Too Many Flats On One Of My Favorite Routes - What To Do?



grecinos

Member
Sep 28, 2015
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6
3
Hey guys,

I live out in the country and I have 3 routes that I frequent. One of which has a bike lane. My problem is that I've been getting many flat tires on that stretch of road. The culprit, thorns... I got a flat tire today and about 5 others in the past two months, all due to thorns. I'd hate to stop riding that route as it is very enjoyable and the only one that has a bike lane from start to finish. Should I complain to the city?

Any suggestions?

Cheers,

grecinos
 

mpre53

Well-Known Member
Feb 20, 2013
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Cape Cod, MA, USA
Try Continental Gatorskins, or some other "flat resistant" tire. If you're talking about those infamous "goathead" thorns, even those may not help that much. I have no experience with them as they're not native to my part of the country.
 

grecinos

Member
Sep 28, 2015
24
6
3
texbiker said:
What tires are you riding? You might consider using "Tuffy" inserts in your tires. If your tire had enough space these can help with punctures.
I'm riding on a pair of Michelin Lithion 2 (700x23c) tires. I haven't used Mr. Tuffy's in a long time. I was thinking about those at the time I was posting the thread. I think they would fit the bill, but I'm not sure what kind of performance hit would result.


mpre53 said:
Try Continental Gatorskins, or some other "flat resistant" tire. If you're talking about those infamous "goathead" thorns, even those may not help that much. I have no experience with them as they're not native to my part of the country.
I'm not sure what a goathead thorn looks like, but the one's I've encountered were pretty big. The body of the thorn was about as big as my pinky nail. It was big enough that I could pull it out with my bare fingers. You right, I doubt any conventional clinchers would be resistant to this type of debris.
 

grecinos

Member
Sep 28, 2015
24
6
3
Just a quick update... I purchased some Mr. Tuffy liners online. I'll get them around Wednesday of next week. Time will tell if they work!
 

sunshiney

Active Member
Aug 19, 2015
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Toronto
I know you already ordered the liners, but it still might be worth a complaint to your local public works. If the situation is that bad, and it sounds like it is, you're probably not the only one having issues with it so they might be more willing to deal with the problem. The bike lane is there for cyclists to use so there should be some attempt at maintenance, especially if something like this is affecting the safety of people riding.
 

BobCochran

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
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I would take action for myself first -- as the OP has done by getting tire liners. Then just ask the local public works department if they will sweep and vacuum the bike lane. I know these sort of thorny plants well -- they seem related to sand spur plants, which I know far too well. http://acris.nynhp.org/guide.php?id=9728.

I remember shooting baskets at a nearby basketball square which is owned by my city. The nets they selected for the basketball hoops are of poor quality. It took some doing, but I located the Recreation Department official responsible for maintaining these little square basketball shooting areas. I asked him to replace the net in one particular hoop with a new one provided by me. He declined and said the net was new and would become easier to use with time. I then asked if he would allow me to change the net myself and at my expense. He never responded to that. I guess he felt he could succeed through ignoring me.

My guess is that most officials in small cities are like that: inaccessible and unhelpful. Officials in small towns, villages, and hamlets are more responsive because everyone knows everyone.

Thanks a ton

Bob
 

Damien Lee

Well-Known Member
May 16, 2015
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Sorry to hear about the thorns. I think you should complain to your local town council, and hopefully they'll do something about it. I've only ever suffered a high frequency of flats back in my school days, when I had to go through a pebbled road which was never too kind to my tires.
 

Corzhens

Well-Known Member
May 26, 2015
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Do you mean thorns of plants like thorns of rose? Maybe it is worth complaining to the local government. We also have some roads with planter boxes in lieu of the islands where trees and flower plants grow so I quite understand the scenario. However, what can the city do about it? If they would clean the road, they have to do it every time. And they wouldn't be doing that for you, I guess. Perhaps it is better if you change tires. I know there are "flat-proof" tires that you can try. Just be happy with the thought there you have a bike lane there while we have none here.
 

Destiny3614

Member
Apr 16, 2016
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I don't think you have much if a choice but to just change your route. Flats can get really expensive. I'd just find a new place. I've had to do it a couple times due to glglass and nails.
 

doctorold

Member
Dec 14, 2010
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North Carolina
Bikes lanes where I live in North Carolina are a joke. Most are filled with debris such as broken glass. The towns, cities, DOT, etc. won't do anything about it. They all want to say it's the responsibility of another entity to clean them up. I was told by one official that the budget for cleaning them up comes from the snow removal budget. We have hardly any snow at all in the winter here yet they never get swept. So even though we have bike lanes, I hardly ever use them or I ride in the very extreme left hand side of them.
With that said, I have ridden for years and thousands of miles without having a flat tire. I know, many people find that hard to believe, especially with our road conditions. I ride on Conti Four Seasons. They don't last as long as I would like given their price but I am willing to expense that cost for not having to be disabled on the side of the road fixing a flat. I know it's only a matter of time before I get my first flat but I know what works for me. I am somewhat diligent about watching the road ahead and avoiding gravel and debris as much as possible. I would say try different tires and try riding on the far left of the bike lanes. Cars generally cross the line when there are no bikes which should sweep some of the thorns away.