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  1. #1
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    Goat Head Thorns

    I live in the "new" Commerce City. All the new construction north of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. I moved here from a place that was all corn fields and farmland so this pretty much feels like a semi-arid desert with these prickly buggers hiding in the fields.

    So how bad is the infestation of goat head thorns around the Denver metro area? I have been riding my mountain bike/hybrid that has some beefy Geax Evolution tires on it that are 2 pounds of tread and they laugh at the thorns.

    I'm piecing my road bike back together and was planning on using some tubular rims I have, but I'm wondering if the thorns are so unavoidable that I would be better off doing some clinchers because eventually the thorns will get you no matter where you ride??

  2. #2
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodchuck69 View Post
    I live in the "new" Commerce City. All the new construction north of the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. I moved here from a place that was all corn fields and farmland so this pretty much feels like a semi-arid desert with these prickly buggers hiding in the fields.

    So how bad is the infestation of goat head thorns around the Denver metro area? I have been riding my mountain bike/hybrid that has some beefy Geax Evolution tires on it that are 2 pounds of tread and they laugh at the thorns.

    I'm piecing my road bike back together and was planning on using some tubular rims I have, but I'm wondering if the thorns are so unavoidable that I would be better off doing some clinchers because eventually the thorns will get you no matter where you ride??
    Epidemic. This time of year you can expect about 200 bushels an acre If only there were a market for the damned things
    Stuart Black
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  3. #3
    Mountain Goat dark13star's Avatar
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    And it isn't worth putting on Armadillos or other "flat resistant" tires because they go through anything. I generally avoid the MUPs because they are infested with them (and other problems), and if I do ride a MUP, try to stay towards the center.
    "I would be an historian as Herodotus was." Charles Olson
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  4. #4
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    When I used to commute I rode on the platte and cherry creek. The freaking things flatted every tire I have ran. Don't get me started on when they mow the trails and \ or have construction vehicles driving on and off of them.
    I am more than happy riding on the road during lunch and on the weekends. MUPs are worthless until winter for me.

  5. #5
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    I have not had any goathead flats on the trails I normally ride around Parker and Cherry Creek Reservoir.

    However, I twice decided to take the Spillway Trail off of the Cherry Creek Reservoir, and each time I got goathead flats out in Aurora.

    The last time, I got about 12 goatheads in each tire when I stopped to view a street sign, and rolled the bike just a bit off of the trail.

    And they DO go through Armadillos.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  6. #6
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Scourge of the west!

    I've had pretty good luck with wider, slightly lower pressure Kevlar-belted tires(I use Forte(Performance) brand) and slime. I'm running 35's at 80 lbs.. Nothing like pulling that thorn out and seeing a tiny drop of green as it seals.

    The other day was the first time I've looked at my tires in 500 miles... pulled about 10 out of each tire!
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  7. #7
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    Wow, sounds like I better get some clinchers until I better understand the terrain here. A wrong move + an unrepairable Conti tubular would get really expensive quick.

  8. #8
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I have not had any goathead flats on the trails I normally ride around Parker and Cherry Creek Reservoir.However, I twice decided to take the Spillway Trail off of the Cherry Creek Reservoir, and each time I got goathead flats out in Aurora.

    The last time, I got about 12 goatheads in each tire when I stopped to view a street sign, and rolled the bike just a bit off of the trail.

    And they DO go through Armadillos.
    I should have known better than to write that.

    And, it went right through my Armadillo.

    The problem with slime is that

    1. It doesn't hold for pressures of 120 psi

    2. It really messes up presta valves.
    Last edited by DnvrFox; 09-19-09 at 04:40 PM.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  9. #9
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox View Post
    I should have known better than to write that.

    And, it went right through my Armadillo.

    The problem with slime is that

    1. It doesn't hold for pressures of 120 psi

    2. It really messes up presta valves.
    1. Hence me pointing out that I'm running 35's at around 80 lbs pressure.....(90-70 lbs would be more accurate.. I fill to 90 and don't check pressure again until I notice that it's getting harder to ride)

    2. Turn the wheel just under 90 degrees and fill it there. No more problems (air pressure forces the slime away from the valve, and it can't flow back uphill when you stop pumping. (This would be about 4 O'clock or 8 O'clock position on a clock dial)
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  10. #10
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
    2. Turn the wheel just under 90 degrees and fill it there. No more problems (air pressure forces the slime away from the valve, and it can't flow back uphill when you stop pumping. (This would be about 4 O'clock or 8 O'clock position on a clock dial)
    I know the theory. It's the practice that is the problem. It only takes once.

    There is another stuff made by a guy in Ft Collins that is supposed to be better for higher pressures, but I tried it and it gives a false sense of secutiry. It holds for a bit, then it doesn't.

