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How often to you get a flat tire?

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How often to you get a flat tire?

Old 03-02-13, 09:39 AM
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GeraldF
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How often to you get a flat tire?

Roughly how many miles do you ride between flat tires?

I'm currently riding a mountain bike with 2.15"x26" tires, and I've gone over 1,000 miles with no flat tires in Washington, DC. The tires are some of the cheapest you can get. The rear I paid $13 at a LBS and was told it's a cheap "stock" tire. The front is slightly better, paid $25 from another LBS. The tubes I use are also cheap and basic.

I'm contemplating switching to thinner tires, but I'm curious to hear what this would mean in terms of flat tires. Will I have to pump up every few days to avoid pinch flats? Currently I pump up to 40 psi once a month and I love it.
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Old 03-02-13, 09:57 AM
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I run 26" x 2.1" Schawlbe Smart Sams and had a "snake-bite puncture" at 92km. Then I bought a pump and keep the pressure at 50psi and I haven't had a flat since (now at 2500km.)
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Old 03-02-13, 10:02 AM
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Never = Schwalbe Marathon


Buy high quality tubes and high quality tires. Pump them up far less, virtually eliminate flats. Schwalbe is the answer for both tubes and tires, for me.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:07 AM
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I think that tubes matter as well and I only run Schwalbe tubes (AV13 - Autoventil - Schrader).
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Old 03-02-13, 10:55 AM
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Until november last year I had vittoria randonneur hyper 32mm. at 5 to 6 bar. In 3000 km's (about 1800 miles) I only had one flat (on wet surface a puncture by small sharktooth like stone). I recently switched to the new schwalbe little big ben's 622x40 mm. Too soon to say anything about puncture resistance as I've only had one short test ride with them.
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Old 03-02-13, 11:36 AM
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I'd like to see a poll of how many miles to a flat after posting your flat stats.
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Old 03-02-13, 12:22 PM
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Once in the last 5 years on my commuter. Specialized Armadillo all condition wire bead 700c x 28.
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Old 03-02-13, 12:32 PM
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Over the past 4 years:
13206km (8206 miles)
4 flat tires, always the rear one
1x Kenda generic 26" MTB tire (spoke wore through the rim tape)
2x Vittoria Randonneur 700x25 (sidewall puncture)
1x Giant PR3 700x25 (sidewall puncture)

Note:
Zero flats when equipped with various Continental tires.

Last edited by DJ Shaun; 03-03-13 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 03-02-13, 12:47 PM
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I have not had a flat in 5k mi + on Panaracer RiBMo 26 x 1.5 @ 75psi.

Panaracer T-Serv, 26 x 1.25 @ 90 psi, I usually had one flat in any given 2k mi.

Schwalbe Big Apple, 26 x 2.35 @ 35 psi: just pulled out a little sliver of wire that was causing a slow leak, but no other flats in about 1k.
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Old 03-02-13, 01:31 PM
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About every 400-600 miles give or take a few. I have budget friendly tires.
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Old 03-02-13, 01:44 PM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
Once in the last 5 years on my commuter. Specialized Armadillo all condition wire bead 700c x 28.
Ditto - and it was a faulty valve that was the culprit. But while inspecting the tire to see if there was anything in it, I found lots of rocks and glass shards that had dug into the outside of the tire, but had not punched through to the tube.

I have the 'Dillos on my road bike, and Schwalbe MP's on my utility bike. No flats on the utility bike yet, and I've crunched right through big shards of broken glass.
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Old 03-02-13, 02:05 PM
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(Schwalbe Marathons are heavy; Contis can be difficult to mount and swap tubes; Armadillos are made by a company who's bikes we do not sell...)
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Old 03-02-13, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
I'm contemplating switching to thinner tires, but I'm curious to hear what this would mean in terms of flat tires. Will I have to pump up every few days to avoid pinch flats? Currently I pump up to 40 psi once a month and I love it.
I pump up my 90/95 psi tires about once a week. By that time they've made it to 80.
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Old 03-02-13, 09:59 PM
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went about ten years without, then twice last year. Schwalbe Marathon Plus. first was a piece of heavy gauge wire and the second was a small "dagger" of flint i picked up on a trail that went through the tire like butter.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:07 PM
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I get 2-3 flats per month on my Marathons, but these are 5 year old tires and I'm thinking it's time to replace them.

I ride through industrial areas with all kinds of weird stuff on the ground, so I've gotten pretty used to it.
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Old 03-02-13, 10:11 PM
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jyl
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1X to 2X per year
Panaracer Pasela Tourguard
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Old 03-02-13, 10:51 PM
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In the past year I have had two flats one while trick riding (slammed the rear wheel while in stoppie) and on while commuting (some one through a beer bottle at me and busted on the wheel)
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Old 03-02-13, 11:00 PM
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Current tires on commuter bikes:

0 flats Continental Travel Contacts 700x37 in 1100 +/- miles

1 flat Schwalbe Big Apples 26x2.15 in 500 +/- miles piece of glass picked up on wet street.....lots of contact patch for glass to stick to when wet.......then rolls on it repeatedly.

