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  1. #1
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    Flat Tires in ABQ

    I bought a Fisher about a month ago and I've been riding it along the paved Bosque trails next to the river. It's a "hybrid" so should even be able to withstand most everything from simple off-road trails. However, I've gotten three flat tires on 3 of 4 bike rides. I guess they're from some kind of sticker coming from the Bosque. It's ridiculous. Someone at my lbc said I should get Armadillo tires b/c they can withstand stickers. I feel like the tires I have now should be able to take them. I'm just really pissed that it keeps happening.

    Anyone from the area have advice?

  2. #2
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    First, carefully check the inside of the tire for debris, objects, anything that could be causing the flat. Next do the same with the rim. Check the rim tape, check the nipples to make sure you do not have a long spoke, etc.

    When you replace the tube, make sure you align the label on the tire with the valve stem. Doing this will give you a reference point on the tire to know where to look for a foreign object in the tire. You can find the puncture in the tube and then look at how far away from the stem the puncture is and go to that corresponding spot on the tire.

    Make sure you have your tires fully inflated to the max pressure. This will help to stop pinch flats which occur when an underinflated tube is pinched between rim and the edge of an obstacle in the trail.

    Finally, make sure you know how to replace a tube. Make sure you are not twisting the tube in the tire prior to inflation or pinching the tube between the tire and rim when reinstalling the tire onto the rim. Lots of tube failure come from bending the stem or pinching/pulling the tube around the valve stem area when removing the pump head from the stem after inflation. If all these fail, your bike is haunted and yous should consult a priest or shaman or witchdoctor of your choosing.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  3. #3
    Loco Motive Member Steve Hamlin's Avatar
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    You've just been initiated. They're called "goatheads" and they indigenous to this area of the Southwest. I asked at Bike World, they said get "thorn resistant" tubes and their own proprietary version of slime. I added Conti Contact tires on top and have had NO flats since. This is not a speed bike. If you want to go fast you'll have to find another combo and good luck, I don't think you'll beat the thorns.

  4. #4
    Goathead Magnet aley's Avatar
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    I run tire liners (Mr. Tuffy on my road bike and Slime liners on my MTB) and Slime (or something similar like True Goo). On my road bike I also have thorn resistant tubes, although I think the rear one isn't slimed. Since I've been running that combo I've had little trouble - only one flat in the last 1200 miles or so.

    I should probably run something a bit lighter and put up with a few more flats, but I REALLY hate having to stop mid-ride to fix a flat so I put up with the weight.

    My trailer is another story. I'm running slimed tubes with no liners and they're not thorn-resistant tubes (thorn-resistant tubes are made of thicker rubber, so it takes a longer spine to poke through them). I've had several flats on the trailer, so I'll probably at a minimum add a set of tire liners.

    The Bosque trail is among the worst for goatheads, but you find them everywhere around here.
    Be careful if you have to take your bike off the trail, even if it looks like bare dirt, and at a minimum I'd suggest putting in tire liners.

    Armadillos are rather good, but I'd try liners and/or thorn-resistant tubes before you spring for a new set of tires. It's a lot cheaper, for one thing, and if you end up going for the Armadillos you'll probably still want the liners and thorn-resistant tubes. I've got a set of Bontrager something-or-others on the road bike and some inexpensive Forte knobbies on the MTB and have yet to have a problem. The Bontragers are about worn out, though, and I'll likely go for Armadillos to replace them.

  5. #5
    Reposting Yuppie Scum
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    Quote Originally Posted by aley

    Armadillos are rather good, but I'd try liners and/or thorn-resistant tubes before you spring for a new set of tires. It's a lot cheaper, for one thing, and if you end up going for the Armadillos you'll probably still want the liners and thorn-resistant tubes.
    Armadillos + slime liners will eliminate 99% of goathead punctures, but not all. It's about the best you're going to get.

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    I run Armadillos + Slimed tubes on both my road bike and my Mt. Bike. This combo works well for me as well.

