Tyre savers work only on a specific type of flat; those that are caused by glass and goatheads. They won't work for pinched-flats caused by hitting rocks or potholes. Nor will they work on internal issues like torn casings on the tyre or weak rim-strips.
I used to commute from Isla Vista (student-community next to UCSB) to downtown to work at Open Air Bike; an easy 13-mile ride. There was a bike-path that ran almost the entire distance, however, it often was overgrown with weeds and had ample glass and goatheads. For the first couple of months, I would never fail to get a flat at least once a week from the goatheads, even with the toughest tyre at the time, the kevlar-belted Specialized TouringS tyre. The thing is, glass and goatheads do not puncture your tire immediatly when you run them over. It requires many revolutions and squirming to work their way through. Every single goathead puncture I had showed only the 3-4mm spike of the goathead in the tyre. The big body had already been run over so many times that it wore or broke off.
So the idea with the tyre-saver is to scrape off this debris on the very 1st revolution of the tyre when you've just picked it up. You won't have your body-weight pounding that thing over and over again until it pokes through. I was rummaging through the bins and found some tyre savers, "Ah hah! Let's try this"
I thought. It look about 30-minutes of bending and prying until I could get the shape of the wire to be contoured to the curve of the tyre and rest just 1-2mm above it. But you know what? I went from 1 flat a week to about 1 flat a year.
After picking up cycling again 1.5-years ago, I've had exactly 2 flats. One of them was actually my fault for installing a new wheel and didn't check the brake-pads. The rim was slightly smaller in diameter than my last one and the edge of the brake-pads ended up rubbing through the tyre. But I do take every precaution possible. I use kevlar-belted touring tyres, tyre-liners, tyre-savers and thorn-resistant tubes (thicker outside edge requires longer thorn/glass-shard to fully penetrate).
I couldn't find tyre-savers in the shops anymore, so I made my own from old spokes:
For those that don't think these work on goatheads, try an experiment yourself. Sprinkle a handful of goatheads across the path. Back up about 50ft and ride over them at normal speeds. And continue on for about 50-ft. Stop and you'll find 1-2 goatheads per tyre. Pick them out, install tyre-savers and repeat the experiment. After 50-ft stop and you'll find that there are ZERO goatheads stuck in your tyre.
The other practice that works is to rub your tyre after running through glass. You learn to recognized the sound of running over glass. Be sure to hook your thumb around back of seat-stays when rubbing rear-tyre so that your hand won't get yanked forward and stuck between the tyre and seat-tube...
Last edited by DannoXYZ; 05-27-07 at 02:12 PM.