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Wider tires get more punctures

Old 09-10-18, 05:15 AM
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kbarch
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Wider tires get more punctures

I have the worst luck getting flats with the TCX.
Started out with the stock 40mm knobbies with inner tubes. Easy as pie to take off and re-mount, except getting them to re-mount correctly seemed to be beyond my capacity, and it seemed like I was getting flats every hundred miles or so, so I figured I'd try going tubeless with them. It was nice not having to stop every time I got a little puncture, but I got to be really annoyed with how often they'd start squirting. It was like they were suddenly more susceptible. Add the fact that their knobbiness was unnecessary - the trails I ride are all pretty mild - and they're a drag on the road, and I gave up and mounted a pair of 28mm 4 Seasons a friend had given me.

Figured they might be a little tougher, maybe. Shoulda injected some sealant into the tubes.

Yesterday I was just a few miles into what was supposed to be a century when the rear developed a slow-ish leak and went flat. Was annoyed to discover that the spare tube I was carrying was too narrow, but I had a patch kit that I'd intended to use anyhow. Only for the life of me I couldn't find the hole! Oh well, the aid station/alternate start was not too far, so I limped along, stopping a couple of times along the way to add air with my lame mini-pump (yeah, bigger tires take a LOT longer to pump up) - the last time sitting in front of a bike shop that wouldn't open for another hour.

Now, you'd think that for a ride with several thousand participants, there would be mechanics' stations, but nope. Nada. There was a table where I think one was supposed to be, but there was just one working floor pump and one broken one. I could have gone a few miles off course to the one bike shop in Brooklyn that was open at the time, but I'd have done just as well to wait for the one nearby to open up. But did I mention the weather was cold and wet?

I decided to just call it a day - pumped the tire back up, took the subway back to Manhattan and just managed to get back to my car before the tire went flat again. Even if I'd managed to pick up a couple of right sized tubes, no way was I going to trust those tires on 85 more miles of city roads on a day like yesterday. An acquaintance posted on Strava that he got FOUR flats on the same ride yesterday! I probably would have gotten eight with my extra wide tires. They just attract debris, I think.
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Old 09-10-18, 05:33 AM
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I have a set up Conti GP 4000's that have gotten at least one flat on probably 11 out of 12 rides. They're extremely comfortable tires, but no level of comfort is worth that kind of hassle. I'm of the opinion that the rider adjusts to whatever tire they're running after the first few miles anyway, so I have taken to running thicker heavier tires, and flats are now a thing of the past.



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Old 09-10-18, 07:28 AM
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A have a bike riding on 700x35 Hutchinson Overides, and another on 700x25 Giant Gavias. I've wrecked three Gavias this year (2 to glass, 1 to a screw) but only lost one Overide (2 drywall screws at once!)

Both bikes have covered very similar routes and mileage, though the Overides spend actual time in the dirt, where it is apparently safer.

Probably worthwhile to mention both tires are setup tubeless, so I don't get "flats." I either have an absolutely trouble-free ride-- which is 98% of the time-- or I have this:

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Old 09-10-18, 11:02 AM
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what do you mean the tube was too narrow? You can use any road tube in tires up to 32c easily, they will just expand to fit
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Old 09-10-18, 11:07 AM
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I've had two flats riding my 42mm tires from debris that would have rolled right past had I been on 25mm tires. Absolutely nuts to think about the tiny variance in tire width caused me to pick up a nail and then a staple that wouldn't have happened on narrower tires.

Now I ride tubeless so I don't really get flats much anymore.
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Old 09-10-18, 03:06 PM
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I'm convinced that flats come in waves and they are somehow related to a butterfly along the shores of the Amazon River. I think there are tires that are somewhat less susceptible to flats than others, but if you're in a "wave", then you're gonna get flats. I don't think the width of the tire has anything to do with it.
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Old 09-10-18, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by redlude97 View Post
what do you mean the tube was too narrow? You can use any road tube in tires up to 32c easily, they will just expand to fit
Well, the stamp on the side said 20-25, and it was definitely smaller than the one it would be replacing. In retrospect, I figured it probably would have worked ok, but I didn't feel like pushing the envelope, and was happy to have an excuse to go home and go to bed. Not only was it cold and wet, but I'd only had about four hour's sleep.
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Old 09-10-18, 03:25 PM
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There's something seriously wrong...I ride gp4000s through the city, and get 1 flat every 1000 miles or so. The obvious suggestion is that you are getting pinch flats from too low pressure. And, conventional wisdom is that you get LESS flats with larger tires, not more.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:15 PM
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Wider tires are wider.. ergo.. more likelihood of randomly running over something that will puncture it.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Wider tires are wider.. ergo.. more likelihood of randomly running over something that will puncture it.

it's not quite that simple. width is a dependent variable in the realm of tires. if one has say schwalbe marathons, or armadillos that are 2 inches in width, no one would argue they are more prone to flats because they are wider than say a schwinn budget tire for a 700c rim.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
There's something seriously wrong...I ride gp4000s through the city, and get 1 flat every 1000 miles or so. The obvious suggestion is that you are getting pinch flats from too low pressure. And, conventional wisdom is that you get LESS flats with larger tires, not more.
Y'all have goatheads in Chicago yet? If not, they're coming ... soon.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
A have a bike riding on 700x35 Hutchinson Overides, and another on 700x25 Giant Gavias. I've wrecked three Gavias this year (2 to glass, 1 to a screw) but only lost one Overide (2 drywall screws at once!)

