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Flats then more flats

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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

Flats then more flats

Old 09-04-05, 04:36 PM
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Flats then more flats

I'm new to road biking, but enjoying it quite a bit except for the #&#& tires. Where I am we have a lot of thorns called 'goat heads' which seem to be my downfall. I'm not only replacing a tube every 100 miles, but I'm actually tearing up the tires - or so it seems. I just pulled a huge goat head out of my rear tire which left a hole of about 1/16" (1.5 mm). Although the tube had sealant, it didn't seal. I was home so I swapped out the tube instead of patching.

Where the goat head was, the tire now has a hole in it which I can see the sun shining through if I hold the tire up to the sky. This isn't the only hole too - in fact the tires are getting to look darn ragged from all the stuff I've pulled out of them (including a piece of metal which looked like a paper clip). Mostly the problem are these thorns.

Now is this something you just live with? I only have maybe 400 miles on these tires and I'm thinking they are marginal due to being so beaten up. I anticipated this wear out so bought some $9 specials, but they are 100 psi Hutchinsons so they aren't complete junk - or so I hope. I'm willing to buy new and expensive tires if that will address the issue and deflect some of these thorns instead of letting them through.

My friend who is very experienced said the tire liners make things worse because they hold the thorns. He says that the liners are good for glass (I've only had one glass blowout). His solution is to not ride road bikes with thinner tires. His daily ride is a road bike made into a hybrid with 1.5" tires, but that's due to him wanting to be comfortable and the thorn issue only got solved on the way.

So I'm running decent sealed tubes now. Is there hope in different tires? TIA
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Old 09-04-05, 05:57 PM
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Have you tried using Armadillos, or other kevlar-banded puncture-resistant tires?

- Warren
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Old 09-04-05, 06:01 PM
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i was getting a lot of flats with the 28mm michelin dynamic tires my fcr came with... went to 23mm armadillos and all is well so far.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:21 PM
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Another vote for Specialized Armadillos.
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Old 09-04-05, 06:32 PM
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Just purchase a pair of Bontrager Racelite's Hardcase, you won't have anymore flats period unless you ride over bolts and nails without spending money on other brands. Proven and tested and better then Michelin carbons to resist flats, 2000+ miles and zero flats so far and no flats

https://www.bontrager.com/Road/Wheelworks/Tires/5731.php

Last edited by condor63; 09-04-05 at 06:48 PM.
 
Old 09-04-05, 06:43 PM
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Ive heard good things about the Specialized Armadillos. I dont know about other brands, but the Armadillos have kevlar from bead to bead, meaning you wont get stuff stuck in the sodewall. There my next tire of choice!
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Old 09-05-05, 12:18 AM
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Continental Ultra Gatorskin

Before switching, I was going through more tubes than you.
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Old 09-05-05, 04:01 AM
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Specialized armadillos. They laugh at goatheads,glass,barbed wire,machine gun fire, Good Luck
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Old 09-05-05, 10:51 AM
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To those who have recommended armadillos, how do they feel? I'd hate to lose the good feel of my bike just to gain flat reistance.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:52 AM
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Originally Posted by condor63
Just purchase a pair of Bontrager Racelite's Hardcase, you won't have anymore flats period unless you ride over bolts and nails without spending money on other brands. Proven and tested and better then Michelin carbons to resist flats, 2000+ miles and zero flats so far and no flats

https://www.bontrager.com/Road/Wheelworks/Tires/5731.php
Do they feel ok for training? I've heard that some tires feel sluggish. My LBS recommended against thorn proof tubes as the mech said I'd be drastically unhappy with how my bike performed with them in the tires.
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Old 09-05-05, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Booger
Continental Ultra Gatorskin

Before switching, I was going through more tubes than you.
YIKES! I'm happy to have heard from others to know I'm not alone here. That makes me feel a lot better about things. As a newbie, I assume anything which goes wrong is a misstep on my part. Clearly the tires are the key here and I'll start trying those recommended to get more riding and less changing going on.
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Old 09-05-05, 11:50 AM
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I had the same problem with my Michelin Dynamic...I figured that at the frequency I was having flats, I'd have to spend more on tubes than for a new pair of Michelin Carbons for the rest of the season! So I bought them and so far only got 1 flat 2 days ago because of a nail. Being able to trust my tires when comes glass or anything else makes the ride soooo much more enjoyable!

BTW, look on ebay to save a lot of money. My LBS had the michelin carbons at 75$CAN +taxes but I got a PAIR+3tubes for 90$CAN!!!
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Old 09-05-05, 02:27 PM
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My experience with tires is somewhat limited, but in comparison to Michelin carbon's there close too equivalent in performance, the Bontrager Hardcase 700x23c are razor sharp in handling. In the Mojave desert I used to get many flats,not anymore and I will use these tires as long as they market them.

