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  1. #1
    Senior Member mshattuck's Avatar
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    Flat tire protection?

    I'm wondering what kind of protection, if any, you all use when going on tour to protect against flats. Airless tires, liners, kevlar tubes, slime, etc etc?? I was out training yesterday and ran over a stinkin' piece of glass (for fun, youth in Poland seem to love breaking glass on our streets, ugh!) and got my first puncture for the season. And I'm just wondering if my semi-slicks need a little help to endure such things down the road (literally and figuratively).

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    pierced member
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    It may sounds ridiculous, but I haven't been beaten by the combo of puncture-resistant tubes, tire liners and kevlar-lined tires. I mean never. Yes, it makes the wheel heavy, but it's worth it not having to take the wheel off. I have noticed that most flats happen on the rear, so I think leaving out the puncture-resistant tube on the front would be fine...
    Go big.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    I'm devoted to Mr Tuffys. I've used them for 10 years without complaint.

  4. #4
    Has opinion, will express
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    I used Mr Tuffys on my trans-Nullarbor ride in 97, and never since. My motivation then related to the double-gees, and thorned seed like goatsheads, I suppose. I had no punctures on the way across. I did trim the Mr Tuffys so they butted together rather than overlapped to avoid the ends rubbing on the tubes and causing flats.

    I think Slime also makes a plastic tyre liner, too.

  5. #5
    Guest
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    I just keep an eye out for debris and potholes.

    Other than that, I just let it happen. If it happens, it happens. I'm not into using the slime or anything, so that limits me. And I like my skinny tires.

    Koffee

  6. #6
    wildjim
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    Quote Originally Posted by koffee brown
    I just keep an eye out for debris and potholes.

    Other than that, I just let it happen. If it happens, it happens. I'm not into using the slime or anything, so that limits me. And I like my skinny tires.

    Koffee
    I do the same and avoid debris in the road. It has reduced the occurrence of punctures dramatically.

    It seems that any thing that can puncture the tire will also puncture the tube eventually.

  7. #7
    Guest
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    Very true. I got my first flat on my Bike Friday since I've been riding it (March '04). I just think the tire was old, so when I hit the pothole, it just gave. Had I not hit that pothole so hard, I'd probably still be riding with that inner tube still.

    Just pay better attention to the road and what's on the ground. I think you'll be ok.

    Koffee

  8. #8
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    Any decent modern touring-grade tyre will have puncture protection (kevlar band or something). They are not 100% effective but do cut down 90% of punctures. Shards of razor-sharp flint seem to defeat my Marathon tyres a few times a year but otherwise they are very tough.

  9. #9
    Macro Geek
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    I have a friend I bicycle with who takes fiendish pleasure in demonstrating his ability to ride over shards of glass on his fat mountain bike tires. I have always had skinny tires (23, 25 or 28 mm), so I always avoid road debris. One day while riding together, I got two punctures within five or ten minutes. We have been riding together since the 1980s, and he has never had a flat.

    Why is there no justice in the universe?

  10. #10
    Slow and unsteady
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    I had pretty good luck with Continental Top Touring Tires on my touring bike, with maybe 2 punctures in a couple thousand miles, but the sidewalls were cracking badly on the 700x32. I have 26x1.75 tires on my mtb/commuter and they look great after nearly 2 years of use and only a couple flats.

    Now I'm using Vittoria Randonneur tires (700x35) for about 1900 miles with no punctures and very little sidewall cracking.

    Before using either of these tires I experienced almost weekly flats from broken glass. I still ride the same roads.

    The tires are heavy (about 550-590 grams) but I don't have to use heavy tubes or tire liners.
    Last edited by bradw; 05-09-05 at 07:56 AM.

  11. #11
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    In my opinion, the best protection against flat tires is to use good quality tires with some sort of integrated puncture protection (the Marathons have that feature) and to change your tires and tubes when they get old.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mshattuck's Avatar
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    All good advice. I went to the lbs today and got a new tube (the guy recommended continental) and a patch kit. I found the the puncture I have is on the seam and wasn't able to patch it (possibly my fault as it was my first patch attempt...but I'd rather think it was a problem with the seam).

