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Avoiding flats with a road bike...

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

Avoiding flats with a road bike...

Old 08-01-05, 03:11 PM
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Avoiding flats with a road bike...

I'm new to road cycling/bikes and am just getting back into cycling after a 5 year absence. I just bought a new '04 Klein Aura V and love it. Problem is, I keep getting flats. I try to avoid obvious hazards but there's a lot of small rocks etc. on the country road I ride.

Besides the obvious stay on the road and away from hazards I'm looking for suggestions on how I can avoid frequent flats, especially since I'm planing on commuting to work with my road bike once I sell my car.

Currently the bike has it's stock tires. Within a weak I've lost two tubes and had 3 flats.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:16 PM
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You probably have something in there thats causing the flats either a foreign object, a burr on the rim or maybe your rim tape just isn't seated right. After you check that maybe some kevlar belted tires like the vittoria rubinos. I have them on my commuter and have yet to get a flat.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:20 PM
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Are you getting any pinch flats? Pinch flats are identifiable by two holes and are usually caused by underinflation. Make sure that you give your tires adequate inflation.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:21 PM
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How much do you weigh?
How much are you inflating your tires?
Are you getting puncture flats or pinch flats?

My suspicion is that your tires don't have enough air in them and are pinching as you go over bumps. I weigh 170lbs and put about 110-120 psi in my tires on my roadbike. I got my first flat in 2000 miles yesterday. The valve stem somehow spontaneously started leaking.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sprocket Man
Are you getting any pinch flats? Pinch flats are identifiable by two holes and are usually caused by underinflation. Make sure that you give your tires adequate inflation.
Not that I've noticed. I check my inflation before each ride to make sure I have adequate inflation.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive
How much do you weigh?
How much are you inflating your tires?
Are you getting puncture flats or pinch flats?

My suspicion is that your tires don't have enough air in them and are pinching as you go over bumps. I weigh 170lbs and put about 110-120 psi in my tires on my roadbike. I got my first flat in 2000 miles yesterday. The valve stem somehow spontaneously started leaking.
I'm getting puncture flats. I weigh 180 and fill my tires to the max 100 psi.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:46 PM
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Is the tube puncturing in the same place every time? There could be something in the tire or rim causing it.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by djgonzo007
I'm getting puncture flats. I weigh 180 and fill my tires to the max 100 psi.
1. Do you find the cause of the flat before replacing the tube? If there is a piece of glass stuck in your tire, it will flat the new tube pretty quickly.
2. If that is not your problem, you should try puncture-resistant tires. Specialized Armadillo are very flat resistant, but also somewhat heavy and sluggish. Continental Gatorskin are a little lighter weight (especially the folding type) and more responsive, but not as puncture resistant.
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Old 08-01-05, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by recursive
Is the tube puncturing in the same place every time? There could be something in the tire or rim causing it.
Different places, in regards to the punctures. Also, this was only my second ride on these tubes.

Are you riding on your stock tires?

My first flats were due to being ridden off the road by a semi. I had to replace both tubes due to the multiple punctures.

Today it seemed like it was a small rock, not a thorn that caused the puncture on the rear tire. I stayed on the road so I was kinda puzzled when the tire went flat. I fixed the flat or so I thought until a few miles down the road when the tire went flat again. I'm going to go through the tire really thurough when I get home. I'm just wondering if I need thicker tires or something.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by johnny99
1. Do you find the cause of the flat before replacing the tube? If there is a piece of glass stuck in your tire, it will flat the new tube pretty quickly.
2. If that is not your problem, you should try puncture-resistant tires. Specialized Armadillo are very flat resistant, but also somewhat heavy and sluggish. Continental Gatorskin are a little lighter weight (especially the folding type) and more responsive, but not as puncture resistant.
I do go through the tire pretty carefully to make sure there isn't any left over debirs that would cause another flat.

I'm going to really go through my tires when I get home today. If I get another flat anytime soon and I start commuting I'm definately gonna switch to puncture resistant tires.

