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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 03-20-06, 12:54 AM   #1
n1nj4
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help with tire selection...

so I recently single speed/coaster brake-d my 10-speed, and in the process found myself switching from a 27 x 1 1/3 wheelset to a 700 x 23 (or 20, not sure). After experiencing 3 flats in 5 days <side note, I work at a bar and bike to/from work, having to avoid broken glass and other niceties on a daily basis> I decided to switch to the airless tires, y'know, the all rubber ones?

Now, I have to say, I don't find them all that comfortable (I mean, up until a little more than a week ago I was riding tires almost 3 x the size of these), and I'm constantly worrying about taking a sharp curve towards a curb cut and having the tire come off the rim, which it did last night as I was going to work, BUT the fact that I can 1-actually aim for the glass instead of trying to avoid it, and 2-not have to worry about how heavy I am (200-ish) and how little the tire is, pressure wise- are kind of outweighing the fact that these tires aren't all that comfortable.

My question is,

can anyone recommend a set of tires/tubes that can compete toughwise with the all rubber ones, but yet have a little of that 'air' comfort to them?

thanks.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:20 AM   #2
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I hear armadillos are awesome. They come in 700 x 28. That should give you bit more bounce.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:50 AM   #3
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Try inflating your wheels to proper tire pressure. Any tires that are sold at your lbs are good enuf.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:53 AM   #4
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I'm in the market for some new tires as well. I checked out the Specialized website and I see that they sell a lot of different types of armadillos. What types do people here run and does anyone have a recommendation?
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Old 03-20-06, 01:56 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by SCARFACE
Try inflating your wheels to proper tire pressure. Any tires that are sold at your lbs are good enuf.
I get a flat about once a week. I need something stronger.
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Old 03-20-06, 02:26 AM   #6
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I live in gothed capitol of the world so I know what flats are. Sorry if I came off sounding like a jerk. Anyways, I have seen those solid rubber tires before and have wondered if they where any comfy.
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Old 03-20-06, 02:27 AM   #7
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I laid out $50 for a set of 23c "All Condition" Armadillos about two years ago. 0 flats, even after riding through much broken glass.

Finally had the front one succumb to dry rot a few days ago, so I'm trying a Conti Ultra Gator Skin. It's got a smaller, more round profile and the rubber seems a little more sticky. We'll see how it holds up.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:23 AM   #8
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Bontrager Hardcase or the Gators. Both are really puncture proof.
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Old 03-20-06, 04:33 AM   #9
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armadillos aren't bad, but ****ty weather handling is questionable.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:26 AM   #10
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any touring tire is generally pretty flat resistant. i was riding conti toptouring 2000's for a while but they stopped making them. panaracer pasela tourguards seem pretty good so far too but i don't have enough mileage on them yet to give them a true thumbs up.

if you want THE ULTIMATE try an schwalbe marathon plus. i got one sitting in my garage and might mount it up for next winter (for when i REALLY don't want flats). it has a couple mm of gel type stuff inside the tire between the tread and the tube to stop stuff from getting through, pretty freakin ridiculous...
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Old 03-20-06, 08:33 AM   #11
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you shouldn't be getting a flat a week regardless of what tire you use.

make sure that there isn't anything embedded in the tread

make sure that there are no burrs on the inside of the rim

make sure that your rimstrip is adequate and placed properly
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Old 03-20-06, 09:03 AM   #12
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i've been running vredstein volante se's on my bike, they are usually marked down on nashbar. i've run over a bunch of ****, they are pretty puncture resistant. i got one flat but i'm not sure how, i just left it out overnight and came back and it was flat. i have gatorskins for my new bike but i have not had a chance to ride on them yet. most people i know like them a lot though.

edit: both are 23's
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Old 03-20-06, 09:11 AM   #13
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i have a specialized all-condition armadillo on the rear end of one of my bikes, and a soma everwear on rear wheel of the other. i've always dug the armadillo's. like congereel said, wet weather handling can be a little adventurous, but they last a good while, and i've never flatted one, even after going a couple of weeks without airing them up. i'm still new to the soma tire. i've only had it on for 2 or 3 months, but so far, no problems. the sidewall is thinner, so i have to be more diligent about inflating them, but it does handle a little better, so i feel that it's pretty even.
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Old 03-20-06, 10:32 AM   #14
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A flat a week is a lot. I've been biking seriously since right around new years' and I just got my first flat last week after logging about 550 miles flat-free. It was from a little shard of steel tire belting wire (see this for an example of the source of such road debris) that poked through the casing and tube like a hypodermic needle.

When you are getting all of these flats, are you certain that you've found the real culprit each time before moving on? I always mount my tires so the tire's label is aligned with the valve stem. When I get a flat, I open it up and find the hole in the tube. Because I know how the tire sits rotationally against the tube, I can find exactly where in the tire the pincture should have come from. With the flat I described above, I looked at the corresponding spot on the tire and found the little piece of wire hanging out of the casing ready to poke my tube again if I didn't remove it.

