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

Ohhh the flats with the Armadillos...

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.

Ohhh the flats with the Armadillos...

Old 05-08-09, 10:32 AM
  #1  
reddeno
zing.
Thread Starter
 
reddeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ohhh the flats with the Armadillos...

My commute is all of 3.5-4.5 miles one way and I'd say I'm fixing a flat every other day--if not more. They're not pinch flats and I run them around 120psi (they're rated to 125psi), so I don't think that's an issue either. There's usually something coming through the tire that I have to remove, so maybe they replaced the kevlar in these models with whale blubber?

Random LBS downtown says that's par for the course with all the crap on the ground "this time of year", whatever that means. I get them even when I avoid the shortcut with the gravel and take only smooth, non-potholed streets.

Ideas? Similar experiences? Call it a loss and get Gatorskins?
reddeno is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 10:37 AM
  #2  
stringbreaker
stringbreaker
 
stringbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: wa. State
Posts: 4,451

Bikes: specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
MMMM not my experience at all. I've been running Armadillos starting on the fourth season and not a flat yet. Granted I don't ride this bike everyday and my commute is 14 mi RT but no problems for me. Too bad though it sucks having to fix a flat. Mine are 26" X 1.5 don't know if that makes any difference
__________________
(Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)
stringbreaker is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 10:43 AM
  #3  
vantassell
Banned.
 
vantassell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A flat every 16 miles is pretty bad, I wouldn't stand for a flat every 400 miles.

How old (miles and time) are you tires?

Are you avoiding riding over glass?

Where are the punctures in your tube?

Are you just patching the tubes or putting in new ones?
vantassell is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 10:55 AM
  #4  
prathmann
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Bay Area, Calif.
Posts: 7,252
Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 657 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Hasn't been my experience either. Was given a bike about three years ago that had pretty new 700Cx28 Armadillos on it. I finally took off the rear tire recently when the tire wore through to the cords, but neither tire has gotten a single flat in about 3000 miles. Probably won't get them again since it feels like they have pretty high rolling resistance, but they're the best tires I've had in regard to flats.
prathmann is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 10:56 AM
  #5  
pvcrisp
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 18
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had TERRIBLE luck with Armadillos last summer riding across America, So bad that we went back to using Bontrager Hardcase tires, which I use for everyday riding!
pvcrisp is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:01 AM
  #6  
reddeno
zing.
Thread Starter
 
reddeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Dang. The tires I bought probably around January, but I've really only gotten back into riding regularly since March/April. I avoid glass the best I can. The punctures are on the "outer" side of the tube (e.g. the side against the bottom of the tire). I patch each tube a few times and then toss it and put a new one in. I believe with the last new tube I put in, I got a couple bonus rides before flatting.

Thanks for your input everyone.
reddeno is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:08 AM
  #7  
vantassell
Banned.
 
vantassell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by reddeno View Post
The punctures are on the "outer" side of the tube (e.g. the side against the bottom of the tire).
Are you saying near where the tire meets the rim? maybe you're pinching the tube when putting the tire on the wheel. The tear could be small enough that it takes a while to grow into a puncture that leaks air.

After I put on my tire, I go around the whole wheel pulling the right side of the tire to the left (think of pulling back the edge so you can see the rim tape) and then pulling the left side to the right. This ensures that i'm not riding with the tube pinched between the rim and the tire, but it doesn't however ensure that i installed the tire without pinching the tube.

Do you think that you could be pinching the tube while putting the tire on?
vantassell is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:14 AM
  #8  
apricissimus 
L T X B O M P F A N S R
 
apricissimus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Malden, MA
Posts: 2,334

Bikes: Bianchi Volpe, Bianchi San Jose, Redline 925

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1639 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you're getting punctures that often, try contacting Specialized. Maybe you just got a factory dud or something. No tires should be getting punctures that often under normal conditions.
apricissimus is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:15 AM
  #9  
reddeno
zing.
Thread Starter
 
reddeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
No, I was trying to say the holes are usually lined up with where the tire meets the road (e.g. where the kevlar is, not the sidewall). I do the same as you when I put on my tires though (pulling left & right).

