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Fed Up with Flats

Old 08-20-22, 03:28 PM
  #1  
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Fed Up with Flats

I ride a Ride1Up 700 electric bicycle. I got it a couple of years ago, and put 500 miles on it without a flat. In the next 180 miles, I've had three or four. I'm sixty years old, and fixing a flat on a seventy pound bike on the side of the road in 90 heat is not my idea of fun. Frankly, it's enough to make me want to quit riding. The bike has 27.5" X 2.4" tires. I'd put solid tires on it, but no one makes solid tires in that size. I considered installing Tannus inserts, but that's still no guarantee against flats, and they've recently gotten greedy and jacked up their prices, so that's now a pretty expensive option.

Any suggestions on how to cut WAY down on flats without breaking the bank, before I just give up and sell my bike!?

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Old 08-20-22, 03:56 PM
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You always have the option of going tubeless.

Not a super option for a road bike, but it makes more sense on an e-bike.

Look for a tubeless 27.5 (650b) tire.


EDIT: A tubeless gravel tire ought to fit the bill, like this Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 650b x 53mm.
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Old 08-20-22, 04:00 PM
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Are you using tire liners?

Also a pro from the U.S. Postal team said they cut off the bead on one tire and put it in another tire just as you would with a tire liner. He said they can't use any other tire liner brand because of the sponsors. He also said he loses about 1 mph, but it works fantastic. Who cares about a little loss on an e-bike? Not me. I have two tire liners in each wheel on my e-trike.

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Old 08-20-22, 07:32 PM
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Options abound:
Tire liners.
New tires.
Tubeless tires.
Tubes filled with sealant.
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Old 08-20-22, 07:52 PM
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thinking there's a cheap & solid solution against flats for that setup is going to bring about a larger letdown imo. I'd personally not invest any more time if I am understanding the level of frustration correctly.
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Old 08-20-22, 07:57 PM
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Where are you riding when you get the flats ?

What is the source / reason for the flats ? glass ? nail ? thorn ? pinch flat ?

( if pinch flat - add more air to the tires )

tubes with sealant might be a good option
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Old 08-20-22, 10:04 PM
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I have a feeling that Ride1Up is using pretty cheap tires so maybe get some quality tires if you haven't. I ride Schwalbe SuperMotoXs (which are that size) and rarely get flats my last one was a big nail which would have gone through anything. Tannus inserts would be a good idea but people want to be cheap so I guess keep getting flat and buying tubes? It would be helpful to know why you are getting the flats because that could have nothing to do with tires or anything it could just be user error like not pumping up your tires which happens often.
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Old 08-20-22, 10:12 PM
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Get a Small Motor Bike.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:00 PM
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27.5 x 2.4" is a very common-sized mountain bike tire. Get good tires (be prepared to pay about $100 each) and have them set up tubeless for you at a bike shop, and have them show you how to refresh the sealant every couple of months.

I did this on my wife's e-bike. She is 61 and can't even operate a TV remote control.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:16 PM
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You can drive your bike to a mountain nearest you or just move somewhere near or at the mountains.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:18 PM
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If you are getting a flat every 20 miles or so, then are you sure you've actually fixed the problem? Do you locate the offending piece of glass, wire, thorn, etc? Goatheads?

A couple of years ago I was testing Michelin Protek Cross Max tires. I found them to be tough and grippy tires. And while I was using them, I never got a flat.

I see the Michelins aren't in 650b (27.5) sizes.

Ok... so looking by size, perhaps I'd try the:

Schwalbe Pick-Up 27.5" Cargo and E-Bike Tire. I don't have any of those, but they're supposed to be designed with flat protection in mind.
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Old 08-20-22, 11:56 PM
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...I googled up your bike, and it appears the original tires are Schwalbe Super Moto x2, so pretty OK tires.

500 miles doesn't sound like a lot of wear, and given your description of your flat history (500 miles fine, then a series of repeats), it wouldn't surprise me if maybe there is something in the tire, or the rim strip, that is sitting in the tire, and causing the repeats. I do not know how sophisticated you are at this, but whenever you repair a flatted tube, you need to find the source of the injury. There are things like tiny bits of wire that are shed by steel belted radial car tires on the road. They get in the tire, work their way in just deep enough to occasionally poke at the tube, and will cause a repeat flatting issue. Likewise, sometimes there are fine metal shavings from drilling the rim, that get stuck in the rim tape, and do the same thing.

The best way to find such things is to very carefully mark the leaking spot on the tube, and match it against the tire and rim for location, These things can be difficult to find, and you need to pull them out with some sort of pliers or a surgical hemostat.

