RAGBRAI LI Route Announced on Jan. 27!

Tires and flats.

Does anyone have a suggestion on a good puncture resistant tire. I’m going to replace the rubber on my bike just before RAGBRAI and I would like a tire that resists the temptation to allow gravel, tire metal splinters, wire, glass, etc from puncturing it. I resently replaced my tires with the Serface model tire that had a liner built into it. They were better than the original tires I had on but I still get flats. I’ve also noticed they have small particles of trash buried in the outer layer of the tire after each ride. I take the particles out but I also noticed a small tear in the rear tire. I know you can’t stop flats completely but I would like to reduce the number if possible. Appreciate any suggestions.

116 Replies

Csprint, March 16, 2012 at 12:37 am

iceman: Several manufacturers make repair canisters (fix-a-flats) for bikes.One example is “Fast Air” (I think Hutchinson makes it)… You simply open up the valve and screw on the attached hose (yes – they make them for Presta valves) and punch the button – just like with fix-a-flats for cars.And yes, Tony, a small bit of it might escape the tube but it won’t make a big mess.

Indeed, Effetto Mariposa makes one as well, as Caffelatex. Can only be used on presta valves, but does a good job. Working at the shop, I was able to seal a puncture in a mountain bike tubeless tire with the Caffelatex where the owner’s already-injected Stan’s sealant didn’t seal the hole. (I’m just impressed with the stuff).

But the Caffe is expressly recommended for use in tubes as well as tubeless, where using Stan’s in a tube is more of an afterthought. Caffelatex can be added to set ups like tubulars where the tube is stitched inside the tire, for good puncture resistance.

As an aside, I wonder how many retrogrouches are riding Ragbrai on tubulars?
:mrgreen:

Corey

#144341

gif4445, March 16, 2012 at 4:10 am

For what it’s worth alontako, I put 90 miles (Trek 1.2) on my new armadillos and had a flat. Probably something fluke, but I haven’t fixed it yet. Last week I bought a Surly LHT and am so impressed with it, I may not fix the flat for a while.

#144632

GetAClue Blue, March 16, 2012 at 6:37 am

Great day here in south Texas. Fixing to hit the road. I’m using the Serfas Seca tires I’ve had for 4 months. Not very impressed with them at this point. The rear tire seems to pick up allot of trash buried in the tire rubber. I keep having rear flats and don’t see any air bubbles. I did find a spot in the tire where the tube was visible in a small crack between the tires road contact area and the sidewall. I removed that tire and put a patch inside the tire itself and then moved that tire to the front. The patch is keeping the tube from bulging thru the crack. Maybe it’ll get me thru till I can replace these tires with a couple mentioned on this forum next time I get to Houston.

#144690

bruceday, March 16, 2012 at 7:30 am

If a person looks to be in trouble with a flat, I’ll always stop to help. I carry a spare tube or sometimes two, and a patch kit. Sometimes tires are difficult to get off and on the rim, and I understand where people, especially those with weaker hands, could have problems.
So, I’m here to enjoy RAGBRAI, the ride, scenery and people, and to fly the Air Force flag. I’ll be in AF bike uniform riding either an older Simonetti/Campagnolo or an orange Rivendell with cream fenders. I’ll help and smile while I’m working.

#144736

RonB, March 16, 2012 at 8:47 am

getaclueblue: A little off subject but I’ll throw it out there anyway. Got home today and was going to ride. Front tire was 80# so I added up to 105#. Went to add air to the back tire and it was flat. Question 1; Why is it the back tire 90% of the time? And thats how it always been since I’ve been riding.Added 60# of air to back tire, no leaks. Increased air press to 110#, again no leaks. No one has let the air out of the back tire since I last rode so I know that’s not the reason.Question 2: Has anyone experienced this mistery flat phenomenon and if so, did you solve the mistery?I left the 110# in there and will ride my other bike. All I know to do is see if it goes flat again anytime soon.Your input is greatly appreciated.

