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Old 03-20-15, 01:04 PM   #1
BrockLee
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Best Way to Prevent Flats

I just bought a '15 Trek 7.3 FX (hopefully picking it up today). I'm concerned with flats. My question; Should I have liners inserted OR upgrade the tires or what? Or will I be fine with the stock tires?
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Old 03-20-15, 01:17 PM   #2
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Liners and tires with extra flat protection layers slow you down and make the ride more harsh. Only get them if these things don't matter to you but a lesser chance of flatting does.

I'd recommend riding the stock tires and see how it goes.
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Old 03-20-15, 01:22 PM   #3
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Ride those stock tires for 500 miles and see what you think about them. Carry a patch kit and learn how to use it. I haven't had a flat yet using the stock tires that came on my Giant Escape.
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Old 03-20-15, 01:30 PM   #4
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Depends upon the conditions where you ride. Do you encounter goat head thorns, broken glass, etc, regularly? If not, I would second the idea to just see how you fare with the stock tires. If you get flats too often for your liking, you might want to upgrade your tires.
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Old 03-20-15, 01:35 PM   #5
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I've put 6500 miles on my road bike over 3 years and no flats so far.

If you ride off road, maybe look at torn resistant tubes.
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Old 03-20-15, 02:04 PM   #6
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To add to my original comment, I'd put 500 miles on it before I upgraded anything. I got the bug when I first got my bike and spent about $150 on accessories that I no longer use, or use very infrequently. The only one I give myself a pass on is the saddle because you don't really know how one is going to feel until you use it, however I should've rode that stock saddle a while to see if I even needed a new one. Some small things you know you're going to want right away, bottle cages, a saddle bag for your keys, wallet, and that patch kit. But for any component upgrades or larger purchases, such as quality tires (Gatorskins for example could run you $75-100 for the pair). You might find that flats aren't an issue in your area and you can apply that $75-100 somewhere more useful for you.
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Old 03-20-15, 02:27 PM   #7
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I really appreciate all the input, guys! I'm in a dry, dry part of California. Though I plan on staying on paved trails, dry yellow star thisle was a problem with my last bike, which was a heavy mountain bike ('08ish Giant Rincon). When I had liners added in, I had no more flat issues.
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Old 03-20-15, 02:55 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
..Carry a patch kit...

It's a known fact that those riders who carry a patch kit and have no fear of using it have fewer flats...

And remember... Everybody gets their turn no matter what...
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Old 03-20-15, 04:04 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GVLaker09 View Post
Carry a patch kit and learn how to use it.
A patch kit is good for emergencies, but a spare tube is much easier to deal with on the road.

The first thing is to learn to avoid glass. I also do the "tire-rub" whenever I find myself crossing a patch of glass. I don't know if it helps, but I've done it for years.

There are several good flat resistant tires. I agree, use what you have for now, but consider one of the more flat resistant tires for your next purchase.
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Old 03-20-15, 04:13 PM   #10
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A patch kit is good for emergencies, but a spare tube is much easier to deal with on the road.
Very true, I should've mentioned that as well. I carry a kit out of necessity, it's all I have room for in my seat bag. I've been considering panniers, so if I buy those I'll start carrying tubes, and will also throw a tube in my child trailer.
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Old 03-20-15, 04:52 PM   #11
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Oh, another thing I've started doing.

If I ever see an intact glass bottle on the road, I pick it up and bring it home for recycling. An intact bottle one day may be a mine-field the next.
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Old 03-20-15, 05:23 PM   #12
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Best way to prevent flats:

1) keep your tires aired up
2) watch where you ride
3) periodically inspect your tires for debris

Follow the above steps and you'll prevent 90% of your issues.
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Old 03-20-15, 08:06 PM   #13
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Should I keep my tires aired up to the maximum PSI?

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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Best way to prevent flats:

1) keep your tires aired up
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Old 03-20-15, 11:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
Best Way to Prevent Flats
Easy. Don't ride.

Since I don't find that advice acceptable for me, I learned to change tubes, patch tubes and boot tire casings. Also came to accept that flats happen.

That said, using a tire like a Vittoria Rubino with a hard tread that doesn't tend to attract goatheads will reduce the number of flats you get greatly. Ask experienced riders in your area about what they use. And ask as many as you can. You may start hearing one or two names repeated. Try that tire. (The Rubinos sere a very good goathead tire 5 years ago when I rode Cycle Oregon in northeastern Oregon. Many flats. I had zero issues. Manufacturers change tires change so I do not know if the current Rubinos are the came.)

