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Thread: Flatless Tires

  1. #1
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    Flatless Tires

    I've probably had the worst luck out of anyone in this entire forum when it comes to flat tires. I've got a decent road bike that weighs fairly light, me weighing in at about 2 bills. I've probably went through at least $80 in tires and C02 over the past couple weeks. It's like I get a flat every other day. I've tried slime, thin tubes, thorn resistant tubes and kevlar tires. All have a tendency to go flat if not sooner than later. Almost always pinch flats, but I've even had the people in bike shops put them in there for me perfectly. I'm careful how I ride, but there's so much damn debry on my route that it doesn't take more than a couple days till they go flat again and I'm trhowing down yet another 20-30 bucks on tubes.

    What does it take to get a good, light-weight, reliable flatless tire? One that you could drill holes through and still ride on without even sacrificing a significant amount of performance compared to tubes.

    If you know of any good flatless tire brands out there, I'd like to know since I'm simply fed up with tubes. I don't even care if I go 5mph less than I would with tubes. In my case going slower and a bumpier ride is way better than getting stranded.

    I use my bike to commute to and from work (16 miles round trip everyday). It already sucks up over an hour out of my day just riding my bike, I simply don't have the time to deal with flats. Which for me seems to be inevitable with tubes.

  2. #2
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Airless tyres suck, they're super-heavy and personally I think they're dangerous due to the lower amounts of grip and bump-absorption.


    "I've tried slime, thin tubes, thorn resistant tubes and kevlar tires. All have a tendency to go flat if not sooner than later. Almost always pinch flats,"

    Those measures will help with thorns, glass, puncture type flats, but they will do absolutely zip for pinched-flats. If you're getting pinched flats, you need more pressure. For your weight, you need to get some 28-32mm tyres and use them at 100-130psi. Your teeth fillings may fall out, but you won't get any pinched flats.

    Pinched flats are caused by running over objects with an edge, like a kerb, a pothole, or a rock that focuses your weight on a small area and pinches the tyre down to the rim. The rim-edge then cuts through the tube onto the obstacle. Don't hit those things. Look 50-75ft in front of the bike when you're riding, DO NOT look up at the sky or the horizon all the time like you're driving. You won't reach that spot for another 30-45 minutes, meanwhile, you'll have ridden over a bunch of garbage that'll flat your tyres.

  3. #3
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    Flats are common on bicycles. It's a drag. Kevlar belted tires, Mr, Tuffy, watching where you are going, etc. all help. It sounds like you are pinching the tube while trying to get the tire back on the rim. Is this what you mean by pinch flats? If so, we can give you some tips on tire installation.

    DannoXYZ is describing what is normally meant by "pinch flat" and these are usually caused by having too low pressure in addition to hitting the edge of some broken pavement or such. Use a good floor pump with guage and top them up before each ride.

    I don't think you are going to like the airless tires. Very few people have any experience with them, so you may not get any answers here to questions of quality, availability, installation, etc. of airless tire systems.

  4. #4
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    Installation, performance are drawbacks to the airless tires I've seen. Greentyre in the 90s, but they felt like they would roll off the rim & needed a pit crew & training video to get them on. Some distibutor tried to promote them to messengers back then, it didn't take at all.

  5. #5
    Good Afternoon! SamHouston's Avatar
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    most messers wer on MTB back then, I'm not sure there is an airless road tire

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    Senior Member kf5nd's Avatar
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    Can't answer your question w/o more info. How much do you weigh? Do you carry cargo on your bike? What tire size (width especially), make, model do you use now? How much air pressure do you run?

    I weigh 185, do carry up to 20 lbs routinely, I use 700x25 and 700x28 Specialized Armadillos and cheapo generic tubes over horrible, horrible trash-laden roads in Houston and get a flat about 4x a year. About a flat per 1000 miles. That includes night riding (commuting) where I can't see tiny debris, and run over it.

    For my daytime recreational riding, I haven't had a flat in several years. I've never had to use the air pump that I bought for this bike. It just sits there idle.

