I'm sick of punctures!!

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I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue May 10, 2011 8:07 pm

I have the misfortune to live in a rural area with crummy roads covered in small gravel and glass. No worries on my bikes with 27x1-1/4 tires ($20 block tread ones at that), i average over 1000k between punctures, and they only happen when the tire is completely bald and it cops a big chunk.

On my modern bike with 700c on the other hand....
I get punctures on average every 300k, and from the tiniest shards of pebble/glass, i haven't yet had a 700x23 last more than 700k, most are torn up and useless after 400-500k. I've tried Continental Ultra Sport, Maxxis Detonator, Vittoria Rubino and Specialised All Conditions Pro. I got a pair of Michelin City in 700x28 which are bullet proof but it won't fit on the back of my Scott Speedster (didn't stop me from trying but when i saw the shine on the derailleur clamp from the tire rubbing on it at high speed i reconsidered), plus they have a very dead, jarring feel and are of course bloody heavy.

So the question is, what commonly available tires are actually usable? If i had the time and money (and was american :-p) i would sue the tire companies for selling a product that is not 'fit for purpose', honestly the number of punctures i've had just this year has very nearly put me off cycling (perish the thought!), but a week of commuting on my 46yr old single speed 27" perked me up.

I have ordered one of these http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 0524733854 , fingers crossed it might be what i'm looking for.

Has anyone used tire liners, and if so are they any good?
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by BNA » Tue May 10, 2011 8:28 pm

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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby wombatK » Tue May 10, 2011 8:28 pm

If you post your location in your profile, it might give some more clues about why you get so many punctures.

Ordinarily, there's more glass-smashing bogans per square km in cities - and more car collisions per km of road too.
So I wouldn't expect your risk of punctures is worse than the city. Caltrops (the natural enemy of cyclists tyres)
would make a big difference, though, if you have them in your area. If the roads you ride on are often wet,
that increases the puncture rate too. If you ride a lot of coarse aggregate hotmix, that could be seriously
damaging your tyre life.

I've managed over 7000 km on a pair of Continental GP4000s (black chilli ones) with just two punctures. That's
not unusual - others here get similar results. And its better than half the puncture rate of my next best tyres
I've tried.

My 35 year old 27inch bike got no punctures in about 12000 km of city riding on tyres that were nothing special
(i.e. came with the bike, a cheap Europa). It had a wire tyre scraper, which lots of people think are bunkum.
But I suspect it made a difference - and both the tyres and tubes were thicker and heavier. Which is why
I'm happy with the modern tyre technology.

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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Tue May 10, 2011 8:59 pm

What the heck is a Caltrop?
I work in Noosa on the sunshine coast and ride to and from my home in the hinterland. From my experience there is a lot more glass in and around noosa than there is in Brisbane (presumably they actually clean it up down there). Almost all the roads up here are very coarse chip, any coarser and it would be boulders lol. Because it's such coarse chip i find, especially on one road in particular, that traffic picks up loose stone from the surface that haven't been properly tarred and they all wind up on the outside of corners, like sediment building up on the inside of a bend in a river. I then have to ride through all that loose, sharp-edged gravel.

If it has any bearing, i'm 6'2 and 88kgs.

I firmly believe that 700c replaced 27' in the late 80s partly because of the marketing advantages of 'lower weight' but mostly because the tires are MUCH thinner and therefore prone to punctures from much smaller debris. This then allows tire companies to make a killing by mixing a bit of kevlar/gatorskin/protec/snake oil into the tire and doubling the price, which the desperate frustrated cyclist willingly pays to try and escape the misery of unreliable transport.

Very cynical i know, but i have had a LOT of punctures and get a lot of time to think while i'm sitting cross-legged on the side of the road changing a tube :-).
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby trailgumby » Tue May 10, 2011 9:15 pm

I've had excellent results from Continental GP4000s Black Chillis as well. I average about 120km a week. All but one of my punctures to date have been pinch flats from hitting lips at badly made transition ramps from street to footpath without enough pressure in my tyres (I've since learned to bunny hop).