To try and answer your questions:

1. Rear tires have more of your weight over them; thus, wear faster making them more prone to punctures / flats / slow leaks. Because of this some recommend rotating tires, others say no, keep the best tire on the front. Personally, I rotate ’em, but not to the point where the front is threadbare!
2. Bike tires lose air pressure. All do, some faster than others. However, to lose 25# in a day or two is unusual. I’d think a slow leak somewhere. If it’s over a week or longer, then maybe normal. For the rear tire to be flat, definitely a slow leak. Even sitting over a winter, a tire should not be completely flat. I’d suggest removing the tube, inflating it, putting it in soapy water to see if you can spot it. Also, inspect the inside of the tire for debris that may be causing the puncture. A fine cloth (silk) can be used to snag on things that even your fingers won’t find.
Good Luck!

#144839

SSC1, March 16, 2012 at 1:53 pm

iceman: Ok, we’ll accept it as fact that your wife is neither stupid nor a muffin head.If fact, we’ll stipulate she is very, very smart – except in one respect. Her inability (more likely unwillingness) to take responsibility for her own routine maintenance (i.e., flats) is not smart and I do not believe that anyone capable of riding 500 miles is incapable of changing a tube on a bike.If you change all her flats, please know that I do the same for my wife for two reasons: I do it about five times faster than she does it and I do it because I love her.But she IS capable of doing it herself, and I made certain of that years ago.

Well, I’m pretty sure she just couldn’t get the tire back on to the rim. I have a tough enough time with mine – even with tire irons. I suppose if I had a legitimate $1,000,000 check that would be her’s if she could change out the tube successfully and get the bike back up in shape, she might be able to do it. I don’t think she is unwilling – I simply think she doesn’t put herself in a situation where she can’t get others to help her – especially if she is prepared with the tube and the irons.

Let me repeat something – she would not put herself in a position of having to change the tire herself – always being in a place where someone could assist her.

This is not stupid – it is smart.

So – we may agree to disagree.

#145162

Tony, March 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

As I said, I’m a Clydesdale. I stress wheels more than the majority of cyclist. I rarely get flats. I do wear the tread right off the tires though. I get about 1200-1500 miles on the UltraSports and Equinox tires. 700c x 25mm. I prefer Continental tubes. I use Velocity Deep V’s, Mavic, and Rolf for wheels. I do change wheels for riding conditions. I inflate my tires before every ride. I do a pre-ride check of the bike. The most I ever have to do on the road is tweak the derailleur a bit. I have to ask the same question as IndianaFrank. Are the roads you ride that crappy? The roads in Iowa for the most part are good. The concrete roads you have to pay attention to cracks. Chip seal can get soft. Rural roads get muddy from ag equipment pulling out of fields. But that is about it. RAGBRAI does an excellent job of selecting decent roads. Local community service groups are always out cleaning ditches of pop cans and litter. Helping keep Iowa roads clean. So I just don’t understand why some people are plagued with flats. When I do get flats. They are mostly pinch flats. I get about one or two flats a year. I’m usually good about keeping an eye out for road hazards. But have hit some rails to fast or a crack I didn’t see. I’ve never had a flat on RAGBRAI (9 years). I attribute this to good wheel maintenance, quality tires and tubes, and solid wheels. I ride in the right wheel track of roads. Wheel tracks are the cleanest area of a road. I rarely ride the white line. Cyclist have full use of the lane and I use it.

I never rotate my tires. I put all new rubber on, tires and tubes. The used fronts I use on my trainer wheel and keep as spares. I also never use “light” inner tubes. They have thin walls.

#145239

Michrider !!!, March 16, 2012 at 2:29 pm

My wife rides with me sometimes. Last year I bought her an Orbea Diva. It just happens to have tubeless tires. I understand that a tube can be used if needed. I don’t expect herto ever fix a flat tire. She never rides by herself. I tried to get her to do RAGBRAI this year (on our Sanatan Tandem) but she said NO! Go figure!!!!!

#145242

CyclingRoberto, March 16, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Michrider:
My wife rides with me sometimes.Last year I bought her an Orbea Diva.It just happens to have tubeless tires.I understand that a tube can be used if needed.I don’t expect herto ever fix a flat tire.She never rides by herself.I tried to get her to do RAGBRAI this year (on our Sanatan Tandem) but she said NO!Go figure!!!!!

Maybe she’d go with me?

#145613

Sandaltan ., March 16, 2012 at 8:29 pm

Buy me an Orbea and all the curb beer I could drink and I would go with you Mich. Separate tents of course.

