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Best "Bullet Proof" commuting tires?

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Best "Bullet Proof" commuting tires?

Old 07-19-13, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Keith K View Post
Been commuting on Schwalbe Marathon plus for over 5 years now. 2 flats in that time. One was a pinched tube. They also take a lot of miles before they wear out.
Sorry to revive an old thread.

I am thinking of getting Schwalbe Marathon Plus for my bike. I had my first pinch flat last week after hitting a huge pothole. These Schwalbe's protect against puncture flats but don't help against pinch flats. How hard is it to change a SMP on the side of the road? Aren't they a bear to get back on the rim?

As far as pich flats are concerned, my tire was inflated to the correct psi. Would a better quality tube help with pinch flats as well?
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Old 07-19-13, 12:22 PM
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My wife runs Marathon Plus tyres on her Breezer that has an internal hub, they are heavy and slower rolling but they have never flatted between replacements (she rides a lot of miles) and neither of us has to deal with goat heads which might warrant some tyre changes. She runs these because she never wants to have to mend a flat on the road and they do give us peace of mind.

Best way to keep rolling lighter tyres and get great puncture protection is to add a kevlar liner... this is very popular with mountain bikers who ride in the south where cactus and thorns will result in multiple flats per mile unless you are well protected.

I run quite a few sets of basic Marathons and these have been flat free save for one incident where a chunk of glass the size of my thumb caused a slow leak, have just started using Marathon Racers on my touring bike because they ride better and if I have to change a flat it only takes 5 minutes out of my day and I would rather enjoy more riding on nicer tyres than cursing tyres that don't roll out as quickly or as smoothly as I would like.

Once you mount up Marathons the first time, the subsequent changes get easier as the tyre does relax a little.
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Old 07-19-13, 12:48 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by efk22 View Post
I am thinking of getting Schwalbe Marathon Plus for my bike. I had my first pinch flat last week after hitting a huge pothole. These Schwalbe's protect against puncture flats but don't help against pinch flats. How hard is it to change a SMP on the side of the road? Aren't they a bear to get back on the rim?

As far as pich flats are concerned, my tire was inflated to the correct psi. Would a better quality tube help with pinch flats as well?
The idea of "correct psi" for a tire is a bit ambiguous. Did you have them at the maximum recommended psi? If so, are you sure it was a pinch flat? How wide are your tires?

I don't have a lot of experience with pinch flats, but I do have a good bit of experience avoiding them in a situation where they are common (CX racing). In theory, thicker tubes will help protect against pinch flats. I cover my tubes in baby powder, which theoretically gives them a chance to slide out of a pinch. Of course, the best protection is just not having the tube ever get pressed against the rim. The best way to do that is to have more air in the tire. This isn't just about high psi. A wider tire will also help, assuming your rim is wide enough not to offset the benefit. Beyond that, pay attention to how you ride. When you know you're about to hit something, get out of the saddle and relax your knees and elbows. Your body will absorb most of the impact and the tire won't pinch. Of course, sometimes you hit something you didn't see, like your pothole.

The Marathon Plus is notorious for being difficult to mount, but mostly that's because it's a very stiff tire. I suspect this means that they will be less likely to pinch flat than other tires of similar width and inflation.
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Old 07-19-13, 12:52 PM
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I had them at max psi.

700x32

I say "pinch flat" because I hit the pothole and immediately started hearing a hissing sound from my front tire.
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Old 07-19-13, 01:55 PM
  #30  
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Did you look at the tube? Pinch flats leave a "snakebite" on the tube. Max psi for those is 95. I like them around 90 psi, and I've hit potholes and railroad tracks aplenty with no worries.
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Old 07-19-13, 02:17 PM
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I used to be a dedicated Gatorskins user, and I still don't have a problem with them, really. However, I have been using Hutchinson Intensive tires (700 x 25) for commuting for over a year now, and have had only one flat (nasty sharp piece of glass!).

I only mention them because I didn't read about anyone else using them in the posts above, and thought they deserved to be noted!

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Old 07-19-13, 03:18 PM
  #32  
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Another option might be to use Stan's Notube sealant in a regular tube... Slime works well for lower psi tyres while Stan's makes sealant that works with higher psi tyres and it makes much less of a mess.

On my old Raleigh Superbe I used automotive tyre sealant that I picked up at the local hardware store (cheap) and these tyres can sit all winter without needing to be topped up... I sold the bike to a friend some years ago and he commutes on it daily through the summer and has been astounded at this. This is also a lower pressure sealant and would not use it on higher psi tyres.

