The Money Mustache Community

Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Katsplaying on May 13, 2016, 06:01:35 PM

Title: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Katsplaying on May 13, 2016, 06:01:35 PM
I started commuting to work again and had my first 2 flats Tuesday night. Found the front tire flat as I headed for home and walked it a few blocks to the nearest shop and found a gash in the tube but no discernible tire damage. New tube, all pumped up and I hop on and head for home. Less than 3 miles later PHSWSHHH and it's flat again and I'm walking the rest of the way.

Dropped it off at a different shop and when the tire & tube came off there was a gash on the inside of the tube and NO tire damage. Close inspection noted a tiny burr that had nicked the liner in the approximate location of the gash and slippage of the rubber liner to the side of the rim. They removed the rubber liner, sanded the burr, taped the spokes, new tube and it's back home. Between the 2 shops: $49 and I am shopping for my own bike tools now.

And I found these:

The one US distributor is in AZ and the Razor tires I would use are $70 each plus shipping. The guy at the Kona shop showed me regular bike tires that were super tough and $50 each so now that doesn't seem ridiculously out of line.

Or is it and I'm too paranoid about flatting and being late to work to be reasonable about this?

Does anyone own these or similar airless bike tire product? I've also found these:

Comments indicate they're difficult to put on but do the job. When I ask local shops about airless they don't carry them, don't seem to know much about them other than they supposedly feel like you're always riding on slightly flat tires. Granted, these are serious bike shops and sometimes my questions about ebikes or the Tannus tires or GeoOrbital wheels or other variants are met with, well, not quite derision but a less than welcoming attitude.

My ultimate goal is to discover as foolproof a tire as possible. My commute isn't too long, about 4.8 miles with only 200' elevation gain so a slightly tougher rolling tire probably wouldn't be too noticeable to me but knowing that flats were a thing of the past would be freaking amazing.

Thanks for any info!
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Retire-Canada on May 13, 2016, 07:01:58 PM
The pneumatic tire was one of the greatest gifts God every gave man. Right after fire and chicken wings! Seriously riding on air is so much better for comfort and efficiency it's not worth considering a pneumatic tire.

You had some bad luck. Found the problem and solved it. Just ride your bike. You don't need another solution.

My GF started bike commuting and because she's not a strong rider I put her on the most supple low rolling resistance tires I could find. She got 3 flats in 2 weeks and was so pissed off that she wanted to buy those super tough [read slow] tires you mention. I told her that the flats she got were just bad luck and not a sign for the need to change anything.

It's a couple years later and she's still on the supple/fast tires with zero flats since her run of 3. She enjoys the easier pedalling and more comfortable ride of the supple tires.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Syonyk on May 14, 2016, 08:58:07 AM
I wrote up my thoughts on foolproof ebike tires a while ago.

I layer my tires up like that and I've literally brought nails home with me.  If you have a burr on your wheel, not much is going to help until you fix that, but for externally caused flats, you should be able to pretty much eliminate them.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: GuitarStv on May 14, 2016, 09:07:14 AM
As was mentioned, pneumatic tires are the best solution for bicycles.  Bar none.

If you're commuting and you don't want flats:

- Use wide tires.  32s flat less often than 25s.  Mountain bike tires flat less often than both.  This is because they're run at lower pressure, so there's a greater chance of deforming around a sharp object rather than allowing the object to penetrate.
- Use flat-proof tires of some kind.  Most brands will offer some kind of kevlar/foam/extra layer protection, and they tend to work pretty well.
- If you don't want to use flat-proof tires, use a tire liner.  Same general idea, but slightly more work to install.
- Pump your tires before every ride.  Riding tires with low pressure over a bump or pothole will cause flats (they look kinda like a snake bite, two slashes).
- Ensure that your tube is properly seated under your tire.  (No weird bulges as you're pumping it up, no valve stem off at a strange angle.)
- Ensure that your rim tape is seated properly and covering all the spoke holes under your tube.

Occasionally you'll have bad luck, but flats should be pretty rare if you're following the above.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Katsplaying on May 14, 2016, 09:33:17 AM
Thank you, Syonyk, for that link! Being a novice rider, I didn't know how Slime worked or how to set up a more puncture resistant tire system.

The guy at the Kona shop (1st flat fix) showed me their extra tough road tires and they were $50/ea. I didn't know to ask about puncture resistant tubes at the time but yay Amazon, right?

The guy at Fanatik (2nd flat fix) is the one who discovered that tiny burr on the inside of the rim and he sanded it & I think put a bit of spoke tape over it when he taped the wheel (it previously had a rubber liner that had slipped to the side).

I am only riding for fun until I get a better set up for my tires and I am grateful for all the information provided.

Thanks all!
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: ender on May 14, 2016, 10:25:47 AM
Heh, I had a similar situation to you - started bike commuting again and had two flats within 1.5 trips.

But since those I've not had any :-)
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Syonyk on May 14, 2016, 10:44:45 AM
Old tubes are no good.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: mandelbrot on May 22, 2016, 10:17:13 AM
For what it's worth, I got a pair of 26" Schwalbe Marathon tires for my commuter bike in 2011. In the 5 years since, I've waxed and waned in my riding, but not put on 1000s of miles like your average committed bike-commuter. Still, I've done a good amount of city biking since then.

In that 5 years? Zero flats.

These are just one flavor of the "reinforced / flat proof" tires that others have mentioned. I'm only adding on by saying, they actually work really well, presuming you're not riding through something like fields of broken glass or a demolition site.

