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Thread: Miles per flat

  1. #1
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Miles per flat

    I know situations are different and what one person considers to be trashy road conditions may not be the same as another.

    Nevertheless, I'd like to get some idea of how often people get flats and for better comparisons, I'd like to do it with miles. Saying "once a week" doesn't help much unless we know how many miles are ridden in a week.

    I'd also like to know what kind, and size, tires you are using and whether you are using protective strips, slime, etc.

    My first bike (a comfort bike) had 1.95" tires - fairly slick with knobs on the outside where they would only make contact in sand. I road 2000 miles with no flats. The tubes were slimed and they did have some kind of protective strip (very thick!).

    When I switched to 1.5" tires (and no strip or slime), I got flats. I didn't keep track, but I put 1000 miles in and suppose I had at least 4 flats.

    My new road bike had Continental Grand Prix 4-Season tires. No strips. I peridically got flats, though at the time I didn't keep track at first. However, at some point with 2000 miles, I started getting them a LOT. From April 7 to May 24, I had 16 flats. The last 4 or 5 were in the rear tire where I put in a Mr Tuffy strip because almost all my flats were in that tire. At least 3 of those were caused by the strip.

    The front tire's last 3 flats were in a bit less than 500 miles.

    The Armadillo I put on the back has 301 miles on it with no flats so far. This is much better than what I was getting on the rear over the prior 500 miles.

    I am hoping to get at least 1000 miles between flats on average, but don't know if that is better than average.

    Bob

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    Armadillos score so far: 3 years and 13960 miles and 0 flats (unless you count the faulty tube). Before Armadillos I averaged 2-5 flats per week when I moved to Bakersfield CA due to trashy streets-that is not a misprint-2-5 flats per week!!! Plus I was destroying tires with as low a only 40 miles to a high of only 750 miles, the Armadillos have lasted on average 3600 on the front and 2800 on the rear before I felt they should be replaced.

  3. #3
    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    I once survived 12,000km without any flats (in 1999). Up until about five weeks ago I went almost 10,000km flatless. Since then I've had seven flats. I still can't explain why.
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    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    1600 miles so far this year. 7 flats.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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    Grounded Inkwolf's Avatar
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    26x1.95 Specialized Hemispheres. About 1000 miles, no flats at all. Gotta love them fat-tired bikes.
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    Pat
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    I ride performance ultra 2000s and they do pretty well. I seem to get flats at the end of a tire's life (about 2500-3000 miles). When I get a flat, I feel the tire and if the tread is thin, I replace it. I get very few flats when the tire has a lot of "tread" on it. If I were more careful and replaced the tires on a schedule, I could probably avoid the majority of my flats and get down to a flat every 5,000 miles or maybe even less. As it is, I have a flat something like every 2,000 miles.

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    Lagomorph Demonicus stumpjumper's Avatar
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    Funny you asked. I was about to post the following info in a rant:

    Continental sport 2000's. Three rears of commuting 12 miles each way and nothing. Suddenly, four pothole related pinch flats in two weeks. Go figure.
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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Summary to date:

    Me: 327 miles without a flat so far (just tracking my new rear tire to see how well Armadillos work). The old front Conti 4-season has gone 165 miles since the last flat and has had 3 in the last 525 miles.

    Froze: 13,960 with no flats so far - using Armadillos

    Chris L: About 6250 flatless miles, but then seven in 5 weeks. Have you found any cause (glass, etc) for any of them? Do the holes tend to be in the same area (up at the rim where a spoke may be doing it or rough spot, or same area of the tire where something may be small enough to high within the rubber and hard to find)? Also, what kind of tires and size? Of course, this may just be the occasional bad luck too.

    Chewa: 7 flats in 1600 miles - one every 230 miles. What kind of tires and size?

    Inkwolf: No flats in 1000 miles, but using those big, wide tires. I had 2000 miles on similar tires on my first bike with no flats.

    Pat: Usually no flats until the tire has over 2000 miles. Which brings up something I also wanted to ask about - how many people notice a major increase in flats after 1500 - 2000 miles? And do you think it is just because the tread is thinner? I was wondering if as the tire gets used a lot, maybe the rubber also gets softer (it would grab glass easier if it did).

    Stumpjumper: I think it calculates out to about 120 miles a week if you commute every weekday. Over a year's time, thats about 6000 miles and you went 3 years (18,000 miles). I have no idea why you suddenly get pothole flats. I keep my tires highly inflated (110-120) and never had one like that. Are these road bike tires or more like mountain bike tires?

    So far, it seems as though people should be able to expect 1000 miles or more between flats on average - possible a lot more. Hopefully more will give their exerience.

    Bob

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    Rider in the Storm
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    I have no hard facts - I keep track of mileage, but not necessarily when I replace tires. But I believe, based on my best recollection, that 1,000 miles per flat roughly equals my average.

