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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7

    plagued with flats!

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    Hi, everyone!

    I'm pretty new here; been mostly lurking around up to now. I'm also fairly new to road biking (started about 3 years ago). I ride a Cannondale Synapse which I love but this spring I've had a ridiculous number of flats and I'm looking for some suggestions. I discovered that my rim liners had shifted and were the cause of a few of my flats so I had them replaced but just 2 days ago got a front and rear flat in the same ride. Ugh! Anyway, I've been reading a little about tire liners, puncture resistant tubes and tires and am wondering if anyone has any advice? My rear tire is a Continental Gatorskin and the front is still the original which came with the bike, which I'm looking to replace. I'm not a racer but ride 150-180 miles a week during the summer. Can anyone weigh in on tire liners (whether to use or not use and what brand) and what type of tire to get? The upside is that I have become a pro at changing a tire out in the middle of nowhere. Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    If you've been riding 150-180 miles a week for three years on your original front tire, it's beyond worn out! Don't the Gatorskins have wear bars? My Conti GP4000s do. (I get around 3500 miles from a front tire, 1800-2000 rear, and I consider that EXCELLENT wear.)

    If you don't have wear bars and it isn't obvious by feel, repeated flats are a good sign of a worn-out tire.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Between the Blue Ridge and the Chesapeake Bay
    Posts
    5,226
    Flats are often caused by insufficient air pressure (pinch flats). Do you check your tires with the pump/tire gauge before every ride?

    When you change your flats, do you check the inside of the tire for anything that could puncture the new tube? Many times multiple flats are caused by something that is still in the tire.

    I don't think it has anything to do with preventing flats, but I always store my spare tubes in a baggie with talcum powder. It makes changing tubes easier, and sometimes you can see the puncture--and what's causing it--better against the white of the powder.

    I like Hutchinson tires alot, and now I'm riding on Serfas with no problems.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    It's also a good idea to check your wheels entirely after each ride. Look for bits and pieces embedded in the tires, small nicks and cuts. If you can lift even a fingernail worth of rubber away from the tire, slap a little super glue underneath and then wipe it smooth.

    Also watch that you don't ride over an more than you have to in terms of road trash, possible wires from retreads, thorns, stickers, sharp gravel, glass.

    If I think I have rideen over anything suspicious I will reach forward a let my glove skim the front wheel while I am riding, and stop to wipe off the back wheel as needed.

    I have been riding a Trek pilot 5.2 with Bontrager race lite kevlar tires,for 4 years, have done two and a half cross countries and have only ever had two flats, niether was on a cross country but just a worn out tube on one and some unaviodable stuff on another. I am convinced that it is both the vigilance in checking my tires and the Bontrager tires .

    Not to bad an average for flats for an old lady who rides between 150-200 miles a week on Texas highways and byways.

    marni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    You can wipe your rear tire without getting off. It's not a beginner skill, but it's not hard. You can either reach back carefully with one hand behind the seat tube, or use the top of one shoe on the top of the tire, depending on your bike's geometry and your flexibility.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7
    I guess I should've clarified my mileage; 150/week is only for about 4 months of the year as I live where we have a serious winter! But still, that works out to around 2400 miles. I do check my tire pressure before every ride and I don't think my Gatorskin has a wear bar. I haven't been that great about checking my tires after every ride but will start now, that's for sure. I did wipe my front tire this morning after riding over some gritty stuff and didn't crash so thanks for that tip! Wiping the rear will take a little more practice, though. Thanks for the help, everyone!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Shelbyville, KY
    Posts
    1,473
    By chance are they treating your snow covered roads with cinders? If so, closely inspect your tires for cinders - they can and will do a real number on tires & tubes.
    Marcie

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Chicago suburbs
    Posts
    1,244
    I'll chime in about tire liners...I use them, and love them! I use the "Stop Flats 2" brand. I also ride a Cannondale Synapse (just got it actually!). The Stop Flats 2 liners I use are the orange ones, which are for 700x23 road tires. They go in between your tube and the rim, and so far they have worked flawlessly for me.

