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October 2020 Goat Head Thread

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

October 2020 Goat Head Thread

Old 10-10-20, 05:10 PM
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Lemond1985
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October 2020 Goat Head Thread

It's October again, historically THE worst month for me, for goat head flats. Got 3 flats in 40 miles, last time I was out. I find this to be unacceptable, since few things in cycling (other than crashing or getting hit) are worse that fixing a flat (or 3) by the side of the road, as busy traffic buzzes past.

Are there any suggestions from other people in goat head country, other than the usual "Get Gatorskins!"? I know Panaracer has been working on some anti-flat compounds, and maybe Continental finally came out with something that works. GP 4000's and 5000's are probably the worst goat head magnets I know of. That soft sticky compound that corners so well, really attracts a lot of thorns. I will only ride them on certain roads this time of year, roads that have few to zero thorns.

What I have been using with OK success are Gravel King file treads, in 32 mm, pumped up really hard. They seem to give acceptable performance for me, and the sidewalls are thicker and much more resistant to goat heads, and don't attract anywhere near as many as the Contis do.
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Old 10-10-20, 05:26 PM
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Get Gatorskins!



Or Mr Tuffy liners. Or tubeless with good sealant.
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Old 10-10-20, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
Are there any suggestions from other people in goat head country, other than the usual "Get Gatorskins!"?
I'm not in goathead territory, but if you're trying to protect against skinny sharp stabby things while maintaining decent rolling performance, the obvious thing to try is tubeless.
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Old 10-10-20, 05:44 PM
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I thought the verdict was, that tubeless was not quite ready for prime time, when is comes to narrow high pressure road tires. Is that still the case, or are Grand Tour riders using them yet?
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Old 10-10-20, 05:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I thought the verdict was, that tubeless was not quite ready for prime time, when is comes to narrow high pressure road tires. Is that still the case, or are Grand Tour riders using them yet?
It’s controversial but if 28 or wider and goatheads it’s worthy of consideration
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Old 10-10-20, 05:58 PM
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I bet tubulars with sealant would work fine at high pressures like 110-150 psi or whatever they run them at. Maybe they will become the new standard, since the technology in this sport is so damned cyclical. And tubeless, is so damned messy. Or so I hear.

The argument against tubulars has always been, "I'm not paying $70 for a tire!". Well, you are now, with the newer high end clinchers. Maybe since both types of tire now are about the same price, maybe that might be the way to go. A tough, self-sealing tubular.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 10-10-20 at 06:25 PM.
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Old 10-10-20, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I thought the verdict was, that tubeless was not quite ready for prime time, when is comes to narrow high pressure road tires. Is that still the case, or are Grand Tour riders using them yet?
Wider, lower-pressure tires.

I confess I ride skinny little anorexic 38mm tires (with tubes; I've never seen a goathead in person).
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Old 10-10-20, 06:29 PM
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Also, try these:

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Old 10-10-20, 06:35 PM
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wgscott - This may be a dumb question, but what are those?

Also, to answer the original question, I deal with a lot of goatheads, and tubeless is amazing for them. Granted the narrowest tire I ride is a 32, but the comfort and self sealing with goatheads and other small punctures is worth the wider tire!
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Old 10-10-20, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I thought the verdict was, that tubeless was not quite ready for prime time, when is comes to narrow high pressure road tires. Is that still the case, or are Grand Tour riders using them yet?
The issue is the sealant being used. Many early road tubeless adopters grabbed what was being used in the MTB scene - Stan's. The problem is that Stan's sucks at higher pressures and, IMO, they're the main reason that road tubeless started off on the wrong foot.

With Orange Seal, I've run 25mm tires at 100psi and had no problems sealing.
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Old 10-10-20, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheeldesign View Post
wgscott - This may be a dumb question, but what are those?
Those were set up to brush debris off of the tires as you roll along.
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Old 10-10-20, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Those were set up to brush debris off of the tires as you roll along.
Thank you - learn something every day!
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Old 10-10-20, 07:10 PM
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Originally Posted by twowheeldesign View Post
wgscott - This may be a dumb question, but what are those?!
They are called "tire wipers" and were quite popular 30 years ago or so. Now they are hard to find. They sell them on the Rene Herse website. I might get them for my touring bike, but I don't have a way to attach them on my main ride.

