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Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

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Old 07-26-09, 10:32 AM   #1
edwong3
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How about a good "flat resistant" 20 inch tire?

My low cost Chinese made folder has been very reliable for the past year and a half except for one issue, and that is I've had at least 6 flats, and also replaced 2 rear tires due to sidewall failure. My bike's rear assembly uses one of those funky band brakes like many of these Chinese bikes, and that makes it a "pain" to remove to replace an inner tube.

Of course my plan of action if you will is that if I suffered a rear tire flat while I'm out riding is to simply fix the inner tube with a patch without the need to remove the wheel but my last flat was due to a valve stem failing, so a replacement is necessary in that case. To illustrate my case about the trouble to disassemble the rear end, that day I preferred to walk home which "luckily" was under 2 miles away!

What options should I consider? Flat resistant tires, and inner tubes...or how about "air free" tires to do away with the possibility of getting a flat at all? I don't care about achieving the lowest tire rolling resistance as I don't ride this bike for performance...more so for errand running, and recreational purposes. I do have a full size, single speed non folding bike if I want to ride longer distances anyway.

I'm open to suggestions. Thanks.

Edward Wong III
Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder

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Old 07-26-09, 10:41 AM   #2
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There are liners that go between the tire and tube to help prevent punctures.
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Old 07-26-09, 12:02 PM   #3
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There are liners that go between the tire and tube to help prevent punctures.
Are they worthwhile? I used one (Mr Tuffy) 10+ years ago, and the end of it cut a semicircular slash in my tube.
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Old 07-26-09, 12:36 PM   #4
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Use a schwinable marathon with the puncture protection built in, and you could also add self sealing slime. You should not have any problems than.
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Old 07-26-09, 12:45 PM   #5
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Schwalbe Marathon tires and tubes. Slime works to a point but makes a helluva mess if you have catastrophic failure.

Aaron
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Old 07-26-09, 04:59 PM   #6
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These puncture protections make tires slow and heavy. I don't recommend it.
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Old 07-26-09, 09:06 PM   #7
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It's true that puncture resistant tires are heavier. But if removing your back wheel is such a pain that you'd rather walk two miles than fix the flat, I think it would be worth it. I'd get the Schwalbe Marathon Plus HS 348 for the back wheel, and keep a lighter tire on the front wheel. This tire runs about $50, so it's not cheap.

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Old 07-26-09, 10:34 PM   #8
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schwable marathons, nuff said
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Old 07-26-09, 11:32 PM   #9
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...I've had at least 6 flats, and also replaced 2 rear tires due to sidewall failure
....my last flat was due to a valve stem failing....
Those problems are consistent with riding around on underinflated tyres especially sidewall failure and valve stem failure.

If you are using a portable hand pump it is hard to get the tyres to the correct pressure (or takes a long time). It is best to use a track type pump which has a pressure gauge and to check pressures at least weekly.

I do quite a considerable mileage and only get punctures when glass penetrates the tyre.

If you look after your tyre pressures you can get satisfactory service even from cheap tyres.
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Old 07-27-09, 02:15 AM   #10
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+1 for Schwalbe Marathon Plus.

+1 for slime.

I used to get a puncture every fortnight on average when running my previous tyres at 85psi. Since the use of Marathon plus and slime I've had none in 5 months and circa 850 miles.

Yup, they sure are heavy (although they seem to roll quite nicely) and the slime obviously adds to this - so I guess they could be considered "slow". BUT (and it's a big but!)----not as slow as getting a flat, fixing it in the pouring rain and in the dark, missing the train to work and arriving 45 mins late with filthy hands and a bad attitude

R
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Old 07-27-09, 10:09 AM   #11
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Thanks!

I want to thank all of you for your responses. I will look at the Marathons for a possible replacement for my current tires. If I do it, I will be replacing both front and back. The Air Free tires I mentioned at the beginning of this thread are a close second in choice as I read that they have improved remarkably in ride quality, and rolling resistance. Nu-Tech is a major player in the air less tire industry, and they have a very nice selection. We'll see.

Someone had mentioned that my two side wall failures could be due to under inflation but that is one area that I am very finicky about, and that is to always make sure that I kept my tires properly inflated. I may have had bad luck on getting two tires that happened to be defective. The first tire that blew had over 1,000 miles on it but I know it should have lasted longer than that.

Thanks again.

Edward Wong III
Qile Duo 5 Speed 20" Folder
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Old 07-27-09, 02:13 PM   #12
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My marathons have never punctured on any of my bikes(touch wood). I don't know if this is a common experience,but I go light off road,and often experience broken glass on my commutes. I have had around a drozen folders, and use a marathon (or mezzo equaliate) every day for around 6 years. I do not do high mileage however. I never carry a spare, nor a pump. My rear wheel on my dual drive bikes are a pain to take off anyway.


I have only used slime in thin stevios, Seems unnessassary to add it to the marathon given this record. Is this the experience of most users? Or do we only hear from thoses with problems?

I have big apples on my curve,not problems there either, but it is a low milage bike as of yet.
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Old 07-27-09, 07:13 PM   #13
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I have only had 2 bikes with slime tubes in them and would probably never use that stuff again. On one something in the road slashed the sidewall causing a blow out, took quite a while to clean the slime off of every thing, the other punctured through the tread, and the hole was too big for the slime to seal, but it all ran into the tire when I parked the bike, I ended up throwing the tire away rather than trying to clean the slime out of it. Good quality tires with kevlar belts and good quality inner tubes seem to be the charm.