    As for tires, I swear by Vittoria Rubino Pro's...they came stock on my previous bike and I rode those (with the liners in) for about 5,200 flat-free miles. I would not hesitate to get them again.

    On my Cannondale, the stock tires are Schwalbe Ultremo DD's...which seem fine, but it's way too soon to tell.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Katy, Texas
    Posts
    1,828
    I know I can wipe the rear without getting off, but I haven't mastered the skill. Nor do I seem to have the flexiblilty or bike construction to use my shoe. It's something I'm working on but in the meantime, 'd rather stop and wipe than flat.

    marni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Abq, NM
    Posts
    309
    I feel your pain. I put a fully inflated bike on the car bike rack, and when I got home, it was flat. I get a flat every 28 days whether I ride it or not. It's more regular than my period.
    Lookit, grasshopper....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    7
    Good one, Chicken Little! Made me laugh!

    So, if tire liners go between the tube and rim, they don't help much for a sharp object penetrating through the tire and into the tube, correct?

    I don't think our hwy dept uses cinders on the road, just a lot of salt.

    I am looking into Continental Gatorskin hardshell and Verdestein Fortezza tires if anyone has an opinion. I will look into the Vittoria Rubino Pros, as well.

    Thanks again!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Sierra Foothills, CA
    Posts
    801
    Quote Originally Posted by nscrbug View Post
    I'll chime in about tire liners...I use them, and love them! I use the "Stop Flats 2" brand. I also ride a Cannondale Synapse (just got it actually!). The Stop Flats 2 liners I use are the orange ones, which are for 700x23 road tires. They go in between your tube and the rim, and so far they have worked flawlessly for me.

    I use a Mr. Tuffy tire liner in my rear tire, but it goes between the tire and the tube. I don't exactly know what my rationale is in only using one on the rear, except that I hate changing rear flats even more than I hate changing front flats.

    Love Conti Gatorskins and Conti GP4000's...I would highly recommend either one.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Uncanny Valley
    Posts
    14,645
    Quote Originally Posted by 2PharmDs View Post
    So, if tire liners go between the tube and rim, they don't help much for a sharp object penetrating through the tire and into the tube, correct?
    Tire liners go between the tire and the tube.

    Rim strips go between the tube and the rim, to keep the tube from getting cut by the spoke holes.
    Speed comes from what you put behind you. - Judi Ketteler

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Montreal, Québec
    Posts
    233
    On my Kona, I have Mr. Tuffy liners, have not had a flat yet. My LBS never seems to recommend tire liners, they seem to frown on them - please someone tell me why - they move around, etc. - I don't know. My Giant road bike I had a flat on recently, I was told I had about a month of life left on the tires, so I changed them for Continental Grand Prix. So happy!
    Get on your bikes and ride!
    'Bicycle Race' -Queen

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    So Cal.
    Posts
    508
    I like to carry a cotton ball in my seat bag. If I get a flat, I take off the tire and wipe inside. Anything sticking through the tire will catch some cotton ball and be really visible. I think I got that idea here. It's also better than sticking yourself on something sharp using your fingers.

    A worn tire does not have to be worn down to the cords to be worn out, as was mentioned already, escalating flats are one sign the tire is tired.

    I also only use cloth rimstrips (Velox for example) and not those plastic ones as they are prone to shifting right off of the spoke holes, and that's flat city for sure!

    As for tire liners, I don't use them. They change the feel of the tire on the road, and not for the better, and add weight. A tire in good shape, mounted properly, with good condition tubes properly inflated and good rim strip, are all that is needed wheel-wise, to help prevent flats. As for flat resistant tubes, they make no sense to me. If something is in the wrong place at the wrong time and is strong enough to go through a tire, it can puncture the thickest tube.

    Sometimes it's just bad luck.
    Tzvia- rollin' slow...
    Specialized Ruby Expert/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Specialized SWorks Safire/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Giant Anthem-W XT-XTR/mens Bontrager Inform RXL
    Fuji Newest 3 commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL
    Novara E.T.A commuter/mens Bontrager Inform RL

 

 

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