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Old 11-19-13, 07:21 PM   #1
cuzzinit
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airless tires

i'm having flat tire issues with my bike with no real indication of what is causing them, ie: no puncture in tires, Liner on wheel seems intact. i'm starting to wonder ifmaybe i should start think about getting something that won't go flat... i'm missing out on some great rides throughout my travels....

Anyone have experience with tires that don't go flat ? i have Origami with suspension so i don't think ride would be an issue. Thx Cuz
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Old 11-19-13, 08:02 PM   #2
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Where are the punctures? If your tire pressure is too low, you could be getting pinch flats.

Airless tires don't (yet?) have a good track record pin l on bicycles.
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Old 11-19-13, 08:21 PM   #3
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Agree .. identify where the air is leaking from the tube.. the most robust tire out there in the 20" world is the Schwalbe Marathon Plus (47x406).. resists punctures better than the rest .. but if you are not getting punctures from the outside, they won't help you out.. if you have plastic rim strips, I'd replace with good quality cloth tape as plastic can move around and expose edges of spoke holes.. I like the idea of airless tires, but have never run them...
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Old 11-19-13, 10:26 PM   #4
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want a Workout? the rolling resistance will give it to you..
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Old 11-19-13, 10:46 PM   #5
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want a Workout? the rolling resistance will give it to you..
+1 Rolling resistance tends to be a bit higher for small wheels anyway and is much higher for airless tires.

Check to see exactly where the hole is in your tube and then carefully examine the corresponding part of the tire and rim strip.
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Old 11-19-13, 10:55 PM   #6
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47-406 Schwalbe Marathon Plus and thorn resistant tubes , pumped up to 75psi are OK,
a pretty decent ride..
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Old 11-20-13, 11:37 AM   #7
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REDUCE THE VARIABLES

-Install a quality tire, tube and rim strips
-keep inflated to pressure

These steps alone should dramatically reduce the frequency of flats.

If not, come back to discuss the less common variables (all very fixable).
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Old 11-20-13, 12:31 PM   #8
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Are you sure a bit of glass didn't make its way in? I was wondering where my mystery leaks were coming from until I inspected the inside of the tire carefully. Barely looked like a speck of sand until I picked at it.
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Old 11-20-13, 12:52 PM   #9
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One possibility that could cause leaks has not been mentioned yet.... your valve core!

Is your valve core loose?

Inside your tire valve is a core that can be unscrewed. If this is just a little bit loose, you can add air all you want, and it might eventually leak out! Make sure your valve core is screwed into the valve stem tightly.

Whenever I air up my tires, I check my valve core. I have 1 valve stem cap on every bike that has a valve core tool on it so I can tighten (or loosen, to QUICKLY release air) the valve core.

Like this (less than 50 cents on Amazon!):

Attached Images
File Type: jpg 41ls9oPeFPL._SY300_.jpg (11.3 KB, 2 views)
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Old 11-20-13, 01:39 PM   #10
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...Is your valve core loose?
or defective? I had a removable core Presta drive me nuts. The bike wouldn't lose any more pressure than would be considered normal if it sat around unridden for a month, but would lose ~30 PSI on the rear if ridden for ~4 hours. Tightening and silicone grease on the valve core O-ring seal didn't help but after months of frustration, replacing the core fixed the problem.

I like the Schwalbe removable core Presta tubes with the all metal stem, as I've also had strange problems in the past with the kind of tubes that had a stem where the outer rubber part was bonded to a metal core.

I use a torque wrench made specifically for valve cores on my Schrader equipped bikes, but have never run across one for Prestas.

I tried airless MTB sized tires 10 or 15 years ago. Can't remember the brand, but think they were made from polyurethane. They $ucked, big time, harsh and low on traction. I took them off in less than a week and they must have been so bad I threw them out because they don't appear to be in the basement used tire pile now.

John

Last edited by jmm; 11-20-13 at 10:15 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 11-20-13, 07:49 PM   #11
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For reference in regards to valve cores, below is a picture of a Presta valve core (on the left) versus a Schrader valve core (on the right)




Also, here's a cutaway animation of a Schrader valve core at work....



SO...... the whole point of all this valve core talk, is that if your core is faulty or ever so slightly loose (inn other words, unscrewed a tiny bit), you could be slowly leaking air out of the valve stem!
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Old 11-20-13, 07:54 PM   #12
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Here's an example of airless tires....



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Old 11-20-13, 11:49 PM   #13
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or defective? I had a removable core Presta drive me nuts. The bike wouldn't lose any more pressure than would be considered normal if it sat around unridden for a month, but would lose ~30 PSI on the rear if ridden for ~4 hours. Tightening and silicone grease on the valve core O-ring seal didn't help but after months of frustration, replacing the core fixed the problem.

I like the Schwalbe removable core Presta tubes with the all metal stem, as I've also had strange problems in the past with the kind of tubes that had a stem where the outer rubber part was bonded to a metal core.

I use a torque wrench made specifically for valve cores on my Schrader equipped bikes, but have never run across one for Prestas.

I tried airless MTB sized tires 10 or 15 years ago. Can't remember the brand, but think they were made from polyurethane. They $ucked, big time, harsh and low on traction. I took them off in less than a week and they must have been so bad I threw them out because they don't appear to be in the basement used tire pile now.

John
John - you need to get yourself a Park VC-1

http://www.parktool.com/product/valve-core-tool-vc-1

I have never used one myself but compared to you I am pretty lax on my bike maintenance. I have no affiliation to this company and offer nothing for sale, no prices etc. so hopefully I won't get banned like Thor (no slight intended on the mods, they are just doing their jobs).
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Old 11-20-13, 11:52 PM   #14
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Here's an example of airless tires....



I had a similar bike once but unfortunately used Air Jordans....
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Old 11-21-13, 08:17 AM   #15
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I'd also check the valve. I had both Brompton tires expire on me - literally. A crack started where the valve stem met the tube, and while I can't be 100% positive, I'm sure it's because the tire pump I have seems "sticky" and I really have to attach the pump carefully and disengage it as gently as I can. Otherwise, the valve would flop around as I struggled to pop the pump off. I replaced the stock Brompton tire tubes with Schwalbe's tubes with metal valves and tightening nuts - much less prone to damage.
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Old 11-21-13, 08:56 AM   #16
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hopefully I won't get banned like Thor (no slight intended on the mods, they are just doing their jobs).

Thor reported that he got a 'warning' not that he was being 'banned' .. pretty big difference.. where has it been shown he was banned?
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Old 11-22-13, 05:05 PM   #17
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not the valve last tube leaked tread side liner looked good, could not find anything in tire at all.... i looked and LBS checked it over very carefully. New tube had air when i checked it 3 days after putting it up but on day 5 it was flat and lost bead...... i'm going to change liner and i have Slime tube to stick in it, since i won't be home when LBS is open.
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Old 11-22-13, 05:41 PM   #18
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John - you need to get yourself a Park VC-1
That IS what I use with Prestas, I agree, GOOD tool (have several). I tried a similar looking thing from Stans when I experimented with tubeless (too messy for me though), but found it didn't fit some removable Presta cores, like on Surly Toobs (too tight). The Parks seem to work with everything I have.

John
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Old 12-02-13, 04:28 AM   #19
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my sister use to have a bicycle with a solid tyre and the wheels looked like they were off a steam roller
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