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  1. #1
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    re: first front puncture - scarey

    We had our first front puncture last Saturday. It was comming down an over-pass in a bunch at just over 40km/ph.

    Fortunately the road was straight but man what a handful to keep us upright, I didn't know if we were going down until I got a foot on the ground.

    If we were tipped into a corner there is no doubt in my mind that we'd have gone down HARD.

    Has anyone found a 28mm tyre and gone tubeless on it? I've tested 23mm and 25mm tubless tyres on my single and although I wasn't 100% convinced in the technology if you did get a cut that didn't self heal at least the deflation was slow.

    We ride our tandem pretty fast and hard and I lost a little bit of confidence last weekend!

  2. #2
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    What tire and tube were you using? Team Weight? Details please.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Spohn View Post
    What tire and tube were you using? Team Weight? Details please.
    28mm Continental Gatorskin Hardshell's, Continental 19-28 tube, team weight 265lbs

  4. #4
    Senior Member CaptainHaddock's Avatar
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    The possibility of a front flat on a tandem scares the crap out of me. Glad to hear that you manged to pull it off safely!

  5. #5
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    We had our first front puncture last Saturday. It was comming down an over-pass in a bunch at just over 40km/ph.

    Fortunately the road was straight but man what a handful to keep us upright, I didn't know if we were going down until I got a foot on the ground.

    If we were tipped into a corner there is no doubt in my mind that we'd have gone down HARD.

    Has anyone found a 28mm tyre and gone tubeless on it? I've tested 23mm and 25mm tubless tyres on my single and although I wasn't 100% convinced in the technology if you did get a cut that didn't self heal at least the deflation was slow.

    We ride our tandem pretty fast and hard and I lost a little bit of confidence last weekend!
    We had a similar issue with Gatorskins and it was a sidewall issue. Conti makes good tires but their sidewalls are somewhat fragile. In our case I think that I hit road debris when leaning through a corner and the exposed sidewall was cut.

    It seems to me the tubeless articles I have read seem to say that conversion on non-tubeless specific rims & tires it is not good for high pressures. If deflated very quickly due to a cut do you think tubeless would have helped?

    What pressure were you running?

  6. #6
    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Congrats on some good bike handling!
    Have actually blown a few tires off the rim, including the front at 30+mph.
    A bit like riding a bronco; but keep cool/calm. Don't grab the brake but coast to a stop if possible.
    Have not run tubeless on the tandem but do run folding cllnchers, 700x25 Maxxis Re-Fuse. Team weight just under 250 lbs.
    After 37+ years of tandeming we've had all sorts of of survivable events!
    Pedal on TWOgether!
    Rudy and Kay/zonatandem

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by waynesulak View Post
    We had a similar issue with Gatorskins and it was a sidewall issue. Conti makes good tires but their sidewalls are somewhat fragile. In our case I think that I hit road debris when leaning through a corner and the exposed sidewall was cut.

    It seems to me the tubeless articles I have read seem to say that conversion on non-tubeless specific rims & tires it is not good for high pressures. If deflated very quickly due to a cut do you think tubeless would have helped?

    What pressure were you running?
    We're using the Gatorskin Hardshells which have the extra side-wall protection - I think they are very good and we're on our 2nd set of them.

    I ran over some bits of clay brick that must of fell off a truck - the riders in front failed to point them out. I had 3 sets of snake bites in the tube when I had a look at it.

    We did roll for a very long time on the rim as we had a fair bit of speed on. I ever so lightly used a little rear brake to steady us, I normally wouldn't touch the brakes at all but I felt like we could go down and if that was happening the more speed I could gently wash off the better.

    We run 100psi front and rear which is the max rating for those tyres.

    Its the only front flat we've ever had but it really did get me thinking about ways to reduce the chance of a front flat.

    Imagine if we were doing 60km/ph instead of 40? We hit 60 pretty regular. In a straight line you've got half a chance, if we had a corner comming up we'd be going down hard.
    Last edited by jacks1071; 09-06-12 at 07:44 AM.

  8. #8
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    I think the fact you got snakebite flats meant the size of the debris exceeded the capacity of your tire to absorb it. My prefered solution would to use a 32mm slick (continental makes a 700x32 Gatorskin of some sort - we used that for road riding until we switched to 26" for even more volume when touring) because you need volume to handle chunky road debris. An alternative which I like less is to increase the air pressure I like to limIt that to be no more than 10-15% personally. I like this less because it reduces the engineered safety margin of the tire.

  9. #9
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    We're using the Gatorskin Hardshells which have the extra side-wall protection - I think they are very good and we're on our 2nd set of them.

    I ran over some bits of clay brick that must of fell off a truck - the riders in front failed to point them out. I had 3 sets of snake bites in the tube when I had a look at it.

    We did roll for a very long time on the rim as we had a fair bit of speed on. I ever so lightly used a little rear brake to steady us, I normally wouldn't touch the brakes at all but I felt like we could go down and if that was happening the more speed I could gently wash off the better.