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Old 03-20-15, 11:57 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
Should I keep my tires aired up to the maximum PSI?
No. Maximum pressures are that which the tire can sustain without blowing off the rim, not a pressure anyone should actually ride. Instead, ride closer to the higher end of the range of pressures appropriate for your weight and roads. Tire pressure isn't something anyone can give without knowing at least your tires, weight and riding style. Search this forum perhaps using "tire pressure" to get a feel for what you should use.

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Old 03-21-15, 05:05 AM   #16
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The Trek 7.3fx already comes with hard case tires that are very puncture resistant. I will probably jinx myself, but I've got 9400 miles on my 2012 7.3fx and have never had a flat. I do carry a tube, patch kit, and frame pump for that inevitable day though.

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Old 03-21-15, 06:35 AM   #17
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Good advice so far, and those hard case lites are already puncture protected Bontrager: Anti-flat. Pro performance.

Are there better? Probably, and they will cost you! And, you will still need a patch kit, even if just for insurance.
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Old 03-21-15, 09:08 PM   #18
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When I bought my 8.4, I had them change out the tubes with thorn resistant/slime filled tubes before I left the store. Though most of my riding is on city streets and paved bike paths the goatheads/thorns are terrible. I used to carry a spare tube and a patch kit because they were that bad. I was actually tempted to drill the wheels to accept schrader tubed tires as the thorn resistant rubber is much heavier/thicker than the presta style tubes

Yes the tubes are heavier but the penalty of fixing a flat in the hot sun or pushing a bike is worth it.
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Old 03-21-15, 09:36 PM   #19
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The Trek 7.3fx already comes with hard case tires that are very puncture resistant. I will probably jinx myself, but I've got 9400 miles on my 2012 7.3fx and have never had a flat. I do carry a tube, patch kit, and frame pump for that inevitable day though.

Jim
My old 7.3 had the hard case tires, good quality tires but sluggish. I changed the tires to Conti Gatorskins and did not have any issues despite the tires being thinner. Just make sure to maintain the tire pressure.

On the new bike, I also had the LBS swap the tires out to Conti's. I have a basic tool kit but would like to learn how to replace tubes, particularly on the rear tire. All said and done...the Bontrager hard case tires ertainly gives you a little piece of mind.
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Old 03-22-15, 03:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
Should I keep my tires aired up to the maximum PSI?
No,but you shouldn't let them fall below the minimum. Below that,you run the risk of pinch flats,plus it can mess with your handling. The proper pressure it where you like the way your bike rides and handles and is found by experimenting with the pressure levels. Note,it is very common to run 5-10psi more in the rear than in the front. This is because the rear carries the majority of the weight,while less air in the front improves comfort.

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No. Maximum pressures are that which the tire can sustain without blowing off the rim, not a pressure anyone should actually ride.
Not quite. Tires can handle much higher pressures than what are listed on their sidewalls;the recommended inflation range has to do with legality(err on the side of caution) and how well the tires handle. If you're 200+ pounds,and running a road bike with skinny 23/25's,then you'd certainly want to run them at or near the max.
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Old 03-23-15, 06:54 AM   #21
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I have no real advice, but I've been riding the tires and tubes that came with my $200 bike for about 15 months, with no flats. I don't really know why.

I had an older (30 year old) bike that probably had 30 year old tires on it, and it would get flats a lot more...probably because the rims and tires were in bad shape.

I would guess that making sure the INSIDE of your tires/rims are clean of debris and sharp points would probably prevent most flats.
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Old 03-23-15, 09:43 AM   #22
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Schwalbe marathon Plus are almost $50 each but they include a tire liner like band Outside the casing to pre empt a lot of detritus entering that far..

Add Thorn resistant tubes and you wont even Have to Pump them Up so Often..
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Old 03-25-15, 11:24 AM   #23
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Thanks for all the input, guys. It sounds like I should stick with the tires I have and be prepared to change flats. I hate changing flats on the rear! Maybe I'll get lucky and I won't get flat tires.
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Old 03-25-15, 11:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
A patch kit is good for emergencies, but a spare tube is much easier to deal with on the road.
My feelings exactly.
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The first thing is to learn to avoid glass. I also do the "tire-rub" whenever I find myself crossing a patch of glass. I don't know if it helps, but I've done it for years.
First rule of thumb: stay out of the debris. Nevertheless, you can roll up on that glass pretty quick. I dismount and check my tires just in case a piece of glass is caught in the tread. Managed to catch it twice before it cut into my tires.
Quote:

There are several good flat resistant tires. I agree, use what you have for now, but consider one of the more flat resistant tires for your next purchase.
I know from my previous bike that the OEM weren't going to cut it. In fact, I ordered the Gatorhardshell tires before I ordered the bike. I carry my extra tubes, repair kit and multi-tool just because no one should ever ride without them.
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