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  1. #1
    Senior Member Snowsurfer's Avatar
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    Puncture Protection for Tires

    I am using the orignal tires that came with my bike. They aren't the nicest.
    I would like better puncture protection.

    Would it be better to add a pair of Mr. Tuffy liners for $8, or add on some $80 Continental GatorSkins?
    Would the Mr. Tuffy's add a significant amount of weight?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    I've changed puncture philosophies several times. I went from slime to liners to thorn resistant tubes. What I finally settled on was using the tire as the first and only line of defense. I'm using Schwalbe Double Defense Marathons, with no problems in the past twelve hundred miles. On liners, I had a Russian olive thorne penetrate the tire, pause at the liner, and then work it's way around the liner and into the tube.

    Naturally, when you get it all worked out, you begin to wonder if you don't have some kind of weight problem down there. Anyway, you've got my opinion. There are lots of others.
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    I have 150 miles on these badboys. They had the blue ones for only 15 bucks a tire but ran out. I've ran over a broken beer bottle and was expecting my tire to go flat. I kept riding another mile to the library and came out expecting to find flat tires. For the price they seem to work pretty good so far.
    http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/153...ed-TS-Tire.htm

  4. #4
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    Tuffy does not weigh much, but the weight is placed in the wost place, rotating at the rim of the wheel (see angular momentum).

    You can stop every 5 mi or so and check your tire for embedded glass ect. Tuffy probably buys you an extra 3 mi before you get a flat. Slime works for things like staples.

    If stuff is embedding in your tire it is either cheap to begin with, or old and has lost it's elasticity.

    Tuffy can also cause flats by pinching the tube and eventually making a hole.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowsurfer View Post
    I am using the orignal tires that came with my bike. They aren't the nicest.
    I would like better puncture protection.

    Would it be better to add a pair of Mr. Tuffy liners for $8, or add on some $80 Continental GatorSkins?
    Would the Mr. Tuffy's add a significant amount of weight?
    There's a few different ways to go for tire puncture resistance:

    Tire liners is one. The problem with tire liners is that the ends of the liner can rub holes into the innertubes. The ends of the liner should be shaved off an an angle and melted a bit with a flame to make sure they're thin and rounded off.

    Slime and other tube sealants. You can buy tubes already filled with the stuff, or if you're a cheapskate you can "convert" a regular innertube. On a Schrader vale you can unscrew the valve core and squirt it in that way. On a Presta tube you can cut a small hole, squirt the bottled liquid stuff in, and then patch the hole.

    Tires that have Kevlar layers is another. There's lots of these; Specialized Armadillos are one common example.

    Thick tires. Schwalbe Marathon Plus is the usual suspect here, but there are others. Cheng Shin Tire makes a cheapo copy called the CST Salva that I'd be willing to try if I didn't already have the Schwalbes. The $20 Salva is even in the same width (1.75 inches) and has the reflective strip that the $50 Marathon Plus tires do.

    Finally there are also "heavy-duty" innertubes, that use a double-thickness of rubber in the outer half (the tread area).

    --------

    My opinions on these methods are-

    As I've seen it, tire liners all put a hole in the tube eventually. I don't use them.

    Slime and the like work great when they work, but are a horrible mess when they don't. I've never used any of them.

    Kevlar tires I have used in the past. As I have seen it, kevlar tires are not as puncture-resistant as thick tires are, but the kevlar tires are thinner and roll with less resistance--making them a better choice for a long-distance bike, or a speedy bike.

    Thick tires is what my city/commuting bike has (the Schwalbe MP's). These tires are heavy and slow, and I would not use them on my long-distance bike.

    The heavy-duty innertubes I also use, on the city bike.... but only because I ordered both the tires and tubes at the same time. The tires are very thick and (with such tires) I don't think that the heavy innertubes are really necessary. I would use normal tubes next time around.

    ------

    The long-distance bike I have currently has Schwalbe Big Apples on it--which do have a kevlar belt, but I doubt it matters as this bike is mostly used for rural riding anyway and flats were rare even with cheaper non-kevlar tires.
    ~
    Last edited by Doug5150; 05-14-09 at 07:13 AM.

  6. #6
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
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    $80 for the Gatorskins? Shop elsewhere. I've got the Panaracer Kevlar felt liners in my snow tires. No flats so far.
    Mike
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  7. #7
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    Liners are affordable. That's generally what I use.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug5150 View Post
    The heavy-duty innertubes I also use, on the city bike.... but only because I ordered both the tires and tubes at the same time. The tires are very thick and (with such tires) I don't think that the heavy innertubes are really necessary. I would use normal tubes next time around.

    ~
    I should have mentioned that, as I share the opinion.
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  9. #9
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    I agree with the first line of defense being the tires - not the tubes. Put it this way: Do you really think something nasty enough to go through a Kevlar belt is actually going to be stopped by an inner-tube? Regardless of it having goo or thick, hard rubber, or whatever? Went through Kevlar?

    Put your money on protection from the tire itself.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  10. #10
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    I run Gatorskins and the tread is very pucture resistant. The only time I have actually got a piece of glass through the tread was on a tire that had about 3,000 miles on it. I have had several sidewall failures, but they were all at more than 1,000 miles, so I consider it a pretty good tire. I see no reason to try anything else in 700c x 28.
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  11. #11
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    I've used the tire Mr Tuffy tire liners for years here in NYC and have had no issues. They do add extra weight but I'm no racer.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I'm surprised at the sidewall failures after only 1000 miles. Sounds like something is causing the sidewall to break down (underinflation?). How do these sidewall failures manifest themsevles? Are these sudden failures? Hadn't heard of this wrt Gatorskins and I'm running the Gatorskins on both my road bike and tandem.
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  13. #13
    Go Leafs kgriffioen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snowsurfer View Post
    or add on some $80 Continental GatorSkins?
    I just finished putting these bad boys on about 5 minutes ago. I picked them up at REI for 44 each which was still a lot but I needed them now. At nashbar they were at 39 each and then what ever discount they are offering for the day.

