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#1 2008-06-16 17:19:39

Pedal Pusher
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 23

Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I woke up Sunday morning and went for a two hour ride just to get some more exercise.  Came back home and went out again about 2:00 to run some errands.

Front tire was flat.  Found the itty, bitty, teensy, weensie, little piece of glass about the side of this comma, removed it and patched the tube and went on my merry way.

Woke up this morning and got a flat on the way to work --  back tire this time. Threw bike on bus and have to change it before I can ride home.  Has anyone ever tried these before?  Or anything similar?

http://www.warwickmills.com/How-Spinski … Flats.html

I just filled my tires with air.  My tires say they take anywhere from 35 to 80 psi.  I had realized air was getting low and just put 75 psi in both tires Saturday.  Seems like every time I air them up real good, I start getting a series of flats.

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#2 2008-06-16 18:24:33

pwhallmark
Member
From: NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 13

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Pedal Pusher wrote:

I just filled my tires with air.  My tires say they take anywhere from 35 to 80 psi.  I had realized air was getting low and just put 75 psi in both tires Saturday.  Seems like every time I air them up real good, I start getting a series of flats.

Is it always glass or a thorn, etc, causing your flats? I've seen worn out rim strips that let the spoke nipples cause multiple flats. Also my wife had a rash of flats after riding through some grass that had a bunch of grass burrs (stickers, whatever). For weeks after that another little spine would work its way in and cause another flat. The individual spines are hard to see once the main sticker body is gone.

I have heard, and it has been my experience, that inflating tires at or near max pressure reduces the likelihood of flats.

Old worn out tires will also be more prone to flats.

I've never used the liners, but I have talked to people who swear by them.

Regards,
Phil Hallmark

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#3 2008-06-17 02:58:00

peter
Member
Registered: 2008-06-05
Posts: 4

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I had 5 flats in a single day before i realized my front rim strip was wacked. I replaced it, and all was fine.

This is the condition I had - the rim strip wasn't completely covering one of the spoke holes (nipples):

tire6.jpg

I've also considered, but never actually used Specialized Armadillo tires. Not sure how much they actually work, but fixing flats totally sucks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sKCSGbWbPyE

I usually recommend to newbies, "don't get a skinny-tire bike!" -- because I'm afraid flat-tire syndrome will ruin them in the first week they have their new bikes - like it did for me a couple years ago.

I worry about this from a convenience/advocacy standpoint, but more importantly from a safety/security standpoint. I feel like bicycles should really never get a flat, ever - or, at a minimum, we need to be able to let folks spend a bit more money so that they can avoid a flat in perpetuity. And if we can't guarantee even that, then we need to find a way to guarantee that someone with a flat can use some kind of quick fix where they can get going again in a couple of minutes, tops - something that gets them on their way and can at least get them to their destination, where they'll be able to work out a long-term fix.

The whole notion that fixing a flat tire via a patch and tube kit, or with tire levers and whatnot, at night, in some area you're not completely familiar with and don't necessarily feel safe in, possibly on the side of the road, either an isolated road/path or an extremely noisy road, possibly freezing or sweating your butt off - let's just say I'm 'not in agreeance' that this is an acceptable situation. I don't think it's ok for wannabe-bike-advocates like me to kick that problem down the road and say, "don't worry about it". 

</rant> 

:-D

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#4 2008-06-17 07:15:13

pwhallmark
Member
From: NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 13

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

peter wrote:

I feel like bicycles should really never get a flat, ever - or, at a minimum, we need to be able to let folks spend a bit more money so that they can avoid a flat in perpetuity.

Well, if you are willing to give up some performance and ride comfort, here ya go. I've never used them, so I don't know if they are practical:
http://www.airfreetires.com/

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#5 2008-06-17 12:25:58

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Wow pwhallmark (If that is your real name :)  I have been looking for these. 