  7. #7
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    Goathead stickers

    Hi, I ride the same paths as you do and have only had one flat on my road bike there in 4 months of heavy riding. I also ride a cross bike there and have had outstanding luck. Start with thorn proof tubes in a good tire will help a lot. Be SURE your tubes are Slimed or another product I've heard about is Stans Puncture Proof. Either of these or a simular product inside your tubes will help seal small leaks and keep you on the road and out of the shop. With the Tire off, Feel inside the tire for a sticker still poking through that will get you again... Check the Wheel and make sure the Spoke tape is in the center of the wheel covering the spokes heads. If not, replace it as it only cost a dollar or two.
    As a kid I patched tubes. Now I buy new ones (already slimed) and say the Heck with it. That's up to you. Listen while riding and if you hear a tick tick tick maybe there is something in your tire you need to stop and get out. Also keep a look out for th small flat roundish sticker plants on the sides of the path and stay away. Hope this helps....
    JJ

  8. #8
    lfv
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    Quote Originally Posted by lockmat View Post
    I bought a Fisher about a month ago and I've been riding it along the paved Bosque trails next to the river. It's a "hybrid" so should even be able to withstand most everything from simple off-road trails. However, I've gotten three flat tires on 3 of 4 bike rides. I guess they're from some kind of sticker coming from the Bosque. It's ridiculous. Someone at my lbc said I should get Armadillo tires b/c they can withstand stickers. I feel like the tires I have now should be able to take them. I'm just really pissed that it keeps happening.

    Anyone from the area have advice?
    The most important thing is to get slime tired. Having kevlar belted tires and tire liners are nice (which I have on my road bike) are nice, but eventually a goathead will get through. Especially if you are on the Bosque. With slime it's not a problem until you have gotten a huge number of them.

    Also, the Bosque trail sucks. Way too many people!

  9. #9
    Newbie wheelerfreak's Avatar
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    I commute partially along the bosque and used to have that issue. I went for overkill since I commute and didn't want a flat to make me late for work. I use armadillo tires, tire liners, and slimed thornproof tires! Yes, it's a little overkill but I haven't had to fix a flat on my commute for over a year. I'm not worried about the weight slowing my acceleration since the bike is only used for that one purpose.

  10. #10
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    I ride in/around las Vegas(NM) and I've had 1 goathead problem in the city, that was the one time I used my bike for commuting, the rest of the time when i'm riding it's fine.

  11. #11
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    It's impossible to avoid goat heads down here in Las Cruces. I mounted heavy but bullet proof Velociraptors on my ancient Fisher HooKooEKoo with Slime in standard tubes. No flats. Ever. I do get green freckles on the tread when I pull out goat heads but no flats. Also don't get sidewall cuts from sharp rocks, not yet anyway, but my brother has cut the sidewalls on Bontrager Jones XR tires that came on his new Gary Fisher Yahoo.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    I ended up getting about five or six flats. I bought my bike at Sportz Outdoors. They were very helpful and each time fixed my flat for free.

    After my last flat, I asked to speak with a manager. He too fixed it for free. But before leaving, I told him this was just going to keep on happening and asked if there was anything else he could do. Because all they were doing was replacing the tubes with thicker ones or just swapping them out. Obviously it wasn't working. FINALLY, he suggested that I get thorn resistant tires. Haven't had a flat since.

    I was like, are yall stupid or something, why didn't you guys tell me this the first time I got a flat?! It's not like they didn't know about my problems. Each time I went in, I told them the story.

    I'm just glad I finally got it fixed.

  13. #13
    Newbie wheelerfreak's Avatar
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    Next time you stop by, maybe ask them to show you how to fix a flat. It's actually a very easy and essential thing to know how to do.

  14. #14
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    I know how to fix one. It's just that I didn't want to do it every single time I went out to ride my bike, which was basically how often I was getting them w/ those goatheads.

  15. #15
    Gianni arbol grande's Avatar
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    just say no to goat heads

    goat heads anyone? I've put 2500 miles on Maxxis refuse from Fat tire with out one flat no lie. I just got some Forte kevlar pro from Performance (230 grams) Maxxis are a little heavy I got 700 x 23. We ride the same trail.

  16. #16
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    I just bought a Fisher hybrid and had the shop (ABC) installed thorn resistant tires and then but slime in them. I've ridden over all kinds of crap with no flats at all.

  17. #17
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    I averaged one flat a week in the ABQ area for the last 6 weeks. Glass, goat heads and debris. Bought some orange Mr. Tuffy's. So far so good. The Conti 4k S tires were fairly new so did not replace them. Tad bit less responsive and a bit slower. But no flats!!! $12 out the door. When riding the bike lane I stay as close to the white line or just to the left of the line due to lack of street sweeping.

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