Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => General Discussion => Topic started by: froze on May 08, 2020, 02:49:39 pm

 
Title: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 08, 2020, 02:49:39 pm
A question came up on another post here unrelated to the actual post question so I want to ask a direct question and see what experienced touring members say.

These questions are only for those who tour on mostly pavement, maybe some gravel if necessary, but no backcountry off road touring, also only those who have toured in America preferably, and not something wild like the roads in the Outback of Australia.

First question: On average, how many flats do you get while on a single tour?

Second question:  How many tubes do you carry with you if you are using tubed tires and not tubeless?

Third question:  How many spare tires do you carry?

Fourth question:  Do you patch your flats or replace the tube or both?

Fifth question:  Do you do anything to the tire to beef up the flat protection built into the tire like use flat liners, and or a thorn resistant tube, and or sealants?  Again only tube type tires not tubeless.

I would personally like to know so when I start doing long distance touring I'm prepared.  Right now I do short 2 to 3 days out type of touring and 2 to 3 days back.  I use Schwalbe Marathon tires, inside of that I use a Panaracer FlatAway Kevlar liner, and a regular tube with no sealant.  I then carry 1 spare tube, 1 spare tire, and a dozen patches and a tire boot patch.  So am I under prepared for a long journey touring in America in regards to tire protection?

Thanks for your responses. 
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 08, 2020, 03:24:48 pm
40+ years of experience is what my answers are based on.  YMMV.

I average one flat about every 1250 miles on pavement assuming I am not in the deep SW (TX, NM, AZ) where they have a lot of goathead stickers alongside the road.  Then all bets are off.  I always carry 2 tubes and a decent patch kit plus I have Tear Aids which also patch tubes.  I do not take a spare tire but I do take a couple of boots made from old racing tires.  I replace on the road and patch at camp.  While some will patch continually, I will patch no more than 3 times before trashing the tube.

As far as prevention, I keep a sharp eye on the road for debris and continually check my front tire as I ride to see if it has debris hanging on.  If so, I immediately wipe it off and check the back while at it.  I use good tires (Schwalbe Supremes) but they are not puncture resistant as others like Schwalbe Marathon Plus but those are beastly heavy and have tremendous rolling resistance.  I do occasionally run puncture resistant tubes on the back (usually though only when doing more off-pavement riding) since I have a Rohloff and it is a bit of a pain sometimes to take on and off.

It is important to know what caused the flat, i.e. a sticker, a pinch flat, a truck tire wire, etc. and deal with the cause or you could soon be getting another flat.  Know the signs for the type of flat you got.

Knocking on wood, I have never been stranded.

When riding across the USA, any Walmart has tubes plus a tire shop should be able to help patch a tube in an emergency.  Even some dollar store places sell stuff.  If you stick to pavement, you should be more than fine on AVERAGE with what you use.

Tailwinds, John


Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: jwrushman on May 08, 2020, 05:42:12 pm
1) Flats per tour - Approx 1.  The only flat I got from NJ to Anacortes was when, trying to put some extra air in the tire with my Topeak Road Morph pump (Baldwinsport NY), I tore where the valve stem attaches to the innertube. 

2) Tubed tires - I carry two spare innertubes

3) Spare tires - None - I put on new Schwalbe Marathon Plus at the beginning of the season.  They still look good at the end of the year.

4) Innertube repair - Replace the tube during the day.  Patch the old tube when I'm done for the day.

5) Extra tire protection - I carry a Park Tool tire boot but have never needed it.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 08, 2020, 05:42:18 pm
Quote
First question: On average, how many flats do you get while on a single tour?
It depends on the locale.  Running tires that are somewhat flat resistant and using some care they are fairly infrequent outside goat head thorn country.  In goat head country it depends on how careful I am but I might get none for a week or more, then get several in a day, then go back to none for weeks.

Quote
Second question:  How many tubes do you carry with you if you are using tubed tires and not tubeless?
Usually two light weight tubes.  I don't carry heavy thorn proof ones.

Quote
Third question:  How many spare tires do you carry?
None.

Quote
Fourth question:  Do you patch your flats or replace the tube or both?
Sometimes I patch right away, sometimes I patch in camp in the evening.