FYI my experience with flats has been this:  I pump my tires every day I ride to 110 (I have 700x23) and I hardly ever have flats, till I enter the flat week.  which is the week that I get flat after flat after flat.  Usually if I just replace my tires it goes away again for a while.  Although it sucks to spend money on new tires when the old ones still look very usable. I don't know if you can gather any conclusive data from this, but that is my experience.

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#6 2008-06-17 13:16:22

mhaller
Member
Registered: 2008-06-06
Posts: 4

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

oh flats... i hates you!   one summer it was realllllly bad.    it was due to a patch of stickerbur aka sandbur, goatshead, caltrop, grass spur etc  (know thy enemy!   http://www.texasmonthly.com/ranch/readm … erbur.php)...  i wasn't riding through it, but i found that lawnmowers were kickign up the sandburs on my path (sidewalk and road) near the YMCA Town Lake baseball fields.  it took me a while to find the source. 

i started taking measures.... 1) good tires... i have specialized armadillos, but recently one sort of degraded on me... the outer black rubber just peeled off.  (i think the bottle generator i was using precipitated this...).   couldn't find a new armadillo at two shops, so i bought  a bit wider and also tough, but not necessarily kevlar, tire.  2) liners... why not?   3) heavy duty tubes.   these are great... even with the nice tires i still have had tiny pieces get stuck, and been saved by that extra thick tube. 

i haven't tried the self-sealing goo, yet, but would consider it.   

finally, i'm tempted to not boast of this, due to superstition, but i have not had a flat since taking these measures.   i'm also very wary when i see grass cuttings where i am riding. 

Mark

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#7 2008-06-17 13:20:47

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

The slime is great under 60psi, for 110 psi it is worthless, I already tried it.  Its worse than worthless, you cant patch a slime tire, the slime lubricates and loosens the patch.

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#8 2008-06-17 13:38:35

pwhallmark
Member
From: NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 13

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

mhaller wrote:

i wasn't riding through it, but i found that lawnmowers were kickign up the sandburs on my path (sidewalk and road) near the YMCA Town Lake baseball fields.  it took me a while to find the source.

That is EXACTLY where my wife picked up a bunch of brassburrs - we rode through the grass there on the way to the jingle bell ride a couple years ago. What a nightmare. She flatted during the ride, and I have no idea how we finished the ride after that because when we got home she had another flat then several more in the weeks that followed.

Regards,
Phil Hallmark

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#9 2008-06-17 15:26:17

Pedal Pusher
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 23

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Last year in the summer, I also had a bout with burrs, stickers and thorns.

When I changed the 2nd flat yesterday, it also turned out to be caused also from an teeny weenie little pice of glass not even as big as this comma , and it was only easy to find because I tagged it in relation to where the leak in the tube was and searched and searched in that spot and it took a lot of digging to get it to pop out of the tire mostly because wasn't any bigger than a grain of sand.  It was clear glass too so this time, I can't blame the cowboys that throw their beer bottles out their car windows to smash into smithereens in bicycle lanes (grrrrrr).

Are my tires worn?  Well, a while back someone who stopped to help me while I was changing another flat said, "you've got a lot of miles on these tires."  Then he examined them a little closer and said, "Well, no I guess they're okay."   The next time I was at yellow bike shop, I asked one of the coordinators if it looked like my tires were too worn and he said, "Naw, I'd use those tires for another few years."

They are in fact the tires that came with the bike when I bought it originally in April of 07 and I heard someone say once that bikes in the $300.00 range (which is how much mine cost new) don't come with the best of tires to begin with.

I checked the rim strips and they seem fine and it has always been either a sticker, burr, thorn, or glass fragments.  One time a tiny little tack or nail. 

In the afternoon, I don't mind so much because I have time to stop and change the tube, but in the morning, I don't have time so I ended up putting it on the bus and then having to carry my saddlebags, and roll the bike along for quite a distance after getting off the bus - holding the back end up (so I wouldn't screw up the rims) which was just no fun at all. . .

. . . not that I think changing a flat in the afternoon is fun, but it's a whole lot easier than schlepping all that stuff while tryng to roll a bicycle down the street on the front wheel only.  I think I will go by my local bike shop and see what they have - except the slime.  I've heard too many people say they've had problems with slime.

