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Old 08-02-11, 12:21 PM   #1
Tini.AD
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Advice on good puncture resistant tyres

Hello, I was hoping to get some advice on buying a pair of good puncture resistant tyres.
Its for use on my Claud Butler Explorer 200. I currently have 700x35 tyres.
I'm about to start university in Bath so won't have time or money to fix punctures so puncture resistance is priority.
I was hoping to get tyres that would also be decent for cycling on hills too.

I've been looking at:
Michelin Pilot City
Schwalbe Marathon Plus
Continental Travel Contact

Recommendations on inner tubes would also be very welcome.

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thank you.
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Old 08-02-11, 12:30 PM   #2
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When I could commute, I used the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. 4 years and never an issue. They are heavy but I had panniers at the time also so it wasn't a factor.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:12 PM   #3
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The only ones you mentioned that I have experience with are the Continental Travel Contacts. They are a bit heavy, but roll well and are quite puncture resistant. The knobbies on the edges of the tread can be good or bad. They are great if you occasionally go off pavement, such as on gravel or dirt. They can be bad if you make tight turns on pavement at high speed. You can hear the knobbies during such turns. I was always worried that if I hit a patch of sand in such a turn that they wouldn't hold their grip. It only occurred when leaning into tight turns at speed.

Some other tires that have worked well for me in my commuting duties have been Continental Contact tires (just the regular Conti. Contacts) and Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires (my current favorite). I've picked goathead thorns out of both tires without the tubes being touched. The Conti Contacts offer a little more in flat protection, but the Randonneur Pro tires perform admirably, are lighter, and roll better than both the Contacts and the Travel Contacts.

I do carry repair supplies on both my commuter and my road bike. I've had to repair flats twice in the last month on the road bike (with Vittoria Rubino Pro III tires). My last flat I had to repair on my commuter was back in October, and it was caused by a valve stem problem and not by a puncture. Having puncture resistant tires on the commuter is very important to me.
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Old 08-02-11, 01:52 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tini.AD View Post
Hello, I was hoping to get some advice on buying a pair of good puncture resistant tyres.
Its for use on my Claud Butler Explorer 200. I currently have 700x35 tyres.
I'm about to start university in Bath so won't have time or money to fix punctures so puncture resistance is priority.
I was hoping to get tyres that would also be decent for cycling on hills too.

I've been looking at:
Michelin Pilot City
Schwalbe Marathon Plus
Continental Travel Contact

Recommendations on inner tubes would also be very welcome.

Any help will be greatly appreciated, thank you.
Well, if money is an issue, it will generally take a heck of a lot of patches and tube cement to add up to the premium cost of even one puncture-resistent tire...

That being said, I have Vittoria Randonneur Pro 700x35's on my touring bike, and they've gone a couple thousand miles of everything from rolling through glass-strewn sidewalks on city streets, to semi-rough single track, without any flats. They also have the usual downsides in terms of weight and rolling resistance, like any tire in that class.
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Old 08-02-11, 02:12 PM   #5
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Well, if money is an issue, it will generally take a heck of a lot of patches and tube cement to add up to the premium cost of even one puncture-resistent tire...
Patches and cement, I'll give you that. However you seem to be overlooking the cost of your mini-pump (or inflator & cartridges), tire bead tool, and depending on when it happens a headlight would be handy.

Nevertheless, this thinking is mostly true if you assign the monetary value of your own time as zero.

However, if you put some small amount of value on your time, you can find the balance-- many tires are puncture resistant that are cheaper than the 3 premium grade tires in the original post. However if you put a high value on your time, as well as the weight savings in not bringing a pump and tools with you, and I think you can make a compelling case for puncture resistant tires.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:05 PM   #6
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I haven't had a flat on my Marathon Plus tires in a year of commuting with them (well, I didn't commute much during the winter, but the rest of the year still holds). They are slow, but since I've had them for long enough, I can't really remember how much faster I used to ride.

