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

Sandaltan ., March 18, 2012 at 8:56 am

If you have one-of-a-kind exotic spokes stop by your bike shop and buy a couple of spares and tape them to your bike. This could save you time,money and keep you off the sag wagon.

RIDE RIGHT

#148294

Tony, March 18, 2012 at 9:40 am

Sandaltan that is a very good point. A couple of riders in our group have custom wheelsets with non standard spoke lengths. One has spare spokes bundled with tape. The bundle is stored in the seat post tube of the frame. I do remember one bike shop that had a spoke cutter and threader on the ride.

#148371

GetAClue Blue, March 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Tony: Sandaltan that is a very good point. A couple of riders in our group have custom wheelsets with non standard spoke lengths. One has spare spokes bundled with tape. The bundle is stored in the seat post tube of the frame. I do remember one bike shop that had a spoke cutter and threader on the ride.

I never thought about that. I think mine are standard but I need to make sure. If not, I’ll do as you suggest.

#148643

giantron, March 18, 2012 at 6:00 pm

I put new tires on the wife’s bike and took out for her first run of the year, and of course got a flat. A piece of beer glass straight through it. Patched the tire though so should be okay. But geez! Couldn’t it wait for a couple more rides!

#149029

Iceman, March 18, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Csprint: 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.

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

Yes, Zinn was talking about cyclocross tires and commented that any sealant will seal thorns and i agree. However – I think he was impressed with the fact that Caffelatex prevents pinch flats which, by definition, occurs only with tubes. Stans tried foam and did not use it as they say it does not seal bigger cuts as well and I agree. So I use Stans with tubeless and Caffelatex in tubes.

#149045

Iceman, March 19, 2012 at 5:45 am

Here is a website reference for more L. Zinn comments on sealants. Take it with a grain of salt – some of them are from the Stan’s Sealant guy himself but my experience tells me he is correct.

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/12/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq/technical-faq-with-lennard-zinn-more-thoughts-on-sealants-tires-and-rims_152967

#149976

Iceman, March 19, 2012 at 8:04 am

Here is the excerpt (out of the website citation, above). It is from the Stan’s Sealant guy and from personal experience, I think he is right. Note that when he says Stans Sealant will seal a valve with one drop, all he is saying is that if you use a tube and put some Stans in it, you have to use a tube with a removable core so you can inject the Stans directly into the tube. Also, I think Caffelatex is better in tubes than Stans although I think Stans is better in tubeless applications than Caffelatex – and the Stans guy points out why. Since the Caffelatex foams up, generally there just is not enough liquid to go to a newly opened, larger hole in the tire (like Stans can, since Stans does not foam up but stays in liquid form) whereas in a tube the foamed Caffelatex might actually help more.

“A few things about sealants:

1. Any sealant that will inject through a valve core will seal almost nothing. My sealant will seal a valve core with one drop.

2. Foaming sealants do not work. One of my first sealants was a foaming sealant. I thought it was a great idea but once you take two of three ounces and whip it into foam it leaves no liquid to seal a puncture. I would go on a test ride with my foaming sealant. After a few miles I would stop and puncture my tire. Nothing would come out except air. While removing the tire, I found the inside of the tire was filled with my foam leaving nothing to flow to the puncture. At that time 11 years ago I realized foaming sealants would not give me the performance I wanted.

3. Sealants must be thin to flow quickly to seal a puncture. It they are thick they will never give you good performance.

4. It’s easier to seal tires with no tubes. Tubes stretch making sealing them much harder.

5. NoTubes sealant will seal tubulars better than any sealant I have tested.

6. Sealant that will freeze will not last very long.”

— Stan Koziatek, Stan’s NoTubes

#150102

longrider42, April 1, 2012 at 2:37 pm

The heavier Thorn Resistant inner tubes, will help prevent snake bites, yes there a tad heavier, but if it helps prevent flats, all the better. For Ragbrai I will use said inner tubes in my front and rear wheel. I hate fixing flats!