If the puncture is on the tire side of the tube, look until you find what caused it and get it out of your tire or it will give you another flat in short order. If the puncture is on the rim side of the tube, you need to inspect your rim for burrs, nicks, scratches, etc. that correspond with the location of the puncture. Also inspect your rim tape to make sure it is still intact and properly covering the spoke nipples or holes and that no burrs or spoke tips have poked through the tape. Not using rim tape? get some! It only costs a few dollars per wheel and is technically reusable several times if you are careful. Rubber rim strips are garbage and do not work well at all with higher pressure tires in my experiences.

I keep hearing that armadillos have poor handling in inclement weather. Are they too plasticy to grab the pavement well, or what? Nobody ever explains what the problem or even symptoms are other than vaguely stating that they handle poorly. I'm just curious.
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Old 03-20-06, 11:55 AM   #15
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thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

The culprits for all three of my flats were: broken Amstel light bottle (or Tucher, it was a brown shard of glass), unknown glass from whatever idiot spring breaker broke a bottle in the middle of the street, and the last was a ghost I think. I locked my bike, went to work and at the end of the night I had a flat. There was a rip in the tube about 1/4" from the base of the valve stem lengthwise. Both rims were well taped and I checked them thoroughly after each flat. It doesn't help much that my tires had no sort of manufacturers name on them. oh well.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:02 PM   #16
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It is true that some tires are better at resisting punctures than others. If you're running no-name mystery tires, you should spring $30 to $40 for a set of midrange road tires and see if your luck betters. I'm running Vittoria Zaffiro 700x23 tires. they're nice and smooth and seem halfway durable.

Also, the rear tire is the most prone to flats. The front wheel usually passes over sharp things but kicks them into the air. It's not uncommon for the front tire to kick up something sharp that was laying flat on the road (not much of a threat) and leave it bouncing along vertically just in time for the rear wheel to impale it's self on the object. If you really feel the need to get a super flat resistant tire, focus your efforts on the rear wheel first.
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Old 03-20-06, 12:27 PM   #17
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I was going to write something like this, but then I realized that (of course) Sheldon already had:

Airless Tires

Of all the inventions that came out of the bicycle industry, probably none is as important and useful as Dr. Dunlop's pneumatic tire.

Airless tires have been obsolete for over a century, but crackpot "inventors" keep trying to bring them back. They are heavy, slow and give a harsh ride. They are also likely to cause wheel damage, due to their poor cushioning ability. A pneumatic tire uses all of the air in the whole tube as a shock absorber, while foam-type "airless" tires/tubes only use the air in the immediate area of impact.

Airless tire schemes have also been used by con artists to gull unsuspecting investors. My advice is to avoid this long-obsolete system.

from: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/tires.html
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Old 03-20-06, 12:39 PM   #18
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Almost all of my flats have been due to glass. I avoid it as much as possible but the roads I ride are laced with it and I ride at night quite a bit. I never had a problem for the first few months I rode and now it's terrible.

I don't know the brand, but these are the stock tires that came on my entry level Specialized tourer. I'll try and replace them with something decent and hope I have more success.
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Old 03-20-06, 01:04 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sin-A-Matic
I'm in the market for some new tires as well. I checked out the Specialized website and I see that they sell a lot of different types of armadillos. What types do people here run and does anyone have a recommendation?
I run all condition. Not very fast, but have not had a flat since I got them over a year ago.
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Old 03-20-06, 02:46 PM   #20
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Nobody mentioned tire liners. You can put them in any tire to protect against flats,or double them up with tough tires for more protection. A few folks over in the commuting forum have done this with good results,although they say the liners do add some weight.
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Old 03-20-06, 03:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Nobody mentioned tire liners. You can put them in any tire to protect against flats,or double them up with tough tires for more protection. A few folks over in the commuting forum have done this with good results,although they say the liners do add some weight.
On my heavy cargo bike i run Mr. Tuffys inside uninflated old tubes around the belt of the tire. NEVER get a puncture on that part of the tread. OTOH, spinning weight and rolling resistance are significantly increased, and I would never do this on my go fast bikes.
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Old 03-20-06, 05:57 PM   #22
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I've been running conti gators for about 2 years with no problems whatsoever. Only flat I've gotten with them was due to the wheel falling between the bars on a sewer grate in London, and I wouldn't expect any tire to prevent a pinch flat like that.
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Old 03-20-06, 08:34 PM   #23
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.........Tufo cyclocross tubular clincher.. thats all u may need ever...
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Old 03-20-06, 08:41 PM   #24
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.........Tufo cyclocross tubular clincher.. thats all u may need ever...
I don't think I could fit 'em in my frame.

700x28 ruffy-tuffys barely fit.
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Old 03-20-06, 09:25 PM   #25
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actually those tufo's arent 28, are 700c.. thats more like a 27' it should fit fine...
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