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Old 07-15-11, 10:26 PM   #1
ben4345
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New tires or tire liners?

I have a set of Vittoria Diamante Pro tires, I like the comfort and traction they give but I get flats like crazy. They only have about 1250 miles on them, and starting to look like swiss cheese. Small rocks and glass just embed themselves into the tire too easily, causing flats.
So, I need some suggestions, should I just get new tires? If so, what would you recommend for 700cx23 and good cornering, minimal rolling resistance while have good puncture resistance.
Or should I just get some tire liners? If this, which ones? I keep hearing from LBS sales people that they are terrible. But my guess is that's just sales person talk.

I mostly commute, but do a little bit a of touring and training.
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Old 07-15-11, 10:50 PM   #2
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I use tire liners and very rarely get flats either around town or on tour.

They do eventually wear a hole in the tube (helps to sand down the ends) but that is much better than getting flats.

YMMV,

Ray

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Old 07-15-11, 11:10 PM   #3
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Soft tires will pick up glass and work through regardless of the tire liners. Get some Continental Gatorskins, but in 700x25 because they run smaller then Vittorias.
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Old 07-15-11, 11:23 PM   #4
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Or, you try one Gator on the back, since that's most of your flats prolly. This would allow you to keep the nice grip you like, twice over!
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Old 07-16-11, 12:03 AM   #5
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus.. tire liner is the layer outside the casing, under the tread.
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Old 07-16-11, 01:23 AM   #6
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Or, you try one Gator on the back, since that's most of your flats prolly. This would allow you to keep the nice grip you like, twice over!
Unfortunately, I get flats on both wheels. Maybe one or more on the rear.
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Old 07-16-11, 04:10 AM   #7
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IMO tire liners just are a complication, I'd suggest GatorSkins or better still Marathon plus
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Old 07-16-11, 04:45 AM   #8
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Perhaps try some Tire Savers (looks like "loose screws" carries them).

Maybe try a different road position, if you are currently riding too far to the edge of the roadway.
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Old 07-16-11, 07:59 AM   #9
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Mr Tuffy's are tricky to install without destroying your tube in short order. Spinskins reduce the number of flats, but they are pricey. Marathon Plus definitely reduce flats, but they nevertheless can be defeated by thorns - and they are heavy. Tire savers don't work if your tire even has a slight tread. No free lunch.

Schwalbe Durano Plus are available in 622-23.
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Old 07-16-11, 08:55 AM   #10
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Mr Tuffy's are tricky to install without destroying your tube in short order. Spinskins reduce the number of flats, but they are pricey. Marathon Plus definitely reduce flats, but they nevertheless can be defeated by thorns - and they are heavy. Tire savers don't work if your tire even has a slight tread. No free lunch.

Schwalbe Durano Plus are available in 622-23.
I put Mr. Tuffy Ultra-lites on my tires and have had no problems w/them nor did I have problems installing them. Just make sure they're as centered as possible. Maybe ignorance is bliss, but they've caused no problems w/wear, etc, and I'm at nearly 1500 miles on them. Not saying that it won't happen, just hasn't happened yet. Also, I ride on roads that have nails, glass, thorns, assorted crap and have had only one flat--this was from a shard of glass that had worked its way into a small crack in the side of my old tire (the bike had been in storage for 5 years and I was trying to milk the tires as long as I could...big mistake).

My bike company told me the same--that the liner would eventually wear out the tube, but if I can get 1500 or so miles out of a tube, heck, that sure beats getting flat after flat. I'll willingly buy new tubes just for the convenience of not having to stop and fix another flat. But I'm lazy that way, YMMV.
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Old 07-16-11, 02:04 PM   #11
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The fact that the OP is running 700X23 Vittoria Diamante Pros at 220 grams makes me think he wants a performance tire. The Marathon plus is about as far from that as you can get. It looks like 700x25 is as narrow as the MP comes and it not only weighs a whopping 580 grams, but has a very stiff sidewall that makes for a very "un-lively" ride. The ride was bad enough that I took them off after a few hundred miles. That said, some folks don't seem to mind.

So, if the OP decides on different tires something like the ultragatorskin might be more suitable.

I have no comments on the idea of liners, since I have never used them.

Nobody asked, but I will also say that I do not especially recommend heavy duty tubes and even less so for slime tubes. I have found that for me both of those have more negative impact on performance than positive impact on robustness.
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Old 07-16-11, 02:39 PM   #12
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I live in goat-head thorn country. It is quite possible to get a 10 punctures per tire in the space of 10 feet of riding if you hit a mess of those thorns. I use a combination of a tire with a builtin-in kelvar lining (schwalbe marathon extreme 57-559 or dureme 50-559), plus Stan's sealant inside the tubes. My tubes have scrader-valves, but I think you can get presta tubes with a removable valve cores, which you really need in order to use Stans. Stans recommeds 60g (2 oz) of sealant per tube, but that is for mountain bikes. If you are running narrow road tires, you might be able to use as little as 30g per tire. However, I am not sure if Stan's will work on very high pressure narrow tires.

