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4 flats in one month

Old 07-10-13, 07:34 AM
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4 flats in one month

So this is the second year I've been into cycling somewhat avidly, been able to do about 150 miles a week. I've gotten 4 flats in the last month, the first was a pinch flat, the other 3 were from wires I picked up on the road. From what I understand our community is starting to use asphalt with increased percentage of recycled rubber - shredded car tires. 3 times now I've picked up wires that appear to be small pieces of car tire cords, they pierce the tire and the tube. I have a Giant Roam 2 with 700X40 tires.

I can fix a flat myself but what I don't like is the time lost that I could be riding. And the possibility of getting stuck with a flat in a real inconvenient place, like 100 degree heat in an open area. I am considering a 3 prong approach to try and lessen the chance of a flat .

1) Get a pair of Continental Gatorskin tires - the closest size is 700X32 wold they fit my rims ok being about 8mm smaller?

2) Get Fat Bottom tubes - they are thicker on the bottom and have Mr. Tuffy sealant in them. They appear to only come in Presta valve which I know the valve is smaller in diameter than the schrader valve I have now, I understand there is a spacer I can use to fill the gap around the presta stem?

3) Get Mr. Tuffy tire liners

So does this combo seem like it would work or is it overkill?
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Old 07-10-13, 07:36 AM
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Continental Gatorskin tires won't help you.

Carry a spare tire (folding).

Change the tire and the tube when you flat.
Determine the cause later when you arrive at your destination.
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Old 07-10-13, 08:03 AM
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I'm not a big fan of tire liners or slime tubes but if you want maximum flat protection, I'd look into getting a pair of Kevlar lined tires. Both of the below are available in 700C X 38 :

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/ftb...mbus-armadillo

http://bontrager.com/model/07796

I've tried both of these tires. You can ride over glass/etc. all day long (but try not to!).
Of the two, I prefer the Specialized Nimbus.
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Old 07-10-13, 08:24 AM
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I had 11 flats in a little over 3 weeks---massive invasion of goat head thorns----went to Michelin Pro 4 endurance tire-- 700x23--and rhino liners---no more flats
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Old 07-10-13, 08:44 AM
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Four flats in month is a big deal? I'm doing about 125 miles a week on my commute, and I expect three or four a week. That's been pretty much the average for 15 years. They're a part of riding. Fix them and move on.
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Old 07-10-13, 08:52 AM
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Gatorskins work well for me against thorns, I think you pick the material for the problem. For wires, who knows...I don't.

Tire liners also work, when I've used them they've made that bike flat free for 1000s of miles. However, you'll feel the weight.

My tolerance is about one flat a season, then I get p#ssed. If I got multiple flats a week I'd change something.
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Old 07-10-13, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Four flats in month is a big deal? I'm doing about 125 miles a week on my commute, and I expect three or four a week. That's been pretty much the average for 15 years. They're a part of riding. Fix them and move on.
Three or four flats a week? What are your roads paved with, rusty nails and broken glass?
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Old 07-10-13, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Get a pair of Continental Gatorskin tires - the closest size is 700X32 wold they fit my rims ok being about 8mm smaller?
The tires your rims can fit is dependent on the interior dimension of your rims. There is a chart here: http://sheldonbrown.com/tyre-sizing.html (scroll down to "Width Considerations").

