace a tube today and while in the LBS I asked a mechanic about the various tubes. Out of the blue he started talking to me about tire liners. I get the concept, but never know if someone is selling me a bill of goods, or if he is truly on to something. I've only been riding for a couple of years, and I've heard no one talk about tire liners. Would you all give me your opinions and experiences? !
    I was getting a flat every week or two with, admittedly, worn out tires. Riding the same roads, no flats for the last few months with new Gatorskins and Spinskins http://www.cycleclubsports.com/p-757...FShp7Aod8g8AeA How do I know how much credit to the tires vs. how much to the SpinSkins? I don't know, just happy with the lack of flats,

  15. #15
    The Left Coast, USA FrenchFit's Avatar
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    yeah, I think the edge slicing the tube concern is more urban myth - but of course that's because it didn't happen to me.

    Cool thing about the liner, when I did change the tire it's like the liner vulcanized to the tube, it took some real effort to separate the two, and it seems tube material transferred to the liner coming off. My thinking was: ...that's a bad @ss liner. I don't think I'll ignore them for two years in the future.

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    I ran Tuffy liners in all four of our bikes. Until recently!!
    We rode almost 9 years without a single puncture flat. Suddenly in June we both had flats in our 700 by 32c tires. The Tuffy liners in these tires were purchased and installed in 2012. When I pulled the tires off the rims I was shocked at what I found. The Tuffy liners were cracking. A look with a strong magnifying lens show the basic polymer was breaking up. Forming cracks that ran with the direction of extrusion of the liners. Then I recalled that these new Tuffy liners have an additive that allows them to break down once thrown into a landfill. Supposed to be good for the environment. The manufacturer claims that these do not degrade and break down until they enter a landfill. Not in service. So the Tuffy liners are gone from our 700 by 35c tires for now. I once had complete faith in the Tuffy liners. Saved us several times when on the 26" tire bikes. I may take a look at the Slime brand liners. I am running one set of those in my 26" tire bike.
    For now I'll rely on puncture resistant tires.

  17. #17
    The Recumbent Quant cplager's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrenchFit View Post
    yeah, I think the edge slicing the tube concern is more urban myth - but of course that's because it didn't happen to me.
    For the record, it has happened to me...
    http://Charles.Plager.net
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  18. #18
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Been using Maxxis Re-Fuse tires (700x25) for several years on both our tandem and my racing bike.
    Last year rode 5,200 miles and had one flat (due to a patch coming loose).
    And we live in the desert southwest with lots of road debris, cactus thorns, etc.

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    Junior Member jesseh627's Avatar
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    Many thanks to all the replies. I"m a weight weenie, so I'm not sure adding them will be the right move. I've been using the Conti 400s. I had a run of bad luck with "light" inner tubes. I've stopped using them and flats have decreased significantly. I may just stay with normal tubes and take my chances.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Hmmm. Exactly where here in Texas do you live? I think that it might make a difference.

    Tire liners, like MrTuffy will definitely reduce your frequency of punctures. Their drawbacks are they resist your tire's ability to flex front-to-back as you ride so they increase rolling resistance a bit. MrTuffy's also have a reputation for wearing inner tubes at the overlap and actually causing flat tires. My personal philosophy is that, if a product is properly designed, you shouldn't have to buy an accessory to make it functional. Consequently I buy tires that have a built-in puncture resistant belt.

    Here's where the Texas connection comes in. Are you in the goat head thorn belt? I live in St Louis and we don't have goat heads. I generally go months between punctures. If I lived in an area where I was getting 2 goat head punctures per week (or per ride), that would definitely skew my thinking. I'm thinking that while your bike mechanic might just be trying to make an additional sale, he also might be privy to some local knowledge that I don't have.

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    Senior Member Looigi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    ...My personal philosophy is that, if a product is properly designed, you shouldn't have to buy an accessory to make it functional. Consequently I buy tires that have a built-in puncture resistant belt....
    So, in order to be functional, a wheel requires a tire, which requires a tube, which usually requires a rim strip/tape. That's all OK but requiring a belt is somehow characteristically different?

    Personally, I don't run puncture belts. The way I see it is they only serve to reduce the frequency of flatting, the amount depending largely on your riding environment. You still will flat and need to be prepared to deal with them.

    And in my riding, I find that well worn tires flat no more frequently, and maybe even less frequently, than new tires. Most of the flats I get are due to small shards embedded in the rubber which work their way through the cords and tube over a number of rotations of the tire. Thick tread will hold the shards whereas tread worn thin will be much less able/likely to.

  22. #22
    Trek 500 Kid Zinger's Avatar
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    If you are running thicker tubes it would make a similar difference in weight but I'm betting the liner would better stop those goatheads. I did have a goathead roll up past the Mr Tuffy once and flat me just off the tread.

    Yeah I did a lot of riding in the panhandle of and in east Texas but learned to put up with occasional flats w/o the liners and using thin tubes and no protective belt in cotton ply tires......They are a pain sometimes though.
    "I never lost a race because my bike was too heavy".......George Mount

  23. #23
    Junior Member jesseh627's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    Hmmm. Exactly where here in Texas do you live? I think that it might make a difference.

    Tire liners, like MrTuffy will definitely reduce your frequency of punctures. Their drawbacks are they resist your tire's ability to flex front-to-back as you ride so they increase rolling resistance a bit. MrTuffy's also have a reputation for wearing inner tubes at the overlap and actually causing flat tires. My personal philosophy is that, if a product is properly designed, you shouldn't have to buy an accessory to make it functional. Consequently I buy tires that have a built-in puncture resistant belt.

    Here's where the Texas connection comes in. Are you in the goat head thorn belt? I live in St Louis and we don't have goat heads. I generally go months between punctures. If I lived in an area where I was getting 2 goat head punctures per week (or per ride), that would definitely skew my thinking. I'm thinking that while your bike mechanic might just be trying to make an additional sale, he also might be privy to some local knowledge that I don't have.
    I live in the Waco area. broken glass, screws, nails, are more the culprit than thorns.

  24. #24
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Tires such as Schwalbe Marathon Plus put the Tuffy like elastomer Under the tread, as part of the tire.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jesseh627 View Post
    I live in the Waco area. broken glass, screws, nails, are more the culprit than thorns.
    1. How often do you puncture? Maybe twice per year for me so I feel no need to experiment with tire liners. If I punctured twice per week, I'd feel differently.
    2. The mechanic who recommended the tire liners - does he use them? I assume that he rides in the same conditions you do. If he doesn't feel he needs them, I wouldn't feel they were necessary for me to use either.

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