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#10 2008-06-17 16:00:08

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I've been biking since I was a kid and I haven't been able to understand why it seems so okay for so many bicyclists for bicycle tires to get flats but still be taken seriously as reliable transportation.  However, I think I've found a solution that suits my needs:
1) Slime -- seals point-sized holes very well (my experience is up to 80 psi)
2) Thorn-resistant tubes -- extra-thick tubes
3) Tire liners -- between the tube and the tire
A few other habits of mine:
4) I don't use tires skinnier than one inch (avoids pinch flats, for one)
5) I rarely ride over grass anymore in Austin, especially when it is dry (thorns have gotten me a few times)
6) Have at least one spare bike around  (Sure, one flat may take less than ten minutes to patch, but too many times I've found that either the tire has invisible, intangible embedded pricks or the tube has a half-dozen holes.)
7) As soon as I hear the sound of something embedded in my tire (periodic tapping/clicking), I stop and check what that sound may be rather than just hoping it's a sticky piece of asphalt or gravel
8) I avoid old, cracked tires.  They are a bit like netting wrapped around your tubes.

Into the future, I think I'm going to try liners + slime + my habits.  The thorn-resistant (-proof?) tubes are a bit bulky.

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#11 2008-06-18 10:15:31

plarson
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 42

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I use cheap tubes and armadillo 700X23's on my commuter. I don't even think about flats (knock on wood), until flat week, of course.:-)

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#12 2008-06-20 12:00:59

chuckthomas
Member
From: Far NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 77

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I use 700x35 Michelin Transworld City tires with nylon tire liners.  I average around 1 flat every 5,000 miles which I find acceptable.  I carry a spare tube and a CO2 inflater in a bag under my saddle.

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#13 2008-06-20 17:44:58

Tower of Pedal
Member
Registered: 2008-06-06
Posts: 7

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Adriel wrote:

The slime is great under 60psi, for 110 psi it is worthless, I already tried it.  Its worse than worthless, you cant patch a slime tire, the slime lubricates and loosens the patch.

bah. i was about to come in here and ask about that. thanks tho.

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#14 2008-06-23 12:26:16

Pedal Pusher
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 23

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Thanks for all the input. I wasn't going to try slime at all because I had heard bad things about it, but apparently that it is only a problem if one goes over 80 psi.  So I went ahead and put slime in my tires and filled them to 60 psi since my tires say 35 to 80 psi on the side.

Putting slime in my tires was the cheapest, easiest thing to try right away.  I try to avoid all the obvious things like broken glass etc. in the road and on the rare occasion that I find myself accidentally running over some, stop the bike and run my gloved hand over the tires.  What usually gets me are the little, bitty, tiny little pieces of glass, burrs or thorns that I can't see to avoid and don't even know I rolled over them which hopefully the slime will be enough to seal that and keep me rolling.

I may upgrade to a tougher tire too.  I'm currently researching that.

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#15 2008-06-23 17:17:48

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

For the fat tires that run at a lower pressure, slime is great.

I used to ride a mountain bike with slick tires -- I put slime tires on it, and occasionally I'd hear the `hissssssss ...' of a flat -- and then it would stop.  I'd find the thorn sticking out of the tire, and pull it out.  A few more seconds of hissssssss ... and then it would stop.  Happened several times, and I never had to patch that tire.  Each time it would lose less than 5 lbs of pressure, so even that wasn't a problem.

Alas, when I ran into a curb and ripped the tire and the tube blew out, slime didn't help that.  It also made a nice mess of slime all over the curb, but the curb had it coming!

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#16 2008-06-24 17:00:58

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

pwhallmark wrote:

Well, if you are willing to give up some performance and ride comfort, here ya go. I've never used them, so I don't know if they are practical:
http://www.airfreetires.com/

I am going to try these when my tires start to wear out, I just replaced my front tire 500 mi ago and my back tire 200 mi ago, but when I do it I will post my experience with it.  I am getting really sick of airing up my tires every day.  And not having to deal with a flat in the Texas heat is very appealing.  If someone else happens to try them first please let me know how they were.  According to the website I shouldn't really have to give up performance or comfort, but that may not be true.

