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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
59
44.03%
about one flat per year
37
27.61%
one flat every 2 years
14
10.45%
one flat every 3 years
5
3.73%
4 or more years between flats
5
3.73%
Can't remember the last time I had a flat.
13
9.70%
I don't get many flats, but just don't want to take the risk and deal with changing a tire.
1
0.75%
Voters: 134. You may not vote on this poll

Do you ever get flats?

Old 10-18-17, 10:09 AM
  #26  
PatrickGSR94
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In 5 years of cycling I can only recall 3 or maybe 4 flats out on the road. I've had other flats occur in my garage, in the house, or even one last week just as I was pulling into my driveway after riding home from work. Got lucky on that one, as I didn't have a pump with me. That was my first flat on my Big Apple tires in over 2,000 miles I've put on them. I had some 1.5" Bontrager hybrid tires on that bike before which had a couple of flats out on the road. I was glad to get rid of those tires.
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Old 10-18-17, 10:10 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
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.
That's insane! I don't know if I could handle that many. I go thousands of miles between flats.
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Old 10-18-17, 10:33 AM
  #28  
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Agree with FNinNY, flats happen. I use two sets of wheels, one with nice tires that flat relatively easily (currently Vittoria Corsas) and one with Panaracer Paselas that flat but not that easily. I get flats from tire wire (#1, glass and construction debris #2) and pinch flats (#3). I place not crashing yet again far and away above avoiding pinch flats and often drop tire pressure for that security. (I ran out of suitable flesh covering my "corners" (elbows, hips, knees and ankles) a long time ago.) I also like nice riding tires.

So again - flats happen. Not a big deal. Now if I lived in goathead country ...

Ben
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Old 10-18-17, 10:34 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94 View Post
That's insane! I don't know if I could handle that many. I go thousands of miles between flats.
Well I guess I'm averaging around 1150 miles between flats for this year, so that's not terrible; but I'm not really into the whole flat tire thing either. One good thing about getting a lot of flat tires, though: it keeps you in practice for fixing flat tires.
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Old 10-18-17, 11:06 AM
  #30  
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I never enjoy getting a flat, but it's no big deal for me. I used to get a lot of flats. I don't know why I don't get many any more. And I worked as a bike shop mechanic, and I may have fixed a thousand flats. So I'm really good at it, and I'm fast, too. I choose tires according to how they ride, not how they resist punctures. If a tire I want has puncture protection, fine, but it's not a criterion for me.

I've ridden 2,600 miles so far this calendar year. Not sure what my tally will end up being. I think I get about two flats per year, but I'm really not sure.
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Old 10-18-17, 11:16 AM
  #31  
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I have a teammate who is adamant about always keeping his tires pumped. His hypothesis is that a fully inflated tire is harder and is more likely to fling off a shard or wire that would otherwise grab on and eventually work its way through. He hasn't done any rigorous testing but it seems reasonable to me.
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Old 10-18-17, 12:47 PM
  #32  
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On my commuter, about 1 flat/1000kms, that's about 6-7 flats per year. Most by glass shards, nails or tire wires.
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Old 10-18-17, 12:57 PM
  #33  
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I started using Schwalbe Marathon (and Marathon Winter) tires well over 10,000 miles ago on all my bikes and I haven't had a flat since. They're very heavy, and I know for a lot of people that's a deal breaker, but for me it's been a great trade-off.
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Old 10-18-17, 01:40 PM
  #34  
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In 5 years and over 15,000 miles of riding, I have only changed 2 flats out away from home. Once on the side of the road, and once outside a business as I found my rear tire flat when I came out from buying stuff. The other times I was either close to work or home and walked it, and once I made the call of shame to my wife since I found the tire flat after coming out of the grocery store and didn't have a tube or pump with me.
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Old 10-18-17, 03:28 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
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.
That is one option, given your assumptions.

In reality, I'm a pretty aggressive rider - riding a road or CX bike like it was a mountain bike. Sometimes I hit hard bumps that are more than 1" deep. at 20+mph in traffic, I'm gonna hit some potholes (rather that than a car). As for using arms and legs - well it those occasions often involve catching air, so I'm not exactly a "sack of potatoes". LOL! I don't baby my bike.