Quote
Fifth question:  Do you do anything to the tire to beef up the flat protection built into the tire like use flat liners, and or a thorn resistant tube, and or sealants?  Again only tube type tires not tubeless.
No, none of that.

You didn't ask, but I am loving the tubeless setup on my MTB.  I never have to patch I used to get at least one flat per week due to thorns and with the tubeless setup get none.  I may at some point try touring on tubeless.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 08, 2020, 05:47:33 pm
If you want six opinions, ask five bike tourists.  :)

On tour, riding for 4-6 hours a day, I average about a flat every couple weeks.  I normally carry 1-2 tubes commuting and riding on weekends, along with a patch kit.  On tour, I'll carry 2-3 tubes and take a spare tire.

I've had to replace 2 tubes in a day on several occasions, and 4 tubes (had to patch one before installing it) on one memorable, miserable day.  I was grateful to have a spare tire that day.  I've also ridden 60 miles very gingerly to the next bike shop a couple times when I noticed the tire was worn down (fixing a flat, naturally) and didn't have a good tire with me.

Keep in mind that a glueless patch may not stick, and the glue in a normal repair kit may have dried out.

It's said you're never more than an overnight shipment from a replacement tire.  That's almost true.  I'd say you're never more than a long day's ride, or a hitchhike, and a long weekend from a replacement tire in the U.S., although you'll pay twice the price of a tire for overnight shipping.  And maybe a half a week if the COVID warehouse slowdowns continue...

It all comes down to your personal decision, once you start riding.  Do you start with fresh rubber, cross your fingers, and hope to get done before the tires wear down?  Or do you carry the extra load of >2 tubes and a tire?
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 08, 2020, 06:05:18 pm
Pat raised a couple other issues.  Glueless patches...  I never use them.  Patch kits...  Be sure you have ones with fresh glue.

I used to start with fresh tires on every long tour, but stopped doing that and now figure that on a tour of a few weeks or more replacing tires during the tour is better than wasting the last several hundred miles in a set of tires.  I used to think I'd use them at home if I took them off before a tour, but never did.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 08, 2020, 06:30:57 pm
I used to think I'd use them at home if I took them off before a tour, but never did.


But how else can you obtain a collection of 20+ somewhat good tires over the year to sit in the garage until you get fed up with it and give them to the local bike co-op? Speaking from experience! :D

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 08, 2020, 06:35:00 pm
I know a lot of people won't use glueless but that I found is because they either used some goofy brand that doesn't work, or they failed to prepare the tube correctly.

I started out using glueless patches when they first came out about 30 years ago and I've never looked back.  They were originally made by 3M who then sold the rights to Park Tools which are called Super Patch, those are the ONLY ones I've found that will hold for the life of the tube, all others I've tried failed within 24 hours of application, even the expensive ones like the Lezyne! 

I think, but not sure so I won't be trying them, that the Topeak glueless patch is from Park because the patches looks exactly like the Park's except Topeak puts their trademark on it.

To properly prepare the tube it's almost similar to glue on, but once I'm done with roughing up tube a bit I clean it with an alcohol pad, now I've done it without using an alcohol pad and they didn't fail either but I think the insurance of cleaning the area is worth the extra time.  I only pick up one corner of the patch in the smallest area I can possibly touch so oil from my finger doesn't get over a larger area of the patch, and then apply the patch and press as hard as I can between my fingers and thumb for 30 to 40 seconds, then look at the patch, if I see any frosty looking areas repress those areas for 30 to 40 seconds, once there are no more frosty areas that tube is good to use and that patch will not fail.  My very first glueless patch I ever did failed, and at first I thought great I got junky patches, but I tried again and it worked, that's the only glueless patch that ever failed for me that was either 3M or Park brand and that was 30 years or so ago.  I tried peeling off a glueless patch that had been on a tube I was throwing out due to stem failure for about 5 years to see how difficult it would be to remove...I tore the tube!

However, I am contemplating taking a pack of glue on patches with glue in addition to the glueless just in the unlikely event something goes wrong when I'm touring.

Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 08, 2020, 06:43:22 pm
I started out using glueless patches when they first came out about 30 years ago and I've never looked back.  They were originally made by 3M who then sold the rights to Park Tools which are called Super Patch, those are the ONLY ones I've found that will hold for the life of the tube, all others I've tried failed within 24 hours of application, even the expensive ones like the Lezyne! 
Again, try Tear Aid glueless patches.  They work on a ton of stuff.  There are two types; Type A and Type B depending on your need.  Do a search on CrazyGuyonaBike.com for Tear Aid and there was a forum post about 5-8 years or so that got me hooked onto them.  I patch tubes, panniers, air mattress, clothes, etc.  They are great and they are fairly cheap and come in different sizes.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 08, 2020, 06:47:14 pm

Again, try Tear Aid glueless patches.  They work on a ton of stuff.  There are two types; Type A and Type B depending on your need.  Do a search on CrazyGuyonaBike.com for Tear Aid and there was a forum post about 5-8 years or so that got me hooked onto them.  I patch tubes, panniers, air mattress, clothes, etc.  They are great and they are fairly cheap and come in different sizes.

Tailwinds, John

Geez, never even heard of those, I'll check them out, not sure if I want to risk using something I'm unfamiliar with on a tour, but I will look into them, thanks.

So how do you prepare those Tear Aid patches to take to the tube?
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 08, 2020, 06:50:28 pm
I just clean the tube with a little water and a shirt tail and stick it on and press real hard for about 30 seconds.  Buy a small set on eBay to test them out if you like but I bought a roll of 100.  John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 08, 2020, 07:30:19 pm
I just clean the tube with a little water and a shirt tail and stick it on and press real hard for about 30 seconds.  Buy a small set on eBay to test them out if you like but I bought a roll of 100.  John

I'm always game at experimenting, so I'll try to find a small amount and see what happens.  I never had the Park patches fail, but if it's raining out I doubt the Parks would work on a wet tube, and from what your saying, it sounds like the Tear Aid Type A will or might work on a tube that's damp from rain?
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 08, 2020, 07:32:33 pm
They should.  They are used to patch rubber rafts at sea too.  John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: wildtoad on May 08, 2020, 07:46:37 pm
Flats on tour:  Well, I'm going to curse myself here and potentially end my lucky streak, but I've not had a flat on tour during the last 7 years. Now, I have not done an epic tour during that time, mostly 14 day-long or so tours, 7 or 8 of them during that 7 year period time. Across my riding more broadly, maybe a flat ever 1200-1500 miles or so on pavement. I haven't ridden in thorn country, and I'm pretty on top of replacing tires proactively.

Tubes: I carry 2 tubes for self-contained touring, one tube for all other riding (plus patch kit). Bad experience glueless patches. Great results w/ the Rema patch kits, but do make sure your cement is not dried out!!  I will check out the Tear Aid product mentioned above, never heard of it but always open to potentially good stuff.

Spare tires: Never carried one. It's been a couple of decades since I've torn a sidewall on a road tour, and I think I fixed that w/ the old dollar bill tire boot.  Again, I've not done an epic long tour in ages. If I'm gonna be in nowhere land for a very long time, I might well bring along a folding tire.

Patch or replace:  Both. Generally, replace on side of road, patch at home (day ride, bike overnight)/campsite (tour).

Extra Tire Protection:  I carry a Park tire boot in toolkit for all of my bikes.  That's it, no liners and no sealant in the tubes.







Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 08, 2020, 08:14:16 pm
I may have to give Park glueless patches a chance.  I carry alcohol for the stove any way as long as yellow Heet works for cleaning.  The Tear Aid type A sound interesting for rainy days when patching can be a pain.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 08, 2020, 08:48:13 pm
I may have to give Park glueless patches a chance.  I carry alcohol for the stove any way as long as yellow Heet works for cleaning.  The Tear Aid type A sound interesting for rainy days when patching can be a pain.
 