There is no reason for tire liners if the tire itself has a Kelvar lining.

My own tests with Stan's involved using a sewing machine needle held in a pair of pliers and puncturing my tire 8 times on the rolling surface and 2 times on the sidewalls, while spinning to tire to make the sealant circulate, then waiting two hours to test for slow leaks, then repeating the test and waiting overnight to test for slow leaks. Stan's passed this test with flying colors. Pressure went from the original 45psi to 40psi, but I think most of that was because I hadn't yet figured out how to apply the pressure gauge without letting some air slip out. By contrast, Slime failed the test, even when I only punctured the rolling surface rather than the sidewalls, and even when I allowed the Slime plenty of time to "cure" or whatever it does to make a seal.

I think you should consider the trade-off between the time you gain by rolling fast on narrow lightweight tires, and the pleasure from rolling fast, versus the time you lose by fixing flats and the displeasure of sitting at the side of the road fixing flats. By not insisting on rolling fast, you have the option of either heavyweight Marathon Plus tires, or wider and lower-pressure tires that will work with Stan's sealant inside. Either of these options should drastically reduce your puncture flats.
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Old 07-16-11, 03:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The fact that the OP is running 700X23 Vittoria Diamante Pros at 220 grams makes me think he wants a performance tire. The Marathon plus is about as far from that as you can get. It looks like 700x25 is as narrow as the MP comes and it not only weighs a whopping 580 grams, but has a very stiff sidewall that makes for a very "un-lively" ride. The ride was bad enough that I took them off after a few hundred miles. That said, some folks don't seem to mind.

So, if the OP decides on different tires something like the ultragatorskin might be more suitable.

I have no comments on the idea of liners, since I have never used them.

Nobody asked, but I will also say that I do not especially recommend heavy duty tubes and even less so for slime tubes. I have found that for me both of those have more negative impact on performance than positive impact on robustness.
What's the difference between the ultra gatorskin's and the vanilla gatorskins? I can't even find the ultra's on continentals site.
Also, I was just recommended the Vittoria Rubino Pro III's at my LBS. Cause I mentioned that I do own a set of Rubinos, and only had one flat (because I forgot to file the valve opening inside the wheel) But I didn't like the traction or cornering with them. I had a few wipe outs. The Rubino Pro III supposedly improves on that.
I just got done comparing the 3 bikes at home. One bike with Micheline (approx 400 miles) no wear. Rubinos (approx. 2150 miles) little wear. Diamante Pros (approx 1250 miles) HOLY crap, terrible in contrast! Holes that you can see 6' away.

Also, how is the cornering with the Gatorskins in wet or damp conditions?
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Old 07-16-11, 04:26 PM   #14
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I'd say it's time for new tires.

Conti GP4000S, 24mm, make sure to find the "Black Chili Compound." Good compromise between performance, flat resistance and comfort.
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Old 07-16-11, 05:54 PM   #15
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What's the difference between the ultra gatorskin's and the vanilla gatorskins? I can't even find the ultra's on continentals site.
The gatorskins are the latest model and actually replace the ultra gatorskin. Some online shops are selling the new model under the old name. The newer model is a little heavier and supposed to be more flat resistant. I hope they are as good of a tire. I recently purchased one and it looks/feels like it should be pretty similar. My worry was that they would beef up the sidewall to much and ruin the ride, but that does not seem to be the case, I have not mounted them or ridden on them yet though.


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Also, how is the cornering with the Gatorskins in wet or damp conditions?
On pavement they are fine and handle very well. They are not so hot on mud or sand but, for minor sections of dirt road/path they are OK.

Edit: To be clear that last comment is based on my experience with the ultra gatorskin. I expect the gatorskin to be similar but have not yet used it so I really can't say for sure.

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Old 07-16-11, 07:40 PM   #16
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This question would be better answered by the commuting forums. We deal mostly with tires in the 400 gram and above range here.

The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme comes in 28mm at 310g per tire. The 35mm version of this tire lasted me through 4000km of loaded touring on the rear wheel, so it's more than durable enough for commuting. Its weakness is the thin sidewall. At around 3500km I experienced a blowout while riding on gravel, the result of a sidewall cut. I sewed cut together, booted it, and rode the tire another 500km until it received a similar cut in the tread. A similar repair was deemed unsafe for the massive descents I was doing on a regular basis at that time, and I gave the tire to a farmer in a hut at the side of the road.

The Vittoria Rubino Pro is a great tire. I've been using the same set on and off for three years now, including 900km of loaded touring around Lake Ontario. They probably have 2000km total on them and are still going strong, and have had very few flats. They're light and cheap as well. I never experienced the cornering problems you describe.
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Old 07-17-11, 07:26 AM   #17
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This question would be better answered by the commuting forums. We deal mostly with tires in the 400 gram and above range here.
I don't know that to be true. Lot's of folks here use 28mm ultra gatorskins that are well under 400 grams. Some even use 25mm tires that are lighter than the gatorskins.
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Old 07-17-11, 02:31 PM   #18
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I'd say it's time for new tires.

