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Old 03-18-11, 08:14 AM   #1
Steve M.
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Stop pinching me! Or, the potholes of New York

I've been Bromptoneering about the metropolis for a couple of weeks (Let me interject: wheeeeeee!) and have discovered a strong tendency to pop my back tire. No puncture -- I think they're all caused by my not inconsiderable weight interacting with these terrible streets. Would the Kevlar tire be a help? Or are they mainly to ward off nails and such?

I must say that the bike-train-bike trek from New Jersey to Midtown has really become a consummate pleasure.

Thanks in advance,

Steve M.
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Old 03-18-11, 08:40 AM   #2
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Is it the tube or tire that are damaged?
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Old 03-18-11, 08:43 AM   #3
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Little snakebites in the tubes.

Steve M.
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Old 03-18-11, 08:47 AM   #4
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Is there a rim tape to cover the spokes inside the rim? If not or it is thin get a really good rim tape and a tire liner http://www.amazon.com/Stop-Flats-Bic.../dp/B001VCH7Q6
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Old 03-18-11, 10:15 AM   #5
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A few suggestions:

1) Make sure you're riding at the proper tire pressure.
2) Consider a more robust tire.
3) When you fix a flat, make absolutely sure there is no glass or other debris embedded in the tire and/or poking through the tire.
4) Dodge the potholes, as long as doing so doesn't throw you into the middle of traffic. If necessary change your route.
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Old 03-18-11, 02:53 PM   #6
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I don't what the clearances are on a Brompton, but wider tyres tend to help with pinch flats.

Are you "unweighting" yourself when you take the big hits?
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Old 03-18-11, 03:10 PM   #7
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For overall flat avoidance, top of the line rim tape helps.

For your specific case, shift the center of gravity towards the rear wheel to go over sidewalks or small bumps with the front wheel, change the center of gravity of the bike to the front wheel by leaning on top of handlebars to make rear wheel fly effortless over potholes (or anything else for that matter)

I actually when over a kitten once and because of this technique, the little creature rolled over and came after the bike playing as if nothing happened. I am not sure I would be sleeping at night if I just had gone straight over it.

Basically, what this guy is saying on 1:44:



You are not going for a literal bunny hop, but shifting your weight as proposed will do the trick.

Last edited by 14R; 03-19-11 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 03-18-11, 06:22 PM   #8
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Higher pressures and wider tires would both help.

Also what 14R said.
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Old 03-18-11, 11:41 PM   #9
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I don't see how rim tape is going to affect snake bite punctures. These punctures are caused by the rim edge pinching the tyre and tube between it and the road edge. Rim tape is far from the action, inside the rim well.

Each tyre has its optimum pressure setting - if you are pinch flatting, use a higher pressure, or a wider tyre. If you are already at the sidewall maximum pressure, that tyre is not suitable for you.
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Old 03-21-11, 01:12 PM   #10
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On the note of small wheels and potholes. Are small wheels stronger than larger wheels? I always assumed so. (more curvature due to the smaller diameter and also, same cross sectional area with respect to larger wheels). I just bent my rim hitting a pothole on Friday :-(

On the other hand, the smaller wheel has an obvious disadvantage where some potholes are literally larger than the wheel (which was the case in my incident)
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Old 03-21-11, 07:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quiwi View Post
On the note of small wheels and potholes. Are small wheels stronger than larger wheels? I always assumed so. (more curvature due to the smaller diameter and also, same cross sectional area with respect to larger wheels). I just bent my rim hitting a pothole on Friday :-(

On the other hand, the smaller wheel has an obvious disadvantage where some potholes are literally larger than the wheel (which was the case in my incident)
Bigger wheels are better as they hit irregularities more obliquely. A small wheel will do an endo on some objects where a large wheel will simply roll over it.

Riding technique is a big part of keeping your bike and tires together when riding over crappy roads. Simply lifting your backside off the saddle when rolling over potholes will stop most pinch flats, as well as reducing pain to your backside during and after the ride. At cruising speeds you can fairly easily bunny-hop over holes as big as a meter across, or as tall as a cat. I have bunny hopped my bike over things like lizards and snakes while riding in South Florida, and I once cleared a dachshund which had slipped it's collar and ran into the street in front of me, it's a good skill to learn
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