Sorry, that's al I got. I have thrown away at least one or two tires that repeat flatted, just because I couldn't fine the problem in the tire. It was just cheaper and easier to buy a new tire, after three flats.
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Old 08-21-22, 07:55 AM
  #13  
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Feel the inside of the tire. Out here in goat head thorn country the thorns will work their way in through the tire and wear a hole in the innertube. Tire liners helped the problem, but if thorns or stones or glass shards or wire have made their way in they must be removed.

Also, the band covering the spokes may have slipped or worn.
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Old 08-21-22, 12:05 PM
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I used Mr Tuffy back in the late 70`s and early80`s with some success. I`ve been getting a lot of flats lately. Mostly , if not all, because of glass on the city streets. Seems to be more , much more , then years ago.
I`ve changed up some of my riding routes , avoiding the areas that I`ve noticed the most glass. But, I think I`ll be giving Mr Tuffy Tire Liner another go.

Mr Tuffy - The original and still the best tire liner in the industryl
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Old 08-21-22, 12:11 PM
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Schwalbe marathon + have really worked well for me.
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Old 08-21-22, 12:58 PM
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Ditto, on the reminder to triple-check your tires to ensure there isn't some existing thorn, glass or other such thing embedded in there, working its way into every tube you try.

Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
The bike has 27.5" X 2.4" tires ... Any suggestions on how to cut WAY down on flats without breaking the bank, before I just give up and sell my bike!?
Both Schwalbe and Continental, for example, have some models of tires that have a very tough 3mm or 5mm anti-puncture piece integrated into the tire's construction.

I've used the Conti Ride Tour tires with exceptional results in a high-risk urban setting with plenty of road hazards ... no flats in several years on them.

If I were looking for max puncture protection on urban streets, I'd consider one of the following tires. These are three in the 55-584 or 50-584 sizing:

Continental Contact Plus City, 55-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.continental-tires.com/bi...tact-plus-city

Continental Contact Urban, 55-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.continental-tires.com/bi.../contact-urban

Schwalbe Marathon e-Plus, 50-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.schwalbetires.com/Marath...us-11159053.01
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Old 08-21-22, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by roadsnakes View Post
I used Mr Tuffy back in the late 70`s and early80`s with some success. I`ve been getting a lot of flats lately. Mostly , if not all, because of glass on the city streets. Seems to be more , much more , then years ago.
I`ve changed up some of my riding routes , avoiding the areas that I`ve noticed the most glass. But, I think I`ll be giving Mr Tuffy Tire Liner another go.


'
...it took me several months to realize that the increase in small glass shards, on my city streets, were coming out of the holes, rusted in the bottom steel floors of the recycling trucks. Then it took me another six months to convince the city department, that picks up the trash, to believe that was the problem. Then another six months for them to repair it. It was especially bad in places where the recycling bins got put out and picked up in the bike lanes.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by t2p View Post
Where are you riding when you get the flats ?

What is the source / reason for the flats ? glass ? nail ? thorn ? pinch flat ?

( if pinch flat - add more air to the tires )

tubes with sealant might be a good option
I ride on the full width paved shoulder of a major four lane divided highway in Kentucky. The flats are being caused by nails, screws, etc. I haven't had pinch flats - I run the tires at maximum pressure, always.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
I have a feeling that Ride1Up is using pretty cheap tires so maybe get some quality tires if you haven't. I ride Schwalbe SuperMotoXs (which are that size) and rarely get flats my last one was a big nail which would have gone through anything. Tannus inserts would be a good idea but people want to be cheap so I guess keep getting flat and buying tubes? It would be helpful to know why you are getting the flats because that could have nothing to do with tires or anything it could just be user error like not pumping up your tires which happens often.
Actually, the tires are Schwalbe Super Moto X, and I'm not sure where you got the idea that I want to be "cheap". I'm just not sure which of the many solutions out there is right for where I ride and what is causing my flats. I ride on a full width paved shoulder, and the flats appear to be the result of hitting nails, brads, screws, etc. Usually, I see nothing, but hear the air go out quickly, and find a single puncture, but I never find the thing that caused the hole! And, I air the tires up to 55 PSI before every ride - that's the maximum rated pressure for my tires.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
If you are getting a flat every 20 miles or so, then are you sure you've actually fixed the problem? Do you locate the offending piece of glass, wire, thorn, etc? Goatheads?

A couple of years ago I was testing Michelin Protek Cross Max tires. I found them to be tough and grippy tires. And while I was using them, I never got a flat.

I see the Michelins aren't in 650b (27.5) sizes.

Ok... so looking by size, perhaps I'd try the:

Schwalbe Pick-Up 27.5" Cargo and E-Bike Tire. I don't have any of those, but they're supposed to be designed with flat protection in mind.
It's not every 20 miles, but it is often enough to be frustrating. And I learned to thoroughly inspect the inside of the tire after every flat. I learned that one the hard way.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...I googled up your bike, and it appears the original tires are Schwalbe Super Moto x2, so pretty OK tires.

