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Flat tire protection

Old 06-16-22, 09:16 PM
  #1  
crankarmbreaker
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Flat tire protection

I've got the flat tire blues. Over the years, I've used Mr. Tuffy strips (and its competitors), which work well for a while and then they turn to the Dark Side and put a tiny hole in the tube right at the end of the strip. Sometimes it's because the strip gets crusty as it ages, sometimes it just happens early on in the strip's life (I got one of these flats after just a month of use recently). When the strip does this, the tiny hole occurs in the middle of a groove that the strip has been creating for a while, which also makes the darned hole unpatchable because the air goes up the groove and around the patch. I also recently bought Tannus Amour inserts which proved to be a real pain in the neck, and I managed to destroy three tubes in an hour on the front wheel. That was $100 down the drain real fast.

For reference, I weigh 350 pounds. I have a custom-made steel bike. I use Serfas Drifter 26 x 2.0 tires. I ride on roads mostly with a little bit of compact gravel rail-trails, too. I'm doing the Seattle-to-Portland next month and would like to not have the flat-tire blues the whole way.

For those of you who have had this problem, how have you solved it?
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Old 06-16-22, 09:53 PM
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csport
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Do you have flats without the tire liners? If yes, what are the causes? Serfas Drifters are quite thick and heavy tires.

You can also try somthing like Marathon Plus: https://schwalbetires.com/Marathon-Plus-11100756
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Old 06-16-22, 10:05 PM
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Originally Posted by csport View Post
Do you have flats without the tire liners? If yes, what are the causes? Serfas Drifters are quite thick and heavy tires.

You can also try somthing like Marathon Plus: https://schwalbetires.com/Marathon-Plus-11100756
Without the tire liners, I get three times as many flats with pieces of glass, little pieces of wire from radial tires, and goat heads (five-pointed thorns of doom native to the Inland Northwest).

Serfas Drifters are thick and heavy, which is kind of the point. Also they're cheap, and I rarely get more than 1,000 miles from a rear tire.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:03 AM
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Marathon Plus Tour: https://schwalbetires.com/Marathon-Plus-Tour-11149404

The weight difference between Marathon Plus/Plus Tour and Serfas Drifter in 26x2.0 is 300g, while Mr. Tuffy brown liner is only 121g. Probably weight does not translate into puncture resistance directly, but Marathon Plus' are very strong tires.

Maybe Marathon Plus Tour will help you.
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Old 06-17-22, 02:58 AM
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Heavier rider + bike + gear, rougher urban streets mostly, occasional packed dirt trails (with thorns, glass shards here and there). I've found the Conti Ride Tour to be pretty darned tough. Zero flats in 3+ years of usage, hitting all sorts of potholes, glass, thorns and other things that used to foul up every other tire I tried.

Might work for you, at your load's weight and roads you ride.

Continental Ride Tour #0101149 -- 47-559 (26x1.75"), 780g, 3/180 TPI, 58 PSI max, with a fairly tough anti-puncture layer. Tread handles streets and dirt trails easily; uncertain about gravel, as I've never used them on those. Tread seems to last well, on such surfaces.

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Old 06-17-22, 07:34 AM
  #6  
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I do like the Marathon Supremes' for flat resistance, however I don't deal with goat heads. I recently replaced the Big Apples on my e-bike to the Pick-ups after two flats within two weeks. I had about 1000 miles on mine before I replaced them.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:41 AM
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I could not be more satisfied with my Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Wife and i have them and tour well over 1,000 miles without a flat. Have been satisfied for many years.

I ‘ll look for a big guy on new Schwalbres as you pass through my town on the STP. Enjoy.
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Old 06-17-22, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
I could not be more satisfied with my Schwalbe Marathon Plus. Wife and i have them and tour well over 1,000 miles without a flat. Have been satisfied for many years.

I ‘ll look for a big guy on new Schwalbres as you pass through my town on the STP. Enjoy.
debade: How much do you weigh?
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Old 06-17-22, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by csport View Post
Marathon Plus Tour: https://schwalbetires.com/Marathon-Plus-Tour-11149404

The weight difference between Marathon Plus/Plus Tour and Serfas Drifter in 26x2.0 is 300g, while Mr. Tuffy brown liner is only 121g. Probably weight does not translate into puncture resistance directly, but Marathon Plus' are very strong tires.

Maybe Marathon Plus Tour will help you.
csport, when you're evaluating the strength of a tire, which number should you be looking at? Overall weight of the tire? It's especially challenging for me at 350 pounds because the more expensive and "advanced" tires go, the lighter they are, which might be a boost for a 150 pound guy but definitely not for me.
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Old 06-17-22, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by crankarmbreaker View Post
debade: How much do you weigh?
I am less than 1/2 your weight. Although my Schwalbes are on my touring bike. So total touring weight is closer to 200#.