No opinion on the others since I haven't ridden on them, but they have good reputations.
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Old 08-02-11, 03:18 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Patches and cement, I'll give you that. However you seem to be overlooking the cost of your mini-pump (or inflator & cartridges), tire bead tool, and depending on when it happens a headlight would be handy.

Nevertheless, this thinking is mostly true if you assign the monetary value of your own time as zero.

However, if you put some small amount of value on your time, you can find the balance-- many tires are puncture resistant that are cheaper than the 3 premium grade tires in the original post. However if you put a high value on your time, as well as the weight savings in not bringing a pump and tools with you, and I think you can make a compelling case for puncture resistant tires.

It's not clear from the OP if they're going to be commuting on the bike ( though that was my assumption ), but if that's the case, then I can't see how carrying an inflation device and tools is optional. If you're using your bike in a fashion in which you have time constraints, then you have to be self-sufficient enough to deal with a flat. Especially since, as we all know, there's no such thing as a puncture-proof tire, unless you're riding one of those hideous solid tires that keep cropping up.
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Old 08-02-11, 05:02 PM   #8
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Some people, including at least one participant in this thread, go more than a year without a flat. At that kind of incidence rate, how exactly are tools mandatory?

A very high percentage of people have cellphones. If you get your once yearly puncture and can't make it home, pull out your phone and get your wife/friend/co-worker/mom to pick you up.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Some people, including at least one participant in this thread, go more than a year without a flat. At that kind of incidence rate, how exactly are tools mandatory?

A very high percentage of people have cellphones. If you get your once yearly puncture and can't make it home, pull out your phone and get your wife/friend/co-worker/mom to pick you up.
Which is great, until the flat happens at a time in which you'll be late for work or class, and you can't get a ride until it's too late.

It's not like you're lugging around a cannonball. The few extra ounces of a pump and tube are insignificant for a commuter.
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Old 08-02-11, 06:45 PM   #10
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I've heard great things about the Serfas Survivor. They have triple protection against flats. If you can't afford them, go with the Serfas Seca. They are very affordable at $25/tire. I got them in the 28mm version. That is as wide as they go. The tires I recommended are good if you want narrower tires.

Serfas Survivor.

Serfas Seca.

The Serfas Seca looks very nice. I got it in grey.

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Old 08-03-11, 08:53 AM   #11
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Specialized Nimbus Armadillo with Specialized Air Lock tubes are a little heavy but about bomb proof. I used to get flats at least once a month on stock Kenda tires and regular tubes, but have never gotten a flat since switching to this Specialized combo. Another nice feature is they can be inflated to 110 psi.

I also have Vittoria Zaffiro tires on another bike and have never had a flat with them in over 2000 miles. They are very durable, cost effective tires. I just bought a couple more for $13 a piece.

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Old 08-06-11, 11:12 AM   #12
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Specialized Armadillo Elite, just over 1K miles no flats, somewhat expensive.
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Old 08-06-11, 03:31 PM   #13
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Dont let that get into your head with the term puncture resistance,that aint no such tire out there,try a bottle of Slime from Wallyworld before you spend them hard earned money.

P.S, resistance only means when the tires haven't bite the dust yet and your thinking it is incapable of getting a flat.
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Old 08-06-11, 03:37 PM   #14
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Schwalbe marathon plus come in lots of sizes from 25 mm upwards and are the most puncture- resistant tyre on the market. I've ridden 8000 miles on them with only one puncture.
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Old 08-06-11, 04:18 PM   #15
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I wouldn't suggest slime at typical hybrid tire pressures. It does work good on large volume, low pressure MTB tires.
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Old 08-07-11, 12:06 AM   #16
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Best protection is to learn how to change tube/tire on the road. 2nd best is to have right air pressure. 3rd would be routine check up on your tires now & then. I prefer Conti ultra sport for my competetive bikes.
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Old 08-08-11, 05:04 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the replies, espcially those who took the time and effort to upload pictures. I've taken the advice from here and elsewhere and gone for the marathon plus.
PS I currently have slime tubes, but they are most certainly going in the bin after the glue stuff somehow came out of the valve sealing it up for good. It's a ***** to get those things off with them 3/4 inflated.
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Old 08-08-11, 08:49 PM   #18
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Thanks for all the replies, espcially those who took the time and effort to upload pictures. I've taken the advice from here and elsewhere and gone for the marathon plus.
PS I currently have slime tubes, but they are most certainly going in the bin after the glue stuff somehow came out of the valve sealing it up for good. It's a ***** to get those things off with them 3/4 inflated.
If you know you are getting rid of the slime tubes (a good move), you can cut off the valve stems. This is an easy task with Schrader valves, but doable with Presta valves. In the case of Schrader valves, the plugged core can be removed with a tire valve tool like this one: http://toolmonger.com/2009/11/05/dea...re-valve-tool/
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Old 09-08-11, 02:53 PM   #19
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How long do these tires last before being worn out ? Realize it will be different in many cases, but in general.

