Tire durability and punctures

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by goatgoat, May 18, 2011.

  1. goatgoat

    goatgoat New Member

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    Hey forums,

    I've just taken up cycling to commute to my university (about 10km) and it is clearly the better option compared to taking the city bus. However, for the month that I've been riding, I've had two punctures causing flats. I only have 150kms on my new bike so I'm wondering if this is occurring more frequently than others experience. Is it advisable to get a thicker set of tires? Do more experienced riders get flats less often?

    My new bike is a Rocky Mountain RC10 with Kenda Kwick Roller Sport 700x32c tires.

    Thanks,
    goat
     
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  2. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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  3. jpr95

    jpr95 Active Member

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    Unless you're a larger person (say, over 200 lbs.), make sure your tires aren't inflated to the max on the sidewall. With a little more flex in the tire due to lower pressure, they're far less likely to puncture, and it's only a negligible increase in rolling resistance.

    Jason
     
  4. goatgoat

    goatgoat New Member

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    Those tire liners look like not too bad an idea. Will they fit my tire size?

    @jpr95, I'm a pretty lightweight person at ~140 lbs, but I ride hard nonetheless. My route is bumpy in places for sure, and there is often debris and small gravel on the road. Due to a number of steep inclines I often coast my bike over 40km/h. I'm sure my aluminum frame bike by no means makes things any easier on my tubes/tires.

    How often do you guys all get flats?
     
  5. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    Tire liners fit mostly any size tire. I believe the link I supplied has about a dozen size tires that they cover. Just select your tire size when ordering (if you do decide to order).
    I get a few flats a year on my road bike. Tires, pressure and the conditions of the road all add up. But luck is the biggest factor involved. Tire liners improve all of these factors unless you are riding your tires with too little pressure. Low pressure will lead to snake bite flats which occur when going over pot holes and bumps. These flats look like two small pin holes close together on your tube hence the name snake bite. The only way to prevent these is increase your air pressure. Inspect your tube when you flat to try and figure out whats going on.
     
  6. tafi

    tafi Member

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    Two punctures in a month is hardly a reliable statistical sample!

    Agreed, In the vast majority of cases it comes down to road conditions and luck. By the time you've had a puncture it is impossible to tell if a different tyre would have been better or worse (the cycling equivalent of Schrödinger's Cat) because the exact same conditions can never be replicated.

    We can do no more than very broadly categorise tyres into degrees of puncture protection (with a big margin of error). Generally any tyre with a kevlar belting should do better than one without but it's impossible to say any more than that.

    I would argue against liners since they never prevent sidewall punctures and only make tube re-installation more difficult.

    By far the simplest thing to do is to "suck it up" and understand that punctures are a fact of life no matter what tyre you use. Sometimes they happen and sometimes they don't.
     
  7. davereo

    davereo Well-Known Member

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    I agree with your argument on the tire liners in regards road cycling. They do have their down side of the flat repair being a little more difficult so I dont use them. When flattening on a road bike you know about it quickly and fix it on the spot 99% of the time.
    OTOH my 29er out in the woods gets 3 maybe even four punctures on one tire for a two hour ride which I am not even aware of until the next day. Damn tires hold a lot of air. Tire liners work wonderfully in this case scenario.
     
  8. 64Paramount

    64Paramount Active Member

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    I went almost 6 years without a flat, then had two flats on my rear tire within a month's time last Spring, and none since then.

    Even with the best tires, tire liners, proper tire pressures, and prayers to the cycling gods...I think we all will have some flat tires in our futures if we ride enough. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif

    Having said that, using good tires, tire liners, and proper air pressures will help reduce your chances of having flats.

    So, keep carrying your flat repair kit when you ride and try not to get discouraged when you get a flat. It happens to most of us sooner or later...
     
  9. nuliajuk

    nuliajuk New Member

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    I've been pretty happy with my Schwalbe Marathons. I ride through gravel and grit all the time on the way to and from work, and the only puncture I've had is when I hit the broken off neck of a beer bottle head on.
     
  10. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    When I usually get a flat, it tends to occur during a week or so that I have a total of 2-3 flats during that period of time.
    That usually happens every 6-9 months.

    Be sure to rotate your tires. I know how many miles I can burn on my rear tire before the tread starts to run way too low(Conti's I was going about 800-850 miles, then rotating, currently running Maxxis Re-Fuse and going about 900-1000 miles on the rear, then rotating). Also, be sure not to run too narrow of a tire as well, given your size/weight (ie. if your over 170 lbs, you shouldn't be running 700X20c tires). A 700X23c is a great overall size for most people. If you have a wider rim width, you can run a 700X25c.