You can get a pair of calipers and measure or do some googling to find the interior width of your rims. The chart is a bit conservative... you can probably push it a tire-size in each direction without problems, but I wouldn't go much beyond that.
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Old 07-10-13, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Four flats in month is a big deal? I'm doing about 125 miles a week on my commute, and I expect three or four a week. That's been pretty much the average for 15 years. They're a part of riding. Fix them and move on.
Glad to hear your such a trooper, to me I would rather spend a little money and possibly eliminate the problem and spend the time riding rather than repairing flats.
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Old 07-10-13, 10:04 AM
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General consensus would be to seek out a set of Shwalbe Marathon Plus or Marathon Supreme tires if you are seeking the best in flat avoidance. That being said, the little wires from radial tire belts are sneaky little things, and can push their way through all but the toughest of tires. Good luck with that.
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Old 07-10-13, 01:23 PM
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No flats in 12 years! Must be living right?
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Old 07-10-13, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by cactuss View Post
No flats in 12 years! Must be living right?
Up till today - now you've jinxed yourself.
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Old 07-10-13, 04:08 PM
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How does getting flats cut into to your riding time? Just fix the flat and complete the intended ride. Getting flats has a big random element. I'll go for 1000 miles and not get one then get a couple in a week, or even rarely two on one ride, then it may be months before I get another.
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Old 07-10-13, 06:51 PM
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The quikstik (yellow) will save you 1-2 minutes, the CO2 inflator will save you 3-4 minutes.
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Old 07-10-13, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
How does getting flats cut into to your riding time? Just fix the flat and complete the intended ride. Getting flats has a big random element. I'll go for 1000 miles and not get one then get a couple in a week, or even rarely two on one ride, then it may be months before I get another.
Is this a serious question? It takes me at least 15 minutes or more to fix a flat and pump the tire, half hour if I have trouble finding the leak - I'm not very good at it, so that's an hour or 13 miles or more I did not ride with 4 flats. Id rather spend a few bucks and avoid it and keep riding. I'm glad for you if you have a good time fixing your flats, I'd rather just keep ridin',
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Old 07-10-13, 11:20 PM
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Originally Posted by KevinF View Post
Three or four flats a week? What are your roads paved with, rusty nails and broken glass?
That's not unusual here. It's high desert, lots of thorns and sharp rocks and the roads aren't swept very often. We have seed pods, can't remember the name of the plant, that will go through a Kevlar belt AND a Mr. Tuffy in about two revolutions--you hear tick-tick-pffft. I've had nine flats on a century and four on my 25-mile RT commute, and 13 separate punctures one time when I rode across about 10 feet of dirt to get on the MUT. I sneer at your four flats in a month.
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Old 07-11-13, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Is this a serious question? It takes me at least 15 minutes or more to fix a flat and pump the tire, half hour if I have trouble finding the leak - I'm not very good at it, so that's an hour or 13 miles or more I did not ride with 4 flats. Id rather spend a few bucks and avoid it and keep riding. I'm glad for you if you have a good time fixing your flats, I'd rather just keep ridin',
If you complete the intended ride, then the time spent fixing the flat is cutting into your free time, sleeping time, TV time, eating time or some other time. It is not cutting into your riding time. Your flat fixing skill and speed should be improving with all the practice you're getting, no?
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Old 07-11-13, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Looigi View Post
If you complete the intended ride, then the time spent fixing the flat is cutting into your free time, sleeping time, TV time, eating time or some other time. It is not cutting into your riding time. Your flat fixing skill and speed should be improving with all the practice you're getting, no?
Um, NO to both. While I am sure you are having a high old time fixing your flats and enjoying every minute of it I find that getting a flat cuts into my riding time as I have to shorten my route and head home becasue of time restraints, only so many daylight hours and free time can be allotted to riding. I also do not enjoy fixing flats and find it nothing but an irritation to do so. Quite frankly I want to get in every minute I can riding before daylight and temperatures cut me season short.

It takes time to fix a flat, time I am willing to avoid by spending a few dollars investing in products designed to eliminate them. I was asking for comments on the trio of products I mentioned, I am fully aware that SOME flats are to be expected and are part and parcel of biking, getting so many when I ride on asphalt roads and concrete urban "trails" is just something that I rather not experience.
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Old 07-11-13, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Is this a serious question? It takes me at least 15 minutes or more to fix a flat and pump the tire, half hour if I have trouble finding the leak - I'm not very good at it, so that's an hour or 13 miles or more I did not ride with 4 flats. Id rather spend a few bucks and avoid it and keep riding. I'm glad for you if you have a good time fixing your flats, I'd rather just keep ridin',
You need more practice and some changes in strategy. First, it sounds like you try to find the leak, patch it, reinstall and inflate. You would do better to carry a spare tube, remove the flatted tube and inflate the tire. This will save you some time...as long as you make sure what was causing the flat is removed in the first place. You fix the tube when you get home and put it back in a tool bag on the bike for the next time.

