goatheads VS snake skins/thorn tubes/slime

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Dan Baker, Jan 31, 2003.

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  1. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

    I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using thorn-resistant tubes
    with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several frustrating experiences
    with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches dont ever stick. I dont expect
    any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we can take an unoffical poll.

    on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail a
    couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is. I've
    tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success.... have these worked well for
    anyone else?

    When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight kevlar
    "snake skins" work reasonably well?

    Is there any big difference in various brands of skins? If so, let me know if there is anywhere to
    get them at decent discount in various widths. I might try some in 700x25 roadbike and also in my
    700x28 tandem tires.

    thanx,

    Dan
     
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  2. In article <[email protected]>, dan baker <[email protected]> wrote:
    >I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    >looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using thorn-resistant tubes
    >with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several frustrating experiences
    >with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches dont ever stick. I dont expect
    >any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we can take an unoffical poll.

    I don't think the slimy stuff ever works very well.

    I think tire liners are a better way to go than thorn-proof tubes or kevlar belted tires. Pay once,
    re-use forever. New tires, no problem, just move the liners. Also facilitates using super cheap
    tires instead of $35-50 bullet-proof tires that you end up throwing away after you cut the sidewall.

    >on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    >a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is. I've
    >tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success.... have these worked well for
    >anyone else?

    Some work better than others but none work well enough for me to abandon glue. I think they are
    basically junk, a gimmick that doesn't really save any time or hassle and frequently requires fixing
    it again. Grr!!

    >When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight kevlar
    >"snake skins" work reasonably well?

    Haven't tried that particular product. Mr Tuffy is the "old standard".

    --Paul
     
  3. David Kunz

    David Kunz Guest

    dan baker wrote:
    > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    > looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using thorn-resistant
    > tubes with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several frustrating
    > experiences with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches dont ever stick. I
    > dont expect any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we can take an
    > unoffical poll.
    >
    > on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    > a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is. I've
    > tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success.... have these worked well for
    > anyone else?
    >
    > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight
    > kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?
    >
    > Is there any big difference in various brands of skins? If so, let me know if there is anywhere to
    > get them at decent discount in various widths. I might try some in 700x25 roadbike and also in my
    > 700x28 tandem tires.

    Some swear by slime, but I was riding with someone who put a hole too big for the slime to seal
    (double snake bite) and the goop made it impossible to get a patch to stick. We had to leave him,
    ride home and come back with a car.

    Self adhesive patches work really well for me on mountain bike tires (45
    psi). They typically last the life of the tube (Park, NOT slime). But, I don't of anyone who has any
    success with them at road tire pressures.

    I also had bad luck with tire liners. Only tried them once. They slid around made their own hole in
    the tub inside of 2 weeks. And, they were so stiff that they made my tire squarish instead of round
    with made the bike handle strangely. Other brands may work better.

    I've settled on kevlar tires.

    David
     
  4. x

    x Guest

    Anybody remember an outfit called "Sin-Air"?

    They sold a device that allowed an LBS to pump a tire/tube full of some foamy goop that, after it
    went off, formed a dry foam.

    I saw a demo at the NY bike show in which they did all sorts of cruel and unusual things to a tire -
    like drilling a 1/8" hole through it - and claimed it was still ridable.
    -----------------------
    Pete Cresswell
     
  5. On Fri, 31 Jan 2003 10:12:20 -0500, dan baker wrote:

    > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    > looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance.

    Think for a minute about a goathead thorn. That sucker is about 1/4" long. Now, consider a tire. The
    tread is about 1/8". Beyond that is the tube, and even the thickest are nowhere near thick enough.

    It is simply impossible to protect against them. Like with STDs, avoidance is the best prevention.

    > on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    > a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is.

    Of course.  These are called "clueless patches" for a reason. The only patchin that has a real
    chance on a road tire is one with a "vulcanizing" glue.

    I've tried
    > 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success.... have these worked well for
    > anyone else?
    >
    > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight
    > kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?

    No. Imagine kevlar. It is a fabric. It might protect against a knife-edge that glass or flint can
    present, but against a goatheaqd it's about as effective as a shirt is against a dagger.

    --

    David L. Johnson

    __o | Let's not escape into mathematics. Let's stay with reality. -- _`\(,_ | Michael Crichton
    (_)/ (_) |
     
  6. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Pete Cresswell wrote:

    > Anybody remember an outfit called "Sin-Air"?
    >
    > They sold a device that allowed an LBS to pump a tire/tube full of some foamy goop that, after it
    > went off, formed a dry foam.

