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  1. #1
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    Goatheads in Albuquerque

    Hi all,

    We are avid cyclists from L.A. planning a trip to Alb. and Santa Fe. I keep reading horror stories about the goatheads that lurk in the area ready to ruin a cyclist's day--even on paved bike trails. Is this really a problem? What do the locals do to prevent/minimize the problem? If we rent a bike locally, will it come with tire liners or some other fix so we can spend our day riding and not constantly swapping tubes and pumping up tires?

    Thx in advance for sharing your knowledge.

  2. #2
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Better late than never...

    Raceboy...

    Lived in Albuquerque, NM throughout the 70s. Goathead capital of the world!

    GoatheadThorn.jpg
    GoatheadsCloseUp.jpg
    GoatHeadFront.jpg
    GoatheadOnVine.jpg
    GoatHeadsInBikeTire.jpg
    GoatheadCarTire.jpg



    Several suggestions:

    1. You are less likely to get goathead punctures if you keep your tire pressure under ~95 psi. It makes a big difference.

    2. Don't ride in the gutters or far right side of the street or road. Ride in the track where the right car tires run - they sweep away goatheads and other sharp debris.

    verktyg

    Chas.
    Last edited by verktyg; 09-11-14 at 04:06 AM.
    Things aren't always what the seem... Don't believe everything you think!

    Chas.

  3. #3
    Senior Member bbbean's Avatar
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    And if you do get a goathead flat, be 100% sure you get all if the thorn out of your tire. Otherwise, it's the gift that keeps giving! I keep a small pair of needle nose pliers and/or a pointed knife handy for this. Fingernails often aren't enough to get rid of them.
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    Thanks for the tips!

    We rode a trail that circled Lake Casitas near L.A. on July 4th weekend and I got 3 flats from thistles. My SO didn't get any. I had just put puncture resistant tires and tubes on her bike so maybe that was the difference. We were lucky in a lot of ways so it didn't spoil the weekend--just made things inconvenient. Still, I'd just as soon not repeat the experience.

  5. #5
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    Ahh, the plant from hell. The recent monsoon rains all over the southwest are resulting in a bumper crop of goatheads this year. I even found them growing beside a bike rack at the Zion National Park Lodge. If I see them encroaching on local bike trails I stop and rip them out. You learn to spot them after a few encounters. Low spreading in roughly a circle with yellow flowers. I have ripped out single plants that were several feet in diameter. They often grow at the edge of bike trails and in roadway ditches along unimproved areas. They will grow out over the road and trails which makes them really annoying. The worst thing is to ride into an area with goatheads and discover your tire covered with them. Instant flats and little possibility of getting them all out.

  6. #6
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Goatheads are everywhere. A lot of cities claim to be the goathead capitol of the world - and they're all right!! It's a big first place tie. My city (El Paso) has an immense population of these agents of destruction, too.

    But I've found that higher-quality puncture resistant tires guard effectively against goathead attacks. Tires like Schwalbe Marathons, and Continental Touring Plus. My last flat in E.P. was in 2008 (6 years ago) and believe me I've ridden through patches of goatheads a few times. I used Continental SportCONTACT for the first few years, then switched to Continental Touring Plus this past Spring.

    Tire Tech is advancing rapidly. You pay a few extra dollars, but to my thinking it's worth it.
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  7. #7
    verktyg verktyg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VegasTriker View Post
    Ahh, the plant from hell. The recent monsoon rains all over the southwest are resulting in a bumper crop of goatheads this year. I even found them growing beside a bike rack at the Zion National Park Lodge. If I see them encroaching on local bike trails I stop and rip them out. You learn to spot them after a few encounters. Low spreading in roughly a circle with yellow flowers. I have ripped out single plants that were several feet in diameter. They often grow at the edge of bike trails and in roadway ditches along unimproved areas. They will grow out over the road and trails which makes them really annoying. The worst thing is to ride into an area with goatheads and discover your tire covered with them. Instant flats and little possibility of getting them all out.
    Tribulus terrestris - Goatheads may have originated in southwest Asia. I friend found them growing in abundance in Beijing, China....

    The way plants grow in sparse areas.

    GoatheadVine.jpg

    Goathead flower up close.

    GoatheadFlowersTribulusTerrestris.jpg

    Bags of goatheads I picked along bike trails.

    GoatHeads.jpg

    GoatHeadsCloseupBag.jpg

    I use Tufo Sealant in my sewups. It works great against goatheads. Unfortunately I haven't gotten it to work in clinchers.

    TufoTireSealant-NewPackage.jpg

    The other thing was "Sticker Flickers". We had them made for our shop with soft iron wire and Tygon surgical tubing. Unfortunately they are hard to install on recessed brake bolts.

    BertinC132-1979-FrontStickerFlicker.jpg

    BertinC132-1979RearStickerFlickerCropped.jpg

    With tire pressure under 95 psi frequently goatheads wouldn't penetrate the tubes for 2 or 3 revolutions and the Sticker Flickers would scrape them out.

    verktyg

    Chas.
    Things aren't always what the seem... Don't believe everything you think!

    Chas.

  8. #8
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    A friend of mine who grew up in Alb. just told me about sticker flickers. If you rent a bike locally, do they come with sticker flickers and/or puncture resistant tubes or tires? They must take some precaution. I would think lots of bike-renting tourists would be very disappointed getting flats on their vacation rides.

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