Last edited by condor63; 09-05-05 at 03:17 PM.
 
Old 09-05-05, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Booger
Continental Ultra Gatorskin

Before switching, I was going through more tubes than you.
I just decided to try a set of these, myself. After about 200 miles, I got a nasty sidewall bulge in one. That was a short-lived $33, but hopefully, a fluke. I ordered another one....

Good riding,
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Old 09-05-05, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by slide
Do they feel ok for training? I've heard that some tires feel sluggish. My LBS recommended against thorn proof tubes as the mech said I'd be drastically unhappy with how my bike performed with them in the tires.
Almost all tires that are flat resistant are quite a bit heavier than "race day" tires. Perhaps this was what your LBS was referring to when they told you that you'd feel the difference. I suppose it depends on your priorities. Because I don't race, I use a heavier tire but generally suffer less flats. I also stopped using folding tires. The weight difference from a wire beaded tire just isn't that important anymore. I've used Armadillos before with success but when my LBS couldn't get them I tried some SERFAS Seca's & rode 1 whole season with NO flats at all. This year I'm on my second set of Seca's so we'll see how it goes. Today, however was one that I'd never before experienced. I flatted about 9 miles into the ride. Changed the tube & continued. Flatted again somewhere around 20 miles. That's when my pump decided to quit on me. "Nursed" the tire for a few miles, stopping & trying to add air. Then the pump stopped altoghether. Walked home the last 4.5/5 miles. Needless to say it wasn't what I was expecting this morning when I left but hey, that's cycling. I will add both flats were on the rear & the tire was the original front tire from the first set of Seca's. I will put the other new tire from the second set on the rear today.
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Old 09-05-05, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by slide
To those who have recommended armadillos, how do they feel? I'd hate to lose the good feel of my bike just to gain flat reistance.
Then if you want "good feel" quit complaining about flats!
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Old 09-05-05, 04:50 PM
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Originally Posted by condor63
My experience with tires is somewhat limited, but in comparison to Michelin carbon's there close too equivalent in performance, the Bontrager Hardcase 700x23c are razor sharp in handling. In the Mojave desert I used to get many flats,not anymore and I will use these tires as long as they market them.
The reveiws of the Bontrager say it's a very harsh ride. My bike is rather harsh now so I'm sort of leery. I think the way to handle this is to start working my way though the list of candidates suggested here and then see which one I prefer and while ones work for these nasty thorns. My buddy who has great experience says that there is nothing to be done for it. Nothing will stop these thorns we have here. He worked for years at an LBS so I'm respecting his opinion, but he doesn't have specific info on some of these tires as they are after his time.
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Old 09-05-05, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by ChainRing
Then if you want "good feel" quit complaining about flats!
Well, gee, I only asked. I'm new to this sport. Why do so many here have a hostility toward beginner questions?
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Old 09-05-05, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Lonestar1
Almost all tires that are flat resistant are quite a bit heavier than "race day" tires. Perhaps this was what your LBS was referring to when they told you that you'd feel the difference. I suppose it depends on your priorities. Because I don't race, I use a heavier tire but generally suffer less flats. I also stopped using folding tires. The weight difference from a wire beaded tire just isn't that important anymore. I've used Armadillos before with success but when my LBS couldn't get them I tried some SERFAS Seca's & rode 1 whole season with NO flats at all. This year I'm on my second set of Seca's so we'll see how it goes. Today, however was one that I'd never before experienced. I flatted about 9 miles into the ride. Changed the tube & continued. Flatted again somewhere around 20 miles. That's when my pump decided to quit on me. "Nursed" the tire for a few miles, stopping & trying to add air. Then the pump stopped altoghether. Walked home the last 4.5/5 miles. Needless to say it wasn't what I was expecting this morning when I left but hey, that's cycling. I will add both flats were on the rear & the tire was the original front tire from the first set of Seca's. I will put the other new tire from the second set on the rear today.
Yes, clearly the LBS was telling me that I would negate much of the good effect I had in my lighter bike with lighter wheels if I went for the heavier setup of thornproof tubes / tires. I was hoping there is a middle ground somewhere which is why I asked here in the road forum.

Part of the problem is locale. While glass and nails are universal, these local thorns seem to have an ability well beyond that of mortal thorns to pierce tires. I may just have to accept a heavier tire / feel because the security of knowing i can finish a ride is important too.

The other day I was bike commuting to an important 0800 meeting at work. I was worried about flatting and missing the meeting, but I got there ok. When I got back from the meeting, I noted my bike had gone flat while resting in my office. So I must have flatted near the office thus closely skating what would have been serious consequences for having missed that meeting.