    I remember seeing that at a bike show, but that has to be almost 30 years ago. I don't remember the
    brand name, but I remember they had drilled large holes through the tire to show how great it
    worked. I'm sure it rode a lot like a solid tire--poorly. All that viscoelastic material getting
    squished in the contact patch, scary stuff.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  7. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (dan baker) wrote:

    >I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    >looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using thorn-resistant tubes
    >with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several frustrating experiences
    >with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches dont ever stick. I dont expect
    >any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we can take an unoffical poll.

    I ride in the Phoenix, Arizona area - and was averaging 2-3 flats a week. I switched to Conti
    Gatorskins and I've had I think 3-4 flats in the last 1.5 years (perfectly placed thorns). They're
    really pretty supple and light, too - not bricks like the Specialized Armadillos.

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
  8. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    David L. Johnson wrote:

    > Think for a minute about a goathead thorn. That sucker is about 1/4" long. Now, consider a
    > tire. The tread is about 1/8". Beyond that is the tube, and even the thickest are nowhere near
    > thick enough.

    The thorn resistant tubes are thick enough. The drawback is weight and rolling resistance.
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  9. A Muzi

    A Muzi Guest

    "dan baker" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads... Once again I am
    > looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using thorn-resistant
    > tubes with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several frustrating
    > experiences with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches dont ever stick. I
    > dont expect any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we can take an
    > unoffical poll.
    >
    > on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    > a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is. I've
    > tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success.... have these worked well for
    > anyone else?
    >
    > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight
    > kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?
    >
    > Is there any big difference in various brands of skins? If so, let me know if there is anywhere to
    > get them at decent discount in various widths. I might try some in 700x25 roadbike and also in my
    > 700x28 tandem tires.

    I am not an expert on most of those areas but regarding patches, the effect you're looking for is a
    clean surface. Your comment "well-roughened" spurred me to write.

    The scraper/sandpaper in a patch kit is intended to mimic the skinned knee you remember from
    childhood. Just get the dirty/waxy/oily top layer off to expose clean rubber below. New inner tubes
    are coated with a waxy material that was a mold-release. Glue won't adhere to it. There may also be
    chafed crud and oil along with that wax.

    Often riders scuff and then clear away the detritus with an oily finger which undoes the benefit of
    scraping. Roughness is not at all necessary and is an unrelated side effect of scraping away the
    dirty top layer of rubber.

    You may find that carrying a spare tube and patching at home helps, as we are seldom in a calm,
    positive mood after a puncture. Even if you patch on site, try alcohol, tape deck cleaner or a
    similar solvent. The alcohol preps you get free at pharmacies and fast-food outlets are good for
    both cleaning the tube surface and your hands afterwards.

    Regardless of the other products you mention, patching can be quick and sure if attention is paid to
    cleaning the tube, using a spare amount of cement and allowing the cement to flash before applying
    the patch. Our FAQ is very good on this technique.

    --
    Andrew Muzi http://www.yellowjersey.org Open every day since 1 April 1971
     
  10. Jobst Brandt

    Jobst Brandt Guest

    Dan Baker writes:

    > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads...

    There are probably no more goatheads there than elsewhere in the western flatlands according to
    distribution maps and my experience. I've found that the riders who get the most grief from
    tribulus terrestris, as it is also known, are ones who do not recognize the plant where it grows at
    the edge of roads. Similarly, people who get poison oak badly don't recognize the plant, especially
    in winter.

    > Once again I am looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using
    > thorn-resistant tubes with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several
    > frustrating experiences with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches don't
    > ever stick. I don't expect any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback so we
    > can take an unofficial poll.

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/9.34.html

    As has been mentioned by others, prevention is better than burdening your bicycle with armor plate
    of one kind or another.

    > On the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    > a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube is. I've
    > tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success... have these worked well for
    > anyone else?

    http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8b.1.html

    > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time....

    Your competitors seem not to have this problem. What are you doing differently?

    > Do those lightweight Kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?

    Kevlar, for one, will do no good at all because it is a fabric through which you can pass a sewing
    needle (or thorn) effortlessly.

    > Is there any big difference in various brands of skins? If so, let me know if there is anywhere to
    > get them at decent discount in various widths. I might try some in 700x25 road bike and also in my
    > 700x28 tandem tires.

    Difference for what, high performance such as good cornering and low rolling resistance, or is your
    primary goal puncture resistance and longevity? Learn to avoid tribulus terrestris and go for
    performance.

    Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  11. > Difference for what, high performance such as good cornering and low rolling resistance, or is
    > your primary goal puncture resistance and longevity? Learn to avoid tribulus terrestris and go for
    > performance.