The only other (non-stupidity related) puncture was a bit of wire from a car tyre steel belt that penetrated the front. Not much is going to stop that. I've never had a glass related flat with those tyres, and I run through patches of glass at least once per commute despite my best avoidance efforts.

Another option if you can fit it on your frame is the 700c version of the Continental Sport Contact. I had excellent results with the 26x1.3 version before I fitted a set of 700c hoops to the mtb. Not one puncture, ever.
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I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby Redbull » Tue May 10, 2011 9:37 pm

Schwalbe Ultremo DD.

So far these have been very good and I have dug some nasty pieces of glass out of them at the end of rides.

Thats buggered it - I must due for a visit from the Puncture Fairy now :(
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby celeste boy » Tue May 10, 2011 10:15 pm

ldrcycles wrote:What the heck is a Caltrop?


A caltrop is the name for a 3 cornered thorn. (In the old wars they were made of metal to go into horse's hoofs.) But depending on where you live these seed heads or thorns come in a variety of hardnesses. Out west they are woody and hard. Around the canberra lake on the bike track they are thin and weak looking but will give you mega flats when they are around (Easter was bad for us). I went to Canberra and had 9 flats riding around the lake. My wife's MTB had 23 stuck in the tyre but could not reach the tube.

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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby damhooligan » Tue May 10, 2011 10:51 pm

I have also tried many tyres and also have been far from impressed.
Most of them puncture fairly easy... (with a bit of bad luck that is).

So I also had enough and fitted schwalbe marathons , they are almost puncture proof.
Image
Another similair tyre of a different brand is the vittoria randoneur.
Image

They are both very thick and heavy tyres, but they have a puncture resistant layer inside the tyres.
This makes them very strong and very durable. (both tyres reach 10.000km easy...)

If you want a more road version tyre, the schwalbe durano plus is a road version of the marathon plus.
Also with an extra layer, but slightly thinner then the marathon.
I am very happy with them, done 2000km with them so far.

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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby mikesbytes » Tue May 10, 2011 11:34 pm

ldrcycles wrote:Has anyone used tire liners, and if so are they any good?

I'm using tyre liners on my fixie, which is my main commute and they are effective, providing you add an extra piece of tube around the tube where the ends of the tyre liner meet.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby elStado » Wed May 11, 2011 12:00 am

I can vouch for Vittoria tyres. I have the Hyper City tire and it has gone through some big patches of glass without any issues (yet!).
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby scotto » Wed May 11, 2011 8:47 am

specialized armadillo all weather. not bad but heavy. i guess thats the price you pay...
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby moreegolfer » Wed May 11, 2011 8:52 am

Maxxis Refuse, no punctures in over a 1,000km of road riding, glass and gravel have been no dramas. That said I never ride without a spare tube, levers and micro bike pump in my jersey pocket.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 11, 2011 9:28 am

damhooligan wrote:I have also tried many tyres and also have been far from impressed.
Most of them puncture fairly easy... (with a bit of bad luck that is).

So I also had enough and fitted schwalbe marathons , they are almost puncture proof.
Image
Another similair tyre of a different brand is the vittoria randoneur.
Image

They are both very thick and heavy tyres, but they have a puncture resistant layer inside the tyres.
This makes them very strong and very durable. (both tyres reach 10.000km easy...)

If you want a more road version tyre, the schwalbe durano plus is a road version of the marathon plus.
Also with an extra layer, but slightly thinner then the marathon.
I am very happy with them, done 2000km with them so far.

