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Recreational Cyclocross and Gravelbiking This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

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Old 06-06-14, 11:13 PM   #1
rekon
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Frustrating Punctures!

This is frustrating! I did the same rocky steep fire trail 5 days this week. Out of the 5 days, I got 2 punctures!!

My current tires are Kenda Kwick 700x30c. However, I just purchased some Kenda Happy Medium 700x40c. Hopefully this helps!

But before I hit the trails again next week. What else can I do/buy to prevent punctures?

Please help!
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Old 06-06-14, 11:17 PM   #2
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Sorry I meant to post this in the CX section. Err... how do I delete this or move to correct forum?
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Old 06-06-14, 11:56 PM   #3
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You can try using Stans sealant for those punctures.
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Old 06-07-14, 12:32 AM   #4
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Sorry I meant to post this in the CX section. Err... how do I delete this or move to correct forum?
Taken care of
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Old 06-07-14, 12:41 AM   #5
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Perfect, thanks!!
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Old 06-08-14, 03:00 PM   #6
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Any suggestions?
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Old 06-08-14, 05:40 PM   #7
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You need to figure out what's causing the punctures. Is it actually punctures, or could it be pinch flats? If punctures, do you have goatheads in your area?
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Old 06-08-14, 05:55 PM   #8
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You need to figure out what's causing the punctures. Is it actually punctures, or could it be pinch flats? If punctures, do you have goatheads in your area?
This is an important question for sure.

If they are pinch flats the wider tires will help for sure, the other option would have been to try running a higher pressure or going tubeless.

If they are thorns you can always try again either tubeless or buying tubes with removable valve cores and pumping some sealant like Orange Seal or Stan's into them. You can also try things like tire liners but if you go the tire liner route make sure the edges of them are very smooth as the edges of tire liners have been known to cause flats before.
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Old 06-08-14, 06:23 PM   #9
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My punctures ended after switching to Kevlar based tires, particularly Specialized Armadillo. Highly recommended.

Last edited by Richard8655; 06-08-14 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 06-09-14, 12:39 AM   #10
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You need to figure out what's causing the punctures. Is it actually punctures, or could it be pinch flats? If punctures, do you have goatheads in your area?
I think they are pinch flats since there is a lot of rocky terrain... no goatheads or thrones.

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This is an important question for sure.

If they are pinch flats the wider tires will help for sure, the other option would have been to try running a higher pressure or going tubeless.

If they are thorns you can always try again either tubeless or buying tubes with removable valve cores and pumping some sealant like Orange Seal or Stan's into them. You can also try things like tire liners but if you go the tire liner route make sure the edges of them are very smooth as the edges of tire liners have been known to cause flats before.
What happens if you get a flat with a tubless tire?

Have you ever tried mr. tuffy tire liners? I just bought some wider tires (40cm) and I was thinking about installing mr. tuffy liners on them to prevent flats.
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Old 06-09-14, 05:57 AM   #11
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What happens if you get a flat with a tubless tire?
You pull out the tubeless valve and install a tube after checking the tire for anything sharp, not much different than a normal flat other than dealing with a little messier tire. If these are pinch flats tubeless could be a big help although making sure your rims are tubeless compatible helps a lot. You can do the ghetto tubeless thing but a true tubeless ready rim usually is much much better.

Tire liners can help a lot with thorns but will do nothing for pinch flats.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:33 AM   #12
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Find tubes with removable valve cores and put some Stans in there.
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Old 06-09-14, 08:41 AM   #13
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Tubeless. It was life changing for me. Seriously, just try it.
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Old 06-09-14, 01:26 PM   #14
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I've never tried tubeless but it's becoming the standard for mountain bikes, so I guess there's something to it.

The problem with tubeless on a CX bike is that it's just now coming into maturity. Chances are very, very good that you'd need new wheels and new tires to try it. You can't do it with just any rim and tire combination. So in the short term, at least, you're probably better off trying to solve your problem with tubes.