    I talked to the guy about liners and he said that they didn't carry any of those...that was 2nd'd by another lbs. So, it doesn't look like I'll have much option here (Poland) without buying something through the web.

    I obviously watch where I'm riding...potholes are no big deal to avoid most of the time. But glass isn't always that obvious. Maybe I'll look into the Marathon tires or some other option like that which I know they have available here.

    Thanks again for all the good comments!

  13. #13
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    I've been using Trek Armadillos, I think they're Trek, along with a Mr. Tuffy Strip, and I'm not sure but I think one of my tubes might be a slime one. I have yet to get a punture with this combination. And that includes 400 km in Cambodia where you can't just watch out for potholes and debris as that is what the road is made of.

    However, I did get a flat due to the failure of a patch on a tire that has about 8 patches in it. It was one of the self sticking patches that after I don't know how long, decided not to stick anymore. So I would suggest starting out with new innertubes.

  14. #14
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    My experiences:

    Slime -- No effect, makes a mess when you do flat
    Tuffy -- May have some benefits; can cause flats if installed improperly
    Avoiding debris -- would require me to ride only on lawns
    Airless tires -- have not tried these. Reliable sources say they are slippery when wet.
    Schwalbe Marathon Plus -- no punctures since getting them.

    Paul

  15. #15
    Guest
    Guest
    Schwalbe must make good tires- I've only had one flat in about 16 months. And I think it was more the inner tube having a problem with the valve being defective than the actual tire. Add another vote for the Schwalbe.

    Koffee

  16. #16
    Senior Member mshattuck's Avatar
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    Question...
    Right now I'm using a set of Polish-made (supposedly good?) tires...they're sized 26x1.9. If I were to purchase a set of Schwalbe Marathons (per se), can I get a different width as long as it's still 26 diameter? For instance, a lbs has a set of 26x1.75s available for about $21/each. Would the 1.75s work or would I need new rims?

    Bear with me...I've only recently begun getting into all of this.

    Thanks!

  17. #17
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    This should work!

  18. #18
    wildjim
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    Quote Originally Posted by acantor
    I have a friend I bicycle with who takes fiendish pleasure in demonstrating his ability to ride over shards of glass on his fat mountain bike tires. I have always had skinny tires (23, 25 or 28 mm), so I always avoid road debris. One day while riding together, I got two punctures within five or ten minutes. We have been riding together since the 1980s, and he has never had a flat.

    Why is there no justice in the universe?
    I have noticed the same thing with a co-worker. She rides a GT Hybrid and carries no tubes, patches, or pump. She has ridden for years only changing tire and tubes as they wear without tire puncture!

  19. #19
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    Thorn-resistant tubes are a good idea, and are what I use. They have the same effect as what you get in the Marathon Plus i.e. an extra thick layer, but there is a problem: they split. I had one of them split completely around the circumference while inside the tyre. The other one also split the same way when I did a "pull test" later on when it was off the bike (grab the tube with two hands and pull firmly. Mine split neatly in two).

    So I don't use them as a tube anymore - I slit them instead, about an inch wide, and use them as a liner for ordinary tubes.

  20. #20
    Senior Member mshattuck's Avatar
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    Any of you Marathon users go "off-road" with them? We have a lot of forests around here and I'm just wondering how they will work on that kind of terrain. In other words, are they good for non-pavement as well or should I be looking at their Marathon Cross tires (I think that's the name)??

    Thanks

  21. #21
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    I've had tremendous results with a set of Specialized Armadillo's with Slime added to the tubes.

    Tom

  22. #22
    Senior Member onbike 1939's Avatar
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    Another vote for Marathon but the plus version do tend to be heavy and more suited to expedition work where they attract great reports. The conti t/touring have a bad name in the UK due to sidewall splitting, justifiably so in my opinion.

  23. #23
    Very Senior Member MikeR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rusht8205
    I've had tremendous results with a set of Specialized Armadillo's with Slime added to the tubes.

    Tom
    Armadillo's , Armadillo's , Armadillo's !!!
    I swear by them. (never used the slime - never needed it)
    I am well into my second set of Armadillo Numbus tires without a single flat.
    It's better to cycle through life than to drive by it.

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