Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Marathon Plus users, help me out

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Marathon Plus users, help me out

Old 09-08-08, 08:41 AM
  #1  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Marathon Plus users, help me out

It all started two days ago. On Saturday I had my 18 month old daughter with me on a quick jaunt to town for some fun at the park and shopping. I ran over some small shrubbery growing through a crack on the MUP and was inundated with about 5 goatheads in each tire. These are brand new Michelen Transworld City tires with "Extra Protection."

Needless to say I was pretty much instantly flat. Patched the tubes up and rode home just fine...tubes held air overnight just fine...fast forward to yesterday evening. Wife and I decide to ride to town for dinner. We ride down the street and across a quick patch of dirt&grass and whaddayaknow....goatheads, flat, turn around and get car

So now I'm really pissed, especially because I was going to go buy some Mr. Tuffy's yesterday and I didn't.

I'm talking to my wife about it, and she tells me to get some better tires. I tell her that the ones that will really make a difference will be about $60 a pop. She says it's ok (sweet!). But now I'm wondering if the Marathon Plus will be the ally I need.

So, Marathon Plus users, will it do the trick? Can I bet the evil goathead with these tires? Or do I still need Mr. Tuffy's and slime? I can accept slime, and will be putting some in my tubes tonight, but I don't want to go down the Mr. Tuffy's route on top of it all if I can help it. Give me your stories, your successes and failures with these tires, before I spend a mint on them.

And no, 'dillos and gatorskins won't cut it. I have both of those already, and the goathead eats them alive!

Thanks
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:04 AM
  #2  
nashcommguy
nashcommguy
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: nashville, tn
Posts: 2,499

Bikes: Commuters: Fuji Delray road, Fuji Discovery mtb...Touring: Softride Traveler...Road: C-dale SR300

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The only sure-fire way to beat goat-heads is to go to...well you already know. Nu-Tecks. That being said w/much risk my experience w/SMPs has been very good. We don't have GHds in Mid-TN, but I ride consistantly in the 'stone zone' as the shoulders on rural roads aren't very wide. I use 28mm on my Motobecane Fantom CX 'loaded commuter' and 25mm on my 'light days'(maybe not a good choice of words)singlespeed conversion. Got them @ biketiresdirect for 35.00 per. Tried to order another pair, but there was a disclaimer on the webpage...something about a fire a/t warehouse. AEBike has them for sure, I checked bf posting. 25, 28 and 32mm. Have over 2500 combined miles w/no probs. They're heavy, but have light rolling resistance compared to their weight. I'm in the process of re-fitting ALL my bikes w/SWP after being a Nu-Teck guy for years. You wont need Mr. Tuffys or Slime w/SMPs. They're worth every dime IMHO.

BTW, they're a little trickey to mount, but you'll figure it out pretty quickly. The reflective sidewalls are pretty sweet, too for night rides.
nashcommguy is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:12 AM
  #3  
JR97
Golden Member
 
JR97's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Salt Lick City
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Having used slime for a couple of years in goat head country, you should be ok, but at some point it seems like the stuff just stops working and you end up with green gushers that do nothing but make a mess. I've had that happen a few times. The stuff is supposed to last for a couple of years, but I was usually only able to get a couple of months.

Definitely spring for tuffies. I went with the slime tire liners and they've deflected plenty of goat heads, but I still get flats. But also, if the wife agreed for you springing for $60 tires, I'd be all over that.
JR97 is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:14 AM
  #4  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks. Yeah, goatheads are extra special Don't think I don't appreciate your input, but if there's somebody who can speak specifically to the devil weed I would really appreciate it.

BTW, I'm looking at either 32 or 35s for the plush factor. I've heard about the difficulty with mounting before...heard it's not the bead, but the stiffness of that layer of goodness. Honestly, they can roll a bit slower, I don't care, I'm not trying to win any races. I just want something that beats the goatheads!
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:14 AM
  #5  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Wife did, but I'm even finding them for $30 a pop...nice
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:20 AM
  #6  
slowjoe66
Senior Member
 
slowjoe66's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Central Point, Or.
Posts: 409

Bikes: Route-x bent, GT Hybrid

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm not a slime proponent myself. What I do is exactly what you are contemplating: Kevlar type tires and Tuffy's.

