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Simple Tire Flat Prevention Suggestions (Not Tubeless)

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Simple Tire Flat Prevention Suggestions (Not Tubeless)

Old 07-06-20, 02:19 PM
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PoorInRichfield
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Simple Tire Flat Prevention Suggestions (Not Tubeless)

I have a relative that is a very big guy, about 6'7" tall (literally) and I'm guessing is well north of 250 lbs. He's what I'll call a "simple guy" in that he's an adult that still lives at home (he's not capable of living on his own) and his very well-used and old mountain bike is his only form of transportation. As you can probably imagine, a guy that big is always dealing with flat tires when using regular tubes. Being an avid cyclist myself, I'm always trying to find ways to help him out but at the same time not make his life too complicated. For example, I run tubeless tires on my road and mountain bike, but I know there's no way he'd be able to run tubeless. He'd get way too frustrated trying to setup the tubeless system, not to mention his bike is way too old to even support tubeless tires to begin with.

I considered getting him solid tires to eliminate flats, but I can only imagine there's a handful of issues with solid tires... of which comfort is probably the first.

In researching ways to prevent flats, I ran across the Armour Tannus No-Flat Bicycle Tire Insert which certainly looks interesting. It clearly protects the tube a bit more, but is a bit pricy and I'm not sure if it would be too big of a hassle to install to even consider. Do any of you have experience with something like the Armour insert or something similar? I see there are also various types of thorn-proof tire inserts which might be a cheaper alternative... but only if they work and aren't too difficult to install.

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Old 07-07-20, 06:49 AM
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Why is he always getting flats? Improper tire pressure, riding through glass. Maybe some simple to understand education would help the situation.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:58 AM
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It's not the fault of the tube. It's the tire.

Buy a better quality tire.
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Old 07-07-20, 10:29 AM
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PoorInRichfield
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
It's not the fault of the tube. It's the tire.

Buy a better quality tire.
That's probably true. Since my relative has very little money, just about everything on his bike was obtained as cheaply as possible, which means cheap tires. I suspect he probably doesn't keep-up the air pressure like he should either, so he's probably pinch-flatting quite a bit due to his weight.
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Old 07-07-20, 11:48 AM
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Citibikes in NYC have solid tires. For a reason.
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Old 07-07-20, 01:58 PM
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PoorInRichfield
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Originally Posted by blacknbluebikes View Post
Citibikes in NYC have solid tires. For a reason.
Have you ridden a solid tire bike? I have not. I'm inclined to think that would be the best solution for my relative if it works "good enough".
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Old 07-07-20, 02:18 PM
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yeah, "good enuf" -- not that I'd know where to find 'em ... apparently the city bikeshare systems learned early on that dealing with low tires and flats was not an option. the bikes weigh a metric ton, but they're pretty dependable and survive the NYC streets surprisingly well. I do ride them from time to time and the biggest challenges are the taxi's, not the tires...
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Old 07-08-20, 09:24 AM
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What size wheels, 26"? Get some beefy tires, and new tubes. Use some velox cloth rim strips, start there.
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Old 07-08-20, 02:01 PM
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Some will say to use tubeless sealant in the inner tubes.

My understanding is this will not work because the sealant will not adhere to holes in non tubeless-ready tires; therefore, there will be no self sealing.
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Old 07-09-20, 06:26 AM
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Originally Posted by davei1980 View Post
Some will say to use tubeless sealant in the inner tubes.

My understanding is this will not work because the sealant will not adhere to holes in non tubeless-ready tires; therefore, there will be no self sealing.
I was doing that on my CX bike. I have since become a lot more comfortable with tubeless setups and have dropped the tube. However, my relative just wouldn't want to deal with a tubeless setup... while it's not complicated, he gets frustrated very easily with things that most consider simple.

The Vittoria Air Liner looks like a simple solution for him, but dang... what an over-priced piece of foam! Makes me wonder if I can just buy one of those foam pool toys from WalMart and stuff it in a tire for way less money!

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Old 07-09-20, 12:37 PM
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Again...Just buy a quality tire. Problem solved.

It has nothing to do with being tubed or tubeless.
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Old 07-09-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by prj71 View Post
Again...Just buy a quality tire. Problem solved.

It has nothing to do with being tubed or tubeless.
Yeah, I suppose that for the price of all these flat-preventing gimmicks, one might as well just buy a tougher tire.

So then is the new question, "What are some tough 26" mountain bike tires that doesn't cost an arm and a leg?"

My relative will typically ride either on road or gravel. He doesn't actually do any mountain biking, so perhaps a tough tire with some sort of center ridge would make sense.
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Old 07-10-20, 10:52 AM
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Schwalbe still sells 26" tires and some have built in flat protection - Marathon, Big Apple, etc.
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Old 07-15-20, 10:07 PM
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I can almost guarantee that his problem is low pressure and the resulting pinch flats.

You may or may not know that a good habit is to examine the tube and tire of each flat to diagnose the problem.

If there is a glass shard in your tire, it will puncture the replacement. If a spoke head is poking through the rim tape, it will flat the next tube.

We do know hoe is likely not running on proper inflation a lot of the time. And we know he is big. This is a formula for pinch flats.

The flat would look like dashes. May be on one side, but may be in a pair. Are fairly horizontal to the length of the tube.

I say get a solid tire and improve the quality of this guy's life big time. The down-side of solid tires is:
1. they are heavier. Big Dill. A pound each. Big Dill.
2. They are hard to put on. Yes. One and Done.
3. They cost more. Until your $6 tube cost surpasses the $40 solid-tire cost.

4. Worse ride? No - you get these that are at a PSI equivalence that you want. In fact, a limit of these solid tires is that they cannot really get the high PSI some road bikers want; having a lower, cushiony pressure is not a problem. Also, it is well-recognized that the flat-proof tires with a Kevlar layer are a more harsh ride than regular tire, so if you add a tough liner it is apt to give a harsher ride.

--I have done favors for people, including people who may not be college material as they say and have kept the magnitude of the expense to myself, telling them it was not a lot of money, so that my offer to do something such as replace a tire is accepted by the person and their family. As a little favor versus throwing down $100 for a guy's bike. Just do it.
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Old 07-18-20, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by PoorInRichfield View Post
The Vittoria Air Liner looks like a simple solution for him, but dang... what an over-priced piece of foam! Makes me wonder if I can just buy one of those foam pool toys from WalMart and stuff it in a tire for way less money!

I get the feeling you think this replaces the tube to support the tire, but it does not. Rather, it's interior armor against casing and rim damage for use along with tubeless
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Old 07-22-20, 08:45 AM
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I had a customer who had similar problems. He was 6'7" and 270lbs and developmentally disabled, he was getting flats every week for a variety of reasons. Sometimes he didn't have the correct pressure, sometimes he ran something over and he had a hard time remembering to put air in the tires. We tried better rim strips, tire liners, slime tubes, thorn resistant tubes, and took the time to try to teach him how to properly air up his tires...none of it worked so we finally got solid tire inserts, now we only see him when the tire tread wears out or he breaks something. He only uses the bike to get to work and back and to his flag football games and he says he doesn't feel a difference in how they feel he (and his mother) are just happy they don't have to worry about flats. I think one of the solid tire inserts might be the best solution in this case.
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