0 flats Specialized Burrough CX 700x32 700 +/- miles

I would probably say that older models of the Continental Contact Security and Safety versions (their old tires, made in Germany, when it was called Contact and nothing else, i.e., no Travel, Tour, Comfort, etc. were the most puncture free tires I have used. The old Continental Contact Security tires could roll on my pedicab up to a year w/ no flats, operating in the streets and alleys in the bar district with ridiculous loads.
I had a Continental Contact Safety that rolled on a commuter mtn bike for over 6,000 miles with only one flat, to the best of my memory.

I have also enjoyed excellent flat protection and a smooth ride from about 6 Panaracer TServ and UrbanMax tires (pretty similar) in 700x32 size. 6 tires and probably at least 12,000 miles. Around 5 or 6 flats. Impressive protection from a fast, supple city tire.

Last edited by AusTexMurf; 03-03-13 at 08:12 AM.
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Old 03-02-13, 11:23 PM
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It doesn't matter how often I flat. You do not ride in the exact same places or times or bike that I do.

Buy tires and tubes for the performance you desire, then carry a pump, tube and patch kit. Flats happen. So what.
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Old 03-03-13, 12:57 AM
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I was having A LOT of flats (with various average tubes and the original Bontrager tires), so much so that the guys at the LBS actually grew tired of my flats and sold me these, about 2 weeks ago:



So far so good, no flats since (and I've been more aggressive with the bike).

The wheels also feel much more sturdy/solid to the touch now, I think.
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Old 03-03-13, 07:02 AM
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generally 1 or 2 a year. Almost always lately because I ignore the tire pressure and let it get too low and get a snake bite. Early on when I had the crap tires the bike came with I picked up every random bit of wire or sharp rock on the road and flatted probably 6 times the first year. These days I run decent 32s, I've had marathons, race lites, top touring, etc (I have a random bunch of tires in the basement and just grab what looks OK when a mounted tire starts to look dodgy.

I just bought my first road bike (come on, warm weather!) from BD and it has 23s, Michelin Dynamic Sports. I expect to have to repair a few flats with these. I may transition to 25s if they're too much trouble, and get something with some tread maybe. The reviews on BikeTiresDirect on the Dynamic Sports indicate they're flat prone.
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Old 03-03-13, 07:53 AM
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I currently commute about 400 miles per month. I've had 4 flats in the past size months, two were pinch flats and two were little wires. One pinch flat was low pressure, the other a large rock. I run 26x1.25" performance Metro tires and Pricepoint 5-pack tubes. I don't like the 1.25" Pricepoint tubes, they inflate unevenly and take a few days to smooth out.

On my recreational road bike, I have one tube that has over 8k miles on it, been through several tires and both front-and-back. All the flats have been on the other one. I get a flat every 1000 miles or so, depending on where I'm riding.
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Old 03-03-13, 07:56 AM
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I had a flat the other week, probably the first in two years
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Old 03-03-13, 08:26 AM
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Been about 4,000 miles since I got my last flat. I run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my LHT. Before I gave up on cheap tires from Nashbar (riding a hybrid at the time), I got flats once every month or two, more often when tread became worn. Since going with Vittoria Randonneurs (one set) and now my second set of Schwalbe MPs, I've had two flats in the last 7500 miles or so IIRC, the most recent being from a nasty construction staple that I would venture to say could have dealt a blow to a car tire.

Between the longer tread life and the peace of mind of not having to worry about flats, I am glad I spend the extra money on good tires.
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Old 03-03-13, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by GeraldF View Post
Roughly how many miles do you ride between flat tires?

I'm currently riding a mountain bike with 2.15"x26" tires, and I've gone over 1,000 miles with no flat tires in Washington, DC. The tires are some of the cheapest you can get. The rear I paid $13 at a LBS and was told it's a cheap "stock" tire. The front is slightly better, paid $25 from another LBS. The tubes I use are also cheap and basic.

I'm contemplating switching to thinner tires, but I'm curious to hear what this would mean in terms of flat tires. Will I have to pump up every few days to avoid pinch flats? Currently I pump up to 40 psi once a month and I love it.
Flats are a completely random event. Their frequency is mostly dependent on where and how you ride but can't be avoided completely. I've gone months without a flat and then been hit by two flats for two different reasons in 10 minutes (about a mile apart). I've also done rides where flats are just part of the ride and can be epic in their number and frequency. Tires, liners, Slime, etc. can help prevent them but they won't stop them. If you obliviously plow through all the glass on the road or ride across an open field in the west...where the goathead live...you'll experience flats no matter what preventative measures you take. If you don't keep the tires inflated, you'll experience flats.

Riding in some place like DC where pokey plants have softer points or they are completely absent, you can get away with a lot less protection than I can living out where the pokey plants don't lie in wait but actively hunt my tires. Watch where you ride, avoid broken glass and don't slam into pot holes and you can run just about anything you like.

If you are going to use narrower tires, you will have to pump them up to a higher pressure to avoid pinch flats and, because the pressure is higher, you'll have to pump them more often (see Fick's Law).
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