I didn't get a lot of pinch flats (its not "that many pinch flats"), its just that with the tires I'm using, it is unusual to get something through the tread. The tread can get pretty sliced up, but its unusual for me to actually get a puncture.

But yeah, pinch flats don't exist when you roll tubeless.

Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's bad form to taunt the flat fairies ...
I know right??? And its time for my commute home...
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Old 10-18-17, 05:59 PM
  #36  
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I use Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tours, uber heavy, and probably a harsh ride, but they only flat about once every 3,000 miles in the harsh city environment where I commute.

Nothing else I've tried including Gatorskins, Gatorskin Hardshell, Top Contact IIs or regular Marathons holds up as well.

I'm a teacher, late for work for me means I have 25 kids piled up outside my classroom door when the bell rings. I try to leave myself an extra 20 minutes on the ride in in case of a flat but that doesn't always happen. So I'm all about no flats.
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Old 10-19-17, 07:28 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
2017: 4 flats so far
2016: 12 flats
2015: 25 flats
2014: dunno, but I'm pretty sure it was more than 25.
That is a nice trend, what are you doing differently the last couple years?
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Old 10-19-17, 08:17 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
That is one option, given your assumptions.

In reality, I'm a pretty aggressive rider - riding a road or CX bike like it was a mountain bike. Sometimes I hit hard bumps that are more than 1" deep. at 20+mph in traffic, I'm gonna hit some potholes (rather that than a car). As for using arms and legs - well it those occasions often involve catching air, so I'm not exactly a "sack of potatoes". LOL! I don't baby my bike.
Just because you catch air doesn't mean that you aren't a sack of potatoes in the saddle. I've seen lots of people who can get airborne and come down like a ton of bricks. I'm a big guy who rides very aggressively. That doesn't mean that I bottom out rims with any regularity nor that I land jumps with a thud, however. It's all in the way that you use your arms and legs to absorb the impact.

I do baby my bike but not by avoiding impacts. I do it by assuring that the impact is as minimal as possible on the bike. Even on a full suspension bike, I take more impact with my legs and arms than the suspension system does. That's because my suspension system (i.e. my arms and legs) have more travel than the bike's suspension system does. If the only "suspension system" the bike has is a relatively small volume of air in the tires, it's even more important to use your arms and legs rather than trying to deflate the tire enough to give you some "comfort".


Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
But yeah, pinch flats don't exist when you roll tubeless.
Pinch flats may not exist for tubeless but rim damage and tire damage certainly do. A pinch flat is an inconvenience. A bent or broken rim is a much more costly disaster. One costs you a few minutes and a $0.30 patch. The other may cost hundreds of dollars depending on your wheels. The reason that you "cringe" when you feel the wheel bottom out is that you know this without really thinking about it.
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Old 10-19-17, 08:42 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by 55murray View Post
That is a nice trend, what are you doing differently the last couple years?
Yeah, good question, and one I've been pondering as well.

The big decline in flats a few years ago coincided with my office moving, as a result of which I stopped riding my folding bike on a regular basis. The smaller wheels seemed more susceptible to punctures (I know that doesn't make any sense). Maybe I'm just using better tires (I don't think that's it either). Maybe I've ridden over those roads so many times, my tires have cleaned up all the crap that would be causing me flats. Or not.

I think it's just dumb luck.
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Old 10-19-17, 12:07 PM
  #40  
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@chas58, I'm with @cyccommute. Pinch flats come from doing something wrong. Most likely, I think it's insufficient pressure. Riding technique weighs into it. I don't buy that having inner tubes leads to pinch flats. I just don't consider them inevitable. I haven't had one in decades. It's possible that you hit bumps that no one should ride over, but I doubt that.
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Old 10-19-17, 12:19 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@chas58, I'm with @cyccommute. Pinch flats come from doing something wrong. Most likely, I think it's insufficient pressure. Riding technique weighs into it. I don't buy that having inner tubes leads to pinch flats. I just don't consider them inevitable. I haven't had one in decades. It's possible that you hit bumps that no one should ride over, but I doubt that.
You are right, I hit bumps that no one should ride over. ;-) I'm not worried, I rarely get flats. I'm just surprised of often most other people around here get them.

