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Flat Resistant Tires

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Flat Resistant Tires

Old 11-06-17, 09:21 AM
  #1  
cyclintom
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Flat Resistant Tires

The first flat resistant tires I can remember were Specialized Armadillos. These worked really well in the whiskey bottle littered streets of the San Francisco bay area. But they are staggeringly expensive. I recently bought a set to test them again and they have a rather shallow tire depth. And after perhaps 1,000 miles I discovered a long cut in one of them. The tire had not flatted and the wear was particularly high for 1,000 miles under a 190 lber with lots of climbing and rotten roads.

Then Continental came out with the Gatorskin for a far more reasonable price and over the years have improved it to the point that it is now the hallmark flat resistant tire. They ride a little hard but they last a long time and they very rarely flat and then it's usually a Goat's Head Thorn or a steel wire from steel belted car tires that have been worn down to the belt and have shed these small sharp wires. But the sidewalls are not well protected and if you take the tires off road such as down gravel trails and such you can get large cuts in the sidewalls. I should note that I often ride off-road on shoreline paths and the like and have never had a sidewall failure but others have.

Always looking for something new I tried the Flatskins and didn't see any improvements in flat resistance and did see that the tires could peel away from the cord when they cut. And they seemed to cut easily. But the prices weren't bad and they didn't seem to wear very fast.

Then Michelin came out with the Pro4 Endurance. I bought these and tried them. The very first thing I noticed was how easy they rolled and how soft they rode. They cornered well and gave a lot of confidence. In the time I was using them they didn't flat. But that bike is presently hanging from the ceiling hooks in the garage as I am favoring another of my bikes at this time.

I was told Michelin had problems with cuts peeling the rubber off of the cord in the Pro4 Endurance as well and "improved" them to the "Power Endurance" tire. So I bought a set and mounted them on my recently restored Pinarello Stelvio. Whatever the compound is of the tire tread it doesn't roll well nor corner well. Inside of 500 miles I have had three flats with these tires. One a triangular glass shard that wouldn't have phased a Gatorskin and the other two with tiny glass shards that wouldn't have even gotten through the surface rubber of the Gatorskin. In short these did not perform well.

Michelin appears to be working on a flat resistant tire and those with the name "Endurance" on them are of this genre. Krylion 2 Endurance appears to be the latest. While I really liked the Pro4 Endurance, I hesitate to buy any further Michelins because of the failure of the Power Endurance to live up to the previous performance.

Schalbe and Vittoria have flat resistant tires but I don't know anything about them.
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Old 11-06-17, 09:50 AM
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schwalbe marathon plus and gatorskin hard shells are both flat resistant and close to flat proof

I did flat the schwalbe twice by running over wires, but never the gator hardshells (3 years of use)
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Old 11-06-17, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Flip Flop Rider View Post
schwalbe marathon plus and gatorskin hard shells are both flat resistant and close to flat proof

I did flat the schwalbe twice by running over wires, but never the gator hardshells (3 years of use)
There's no way to stop wires from giving you a flat because they can push between the woven cords. Same with Goat's Head thorns if you live where they grow. They appear in the fall and the first rains soften them so they don't puncture anything.
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Old 11-06-17, 03:41 PM
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I've been riding Gatorskins since 2012 and won't use anything else. I change them once a year, even it they still have the thread indicator showing, and I've been getting anywhere between 7-10,000 miles on a set. I do a cross state bike ride every October and change the tires the day before the ride. Last years tires lasted me 11,450 miles. Since 2012, I have had one flat caused by a puncture and one flat caused by a tire failure (leak at the base of the valve stem). Love those skins.
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Old 11-06-17, 05:18 PM
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Continental Touring Plus and/or Continental Sport Contact = no punctures in eleven years. I think there's a lot of great puncture resistant tires on the market these days.
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Old 11-06-17, 07:58 PM
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Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, closely followed by Schwalbe Marathon Plus are two tyres that I’ve had that are fairly puncture-proof.
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Old 11-07-17, 03:02 PM
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I run GP 4 Season tires from October to April. I've never flatted one. They're an excellent combination of durability and ride quality.
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Old 11-07-17, 03:15 PM
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been there .... done that