Towards that end, there are a couple of things you can do at home to make your life easier (and get a little practice). You should orient your tire so that you can find the object that is causing the flat. I line up the label on the tire with the valve stem. Then I use a marker and write "drive side" on the right side of the tube above the stem. If you happen to be lucky, the object causing the puncture will still be in the tire so that you can remove the tire, find the puncture and fix it if you have to. I still replace the tube rather then repair on the road.

Even if you can't see the sharp object, you should feel around on the inside of the tire...carefully...for the object so that you don't have to fix the flat twice. Some one at my coop taught me a trick for those really sneaky pokey bits. He takes a can of Rema vulcanizing fluid and scrubs the inside of the tire to knock off any sharp points. You could do the same out in the field with a water bottle.

Finally, liners and/or kevlar belts do work. I have used Mr. Tuffys for 20+ years and have been amazed by how well they do work. I've tried some of tires with an integral liner and had spotty results. The Tuffys can be transferred from one tire to the next so a single set might last 10 to 20 years while the belts are thrown away as soon as the tire is worn out. I've also had some tread separation issues with the integral liners.
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Old 07-11-13, 08:55 AM
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5000 miles on Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tires, no flats. Taking the lane more IMO helps as well by keeping away from the junk along the road edge.
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Old 07-11-13, 09:18 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Finally, liners and/or kevlar belts do work. I have used Mr. Tuffys for 20+ years and have been amazed by how well they do work. I've tried some of tires with an integral liner and had spotty results. The Tuffys can be transferred from one tire to the next so a single set might last 10 to 20 years while the belts are thrown away as soon as the tire is worn out. I've also had some tread separation issues with the integral liners.
Thanks for the info, I think I am definitely going with the Tuffys. I've looked a their site and seen that they make a Fat Bottom tube that has their tire sealant in it. In years past I've used the Green Slime in a wheel barrow tire and not had good luck with it so I am undecided on this tire sealant stuff. In perusing the Giant Roam specs the tires I have are listed as being puncture resistant already, how much remains to be seen as I've flatted it once - the other 3 flats were on my other bike.

I'll order a pair of Tuffys, hopefully my run of flats will be over.
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Old 07-11-13, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
Is this a serious question? It takes me at least 15 minutes or more to fix a flat and pump the tire, half hour if I have trouble finding the leak - I'm not very good at it, so that's an hour or 13 miles or more I did not ride with 4 flats. Id rather spend a few bucks and avoid it and keep riding. I'm glad for you if you have a good time fixing your flats, I'd rather just keep ridin',
Carry 2 spare tubes. Patch the leaks while watching tv.
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Old 07-11-13, 09:48 AM
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Whaaaattttt?

Originally Posted by Rootman View Post
... I find that getting a flat cuts into my riding time as I have to shorten my route and head home becasue of time restraints, only so many daylight hours and free time can be allotted to riding...
Sacrilege.
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Old 07-11-13, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
That's not unusual here. It's high desert, lots of thorns and sharp rocks and the roads aren't swept very often. We have seed pods, can't remember the name of the plant, that will go through a Kevlar belt AND a Mr. Tuffy in about two revolutions--you hear tick-tick-pffft. I've had nine flats on a century and four on my 25-mile RT commute, and 13 separate punctures one time when I rode across about 10 feet of dirt to get on the MUT. I sneer at your four flats in a month.
I would have given up riding a long time ago if I had to put up with what you do. More power to you... I'm guessing you're a flat-tire quick-change artist by now.
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Old 07-11-13, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Velo Dog View Post
Four flats in month is a big deal? I'm doing about 125 miles a week on my commute, and I expect three or four a week. That's been pretty much the average for 15 years. They're a part of riding. Fix them and move on.
OK - so my commute gives me just over 200km per week. Currently I'm looking to finish 4 flatfree years on every bike equipped with Marathon Supremes or Marathon Plus tires. Did pick up one flat from a fishhook last year while riding off road on tires with no flat protection.

I don't get it - anyone getting 4 flats per month with a car would be pissed. Why should a bike be any different?

Last edited by Burton; 07-12-13 at 12:47 AM.
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