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I'm Tired of Getting Flat Tires :(

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

I'm Tired of Getting Flat Tires :(

Old 03-15-21, 04:33 PM
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I can only share my experience. So, take it as that. Two and a half years on Mavic tubeless and zero flats or any kind of puncture. Prior to that on a variety of tires I'd average about 3-4 flats per year.
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Old 03-15-21, 06:06 PM
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Pinch flats
I've had a few pinch flats from hitting thumb sized square edged rocks on an otherwise very smooth road. Each time, on a downhill. Pinching the tube is very unlikely at slow to moderate speeds. The tires have that fraction of a second to bounce off the rock. At 25+ mph, it just mashes the tire against the edge of the rim, cutting the tube folded inside.

Ride in the tire track
I try to ride where the car's right tire track is located on the lane. Any debris gets kicked out to the edge of the road. So I avoid riding near the white line or the shoulder.

Locate the hole before changing to a new tube!
Otherwise you might be changing another flat within minutes.
Good mechanics will mount the tire with the label at the valve stem. Then the hole found in the tube can be matched up with the approximate location on the tire, and that area carefully examined.
A single slit or a pair of slits (a "snakebite") on the inside, rim side of the tube is a classic pinch flat from hitting something hard. So no need to look for a sliver in the tire. (But check the rim tape in that area for any gaps near the spoke hole.)
Tiny holes from truck tire wires or glass slivers are very hard to find. Inflating the tube and holding it up to my cheek, I can often feel the slight air flow. Big holes can deflate the tube before the hole is found. Having a helper to pump or to feel the airflow is good.
I like to use a silver Sharpie to put an arrow on my tubes in the direction of travel. Then when I take out the flat tube and inflate to find the hole, I don't need to keep track of the tube's mounted direction.

It often seems like cuts come in batches! Why is that. Then a year or more with no cuts or punctures at all.

Last edited by rm -rf; 03-15-21 at 06:14 PM.
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Old 03-16-21, 03:38 AM
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Buy Schwalbe tires.
I cant say enough good things about them.
Ive ridden across Canada, down the Pacific Coast highway in the US and rode parts of Mexico....never had a flat. (Marathons)
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Old 03-16-21, 04:32 PM
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To me, it's just a part of urban riding. In Lansing it seems they should give the general population sippy cups. Broken glass everywhere in this town. I use continental gator skin tires. I agree. No fun pushing a bike home.
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Old 03-16-21, 05:00 PM
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It pays to be very conscious about road conditions. Try to avoid shoulders and gravel with road tires. That may be obvious, sorry.

I ride on 23mm GP 4000s and weigh 205 at 5 10. No flats in the last 2 years and 2000 plus miles. I inflate to an indicated 80-85 psi.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
I'm just here to vent.

... It was a pain to install and a pain to take off after the inevitable flat #5 today.

Anyone have worse luck?

/End Vent
I've just gone through my first 'three-cornered-jack season in Broken Hill. Three Cornered Jacks seem to have evolved to ruin cyclists lives. I took to packing pliers in my puncture repair kit to pull them all out of my tyres. I would regularly get multiple punctures each ride. I lost count but became pretty quick at patching the tube. I tried lots of tricks like using an old tube to reinforce or those silicone strips, even old tyres. Tubeless with gunk was too messy and failed with the constant stabbings.

I'm using Tannus tyre protectors at the moment which have made my tyres bullet proof but the bounce has gone which takes away some of the fun. On another bike I'm using strips of linatex which I have decided is definitely the best. 90% puncture proof but still bouncy. Also much cheaper than Tannus.
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Old 03-16-21, 09:35 PM
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On my road bike I'm on my second set of 28mm GP5000TLs tubeless at an extremely comfortable ~75psi. Maybe 7k miles total between the two (second set still going strong). No flats on either set, the first set simply wore out.

Four years ago, I had two ride-ending, call-of-shame sidewall rips with GP4000 clinchers at a bone-rattling ~110psi within a couple of months. This experience finally convinced me to give up on clinchers forever.

Make of this what you will, just my experience.

Last edited by Hiro11; 03-16-21 at 09:38 PM.
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Old 03-17-21, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Symox View Post
Also, check to make sure the inside of your rim isn't damaged and that your rim tape hasn't shifted. You will know if you have these issues if the flats occur on the non-road side of the tubes.
I've had a tube flat from a bit of a rough edge on the inside of a tire too.
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Old 03-17-21, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
Flat #1 was on a paved MUP at an intersection of the MUP and a lightly traveled subdivision road. Flat #2 I ran over a screw on a heavily traveled road near home. The roads are basically never swept so no real surprise. Flat #3 I went over a curb from a dead stop. Probably a pinch flat. Flat #4 I hit a small rock on a MUP that's packed dirt so is probably more appropriate on gravel tires though I've ridden up and down it at least a dozen times before with no incidence. Gashed tire and needed replacing. Flat #5 I hit the only small rock on a stretch of otherwise new and perfect asphalt. The kind you dream about, just minus the rock. The tube had two small holes that look like someone had driven a staple through it.
Some of these flats would happen with any tire.

I get, maybe, one flat a year (in GP 4000s).

Your flat problems aren't all due to the tire.

Originally Posted by guachi View Post
The tube had two small holes that look like someone had driven a staple through it.
This could be a "snake bite", which is a pinch flat.
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Old 03-17-21, 11:04 AM
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This is actually really simple and has a simple solution. Problem: too much indoor riding, not enough outdoor riding. Solution: ride more outdoors. It takes time going down the road (or path) before one misses every rock just on reflex and of course never hits a curb. Just don't do those things. I ride Conti 5000 and 4000IIs and almost never flat. OTOH, I steer to miss a heckuva lot of stuff. There's certainly no tire fix for hitting curbs. Using enough pressure to prevent a pinch flat there will make a very uncomfortable ride. You can get gravel tires which are more resistant to sidewall cuts, but the last flat I had was from a radial wire. They go through everything except maybe knobbies.

The other issue to think about is probability. We always hear from folks who had a rash of flats, and also from folks who wore their tires down to the cord with no flats. It's random to some extent. I know a rider who had 8 flats, all from separate causes, on one long climb. It was in the dark, but still . . .He had 4 tubes but still had to patch. Imagine patching in the dark. I've had 5 flats in one ride, all from separate causes - but only once. A friend running tubeless, and a very experienced rider, ran over a screw which went through the tire and also through the rim. Sprayed sealant all over him and his bike. That was not good.

"Let everything happen to you, beauty and terror." - Rilke.
Results matter
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Old 03-18-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf View Post
Ride in the tire track
I try to ride where the car's right tire track is located on the lane. Any debris gets kicked out to the edge of the road. So I avoid riding near the white line or the shoulder.
Excellent point. I never ride on the shoulder, ever, just too much debris, and typically do not ride near the white line. I stay about 1-2ft off of the white line, more because the right edge of the roads here are always rough and have holes, so I'm mostly trying to avoid that, but also prob keeps me away from the debris. I use a Varia radar, so I'm able to ride where it's smooth/clear and then move over slightly when cars are passing (unless it's too bad, then I'll hold my line and there is still plenty of room for cars to pass, I've found that the closer I am to the white line, the more a car will try to squeeze past me in the lane instead of passing at a safe distance).
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