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Flat Tire Prevention - Cactus Needles

Old 09-21-11, 03:55 PM
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Flat Tire Prevention - Cactus Needles

I'm planning a ride in the AZ desert (Phoenix area) this winter. At home (Colorado) I just use standard tubes (without sealant) and have little problem. Can any AZ locals (or those experienced in AZ riding) offer advice on what's the best setup to protect against flats especially from cactus needles?
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Old 09-21-11, 04:05 PM
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Cactus needles aren't the problem it's goat heads, although I did collect a jumping cactus in my tires a time or two.

I used to run Slime when I lived there. Most people hate slime though. This was long before the tubeless craze too.
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Old 09-21-11, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
Cactus needles aren't the problem it's goat heads, although I did collect a jumping cactus in my tires a time or two.
Jumping cactus is about the nastiest stuff there is. I swear to jebus it will hunt you in your sleep.


I used to run Slime when I lived there. Most people hate slime though. This was long before the tubeless craze too.
Slime is probably the right choice if you're not running tubeless, despite the fact that it's heavy and inconvenient, and only prevents flats slightly better than just running regular tubes.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:03 PM
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I came home with three punctures in the front tube a week ago. One needle was still protruding from the exterior tread, two others had shafts broken off below the surface of the tire and were only visible from the inside casing. All three went right through a Stop Flat 2 liner. This tube is only a month old, the previous tube had 4 punctures and I didn't feel like patching it. My niece's husband has been using Stan's tubeless system for a long time and swears by it, so I'm going to try it when I replace my tires in the near future. There are two varieties of cholla cactus in metro Phoenix, the staghorn and teddy bear. Both propagate by dropping segments to the ground to be picked up by passing animals. The needles are particularly vile with fishhook-like barbs in the tips. If you ever get stuck, it'll be an experience you'll never forget. The needles are difficult to pull out, you almost need pliers or a hemostat. I used Slime for 2 years and while it stopped pinhole punctures in low pressure mountain tires, anything larger just created a huge mess inside the tire. Slime clogged up the valves and made a mess out of the pump head. If you air-up your tires frequently, Slime dries up and turns into hard little rice-sized pellets. I decided the benefit from Slime didn't outweigh the downside and gave up on it. So, try Slime, see how it works for you. I'm going tubeless, in spite of the expense (Stan's costs a bunch). The cactus needle problem seems to be seasonal with summer thunderstorms here, the cholla seems to be programmed to drop segments after it rains in the summer. You can get needle punctures year-round, but it's the worst in the summer.
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Old 09-22-11, 09:06 PM
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how can you ride in colorado and not deal with goatheads? (unless its just the western slope).

slime was made for ATVs and works great for ATVs. not so much for bicycles.

put true goo (https://truegoo.com/) in your tubes and you won't have to worry about it.

also/or you can use Mr. Tuffy rim strips.

use both strips and goo and you are pretty much an invulnerable tank (you will still get pinch flats if you run too low though. goo and strips do not prevent pinch flats)
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Old 09-22-11, 09:23 PM
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Slime worked great for me when I was down in the desert. I had a valve core remover on my valve cap so clogged valves took a second to fix and were actually pretty rare anyways.

Always park with your valves up top at night so it doesn't jizz all over into your pump head when you air up before the next ride.

Slime cleans up easy with water.

It's good for pinholes, even finishing nail holes but not gashes, of course.

Never had it ball up, I must've gashed tubes and replace before the balling.
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