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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone says I have chronic flat syndrome. I get flat tires about every other ride. I’ve never had a pinch flat on the road bike, just crap that slices the tire or pokes through. Is this abnormal? Nobody else I ride with flats nearly as much.

I’ve tried Slime tubes and Vittoria flat stop and both have not worked and just cause a mess.

I have tried a few different tires and am currently running Vittoria Diamante Pro tires (I assume these are good).

Does any other chronic flat rider out there have good solid answers on how they kicked their flat nemesis in the rear?
 

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Yea it's just one of those things. As tires start to wear out it happens more and more as well. About all you can do is make sure your rim tape, tires and tubes are in good condition. A search will turn up lots of recommendations for tough tires, but it could just be bad luck. Oh and never patch a tube more than 5 times :) Also, I use baby powder between my tubes/tire because a trusted friend recommended doing so. I don't recall why...
 

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You may want to check your rims for small metal burrs. Run your fingers around the entire rim area that comes in contact with the tube and tire. Also check the inside of your tire to make sure there is nothing poking from the inside into your tube.
Do you seem to get the flat in the same location on the tube. If yes than the above would probably apply.
 

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GTR Jeff said:
Everyone says I have chronic flat syndrome. I get flat tires about every other ride. I’ve never had a pinch flat on the road bike, just crap that slices the tire or pokes through. Is this abnormal? Nobody else I ride with flats nearly as much.

I’ve tried Slime tubes and Vittoria flat stop and both have not worked and just cause a mess.

I have tried a few different tires and am currently running Vittoria Diamante Pro tires (I assume these are good).

Does any other chronic flat rider out there have good solid answers on how they kicked their flat nemesis in the rear?
A flat every other ride? That's pretty terrible. I haven't had a flat in at least two years. I used Vittoria Rubino Pro for almost 2 years with no problems. I rode through some stuff I was sure was going to flat me, that put some cuts in tread but no flats. What does your shop say about it?
 

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Treatments for Chronic Flatitis

1) Check Tire for embedded crap.
if no crap
2) Try new tire.
3) Reduce Tire pressure by 10 psi
If symptoms continue
3) Install new rim tape (Velox, not plastic rimstrips)
4) Run finger along rim and spoke holes, Deburr/smooth anything that feels remotely rough or suspicious.
5) Check tire levers for blunting or jaggedness.
6) Try heavier duty tubes.
7) Check that pump is not ripping valve stems when you remove it.

IME, worn out tires and rimstrips are by far the most common causes of multiple flats. After that, too high a tire pressure. Change rimstrips every year or two. More often if you ride regularly in the rain or use a power washer.
 

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GTR Jeff said:
Everyone says I have chronic flat syndrome. I get flat tires about every other ride. I’ve never had a pinch flat on the road bike, just crap that slices the tire or pokes through. Is this abnormal? Nobody else I ride with flats nearly as much.

I’ve tried Slime tubes and Vittoria flat stop and both have not worked and just cause a mess.

I have tried a few different tires and am currently running Vittoria Diamante Pro tires (I assume these are good).

Does any other chronic flat rider out there have good solid answers on how they kicked their flat nemesis in the rear?
Well, I was having a flatting problem, not quite as severe as yours, and I tried a few different types of tires. I finally got the Specialized Armadillos but they didn't work. They would at first but I noticed the tire got sliced up all the time which eventually led to small pock marks with only the flat resistance material showing and things just eventually poked through that. I switched to Continental UltraGatorskins and they have held up. The rubber isn't getting sliced like the Specialized even though I'm consistently riding the same routes. I recently got a good deal on the new Panaracer RibMo and I'm hoping the hype is not just hype.
 

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You have somehow offended the Tire Gods. As penance, you must tell three coworkers and one total stranger about the miracle of comfort and low rolling resistance provided by pneumatic tires. Also, you must install two new tires & tubes with your bare hands only, no tools, and sacrifice your current rubber in a small fire in your driveway.

That should take care of it. HTH.
 

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You have apparently offended the Gods of Cycling. Do you have an Italian bike with Shimano components? Perhaps a Campy equipped bike but you are running Dura ace pedals? They frown upon that sort of thing you know...
 

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I agree that you have somehow offended the cycling gods. However, you must give blood to appease them. And, unfortunately, giving blood on the trail or road is not something you can plan on or do on purpose... well, I guess you could, but that takes some serious commitment.

Until then, get thee some Conti Ultra Gatorskins and take note of where you are getting flats (where on the wheel/tube/tire) to see if there is any consistency or if it's random.
 

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I learned this on a Trans Am trip from Oregon, headed east... made it as far as Michigan. I had about a dozen flats between Oregon and Idaho, which was a drag to deal with, since I was riding a recumbent with a trailer. Taking the trailer off, and then the wheel, and dealing with equipment, et al... major hassle. The Specialized Armadillo worked for some stuff... somewhere along the way I picked up a bunch of bits of thick wire... must have been part of a cable or something, and the tire was fine. But after a while, yeah... the tire started flatting again. So, thse are the things I tried that helped:

-Bigger innertube. Yes, I know they're heavier, but as rubber stretches, it gets thinner, and becomes more prone to puncture, like a balloon. If you use a tube for a bigger tire, it won't stretch as much, and the thicker rubber will have a better chance with things like slime, since it might get a pin hole, but won't rupture as violently. Might want to try different brands, too, since there might be some difference in the thickness of the rubber. For most rides, I'd avoid the light weight tubes. Less weight means less rubber, and less rubber means it's thinner.

-Thicker (heavier) tire liners. I had really good luck with slime liners. They were thick enough, and had enough give to them, that they worked well. Somewhere along the way I put in some slime liners. No more flats for the rest of the trip, until I got home and ran over a wire nail.

