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How often do you flat?

Old 08-10-21, 09:08 PM
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Beach Bob
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How often do you flat?

Newbie MTB rider here.... today I was riding with a buddy who has many years of experience and on one of our breaks, he mentioned that he'd never once had a flat....

I'm thinking I've got a pack with a tube, bacon strips, pump, tire levers, etc.... and he's carrying nothing because years of experience has dictated that he never flats out...

So... how often do you flat? Are you always carrying the necessary spares?
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Old 08-10-21, 09:13 PM
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When I MTBed I always carried the gear because I didn't want to push a bike for miles. But pinch flats are a reality if your really pushing yourself. At least they were for me on regular tires and tubes.
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Old 08-10-21, 09:21 PM
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Since switching to tubeless I can really only remember once when I cut the sidewall probably 5 years ago.
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Old 08-11-21, 07:44 AM
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Never. Tubeless here also.

However the chance is always there that a flat could happen, so I carry a tube and CO2 cartridge.

With tubeless flats have almost become a thing of the past.
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Old 08-11-21, 04:45 PM
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The only flats I have had running tubeless over the past 10 years have been two sidewall tears.

With tubes, it really came down to how low I ran the pressure. Punctures were very rare, almost all flats were pinch flats.
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Old 08-11-21, 07:16 PM
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Once a year or so. I dont carry tools on local rides anymore.
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Old 08-12-21, 08:51 AM
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None since i started running tubeless (well over 12 years ago)

DH bike runs wire bead tires and tubes and i have flatted on that in thgat time frame though
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Old 08-12-21, 10:32 AM
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Don't have many, but the last time, after a couple of flat-free years riding at least three times a week off road, they came in "threes", two for me, one for my wife (fortunately, two were "goat heads" and discovered the next day at home and one was only a half mile from our SUV). Almost never got one when I used sealant, but twice I sliced the tire and it was a mess to repair on the trail since the sealant needed to be cleaned out, the tire booted and tube added. Yes, I carry what's needed. We get far out of civilization on many rides.
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Old 08-12-21, 02:28 PM
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Depends a lot on what kind of impacts your tires take and how low your tire pressure is. With low pressure, traction is better, but it takes less of a hit to pinch flat. If you're having a lot of flats, push the pressure up a bit. Or switch to a larger tire if you have space for it.
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Old 08-12-21, 02:38 PM
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I would rather deal with the trouble of carrying a few repair items that never get used than the trouble of having to push my bike very far (and my bike doesn't weight a lot).
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Old 08-12-21, 10:59 PM
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I haven't flatted since I went tubeless, but I've ridden a lot places that I wouldn't want to have to walk out of. A simple repair kit just isn't that much trouble to carry.
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Old 08-13-21, 08:30 PM
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I have gotten flats since going tubeless. Because my sealant dried out.

My flat kit is darts, more sealant, and a valve tool.
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Old 08-14-21, 08:51 PM
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So... in a bit of a follow up....not many real punctures happen on a MTB trail.....sounds like the real issues are sidewall tears... hopefully recoverable with a tube installation.

A number of you carry stuff "in case" you are far enough out on the trail to make a walk back ugly...so... do you carry chain repair links and tools?
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Old 08-14-21, 09:23 PM
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I've been riding mtb since '86. Flatted 2 times between then and '07 when I went tubeless. Not once since then on the dirt, once on the road. That single road tubeless flat ended my time using it, it was 8 years ago. Tubes on the road ever since.
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Old 08-15-21, 12:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
A number of you carry stuff "in case" you are far enough out on the trail to make a walk back ugly...so... do you carry chain repair links and tools?
Yes. A bike multi tool with a chain breaker, and I have some tire levers that snap together into quick link pliers.

I also carry the ten essentials, or a reasonable subset of them if I’m close to a road or within cell coverage

Edit: and a mini pump

Last edited by Darth Lefty; 08-15-21 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 08-15-21, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
So... in a bit of a follow up....not many real punctures happen on a MTB trail.....sounds like the real issues are sidewall tears... hopefully recoverable with a tube installation.

A number of you carry stuff "in case" you are far enough out on the trail to make a walk back ugly...so... do you carry chain repair links and tools?
I have a multitool that includes a chain breaker and a missing link. Only one time I' ve needed them and that was when a chainlink tightened up and caused skipping. I used the chain breaker to put pressure on the pin to loosen it enough to ride comfortably back to base.
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Old 08-15-21, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
A number of you carry stuff "in case" you are far enough out on the trail to make a walk back ugly...so... do you carry chain repair links and tools?
I always carry basic repair stuff. That includes an extra quick link and a multi-tool with a chain tool on it.
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Old 08-15-21, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Beach Bob View Post
I'm thinking I've got a pack with a tube, bacon strips, pump, tire levers, etc.... and he's carrying nothing because years of experience has dictated that he never flats out.
Or maybe he’s found someone to carry them for him.