    A bit of irony in that statement, as tribulus terrestris is the primary ingredient in testosterol
    (http://www.testosterol.com/product.asp?catID=7&productID=20105). If your primary goal is longevity
    (and who know, perhaps a harder tire?) then tribulus terrestris might actually be the solution, not
    hte problem!

    Funny. I'd never looked up the details of that particular plant until you posted its real name.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles http://www.ChainReaction.com

    <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Dan Baker writes:
    >
    > > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads...
    >
    > There are probably no more goatheads there than elsewhere in the western flatlands according to
    > distribution maps and my experience. I've found that the riders who get the most grief from
    > tribulus terrestris, as it is also known, are ones who do not recognize the plant where it grows
    > at the edge of roads. Similarly, people who get poison oak badly don't recognize the plant,
    > especially in winter.
    >
    > > Once again I am looking for alternatives and feedback on puncture resistance. I've been using
    > > thorn-resistant tubes with better success than slime, but they weigh a ton. I have had several
    > > frustrating experiences with slime not sealing, and gooping up the tube so bad that patches
    > > don't ever stick. I don't expect any method to work 100%, but would appreciate peoples feedback
    > > so we can take an unofficial poll.
    >
    > http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/9.34.html
    >
    > As has been mentioned by others, prevention is better than burdening your bicycle with armor plate
    > of one kind or another.
    >
    > > On the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to
    > > fail a couple hours after application regardless of how clean,dry,and well-roughened the tube
    > > is. I've tried 3m, park, and performance brands with 0% long-term success... have these worked
    > > well for anyone else?
    >
    > http://draco.acs.uci.edu/rbfaq/FAQ/8b.1.html
    >
    > > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time....
    >
    > Your competitors seem not to have this problem. What are you doing differently?
    >
    > > Do those lightweight Kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?
    >
    > Kevlar, for one, will do no good at all because it is a fabric through which you can pass a sewing
    > needle (or thorn) effortlessly.
    >
    > > Is there any big difference in various brands of skins? If so, let me know if there is anywhere
    > > to get them at decent discount in various widths. I might try some in 700x25 road bike and also
    > > in my 700x28 tandem tires.
    >
    > Difference for what, high performance such as good cornering and low rolling resistance, or is
    > your primary goal puncture resistance and longevity? Learn to avoid tribulus terrestris and go for
    > performance.
    >
    > Jobst Brandt [email protected] Palo Alto CA
     
  12. Dan Baker

    Dan Baker Guest

    thanks for input fellas, let me expand and summarize a couple points...

    [email protected] (dan baker) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I live in NM, and we have a fair amount of glass and goatheads on the roads...
    --------
    I rarely get flats myself actually. I am usually watching the road pretty closely, and unless the
    wind has blown a pile of goatheads in a crack in the road or a sandpile, I usually avoid'em.
    Additionally, on my daily rides I have settled on the thick heavy thornresistant tubes which seem
    thick enough to block all but the worst thorns on the off chance you hit'em. i figure the extra
    weight is good training.... along with the 90# of kids in trailer I tow around.

    I thought I'd try slime tubes since some people seem to like them. However, I have had a couple fail
    to seal thornholes on my wife's bike, and made a huge mess that was hard to patch, besides getting
    the inside of the tire, my hands, and the bike all green as it sprayed out. I was wondering if that
    was the common result....

    >
    > on the topic of patches, I've tried several brands of quick adhesive patches, and all seem to fail
    > a couple hours after application
    > ------
    the reason I keep hoping they work is that I've had vulcanizing kits evaporate between use once the
    glue is open; dumb, but forgetting to replace the opened glue with a virgin one has happened. Not
    good to think you have a kit, and find out you have no glue.

    > When racing I go with light tubes and worry about it the whole time.... Do those lightweight
    > kevlar "snake skins" work reasonably well?
    > -----------
    sounds like skins are not going to do much against goatheads, so thanks for the input. But it makes
    me wonder why people think the conti gator or armadillos give them any added protection.

    D
     
  13. Some years ago I was part of a group that did the transcontinental ride by the classic
    Bikecentennial route. Along the way I had numerous flats and ruined 7 tires by running over things
    which cut the tire too badly for it to be used again. In Kansas we encountered goathead thorns and I
    resorted to schrader tubes with a sealant. I don't think it helped but can't be sure because I don't
    know how many flats I's have had without
    it.

    My roommate had no flats at all. He rode a Cannondale T-1000 with 700x35 Continental Top Touring
    tires. They were new when we began and he brought the original ones that came on the bike as spares
    (he never needed them). His tubes had no sealant but the tread on his tires was thick enough that
    nothing ever got to his tubes.

    Bob Taylor
     
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