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Recommendation needed: Puncture resistance and clearance under fenders

Old 02-13-20, 10:32 AM
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Recommendation needed: Puncture resistance and clearance under fenders

I want to be proactive and get some bombproof tires for my new bike. I haven't had a flat with the tires that came on it, WTB Slicks, but I when I do and have the wheel off, I know I'll want to switch to the toughest tire possible. I prioritize prohibiting flats above all else and am not concerned with weight or comfort really. The potential problem is clearance. I have a dynamo powered rear light so there's a 1/8" power cable running inside my rear fender to the tail light. That appears to leave me with about 1/8" to work with before the tire is rubbing up against it. I've read that the Schwalbe Maraton Plus model has an extra 1/4" in height so I'm guessing those won't work.

Can someone recommend the toughest "short" tires available?
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Old 02-13-20, 01:04 PM
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What tire size are you using now? You might have to move down a size if you want really thick tread.
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Old 02-13-20, 01:13 PM
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Not sure what size you are looking at, but I do believe the most puncture-resistant tire currently on the market is the Gator Hardshell--at least according to the folks at Rolling Resistance, who have tested a whole bunch of tires over the years.
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Old 02-13-20, 01:45 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
What tire size are you using now? You might have to move down a size if you want really thick tread.
700x32c

So moving to something like 700x30c would fit my wheel and allow for more clearance? I don't have a clear idea of what will fit in the place of 700x32 and what won't.
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Old 02-13-20, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
700x32c

So moving to something like 700x30c would fit my wheel and allow for more clearance? I don't have a clear idea of what will fit in the place of 700x32 and what won't.
Hmm, that's a tough one. Go too skinny on the tire and you start to lose some of the flat-preventing benefits of wider tires. I was hoping you were starting out with 700x42C or 700x37C or 650x47B...
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Old 02-13-20, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
700x32c

So moving to something like 700x30c would fit my wheel and allow for more clearance? I don't have a clear idea of what will fit in the place of 700x32 and what won't.
Schwalbe Supremes come in 700x32 and don't have that thick padded layer like the Marathon Pluses do.
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Old 02-13-20, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Schwalbe Supremes come in 700x32 and don't have that thick padded layer like the Marathon Pluses do.
Noted. Thanks.

Any others? I'm open to other brands.
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Old 02-13-20, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bpcyclist View Post
Not sure what size you are looking at, but I do believe the most puncture-resistant tire currently on the market is the Gator Hardshell--at least according to the folks at Rolling Resistance, who have tested a whole bunch of tires over the years.
I'm looking into those, thanks. Is there some type of stat that shows me they don't have the tall/thick layer similar to Marathons?
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Old 02-13-20, 03:37 PM
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Longest riding, most flat resistant tire I ever rode was a Continental Contact (now available with multiple postscripts). It was also the most miserable to unmount and remount when it did flat. After the third or fourth flat, at 7,000 miles, I threw it out in disgust when I poked another hole in a freshly repaired tube trying to get the blessed thing back on.
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Old 02-13-20, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
I'm looking into those, thanks. Is there some type of stat that shows me they don't have the tall/thick layer similar to Marathons?
I am not sure. You could have a look around the following site, which I mentioned, and which does a lot of puncture resistance testing: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/
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Old 02-13-20, 05:58 PM
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PDXCarless Any tire that uses a tube can be made more flat resistant with tire liners. A couple of the advantages of tire liners are that tires with more supple sidewalls can be used, and less expensive tires can be used, as the tire liners themselves last forever.

I bike commute and I've been using Mr. Tuffy's in all my bikes for over a decade to combat goat-head thorn punctures, and for that they have been a total success. And I can run more supple tires, which ride, so much nicer.

The downside to my setup is that I am more vulnerable to sidewall intrusion, but that has happened only twice in ten years. Of course "Your Mileage May Vary".