I agree - inner tubes work great for many circumstances. Inner tubes don't cause pinch flats, but tubless prevents pinch flats and many puncture flats. Mountain bikers, gravel, and cyclocross have all gone tubeless, road riders tend to stick with tubes (mostly because tubeless doesn't work optimum with high pressure tires). If your tire is fat enough for the terrain and has enough pressure, inner tubes work great. tubeless is not for everyone. There are pros and cons to everything.

Apparently people here get flats much, much more than I get pinch flats (or any type of flat). So, I wouldn't worry about me too much. I would be more worried about people here that get more than one flat a year.

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Old 10-19-17, 12:42 PM
  #42  
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cyccommute, dude, you crack me up. You are making a lot of assumptions in order to prove your point. What you are saying is correct, they just don't apply to the cyclist you are talking to. Maybe it wasn't clear in my first post, but I go years between flats. If you want to lecture someone work with someone who actually gets flats.

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Old 10-19-17, 01:02 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Sharpshin View Post
I'm a teacher, late for work for me means I have 25 kids piled up outside my classroom door when the bell rings. I try to leave myself an extra 20 minutes on the ride in in case of a flat but that doesn't always happen. So I'm all about no flats.
Same here, except my students are older and may be sticking sharp things in people's mouths if I'm late!

I haven't had a flat since I changed to Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires a few years ago. In the snowy part of the year (Chicago) I use Marathon Winters and had some problems with flats caused by internal stud wear. Solved with "Mr. Tuffy" tire liners, and no flats now for several years. Knock wood!
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Old 10-19-17, 03:55 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
cyccommute, dude, you crack me up. You are making a lot of assumptions in order to prove your point. What you are saying is correct, they just don't apply to the cyclist you are talking to. Maybe it wasn't clear in my first post, but I go years between flats. If you want to lecture someone work with someone who actually gets flats.
You are the one who said that "90% of my flats were pinch flats." I have flatted more than my share of tires but pinch flats are a rounding error in the grand scheme of things. Out of the thousands of flats I've experienced, I can count on one hand the number that have been pinch flats and I know precisely why I got each one...they were all related to other punctures which were usually caused by goat heads that were slow leakers and some cluelessness on my part.
Even when mountain biking, pinch flats have been mostly nonexistent for me...they still count towards that one handed count...and, again, they are related to other punctures.

You are the one who brought it up and you are the one who also said you "still cringe when the wheel bottoms out". That sounds like a systemic problem as are most pinch flats. Tubeless isn't a fix to that problem if you continue to bottom out on impacts.

The other flats that people get are random events...even with goatheads...that really can't be prevented 100% of the time. Even tubeless is not invulnerable. Pinch flats, on the other hand, aren't as random and can most certainly be protected against.
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Old 10-20-17, 06:45 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
It's bad form to taunt the flat fairies ...
And sure enough, a slow leak discovered this morning...
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Old 10-20-17, 07:48 AM
  #46  
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How slow is slow? Pump it up and ride on! Or ride a different bike and repair later.
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Old 10-22-17, 02:38 PM
  #47  
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Not that often to be honest, roads here are pretty clean and usually I have a good habit of avoiding glass and such
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Old 10-22-17, 04:02 PM
  #48  
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I notice I ride through a lot of glass which I can't avoid. I wonder why I don't get flats any more. I used to get a lot. I don't ride puncture-resistant tires.
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Old 10-22-17, 04:43 PM
  #49  
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On non puncture resistant tires, I'd guess roughly one flat per 1000 miles. Most of the culprits seem to be glass, bits of wire or other metal debris, the rare thorn, etc.

On puncture resistant tires, zero, except for one pinch flat (probably coupled with under-inflation), in thousands of miles.

For me, it's no problem to fix a flat while on the road, and it takes a few minutes. But puncture resistant tires aren't all that expensive, and there are times where I can't be late to an appointment or meeting.
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Old 10-22-17, 05:14 PM
  #50  
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Ever since I switched to Schwalbe Marathon Plus on most my bikes I did not have a flat in over 2 years. I am riding about 60 to 100 miles per week. Mainly commuting.
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