Last edited by Adriel (2008-06-24 17:03:06)

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#17 2008-06-24 20:26:06

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Airless tires ... Sheldon Brown certainly didn't seem to like them: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#airless

As for having to pump up your tires every day, that's the price to pay for narrow tires.  Wider tires last longer.  My 700x28c's lose about half as much pressure/day as my 700x20c's did, and with 700x38c's (different bike) I could go almost a week before needing to air up again.

Last edited by dougmc (2008-06-24 20:28:16)

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#18 2008-06-25 07:27:24

pwhallmark
Member
From: NW Austin
Registered: 2008-05-31
Posts: 13

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

dougmc wrote:

Airless tires ... Sheldon Brown certainly didn't seem to like them: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#airless

I always trust what Sheldon wrote on bike issues. Being a recovering clean chain fanatic (borderline obsessive), I got a good chuckle out of his April fool's riff on cleaning chains:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/chainclean.html

R.I.P. Sheldon Brown!  :(

Regards,
Phil Hallmark

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#19 2008-06-25 09:21:10

Adriel
Member
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 91

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Well blah, maybe I should stick with pnumatic tires :(  I wonder if 120psi 'feel' airless would be that noticable vs say a very wide tire, which might be more noticable.

On the chain thing (very amusing).

From what I understand its the pins and not the links that wear out, if you just replaced all the pins you shouldn't ever need a "new" chain.

:)

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#20 2008-06-30 15:37:33

tomwald
Moderator
From: 78722
Registered: 2008-05-27
Posts: 288

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

I've gotten three flats in the last couple of weeks:

1) Setup: 26"x2" tire, liners (concentric, both outer and inner to tube), thorn-resistant (thick) tube.
    Flat: The wheel spun round and round while the bike was draped over a horizontal-pole bike rack.  I inserted my u-lock while the wheel was spinning and I happened to catch the valve stem.  Air exited via the valve hole immediately.

2) Setup: 26"x2" tire, liners (concentric, both outer and inner to tube), Slime-filled tube, regular tube.
    Flat: Cause unknown.  My bicycle was stationary, unattended, at home.  The tube burst along a tube seam, about 1/2" to 1" long.  (I didn't closely measure the length.)

3) Setup: 26"x2" tire, liners (concentric, both outer and inner to tube), Slime-filled tube, regular tube.
    Flat: I was demonstrating how to change a flat.  I was refilling the tube with air. I was using a floor pump that had a gauge that listed the pressure at about 60 psi lower than it really was.  I was distracted while filling the tube, so though I knew something was amiss while I was filing the tube, I still continued to pump and pump and pump and... pow.  The tube exploded.  Slime splattered all over.

I rank flats as my fourth biggest impediment to my bicycling:
I) cars
II) rain
III) sweat
IV) flats

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#21 2008-06-30 15:44:37

Pedal Pusher
Member
Registered: 2008-06-02
Posts: 23

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Well, I'm glad you weren't hurt when the tube exploded.  Green slime all over the place sounds like a real hoot. Hope you got a good laugh out of that one.  Eh, that's a pretty inaccurate guage?  Can they be that far off?  I guess so.

Speaking of tires, is there a hybrid type tire that one can ride on hike and bike trails but not so knobby that they are clumsy on the street for commuting to and from work?  I have a Kona Smoke which really is kind of like a 24 speed mountain type bike anyway.  My current tires are 26" by 1.5.

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#22 2008-06-30 18:19:36

dougmc
Administrator
Registered: 2008-06-01
Posts: 563

Re: Oh, NOOOOOOOOO, not another FLAT!

Fat 26" tires with minimal/no tread are easy to find.  Even Wal-Mart sells them.  They don't cost much either, around $10 each.  You could probably spend more, but why?

Put some slime tubes in them and you'll have few problems with flat tires.

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