Just make sure the alcohol has dried before applying which should only take at the most 30 seconds.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nelson on May 08, 2020, 10:27:56 pm
Flats per tour? 0 to 3
How many tubes? 2
How many spare tires? 0 to 1
Patch or replace or both? Both
Beef up the flat protection? No
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: BikePacker on May 09, 2020, 07:39:43 am
Flats per tour? 0 to 1*.
How many tubes? 2.
How many spare tires? 0 to 1.
Patch or replace or both? Replace.
Beef up the flat protection? Liners.
*90% of my Flats are not due to penetration ...
with Liners in place my Flats are due to Tube failures ....
and most of the failures are at the Air Valve connector.....
I have tired to spend any amount of money on quality and it does not help
(have had experienced bike shops advise me that most all Tubes today are cheezy in quality!). 
Would welcome any advice on this from readers...
it has become my 'new' accepted normal cause 20 years ago Tubes were manufactured to a higher standard.
Btw ... one adjustment on my part that seems to be helping me ....
I was told by a bike shop to not ride
(as I had always been)
at fully inflated pressure....
hence, some of my above stat of "0 to 1" Flats per Tour is probably now down to a little less than 1 Flat per Tour.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 09, 2020, 09:27:17 am
Tubes made today are not as good as they use to be; manufactures to save a penny a tube have cut out the rubber reinforcement grommet that use to be at the base of the valve and this is why we have a lot of failures today in that area.

To combat that potential failure area some mini pump manufactures have come out with pumps with a hose, if you keep slack in the hose while pumping the natural tendency to "saw" the valve back and forth while pumping, especially at higher pressures, is virtually eliminated by the slack taking up that movement and stress on the valve.  So be very mindful when pumping on the road that the valve doesn't move.

Specialized is the only tube manufacture that I know of that still beefs up the base, they don't use a grommet but they did increase the base thickness substantial over other tubes I've seen that have nothing.  So far in over 15 years of using them I haven't had one failure at either the base or the valve itself; and if I blow a tube up outside of the tire to find a leak I haven't yet got a spot in the tube that swells up a lot larger than the rest of tube because that one area thinner than the rest of the tube, so their wall consistency is the best I've seen, even better than the famed Continental.

I bought a thorn resistant tube from Sunlite for my wife's bike (she doesn't know how to fix a flat so I have to make sure she doesn't get a flat because I'm not always with her), anyway this piece of crap had no reinforcement whatsoever, and a poor method of securing the valve to the stem with nothing more than melted rubber which was very thin and sloppy applied, it leaked out the base before the tube got to 20 psi.  I took it back to the store and went to another store and ended up with Bontrager thorn resistant tube, while the base of the stem and tube is much neater, it didn't have the grommet but it may not be as necessary since the tube is thicker.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: DaveB on May 09, 2020, 10:44:01 am
......and most of the failures are at the Air Valve connector.....
First, carefully inspect the valve holes in your rims.  Be sure there are no burrs and that the rim tape protects the edges.  Second, you can reenforce the base of the valve stem by cutting a small square of duct tape, punching a valve-stem size hole in the middle and pushing it over the stem and down around the base.  It gives an extra layer of protection from both flexing and sharp edges.

I agree that most mini-pumps are difficult to use without excessively flexing the valve.  A pump with a hose like the Topeak Road Morph avoids the problem.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 09, 2020, 03:13:48 pm
Or you could find a thin, small opening, about an inch in diameter, rubber washer to slip over the valve stem to the base before installing the tube and do the same thing tube manufacture use to do internally.  And the washer would be reusable.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Pat Lamb on May 09, 2020, 03:31:17 pm
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut. 
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 09, 2020, 04:28:41 pm
I got about a 1/4 inch hole once in a tire and put in a Park Boot patch, I then filled the hole from the outside with Super Glue I always carry.  The patch and glue got me home but that was about it.  The Park Boot patch is sort of thick so on thin road tires I could feel that patch hit the pavement, and the patch only lasted just long enough to get home, but won't stick longer than 6 hours.  But I will always carry one because it will get me home or to a store.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 09, 2020, 06:26:18 pm
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut.