I believe mine are 26" x 1.5, which is a bit wider (and slower) than your average slicks.
Meanwhile buddy of mine just upgraded to Continental Gator Skins (same concept, different brand) that come in a few more sizes and narrower widths.

Take a look at those. The technology is much more proven, probably less pricy than the newfangled Tannus tires, and you'll have the peace of mind you desire :-D
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: JJ- on May 22, 2016, 06:43:55 PM
The way you described the first flat makes it sound like a low pressure flat (rim bit into the tube after a drop). Make sure you have a good pump and are using a PSI recommended on the sidewall of your tire.

If you are running into a lot of burrs, make sure that you're avoiding weed looking things on paved bike paths. Some of had success with slime, but I personally hate the stuff.

I like others recommend the durable commuter tires ('s-a-durable-bike-tire-that's-also-budget-friendly/) (e.g., marathons, gatorskins). There's a thread around here some place that discusses them.

If you seriously want to go tubeless, I have heard good thing about Stan's.

Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Syonyk on May 22, 2016, 07:43:45 PM
Marathons and Gatorskins aren't solid bike tires... they're just armored pneumatic tires.

Unless there's a different line of them I'm not aware of?
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: JJ- on May 22, 2016, 07:55:18 PM
I chose the wrong word to describe durable. Not solid tubeless... will mod
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: Joggernot on May 23, 2016, 10:26:30 AM
In New Mexico I learned the value of the solid tire.  Too many stickers, nails, screws, etc. to make a ride fun, let alone a commute.  Bought the solid tires at Walmart and haven't had a flat since.  I also bought the solid tire for the wheel barrow and haven't had a flat since.  My wife still rides, using the solid tires.  We tried slime, etc., but that didn't work for us.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: RosieTR on September 11, 2016, 05:57:37 PM
Thanks for the thread, Katsplaying! I have a roadbike that needs a new back tire-and I'm getting sick of flats. It had the third flat this summer (compared to the front tire=0) and the tread looks pretty raked off. Because this is primarily a commuter bike vs a, say, century or racing bike, I would rather go a bit heavier and not have the flats.

Anyway, just wanted to say thanks for bringing it up and thanks for the other responders. Will go search for some of the recommendations now.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: jorjor on September 11, 2016, 08:42:25 PM
I have a bike that I frequent on gravel/dirt/grass which leads to plenty of flats. I just throw some sealant in there like Stan's No Tubes. I've done it myself a couple times and it was messy and PITA, so I have my bike shop do it. They charge a couple extra bucks for the sealant + fill above what a tube would normally cost, the ride isn't noticeably different, and it instantly seals most flats from things like thorns. Well worth it.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: mountains_o_mustaches on September 11, 2016, 08:49:38 PM
I also live in NM, but haven't felt the need to get solid tires.  I have regular pneumatic tires with slime and teflon liner.  I still get about 1 flat per year, but not too bad considering I bike commute most days of the year, do grocery trips on the bike, and ride recreationally as well. 

Here's what I'd recommend:
*Learn how to properly change a tire  so that you're not coughing up $50 each time you have a flat.  It's really not that hard and most local bike shops have classes - I know national places like REI and Performance Bike regularly have classes.
*Always bring an extra tube, tire levers, and a pump with you on all rides. All 3 fit snugly in an under seat pouch :)
*Keep your eyes on the road - don't ride over glass, etc if you can avoid it.  Living in NM I've learned to spot goat heads from a ways away and avoid when I can.

Another plus for air tires - they're a lot lighter!
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: hucktard on September 12, 2016, 11:54:09 AM
I would use a tire sealant, like Stans. You can get the sealant already installed in a tube, or you can run a tubeless set up. I mt. bike A LOT on really rocky terrain, in a place that has thorns. I run a tubeless setup, with a sealant in the tires and I have had one or two flat tires in the past couple of years. I probably put 100X as much abuse on my tires as somebody just commuting around town and I never get flats. So, go to a bike shop, get a decent pair of tires, have them check your rims for burs, and install a tube with sealant in it, or have them set you up fully tubeless, and you will almost never get a flat tire. I would not get a solid (non air filled) tire, those things suck IMO. If you are constantly getting flat tires, something is wrong with your set up, that is not normal.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: TrMama on September 12, 2016, 12:19:20 PM
Those solid tires you linked to are 3.7lbs each. That's a fair bit of weight to add to your rig.

I've been commuting for years and have had my share of flats. They cost $7/each for a new tube (I buy the fancy ones that flat less often), except for when I run over a nail or shard of bottle glass, then they cost $67 because I have to replace the tire and tube.

Step 1 is to learn how to change your own tire. This is both a cost savings issue and a safety issue. I certainly don't like being stuck on the side of the road at night (after the shops are closed) so I make sure I have an independent plan for that scenario.

Then get a decent tube and tire. No need to reinvent the wheel.
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: GuitarStv on September 12, 2016, 12:45:10 PM
They cost $7/each for a new tube (I buy the fancy ones that flat less often)

A patch kit can often be had for less than the price of a new tube.  I've put more than 10,000 km on the two tubes my summer bike came with.  The patch is thicker than the original rubber of the tube too . . . I like to think that my tubes are getting stronger over time.  :P
Title: Re: Tannus no-flat bike tires
Post by: frugaliknowit on September 12, 2016, 01:12:45 PM
I commute in the city of Chicago where there's lots of potholes, craters, and glass (the glass is the worst and most unavoidable).  I ride Specialized Amardillo elite.  You can run them as high as 125PSI.  They rarely flat, unless they're heavily worn.  Check your pressure frequently.  They run about $55 each.