Bontrager "Self Sealing" tubes



stevebiker

New Member
Sep 7, 2009
14
0
0
I bought the Race X Lite Hardcase tires for $98 yesterday, then got to thinking whether I could buy "flat-resistant" tubes to decrease my chances of a flat, while carrying flat fixing tools. Haven't put the tires on yet, so I could return them.

The reason is that my bike is new, and the standard tires have a lot of life left on them. Would hate to waste new tires.

Bontrager sells a "Self Sealing" inner tube: "Protect yourself from flats with these specially-designed tubes that instantly seal small hole punctures."

Will these tubes offer any protection from flats? No all flats, obviously, but any significant protection?
 

kdelong

Well-Known Member
Dec 14, 2006
3,477
74
48
I cannot speak to the effectiveness of these tubes but it seems to me like you are a little overly paranoid of flats. A flat should only be a very minor annoyance in the total cycling experience. They don't happen to 99.9% of us with any regularity. The .1% usually have a difficult to find rim problem that cannot be fixed with a different tire or inner tube.

Go to your LBS and ask them to show you how to fix a flat and what items you will need. If they are anything like most shops, they will show you if for no other reason than that they will be able to sell you a flat repair kit. A kit including the bag will probably cost less than the self-sealing tubes and much less than what you spent on the tires.

Anyway, get the kit and learn how to use it. Put it on your bike, forget flats, and enjoy riding!
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
161
0
kdelong said:
I cannot speak to the effectiveness of these tubes but it seems to me like you are a little overly paranoid of flats. A flat should only be a very minor annoyance in the total cycling experience. They don't happen to 99.9% of us with any regularity. The .1% usually have a difficult to find rim problem that cannot be fixed with a different tire or inner tube.

Go to your LBS and ask them to show you how to fix a flat and what items you will need. If they are anything like most shops, they will show you if for no other reason than that they will be able to sell you a flat repair kit. A kit including the bag will probably cost less than the self-sealing tubes and much less than what you spent on the tires.

Anyway, get the kit and learn how to use it. Put it on your bike, forget flats, and enjoy riding!

What he said. Get a patch kit, a spare tube, and a means to inflate a tube (CO2 inflator or pump). Stow 'em, and ride. If you get a flat it takes only a couple of minutes to install and inflate a new tube. Then you're on your way. If Murphy really has it out for you on that day, you'll have a patch kit for the next flat.

Kd is right about flat frequency. It doesn't happen that often, and most flats can be avoided by
  1. Properly inflating your tires
  2. Avoiding road debris.
After a ride, you can look over the tires and pull out anything that might be embedded and cause a flat later. I've got a bit over 1,000 miles on my latest set of clinchers, and I've only had one flat......and I live in the land of goatheads.
 

dhk2

Active Member
Aug 8, 2006
2,214
39
48
74
What they said, plus that tire choice is important since tire characteristics involve tradeoffs. EG, Michelin and Continental make a range of tires with different amounts of puncture resistance, grip, life, and rolling resistance. The most expensive race tire in the line should be the fastest rolling with the best grip, but it isn't going to be the best for puncture resistance and wear life.

The "worst" tire I've tried, Vittoria Open Corsa CX had a great ride and rolled well, but tended to pick up small sharp bits of gravel and puncture. Also only lasted about 1500 miles on the rear. Fun to ride, but always have the spare tube and inflation ready. In fairness to Vittoria, the tire box warns to "avoid gravel and road debris, as these tires are designed for performance racing only".

This summer, went back to my favorites, GP 4000 Continentals. Not one puncture in the last two sets of tires, and thread life about double the CXs. Guess it all depends on where and how you ride, and how much you want to spend on tires. My buddy rides on Michelin Lithion, long-wearing and puncture-resistance training tires....and they are bargain priced.
 

64Paramount

Active Member
Jul 25, 2009
1,640
34
0
I've never used "flat resistant" tubes, so I don't know if they work as advertised or not.

I do run the Bontrager RaceLite Hardcase tires and have not had a flat so far.

I also carry a spare tube, tire levers, and a CO2 kit for the next time I do have a flat.
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
161
0
I'd view anything described as "flat resistant" or "puncture proof" with great skepticism. Given the masses of goatheads distributed on the roads, here, a friend suggested I use Spinskins, which make all sorts of flat resistance claims. My friend said that in the time he'd been using them--several years--he'd never had a flat. Spinskins are a tire liner. I installed them, and within two weeks, a goathead went right through a Spinskins liner and flatted my tire. I put the Spinskins in the round file.

Now, I look at flats as an opportunity to stand next to the road, fixing a flat, having a cute girl/hot womynz stop and ask if I need help. Anything that advances lechery is a positive.
 

MikeD

New Member
Oct 26, 2003
5
0
0
alienator said:
I'd view anything described as "flat resistant" or "puncture proof" with great skepticism. Given the masses of goatheads distributed on the roads, here, a friend suggested I use Spinskins, which make all sorts of flat resistance claims. My friend said that in the time he'd been using them--several years--he'd never had a flat. Spinskins are a tire liner. I installed them, and within two weeks, a goathead went right through a Spinskins liner and flatted my tire. I put the Spinskins in the round file.

Now, I look at flats as an opportunity to stand next to the road, fixing a flat, having a cute girl/hot womynz stop and ask if I need help. Anything that advances lechery is a positive.

If you are experiencing frequent flats due to thorns, I think something like Slimed tubes or other solutions might be in order. However, if you just get the occasional flat, I would live with it. Maybe buy a CO2 pump make the flat repair process less of a hassle. All these Slimed tubes, tire liners, and hard case tires just add weight and rolling resistance.
 

alienator

Well-Known Member
Jun 10, 2004
12,596
161
0
MikeD said:
If you are experiencing frequent flats due to thorns, I think something like Slimed tubes or other solutions might be in order. However, if you just get the occasional flat, I would live with it. Maybe buy a CO2 pump make the flat repair process less of a hassle. All these Slimed tubes, tire liners, and hard case tires just add weight and rolling resistance.

You missed the tongue in cheek part. I don't hate myself enough to ride with Slime tubes. I tried helping a guy one day with a flat he had. He had Slime tubes, and the Slime didn't seal the hole. There was Slime everywhere. What a freaking mess. Impossible to put a patch on at the time.

I never thought flat repair was a hassle. Just throw in a new tube, gas it up with some CO2, and ride.