I have heard (but not tried yet) that a piece of an aluminum can cut out is a great boot.  I would probably secure it with duct tape (always carry) so the edges do not cut the tube.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 09, 2020, 06:55:39 pm
Interesting discussion on tire boots.  I got home from a commute with a $5 bill as a tire boot (smallest I had at the time).  I've tried large pieces of Tyvek, a snack bar wrapper, and a $1 bill, all unglued, and they've all failed.  Smaller Tyvek and (surprisingly to me!) an ordinary tube patch have lasted the life of the tire if they were glued to the inside of the tire.  I carry a Park tire boot now, but I never want to boot anything over about 1/4" cut.

I have heard (but not tried yet) that a piece of an aluminum can cut out is a great boot.  I would probably secure it with duct tape (always carry) so the edges do not cut the tube.

Tailwinds, John

Wouldn't the piece of tin eventually rub it's way through the duct tape and cut your tube?

Before tire boots came along, I split a tire and the tube, so I had heard of people stuff the tire full of weeds, so I did that...I actually was able to ride it home, not fast, but I got home without walking, and faster than walking.  It looked like I was riding on low tire pressure, so all it did was save the rim from getting gnarled up from the pavement, but I went around 8 miles like that, with pieces of weeds hanging out between the rim and tire, sort of like the Beverly Hillbillies on a bike!
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 10, 2020, 06:09:26 am
The mention of tire boots makes me think of the various times I have had larger cuts or tears in tires (most often not while on tour).  I have found that I was always able to improvise something with what was available either on the bike, in my pockets, or by the roadside.

I primarily think of a tire boot as something to limp along until I can get a replacement tire.  Something like 1/4" cut or smaller I think of as more of a patch than a boot and that may be more likely to be a permanent repair.

BTW, I don't typically carry the needed stuff to do it, but some repairs may benefit from stitching.  These days I'd pitch and replace a tire that needed it, but decades ago I remember stitching a couple sidewalls with tears and also applying permanent boots.  I could imagine it being a handy way to get to somewhere that you could get a replacement tire if riding in really remote places.  A needle or even an awl and some heavy thread wouldn't be much to carry.  I don't plan to start carrying them myself, but could seem them being handy in some cases.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: wildtoad on May 10, 2020, 12:00:02 pm
On the tube quality issue/failure around valve seam....in my case, I have had good experience with both Continental and Schwalbe tubes. Screw on grommets and replaceable valve cores are a plus for those as well. (I have damaged a couple of valve cores w/ sloppy, overly robust use of frame pump!)  I cannot recall a valve seam failure on either brand of tube...I have some Conti tubes that have been in service for ages.

In the more distant past, Michelin and Specialized tubes have been fine as well.

Terrible/miserable experience w/ more than one "off brand/private label" line of tubes. While I have had good experience w/ many REI branded products, their past Novara branded tubes were horrendous IMO. Valve seam failure almost like clockwork. A couple other brands almost as bad, but I don't recall the names.  Anyway, I don't buy cheap tubes any more (although even "cheaper" tubes have huge markup nowadays).

So, go w/ a name brand perhaps, and do your best to minimize stress on valve when pumping, installing, etc.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 10, 2020, 03:15:30 pm
I won't use anything but Specialized tube anymore, their quality control is very high.  Like I said earlier if I blow one those Specs tubes with air outside of the tire I don't get one area that bulges out from a thin spot on the tube, and the it seems that the union of the tube to the valve stem is better and a bit more stout though still not as stout as tubes were back 20 years ago before they took out the reinforcement grommet.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: BikePacker on May 10, 2020, 09:28:47 pm
DaveB & Froze - Thank you for your helpful tips (about a half dozen posts back : ).
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: hikerjer on May 10, 2020, 11:37:25 pm
I honestly don't think Schwalbe tires can be beat. I used a pair on my first 2000+ mile plus tour and a another pair on my second 2500+ mile tour and never had a single flat. After my second tour, I put the same tires my commuter bike over 18 months ago and still haven't had a flat riding around the city nearly every day. Astounding.