    I hope they do the trick. I flatted out twice on my commute yesterday. Front tire inbound and rear tire outbound. Not a fun day

  14. #14
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Most things that will puncture a tyre will not go through the tyre imediately. I have got into a habit of after a ride- I wipe the tyres with a damp cloth. This will show any flints- thorns or glass just sitting in the rubber- waiting to be pushed through by riding. I pry them out with a small screwdriver and if the tyre goes down- I can repair it in the comfort of my own home.

    Worn tyres will also have less rubber that the villain will have to go through so getting lots of punctures recently?- see how worn the tyres are.

    I use Michelin PR2's and these are supposed to have a bit of puncture resistance built into them. Thing they must have as Current tyres have over 3,000 miles on them and no punctures yet.

    And Slime?-- Never used it and the only tyre I had to repair that did use it cost a new tube with the first puncture- and a new tyre as the stuff made a right mess inside the tyre.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    When I bought my commuter bike it came with pre-slimed tires. I put over a thousand miles on those tires without a single flat. Since I've replaced the tires, I've had two flats in the last 400 miles. One caused by a shattered beer bottle in the road that I couldn't avoid due to road construction. The other one I just had the other night. I ran over something flat and metal in the road, I think it was piece of one those things that they use to hold wall studs in place during construction. Anyway, it caused an almost immediate flat. Even though I never did find the whole in the tube.

    Yesterday, I installed a new tube with a combination of a Mr. Tuffy's tire liner and slime in the tube. When these tires are worn out, I'm going to buy some Armadillo's or something similiar.
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  16. #16
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    I use tire liners.

    While it is true that *eventually* tire liners will wear a hole in a tube, in my experience, it takes a long time for that to happen and, in the interim, you get no flats. In about 3 years of using tire liners, I've had one flat that I attributed to the tire liner.

    On a trip across France, I decided to buy Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires and found them to be heavy and have poor grip on wet surfaces, especially on parts of road that are painted and wet.

    With tire liners, I get to increase the puncture resistance of whatever tires I like using instead of choosing from a limited number of puncture-resistance (and expensive) tires.

    Ray
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  17. #17
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    i am a big guy and have used the stock conti ultra sport's on my fuji, Michelin krylions, PR3's, schwalbe ultremo's and have had puncture problems with all of them. maybe it could be my weight (265) area i ride or way i ride. i eventually settled on the krylions because i was promised much better flat protection. nothing changed. i was getting 2 to 5 flats a week at its worst. every time i flatted i did take the time to be sure all the debris was removed from the tire and verified that the hole wasnt in the same location. i got fed up and finally put in liners and have not had a flat since and it has been over a year. also since i was not getting great mileage out of my tires especially the rear due to slices and such i bought the lightest tires and tubes i could find. i am running conti supersonic tubes and tires. for those who dont know, conti SS tires dont have much in the way of protection if at all.


    even if i nullified any weight advantage with the tires and tubes, i gained all that time from not changing flats.
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  18. #18
    bikes are sexy Lebowski's Avatar
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    i'll be honest, i barely read any of the replies. i used to get flats all the time with lower end tires, liners didnt help.

    since i started buying high end tires the problem went away. i havent had a flat on the road in 2009
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  19. #19
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    I'm surprised at the sidewall failures after only 1000 miles. Sounds like something is causing the sidewall to break down (underinflation?). How do these sidewall failures manifest themsevles? Are these sudden failures? Hadn't heard of this wrt Gatorskins and I'm running the Gatorskins on both my road bike and tandem.
    I should clarify. Non of the sidewall failures were the tires fault. I am extremely rough with my bikes. Two of the tires got tore up in one crash when I went down at about 25 mph and didn't come unclipped until after sliding to a stop. I rode the tires for another week with the tubes bulging out through the sides of the tires (heavy duty tubes rock). The sidewall of another got sliced when I hit an unavoidable pile of broken glass. One was damaged because I was riding it like a mountain bike and scraped the side of the tire against a curb....hard.

    All that said I have ridden two trips from Fort Worth to Corpus Christi and never got a flat. I just wanted to be clear that the tread is very puncture resistant and lasts quite awile, the sidewall is the weak part. You can skid them all day on a track bike and do no noticable damage. They aren't quite tank tracks, but I still like them.
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  20. #20
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I just got my 4th flat... I now seem to be up to getting one every 10,000 km.

    2 were because of defective tubes (we got a bad batch at the shop), and the last (happened last June) was on my old CCM, and this one on my other old CCM that runs new but rather inexpensive tyres.

    I normally run good quality tyres and have no problems with these... I have sets of tyres that are pushing 10,000 km that have never flatted and still look great.

    I run basic Marathons... no issues there and these see big miles.

  21. #21
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Sidewall punctures? These are commonplace with tires that boast a Kevlar-belt on the tops of the tire. Then they shave cost on a ultra-thin gum-sidewall. One major offender is the Panaracer Pasela TourGuard. A pine needle could do them in from the side. Or used to be - they may have heard the war-drums by now.

    Best advice is to watch where you are going and what lays ahead. But I still adhere to the philosophy that the best defense is your tire itself. Conti Gatorskins are one of the best - and many others. Keep looking & keep asking.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  22. #22
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I have even been running Conti Ultra Sports which seem to have a rep for punctures and the front tyre on my fixed gear has seen 1000's upon 1000's of km of trouble free riding... I just swapped the rear Kenda (also trouble free) for a new Conti Ultra / Kevlar and will see how that runs out.

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