#166436

Iceman, April 1, 2012 at 5:33 pm

longrider42:
The heavier Thorn Resistant inner tubes, will help prevent snake bites, yes there a tad heavier, but if it helps prevent flats, all the better. For Ragbrai I will use said inner tubes in my front and rear wheel. I hate fixing flats!

OK, one more time. If you don’t want pinch flats, don’t use tubes. Even a heavier tube will pinch. And why use a heavier tube when you can user a lighter, tubeless tire? And if you cannot/will not learn how to change your own flats – even though you are going on a 500 mile ride – use tubeless tires. Jeez!

#166495

mcpartla, April 2, 2012 at 5:30 pm

I seldom flat … 8 years on RAGBRAI and only one flat tire. Put new tires on just before the ride, keep the pressure at the level it’s suppose to be and check each day … avoid sharp objects … and use wide tires. Trek 620 Touring bike first 5 years and Salsa Fargo with mountain bike style wide tires the last 3 years. I ride 4-5000 miles annually and average one flat every year or so. I don’t think you have to spend a lot of money for a tire … paid $53 for one tire and it lasted less than 1000 miles and was plumb wore out. Paid $30 each for the replacement tires and have around 3,000 miles on so far and they look pretty good still.

#167360

Iceman, April 5, 2012 at 1:06 pm

These are videos from “Stans No Tubes.” I have just had the Stans Alpha 340 road rims built with campy hubs and installed Hutchinson Fusion 3 tubeless clincher tires. They are fantastic.

On the video, select the video “Installing Alpha Wheel” to see what my rims are like. They are the easiest tires to mount – no question about it.

If you wanted to try Hutchinson tubeless tire with your current standard rims (that use tubes), select the video “Road Tubeless Install.” Most rims work, especially rims like Mavic Ksyriums (which don’t use rim tape as they have no exposed nipples; with tubeless on the Ksyriums, you don’t have to use the yellow rim tape in the video.

http://www.notubes.com/help_center.aspx

#170455

Bear59, April 5, 2012 at 4:31 pm

I’ve been using Continental GP’s, Gatorskins, or Ultraports for many years. At 6’5″ 250 lbs, I wanted the extra pressure (120 psi) and usually pump to 130 to 135. I like to ride as fast as my old 53 yr old legs, heart and lungs will let me (usually avg 18.5-20) and I’ve found the performance of all three to be good in all conditions including the fun of the rain in 2010. I’ve been fortunate that I haven’t had any flats on the two RAGBRAI’s I’ve done so far. Hopefully that continues this year. Enjoying reading about other’s experiences and favorite brands.

#170670

Tony, April 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Bear +1

I run my Conties Ultra Sports at 125. I weigh about the same. With proper wheel maintenance. You don’t need the tire snot. I haven’t had a flat on the last 9 RAGBRAI’s. I don’t need all the extra expense of tubeless. My Conties and tubes work just fine thank you. Now if you want to buy me $1200 set of 7850’s and $120 Hutchinson tire. By all means I will gladly roll on them. But the ones I have been using for years without problems work just fine.

#170761

Sandaltan ., April 6, 2012 at 12:11 pm

I am looking forward to hearing about you tubeless tire experience Iceman. While I am slow to change and adopt new technology I can change…..Little Stoker says she is get me a cell phone one of these days.

RIDE RIGHT

#171466

Iceman, April 7, 2012 at 6:59 am

Sandaltan:
I am looking forward to hearing about you tubeless tire experience Iceman.While I am slow to change and adopt new technology I can change…..Little Stoker says she is get me a cell phone one of these days.

RIDE RIGHT

I’ve used them before. I have NEVER had a flat when using them. You’d have to cut the tire with a cut bigger than 1/4 inch before the Stan’s sealant won’t seal the hole and even then you can just slap a tube into the tire if you are carrying one “just in case.” It does not have a tube so pinch flats and snake bite flats are impossible. The sealant seals holes from thorns or nails, or seals around thorns or nails if the thorn or nail is still in the tire.

You also get a much more comfortable ride since you can run them at 80 to 90 psi. And – they offer lower rolling resistance than tubed tires.

What’s not to like?

#172091

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