    I don't believe(have faith) in SLIME. Just buy a general tube = $3.50 , but don't skimp on your tire selection. Try and get at least 60 to 66 tpi tires ( if you can afford 127+ tpi, then great). Higher tpi = less likely hood of you getting a flat Higher tpi creates a tighter wound tire, less prone to getting a flat from a thorn (maybe not a goat-head, very sharp rock, or sharp glass). Lower tpi tires can be "iffy", (ie. 33tpi , there have been numerous manufactures of these tires in the past , usually at $15 or less $$)
     
  11. ambal

    ambal Active Member

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    Glass from broken beer bottles is my biggest hate these days! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/icon13.gif
     
  12. theBreadSultan

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    Yea I also have to give a BIG endorsment to the schwable marathon range.

    A few years back i was riding a marin hybrid with 1.5 tires - invested in a set of schwable marathon plus tires - and they were invincible

    I even rode over the up turned brocken neck of a vodka bottle to prove it to my mates.

    I remember when I went to the shop to buy them, they were expensive - i asked the guy in the shop if the price was justified... he took the tire cross section sample thing, and gave me a pin.

    "put it this way if you can get this pin through that blue stuff i'll give em to you for half price"

    I paid full price.

    [​IMG]

    on a racer i would recomend - marathon plus on the back (it comes in 25mm) with a schwable durano plus on the front

    [​IMG]

    as you dont need the same level of protection on the front as you do on the back.

    and punctures will become a thing of the past.

    (also on a side note - as far as i knew - having hight tire pressure actually is better for avoiding punctures than low pressure)
     
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  13. Adam-from-SLO

    Adam-from-SLO New Member

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    I'll look into those Schwable tires, so long as they don't "wable" down the roadway.

    Yes, higher pressure = less contact area on the roadway = less likely coming into contact with bad debris, however more weight/pressue is located in the center-central spot on the roadway, which can increase tire punctures. Its a two sided sword. I say, if the recommended PSI on the tire is say 125psi, do 120psi on the rear, and 115psi on the front(it will help give the front a little bit extra shock absorption value). Be sure to rotate your tires at least once, moving that well used REAR to the front for the next 20-25% of its milage life.
     
  14. goatgoat

    goatgoat New Member

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    Thanks all. That's a lot of good info. I will definitely consider top quality tires in a few years if I happen to need replacements. I've put on an additional 300km to my bike since my last flat, and I'm very happy about it. Looking at the road in bumpy areas and picking precise lines through the rocks and things has become like a second nature, an automatic function that I no longer need to think about. Since learning this I can imagine rider experience certainly has a positive impact on tire life.

    thanks again,
    goat
     
  15. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    Rider experience counts for a lot, as does the quality of the tires, but I think that luck plays the biggest role. I use quality tires on all of my bikes and I was riding before a lot of the guys on this forum were born and I still have an occasional flat. Part of your ride should be your post ride inspection of your bike, and this includes checking the tires for any debris that you might have picked up that might work its way through your tire casing and puncture the tube. I have had two flats this year, one by a piece of glass that did not flat the tire until I was doing my post ride inspection, and another that was caused by an inner tube valve stem that I discovered before I want riding. It was just luck that these flats did not occur on mile 20 of my 40 mile loop.
     
  16. phil2

    phil2 New Member

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    Instead of paying good money for these tyre liners, why not just use an old tube, a second butyl skin will do it just as well.
     
  17. kdelong

    kdelong Well-Known Member

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    I just pulled out my old Centurion earlier this week to get it ready to ride. It has been in hibernation for the past 9 months, covered and undisturbed until now. The last couple of times that I rode it last year, it was in an area where there is a lot of debris in the roadway so I used Forte' Thorn Resistant Tubes. I was surprised to find that the tires were still very firm after 9 months, and my tire gage verified that they were only down 7 and 10 lbs on the front and back. I was impressed. Now these tubes are fairly heavy.....alright, really heavy, at 265 grams. That is only about 200 grams over a standard tube. Anyway, the whole time that I was using them last year I never had a flat, although i did end up pulling some good sized chunks of glass out of my tires after my rides during the post ride tire inspection. These thorn resistant tubes did not effect the rolling resistance of the wheels to an extent that I could feel. So for now, this is my solution for frequent flats, use these tubes.

    Oh, and Kevlar belted tires probably help too.
     
  18. Eichers

    Eichers New Member

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  19. Eichers

    Eichers New Member

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    Hi kdelong, this approach sounds like a good idea :)
     
  20. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I would use tire liners in a MTB tire since their easier to install the road tires, and your going to hit more things that can puncture a tire going off road that you will never see. But having said that, I haven't used a tire liner in my MTB's for years, instead I've gone with beefy tire like the Kenda Blue Grove and the Kenda Qwest and used throne proof tubes and haven't had a flat for 3 years with either set of tires. I also have a set of Continental Sport Contact on another MTB and they too have been great with thorn proof tubes. And yes, I have gone off road on smooth MTB tires with no problems before someone starts yelling foul; I guess my bike handling skill is relatively high? I don't know but I'm not racing off road so I haven't had the need for knobby tires and I can go any place the knobby's took me.
     
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