You can also manually wipe your tires with your bike glove as you are riding along, but this tends to lead to complications.
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Old 10-10-20, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I thought the verdict was, that tubeless was not quite ready for prime time, when is comes to narrow high pressure road tires. Is that still the case, or are Grand Tour riders using them yet?
maybe 10 years ago. Sealant has improved greatly.

Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The issue is the sealant being used. Many early road tubeless adopters grabbed what was being used in the MTB scene - Stan's. The problem is that Stan's sucks at higher pressures and, IMO, they're the main reason that road tubeless started off on the wrong foot.

With Orange Seal, I've run 25mm tires at 100psi and had no problems sealing.
Orange Seal works well, but it's a little expensive. I use TruckerCo Cream II and couldn't be happier. $20 per liter
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Old 10-10-20, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
Orange Seal works well, but it's a little expensive. I use TruckerCo Cream II and couldn't be happier. $20 per liter
I should give it a whirl some time, but I usually find myself in need ASAP and the 16oz bottles of OS are usually available locally for $20 (the small bottles are dumb expensive).
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Old 10-10-20, 08:30 PM
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The 2020 line of goatheads I've heard are even less laterally compliant but still vertically stiff.
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Old 10-11-20, 12:46 AM
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Yes, they are 22% lighter and 14% sharper this year. Those skinny undernourished ones are always the sharpest.

I use TruckerCo Cream II and couldn't be happier. $20 per liter
I would never want to watch a movie with that title.
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Old 10-11-20, 01:34 AM
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I know this has probably been asked a million times before, but can you just use a small amount of sealant in a regular tube? Seems like that might at very least give you more time before the tire went completely flat.
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Old 10-11-20, 03:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I know this has probably been asked a million times before, but can you just use a small amount of sealant in a regular tube? Seems like that might at very least give you more time before the tire went completely flat.
You can, one of my club mates does this. I don’t know how effective it is, but he swears by it.
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Old 10-11-20, 06:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I know this has probably been asked a million times before, but can you just use a small amount of sealant in a regular tube? Seems like that might at very least give you more time before the tire went completely flat.
The only drawback that I can think of is that it would shorten the lifespan of the tube because you can't easily clean out the accumulated/dried sealant.
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Old 10-11-20, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The only drawback that I can think of is that it would shorten the lifespan of the tube because you can't easily clean out the accumulated/dried sealant.
nah, fill the whole thing up with dried sealant. no more pesky flats.
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Old 10-11-20, 11:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
The 2020 line of goatheads I've heard are even less laterally compliant but still vertically stiff.
The new goatheads are crap. Mother Nature just wants us to upgrade, even though the old goatherds were perfectly good. Grant Heine has a series of articles about this.
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Old 10-12-20, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
I know this has probably been asked a million times before, but can you just use a small amount of sealant in a regular tube? Seems like that might at very least give you more time before the tire went completely flat.
I make are the tubes I buy have removable cores, and then I add 2 oz of Orange seal to each tube. this is exactly the kind of puncture that sealants are good at sealing.
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Old 10-12-20, 06:12 AM
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Thank you, I will try this. I see you are in Los Banos, so you know all about goatheads, I'm fairly certain. They seem to get worse every year, and spread to new places, it's depressing sometimes I have to admit.

My last crash was caused by a goathead, giving me a front flat I didn't notice, and then having my front tire roll off in a fast turn.

Last edited by Lemond1985; 10-12-20 at 06:16 AM.
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Old 10-12-20, 11:45 AM
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I had a episode a coupe of months ago "Goat head Season" where I had maybe 10 in my front tire. I assume I got them when I pulled over to fix the rear flat, and went off the road to a fence to hang my bike from. It took less than a mile to get a front flat after that. Then I gave up and called the wife for a pick up.
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