Actually I busted a chain once and didn’t have a chain break, or quick link, but it was only 4 miles and a good portion was downhill. I carry them now. When we went to Arizona I picked up some goat heads on one ride. I did have an extra tube and patch kit. A multi tool, and multi spoke wrench is nice for when things happen, like when our son busted a spoke on a ride. Worst part of that was how great I felt I was riding until we realized his rim was hitting the brake pad.

But the reality is, I don’t flat much. But carrying tools are just in case because flats, or breakdowns, can ruin a ride, but when it a hike it is that much worse.

John

Last edited by 70sSanO; 08-15-21 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 08-15-21, 11:12 PM
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I flatted a MTB tubeless tire yesterday. It burped on sharp drop off, and there wasn't enough juice left in the tire to seal it up again. I put a tube in it and finished my ride. Unfortunately, my attempts to go back to tubeless with that tire completely failed (stretched bead), so another tire has been ordered.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:08 AM
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My son runs tubeless and I use tube's, call me old fashion. One time he broke a spoke and it pierced his rim tape and leaked all the air. Lucky we had a spare tube, levers and frame mount hand pump to get it repaired and finish our ride.
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Old 08-16-21, 07:16 AM
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I did a long tour a few years ago and flatted almost every day, sometimes multiple times per day, including 1km from the bike shop where I installed a new 'flat resistant' tire.
I completed a tour this summer with zero (0) flats, which brings my total for the year up to zero (0)
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Old 08-17-21, 01:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryno317 View Post
My son runs tubeless and I use tube's, call me old fashion. One time he broke a spoke and it pierced his rim tape and leaked all the air. Lucky we had a spare tube, levers and frame mount hand pump to get it repaired and finish our ride.
Anyone that runs tubeless should always carry a tube and pump/CO2 and tire patch kit.
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Old 08-18-21, 08:46 AM
  #23  
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Running tubes, the only flats recently have been a spate when blackberry thorns were particularly prevalant. I put some sealant in the tubes and haven't flatted since. If I lived in thorn country I'd run tubeless.

I always calculate the results of failure when selecting repair gear. What I take depends on how far I want to push/carry my bike.

A precautionary tale about tubeless (and tubes too I suppose): Met two older fellows on the trail with new e mtb bikes. One had burped the front tire and lost the seal. They only had a mini pump that would not re seat the bead, had lost the sealant, and were scratching their head about what to do. It was a long push out for that heavy bike. Finally, one of them dug around in an accessory kit and found a tube and thru axle wrench. I left them just as they realized they had to pull the tubeless valve stem in the rim to use the tube... That burp was going to result in them taking their bike back to the shop for somone to re set up their tubeless system.

What ever system you use don't assume it's bulletproof and figure out ahead of time how you will fix a failure.
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Old 08-18-21, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Running tubes, the only flats recently have been a spate when blackberry thorns were particularly prevalant. I put some sealant in the tubes and haven't flatted since. If I lived in thorn country I'd run tubeless.

I always calculate the results of failure when selecting repair gear. What I take depends on how far I want to push/carry my bike.

A precautionary tale about tubeless (and tubes too I suppose): Met two older fellows on the trail with new e mtb bikes. One had burped the front tire and lost the seal. They only had a mini pump that would not re seat the bead, had lost the sealant, and were scratching their head about what to do. It was a long push out for that heavy bike. Finally, one of them dug around in an accessory kit and found a tube and thru axle wrench. I left them just as they realized they had to pull the tubeless valve stem in the rim to use the tube... That burp was going to result in them taking their bike back to the shop for somone to re set up their tubeless system.

What ever system you use don't assume it's bulletproof and figure out ahead of time how you will fix a failure.
A.) If you were tubeless blackberry thorns wouldn't be a concern. The sealant would take care of that.

B.) No big deal to pull the tubeless valve stem. Can be removed by hand. And why would they have to take their bike to the shop for someone to set it up tubeless? Can be done very easily at home. I've set up all of my tubeless both mountain bike and fat bike with a hand pump and orange seal.
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Old 08-18-21, 01:54 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
A.) If you were tubeless blackberry thorns wouldn't be a concern. The sealant would take care of that.

B.) No big deal to pull the tubeless valve stem. Can be removed by hand. And why would they have to take their bike to the shop for someone to set it up tubeless? Can be done very easily at home. I've set up all of my tubeless both mountain bike and fat bike with a hand pump and orange seal.
A. Meh. Sealant in tube also took care of that. My approach is to seek a new technology when the current one doesn't work. I feel no need to retrofit my wheelset to tubeless for a problem that doesn't exist.

B. From the way they were struggling to figure things out in the field I assume they will not magically be able to remount tubeless back home.
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