Should you use particular inner-tubes with these Schwalbe Marathon Plus ?

Cheers.

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Schwalbe marathon plus come in lots of sizes from 25 mm upwards and are the most puncture- resistant tyre on the market. I've ridden 8000 miles on them with only one puncture.
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Old 09-08-11, 03:15 PM   #20
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When I could commute, I used the Schwalbe Marathon Plus. 4 years and never an issue. They are heavy but I had panniers at the time also so it wasn't a factor.
+1. Marathon Supremes have lower rolling resistance, at a higher price, with slightly worse puncture resistance. I run both Pluses and Supremes, and I've gotten one tread flat with each, while riding indiscriminately through glassy areas.
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Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
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Old 09-08-11, 04:03 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
Some people, including at least one participant in this thread, go more than a year without a flat. At that kind of incidence rate, how exactly are tools mandatory?

A very high percentage of people have cellphones. If you get your once yearly puncture and can't make it home, pull out your phone and get your wife/friend/co-worker/mom to pick you up.
Rookie! Not all of us have people standing by ready to rescue us. And some of us who do prefer to ride self-supported. Does one year of riding equal 10,000 miles? More or less? I went at least five years without a flat. Then the training wheels came off.

If I have a flat on Furnace Mountain Road in Lovettsville, do I really want to ask someone to drive to this obscure dirt road 50 miles from the city? No. Do I want to sit there and wait a couple of hours for them to find it? No.
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Old 09-08-11, 04:10 PM   #22
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I've got regular Schwalbe Marathons, not the plus, which Schwalbe claims are as flat resistant as other brands' "flat resistant" tires. ColinL told me these are mountain bike tires, but I think they are more of an all-terrain tire. No flats so far, knock on wood. If you can afford Schwalbe tires, you can afford a pump and patch kit.
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Old 09-08-11, 04:13 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColinL View Post
However, if you put some small amount of value on your time, you can find the balance-- many tires are puncture resistant that are cheaper than the 3 premium grade tires in the original post. However if you put a high value on your time, as well as the weight savings in not bringing a pump and tools with you, and I think you can make a compelling case for puncture resistant tires.
So you're going to call your wife and wait for her to rescue you instead of fixing your flat because your time is valuable? You are the comic relief of the hybrid forum.
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Old 09-08-11, 08:31 PM   #24
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I'm glad I could be of assistance!

Since I wrote that I've had a flat and walked home, then just tonight my wife had a flat and ... wait for it... I repaired it with the spares kit I had started carrying. My desire for highly puncture-resistant tires has increased, but I'm also not crazy enough to go out with no spares anymore. Solo ride is a tire tool, inflater and 1 cartridge and a spare tube in my jersey pocket.

I think flats might be like dead celebrities, so I'm cringing in anticipation of #3.
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Old 09-09-11, 03:27 AM   #25
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Marathon Plus are the best for puncture free city commuting. They are a PITA to get on and off and roadside puncture repairs are not a trivial matter so make sure you check and prep the wheel and use a good quality inner tube:
Check that the spoke heads dont press into the inner tube.
Run some fine emery cloth around the valve hole to smooth off any sharp edge.
Fit some decent rim tape such as self-adhesive Velox cloth tape.
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