RIDE RIGHT

#145643

GetAClue Blue, March 16, 2012 at 9:55 pm

Tony: As I said, I’m a Clydesdale. I stress wheels more than the majority of cyclist. I rarely get flats. I do wear the tread right off the tires though. I get about 1200-1500 miles on the UltraSports and Equinox tires. 700c x 25mm. I prefer Continental tubes. I use Velocity Deep V’s, Mavic, and Rolf for wheels. I do change wheels for riding conditions. I inflate my tires before every ride. I do a pre-ride check of the bike. The most I ever have to do on the road is tweak the derailleur a bit. I have to ask the same question as IndianaFrank. Are the roads you ride that crappy? The roads in Iowa for the most part are good. The concrete roads you have to pay attention to cracks. Chip seal can get soft. Rural roads get muddy from ag equipment pulling out of fields. But that is about it. RAGBRAI does an excellent job of selecting decent roads. Local community service groups are always out cleaning ditches of pop cans and litter. Helping keep Iowa roads clean. So I just don’t understand why some people are plagued with flats. When I do get flats. They are mostly pinch flats. I get about one or two flats a year. I’m usually good about keeping an eye out for road hazards. But have hit some rails to fast or a crack I didn’t see. I’ve never had a flat on RAGBRAI (9 years). I attribute this to good wheel maintenance, quality tires and tubes, and solid wheels. I ride in the right wheel track of roads. Wheel tracks are the cleanest area of a road. I rarely ride the white line. Cyclist have full use of the lane and I use it. I never rotate my tires. I put all new rubber on, tires and tubes. The used fronts I use on my trainer wheel and keep as spares. I also never use “light” inner tubes. They have thin walls.

Thanks for the info. Yea, the roads here are smooth for the most part but I’ve been riding on busy thoroughfare type roads that have many cars traveling on them. I pick up small wires from the steel belted car tires, glass, sharp gravel, all kinds of trash. I wish they kept the shoulders cleaner. I did 37 miles today without any flats or other issues. Thanks again.

#145787

Csprint, March 16, 2012 at 10:58 pm

Michrider:
Last year I bought her an Orbea Diva.It just happens to have tubeless tires.I understand that a tube can be used if needed.

Mich, did that come set up w/o tubes? Reason I ask out of curiosity is that none of the bike suppliers are currently selling bikes pre-tubeless (that I have heard of), due to liability. Of course, your shop could have kitted the tires that way.

iceman:.. Generally, regarding tubeless tires, the Stan’s does a much better job than the Caffelatex …

Admittedly, so far I have my own small sample of one set of tubeless conversions and one set of tubulars w/sealant. But the tires are normal (not tubeless ready) 29’er Bontrager 29.3 Team Issue tires, and Caffelatex has effectively sealed the porous sidewalls, and have continued to seal many (a couple of dozen) punctures by goatheads, while on both urban assault and mtb rides. What GuitarTed at 29inches.com had to say, here. And Lennard Zinn, initially on cyclocross racing tires had to say on Caffelatex.

Corey

#145912

Tony, March 17, 2012 at 12:58 am


This Is my Orbea with Shimano 7850 Dura Ace and Hutchinson tubeless tires. An excellent wheel and tire pair. The rim was design specifically for this tire. It has a square locking bead. But how many folks can afford a $1000 wheelset and $120 tires? Its the same with my Rolf wheelset. For everyday riding and RAGBRAI. I’ll stick with my Velocity Deep V’s and UltraSports. One thing to remember on RAGBRAI. The bike shops mostly carry common parts. They do not bring allot of high end stuff. For that they have to go back to the shop. Which is going to cost you time as well as money.

#146019

GetAClue Blue, March 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

All the feedback has been allot of help in my prep for RAGBRAI. Thanks to all who had some input..

#147545

GetAClue Blue, March 18, 2012 at 6:59 am

RonB: Surly LHT

Just FYI RonB. I think the ride I took yesterday finally pushed the small wire through the puncture resistant tire I have on. Up until it came all the way thru, it was causing me intermetent flats and I couldn’t figure it out. Yesterday I lost air quicker and I finally saw the small point of a wire that was less than 1/8 in long. Thanks for your fb.

#148053

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