    I've had two puncture flats this year riding 2,000 miles (1 per tire, separate instances). One flat caused by a 1 cm, triangular piece of glass in the rain, the other by a large staple. I also flatted when my rim tape failed and ruptured at a spoke hole, but I'm not counting that as it doesn't relate to tire reliability.

    Tires: 700cm x 23mm, Conti Ultra GatorSkin w/Mr. Tuffy

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, I guess if I can average 1000 miles between flats, that wouldn't be bad. That would be about 6 a year. Sure beats the 16 I had in less than two months!

    Bob

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    Every lane is a bike lane Chris L's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheRCF
    Chris L: About 6250 flatless miles, but then seven in 5 weeks. Have you found any cause (glass, etc) for any of them? Do the holes tend to be in the same area (up at the rim where a spoke may be doing it or rough spot, or same area of the tire where something may be small enough to high within the rubber and hard to find)? Also, what kind of tires and size? Of course, this may just be the occasional bad luck too.
    The cause is that I gloated about my flatless run on BF.net. During this run I've changed the tyre once, then again when I had a bike stolen and bought a replacement. I've had flats in all different types of areas with all sorts of spanky causes, but nothing has changed.

    Well, I've had none since last Friday, I *think* that's close to 500km or so.
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    only time I flatted was in a skid trying to avoid a car that turned in front of me. Tires were almost bald anyway. It sounded like this

    RRRRREEEEEEEEEEEE-pssssssssssssssssssssss. Funny, I kept the tire and tube for posterity. Only set of tires I wore down completely. Oh, to answer the question, 1 time in 5 years of riding, I average about 270 miles a week. on 26x2.25 tires with tuffy liners, so I guess I cheated then.
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    Just over 1100 miles this year on 700X25 tires and no flats.
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    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Originally posted by TheRCF
    Summary to date:


    Chewa: 7 flats in 1600 miles - one every 230 miles. What kind of tires and size?


    Bob
    Originally Hutchison Kevlars 27x 1and a half, then Continental 27 x 1and an eighth. I even tried Michelin World Tours.

    I don't think it's the tyres per se, more the road conditions. Most caused by thorns on the cycle paths, some by glass.
    plus je vois les hommes, plus j'admire les chiens

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Chewa,

    It's odd that where I live (Hawaii), there are some nasty thorns that a lot of people have warned me about in certain areas, yet I only got a thorn flat once i over 6000 miles. That was on my very first long ride and I got two thorns at the same time.

    My problem - when I can see the cause - has almost always been glass.

    Bob

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    While I did get a flat on my old front tire yesterday (225 miles since the last flat in front), my Armadillo in the back is still doing fine at 437 miles so far.

    Bob

  17. #17
    MaNiC! NZLcyclist's Avatar
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    about 2000kms??? on Michelin ProRace with no punctures, just pinch flats, blown-apart valves, spoke flats, and an odd flat that I don't know what caused it but the hole was on the rim side!!!

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    Can't ride enough! Da Tinker's Avatar
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    Does anyone else think weight has a bearing on flats?

    I weigh 220 lbs (100 k), run Conti Ultra Gatorskins, 700C x 25 at 95 psi. Current set has 1400 miles, 4 flats, one being a pinch flat from hitting a rock with back tire.
    Happiness begins with facing life with a smile & a wink.

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    Da Big Kahuna
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    Well, when I first decided to put an Armadillo on the rear wheel, I said I'd have to make 500 miles before I'd even begin to feel better (because I had had so many flats prior to that and the Mr Tuffy didn't seem to solve the problem - even caused some flats).

    As it happens, I am now at 504 miles and no flats on that tire. The old front tire Conti 4-season) has had 4 flats in the past 700 miles though. Considering I've always gotten more flats in the rear, that speaks well for the Armadillo back there. Guess that means the flat gods will be after me now.

    Bob

  20. #20
    Junior Member wreckedelf's Avatar
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    I ride a Trek Navigator 200 comfort bike with tires with a smooth tread and knobs on the edges. I ride 2000 to 2500 miles per year. When I bought the bike new I installed thorn-resistant inner tubes, plastic tire liners and Slime. I had just 1 flat in the first 2 years. In the third year, as the tires wore out I had a flat about every 2 months. I noticed the tires had small cracks in them. So I replaced the tires and I have had no flats in 8 months. I think the condition of the tire is important.

  21. #21
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by wreckedelf
    I ride a Trek Navigator 200 comfort bike with tires with a smooth tread and knobs on the edges. I ride 2000 to 2500 miles per year. When I bought the bike new I installed thorn-resistant inner tubes, plastic tire liners and Slime. I had just 1 flat in the first 2 years. In the third year, as the tires wore out I had a flat about every 2 months. I noticed the tires had small cracks in them. So I replaced the tires and I have had no flats in 8 months. I think the condition of the tire is important.
    I had a similar experience. Mine was a trek Navigator 100 comfort bike. The tires sound much like yours (Bontrager?). They were 26x1.95.