I have tried a couple of more robust puncture resistant tires. Most notably Continental Contact something-or-others. Like pdlamb they were crazy hard to mount and caused a few pinch flats and pinched fingers while mounting. Like the other flat resistant tires I tried (forgot what they were) the Continentals were nice and grippy, which I didn't expect, but rode harshly.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:20 AM
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Ok, I don't know how I didn't realize this, but when I looked closer, it looks like the fender bracket has about another 1/8" of room and the frame will accommodate it. I feel pretty stupid for not checking that first. I'm now hoping there's enough room to fit the Marathon Plus tires. It would be cutting it close because of that aforementioned tail-light wire.
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Old 02-14-20, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by BobbyG View Post
PDXCarless Any tire that uses a tube can be made more flat resistant with tire liners. A couple of the advantages of tire liners are that tires with more supple sidewalls can be used, and less expensive tires can be used, as the tire liners themselves last forever.

I bike commute and I've been using Mr. Tuffy's in all my bikes for over a decade to combat goat-head thorn punctures, and for that they have been a total success. And I can run more supple tires, which ride, so much nicer.

The downside to my setup is that I am more vulnerable to sidewall intrusion, but that has happened only twice in ten years. Of course "Your Mileage May Vary".

I have tried a couple of more robust puncture resistant tires. Most notably Continental Contact something-or-others. Like pdlamb they were crazy hard to mount and caused a few pinch flats and pinched fingers while mounting. Like the other flat resistant tires I tried (forgot what they were) the Continentals were nice and grippy, which I didn't expect, but rode harshly.
The worst streak of flats I've ever had was during my experiments with Tuffy's. I tried everything for almost a year. Duct tape, electrical tape, baby powder. All of the flats were internal and directly related to the Tuffy's. I just gave up and never went back.
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Old 02-14-20, 06:14 PM
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I really like the marathon supremes.
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Old 02-17-20, 12:44 AM
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I am also riding in Portland, OR. My last two bikes have been Trek's and they come with Bontrager Hardcase Series tires. I have a set in 2.0" and 25mm. The bigger tires did not flat for four years of daily riding in the city center. When they flatted I ordered a new pair but they haven't flatted again (6 weeks) so I keep using them. The 25mm are only 2 years old and see less use but they to have never flatted. It is not necessary in Portland to go to extremes like Marathon Plusses because we don't have Goat Thorns here. A real tire will flat. Accept that. Carry a spare tube or be prepared to throw the rig on the bus or MAX to finish the commute. But I no longer carry flat repair tools on my commute. Seriously, the Bonties are that good.
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Old 02-17-20, 01:37 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
700x32c

So moving to something like 700x30c would fit my wheel and allow for more clearance? I don't have a clear idea of what will fit in the place of 700x32 and what won't.
Honestly, I would see if one of your local shops carries the Marathon+. Ask them if they have or will order a couple sizes (it's better if they already carry that line, since if it doesn't work, they'll just sell it off the shelf).

If I ran that size on my bike or velo, I would be willing to pay retail + shipping and buy them off you if they don't fit. My rear is a 559, not 700, but the Marathon+ doesn't really seem that much larger than a 'regular' tire. But they do have an extra ~5mm layer. I always assumed that was internal more or less.

For what it's worth, I checked my tires (20 x 1.5 fronts, and 26 x 1.5 rear on my velo) and pulled a total of 7 intact goatheads, and probably a dozen more broken thorns from the tires. No flats.
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Old 02-17-20, 02:36 PM
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Continental Contact Plus and Vittoria Randonneur have good puncture resistance but they can be hard to mount or take off. You will need a good set of tire levers for sure.
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Old 02-17-20, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Schwalbe Supremes come in 700x32 and don't have that thick padded layer like the Marathon Pluses do.
I had three flats on marathon plus e tires they are 38's. one a nail off to the side. a blunt shaft of metal again somewhat in the side. and a thin piece of wire in the middle of a tire.
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Old 02-18-20, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by fooferdoggie View Post
I had three flats on marathon plus e tires they are 38's. one a nail off to the side. a blunt shaft of metal again somewhat in the side. and a thin piece of wire in the middle of a tire.
Yeah, nothing is going to protect from nails, wires, and the worst offender of all: those large industrial staples with murderously sharp ends!