500 miles doesn't sound like a lot of wear, and given your description of your flat history (500 miles fine, then a series of repeats), it wouldn't surprise me if maybe there is something in the tire, or the rim strip, that is sitting in the tire, and causing the repeats. I do not know how sophisticated you are at this, but whenever you repair a flatted tube, you need to find the source of the injury. There are things like tiny bits of wire that are shed by steel belted radial car tires on the road. They get in the tire, work their way in just deep enough to occasionally poke at the tube, and will cause a repeat flatting issue. Likewise, sometimes there are fine metal shavings from drilling the rim, that get stuck in the rim tape, and do the same thing.

The best way to find such things is to very carefully mark the leaking spot on the tube, and match it against the tire and rim for location, These things can be difficult to find, and you need to pull them out with some sort of pliers or a surgical hemostat.

Sorry, that's al I got. I have thrown away at least one or two tires that repeat flatted, just because I couldn't fine the problem in the tire. It was just cheaper and easier to buy a new tire, after three flats.
Thanks. I learned this lesson the hard way, over a piece of wire from a radial tires, like you mentioned. Since that happened, I do follow your recommendations after every flat.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
Ditto, on the reminder to triple-check your tires to ensure there isn't some existing thorn, glass or other such thing embedded in there, working its way into every tube you try.

Both Schwalbe and Continental, for example, have some models of tires that have a very tough 3mm or 5mm anti-puncture piece integrated into the tire's construction.

I've used the Conti Ride Tour tires with exceptional results in a high-risk urban setting with plenty of road hazards ... no flats in several years on them.

If I were looking for max puncture protection on urban streets, I'd consider one of the following tires. These are three in the 55-584 or 50-584 sizing:

Continental Contact Plus City, 55-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.continental-tires.com/bi...tact-plus-city

Continental Contact Urban, 55-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.continental-tires.com/bi.../contact-urban

Schwalbe Marathon e-Plus, 50-584 ETRTO (27.5"):
https://www.schwalbetires.com/Marath...us-11159053.01
I'm running Super Moto X Schwalbe tires now, but the ones you are recommending appear to be an upgrade. I ride on a major highway's full width paved shoulder, and it appears I'm hitting nails and such, but they usually don't remain in the tire, so I'm never sure what caused the flats. Maybe switching tires and adding inserts would cut down on them.
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Old 08-21-22, 02:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 3alarmer View Post
...it took me several months to realize that the increase in small glass shards, on my city streets, were coming out of the holes, rusted in the bottom steel floors of the recycling trucks. Then it took me another six months to convince the city department, that picks up the trash, to believe that was the problem. Then another six months for them to repair it. It was especially bad in places where the recycling bins got put out and picked up in the bike lanes.


'
I`ve run into the same problem. Dozens of pieces of broken glass , usually on the right side of the road , at every other house. That`s if they put the bins of two houses in the truck at the same stop. I`m also seeing a lot at the small handicap ramps built into every crosswalk. When the street sweeper goes down the street they do a OK job where the curbs and road meet, but when they go around a corner, the sweeper seems to deposit a lot of glass on those ramps.
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Old 08-21-22, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by skycyclepilot View Post
I'm running Super Moto X Schwalbe tires now, but the ones you are recommending appear to be an upgrade. I ride on a major highway's full width paved shoulder, and it appears I'm hitting nails and such, but they usually don't remain in the tire, so I'm never sure what caused the flats. Maybe switching tires and adding inserts would cut down on them.
Yes, the internal 5mm guards should be a strong improvement over the 3mm ones the Super Moto X have. Whether you go with a Schwalbe alternative (like the Marathon Plus or the Marathon e-Plus), with Continental's variants with 5mm guards, or another make/model of tire similarly protected, it'll help.

https://www.schwalbetires.com/blog/n...ion/flat-less/

As well, a strong bike tire liner (along the rim's inner surface) such as Velox is something that can help guard against the tube getting pinched by the ends of the spokes. Hopefully your wheels were made without too much of a protrusion, here.

Definitely try the "cotton ball" method of hunting for any protruding object along the inside of the tires themselves, which you might have picked up on your routes. Run a cotton ball along the inside surface of the tire, to see if any of the cotton fibers get hung up on something that you can't otherwise see or feel. Might surprise you.
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Old 08-21-22, 03:56 PM
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Periodically, flat or not, I'll sit down for a half hour and dig out every shard of glass thorn, or wire that I can find embedded in the tire.

A variety of tools will work, but the leather punch on a genuine Victorinox Swiss Army knife works well for probing the bottom of holes and picking out glass.
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