I have some slightly knobby tires I might put on ensure it's not my, ah, technique...
reddeno is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:15 AM
  #10  
reddeno
zing.
Thread Starter
 
reddeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by apricissimus View Post
If you're getting punctures that often, try contacting Specialized. Maybe you just got a factory dud or something. No tires should be getting punctures that often under normal conditions.
Will do.
reddeno is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:27 AM
  #11  
vantassell
Banned.
 
vantassell's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: SLC, UT
Posts: 832
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by reddeno View Post
No, I was trying to say the holes are usually lined up with where the tire meets the road (e.g. where the kevlar is, not the sidewall). I do the same as you when I put on my tires though (pulling left & right).

I have some slightly knobby tires I might put on ensure it's not my, ah, technique...
Is the hole usually in the same spot? Are you checking the inside of your tire for debris sticking through the tire?

I've had times when i pulled out the piece of glass/thorn and the outside of the tire looked great, but when i checked the inside of the tire (usually by dangerously running my hand along the inside) i've found the other half of the glass/thorn.
vantassell is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:28 AM
  #12  
stringbreaker
stringbreaker
 
stringbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: wa. State
Posts: 4,451

Bikes: specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Do you check the tire for the foreign object? Maybe something is stuck in the tire and you aren't gettingit out. I know that sounds like I think you don't know what you are doing but I have done it on other tires before without thinking because I was in a hurry
__________________
(Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)
stringbreaker is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:45 AM
  #13  
Metricoclock
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Posts: 854

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Miyata 310 (conversion)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My experience with Armadillos has been great, have never had a flat on them and i even got them used a year and a half ago.

my thought is either you have some thing in your tire, the rim strip is bad, or even the tubes you are using are failing from defects.

I was with a buddy of mine last summer that in the process of 10minutes went though 3 tubes, no pinch flats, the tubes were properly installed(he's on of the local mechanics), the tire, rim and rim strips were completely fine.
All he could do was either get it pumped and then it would just go out, or not even full inflated and it would go. Turned out to be a bad batch of tubes that they received at the shop, which they later confirmed by more the same tubes going out at the shop. When inspecting the tubes after the flats you could see where they actually were separating and pulling apart.
Metricoclock is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 05:54 PM
  #14  
jscotti
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 10

Bikes: Fuji Sagres

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Definitely not my experience either. After having about 4 flats the first 6 weeks after I started commuting, I bought some Armadillos and I've put a total of almost 3,000 miles on two different sets of them since without a single flat (I bought a used road bike about 1700 miles ago and put a new set of Armadillos on before riding it). Of course, I probably just jinxed myself and will get flats the next two times out....

Jim.
jscotti is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 06:12 PM
  #15  
dwr1961
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by stringbreaker View Post
Do you check the tire for the foreign object? Maybe something is stuck in the tire and you aren't gettingit out. I know that sounds like I think you don't know what you are doing but I have done it on other tires before without thinking because I was in a hurry
I second Stringbreaker's suggestion here...

This has been (only half-jokingly) referred to as the "bloody finger test" by another more-clever clever poster.

Before you insert your new or repaired tube, run your finger slowly around the inside of the tire. Sometimes a sliver of glass, a piece of metal wire, a thorn or other tiny flat-causer will remain in the tire after the initial blowout. If you don't remove it, you'll have a serious case of deja vu on your hands. The offending object will cause another flat. Maybe not for a day or two, but it will happen.

In extreme cases you may have to completely dismount the tire and turn it inside out in order to find the cause of your misery. Remember, it can be really, really small...

Good luck!
dwr1961 is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 06:39 PM
  #16  
drjava
Senior Member
 
drjava's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: N. Cali
Posts: 258
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had a flat two weeks after putting them on. I blame it on a defective tube. Its been over a year now and now flats. I even ran over a big chunk of metal last winter that cut the rubber tread to the Kevlar, but no pressure loss.. I glued the flap of tread down and have been fine since. I swear by these things now.
drjava is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 06:46 PM
  #17  
jl0703
Ready to Ride
 
jl0703's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Staten Island
Posts: 73