It offers puncture protection without adding more than a few extra ounces of sealant.
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Old 07-19-13, 03:28 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by efk22 View Post
As far as pich flats are concerned, my tire was inflated to the correct psi. Would a better quality tube help with pinch flats as well?
Any tire can pop if you hit something hard enough,even car tires. Like FatherAlabaster asked,was the tube popped,or did you find two slots? If the tube is just torn up,then you had a blowout because you hit something hard. If there are two slits,then it pinch flatted. Blowouts can happen with any high pressure tire,you just have to not hit the big potholes. Pinch flats can happen with any tubes,you just have to be careful to install them properly,and keep your tires aired up.
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Old 07-19-13, 06:28 PM
  #34  
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I haven't had much trouble getting the tires on. Does take some strong thumbs. My experience with tire pinch has been not making sure the tube is properly installed. I keep the valve stem lock loose now so the tube can sit lower in the tire so it doesn't get near the bead. I also bounce the tire on the ground when it is inflated about 25%. I had one pinched tube a few years ago that sounded like a gun shot when it popped. It was about 4:30 in the morning. Scared the heck out of me. I agree with the comments about the tire being heavier, but since I have racks and full panniers, weight isn't something I really worry about. If I do, I will lose it off my belly first.
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Old 07-19-13, 08:28 PM
  #35  
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I have this ridiculously solid set of brand new solid rubber 26" X 1.75 tires that I'm dying to use on one of my bikes. They're just so bumpy to ride on. I believe these are prototypes, as they were given to me by a bike distributor several years ago. Does anyone know of any other solid rubber tires out there?
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Old 07-19-13, 08:38 PM
  #36  
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I hate pinch flats with a passion. Therefore, I had only one option - tubeless. Michelin Pilot Sport 700x35 at 35-50 psi with sealant for a year now with zero flats. But, you need a cross bike for that. Sealant works best at lower pressures, which means a fatter tire, which means cantis. Change the sealant every 6 months.
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Old 07-20-13, 07:15 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by dynaryder View Post
Any tire can pop if you hit something hard enough,even car tires. Like FatherAlabaster asked,was the tube popped,or did you find two slots? If the tube is just torn up,then you had a blowout because you hit something hard. If there are two slits,then it pinch flatted. Blowouts can happen with any high pressure tire,you just have to not hit the big potholes. Pinch flats can happen with any tubes,you just have to be careful to install them properly,and keep your tires aired up.

Upon closer inspection of the tube I only see one small slit. I do not see a "snake bite." There is no large blow out.
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Old 07-20-13, 10:55 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I have this ridiculously solid set of brand new solid rubber 26" X 1.75 tires that I'm dying to use on one of my bikes. They're just so bumpy to ride on. I believe these are prototypes, as they were given to me by a bike distributor several years ago. Does anyone know of any other solid rubber tires out there?
Are they actually solid? Most of the "flatless" tires I've heard of are actually filled with foam to give *some* cushioning, although the ride is, by all reports, still pretty miserable.

Although I do wonder whether - for people who live in extreme environments, like near Goathead State Park and Preserve - some combination of solid/foam-filled tires plus a suspension might be useful.
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Old 07-20-13, 03:21 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by efk22 View Post
Upon closer inspection of the tube I only see one small slit. I do not see a "snake bite." There is no large blow out.
More common to have two slits,but you can get a pinch flat with just one. That is def a pinch flat,a blowout would be much bigger.
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Old 07-20-13, 05:46 PM
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>>>Are they actually solid?<<<<<

They're 100% dense, solid rubber. Years back, I had a bicycle recycling program for teenagers and the regional distributors used to give me all the prototype products they received and didn't want to hold on to. This set is brand new and I can't seem to give it away because the ride is so (to use your word) miserable. They fit the "bullet proof" description pretty well, so I've been trying to force them onto one of my bikes, but I just cannnnnn't ssssssttttttaaaannnnndddddddd ththththe bbbbbbbbbbbbuuuuummmppppppinesssssss!
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Old 07-20-13, 07:47 PM
  #41  
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I used the Specialized Armadillo for about 2000 miles without any issues then switched to the Panaracer Ribmo and have been using those for a few years. Both are about the same on flat protection. I think the Ribmos ride better imo.
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Old 07-20-13, 11:33 PM
  #42  
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nice thread. great examples for when i need to switch tires.

