Flatter than flat

It’s been a rough week for rubber. Saturday’s ride on bike #1 (the road bike) resulted in two flats (both rear, 700cx23 Michelin Dynamics with Mr. Tuffy liners), so I was hoping that was my spate for the month (or so). Sunday is my minor tune-up day for all three bikes: Clean drivetrains, adjust cables if needed, and the general once-over. Bike #2 (the cowhorn roadie) runs 700c x 23 Zaffiro’s (140 psi, using about 120 psi for the rides, no liner) was hanging in the garage, looking forward to the ride this morning when I discovered the rear was flat – I didn’t even ride this one, but did pump it up a little on Sunday.

This leaves my most comfortable ride, bike #3, the 1×8 Felt cross bike. This rig runs on 700c x 37 Conti City Contact, and was solid before taking off this morning. About two miles from work, the rear feels bouncy, a feeling I am intimate with as of late. Man, I ran a cotton ball around the inside of the tire (after removing the Slime liner) and found absolutely nothing that would cause a problem. What gives?

Like a cobbler repairs shoes, and a plumber repairs pipes, I feel like an unpaid tube fixer guy. This is a total drag, and goes to show that whether you run Armadillos (I may try them now) or use tire liners of any variety, sometimes the terrain is just going to beat you down.

FWIW, the rides with the flats were road riding and paved trail. Perhaps this is a residual fallout from local budget shortfalls, allowing debris to collect in greater quantities where it was once tidied up once in a while? Hope you all have flat-free rides this week. My patch kit is working OT.

UPDATE: Got to work to re-do the tube replacement  made on the trail. There was a hitch in my giddyup for the rest of the ride, so I removed the tube, checked the tire again only to reveal a cut in the tire. Nothing too alarming (no boot needed), but now when remounting the tire, there’s the bump in the tire, near the small cut, like the tire isn’t seated correctly on the bead (it is). The tire holds pressure – very frustrating.

6 Comments

  • July 19, 2011 - 4:30 pm | Permalink

    A very common flat I see is caused by Mr. Tuffy liners.
    Where the liner overlaps itself, there is another seam created.
    Often times the tube will come out with a perfect curved cut from this seam.

    Best advice, don’t run over stuff.

  • July 19, 2011 - 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’ve had that happen too — a run of flats on all bikes! LIke you write, it’s a drag.

  • Biking Viking
    July 19, 2011 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

    Rode down to the bike shop at lunch on my bumpy rear wheel and got me some Specialized Nimbus(es) or Nimbii?. This tire feels iron clad (flak-jacket at least), Feeling better about keeping air in the tires with these. Heavier tire, worth the sacrifice.

  • Anonymous
    July 20, 2011 - 1:34 am | Permalink

    Instead of the Mr. Tuffy liners, try Panaracer Flataways.  I’ve ridden them for years in various tires, and literally never had a flat caused by a puncture in any tire they were in.  I have them on my road bike right now, and zero problems since I installed them.

  • Biking Viking
    July 20, 2011 - 12:38 pm | Permalink

    I ended up with a set of Specialized Nimbus 28’s for the cross/commnuter. High pressure,semi-slick, and thicker/heavier. I don’t mind the trade-off of weight for less time off the bike. It is amazing what one little cut on a tire can do.

  • Max Power
    July 21, 2011 - 3:41 am | Permalink

    I installed a Slime liner that wore through a new IRC Metro II tire in <15 miles.  The instructions state that you should not cut the liner to fit the and let it overlap, but that overlap was what caused the wear-through.  I've given up on liners and went with sealant-filled tubes.

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