my advice for those who want tyres that have very good puncture resistance (but don't mind that they roll a bit slower):

if you are using a hybrid or similar bike ..... Schwalbe Marathon plus

if you want tyres for your race bike .... Schwalbe Durano Plus

for those who don't mind trying new technology .... get tubeless ready rims and use 2017 IRC Formula Pro RBCC tubeless road tyres .... I'm using them and they are amazing .... tubeless tyres with sealant is the way forward
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Old 11-07-17, 04:08 PM
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My flat rate was indistinguishable between Gatorskin, GP 4 Season, and GP4000S/SII; although the tube hole from debris in the Gatorskins is often smaller and therefore much harder to find - they need to be submerged in water because I can't feel or listen for the puncture,

The GP4000S roll noticeably better and last me as long as Gatorskins (about 4500 miles up front followed by the same in back).

The GP 4 Seasons have ride qualities between the two, but my first and only set wore out in half the distance (2500 miles an end)
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Old 11-08-17, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by taz777 View Post
Schwalbe Marathon Supreme, closely followed by Schwalbe Marathon Plus are two tyres that Iíve had that are fairly puncture-proof.
Heh... my experience is just the opposite. I had one flat on a M. Supreme and have had none on the M. Plus in several thousand miles. Both good tires. I think the M. Supreme may have a tad bit less rolling resistance.
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Old 11-08-17, 02:06 PM
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Living in the SF bay area is staggeringly expensive , and more so , now,

for someone who had to leave there about 30 years ago, because ends,
wages vs cost of living, did not meet... then..

Accept, Additional puncture resistance adds weight..
Panasonic Tour Guard plus bike tires..







....

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Old 11-09-17, 06:45 AM
  #12  
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Tubeless Schwalbe Allmotions. Nothing is flat-proof but this is close.
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Old 11-09-17, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by sweeks View Post
Heh... my experience is just the opposite. I had one flat on a M. Supreme and have had none on the M. Plus in several thousand miles. Both good tires. I think the M. Supreme may have a tad bit less rolling resistance.
Steve
Not a tad less, but remarkably less. One of them is a heavy, puncture resistant touring tire and the other is a moderately lightweight tire with very little puncture protection. The Marathon Supreme is thicker/tougher than a road racing tire but it is not comparable for a flat resistant heavy touring tire.

My experience has been that the Continental Gatorskin completely eliminated my flats on my road bike. I was running the GP4000S before and they flatted a LOT. Once I got three flats in one ride. One of the tires got cut by an object when it flatted and I replaced both tires with the Gatorskins and have not had a flat since. While I did like the ride of the 4000S, the Gatorskins are not much rougher and this was a good compromise for me. If my bike would accept wider tires I might be more willing to use racing tires on it. Goatheads are commonplace here and the roads are absolute garbage compared to the midwest where I'm from (where potholes are common from the road freezing, so the roads get more maintenance).

On my touring bicycle, I use the Marathon Supreme, although I may change to a lighter/faster tire next time, although the Marathon Supreme is a good balance between speed and puncture resistance. I have had one flat with it where a chunk of glass penetrated the rear tire. I used some shoe goo and installed a new tube and 1200 miles later, no issues.
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Old 11-09-17, 08:28 AM
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Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
Not a tad less, but remarkably less.
Well, I'm running the M.Plus on a folding commuter bike with 20" wheels, so maybe that's the difference. I didn't notice much of a change going from the M. Supremes. Also, I'm not a "high-performance" rider, so I'm probably not as sensitive to small changes. What I *do* notice and value is the freedom from flats. Nothing is much worse than a flat when I'm supposed to give a lecture or see a patient... it sounds like a lame excuse to anybody but a bike commuter!
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Old 11-09-17, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
I've been riding Gatorskins since 2012 and won't use anything else. I change them once a year, even it they still have the thread indicator showing, and I've been getting anywhere between 7-10,000 miles on a set. I do a cross state bike ride every October and change the tires the day before the ride. Last years tires lasted me 11,450 miles. Since 2012, I have had one flat caused by a puncture and one flat caused by a tire failure (leak at the base of the valve stem). Love those skins.
I am really impressed that you're getting that sort of mileage. I don't get more than 2,500 miles on mine. But I do a lot of climbing and descent fast. On California roads which are rated 48 lowest of the 50 states.
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Old 11-09-17, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
been there .... done that