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Old 07-27-09, 08:09 PM   #14
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Marathon Plus, excellent flat resistance and heavy.
Regular Marathon is a great tire, not heavy, but not any more flat resistant than other tires.
Use Schwalbe tubes for best results.
Jur knows about mods needed for liners to prevent problems.

If you use slime, a bike shop might charge more for repairs because of the mess.

Airfree tires can be about as heavy or slightly heavier than the Plus, and could be a good choice.

I have used all of these tires, but not slime.
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Old 07-28-09, 04:16 AM   #15
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Slime is an easy way of turning a cheap tyre on a hack bike in to being someting more punture resistant without much fuss. I use it on my childrens bikes. ie cheap chinesse tires can be made low maintaince untill they wear out, then get something decent tires.
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Old 07-29-09, 03:33 PM   #16
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It's true that puncture resistant tires are heavier. But if removing your back wheel is such a pain that you'd rather walk two miles than fix the flat, I think it would be worth it. I'd get the Schwalbe Marathon Plus HS 348 for the back wheel, and keep a lighter tire on the front wheel. This tire runs about $50, so it's not cheap.

You don't need to get the wheel out to fix a flat. Fixing takes ~2 minutes if experienced and 10 min if you do it first time. Stochastically 1 per 5000 km.

Anyway, I recommend to go for Kojak or Big Apples (for heavier riders), much better riding experience over all than the Marathon and moreover the Marathon Plus (very poor tire). Tires are the most important factor on a bike. Rubber and carcass construction are even more important on a small wheel.
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Old 07-29-09, 04:59 PM   #17
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On my MTB I use an old inner tube as a liner, just cut the valve out and you have 4 layers that the thorns, glass and other road crud has to get through. Works well on the stony single tracks I ride on. I've even used this idea on my 700c training bike with worn tyres.
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Old 07-30-09, 03:00 AM   #18
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On my MTB I use an old inner tube as a liner, just cut the valve out and you have 4 layers that the thorns, glass and other road crud has to get through. Works well on the stony single tracks I ride on. I've even used this idea on my 700c training bike with worn tyres.
I remember Robert Miller, who came about 4th?,(would have been higher if he wasn't a deputising for winner Greg Lemond) , in the Tour de France. He used to use tubular tyres inside clincher tyres on his training bike.
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Old 07-30-09, 04:29 AM   #19
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My experience in the shop is that...good tyres are the best choice. The Swalbes are excellent. I've seen flats caused by the tyre liners and flats that the liners didn't stop. Slime tubes are a mess and clog the valves and really don't work that well. Your first line of defence is that tyre, make it a good one. If you do get a flat it will be much easier to repair without the funky tube and liner to deal with. Oh...and keep an eye on your air pressure! I pump up before every ride...if there is a slow leak I will catch it BEFORE I am out on my ride.
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Old 07-30-09, 08:56 AM   #20
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Marathon Supremes are available in a 406 rim. They're a great combination of Flat Resistance / Comfort / Performance.

Schwalbe Charts, unfortunately, don't have a "comfort" rating.

For reference, here's links to the other Schwalbes Mentioned
Marathon
Big Apple
Marathon Plus
Marathon Racer
Kojak
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Old 07-30-09, 10:24 AM   #21
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I've used slime and found to be effective in some situations, but messy. Even if you don't puncture the tire, I found that when inflating the tire, slime would blow out through the valve on to the rim and into the pump. Didn't gum up the pump, which was my concern, but I think it could have over time. Also slime is most effective on punctures that occur on the outermost part of the tire, the part that hits the road, because the rolling pushes the slime out. I had sidewall punctures that didn't seal and some weird punctures where my tire got a leak where it rested against the rim which the slime did nothing to seal up. Of course in that case a good tire or tire liner would not help either.
In the end I decided that slime was more trouble than it was worth, and I just got some Schwalbe Marathon Plusses, which have held up very well so far. If you're trying to get longer life out a particular tire, slime might help, but if you're buying new tires, I'd just spring for the sturdier tires and leave out the slime.
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Old 08-01-09, 10:00 PM   #22
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... The Air Free tires I mentioned at the beginning of this thread are a close second in choice as I read that they have improved remarkably in ride quality, and rolling resistance. Nu-Tech is a major player in the air less tire industry, and they have a very nice selection. We'll see.
...
Hi Ed - Did you get a chance to test out the Nu Teck tires? They seem pretty cool & something we would consider using for our bikes.

Thx!
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Old 08-01-09, 10:13 PM   #23
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Hi Ed - Did you get a chance to test out the Nu Teck tires? They seem pretty cool & something we would consider using for our bikes.

Thx!
No actually I haven't ordered them yet. I have an inner tube sitting on my computer printer of all places, and the bike is still sitting in the living room with a flat. I've been riding my one speed cruiser for fun, and my room mate's tricycle to run errands to the store, and other places.

I'm still trying to decide between going air free or with the Schwalbe tires. But not worrying about flats ever again sure sounds good

Edward Wong III
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Old 08-04-09, 02:56 PM   #24
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Good quality tires with kevlar belts and good quality inner tubes seem to be the charm.
Aaron
i was about to say this....but im not very sure of availability of kevlar for small wheels..i would say kevlar and estra thick tubes should be enough.

blown tires WILL happen, just not as easy with kevlar and thicker tube.
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Old 08-06-09, 04:52 PM   #25
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Schwalbe Marathon
Continental Top Touring 2000
Vredstien Perfect Moiree
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