Image


Unfortunately the smallest size the Vittoria comes in (that i can find) is 700x28, which won't fit my frame. The Marathon Plus looks like what i'm looking for but smallest size is 25 and i would need to check the width and height to be sure. The Durano Plus looks spot on though, nice and thick but in 700x23 so it will fit, but $85!? Tires for my girlfriend's CAR cost less than that. But i suppose i have to look at the cost of the tire versus the cost of endless replacement tubes/tube patches. Sigh.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 11, 2011 9:29 am

moreegolfer wrote:Maxxis Refuse, no punctures in over a 1,000km of road riding, glass and gravel have been no dramas. That said I never ride without a spare tube, levers and micro bike pump in my jersey pocket.


I have thought about the refuse quite a bit but have been a bit wary as they are relying on special material rather than just a decent thickness, and i've seen quite a few reviews from people who were unimpressed with their puncture performance.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ZepinAtor » Wed May 11, 2011 10:01 am

Probably not a great option, but have you thought of going tubeless with Stans sealant swirling around inside as Mtb riders like myself use ? I've had at least 20 possible punctures self repair on the the Mtb in the past 2 years with only a couple of failed side wall cuts resulting in latex gushing out & the need for a tube to get home. On my roadie I'm using Foss tubes which will hold air with a nail passing through the side walls. Apparently almost puncture proof ?? So far so good.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby skull » Wed May 11, 2011 10:07 am

ZepinAtor wrote:Probably not a great option, but have you thought of going tubeless


I was about to mention this, I am a recent tubeless convert and it is a win situation. Got some glass recently pierce my tyre and the sealent blocked it up and have kept riding since without issue or loss of pressure.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby Nobody » Wed May 11, 2011 10:30 am

ldrcycles wrote:Unfortunately the smallest size the Vittoria comes in (that i can find) is 700x28, which won't fit my frame. The Marathon Plus looks like what i'm looking for but smallest size is 25 and i would need to check the width and height to be sure. The Durano Plus looks spot on though, nice and thick but in 700x23 so it will fit, but $85!? Tires for my girlfriend's CAR cost less than that. But i suppose i have to look at the cost of the tire versus the cost of endless replacement tubes/tube patches. Sigh.
Might be worth considering selling the Scott Speedster frameset and getting a frameset that can take a better selection of wider tyres. Also as can be seen from the pic below, not the strongest frame on the market:
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby boyracer » Wed May 11, 2011 10:42 am

mikesbytes wrote:
ldrcycles wrote:Has anyone used tire liners, and if so are they any good?

I'm using tyre liners on my fixie, which is my main commute and they are effective, providing you add an extra piece of tube around the tube where the ends of the tyre liner meet.


i make my own liners out of old tubes. not too heavy. slice 'em down the into strips...most punctures in centre of tyre. I make 15~20mm strips. and use a little photo fixative to hold them in the tyre while you inflate/assemble.
i tried pieces of carbon weave and kevlar matt from a sailmaking buddy, but found no real benefit. Probs the wrong weave though...kevlar is used in army body armour to stop bullets. Old latex tubes from MTB race wheels in 90's (tioga?) worked best but i have run out of them.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 11, 2011 12:16 pm

OUCH!! What the hell did that guy hit?!

I have thought about tubeless but i have never had a flat on the mountain bike in 5 years, and with all the stories of people trying to mount tubeless tires, sealant everywhere and tires blowing off the rim while riding?! Maybe it's just me but i don't think there's much to a system where that kind of occurrence has a decent chance of happening. That said putting sealant in an ordinary tube might have promise.

My guiding thought on anything though is if a 46yr old bike with 25yr old wheels and tires from kmart can get at least 1000k between punctures without sealant etc. then an acceptable tire for the 700c is one that can AT LEAST match that performance without any extra stuff.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby Nobody » Wed May 11, 2011 12:36 pm

ldrcycles wrote:OUCH!! What the hell did that guy hit?!
Back of a car after a dog was chasing him. The lesson is to stop when a dog is chasing you are deal with it on foot. Use the bike as a shield if necessary.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 11, 2011 2:47 pm

ZepinAtor wrote:Probably not a great option, but have you thought of going tubeless with Stans sealant swirling around inside as Mtb riders like myself use ? I've had at least 20 possible punctures self repair on the the Mtb in the past 2 years with only a couple of failed side wall cuts resulting in latex gushing out & the need for a tube to get home. On my roadie I'm using Foss tubes which will hold air with a nail passing through the side walls. Apparently almost puncture proof ?? So far so good.