    I don't know if my tubes were special as I never asked. But I did have slime and I some kind of liner - never saw them until I changed tires, but those suckers were THICK!

    Never had a flat with them in about 2000 miles. Then I bought 1.5" tires, no slime, no liner. I got a fair number of flats. Too many in my opinion.

    The new tires were Specialized Nimbus (not the Armadillo version).

    Nice to get your observation about more flats as the tires got a lot more use. One flat in 4-5000 miles is darn good. Sounds like you got one about every 400 miles after that.

    Could be coincidence so I hope we'll get more responses on that particular factor.

    Bob

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Da Tinker
    Does anyone else think weight has a bearing on flats?

    I weigh 220 lbs (100 k), run Conti Ultra Gatorskins, 700C x 25 at 95 psi. Current set has 1400 miles, 4 flats, one being a pinch flat from hitting a rock with back tire.
    Weight definitely has a bearing on flats. The more weight on the tire, the more force against debris on the road and the greater the chance of a pinch flat. Before I started riding Armadillos I would flat the rear tire far more often than the front. There's more weight on the rear tire.

  23. #23
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    Originally posted by Da Tinker

    I weigh 220 lbs (100 k), run Conti Ultra Gatorskins, 700C x 25 at 95 psi. Current set has 1400 miles, 4 flats, one being a pinch flat from hitting a rock with back tire. [/B]
    Da Tinker; those Gatorskins have a paper thin sidewall that does not have any flat protection in the walls. Even Mich Axial's have thicker sidewalls and their not into the flat prevention thing! Those paperthin sidewalls will not hold up to a rock or a pothole as you discovered, plus the thin sidewalls are very susceptible to severe damage that will destroy the tire. Some of the problem could be due to the low 95psi your running, I would crank it up to at least the max recommended pressure (you can safetly go 10% over that if you want). However you should try a heavy duty tire IF flats are causing you some concern; try the Specialize Turbo Armadillo in the 700x26 size and run them at least 135psi, and I guarantee that flats will become a faded memory-for the most part anyway!

    By the way I use a Specialize 65gram ultralight race tube in my Armadillos with no liners and I now have over 14,100 miles without a flat; I run 125psi in the rear and 115 in the front-but I only weigh 160. I also put the new tire to the rear and let it run for about 1800 miles before swapping it to the front and discard the front because it would now have about 3600 miles and on the edge of total wearout, then put a new one on the rear again to prevent flats as much as possible back there; but most people believe the best tire should be up front-that makes me a bit odd I guess!

  24. #24
    Da Big Kahuna
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    Originally posted by froze
    IF flats are causing you some concern; try the Specialize Turbo Armadillo in the 700x26 size and run them at least 135psi, and I guarantee that flats will become a faded memory-for the most part anyway!

    I now have over 14,100 miles without a flat; I run 125psi in the rear and 115 in the front-but I only weigh 160.
    Is the 135 lb recommendation because of Da Tinker's weight? I run around 146 so I assume you would recommend pretty much what you run (I'm on the 700x23)? I presently run about 120 in the rear - the front still has the old Conti 4-season and it is now at about 3300 miles.

    Since the Armadillo in the rear has not flatted in 553 miles, I'm assuming it is a good solution for me. I'll be putting one on the front soon.

    I'm just amazed that you have gone so far without flats. It seems that something would happen, even if it were just bad luck. Certainly others have reported far more flats from them. Didn't you once say you rode on streets where you used to get a flat a week with other tires? If so, it can't be because you live in a particularly good area.

    Right now I'm figuring that I probably don't average more than 150 miles riding a week so I've ridden the equivalent of almost 4 weeks on the tire. That sure beats what I was getting!

    Bob

  25. #25
    Da Big Kahuna
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    The Armadillo tire went flat at 560 miles! And let me tell you, when the flat god wants to get you, he doesn't fool around. The tire was cut as if with a scapel from one sidewall almost to the other and all the way through to the protective bands inside - and even though them at one point. I don't know what it was I hit, but I don't see any way any tire could have survived it.

    Other than that one huge cut, the tire is virtually unblemished, though I know I've hit my fair share of glass in the past month, so I'm still pleased with it. However, that cut makes it worthless so I replaced it and while I was at it, I also replaced the old front tire.

    When I showed it to the shop people, they said they had never seen that happen to an Armadillo before. Guess I'm just lucky!

    So, the cycle begins anew, except that this time I'll be tracking both tires.

    Bob (2 - yeah TWO - flatless miles and counting!)

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