Conti GP4000S, 24mm, make sure to find the "Black Chili Compound." Good compromise between performance, flat resistance and comfort.
I've been reading up on the GP4000S and the Gatorskins. Are the GP4000S's just as durable? If not how much?
It seems that the GP4000S are a noticeably better than the Gatorskins in speed, but just a little more wear.
I am thinking it might be a good idea to get one of each. Use the GP4000S for the rear.

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This question would be better answered by the commuting forums. We deal mostly with tires in the 400 gram and above range here.

The Schwalbe Marathon Supreme comes in 28mm at 310g per tire. The 35mm version of this tire lasted me through 4000km of loaded touring on the rear wheel, so it's more than durable enough for commuting. Its weakness is the thin sidewall. At around 3500km I experienced a blowout while riding on gravel, the result of a sidewall cut. I sewed cut together, booted it, and rode the tire another 500km until it received a similar cut in the tread. A similar repair was deemed unsafe for the massive descents I was doing on a regular basis at that time, and I gave the tire to a farmer in a hut at the side of the road.

The Vittoria Rubino Pro is a great tire. I've been using the same set on and off for three years now, including 900km of loaded touring around Lake Ontario. They probably have 2000km total on them and are still going strong, and have had very few flats. They're light and cheap as well. I never experienced the cornering problems you describe.
I posted here, because I assume that those who tour, take tire performance, comfort and puncture resistance with more consideration. Most commuters I know, just use whatever.

My girl friend told me that she is sick of seeing me repair flats. That she wants to buy me a new set of tires. How awesome is she!
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Old 07-17-11, 04:55 PM   #19
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I've been reading up on the GP4000S and the Gatorskins. Are the GP4000S's just as durable? If not how much?
I haven't used Gatorskins (or Armadillos), so I can only go by reputation: The Gatorskins should be tougher but slower.

I've put 2000 miles on Conti Grand Prix 4 Seasons (28c) without any flats, and mostly replaced them as a preventative measure. I think I'm on 1000 miles on the Conti GP4000s 24's I mentioned, no flats yet.

Something to keep in mind, if you are riding at 15mph or less you can use wider tires, up to 25c's, without taking a performance hit. If you're comparing a 23 and 25 of the same tire, the 25 will be slightly less aero (which doesn't matter at 15mph or less) and have slightly better rolling resistance (which improves performance at these slower speeds).
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Old 07-18-11, 09:29 AM   #20
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I would check to see if your tire is also offered with Kelvar wrapping. They're almost twice the cost, but, in my opinion, well worth it. They don't add weight to your wheel like tuffys do, you don't have to worry about tuffys wearing a hole in your tube,(and they do, I've used them), and unless you are riding in thorn country, you'll enjoy far fewer flats. The tread on my kelvar tires is almost worn bald now, and I haven't had a flat with them.
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Old 07-18-11, 09:37 AM   #21
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Triple thick Thorn Resistant Heavy duty inner tubes are another approach..

Rode from Southern Ireland. to the Larne Ferry to Northern Scotland ,
without flat from a puncture. mine a 700c 37 wheel set..
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Old 07-18-11, 12:22 PM   #22
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Mr. Tuffy's will eventually wear a hole in your tube where the two ends overlap. However, in over 15,000 commuter miles using My. Tuffy's I only had one flat, and it was caused by the Tuffy itself. After this one occurrence, and at my convenience, I'd occasionally rotate the tube in relation to the Tuffy overlap. Never had another problem. Talcum powder helps also.
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Old 07-18-11, 12:47 PM   #23
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I've been reading up on the GP4000S and the Gatorskins. Are the GP4000S's just as durable? If not how much?
It seems that the GP4000S are a noticeably better than the Gatorskins in speed, but just a little more wear.
I am thinking it might be a good idea to get one of each. Use the GP4000S for the rear.
I have a set of Continental GP4000S' on my '89 Miele road bike right now. They're very new, with just 200km. So far no flats and no sign of wear. On the bike I can't tell the difference between them and the Vittoria Rubino Pros.
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Old 07-18-11, 07:07 PM   #24
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I can get the Continental Grand Prix 4 Season for $65, seems to be the cheapest I can find. Just $5 more than the GP4000s, I will get one of those for the rear. And a Gatorskin for the front.
FWIW, I live in the NW, so it rains here a lot and I am a all year rider.
I might as well try riding 23's in the front and 25's in the rear.

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Old 07-19-11, 12:08 AM   #25
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I think your doing it backward.

I'm in Seattle, and in the rain I put a GP 4 Seasons on the front and the Gatorskin on the rear. The 4 Seasons is softer rubber so it grips well on wet roads but will wear very quickly on the rear. I also sometimes do one size wider tire on the front for more grip on uneven pavement and comfort for your hands. You can recover a slip on the rear wheel but your going to eat pavement if your front slips.
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