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Wiping Tires On A Fendered Bike

Old 11-10-21, 12:01 PM
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Wiping Tires On A Fendered Bike

I believe that wiping my tires with my gloved or ungloved hand after riding through glass, seashells, or "flints" has prevented numerous flats over the years. When I have fenders installed, I get paranoid and often stop after riding through such debris to properly wipe my tires. If you believe as I do, how do you deal with fenders? Do you have "flint catchers" installed? Or do you stop and wipe as necessary?
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Old 11-10-21, 12:35 PM
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Easy way to test that belief: just stop wiping and see if punctures increase.

I inspect my tires once in a blue moon while a bike is on the stand, and occasionally there is a tiny little thing to dig out of the tread, but punctures are surprisingly infrequent despite the amount of crushed glass and other debris that shows up on my roads. I suspect that wide, low-pressure tires shrug off little sharp things better than narrow high-pressure tires.
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Old 11-10-21, 12:44 PM
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I carefully wiped my tires from my first years of racing in the mid-1960s until the early 2000s, when I happened on Jobst Brandt's argument that it's pointless to do so. (Sheldon Brown, on the same page, says that he's dubious concerning Brandt's reasoning, but I was convinced.)

In any event, my experience over the decades has corroborated a wise observation by a fellow-racer in 1974: "It's not the ones you see that get you, it's the ones you don't see."
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Old 11-10-21, 01:14 PM
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Thankfully, I rarely have to deal with flints or seashells. Glass I try to avoid.

I take the approach that I'd rather risk finding a sharp piece of glass with my tire than with my hand, or with my face when something got stuck in my glove and I wiped my brow. But if you've got fenders and still want to wipe the tires, you'll have to continue to stop and wipe.
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Old 11-10-21, 02:39 PM
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I still think it's loopy that anyone not doing a freestyle BMX stunt is reaching down into their tires.
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Old 11-10-21, 05:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
I still think it's loopy that anyone not doing a freestyle BMX stunt is reaching down into their tires.
It's not that hard for me on most days. But I have trouble with the reaching under the fender trick.
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Old 11-10-21, 07:21 PM
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I promise not to make a joke about wiping!

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Old 11-11-21, 05:33 AM
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Install tire wipers on your fenders? Duh

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...s/tire-wipers/
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Old 11-11-21, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
Install tire wipers on your fenders? Duh

https://www.renehersecycles.com/shop...s/tire-wipers/
Those would be my suggestion if needed, but sadly the maker passed away earlier this year. Maybe someone else will step up...
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Old 11-11-21, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Those would be my suggestion if needed, but sadly the maker passed away earlier this year. Maybe someone else will step up...
That's very sad indeed, it still looks like there are a few left on Jan's site.
On vintage bikes these are called 'flint catchers' so you can sometimes find used ones, because of l'eroica probably, on the Italy Ebay site by searching for 'flint cacciatori pneumatico'.
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Old 11-11-21, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes View Post
That's very sad indeed, it still looks like there are a few left on Jan's site.
On vintage bikes these are called 'flint catchers' so you can sometimes find used ones, because of l'eroica probably, on the Italy Ebay site by searching for 'flint cacciatori pneumatico'.
Both models show as "Out of stock" when you try to make a selection...
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Old 11-11-21, 10:58 AM
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Don't wipe.. But often check for goatheads after riding off pavement here. Better to pull them out carefully than wipe. And sometimes it's better to leave them in til you get home.

The canals often have mussel(?) shells along the bank. Don't think they've been a problem.
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Old 11-11-21, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by locolobo13 View Post
Don't wipe.. But often check for goatheads after riding off pavement here. Better to pull them out carefully than wipe. And sometimes it's better to leave them in til you get home.

The canals often have mussel(?) shells along the bank. Don't think they've been a problem.
I only ride on tires with a layer of kevlar or similar material, so generally do not need to deal with the problem. However, the kevlar was not sufficient when I commuted for a while in a goathead area, I needed to examine the tires after every ride. The examinations helped greatly, but still did not completely eliminate the goathead flats.
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Old 11-12-21, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cubewheels View Post
Whenever I do it, I put my bike on a clean floor inverted, seat and handlebar on the floor and wheels up. I simply visually scan the tires for any stuck debris and scrape them out with mini flat screw screwdriver and repair the cuts they leave with superglue.
This. For added inspection, deflate the tire first and pinch the sidewalls in every couple of inches to further expose cuts and embedded debris, I dig them out with a small pick.
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Old 11-18-21, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by gringomojado View Post
I promise not to make a joke about wiping!
My inner third grader resonates with this.
"Enjoy the go!"
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