While touring I do carry two extra tubes. Never used one except when I gave one to a guy I met who had completely blown his tube.  I don't carry a spare tire at all. Extra protection includes a tire boot. Never used it either. And of course, a tire repair kit including C02 cartridge and frame pump.  Actually the only thing I ever used on tour relatdto tires was a pump to top off air pressure once in awhile.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 18, 2020, 12:49:55 pm
I don't think Schwalbe tires can be beat either, and they have an excellent range of touring tires depending on what you think you need.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: bobbys beard on May 20, 2020, 02:50:40 am
It sounds like you’re more than prepared for a long tour. You’ve plenty of answers to the other questions, but the more the merrier.

First question: On average, how many flats do you get while on a single tour?

In America, I patched a lot. The shoulders on busier roads are often covered in metal and glass etc. On the  southern tier, I sometimes had to patch several times a day due to the thorns.

Second question:  How many tubes do you carry with you if you are using tubed tires and not tubeless?

One or two usually.

Third question:  How many spare tires do you carry?

I’ve never carried a spare tyre and can’t think of a scenario where it might be necessary if you’re riding on pavement the whole way. The tyre boot will patch any tears. In all my years of riding, I’ve only had to use a tyre boot once. I met a guy on the northeast coast who fixed a tear in his tyre with a folded 1 dollar bill. I rode with him for 30 miles or so and it held up fine.


Fourth question:  Do you patch your flats or replace the tube or both?

Always patch. I don’t like to waste.

Fifth question:  Do you do anything to the tire to beef up the flat protection built into the tire like use flat liners, and or a thorn resistant tube, and or sealants?  Again only tube type tires not tubeless.

I’d advise against tubes with sealant in them if you’re going anywhere hot. I got my bike serviced to make sure I was prepared for the desert sections on the southern tier. The guy replaced my tubes with sealant ones, saying I would thank him for it... got my first flat between Del Rio and Langtry. It was crazy hot and no traffic had passed for hours. The sealant had thinned due to the heat and spat out of the hole in the tube, making it very hard to get a patch to stick properly.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 20, 2020, 08:24:01 am
I’d advise against tubes with sealant in them if you’re going anywhere hot. I got my bike serviced to make sure I was prepared for the desert sections on the southern tier. The guy replaced my tubes with sealant ones, saying I would thank him for it... got my first flat between Del Rio and Langtry. It was crazy hot and no traffic had passed for hours. The sealant had thinned due to the heat and spat out of the hole in the tube, making it very hard to get a patch to stick properly.
I'll second that.  Sealant works great with tubeless setups.  Tubes with sealant were a huge fail for me when I tried them.  We tried them on the Trans America and threw them away replacing them with regular tubes.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: LouMelini on May 20, 2020, 08:50:56 am
1. How many flats: my wife and I have had 4 flats in the last 6,000 miles (12,000 when counting both of our miles)- both of mine occurred in a campground on the gravel road (thorn)
    I use schwable marathon supreme and Julie is on Continental gatorskins.

2. I carry 4 spare tubes for the 2 of use in case we run into a patch of thorns or other road debris.

3. We carry a spare tire, used it on two separate occasions due to a badly cut tire and a broken tire bead

4. We replace, patch at the end of the day

5. Tires seem to do well, no need to use added protection- We carry Park Tool tire boot, used it once .
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 20, 2020, 08:58:23 am
Ivmelini,
You might consider changing your "name" as you may start to get a ton of spam email due to your email address being shown.  Plus of you ever change internet service providers your implied email would be wrong.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: LouMelini on May 20, 2020, 09:23:23 am
Thanks John;  I've wondered about that when I got a rash of spam email earlier this year.
Lou
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 20, 2020, 10:38:45 am
LOL!!  I thought you did that as a forum name joke!  I was laughing when I saw it, but now I realize it's your real email.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: hikerjer on May 20, 2020, 12:28:50 pm
1.  On two  2000+ mile tours  and a number of shorter ones, I've never had a flat using Schwalbe Marathons.. Sounds too good to be true, but that's the way it is.