If your flats are pinch flats, you'll probably have heard the rims hitting rocks and if not you've at least felt it, right? You can feel the rim-rock collision without getting a pinch flat, but that would just mean you got lucky. If you feel that, you definitely need more air. Wider tires help a lot with that. If it's still happening, higher pressure is necessary.

Either way, it's worth examining your tube when you get a flat. This is the reason people line the tire label up with the valve stem. Find the hole in the tube, then match that up to where the flat happened on the tire. If the flat was caused by a puncture, there a good chance that there still something stuck in the tire and if you don't get it out it will cause another flat. If you have goat heads you will DEFINITELY have things left in your tire and probably lots of things. If you find one goat head, check the whole tire. If it was a pinch flat, there will usually be two holes, but not always.

I've used tire liners, but I'm not a big fan. If you have goat heads, tire liners are kind of a necessary evil. If you don't have goat heads or some other pervasive source of punctures, tire liners are probably just dead weight in your tire.

Good luck!
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Old 06-09-14, 01:31 PM   #15
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No tube was suggested, the opposite , a thorn resistant tube, is heavier because it has a lot more rubber in It.

they hold air a lot longer , as a benefit. ... months .
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Old 06-09-14, 02:09 PM   #16
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I've never tried tubeless but it's becoming the standard for mountain bikes, so I guess there's something to it.

The problem with tubeless on a CX bike is that it's just now coming into maturity. Chances are very, very good that you'd need new wheels and new tires to try it. You can't do it with just any rim and tire combination. So in the short term, at least, you're probably better off trying to solve your problem with tubes.

If your flats are pinch flats, you'll probably have heard the rims hitting rocks and if not you've at least felt it, right? You can feel the rim-rock collision without getting a pinch flat, but that would just mean you got lucky. If you feel that, you definitely need more air. Wider tires help a lot with that. If it's still happening, higher pressure is necessary.

Either way, it's worth examining your tube when you get a flat. This is the reason people line the tire label up with the valve stem. Find the hole in the tube, then match that up to where the flat happened on the tire. If the flat was caused by a puncture, there a good chance that there still something stuck in the tire and if you don't get it out it will cause another flat. If you have goat heads you will DEFINITELY have things left in your tire and probably lots of things. If you find one goat head, check the whole tire. If it was a pinch flat, there will usually be two holes, but not always.

I've used tire liners, but I'm not a big fan. If you have goat heads, tire liners are kind of a necessary evil. If you don't have goat heads or some other pervasive source of punctures, tire liners are probably just dead weight in your tire.

Good luck!


Thanks this is very helpful. I looked more into it and you're right. In order to go tubeless I will have to change out rims. I don't want to take on this expense just yet. I'll try my luck with tubes. Although I thought liners would help?


I just got my kenda happy mediums (40c). I also bought some puncture resistant tubes. I will try this setup and see how it goes. I think the main reason why I was getting flats is because I would fly downhill on really rocky roads. I think if I change my a riding habits a bit and slow down when going through rocks I can reduce the puncture risks as well. I haven't seen any goatheads or much thorns anywhere on the trail. It's generally a sand-packed fire road with some rocky stretches.
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Old 06-09-14, 03:39 PM   #17
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Tire liners don't help with pinch flats, and potentially could make things worse since they add an extra edge to pinch against. Puncture resistant tubes should help with pinch flats, since you have to pinch them harder to cause a hole.

Personally, I don't use puncture resistant tubes because I'm a weight weenie. I do, however, make sure that my tubes are of good quality and at spec'd for the size tire I'm using. Using a 700x18-25 tube with 700x35 tires is a sure recipe for pinch flats, since the tube is stretched thin from the start. Puncture resistant tubes carry this same principle a step further.

I've also convinced myself that it helps to dust the tube with baby powder before installing it. The idea is that it give the tube more freedom to squirm inside the tire. It's entirely possible that I'm just deluding myself on this point, but it's a nearly free solution so I do it anyway. At the very least, it keeps me from having to peel the tube off of the tire when I change it.
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Old 06-09-14, 10:48 PM   #18
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Tire liners don't help with pinch flats, and potentially could make things worse since they add an extra edge to pinch against. Puncture resistant tubes should help with pinch flats, since you have to pinch them harder to cause a hole.