    We run 100psi front and rear which is the max rating for those tyres.

    Its the only front flat we've ever had but it really did get me thinking about ways to reduce the chance of a front flat.

    Imagine if we were doing 60km/ph instead of 40? We hit 60 pretty regular. In a straight line you've got half a chance, if we had a corner comming up we'd be going down hard.

    I decided to exceed the max psi on the on the sidewall label to reduce pinch flats and sidewall exposure. I see a lot of tandems that have a tire bulge greater than most captains would ever ride on a single. We ran 28mm gatorskins 120 psi from 130psi rear with a team weight of about 290 lbs. Tandems and especially triplets often have to choose our risk, exceed recommended inflation or have a tire that doesn't have enough air for the load.

  10. #10
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    On our ride today, we hit an upturned joint in a bridge over a freeway overpass at around 13-16 mph (according to the Strava upload). I thought, my, that was quite a bump! By the time we had traversed the overpass, I was thinking, is this front tire getting twitchy? No sooner than I noticed that, I noticed that the tire was completely flat, and the wheel severely wobbly. Then we went down, with a sickening thud. Just a few square inches of fairly superficial road rash on our knee and elbow for the both of us, no big deal, and the bike was okay.

    • Enve 65 clincher
    • Continental GP4000s 25 mm tires.
    • 130 psi.


    I didn't see any damage to the rim, and with a new tube, both rim and tire rode fine on the ride home.



    Presumably, we had an impact flat, possibly a pinch flat. I haven't inspected the tube yet. The tire went flat, and as we were still rolling, the airless tire rolled off the rim.

  11. #11
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    I'm thinking of going Tubular - anyone else done it? The tandem has pleanty of area to strap a spare tyre onto. The tyre won't roll off the rim if you flat and the bike should be somewhat more manageable with a flat tubular than a flat clincher due to the tyre construction.

    Anyone know who makes a 28mm tubular training/heavy duty tyre?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jacks1071 View Post
    I'm thinking of going Tubular - anyone else done it? The tandem has pleanty of area to strap a spare tyre onto. The tyre won't roll off the rim if you flat and the bike should be somewhat more manageable with a flat tubular than a flat clincher due to the tyre construction.

    Anyone know who makes a 28mm tubular training/heavy duty tyre?
    I've had four front flats at speeds in excess of 80kph (50mph) and haven't crashed yet(crosses fingers). One of those was on a 23mm tubular. To be honest I didn't notice any real difference in handling of the flat tires between the tubular and the clincher. None of those tires came off the rim though like Ritterviews did. I run Conti GP4000 tires, usually 25mm. The tubular was a 23mm Vittoria I believe. The thing that worries me with the tubular tires is that I had a (rear) tire roll off under braking after a long descent (on my single). I'm pretty sure I melted the glue under braking enough to allow it to come off the wheel when I hit the brake hard to avoid an accident. If I can do that on a single I'd really worry about it on the tandem if I didn't have a rear disk brake.

    Zonatandem hit the nail on the head with "keep cool/calm" and keep a light grip on the bars. The bike is going to want to wiggle around but it will want to go roughly straight and upright. I will apply a little rear brake but you have to be careful with that.
    Last edited by Homeyba; 09-09-12 at 09:46 AM.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  13. #13
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Inspection reveals a classic 'snakebite' pinch flat. I think this tells me that if I have a significant front wheel hit, to slow to stop immediately to inspect.


  14. #14
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    On our ride today, we hit an upturned joint in a bridge over a freeway overpass at around 13-16 mph (according to the Strava upload). I thought, my, that was quite a bump! By the time we had traversed the overpass, I was thinking, is this front tire getting twitchy? No sooner than I noticed that, I noticed that the tire was completely flat, and the wheel severely wobbly. Then we went down, with a sickening thud. Just a few square inches of fairly superficial road rash on our knee and elbow for the both of us, no big deal, and the bike was okay.

    • Enve 65 clincher
    • Continental GP4000s 25 mm tires.
    • 130 psi.


    I didn't see any damage to the rim, and with a new tube, both rim and tire rode fine on the ride home.



    Presumably, we had an impact flat, possibly a pinch flat. I haven't inspected the tube yet. The tire went flat, and as we were still rolling, the airless tire rolled off the rim.

    Has anyone heard of a tire rolling off the rim and jamming in the front rim or fork stopping the front wheel? This has always been a concern when thinking of front flat scenarios but have never actually heard of it happening.

  15. #15
    Senior Member waynesulak's Avatar
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    Ritterview - I just viewed the link of the accident site. Did you fall toward that curb (ouch!) of out in the traffic lane (lucky no one was there)?

  16. #16
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    I only recall one front flat on the tandem. What I noticed was that the bike really did NOT want to turn, like losing power steering.

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