On one bike I have Panaracer Pasela tourgard (kevlar) with Tuffy's. No flats whatsoever-hundreds of miles. On another bike I have Armadillos without slime or Tuffys-no flats. On a bike I used to have, I had Marathons and Tuffy's and I had one pinch flat where the tuffy overlaps.

So, my opinion is that I am too busy and hate to screw around with flat tires roadside. I use everything and don't worry about the ounces or different feel of tires with Tuffy's. I Prefer Kevlar with Tuffys (and no slime) and not fixing flats roadside. It's not even close- roadside flats really bite the commuter. Just do it.
slowjoe66 is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:33 AM
  #7  
MNBiker
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Minneapolis
Posts: 174
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have never experienced goatheads, so I can't address that issue.

I recently mounted Marathon Pluses and have generally liked them, but I see they are not indestructible. I have had three flats in the last two months with them but I don't think I will keep up that rate of bad luck (having so many in such a short period of time I figure I statistically shouldn't get one for the next two years).

All three of the flats were caused by pretty severe hits: one was a half inch long sheet metal screw (they are sharp!), one was a roofing nail, and one was a triangular piece of sheet metal with one 1/2 inch tip bent at a 90 degree angle that pierced the tire. I am trying to ride farther from the curb on a certain stretch of road because I think there must be a lot of junk along the edge there.
MNBiker is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 09:41 AM
  #8  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
slowjoe66,

Don't think there are many goatheads in the Rogue, but I've tried the Panaracers, 'dillos and gatorskins with and without slime liners and while the slime liners can stop 3/4ths of the heads that would go through the tire alone, they don't completely eliminate flatness against goatheads. I had about 30 in two tires after riding through one bush on a commute last September. It only takes one to flat ya, and I had about 5 punctures. That with Kevlar WTB MTB tires!!! Oh yeah, I had slime liners AND slime tubes that time.

MNBiker,

luckily I don't have much road debris on my commute. Most of it is MUP, but I do git a bit of road...don't ride the gutter, though. Outside of goathead season I can ride just about any tire with no slime and no liner and be fine. It's the goathead that kills me. I'm thinking maybe I'll just slime my tubes, but stay away from the liner, and do the SMPs. I think that should be a pretty good combo.
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:05 AM
  #9  
GV27
Light Makes Right
 
GV27's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Green Mountain, Colorado
Posts: 1,520

Bikes: Gianni Motta Criterium, Dean Hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My Slime doesn't seem to want to clot in my 90 psi tires. Mr Tuffy helps, but goats can go through them......I had thought Slime was the end all be-all against goats - with only 40 or 50 PSi in the tire I'd just pull out the heads and laugh at the little green dots on my tire and no air loss. Not so lucky on the 90 PSi city tires. I'm going to try True Goo on the recomendation of some members here.

For those of you who haven't experienced goatheads, you just have no idea. They'll flat a friggin car tire! At one point there was a thread on here where somebody posted a close-up of a goat head, then a picture of a tank crushing a car, then a photochop of the same tank upside down with a goat head stuck in it's track! LOL. That about sums it up. Glass? A goathead will go through glass. I've never tried it, but I bet a goathead would scratch a diamond. Nails? Use a goat head as a nail if you find yourself in a situation where a steel nail just ain't tough enough.

Avoid the weedy areas around MUPs like the plague - especially in very sunny dry spots. They like the dry heat. Around watered parks you don't have to worry. But the plants just thrive in hot, dry conditions and especially (I have no idea why) around bike paths. On my commute I go through Goat Head Paradise. I ride dead down the moddle of the path, even around tight corners. The other day a Qwest truck was parked across the path so I pushed (shoulda carried) by bike around it and got around 20 heads in my tire. If I'd ridden it I'd have had two irreparable flats with 20 feet.

Last edited by GV27; 09-08-08 at 11:09 AM.
GV27 is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:09 AM
  #10  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,544
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 6 Posts
If I hadn't been using Tuffies inside my Marathon Plus, I would have had a t least one flat in the past 10,000 miles. I'm sold on Mr. Tuffy.

I tried Slime years ago. It may or may not have prevented any flats, but it certainly made a mess.

