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Do you ever get flats?

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View Poll Results: How often do you get flats?
more than 1 flat per year
about one flat per year
one flat every 2 years
one flat every 3 years
4 or more years between flats
Can't remember the last time I had a flat.
I don't get many flats, but just don't want to take the risk and deal with changing a tire.
Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

Do you ever get flats?

Old 10-17-17, 02:06 PM
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Do you ever get flats?

Do you ever get flats?

If so, do you know why?

Some people seem to be very concerned about flats. I’ve ridden in goathead country, and understand that. But for the rest of us is seems that it should be a minor concern.

I’ll actually get something that goes through the tread maybe once in every 5 years. Its pretty rare.

How many flats do you get per year (or how many years between flats)?

Last edited by chas58; 10-25-17 at 03:05 PM.
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Old 10-17-17, 02:14 PM
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It's bad form to taunt the flat fairies ...
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Old 10-17-17, 02:20 PM
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In Germany, Denmark and Sweden, not once.

In Northeast England, I went through a tyre every 1000 miles and split a Schwalbe Lugano after about 150 miles. About 8 flats over 3500km due to the bad road surface.

In Southeast England, not a single flat.

Me and Northeast England don't get on.
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Old 10-17-17, 02:33 PM
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Relatively frequently here in Phoenix if I'm in a rural area... goats heads suck major
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Old 10-17-17, 02:40 PM
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Have ridden in other countries(Japan, Aruba, Holland, China,etc.) and states(Cali, Maryland, Hawaii, Virginia, etc.); no flats(yet).
Home base here in New York City; every few months.
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Old 10-17-17, 02:45 PM
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I haven't kept detailed notes, but I think an average of one flat a year sounds about right. I've only gotten one pinch flat ever. That was in 2009 after buying my first road bike and not knowing that it was a good idea to pump up the tires every day.
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Old 10-17-17, 02:55 PM
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I've had 2 this year, both pictures of something metal penetrating the tire. If you have had pinch flat issues to that extent, you may need more air pressure.

I actually am not completely satisfied with the puncture resistance of the Clement LGG. Nice riding tire, but I found the vittoria Rubino to be both faster and more durable.
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Old 10-17-17, 03:05 PM
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I had four flats in four days in the Florida Keys a couple years ago. Wire from truck tire treads each time. Easy to find and patch. Other flats from sidewall cuts, glass, rock shards, staples and valve stem wear. Couple blowouts even. You name it, I’ve done it. Probably average 2 or more per year.
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Old 10-17-17, 03:17 PM
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This depends a *lot* on so many factors: where you ride, the road, how many miles, and so on.

A mate got two flats within 100m - because 1) you could literally see through his rear tyre it was so worn, and 2) he under-inflated the spare tube (after the first flat) and immediately target-fixated on a rock in the road and pinch-flatted again.

Proper maintenance and preparation mean a lot: don't let your tyres get threadbare before replacing, and maintain proper air pressures.

But still you're gonna get the occasional flat tyre. Be ready (with a spare tube and patch kit) and practicing changing a flat at home is priceless when you're on the side of the road in the rain
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Old 10-17-17, 03:47 PM
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I usually wear two or three tires out every year, so of course I'm going to get some flats.

If I get to make the choice between riding less and having fewer flats, or riding more and having more flats, I'll take the rides!
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Old 10-17-17, 04:05 PM
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I have things with me to try and detect those annoying "wire" flats, but mine are usually more profound and easy to find, such as a nail suitable for a nail gun going diagonally through a tire, or a decent sized pop rivet. I guess a flat is a flat, easier to find the cause helps.. a bit.
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Old 10-17-17, 04:18 PM
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A lot will depend on mileage and just bad luck. And, of course tires.

I'm now up to 5000 to 6000 miles a year. Hard to say, maybe a flat every 1000 miles. It isn't that common, but frequent enough that I like to be prepared 100% of the time.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's bad form to taunt the flat fairies ...
My Tannus tires that I've been riding in the winter will taunt the flat fairies, and dance around and make fun of them. And still keep rolling Stats not included in the above estimates
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Old 10-17-17, 04:37 PM
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When I started commuting on my road bike, I had my race tires (GP2k) and got 4 flats in a week. The goatheads out here are unrelenting, especially in the fall.

I've since swapped to using my training wheels with Gatorskins, and rarely get a flat; maybe once a season.
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Old 10-17-17, 04:40 PM
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My lifetime average is roughly one flat evert 2,000 miles or so. Since I ride much more than that, I get more flats. But I don't consider it a problem in any way, just part of the game.

