Author Topic: preventing bike flats?  (Read 5603 times)

mjs111

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preventing bike flats?
« on: September 04, 2013, 10:18:54 PM »
Just got a flat tire yesterday.  Anyone have experience with spin skins or other kevlar liners for bike tires?  I always carry a spare tube but changing a tire on a commute home is something I'd pay some extra money to avoid if a tire liner is more than a gimmick.

Thanks!

Mike


davisgang90

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2013, 04:35:33 AM »
3 flats in a few weeks.  Got Continental Gatorskins and no flats for 2 months.  They rock!

GuitarStv

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2013, 06:52:02 AM »
I prefer tires with built in Kevlar to tire liners myself.  With the tire liner it's a little more hassle to put the tire back on over the tube.  Once you get the liners properly seated they seem to work about as well as the puncture proof tires though.

Keeping your tires pumped up before every ride will also significantly reduce your number of flats (no pinch flats).

You might also want to try out goop filled inner tubes.  They've got some liquid stuff in them that will seal over a small puncture in the tube and let you pump the tire back up after something makes a hole.

Russ

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2013, 07:26:35 AM »
do:
keep your tires clean and pumped up (rule #1, will solve most problems)
use tubes from a bike shop, not shitty ones from Wal-Mart
nice belted tire (conti gatorskin, specialized armadillo, or similar)
try and ride on clean roads when possible
latex sealant such as Stan's or Caffe (overkill IMO, I don't use it, but you will never get a flat with this stuff)

don't:
tire liners, at least for me not worth the hassle of keeping one more thing lined up when you install a tube
those nasty "slime" tubes, don't work too well and are hella messy
abuse the valve stem

Matt K

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2013, 08:41:52 AM »
+1 to what Russ said. Keep your inflation up, use quality tubes, pay attention to what you ride over, no more flats.

I've got a set of Conti Gator's on my touring bike, they work well.
But for those on a budget, Michelin City (http://www.michelinbicycletire.com/michelinbicycle/index.cfm?event=city.view) tires are great. I ran a pair of 700x28  on my old commuter. Thick rubber, solid belting, good wet grip, never got a flat, and a giant reflector built into the side wall (it works wonders at night). And at $20/tire they cost me half what the contis cost.

They are heavy, so not ideal for doing group rides with folks on carbon bikes, but for around the city on bike with panniers, they're awesome.

Russ

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2013, 08:50:09 AM »
reflective tires are AWESOME. I have a schwalbe marathon w/ reflective sidewall on my commuter and it's super bright with headlights on it. I wouldn't recommend the tire because they're a little harsh for my tastes (although very flat-resistant w/ great longevity), but the reflectiveness is pretty cool
« Last Edit: September 05, 2013, 10:27:41 AM by Russ »

FunkyStickman

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2013, 10:07:16 AM »
I use tire liners and belted tires. Mr. Tuffy liners with Panaracer Pasela Tourguards. Haven't had a flat in several months.

scottydog

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2013, 10:16:46 AM »
I use Mr Tuffy liners on my 700x25 tires and haven't had any issues lining up the tube because I haven't had any flats in recent memory (knock on wood).  That said, when my current tires eventually die I'm planning to switch to something like the schwalbe marthons since I really like the pair on my cargo bike.  I agree with the reflective strip being quite nice, but am most impressed by the tread depth.

mjs111

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2013, 02:31:38 PM »
Thanks everyone for the replies! 

I have a mountain bike and keep the tired at the prescribed 55 psi  but I commute through a construction zone (at noticeably faster speeds than the cars do).  Construction debris increases the likelihood of flats.  I really like the idea of belted tires. I didn't even know they made those for bikes.

Since I just got new tires six months ago I think I'm going to try a liner for the time being. Sounds like I'm getting good reviews for Gatorskins and Mr. Tuffy, stay away from the slime-filed tubes.

Mike


Hillcrester14

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2013, 02:50:07 PM »
Yes, definitely stay away from the slime-filled tubes. I ventured out into those and found they really only work for micro-punctures. If you get a decent tear, the slime will ooze out.