Paul
PaulH is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:15 AM
  #11  
HopliteGrad
Recreation Ecologist
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 217

Bikes: Schwinn Criss Cross (hybrid beater), Nashbar AT-2 disc MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use marathon plus tires, tuffys, and puncture-resistant tubes. Haven't flatted that combo yet; then again I'm not in goathead country. At some point, the sheer thickness of all the material has to outdo the thorns, right? Right?

Of course, I'm in it for a short commute and exercise, not a tour or time trial. My setup is pretty heavy. I'd rather burn 10 extra calories and not flat.
HopliteGrad is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:21 AM
  #12  
jimlamb
Committed Commuter
 
jimlamb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Cary, NC
Posts: 141

Bikes: Surly Long Haul Trucker, Swobo Baxter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
For $60/tire you could go with the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. They use a material that's supposedly more puncture resistant than Kevlar while also being lighter. I put a set on my Tricross a few weeks ago and I've been very happy with them. We don't get goathead thorns in my neck of the woods, so your mileage may vary.



P.S. The link I put in seems to be down at the moment for maintenance, so here's an alternate link.
jimlamb is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:27 AM
  #13  
J B Bell
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 205

Bikes: 2007 ICE Trice T; 2008 Brompton M6L; 2009 Surly LHT; 2010 Surly Cross Check

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In another thread about flats, someone mentioned a really old-school help to this kind of problem, a wire that runs close against the tire and scrapes off debris. If a goathead keeps rolling around on your tire it gets more chances to make a puncture.

I feel for ya man. I used to live in Albuquerque and my rides would conclude with a half-hour chore of picking those *******s out with a pair of pliers.

SMP's are not invulnerable, but I will say, most of the stories I've read of flats with them (even without special liners and stuff) have been heavy industrial waste like you read about upthread. Nothing's guaranteed but for my money they're about as bulletproof as it gets.
J B Bell is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:27 AM
  #14  
Bolo Grubb
Senior Member
 
Bolo Grubb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 1,847

Bikes: 1984 Trek 720 with a Nexus hub, 2016 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/pscma...us_700c/pp.htm

$35 a pop there. That is where I bought mine. I run 700c x 32 on my tour/commute bike. Nearly 1500 miles so far and they have been great. We do have goat head thorns here in Arizona, but so far they have not been a problem. I do also run Thorn resistant tubes, but not slime or liners.
Bolo Grubb is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 11:50 AM
  #15  
Shimagnolo
Senior Member
 
Shimagnolo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Zang's Spur, CO
Posts: 8,754
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1575 Post(s)
Liked 71 Times in 50 Posts
Originally Posted by GV27 View Post

For those of you who haven't experienced goatheads, you just have no idea. They'll flat a friggin car tire! At one point there was a thread on here where somebody posted a close-up of a goat head, then a picture of a tank crushing a car, then a photochop of the same tank upside down with a goat head stuck in it's track! LOL. That about sums it up. Glass? A goathead will go through glass. I've never tried it, but I bet a goathead would scratch a diamond. Nails? Use a goat head as a nail if you find yourself in a situation where a steel nail just ain't tough enough.
The most accurate description of goatheads, ever!

I had never had a flat living for years in the Midwest. Then I moved to Denver, and BOTH tires on BOTH bikes were flatted by by goatheads in the first two weeks, just commuting to work on PAVEMENT. (And these were 2" MTB tires). I tried Tuffys; The goatheads went right through them. I finally settled on Slime. But I've learned the Slime can only do it's job if the goathead is completely removed. If it is still in there, it will wiggle around preventing the Slime from clotting.
Shimagnolo is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:09 PM
  #16  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Bolo Grubb View Post
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/pscma...us_700c/pp.htm

$35 a pop there. That is where I bought mine. I run 700c x 32 on my tour/commute bike. Nearly 1500 miles so far and they have been great. We do have goat head thorns here in Arizona, but so far they have not been a problem. I do also run Thorn resistant tubes, but not slime or liners.

That's what I'm looking for. I know the goat is rampant in AZ.

FWIW, I have half a bottle of True Goo, so I'll probably throw 4 oz. in my rear tire just to see if it helps on tomorrow's commute. If the tube survives until the SMPs come in then I'll wrap it in them. Hopefully it does the trick!

