Road Bike, Cycling Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
eRacer
Joined
·
2,555 Posts
Flats always occur when you are in a hurry, or forget to carry your 'Flat-Kit'.
Good old 'Murphy".
Most flats are ,IMO, from: 1-sharp road debris, 2-pinches when you don't keep the pressure adequate, and 3-installation error when in a hurry.
4-'Flats Happen'!
John
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
203 Posts
Many variables

There are many variables in the number of flats that you will get.

Size of the tire
Brand/type of tire
Brand/type of tube
Size of the rider
Type of surface
Attentiveness of the cyclist
Air pressure

Where I ride the most dangerous thing this time of year is a pothole. That has been the cause of most of the flats on our group rides. I did not ride much on the road last summer, but I would imagine that the broken beer bottle becomes more of a problem as the weather gets warmer.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
Some times you cannot avoid running over a rock or into a pothole and get a pinch flat. Most of the other flats I have seen are from small pieces of metal from steel belted radial tires.

I get one to two flats per year using Continental 3000 then 4000 then 4000s. It is a rare event unless you live in an area with a lot of hazards or buy cheap tires and run them until they are so thin that just about anything will flat them.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
6,360 Posts
"1 or 2 flats a YEAR"?? Oh, bite me

dekindy said:
...I get one to two flats per year using Continental 3000 then 4000. It is a rare event unless you live in an area with a lot of hazards or buy cheap tires and run them until they are so thin that just about anything will flat them.
One or two flats a YEAR? Kee-rist.
There was a post here a couple of years ago by a rider from Louisiana who said he'd just had his first flat in four years of riding, and he wondered whether it was OK to patch the tube and if he'd need a new tire. I hate both of you.
Here in the land of big thorns, using good tires (Rivendell Ruffy Tuffys and Panaracer Pasela TGs), I average about a flat every 75-100 miles, two or so a week this time of year. I don't keep track anymore, but back when I was pathological about keeping records, I averaged a flat every THIRTY miles for the first half of a summer--there was a lot of construction in the area, with debris all over the roads, and we'd had a wet spring, so plenty of goatheads (our local goatheads go through Mr. Tuffy like he wasn't even there). I once had six on one 25-mile round-trip commute (a truck had dumped a load of tiny metal shards).
There's been a ton of stuff printed about flat avoidance, so I won't repeat it here. If you're getting pinch flats, though, you're not running enough pressure or your tires are too small for your weight. I weigh about 240, and since I switched to 700x35 tires a couple of years ago, I haven't had a single pinch.
Another common cause is a spoke protruding through the rim. If you note where you're getting punctures, you may pick up a pattern that will show you where the problem is, whether a spoke end, something stuck in the tire or whatever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
The types of flats are regional, depending on the thorniness of the local plants, the preferred method of beer-bottle disposal, the frequency of road sweeping, the quality of the roads, etc. The number of flats is dependent on all of the above plus the skill of the rider, the attention paid when mounting the tires, the attention paid to tire pressure, the age and brand and model of tires, etc.

You can get any answer you want depending on who you ask.

I think there are big tradeoff we all get to make relative to how much money we want to spend on tires vs. rolling resistance vs. how many flats we're willing to tolerate. The older my tires, the more flats I get.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you everyone for your answers. I will definitely learn how to change a tire properly before heading out.

Does the normal pot hole cause the wheels to bend?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
838 Posts
BaileyHV said:
Does the normal pot hole cause the wheels to bend?
If you hit it hard enough. But if you hit it that hard, you'll probably crash too. The key is to not hit potholes. If you don't ride in unfamiliar pacelines, that's usually pretty easy for an observant rider. It should be feasible to ride your entire life without ever hitting a pothole.
 

·
'brifter' is f'ing stupid
Joined
·
15,567 Posts
Cory said:
One or two flats a YEAR? Kee-rist.
There was a post here a couple of years ago by a rider from Louisiana who said he'd just had his first flat in four years of riding, and he wondered whether it was OK to patch the tube and if he'd need a new tire. I hate both of you.
Here in the land of big thorns, using good tires (Rivendell Ruffy Tuffys and Panaracer Pasela TGs), I average about a flat every 75-100 miles, two or so a week this time of year. I don't keep track anymore, but back when I was pathological about keeping records, I averaged a flat every THIRTY miles for the first half of a summer--there was a lot of construction in the area, with debris all over the roads, and we'd had a wet spring, so plenty of goatheads (our local goatheads go through Mr. Tuffy like he wasn't even there). I once had six on one 25-mile round-trip commute (a truck had dumped a load of tiny metal shards).
There's been a ton of stuff printed about flat avoidance, so I won't repeat it here. If you're getting pinch flats, though, you're not running enough pressure or your tires are too small for your weight. I weigh about 240, and since I switched to 700x35 tires a couple of years ago, I haven't had a single pinch.
Another common cause is a spoke protruding through the rim. If you note where you're getting punctures, you may pick up a pattern that will show you where the problem is, whether a spoke end, something stuck in the tire or whatever.
i can beat that...
riding mtb since '89...total flats in 20yrs...3 (last 5 or so years on stans tubeless, no flats)
riding road since '83ish...prob had 5 flats, and that includes 10+yrs of riding only tubulars
riding cx since '95...always on tubulars...2 flats
never flatted a track tire
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
I have a question to add to this. I see a lot of people recommending both a pair of tubes and a patch kit. Are all three necessary? I would think that at 3 flats you'd just give up and accept that nature is against you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Depends...