Both bikes have covered very similar routes and mileage, though the Overides spend actual time in the dirt, where it is apparently safer.

Probably worthwhile to mention both tires are setup tubeless, so I don't get "flats." I either have an absolutely trouble-free ride-- which is 98% of the time-- or I have this:

So, is that a Philips or a JIS head screw?
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Old 09-10-18, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by acorn54 View Post
it's not quite that simple. width is a dependent variable in the realm of tires. if one has say schwalbe marathons, or armadillos that are 2 inches in width, no one would argue they are more prone to flats because they are wider than say a schwinn budget tire for a 700c rim.
But of course.. the assumption was "all else being equal".. an armadillo 2 inches in width vs. a 25mm armadillo.. has a higher chance of running over something that'll puncture it.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
Y'all have goatheads in Chicago yet? If not, they're coming ... soon.
We certainly do: https://www.cnn.com/2013/04/11/justi...rse/index.html .

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Old 09-10-18, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Wider tires are wider.. ergo.. more likelihood of randomly running over something that will puncture it.
Not true.

Because different things will puncture tires at different pressures. A piece of glass that punctures a 25mm tire at 100psi very well may not puncture a 40mm tire at 50psi that runs over it. You're also significantly less likely to pinch flat on any given pothole.

I mean, yes, if the thing that is puncturing your tires is, say, a chainsaw, then by all means go as narrow as possible Most items though will be more likely to puncture a narrower tire when it hits.
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Old 09-10-18, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Trsnrtr View Post
So, is that a Philips or a JIS head screw?

Well, it was certainly a #2 Phillips-- it was a screw for a typical door hinge-- but I used the JIS screwdriver from my workstand to remove it. GASP!
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Old 09-10-18, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Well, it was certainly a #2 Phillips-- it was a screw for a typical door hinge-- but I used the JIS screwdriver from my workstand to remove it. GASP!
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Old 09-10-18, 07:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
Not true.

Because different things will puncture tires at different pressures. A piece of glass that punctures a 25mm tire at 100psi very well may not puncture a 40mm tire at 50psi that runs over it. You're also significantly less likely to pinch flat on any given pothole.

I mean, yes, if the thing that is puncturing your tires is, say, a chainsaw, then by all means go as narrow as possible Most items though will be more likely to puncture a narrower tire when it hits.
a chainsaw.. or a nail or anything sharp or hard enough to penetrate the tire. Some people ride wider tires because they're heavier in weight and a narrower tire won't suffice or can't be inflated high enough for the same deflection on the roadway. Eg. you can have a 200lb rider with a 28mm rear tire at 100psi which is about correct, vs. a 140lb rider with a 23mm at the same psi. The wider-tired rider is more likely to hit something to cause a flat.
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Old 09-10-18, 08:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Colnago Mixte View Post
I have a set up Conti GP 4000's that have gotten at least one flat on probably 11 out of 12 rides. They're extremely comfortable tires, but no level of comfort is worth that kind of hassle. I'm of the opinion that the rider adjusts to whatever tire they're running after the first few miles anyway, so I have taken to running thicker heavier tires, and flats are now a thing of the past.



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If you are getting that many flats itís not your tires. Make sure the rim tape is covering the nipples. I ride GP4000ís and over 800 miles this season I have no flats.

By the way I weigh 205 and my tires are 700 x 23.
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Old 09-10-18, 08:32 PM
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Just curious, how many goathead patches do you have along the road in Michigan? Here, our road shoulders consist of nothing but goathead patches. You really need to see it to believe it.
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Old 09-10-18, 08:53 PM
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Never had a flat. I run GP 4000's in 23mm. Lucky I guess.
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Old 09-10-18, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
a chainsaw.. or a nail or anything sharp or hard enough to penetrate the tire. Some people ride wider tires because they're heavier in weight and a narrower tire won't suffice or can't be inflated high enough for the same deflection on the roadway. Eg. you can have a 200lb rider with a 28mm rear tire at 100psi which is about correct, vs. a 140lb rider with a 23mm at the same psi. The wider-tired rider is more likely to hit something to cause a flat.
No need for pressure that high...I run my 28s at 70-75 psi...i'm 193 lbs.
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Old 09-11-18, 12:35 AM
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ĎItís true. Due to LBS inventory, Iím running a 25 in the front and a 28 rearó 85psi and 80psi respectively. Trying to stay around 200lbs, generally a bit over.
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Old 09-11-18, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Wider tires are wider.. ergo.. more likelihood of randomly running over something that will puncture it.
This is what I'm saying.
No, not pinch flats. Pinch flats you can see the damage right away, and they don't squirt sealant from the top of the tire.
No, not a rim tape issue - these are tubeless ready wheels.
Not a "delicate tire" issue. I've been riding un-armored Veloflex Masters for a little while and they've survived just fine so far (though I'm rather expecting them to get more frequent punctures).
Knock on wood, but I've been living on the edge riding tubulars all over the place, ten times as many miles with no flats yet (watch me get a flat today now).
Wider tires just attract debris, exponentially more.
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Old 09-11-18, 04:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
No need for pressure that high...I run my 28s at 70-75 psi...i'm 193 lbs.
Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
ĎItís true. Due to LBS inventory, Iím running a 25 in the front and a 28 rearó 85psi and 80psi respectively. Trying to stay around 200lbs, generally a bit over.
Just for the sake of discussion, I based the 100psi inflation numbers on results from this Tire Pressure Calculator
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