Last fall I don't think I dealt with the goats very well....I ran MTB tires with the Slime liners and Slime inside OR I ran Bontrager hardcases. I got really fast at switching tubes and patching on the side of the road

This year I'd rather be on my bike
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:09 PM
  #17  
oakback
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by GV27 View Post
For those of you who haven't experienced goatheads, you just have no idea. They'll flat a friggin car tire! At one point there was a thread on here where somebody posted a close-up of a goat head, then a picture of a tank crushing a car, then a photochop of the same tank upside down with a goat head stuck in it's track! LOL. That about sums it up. Glass? A goathead will go through glass. I've never tried it, but I bet a goathead would scratch a diamond. Nails? Use a goat head as a nail if you find yourself in a situation where a steel nail just ain't tough enough.
Sorry, but what exactly is a goathead? A plant? I tried to do an image search on google, and let's just say I didn't think that through. Apparently people eat the heads of goats.
oakback is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:19 PM
  #18  
stevo9er
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 294
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts



Two more decent ones.



Last edited by stevo9er; 09-08-08 at 12:26 PM.
stevo9er is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:20 PM
  #19  
coldfeet
Senior Member
 
coldfeet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 2,118
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Man, I'm sure glad I don't live in Goathead country! When you go walking, is it necessary to use thick soled shoes?
coldfeet is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:22 PM
  #20  
dscheidt
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 1,392
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by oakback View Post
Sorry, but what exactly is a goathead? A plant? I tried to do an image search on google, and let's just say I didn't think that through. Apparently people eat the heads of goats.
Tribulus terrestris. Also called "puncture vine", "caltrops", goathead thorns. Nasty stuff.
dscheidt is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:30 PM
  #21  
climbhoser
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
climbhoser's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Parker, CO
Posts: 1,654

Bikes: SS Surly Crosscheck; '91 Cannondale 3.0

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It's actually not native to the SW, either...comes from New Zealand originally, but it simply thrives here in the SW. Pictures do no justice, either...they are rock hard. The points look fragile, but they are not. They are sharp and hurty.

Normal sole thickness is fine..bike tires are usually thinner than shoe soles. They do stick in my dog's paws like mad, and he comes limping back to me for removal. We usually pull about 100 out of the stroller wheels on an evening walk.

Luckily there is a season for them. I was surprised not to see more of them before now, but usually from about mid-August until November they are big trouble. Right now they're green-ish, but eventually they will just be the skeletons of the seeds, and by January most will have started to breakdown.

As you can imagine, it's a sick sort of biological trait that these things drop and are supposed to be picked up by travelling animals to be deposited elsewhere for spreading of the gene pool.

Worse than glass, nails, and high power rifle bullets combined
climbhoser is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:38 PM
  #22  
oakback
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 249
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ahh, we have a puny cousin of that here, we call them sand spurs. They will definitely poke your feet pretty bad, but will squish under weight, and are smaller.

oakback is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:53 PM
  #23  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 7,989

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Are they also called "Colorado Diamonds"?
Wanderer is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 12:58 PM
  #24  
pathdoc
Hey let's ride.
 
pathdoc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 2,002

Bikes: Torelli road bike, Tsunami tandem

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Never seen those before. Thank God we don't have those here in North Texas.
pathdoc is offline  
Old 09-08-08, 01:07 PM
  #25  
JR97
Golden Member
 
JR97's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Salt Lick City
Posts: 599
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by oakback View Post
Ahh, we have a puny cousin of that here, we call them sand spurs. They will definitely poke your feet pretty bad, but will squish under weight, and are smaller.
Spurs don't compare to goat heads. We've got plenty of them here, too. Spurs will latch on to shoe laces. Goat heads will stab right through your shoe. I don't ride the MUP right now because of goats. Just not worth the gamble. It's like Russian Roulette. Last year, some lady walking her dog with headphones almost took me out and I went maybe half a foot off the path and easily had 20 goat heads in each tire. EACH tire. Slime spraying everywhere from the holes left by those that had fallen out. I had slime all over me, my bike, the trail... that's when I had sworn off slime. One or two holes at 60 psi or less slime is fine. But the stuff only goes so far.
JR97 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.