Kleh said:
I have a question to add to this. I see a lot of people recommending both a pair of tubes and a patch kit. Are all three necessary? I would think that at 3 flats you'd just give up and accept that nature is against you.
on how far from home you are at the time, and how much goodwill you've generated with the S.O. to come pick you up <g>
 

·
Adventure Seeker
Joined
·
5,115 Posts
Tubes are best for on the go, and patches are good for salvaging those tubes after you get home.
Pinch flats occur when there is too little pressure and/or the rider weighs too much. If had 3 flats in the last 1000 miles due to a fine wire working it's way in. I've had too many pinch flats when I rode 23s. I've had 3 flats lately because I didn't notice a cut that penetrated the casing so I never put a boot in the tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,037 Posts
If you fail to locate something stuck in the tire and it pokes a hole in your spare tube or you twist the stem off the tube airing the spare tube up, you will be darn glad that you have a second tube and patch kit. I carry a pump and CO2 also. It is going to be a cold day in you know where before I have to get assistance because of a flat. I have never needed more than one, but I have been on rides where other riders had two flats and needed to borrow a tube. It happens. You feel better about loaning a tube if you still have a spare and a patch kit backing you up. Get the Park glueless patches. They work find and take up less space than a patch kit. Also get some Park tire boots or cut up a piece of old tube or have a dollar bill handy in case you have a hole in the tire that needs support.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
122 Posts
I asked the same question to some local riders and they told me flats are rare... but get decent tires. For whatever reason, I was getting the impression from research that flats might occur quite a bit. My guess is there is some luck involved with it as well. Last year I ran over a large screw that ruined my rear motorcycle tire... good thing it was worn down and needed to be replaced anyways. My years of riding a motorcycle has also shown me that you just need to be aware of the road. If you are running through the patches in intersections where sand, rocks, glass, screws and other bits seem to gather you could be flatting a lot.

I suppose your local riding area may have its own issues. I will have to figure out what decent tires are, but I plan to carry a tube or two with a pump. Patching at home sounds like a great plan of attack although tubes do seem to be inexpensive enough just to use new ones.

In terms of what I have been able to gather, some tires are more resilient and less subject to puncturing by foreign bodies. Proper air pressure and tube installation helps in reducing and eliminating "pinch" flats. Some rims have spoke ends that may cause flats, which can often be remedied by a quality rim lining... think its called rim tape.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
cxwrench said:
i can beat that...
riding mtb since '89...total flats in 20yrs...3 (last 5 or so years on stans tubeless, no flats)
riding road since '83ish...prob had 5 flats, and that includes 10+yrs of riding only tubulars
riding cx since '95...always on tubulars...2 flats
never flatted a track tire
Cory, let me this time....cxwrench, I hate you too! ;)

Man oh man, Cory I am no where near as bad as you, I would seriously consider moving if that was case. But I average about a flat a month. Yeah I know that means squat (so for full disclosure, I did ~14,700 miles last year, and thats only for the rides I tallied I am sure I missed a few.)

My biggest annual bike expense other than wheelsets are tires. And one of the main reasons I stopped riding tubies about 10 years ago too, as I go through about 5-6 tires a year. Plus I like to try different setups and tires.

To the OP: hey flats happen. Some can be prevented or reduced (pinch flats) with proper tire/tube installation and inflation, and riding areas. But sometimes you just cant avoid the pot hole, crack, rail track, expansion joint, debris. Some areas are prone to flatting because of natural stuff found on the road and you just need a tougher tire.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,344 Posts
Kleh said:
I have a question to add to this. I see a lot of people recommending both a pair of tubes and a patch kit. Are all three necessary? I would think that at 3 flats you'd just give up and accept that nature is against you.
Let me give you a real world example, yes this happened to me.

Setting: Late winter 2006, back country road.
Equipment: My normal kit was 1 tube/patch kit/frame pump.

Bam! Flat front. Stop, change out the front with new tube. Start to repump and at about there....ssssssssssss....broken valve. F^&@

Pull out the patch kit and patch the old tube. Careful now, but it was a different manufacturer, so hopefully the valve was better. (Lesson to be learned here and good proceedure is to not let your tire, wheel or flat tube get gritty on the ground as you have to reassemble them and may even need the old tube again.)
Reinflate and good to go.

Start to ride and notice the back end is real squishy...S*&%! F'n double flat, just never bothered to check the rear too.

Stop, now I have to patch the rear tube. Do that and all set again, good to go.

Restart. About a mile down the road I feel an odd sensation coming from the front. I slow and don't see anything and run my hand over the tread maybe I missed something stuck in the tire...nothing, it is good. Back up to speed, still there, something wrong. So I stop and F&^%$, F&*), F#[email protected]! My tube is protruding out the sidewall...I must have cut the sidewall when I flatted (practically a brand new Bonty RXL one too.). Well I was still a good 20 miles from home and no way was I riding with that on the front. So off come the wheels, I swap the tires and boot the rear, and hold my breath as I reinflate the two patched tubes.

I made it home only to discover that I had also cut the rear (now front) tire too, just not as bad, but no way was I going to ride it again.

So...one ride claimed three tubes, several patches, two essentially brand new tires. Yeah that was a bad day. It was F'n cold and shady too. I laugh now. But that particular incident finally brought me over to CO2 instead of a frame pump. I had broken a few other valves with a frame pump that season and my LBS and I sort of figured a bad batch of valves. But I wasn't taking any more chances.

So now, depending on ride: 1 or 2 tubes, patch kit, boots and 2 CO2 carts. with a gas station presta-schrader valve adaptor. Long one way rides: 3 tubes, 3 CO2 carts. and of course cell phone.

zac
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top