My flat protection consists of 1) Schwalbe Marathon+ tires, 2) Mr. Tuffy tire liners in those tires!, and 3) Flat Attack flat sealant in all 3 tires.

This is on my winter commuter velomobile.

My summer bike has faster tires, but I still run the tire liners and Flat Attack, as I don't find those add a noticeable amount of rolling resistance to my ride.
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Old 02-18-20, 10:39 AM
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I am running a 700 X 32 in this tire on my daily commuter and I have been happy with it.
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Old 02-18-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
I am also riding in Portland, OR. My last two bikes have been Trek's and they come with Bontrager Hardcase Series tires. I have a set in 2.0" and 25mm. The bigger tires did not flat for four years of daily riding in the city center. When they flatted I ordered a new pair but they haven't flatted again (6 weeks) so I keep using them. The 25mm are only 2 years old and see less use but they to have never flatted. It is not necessary in Portland to go to extremes like Marathon Plusses because we don't have Goat Thorns here. A real tire will flat. Accept that. Carry a spare tube or be prepared to throw the rig on the bus or MAX to finish the commute. But I no longer carry flat repair tools on my commute. Seriously, the Bonties are that good.
How difficult are the Bontrager Hardcases to mount when compared to the Marathon+? It would be nice bonus if I was actually able to mount the tire myself. I have jacked up thumbs from years of jamming them playing competitive dodgeball and have a really difficult time getting the last bit over the rim.
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Old 02-18-20, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
How difficult are the Bontrager Hardcases to mount when compared to the Marathon+? It would be nice bonus if I was actually able to mount the tire myself. I have jacked up thumbs from years of jamming them playing competitive dodgeball and have a really difficult time getting the last bit over the rim.
With Park Tool or Pedros Tire Levers (I have both) you should never have to wonder about a tires "mountability". The one time I had to unmount and remount the Bonties I didn't find it all that difficult. It used to be verboten to use the tire lever to get the last inch of tire onto the rim but modern tire levers and tire jacks are designed to do exactly that. Buy the tire (subliminal suggestion: Bontrager Hardcase) that fits your needs and cross the bridge of how to (un)mount them when you get to it is my advice.
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Old 02-21-20, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
How difficult are the Bontrager Hardcases to mount when compared to the Marathon+? It would be nice bonus if I was actually able to mount the tire myself. I have jacked up thumbs from years of jamming them playing competitive dodgeball and have a really difficult time getting the last bit over the rim.
Hardcases are way easier to mount and is a faster tire than the MP. Ride and grip are not good, particularly on slick stuff. MP will provide better protection against glass shards.

When I moved to PDX, I found flat resistant tires to be overkill -- roads here are clean enough you won't get that many flats with a reasonable training tire. Ironically, I helped an old lady change a tire yesterday (Marathon Plus -- her tube gave out).
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Old 02-21-20, 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by PDXCarless View Post
How difficult are the Bontrager Hardcases to mount when compared to the Marathon+? It would be nice bonus if I was actually able to mount the tire myself. I have jacked up thumbs from years of jamming them playing competitive dodgeball and have a really difficult time getting the last bit over the rim.
You might look into carrying one of these with you. They are terrific. https://www.amazon.com/Kool-Stop-Tir...2339893&sr=8-2
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Old 02-22-20, 12:51 AM
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I second, or third, the Portland experience, or lack thereof, with flats. Iíve never flatted in this town from a puncture in ten years. Thatís gotta be dumb luck, or Iíve got a whole heap of flats coming my way. Last year I did 1000 commute miles on an old pair of Maxxis Afterburners without a single problem. They have a kevlar belt, but are nothing special.
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