I do need to address this or give up commuting.
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Old 09-05-05, 05:19 PM
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Ok, I forgot to mention I ride a Trek Y foil which is very forgiving on harsh roads.Good Luck BTW
: Yes the seat post has been cut but pic has not been updated hahaha
 
Old 09-05-05, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by slide
Well, gee, I only asked. I'm new to this sport. Why do so many here have a hostility toward beginner questions?
I apologize if I came across that way. Next round is on me!

Im falirly new and havent ridden a bunch of different tires myself. I have been in numerous hobbies (motorcycling being one) where choice of tires can be tricky (read expirmental) and theres always compromises to be made. You can have a nice light performance tire on your bike, and sure itll ride supa nice, but you have to give up something, tire life, over all durability and possibly flat resistance. If you got something thats more flat resistant, youll get less flats (duh! ), possbily longer tire life, but higher weight. Its all about tradeoff's ya know! Reading what you wrote, and describing the type of tire damage, and flat frequency you get from these monster thorns, to me, it only makes sence to get something highly puncture resistant. Run your next set for a while, see how they do (espically with those thorns). If ya dont like them, sell them and try something different.

Good Luck, tell us how ya make out!
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Old 09-06-05, 05:23 PM
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Originally Posted by ChainRing
I apologize if I came across that way. Next round is on me!

Im falirly new and havent ridden a bunch of different tires myself. I have been in numerous hobbies (motorcycling being one) where choice of tires can be tricky (read expirmental) and theres always compromises to be made. You can have a nice light performance tire on your bike, and sure itll ride supa nice, but you have to give up something, tire life, over all durability and possibly flat resistance. If you got something thats more flat resistant, youll get less flats (duh! ), possbily longer tire life, but higher weight. Its all about tradeoff's ya know! Reading what you wrote, and describing the type of tire damage, and flat frequency you get from these monster thorns, to me, it only makes sence to get something highly puncture resistant. Run your next set for a while, see how they do (espically with those thorns). If ya dont like them, sell them and try something different.

Good Luck, tell us how ya make out!
I'm a lifetime motorcyclist and have even written professionally about them. I find almost no information I have on them transfer to bicycles.

Look I hope I didn't offend in turn with that hostility crack. I understood that puncture resistant tires must be different somehow from non-resitant, but I didn't know how. I mean, the may have ridden softer but heavier or harder or they don't have the traction or may other variables which I don't know about.

In fact, the entire theory of bicycle tires escapes me. Why I can buy apparently decent tires for $9 while I see others buying tires for $40. Now there is obviously a difference, but I dont' know what it is and I may not be able to feel the difference.

Then again maybe I can. I got sort of ruined in bicycling by having been lent a superb, but older bike which got me interested in road riding. When it came time for me to buy my own bike, I found the 'starter' bikes felt like junk. I ended up with a bike inappropriate to a starting rider, but one which I enjoy quite a bit.

Were I to ask for anything, I'd appreciate a place where we new types can go to ask our questions and exhange info w/o bugging you expert riders. Owell.
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Old 09-07-05, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by condor63
Ok, I forgot to mention I ride a Trek Y foil which is very forgiving on harsh roads.Good Luck BTW
: Yes the seat post has been cut but pic has not been updated hahaha
I ride a very stiff all Al bike w/Al seatpost. Clearly your bike's design must reduce the high freq 'rattle' I get on rough surfaces. I was wondering if a plastic seatpost would likewise absorb some of this vibration. Do you know? It seems to me, that the nature of the resin / fiber combination would fail to transmit the signal the same as my current Al seatpost.
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Old 09-07-05, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by slide
I'm a lifetime motorcyclist and have even written professionally about them. I find almost no information I have on them transfer to bicycles.
All I was doing is making the point about tradeoff's. Its mainly a weight thing. TPI (thread per inch) will also make the bike ride different. Higher TPI means itll ride "nicer", Like I said earlier I havent ridden a bunch of tires and Im recreational too, so I doubt I could tell the difference either.


Originally Posted by slide
Were I to ask for anything, I'd appreciate a place where we new types can go to ask our questions and exhange info w/o bugging you expert riders. Owell.
And speaking of asking "newbe" questions I got some smartass replies in the SS/FG forum about a idea I had. I agree, this place can be a bit uptight. I offered up my apologies, thats a lot more than some ppl will do around here.

FG/SS Idea??


Originally Posted by slide
I ended up with a bike inappropriate to a starting rider, but one which I enjoy quite a bit.
In the end.......thats all that matters!

Hers a link to Sheldon Brown's website. This paticular link is to his tire section, and theres all sorts of good information about all kinds of bicycles if you poke around some.

Sheldon Brown Tire Section

I also have a crazy stiff aluminum frame. I installed a carbon post, but I dont think it helps much beacuse the way the frame is made it dosent stick out as far as some. Seats that have Mag rails or Ti rails may help in the dampening some, thats speculation on my part though.
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