I transitioned to kevlar lined tires three months ago after three flats in one week. I've had no flats since.

hybrid

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2013, 02:28:27 PM »
Boy is this post timely.  I have had no less than six flats in the past four months and it is getting really old, really quick.  I just got new Continental tires last week at the recommendation of the local bike shop but damned if yesterday I didn't get yet another puncture on just my 4th ride on them.  With a bike shop tube, not a Wal-mart tube.  Checked the tire inside and out after the flat, no problems.  I just hit a nail or something similar again.  All.  Too.  Often.

My bike route takes me through a part of town that has construction in parts and broken glass in lots of areas, it's not the nicest part of town.  I have 700 x 28 tires on a road bike and I'm wondering if I maybe I should switch what I am riding through this area?  Would something with bigger and more durable tires make a difference?  Should I switch back to my mountain bike?  I'm at the point where if I can't reduce the number of flats I am getting commuting is going to be less than practical for me.  Mustachian or not, I'm not going to deal with a flat every two weeks.  At some point I'll end up saying f*** it, it's only 15 miles to work round trip without worrying about getting yet another g******n flat.

Any advice about how to handle bad riding areas greatly appreciated.

GuitarStv

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2013, 02:48:49 PM »
I don't know if it's just me, but bigger tires seem to flat less often as well . . . Try stepping up to a 32mm or wider tire if your brakes can accommodate it.  The skinnier tires are puncture magnets.

hybrid

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2013, 02:59:45 PM »
I don't know if it's just me, but bigger tires seem to flat less often as well . . . Try stepping up to a 32mm or wider tire if your brakes can accommodate it.  The skinnier tires are puncture magnets.

Anyone else with the same opinion?  Cuz that's damn sure where I am leaning right now.....

ktsac

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2013, 03:20:28 PM »
I also run the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on my touring bike (38mm) and my daily commuter (25mm) and very rarely have flats.

The tires are heavy, expensive, and can be a bear to mount, but they do keep you rolling along.

biketiresdirect.com is local to me in Portland and regularly has these tires on sale.


Russ

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #14 on: September 06, 2013, 03:22:39 PM »
I don't know if it's just me, but bigger tires seem to flat less often as well . . . Try stepping up to a 32mm or wider tire if your brakes can accommodate it.  The skinnier tires are puncture magnets.

Anyone else with the same opinion?  Cuz that's damn sure where I am leaning right now.....

Lower pressure more than greater width AFAIK, but that's pretty much the same thing

AlexK

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #15 on: September 06, 2013, 03:56:30 PM »
I've been using Serfas Drifter tires which have kevlar lining and reflective stripes. I get a goathead flat about once a year but with cheap tires it was every month or so (and I was using tire liners!). I just installed liners into the kevlar tires, hoping for even better resistance. I live in an area with tons of goathead thorns.

I also hate the slime tubes, I tried two and both went flat on the first ride with mysterious holes and no thorns.

BlueMR2

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Re: preventing bike flats?
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2013, 04:02:30 PM »
3 flats in a few weeks.  Got Continental Gatorskins and no flats for 2 months.  They rock!

I was getting a flat about every 50-100 miles with my Michelins (Pro Race Service Course).  I was aware of that obviously and was religious about avoiding anything on the road.  I swear those things would go flat if you even looked at a stone.

I replaced them with Gatorskins recently (and also went from Michelin feather weight tubes to Schwalbe tubes) and went out and purposefully flogged the bike through rocks and stones laying on top of pavement every time I could find some.  I've had one sharp stone get stuck to the tire, I peeled it away and not even a dent was left, on the old tires it would have pierced right through.  Only about 100 miles total in so far, but no flats yet and they're looking VERY promising...

I hate the hassle of adding a liner to my tires, but *if* the Gatorskins don't continue to hold up real well, that'll be my next step.  Right now I'm thinking I won't have to do that though.