    I prefer a new or repaired tube.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  11. #11
    GeoBiker / Mapper gps_dr's Avatar
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    I rode the Platte River Trail between 120th & the N end Last Wednesday.
    Noticed a few of the vines infringing on the trail.
    Went back Saturday, appeared that someone had gone along that stretch and flipped the vines back off to the side. Assuming the county did it. Only a temporary help, doesn't help people with dogs or bikers that go off path to avoid crowds. Many more returns next year.
    Filled about 8 grocery bags of the nasty buggers. Didn't make it to 120th before I ran out of bags. If 10 percent of the bikers, did that, we wouldn't have much of a problem in a few years. Grab a thick leather glove and some bags and go.
    http://Geobiking.org Network >2,000 miles Colorado Front Range GPS enabled bicycle trails. GPS map overlays & data, pics, info etc.

  12. #12
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    I lead a mountain bike group ride down to the dinosaur tracks on the Purgatory River (Picketwire Canyon) in southeastern Colorado this weekend. Of the 4 people going (and 8 tires), we had 27 punctures. Four of the tires had no punctures. One of those tires was a tubeless, 3 of the tires had Mr. Tuffys. My bike had no flats whatsoever (both tires had Tuffys). Someone on the BikeForums once told me that only a fool or a newbie would use Tuffys. Pshaw I say, Sir!

    No messy fluids and the things last forever. Better than any slimey gook
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  13. #13
    Around now and then DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gps_dr View Post
    I rode the Platte River Trail between 120th & the N end Last Wednesday.
    Noticed a few of the vines infringing on the trail.
    Went back Saturday, appeared that someone had gone along that stretch and flipped the vines back off to the side. Assuming the county did it. Only a temporary help, doesn't help people with dogs or bikers that go off path to avoid crowds. Many more returns next year.
    Filled about 8 grocery bags of the nasty buggers. Didn't make it to 120th before I ran out of bags. If 10 percent of the bikers, did that, we wouldn't have much of a problem in a few years. Grab a thick leather glove and some bags and go.
    The problem I find is not the vines on or near the trail. It is the wind-blown dried goatheads. The wind vortices seem to place them in quantities in certain locations. There is one spot on our local trail where I usually carry my bike.
    DnvrFox - still bicycling, swimming, walking and weight lifting at 74yo is participating a bit in BFN 50+.

  14. #14
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    Anyone tried out the notubes.com road kits? Their MTB kits worked fantastically for me in Tucson, where cactus thorns, goat heads, and sharp rocks abound. My only reluctance is the Hutchinson tires you have to use. I lvoe my 4000s' and it'd be hard to give them up.
    2009 De Rosa King 3: Red Shifters, RD, Cranks, Brakes, BB, & Cassette; Force FD; Reynolds DV46c wheels.

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  15. #15
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foresthill View Post
    Anyone tried out the notubes.com road kits? Their MTB kits worked fantastically for me in Tucson, where cactus thorns, goat heads, and sharp rocks abound. My only reluctance is the Hutchinson tires you have to use. I lvoe my 4000s' and it'd be hard to give them up.
    One of the 4 tires that didn't get a flat on my recent goathead collecting expedition was a notubes. Ironically, he had a tube in the rear (which flatted) because he hadn't fixed a previous flat in his tubeless.

    Tubeless seems like a good idea but the complication, expense and messiness of installation has always put me off. Not to mention what happens if the tire does go flat

    Mr. Tuffys have worked for me for 25+ years here. I get flats but only occasionally especially compared to not having them. And they last forever.
    Stuart Black
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    Days of Wineless Roads. Bed and Breakfasting along the KATY
    Twisting Down the Alley. Misadventures in tornado alley.
    An Good Ol' Fashion Appalachian Butt Whoopin'.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    One of the 4 tires that didn't get a flat on my recent goathead collecting expedition was a notubes. Ironically, he had a tube in the rear (which flatted) because he hadn't fixed a previous flat in his tubeless.

    Tubeless seems like a good idea but the complication, expense and messiness of installation has always put me off. Not to mention what happens if the tire does go flat

    Mr. Tuffys have worked for me for 25+ years here. I get flats but only occasionally especially compared to not having them. And they last forever.
    Hmm. I've already got the "complication, expense and messiness of installation" part down, based on MTB experience.

    If you do get a flat in a tubeless tire, if you carry a tube, you can take the valve stem out, and throw the tube in there.

    Still, my main issue is the tires. I want a 4000s tubeless!
    2009 De Rosa King 3: Red Shifters, RD, Cranks, Brakes, BB, & Cassette; Force FD; Reynolds DV46c wheels.

    2004 Specialized Stumpjumper FSR: X.0 gripshifters, RD; XTR FD, Cranks, Hayes HFX Carbon 9 Brakes; AC 350 Disc Wheels; Manitou Minute 2:00 100mm fork; Fox propedal triad rear shock; WTB weirwolf UST w/Stan's tubeless system.

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