-Slime is a weird thing, since it can take a while for the hole to clog. I personally think it works better for bigger tires where there's enough air reserve to give that kind of time. My slimed (and linered) tube stopped that hole from the wire nail, on a 26x1.75" tire, but the rim was 1/4" from the ground when the leak finally stopped. I didn't have a pump with me (stupid, I know) but that 1/4" held solid, and gave me just enough to slowly ride the mile or two back home. You can pump a slimed tire back up once the leak is clogged, but slime is not going to stop the tire from deflating immediately. It's just supposed to plug the hole enough to let you pump back up and keep riding, but that does require that enough of the slime works its way around to glog the hole. And with smaller tires, such as those on a road bike, it might take a pumping or two to help that happen. It works, but not the way most people think, and it can take some getting used to. I'm a believer, but like any object of faith, you have to understand that it works, but the experience might not be all singing and sunshine. And the priest might still molest you once in a while.

Oh, and the baby powder thing is awesome.... basically, keeps the rubber tube from sticking to the rubber tire, and makes it a LOT easier to remove when you have to deal with a flat.
 

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I agree with the advice to watch more carefully what your tire rolls over. If you're getting more debris flats than your buddies while riding the same roads, then it's likely they are avoiding the debris and you're hitting it. To some extent, avoiding flats is a learned skill.
 

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Try different tires. I stopped using Conti's and my flats came to nil. You have to match your tires with the type of roads you ride. For some reason Conti's here seem to draw all the junk on the road like a magnet

Another thing is if you wear real dark riding glasses you might not be able to see stuff, especially in the shade. Try wearing amber or clear lenses. I spend a lot of time looking at the road directly ahead of me.

And try going overkill. I pack a mini or frame pump and a couple of cartridges of c02. When I started carrying extra junk my flats almost came to a stop. Accept now of course since I just jinxed myself.
 

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I replaced rims to cure this problem. The rims I removed had sharp edges that cut tubes.
I also second the Gatorskins, as I ride in Arizona on terrible roads infested with Goat's Heads, and rarely get a F(I won't use the word any more).

I haven't found much difference from using thicker tubes or anything like that. Make sure your inflation is correct, not over 120 psi and not under 80psi or so, depending on your wieght.
 

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Your tires might have something imbedded in them, like a small piece of wire or glass. Check your tubes and see if you are consistently flatting the same location. Get in the habit of mounting your tires with the label next to the valve, so you can check for the location of flats on your tubes.

Assuming your tires and tubes are OK, here are the best ways to prevent flats:
-- Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure, pumping up before every ride if necessary. Many flats are caused by underinflated tires.
-- Avoid riding in the crap that accumulates on the sides of the road and at intersections. This is very important and might be the real cause of your problems. You might be hugging the shoulder of the road too much. If so, take more of the lane.
-- Don't use ultra-light tubes; they flat easier.
-- Larger tires are more flat resistant. Running 700x25 tires would be more comfortable, more flat resistant and durable, and only marginally heavier.
-- Buy good tires with a reputation for flat resistance, such as Michelin Krylions or Conti Gatorskins. If you're running lightweight racing tires, you're gonna get more flats.
-- Throw out your tires when the tread starts getting thin. If you can see the threads, you are way past their useful life. I rarely ever get flats with new tires. If I get a flat with a tire that has 1,500-2,000 miles on it, I give it a close inspection and give it the heave-ho if the tread is getting real thin or even the slightest threads are showing.
 

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It sounds odd but don't overinflate your tires. An overinflated tire can drive the object into the tire instead of rolling over it. Run the correct pressure for your tire. I told a friend about this and his frequency of flats went down dramatically after running the correct pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the input guys. I had the same problems with mtb’s. I went to 2.4’s and stans tubeless and never get flats anymore on the mtb.

I’m going to run a little less pressure on the road and try some different tires out. I am guilty of riding further over on the shoulder to keep away from traffic so that may add to my flat problem.
 

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I've been running the Michelin Krylion Carbons and I've got at least 4000 miles without a puncture flat on this set of tires.. they're a phenomenal tire. Rolling resistance is even better then some of the other more "race" oriented clinchers even though they are supposedly a training tire. I had a valve core fail but no puncture flats at all. The roads suck here and I've even gotten stuck riding through glass.. and quite a few dirt road miles too.

The ProRace 2/3 tires from Michelin are also known for being good, I have run those before but definitely never got 4000 miles flat free out of them.

I didn't quite catch if the Vittorias you're running are clinchers or tubulars.. looking over the french tire test that has been floating around the only tubies they rated as having "Very Good" flat resistance were the Continental Podium and Competition models. (Based on construction apparently)
 

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GTR Jeff said:
Thanks for the input guys. I had the same problems with mtb’s. I went to 2.4’s and stans tubeless and never get flats anymore on the mtb.

I’m going to run a little less pressure on the road and try some different tires out. I am guilty of riding further over on the shoulder to keep away from traffic so that may add to my flat problem.
Sounds like it.

Interesting side (that hopefully won't turn into a hijack): You very well might be safer from the traffic by taking a bit more of the lane. If you're tight right, they tend to pass without moving at all, which can be way too close. Unless it's a crazy busy street in both directions, I tend to ride in the right wheel rut - they can still get by easily enough, but they have to pay attention and try just a little. As a result, you end up with more rather than less room. It also leaves room to negotiate and maneuver that riding the fog line doesn't allow. Done skillfully, it allows you to be a 'good guy' by getting out of the way, rather than being just a nuisance (which wasn't in the way, but perceptions are reality. Go figure. It's kinda like customer service - the only way you know it is 'good' is if the company first screws something up.)

You'll also not have the flats - and when one of those flats causes you to lose control and swerve into traffic...
 
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