With the puncture resistant tires how noticeable is the difference? Would a beginer like me really notice? Also how good are stock tires? My Klein has Bontrager Select tires.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:22 PM
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If you have the cheap plastic rim strip...get rid of that. The go buy yourself some Specialized Armadillos. Ride through glass,burrs,nails and this tire will laugh at it. Good Luck.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:22 PM
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I run Michelin Carbons and they're pretty good for flat prevention. I've gotten one due to a rather large staple, but I haven't had any problems with glass or rocks causing flats for me. Also they don't ride like garden hoses like the Specialized All Conditions Armadillo tires do. You might want to give them a try. I got my set online for $27/ea.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by samp02
If you have the cheap plastic rim strip...get rid of that.
what's that?
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Old 08-01-05, 04:37 PM
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it's the strip that covers the inside of your rim... covers up the spoke holes. The good ones are made from cloth. The cheap ones are rubber or plastic.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by cryogenic
it's the strip that covers the inside of your rim... covers up the spoke holes. The good ones are made from cloth. The cheap ones are rubber or plastic.
The inside of my rim looks like woven cloth I take it that's what your talking about?
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Old 08-01-05, 04:44 PM
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yep... so your rim strip is a decent one at least... make sure it's straight and covers all the spoke holes. Occasionally they're put on a bit crooked and will leave some bare metal exposed, which may cause problems. Outside of that, run your fingers around the inside of the tire and make sure there are no burrs or debris stuck in the tire. If you're still getting flats, try different tires.
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Old 08-01-05, 04:48 PM
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The Select line is the lowest end of Bontrager equipment. Also, is the 100psi the rating on the side of the tire or the tube? What type of gauge are you using to test your pressure? I find that a floor pump with an inline gauge works the best.
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Old 08-01-05, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by dekalbSTEEL
The Select line is the lowest end of Bontrager equipment. Also, is the 100psi the rating on the side of the tire or the tube? What type of gauge are you using to test your pressure? I find that a floor pump with an inline gauge works the best.
100 psi is from the side of the tire. Is this what I should inflate the tire to?

My current floor pump doesn't have a gauge and the gauge I use for my car doesn't fit my bike (the adapter doesn't fit the gauge). I've been testing the pressure by "thumb pressure" for the last week since my LBS ran out of gauges. I think I need a better floor pump anyways and saw what seems to be a heavy duty floor pump at sport chalet which I'm picking up on the way home from work, it's like $40 and there's a smaller version for about $30.
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Old 08-01-05, 05:18 PM
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Make sure it has presta and schrader connectors. I use this one:
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=4360

I keep it in the car with me at all times and I inflate before every ride. It only takes 5 or 6 pumps to get to 120psi, which is what I run my Specialized Pro tires at. Almost 1000 miles since I picked up the bike last August and haven't flatted yet.(Knock on wood!
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Old 08-01-05, 05:21 PM
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ride on the road simple enough. I know a guy who rides his road bike on this gravel trail near my place. Just an accident waiting to happen.
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Old 08-01-05, 05:24 PM
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Well if you are going to buy a pump buy a Silca Pista. Just amazing how easy it is to pump to high pressures. Run your rear for sure at the highest rated pressure, 100 psi isn't all that high for a road tire but if that is all it will take then give it 100 psi...maybe go 105. I run Rubino Pro Slicks which will take 125 psi, I run the rear at around 130 and haven't had a flat yet in 1400 miles. You can run the front a bit lower.

Tires most known for being flat proof (if there is such a thing) are the Specialized Armadillos or the Conti Ultra Gator Skin. I have used both and I liked the Conti better from a ride feel perspective, never had a flat on either but like I said I haven't had a flat on my Rubino Pro Slicks either so.....
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Old 08-01-05, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by BLUEJAYDATA
ride on the road simple enough. I know a guy who rides his road bike on this gravel trail near my place. Just an accident waiting to happen.
Yeah, I make a point to stay on the road unless I get into a shoving match with a semi or other auto.
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Old 08-01-05, 07:12 PM
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I get pinch flat when I keep the pressure at 100psi, and I weigh 140lbs.

I keep the pressure at least 120psi now. It's been flat free so far.
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Old 08-01-05, 07:18 PM
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don't ride and it won't go flat
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Old 08-01-05, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by djgonzo007
Yeah, I make a point to stay on the road unless I get into a shoving match with a semi or other auto.
hahahaha
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