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Old 08-06-11, 04:11 PM   #1
GaryPitts
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Opinions on best puncture resistant tubes

Had my first flat today Had the wife come pick me up as it was raining and I didn't want to try my first patch job beside the road in the rain.

Had a Michelin Presta tube here at the house waiting on me. Got the tire off. It's cut bad enough it will need replacement. Put the Michelin tube in and lo and behold the stem is shorter (fine) and has no threads for the lock nut. Put the old tire back on until the new one comes in and now I'm trying to figure out how to air it up. Had to call the LBS to be told to hold the valve in place from the tire side until the pump is in place. Duh! I didn't think of that Got it aired up and all is well until the new tire gets here.

But now I'm thinking how hard it's going to be or is it even possible to air up one of these tubes on the side of the road with CO2. How am I going to hold the stem down, push the nozzle on the stem and twist the open/close valve all at the same time? Hmmm...

I'm thinking it would be best to have a tube like came out of it with the threads and locknut and I just wonder what y'alls experience is with tubes and quality and such? I ride a hybrid (the awesome Mendota) so lightness is not important. Puncture resistance is. Naive me is thinking Michelin, Continental, etc. (big names) are going to be best, but maybe not. The tube that came out of the thing was a Cheng-shin. Coming from motorcycle tires, that's a cheap brand and I wouldn't have thought they were much good.

Anyway, I need to order some more tubes as spares so chime in and tell me what fits the bill. Thanks!
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Old 08-06-11, 04:49 PM   #2
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Its usually not a problem. Only a small amount of air will inflate the tube enough to keep the valve from being pushed inside the rim.

For good puncture protection get better tires. Can't tell you what to get since you're on a hybrid. Mine are 700x23 Continental GP4000. I average about 1500+ miles between flats and I use whatever tubes are on sale.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:43 PM   #3
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I would look at tires with flat-protection built in. Flat protection is more effective in the tire than in the tube.

I sympathize about using the CO2 inflator. I need three or four hands to use mine, and rather wish I'd bought an easier to use model.
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Old 08-06-11, 05:52 PM   #4
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I depend on my tires for the puncture resistance. FWIW I usually run Schwalbe tires and tubes. Their tubes are a bit more expensive, but seem to be better made than some of the off brands. Cheng Shin may be lower end stuff but I have had good service out of their stuff. I have one bike that came with Cheng Shin tires on it OEM, they lasted some 6,000 miles of city riding before needing to be replaced.

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Old 08-06-11, 06:47 PM   #5
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The tires are puncture resistant. They are the stock Bontrager Race All Weather Hard Case. Whatever I ran over was really sharp, pointed, and didn't stay in the tire. I was riding along on the shoulder (worst place for sharp stuff!) and whoosh, whoosh, whoosh... you could hear the air coming out at a ferocious rate. Nothing was left in the tire at all except for a 1/3" gash with the rubber peeling back a little exposing the cords of the tire.

I guess you're right that it's the tires responsibility and not the tube. I was looking to see what Amazon had and noticed a couple of different brands were labeled as 'thorn resistant' or were made of heavier butyl as opposed to the lightweight road tubes. In my book, heavier is probably better unless experience shows that it doesn't make a difference.
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Old 08-06-11, 07:04 PM   #6
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Get a nice set of puncture resistant tire. I have never heard of puncture resistant tubes. There are self sealing tubes if that is that you mean but they are a huge headache should you really get a flat.

But no matter what you get you are still going to get flats. It goes with bicycling, just get used to it. It is a huge mistake to try and patch a tube on the road. Carry an extra tube instead. I always carry 2, on tour I carry 3 tubes.

It is also a huge mistake to use CO2. They are only for when you want to get on the move quickly. So you can see how the combination of patching and CO2 is rather silly. Instead get a Topeak Road Morph pump. You will be able to get the tire up to operating pressure with that pump.

As far as your gash, carry a tire boot. Squares of tough cloth like old jeans work great. I also have squares of faux leather that works great. Any tough piece of cloth will work. In a pinch a dollar bill will work too. Other than a solid rubber tire I can't imagine any tire that would prevent tire damage.
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Old 08-06-11, 07:39 PM   #7
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Puncture-resistant tires come in all sizes for all types of bikes. That's the place I start. Just buying a brand doesn't guarantee puncture-resistance. Most manufacturers also make tires for riders who do not hold puncture resistance as primary importance. You need to pay attention to the particular model of tire.