my advice for those who want tyres that have very good puncture resistance (but don't mind that they roll a bit slower):

if you are using a hybrid or similar bike ..... Schwalbe Marathon plus

if you want tyres for your race bike .... Schwalbe Durano Plus

for those who don't mind trying new technology .... get tubeless ready rims and use 2017 IRC Formula Pro RBCC tubeless road tyres .... I'm using them and they are amazing .... tubeless tyres with sealant is the way forward
The tubeless tires look interesting. But you have to have rims built for them. And you always have to be careful to have the filler valve at the bottom of the wheel when you stop.
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Old 11-09-17, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by twodownzero View Post
Not a tad less, but remarkably less. One of them is a heavy, puncture resistant touring tire and the other is a moderately lightweight tire with very little puncture protection. The Marathon Supreme is thicker/tougher than a road racing tire but it is not comparable for a flat resistant heavy touring tire.

My experience has been that the Continental Gatorskin completely eliminated my flats on my road bike. I was running the GP4000S before and they flatted a LOT. Once I got three flats in one ride. One of the tires got cut by an object when it flatted and I replaced both tires with the Gatorskins and have not had a flat since. While I did like the ride of the 4000S, the Gatorskins are not much rougher and this was a good compromise for me. If my bike would accept wider tires I might be more willing to use racing tires on it. Goatheads are commonplace here and the roads are absolute garbage compared to the midwest where I'm from (where potholes are common from the road freezing, so the roads get more maintenance).

On my touring bicycle, I use the Marathon Supreme, although I may change to a lighter/faster tire next time, although the Marathon Supreme is a good balance between speed and puncture resistance. I have had one flat with it where a chunk of glass penetrated the rear tire. I used some shoe goo and installed a new tube and 1200 miles later, no issues.
I've been riding 23 mm tires on my bikes so I run 110 lbs in the tires. I just bought a set of 25 mm Gatorskins so I can try running 90-100 lbs with supposedly the same rolling resistance and a softer ride. I'm told that those in the Tour de France were running 25 mm now.

I seem to recall that someone threw tacks in front of LeMond because he was leading Anquetil.
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Old 11-09-17, 01:58 PM
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I'm currently running a 28mm GP4K in the rear at like 95 psi, and a 25mm GP4K in the front at 90psi, and they are pretty comfortable. Had one flat since I resumed cycling 1300 miles ago in August, and that was me slamming in to a 2" curb at too high a speed and pinch-flatting it.

I've worn out several Gatorskins before, and I've worn out GP4Ks before, and I didn't flat either very often, but did flat the GP4Ks more times than the Gatorskins. Thing is, I hate the road feel of Gatorskins. They feel dead and lifeless to me, and I can feel the difference in energy they suck from my ride. Having to replace a tube on the side of the road every once in a while is worth it to me over doing that less often but having my bike ride always noticeably suckier.

If I were flatting all the time with GP4Ks I'd possibly reconsider, but it just doesn't happen often enough to be that big of a PITA to me. I think it helps running the widest ones I can on this bike, and at the lowest pressure I think is prudent given my weight. I'll be riding some 32mm tires on the new bike I'm getting next week, and though they won't be designed explicitly for flat avoidance, I think the wider tires at lower pressures shouldn't flat too much.
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Old 11-10-17, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
I'm currently running a 28mm GP4K in the rear at like 95 psi, and a 25mm GP4K in the front at 90psi, and they are pretty comfortable. Had one flat since I resumed cycling 1300 miles ago in August, and that was me slamming in to a 2" curb at too high a speed and pinch-flatting it.