Personally, I don't use puncture resistant tubes because I'm a weight weenie. I do, however, make sure that my tubes are of good quality and at spec'd for the size tire I'm using. Using a 700x18-25 tube with 700x35 tires is a sure recipe for pinch flats, since the tube is stretched thin from the start. Puncture resistant tubes carry this same principle a step further.

I've also convinced myself that it helps to dust the tube with baby powder before installing it. The idea is that it give the tube more freedom to squirm inside the tire. It's entirely possible that I'm just deluding myself on this point, but it's a nearly free solution so I do it anyway. At the very least, it keeps me from having to peel the tube off of the tire when I change it.
Interesting... Doesn't hurt to try the baby powder thing! I got my tires on today and I went to performance and bought some puncture resistant tubes. My bike feels so heavy now! Well, when I compare it to my CAAD10 road bike. Although I bet it's still lighter than a MTB.

BTW do 40c tires look OK?

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Old 06-10-14, 08:31 AM   #19
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Jobst claims that talcum does nothing but I do it out of superstition:
Talcum Powder for Tubes and Tires by Jobst Brandt

On a more practical level, it never hurts to re-tape the rims with some good Velox, and at the same time check the rim AND tires for any burrs, nicks, etc.

Also, you need to do some investigation on the punctured tubes. The location and shape of the puncture will tell you a lot about the probable cause.
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Old 06-10-14, 08:54 AM   #20
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Jobst claims that talcum does nothing but I do it out of superstition:
Talcum Powder for Tubes and Tires by Jobst Brandt

On a more practical level, it never hurts to re-tape the rims with some good Velox, and at the same time check the rim AND tires for any burrs, nicks, etc.

Also, you need to do some investigation on the punctured tubes. The location and shape of the puncture will tell you a lot about the probable cause.
Agreed... I need to do this. I have many tubes that are waiting to be looked at. I just been lazy tbh. Is the best way to do this by filling them up with air and putting them in water to determine where the puncture is?

Hmm.. I already installed my tires and the rim tape looked OK... I didn't see anything obvious sticking out. Maybe I'll take the tires off later today just to double check.
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Old 06-10-14, 09:25 AM   #21
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Velocity A23 Silver Shimano 105 5700 32 Hole Hubs Wheelset [73220] - $199.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike



$199 gets you a beautiful set of tubeless ready wheels. I understand that you would have to get a LOT of flats to equal this price but consider the fact that if you live near a city you can sell your current wheelset for $100 on craigslist. That means you are only spending an extra $100 for an absolutely bombproof wheelset (a23 rims, 2mm dt spokes, shimano 105 hubs).
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Old 06-10-14, 11:32 AM   #22
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Velocity A23 Silver Shimano 105 5700 32 Hole Hubs Wheelset [73220] - $199.00 Velomine.com : Worldwide Bicycle Shop, fixed gear track bike wheelsets campagnolo super record vintage bike



$199 gets you a beautiful set of tubeless ready wheels. I understand that you would have to get a LOT of flats to equal this price but consider the fact that if you live near a city you can sell your current wheelset for $100 on craigslist. That means you are only spending an extra $100 for an absolutely bombproof wheelset (a23 rims, 2mm dt spokes, shimano 105 hubs).
I'd have to sell the tires I just bought as well. :/
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Old 06-12-14, 10:46 AM   #23
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I had a lot of pinch flats on our rocky fire roads. Always happens on downhills, which makes it particularly special. I ended up using more pressure. I suppose you could go tubeless and keep the low pressures.
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Old 06-12-14, 09:03 PM   #24
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Update: I rode ~100 miles on the fire roads this week. My set up seems work!! *knocks on wood*

I got puncture resistant tubes, 40c happy medium tires, and I ran them at 60 psi.

Thank you everyone for the advise... I feel like my bike has evolved into a monstercross type bike



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