I have used the Foss tubes and thought they had promise but i pinched one when mounting the tire and it caused a slow leak. When i took that tube out and blew it up it had a huge bulge where i had pinched it. I will probably use them again, although the 'repairability' may be a bit exaggerated, the other tube i had split around the base of the valve when i mounted it on a rim drilled for schrader not presta, i tried to seal the hole with a lighter but it just melted. Maybe my technique needs improving lol.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Wed May 11, 2011 3:35 pm

How did the frame manage to sustain that much damage without the front wheel being destroyed?
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby Nobody » Wed May 11, 2011 3:49 pm

ldrcycles wrote:How did the frame manage to sustain that much damage without the front wheel being destroyed?
That's easy. It is because Scott makes some of the lightest frames, like Shimano makes some of the lightest cranks.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby drubie » Wed May 11, 2011 8:16 pm

ldrcycles - I'm not surprised your 27" wheeled bike got less punctures, mine does too.

It's horses for courses really. Generally, if you're commuting then a 700c/23mm tyre is not suitable given the (usual) extra load. The roads around here (Armidale) are just as bad as Noosa for road finish and glass (at least around town) and the Vittoria Rubino Pro Slick seems to stand up to our roads far better than tyres that others have had success with. I had a real bad run of luck with the Continental product I will no longer name and was pretty much at the end of my tether - it seemed like I simply couldn't wheel my bike out of the house without getting a flat.

The big problem is: tyres that work for others in different areas may not work for you. Lots of people swear by that particular Continental, but others like me have had horrendous experience with them. I suppose it could be the same with the Rubino Pro - on some roads they're probably awful but up here they are magic. To a certain extent, it does seem to depend on what happens to the glass after it gets smashed - on coarse chip sealed roads, the glass seems to get shattered into needles and they all sit pointing straight up, waiting for a rainy day to pierce your tyre. The different sorts of rubber seems to be more/less sensitive to the pointy protrusions but the same rubber is no good against the square block glass that seems to pervade smoother roads (not a scientific observation).

Then again, I do commute on a 27" bike on $20 Vee Rubber 27 1 1/4" tyres and they will shrug off pretty much anything you can throw at them, but I wouldn't race on 'em. I generally avoid riding the race bikes through town now, as the glass I was picking up there was choosing to squirrel its way into my tube 40km into a ride.
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby rogan » Thu May 12, 2011 7:55 am

I had an experience about 2-3 years ago where I got a puncture six rides in a row. Hmmm.

Did two things:

Got a standing pump, the tyres are at 110 psi every time I ride.
After researching widely, started using Conti 4 seasons (NB NOT 4000s). Get em from wiggle or PBK, I haven't seen the 4 Seasons in the shops.

Also, I stopped riding on the road on the M7, which was the cause of some (but by no means all) of the problems. Those little bits of black steel wire from either road sweepers or truck tyres... no road tyre will keep them out.

These days, I have about 2 or 3 punctures per year. Last year I did 10,000 km, and this year, umm see my sig (1 puncture so far).
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Re: I'm sick of punctures!!

Postby ldrcycles » Thu May 12, 2011 8:53 am

Unfortunately i haven't got a choice of roads (well technically i do but the only other one is straight gravel), i've also found out the importance of correct pressure, anytime i venture out with less than 120psi i'm guaranteed to flat (not that having 120+ means i won't...). Doing some ringing around today to see if any of the bike shops here in Noosa stock Schwalbe tires so i have something to ride on in Toowoomba this weekend.

@drubie, if i had a lightweight frame that would take 27" wheels i'd be only too happy to race on it! But a 2.6 kilo bare frame on my steel Univega will never be competitive.
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