I've worn out several Gatorskins before, and I've worn out GP4Ks before, and I didn't flat either very often, but did flat the GP4Ks more times than the Gatorskins. Thing is, I hate the road feel of Gatorskins. They feel dead and lifeless to me, and I can feel the difference in energy they suck from my ride. Having to replace a tube on the side of the road every once in a while is worth it to me over doing that less often but having my bike ride always noticeably suckier.
This is exactly the feeling I get from Gatorskins as well which moved me to try other flat resistant tires. But the Gatorskin feels responsive and smooth compared to that Michelin Power Endurance. The Pro4 Endurance was really nice. But while I didn't get any flats with them the number of flats I've gotten with the Power Endurance gives me the idea that I was just lucky.

Apparently there is a new flat resistant Michelin out there - the Krylion 2 Endurance but the price is sky high. But 15% less than the Power Endurance.
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Old 11-12-17, 05:51 AM
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I am running a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires with Thorn proof tubes. A very heavy setup but it is not flatting in over 2 years.
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Old 11-12-17, 06:24 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
The tubeless tires look interesting. But you have to have rims built for them. And you always have to be careful to have the filler valve at the bottom of the wheel when you stop.
filler valve should not be on the bottom when you store the bike as the liquid sealant lays on the bottom and can cause gunk to go into the valve (That's what I read on another forum) .... not sure if it's true though ....

while you are riding, it makes no difference where the valve is positioned when you stop

A new wheelset (tubeless ready) can be built for cheap, especially if you use good 2nd hand hubs .... Some good tubeless ready rims are very cheap
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Old 11-12-17, 08:12 AM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
I am really impressed that you're getting that sort of mileage. I don't get more than 2,500 miles on mine. But I do a lot of climbing and descent fast. On California roads which are rated 48 lowest of the 50 states.
The roads I ride on are more often in excellent condition than not. I also do a lot of my riding at the same place Amanda Coker broke her three world records. It also helps that I'm only 153 pounds.
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Old 11-12-17, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dim View Post
filler valve should not be on the bottom when you store the bike as the liquid sealant lays on the bottom and can cause gunk to go into the valve (That's what I read on another forum) .... not sure if it's true though ....

while you are riding, it makes no difference where the valve is positioned when you stop

A new wheelset (tubeless ready) can be built for cheap, especially if you use good 2nd hand hubs .... Some good tubeless ready rims are very cheap
Think about this: if the filler is at the bottom is is pointed up so that the sealant can always drain out. At any other position it can get filled with sealant that drips from the top of the tire onto the inside of the rim and drips around the rim.

New wheels are high tension low spoke count rims. I paid less for a set of cyclocross wheels than I would for a single tubeless rim. Where do figure on buying correctly cut spokes these days? "Good 2nd hand hubs" mostly aren't. (https://www.ebay.com/itm/Campagnolo-...0AAOSwridaAKpj) Why would you build a wheel yourself using 105 hubs? Or Centaur?

I can build an old 36 or 32 spoke count wheel in a half hour but why should I when I can get a lower end Campy or Fulcrum wheel so cheaply?

If you want to run racing tires and not get flats you could always opt for sealant filled tubes and have exactly the same problems you would have with a tubeless tire.

If you get an effective flat resistant tire such as the Gatorskin you have fewer problems (you don't have to worry where the stem is) and you very seldom get flats. With Gatorskins in five years I've had less than a dozen flats. With the supposedly flat resistant Michelin Power Endurance I had worse riding characteristics and 3 flat in two months. And they were all with glass shards that I'm pretty sure wouldn't have given me a flat on the Continentals.
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Old 11-12-17, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by John_V View Post
The roads I ride on are more often in excellent condition than not. I also do a lot of my riding at the same place Amanda Coker broke her three world records. It also helps that I'm only 153 pounds.
That must be it. Tires do not wear in a linear manner with additional weight.
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Old 11-12-17, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclintom View Post
The tubeless tires look interesting. But you have to have rims built for them. And you always have to be careful to have the filler valve at the bottom of the wheel when you stop.

Say what?


Not my experience as I have been using my old Dyad rims with no problem. And there is no need to worry about the valve position. That would be tedious.
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