i'm running Bontrager Hard Case Race Lite 700x23 on my SR right now. bulletproof, as far as i can tell. i weigh 220 and have hit some odd stuff during my nightly commute on that bike. no flats.
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Old 07-21-13, 12:06 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by runner pat View Post
I use Continental Gatorskins on the handcycle. However, that's partly due to the limited selection of tires in the 650c size. (not dissatisfied but would like to try other tires) They have turned away everything but goatheads and wear very well.
I run the Gatorskin Hardshells on my Fuji that I ride around campus. I also have a difficult tire size (27x 1-1/4) and I was super stoked to figure out that Conty sold Gatorskins in that size. I've run over glass, wire, and even steel tubing scraps (I kinda sorta totally work at a racecar shop) and they're just as awesome as the day I shelled out $160 for the both of them.
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Old 07-21-13, 02:38 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by Zorba View Post
I ride what seems to be the worst road on the planet. Lots of alligatoring, potholes, broken glass, and JUNK of all sorts. There are several junkyards on this road and all kinds of things fall off of trucks going in and out. Onetime I saw a tailgate from a Chevy pickup fall off of a large flatbed truck loaded with junk cars - the tailgate slid along the roadside for about 75 feet, if I had been on that side of the road...

But I digress. I tried several types of increasingly bomb-proof tires, including Specialized Armadillos and Continental Gatorskins. I continued to have flats on a regular basis, even with slime tubes - and the Armadillos also started throwing tread like truck tires do. I'm now running Schwalbe Marathons. Thus far, with emphasis on THUS FAR, no flats or problems. We'll see - solid tires are going to be next if these don't work out.
I had detreading issues with a Specialized Nimbus Armadillo. My shop had me bring the old tire in and gave me a new Specialized Infinity Armadillo - according to the shop Specialized has a 1 year warranty on their tires.
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Old 07-21-13, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Papa Tom View Post
I have this ridiculously solid set of brand new solid rubber 26" X 1.75 tires that I'm dying to use on one of my bikes. They're just so bumpy to ride on. I believe these are prototypes, as they were given to me by a bike distributor several years ago. Does anyone know of any other solid rubber tires out there?
To date no-one has been able to make a solid tyre that is marketable to the masses... there are some closed cell designs I have seen but they still do not ride like a cushion of air that is the pneumatic tyre.

Have I mentioned an added kevlar belt ?

Panaracer Flataway
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Old 07-23-13, 09:30 PM
  #46  
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If you ride less than 10, buy a nice tire , a veloflex vs a gatorskin its really 30 vs 50 bucks so $20 bucks more.

Everyone can afford 20 bucks and you get a nice 320 TPI handmade tire for the ride home. You deserve it.
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Old 07-23-13, 10:00 PM
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Schwalbe Big Apples work for me. No flats in probably 800 + miles since installing them. Lots of glass in that time too. I have knobbies on now as I have a gravel road century coming up soon.

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Old 07-23-13, 10:02 PM
  #48  
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Also, look at Serfas Drifters if you want some tread too. And my friend has had excellent luck with the Bell Commuter tire Walmart sells. Says "deli tire" on the side. Thousands of miles with only 1 flat and despite being almost bald still going strong!
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Old 07-24-13, 07:00 AM
  #49  
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I've had excellent results from my 32 mm Continental Touring Plus tires. Maybe one or two flats over the past two and a half years of regular commuting through the glass-littered streets and paths of Philadelphia. That's compared to fairly regular flats in prior years with 23/25 mm Gatorskins, and to a lesser extent, 23 mm Schwalbe Durano Plus. Of course, some of the new flat resistance may be due to the tire size so not exactly apples to apples.
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Old 07-25-13, 06:33 PM
  #50  
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I love the Rando Pros. I have the 700x32 on my Kona Jake (have for quite a while) and they perform great. I may change next time, but that is because I like to try different things, not because of performance issues. GREAT tires. No negatives that I have noticed.

Originally Posted by Scooby214 View Post
I have two bikes fitted with Vittoria Randonneur Pro tires. My hybrid has 26x1.5" tires, while my main commuter has 700x32 tires. The main puncture test I've put them through is sand burr thorns, which they have successfully survived on multiple occasions without flatting. They have very low rolling resistance, and are relatively light for such durable tires.

I may put a set of 700x25 Randonneurs on my steel road bike when the Vittoria Rubino Pro III tires it has wear out. The Rubino III tires have flatted a couple of times due to sand burr thorns.
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