Keep in mind that puncture resistant tires are exactly that--they resist most punctures. They are not puncture-proof. Bontrager Hardcase are pretty good, but I still had punctures with them.

The tube is the last place to look for puncture resistance. Anything that can cut a tire is going to cut a tube. Early on in cycling I tried thorn-proof tubes. After a short while, the stem pulled-out. I learned that's a fairly common problem with thorn-proof tubes.

My first bike, a hybrid, came with Slime tubes. The goop inside is supposed to plug holes. It does, but only for small holes that are round, like thorns. They don't work on glass cuts, and glass is the primary problem where I ride. The first time I got a glass cut, I had goopy Slime all over me, the bike, the wheels, the tire, and once inside, the floor too. The mess was a bigger problem than the puncture.

Tire liners can help. They ride between the tire and the tube. Traditional ones, like Mr Tuffy, are thick vinyl. They're heavy and make the bike ride hard. They also can cause flats when the ends of the strips chafe against the tube, mile after mile.

I haven't tried them because I've been satisfied with my current tires, but Panaracer has a Kevlar felt tire liner that seems to solve the issues of weight, ride and chafing caused by traditional tire liners.

Last edited by tsl; 08-06-11 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 08-06-11, 08:40 PM   #8
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Like they're telling you Gary, the answer is in the tire. If you want to mess with thorn resistant tubes, Pyramid makes a good one.

There are several problems with co2 inflators. First, you often need to air up the tube outside the tire to even find the leak. Second, you need enough air in in it to give it shape before installing. Somewhere around here, I've got a small combination co2 inflator/pump that solves the problem, but I don't bother carrying it. I would say to get a Road Morph pump and be done with it. They make a lower pressure Mountain Morph, but since you have a threaded ring on the tubes, you don't have the Presta valve setup.

Spare tube is definately better that patches. You mentioned rain, and I'm not sure it can be done in the rain.
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Old 08-07-11, 12:00 AM   #9
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Spare tube is definately better that patches. You mentioned rain, and I'm not sure it can be done in the rain.
It certainly can. Unless you're actually underwater you should be able to patch a tube in the rain. However, I agree that usually it is more convenient to replace the tube and repair the old one at home.
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Old 08-07-11, 06:16 AM   #10
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I ordered a frame pump yesterday. I could take the family out for a real nice dinner if I had the money for all the stuff I've bought and then decided its not what I really wanted Grips, lights, etc. Part of the learning process I reckon.

So, I've got this 1/3" cut in the tire where I can pull the rubber back pretty easily and see the cords. The inside of the tire doesn't have an obvious puncture (although it obviously does since it got the tube) or anything that feels rough. Am I comfortable running that tire or am I looking for trouble? I have a 50 mile county fair ride next weekend and would like to finish. I do have a new tire ordered and it'll be here Thursday.
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Old 08-07-11, 07:12 AM   #11
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Panaracer T-serv Protex tires I find do very well in flat protection. They come in 25,28, & 32 sizes.
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Old 08-07-11, 07:34 AM   #12
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I ordered a frame pump yesterday. I could take the family out for a real nice dinner if I had the money for all the stuff I've bought and then decided its not what I really wanted Grips, lights, etc. Part of the learning process I reckon.

So, I've got this 1/3" cut in the tire where I can pull the rubber back pretty easily and see the cords. The inside of the tire doesn't have an obvious puncture (although it obviously does since it got the tube) or anything that feels rough. Am I comfortable running that tire or am I looking for trouble? I have a 50 mile county fair ride next weekend and would like to finish. I do have a new tire ordered and it'll be here Thursday.
Maybe boot it with a piece of duct tape or scrap inner tube. My general rule is if the cords are cut the tire is going to be getting replaced fairly soon.

FWIW I usually patch my tubes on the side of the road, however I do agree rain is probably the one time I would swap in a tube. I carry both tubes and patches, seldom have to use them.

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Old 08-07-11, 01:39 PM   #13
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All tubes and tires are puncture resistant....until they puncture!
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