My wife and I have thousands and thousands of miles (2 cross country tours in USA, 2 in Europe, many several hundred mile tours). That is 4 tires with perhaps 4 flats. It is the tire of choice of most bicycle tourists. And, incredibly popular in Europe by commuters. (To be clear, we have changed them before getting a flat after putting several thousands of miles on them)


The downside is that they are hard to put on and take off. I have found the Park tire levers to work well. There are others that people also like.

The 1,000 miles you pointed out turns out to be coincidentally the mileage limitation for the Bontrager tires that came standard on my Trek 520. On my first cross country tour, I left those tires on my bike. They lasted for 1,000 miles. I changed both of those out for Schwalbes. This was 2010. The Schwalbest lasted the next 2,000 miles and beyond. My wife's lasted for the entire trip and beyond.

Perhaps your weight plays a bigger factor than I feel it would. That is something I have not researched.
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Old 06-17-22, 09:16 PM
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Originally Posted by crankarmbreaker View Post
when you're evaluating the strength of a tire, which number should you be looking at? Overall weight of the tire?
Of course there is a correlation, but there many subtleties: material for used for the anti-puncture layer, thread/sidewall thickness etc. Bicyclerollingresistance has some data for puncture resistance: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...ews?orderby=pr

I am 280# and I use relatively light tires like Vittoria Voyager Hyper, Panaracer Pasela, Soma Supple Vitesse etc. I tried Marathon Plus Tours in the past, did the whole Pittburgh to DC tour on them and found them an overkill for me. I have no experience with goatheads myself, but I have heard they can puncture Marathon Plus' as well.

Probably what I am saying is too obvious, you can also try sealant inside the tubes. Or thorn resistant tubes.
Airless tires as a desperate measure, maybe only for the rear.
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Old 06-18-22, 03:42 PM
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You need to sleeve the overlap/ends of Mr Tuffy liners with an inner tube cutoff that’s wide enough for the liners. I’ve Mr Tuffy for over 10 years now and lately my tubes have been fatiguing at the valve from age. The ONLY time I have an issue is when I ride long stretches of hot mix pavement and I notice the sleeve with a small bump
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Old 06-18-22, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by brawlo View Post
You need to sleeve the overlap/ends of Mr Tuffy liners with an inner tube cutoff thatís wide enough for the liners. Iíve Mr Tuffy for over 10 years now and lately my tubes have been fatiguing at the valve from age. The ONLY time I have an issue is when I ride long stretches of hot mix pavement and I notice the sleeve with a small bump
Ok, sounds interesting... what's an inner tube cutoff?
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Old 06-19-22, 12:01 AM
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Originally Posted by crankarmbreaker View Post
Ok, sounds interesting... what's an inner tube cutoff?
I think that is where you take an old (used up) inner tube, cut a section of the inner tube out to cover the ends of the Mr Tuffy liner. So it protects the real tube from wearing from the liner.I would tape it down so it doesn't move when putting the tire and tube back on the bike.

Another thought, what about going tubeless. the sealant would seal any holes from thorns.
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Old 06-19-22, 02:18 AM
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^^^ What cyclist2000 said basically. YMMV but I wouldn’t bother with taping it, I find once you have the liner in the tyre it’s fine. Besides tubes wearing out, I’ve only had 2 flats since I started using the liners. One with a ply wire that worked its way through the liner for a slow flat, and the other a glass puncture where the glass cut the sidewall above where the liner went to. I’ve always run Conti GP4000S, S2 and 5000, so not a huge amount of protection from the tyre
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Old 06-24-22, 04:29 PM
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Pick a high quality Schwalbe or Conti and you should be fine.
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Old 06-29-22, 01:37 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
Another thought, what about going tubeless.
Noooooo!
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Old 06-29-22, 01:52 AM
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I don't think rider weight is relevant to the o.p. issue. I think current generation Tuffy liners have addressed the puncture issue. Use them full length or nearly so, and overlap the ends as directed. I have taped the free end with packing tape to see what that would do. Not enough miles to determine. I stopped carrying tubes and patches when we bought a Trek T900 tandem equipped with Bontrager H2 (Hardcase Series) tires in 26 x 2.0". We ride that tandem (team weight 350lb) in the same general area as the o.p. (Greater Portland). The H2's got very hard to find during Covid. I don't use or need liners in the Bonties but anything else is fair game, even Schwalbe Big Apples and Marathons (not Plus) can benefit from a liner.
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