Thoughts on Flat Prevention…

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Thoughts on Flat Prevention…

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    • #72639

      Okay, so I am new to MTB’ing and just getting some tips and thoughts from people.

      What do you guys do to help protect against flats while out on the trail? Does anyone use the Self Healing Tubes, that are filled with gel to seal punctures, and do they work well? Has anyone tried the "lining" you put inside the tire to prevent punctures? Or do you just carry a repair kit?


    • #72640

      Well KB, it looks like I`m the only person posting today (except for you and Mr. Big), maybe because it`s been raining 😢 a solid 2 days now where I live (instead of being out riding 😃 ) .
      I`m not the norm, but I`ll give you my opinion on flats,
      1. Liners and "slime" are heavy.
      2. Rotating weight is the most critical weight on your bike, i.e. tires, tubes, rims, spokes, hubs, in this descending order. I don`t know how much you weigh, but a light wheelset is like heaven if your not doing super crazy stuff. What I`m trying to say is, I would much rather pack a patch kit and a small pump and change the occasional flat tire, than fill it up with slime, or put a liner in it.

      That`s my 2 cents worth, take care.

    • #72641

      Yep, looks like its just us here.

      I didn’t take into consideration the extra rotating weight. I weight about 160lbs, 6’1". I really need to work on cardio training before I get to heavily into biking though, my asthma has gotten bad over the past year or two with my laziness.

      Anyway I will probably go with the patch kit if I decide I really need one. I may wait until I get my first flat and then make that decision… I usually only ride a few miles from where I park, so I can walk back if it happens for now.


    • #72642

      The #1 thing I do to prevent flats is make sure I have enough air in the tires. That is, the most common flat I get is a pinch flat (from hitting sharp edges too hard) and the simplest way to prevent pinch flats is to keep the tires pumped up. (OK, I could go tubeless, but that is another conversation.) The next most common flat I get is from cactus or goatheads, but those are usually slow leaks and I end up fixing ’em when I get my bike out and notice a tire went flat since I put it away.

      I hear that some desert riders like slime to deal with slow leaks from cactus, but I have never hit enough thorns to justify it in my mind. I have never heard anything good about liners.

    • #72643

      Yeah bonked, I also keep my tires rock hard and I rarely get flats on my mountain bike (the road bike is another story though). There is a trade-off to riding with high tire pressure, particularly for those of us who ride hard tails, but a rougher ride is worth it to me to avoid flats.

      I think the key to avoiding flats in the first place is to first determine the cause of your flats – pinch, puncture, etc. – then pick the appropriate solution.

    • #72644

      Hey KB, this is a little off topic, but I have asthma problems myself.
      Uh, this isn`t medical advice, but I, myself, have been known to use my inhaler right before a ride…worked wonders for me, not that I`m suggesting that you do this (consult your physician first).
      I would have to agree with you, the better shape that I`m in, the less problems I have with the asthma thing. Take care.

    • #72645
      I also keep my tires rock hard

      Well, I don’t go [i:12xaux5w]rock[/i:12xaux5w] hard; usually about 40 psi is enough for me to not flat. But yeah, knowing the most common source of your flat will help you pick a strategy to prevent flats.

      Btw, when the trails get too muddy sometimes I put 100 psi slicks on my mountain bike and stick to the pavement. Now those babies are [i:12xaux5w]hard![/i:12xaux5w] 😉

    • #72646

      I must be the odd one. I use a liner and slime in my tires and keep them around 60 psi. Yesterday I ran right through the middle of a large cactus patch. i was picking spines (some rather large and thick) out of my tires and kept on riding with no flats, leaks nothing!

    • #72647
      I must be the odd one. I use a liner and slime in my tires and keep them around 60 psi. Yesterday I ran right through the middle of a large cactus patch. i was picking spines (some rather large and thick) out of my tires and kept on riding with no flats, leaks nothing!

      Well I don’t have to worry about cactus in Maryland thankfully, but I have seen and picked up a rather nasty thorns before. I will probably leave my tired/tub setup alone until I get a flat then decide what to do. I think if I start getting thorns though I will try the gel filled tubes and see how they hold up and how the extra weights affects my riding.

    • #72648

      if you have thorns,spend the money and get thorn proof tubes.they have done wonders for me.i’ve also found that as long as your on the trails,keep just enough air preasure to keep from pinch flating.then the only thing you really have to worry about is cutting a tire wide open so the tube is sticking out and physically making contact on the ground.i’ve done that before.course we have lots o rocks out here in colorado.fixin a flat every once in awhile is kinda cool though,you get a real good idea what kinda people your on the trail with.i’ve had people litterally offer tubes and tools for me to keep if i didnt have can be a real eye opener for what its all about.

    • #72649

      I run my tires at 30psi constantly with tubes, and I only have problems with goat-heads & cactii thorns. Pinch-flatting depends a lot on the type of rim, tire, & tube you run. I’ve slammed my Azonic Outlaw wheels onto sharp ledges & rocks many times, and by all rights should’ve gotten a pinch-flat. But for some reason, it’s not happened once! It may be just the wheels, but I think it’s a combination of the Outlaws and my tires. Plain Walmart tubes tend to be on the thin side, and I’ve witnessed the thickness of them varying wildly from tube to tube. It’s worth the extra couple dollars to buy a Continental or Bontrager MTB tube.
      Slime tubes add a bit of extra weight, and I’ve heard of them failing to fulfill their purpose on a frighteningly often basis.
      It’s possible to add Stan’s to a regular tube, you just have to remove the valve-core from the stem.

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