Bikes: Giant OCR2, Miyata Seven Twelve, Trek 7.2 FX

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Instead of running your finger inside the tire and chance slicing your finger, take a cotton ball and run that around the inside of the tire. If there is any debris, the cotton will stick to it and you will find the offending object quickly.
jl0703 is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 06:56 PM
  #18  
znomit
Zoom zoom zoom zoom bonk
 
znomit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,762

Bikes: Giant Defy, Trek 1.7c, BMC GF02, Scott Sub 35

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Liked 21 Times in 11 Posts
Check you tyres for glass once a week. Let all the air out and go around the tyre squeezing it, this shows up all the little holes and you can see the glass inside.
I would think running less pressure and/or wider tyres would help too. 120 is a lot on a commuter.
I found armadillos very puncture resistant but very very hard to get off the rim and I had trouble with them delaminating too.
znomit is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 07:07 PM
  #19  
joeyfrench
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 127
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Oh God do I hate Armadillos! I had a pair up until a few months ago that I had at least, no joke, 20+ flats on. Those tires are junk, the worst tires I ever had in my life. I got so fed up with them that I just took them off and got some Schwalbe Marathon Plus, problem solved.

I feel your pain, man, I really do. I bought the All Condition Elites, the most expensive pair, easily 100+ bucks, biggest waste of money I've ever spent on my bike. My commute is 19-20 miles round trip per day, but I put a bit more miles on them than that every day. I have posted about it numerous times on my blog page, so frustrated was I with these tires.

Joey French
joeyfrench is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 08:20 PM
  #20  
dwr1961
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by jl0703 View Post
Instead of running your finger inside the tire and chance slicing your finger, take a cotton ball and run that around the inside of the tire. If there is any debris, the cotton will stick to it and you will find the offending object quickly.
Great idea... I think I can fit a cotton ball in my seat bag... I've actually pricked my finger a few times doing this. I live in goathead country and those evil things are needle sharp!
dwr1961 is offline  
Old 05-08-09, 11:47 PM
  #21  
reddeno
zing.
Thread Starter
 
reddeno's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 53
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks guys.

Good idea about the cotton--I've done the bloody finger test, and carefully gone through both the inside and outside of the tire with tweezers, plucking everything out that I could find. I've also used two brands of tubes, though I certainly wouldn't rule that out.

I talked to the LBS where I bought them they're going to have a look at my latest flat and try to determine if I'm crazy or not. If not, they'll swap them out with another pair and we'll see how it goes. If that doesn't change things, I'll move on.
reddeno is offline  
Old 05-09-09, 12:46 AM
  #22  
Tapeworm21
Senior Member
 
Tapeworm21's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Berkeley
Posts: 2,265

Bikes: 2010 Tarmac SL, 2013 Fairdale Weekender, 2013 Fairdale Coaster, 1995 Specialized M2 Pro, 1972 Schwinn Heavy Duty, 2014 Surley Long Haul Trucker

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Your tires have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Bring them back to the shop and try something else. Conti 4 seasons get my vote. Or for commuting, maybe the Ultra Gatorskin.
Tapeworm21 is offline  
Old 05-09-09, 01:00 AM
  #23  
stringbreaker
stringbreaker
 
stringbreaker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: wa. State
Posts: 4,451

Bikes: specialized crossroads hybrid 2006 Raleigh Cadent 2 1971 Schwinn Varsity, 1972 Schwinn Continental, 1977 Schwinn Volare (frame)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How about a sharp spoke sticking through the liner?
__________________
(Life is too short to play crappy guitars) 2006 Raleigh Cadent 3.0, 1977 Schwinn Volare, 2010 Windsor tourist. ( I didn't fall , I attacked the floor)
stringbreaker is offline  
Old 05-09-09, 07:35 AM
  #24  
bcarter6
Senior Member
 
bcarter6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 142
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Tapeworm21 View Post
Your tires have a lifetime satisfaction guarantee. Bring them back to the shop and try something else. Conti 4 seasons get my vote. Or for commuting, maybe the Ultra Gatorskin.
+1 for the 4-seasons, I never had a flat with mine and they were great to ride on, although I don't think that the gatorskins are quite as tough. I really like mine, but I do get flats occasionally. I don't think that the gatorskins are nearly as tough as the armadillos.
bcarter6 is offline  
Old 05-09-09, 05:25 PM
  #25  
rumrunn6
Senior Member
 
rumrunn6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: 25 miles northwest of Boston
Posts: 22,900

Bikes: Bottecchia Sprint, GT Timberline 29r

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3033 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 93 Posts
hook up a tire saver - you know that band that rubs the tire so when something gets stuck it gets knocked off right away
rumrunn6 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Tandem Tom
Framebuilders
11
12-24-17 02:59 PM
Riprorin
Road Cycling
15
07-19-07 10:24 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


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.