FWIW historically just about all my fears were from cuts, usually glass. However there was a stretch where there were more failures where the tube met the valve. Thankfully that's behind me now.
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Old 10-17-17, 05:09 PM
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More than 1 flat a year? I had more than 1 flat in the last 24 hours.

Came out to the garage this morning to find a flat rear tire. Since time was tight, I grabbed the rear from my race wheels and stuck it on, pumped it up, and went. 20 minutes later that tire goes flat (goat head). Hoping I won't find a 3d flat when I go get my bike at the end of the day.
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Old 10-17-17, 06:08 PM
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I have 5 bikes, and for a 2-3 week period, at least one had a flat at any given time. And when you have this many flats, it snowballs, and you get flat after flat after flat. Having flats begets more flats. And having no flats begets having no flats. Once you start messing with a tire and tube, flats will always follow, no matter how careful you are. Such is life during autumn in goat head country.

When I lived away from goat heads in Oregon, I'd get maybe one flat every 1000 miles or so, sometimes more, sometimes less. I tell ya, those goat heads are definitely a game-changer, and OP has no idea how lucky he is to get one every 5 years or whatever.

Maybe I'll make a survey about something that never happens to me, like "How Often Does Your Front Wheel Fly Off and Burst into Flames, Just Before Exploding? Once a year, twice a year . . ."
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Old 10-17-17, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's bad form to taunt the flat fairies ...

Exactly my reaction.
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Old 10-17-17, 08:46 PM
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I'd guess one per thousand miles or so, but they do seem to come in clusters.

I've flatted in Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, Texas, Washington, and Michigan. Flat free in twenty or so other states, Canada, France, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, and India. Admittedly, by far the most miles have been in the US.

The most flats per mile ridden has almost certainly been in Texas. Very very course aggregate, lots of loose sharp gravel.

About a third of my flats were found in my garage the day after a ride.

Four times on one ride is my record. That was a bad day.
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Old 10-17-17, 10:50 PM
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What matters is number of miles, not time. I've ridden 4k miles this year and seems like I was flat-free for the first 2k miles. Since then, I think it's three flats: one by a small metal turning in the rear tire, one small cotter pin in the rear tire and a small piece of glass in the rear tire.

A flat about every 1300 miles.
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Old 10-18-17, 12:47 AM
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I have not had a flat on a commute since switching to Compass 650b x 42mm extralight tires about 3 years ago. Before that, goatsheads, at least 3 a month, and glass. Surprising, those things are aggressive.

I don’t get pinch flats, though I weigh 220 pounds. Even in the days I rode 23mm tires. People I rode with did.
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Old 10-18-17, 01:31 AM
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Does it count if my left trailer tire currently has a slow leak? I suppose it is time to tear it apart, but it seems to hold for a couple of days before going too flat.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:03 AM
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i don't keep records of flats, but i probably average ~2 flats per year.

they're always from shards of broken glass.

that's life in the big city.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:31 AM
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I get them much more when I have run my tires down to nothing, just prior to replacing them. Almost always nails and staples. Overall I average about once a year. My current main commuter is running new 2.0 inch Maxis hookworms that weight 1.45 lbs a piece. In retrospect, a bit overkill, but they probably won't flat me for years.
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Old 10-18-17, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
90% of my flats were pinch flats. I’ve gone tubeless so that isn’t a problem (even though I still cringe when the wheel bottoms out, it hasn’t affected anything yet). I’ll actually get something that goes through the tread maybe once in every 3 years. Its pretty rare. A cut in the sidewall worries me more, but realistically
How many flats do you get per year (or how many years between flats)?
Gotta say that if you have that many pinch flats, you are doing something wrong. It sounds like you are still doing something wrong since your wheel "bottoms out" on impacts. While the air in the tire has some connection to comfort, it is also there to protect the wheel. Bottoming out enough times to count your pinch flats as 90% of your flats says to me that you are asking too much of your tires and not enough of the rider.

Pump your tires up! Use your legs and arms to suspend the load on the bike, especially during impacts. Quit riding like a sack of potatoes in the saddle! Your wheels will thank you for it.
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Old 10-18-17, 10:07 AM
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A few years ago someone started a thread in the Classic and Vintage forum called "I hate flat tires..." Like, who doesn't, right? It has become an ongoing flat tire log / blog for several of the posters there. I now keep pretty good track of my punctures. So... here's my stats:

2017: 4 flats so far
2016: 12 flats
2015: 25 flats
2014: dunno, but I'm pretty sure it was more than 25.
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