    Oh, for sure, if you get flats, lose the CO2 cartridges and get a good pump. I mean, that's like washing your car with little bottles of Evian or Perrier.
    Peter Wang, LCI
    Houston, TX USA

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
    "I've tried slime, thin tubes, thorn resistant tubes and kevlar tires. All have a tendency to go flat if not sooner than later. Almost always pinch flats,"
    +1
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

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    Senior Member Nigeyy's Avatar
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    I had a similar experience with my Cannondale R500 I bought new back in 2002 -of course assuming you have the right air pressure, don't fix flat with sharp bits left in them, blah, blah, etc, etc. The real problem turned out to be the stock tyres that came with it -the Conti 3000s were just horrible for my weight (I'm heavy) and pinch flatted way too much. Commuting into work, it was getting where I'd flat once a day (about one flat every 40-50 miles), and it was *frustrating*. Because I'm cheap, I never changed tyres until I had to (really bad bobble on front tyre, slash in rear one). I went with the Michelin Axial Carbons.... result: it took me well over a 1000 miles to get a flat, riding exactly the same roads on the same bike in the same way.

    This may or may not be your problem, but if you're riding "delicate" tyres (and some kevlar brand tyres can still be fragile), you might think of giving something like the Michelins a go (they don't make the Axial Carbons anymore, but the replacement is very similar as my friend has them). My Carbons do need replacing now, but they've got a good 3000+ miles on, with extremely few flats.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by llieske
    I've probably had the worst luck out of anyone in this entire forum when it comes to flat tires. I've got a decent road bike that weighs fairly light, me weighing in at about 2 bills. I've probably went through at least $80 in tires and C02 over the past couple weeks. It's like I get a flat every other day. I've tried slime, thin tubes, thorn resistant tubes and kevlar tires. All have a tendency to go flat if not sooner than later. Almost always pinch flats, but I've even had the people in bike shops put them in there for me perfectly. I'm careful how I ride, but there's so much damn debry on my route that it doesn't take more than a couple days till they go flat again and I'm trhowing down yet another 20-30 bucks on tubes.

    What does it take to get a good, light-weight, reliable flatless tire? One that you could drill holes through and still ride on without even sacrificing a significant amount of performance compared to tubes.

    If you know of any good flatless tire brands out there, I'd like to know since I'm simply fed up with tubes. I don't even care if I go 5mph less than I would with tubes. In my case going slower and a bumpier ride is way better than getting stranded.

    I use my bike to commute to and from work (16 miles round trip everyday). It already sucks up over an hour out of my day just riding my bike, I simply don't have the time to deal with flats. Which for me seems to be inevitable with tubes.
    Two thoughts:

    1) I agree with others that some road tires are better. The Bontragers that came with my Madone were fairly flat prone, but I haven't flatted in 2300 miles on the Vittoria Rubino Pros I'm running now, despite having run other a lot of junk. But I don't think that's your problem.

    2) Your problem is likely one of two things. First, it's possible that you're pinching the tube when you put it on or it's stuck between the tire and the rim when you inflate it. If you're having to use levers to get the tire on, it's easy easy to pinch the tire. Once you get it on make sure you squeeze the tire and make sure the tube isn't visible. Second - and more likely - is that you have a bad rim strip or a spoke pointing through. Look especially for the rim strip not covering the spoke holes completely - even a tiny gap is a pretty likely to get you a pinch flat. Had a rider double flat on our last group ride on this, even though you could barely see the gap.

    My money is on the rim strip.
    Eric

    2005 Trek 5.2 Madone, Red with Yellow Flames (Beauty)
    199x Lemond Tourmalet, Yellow with fenders (Beast)

    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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  10. #10
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    debris - Stop and check the tires every hour or so. pick out the glass with a knife. Make sure whatever is causing the flats is not in your tire. Are you using the correct rim strip, I had a flat yeasterday because of that.
    2000 Montague CX, I do not recommend it, but still ride it.
    Strida 3, I recommend it for rides < 10mi wo steep hills.
    2006 Rowbike 720 Sport, I recommend it as an exercise bike.
    1996 Birdy, Recommend.
    Wieleder CARiBIKE (folding), decent frame.

  11. #11
    Cheers! 2wheeled's Avatar
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    I have almost always run armadillos with rarely a problem. I think you're running low tire pressure to get those pinched flats.

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