2. I carry two extra tubes.

3. I've never carried a spare tire.

4. Replace a flat tube with the spare and then repair the flat in the evening or as soon as convenient.

5. Never have done anything to enhance the strength of the tire.  They seem to hold up just fine as is.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 20, 2020, 06:43:32 pm
I had Marathon Greenguard (27") on my last touring/commuter bike, I had around 2,000 miles on the tires and not one flat, heck, not even a cut.  But those Greenguard tires were bit too heavy due to the robust flat protection, they may have been an overkill, so the when my Kenda Drumlins wear out I'll try the Supremes to lessen the rotating weight, plus they're the 3rd fastest rolling touring tire tested, but they were lighter than the top 2. 

I'll probably add a Panaracer FlatAway liner to at least the back tire, they're very light weight and work extremely well, far better than plastic liners.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: LouMelini on May 20, 2020, 06:53:40 pm
John Nettles and Froze:  Thanks for the prompt. I procrastinated doing it for too long.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 21, 2020, 02:19:22 pm
...so the when my Kenda Drumlins wear out I'll try the Supremes to lessen the rotating weight, plus they're the 3rd fastest rolling touring tire tested, but they were lighter than the top 2.

+1 on the Supremes.  I use the Supremes on my road touring bike and really enjoy them.  I would much rather spend an extra 30 minutes a couple of times changing a flat over 2500 miles than expending extra energy pushing the heavier but more flat resistant tires.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: LouMelini on May 21, 2020, 04:36:32 pm
John: my exact reasoning for using the Schwable Supreme. I use the 35C as I can't find the 32C. I can buy through Quality Bike Parts due to my volunteer position at a non-profit bike shop, but QBP doesn't stock the 32C. That is why Julie rides Continental Gatorskins in the 32C size so that her wheel set-up is a little lighter than mine.  When we did the TransAm with one flat, on a very hot day on a steep descent.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 26, 2020, 02:46:25 am
Does anyone know for how long after a package of Tear-Aid is opened/ / or if getting a roll - it is still okay to use. I heard something of about 2 years.

Would be great to hear experiences on this for that would help me decide whether to gett a roll or a package (12"x 3").

(https://webshop.fietsvakantiewinkel.nl/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/e/tear-aid-type-a.jpg)
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: staehpj1 on May 26, 2020, 07:01:29 am
Does anyone know for how long after a package of Tear-Aid is opened/ / or if getting a roll - it is still okay to use. I heard something of about 2 years.

Would be great to hear experiences on this for that would help me decide whether to gett a roll or a package (12"x 3").

(https://webshop.fietsvakantiewinkel.nl/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/t/e/tear-aid-type-a.jpg)
I don't have an answer, but can we expand the question to also include the life expectancy of other glue-less patch systems opened and unopened?

Since I have taken to riding my mountain bike with tubeless tires most of the time these days I seldom patch tires.  With the pandemic I may not tour for a while.  So my patch kit stock that has already been sitting around for quite a while is likely to be getting less and less trustworthy.  If I were to buy into a glue-less system I am wondering if the unopened or even opened packages will be reliable long term sitting in the shop or in the bike's saddle wedges.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 26, 2020, 10:17:11 am
Does anyone know for how long after a package of Tear-Aid is opened/ / or if getting a roll - it is still okay to use. I heard something of about 2 years.
My roll is probably about 5 years old and it has been kept in an office closet.  They are still good.  I only have the little ~ 1"x1" patches and I still use them to patch tubes, thermarests, holes in tent floor, holes in panniers, etc. They are extremely sticky so it may gum up on the scissors when cutting so I would go with the actual size patch.  I have layered multiple patches across a bigger hole on a pannier an it is fine.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 26, 2020, 10:44:19 am
John - that is good news - though I was thinking of the strips to use and cut to the right size when needed. Will look into the 1" size patches on a roll. Nice to know that layering multiple patches across a bigger hole is possible.

I take it the office closet is pretty cool wonder what they do when you are on the road for a couple of years.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 26, 2020, 10:52:14 am
I take it the office closet is pretty cool wonder what they do when you are on the road for a couple of years.
Yes, the office closet is climate controlled of course.  I can only dream of testing if the patches work after several years on the road.  However, I do know they work after 3 months of constant touring.

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Patco on May 26, 2020, 05:20:40 pm
I have carried a foldable spare tire, and like much of what I now carry when touring, it is because of something that happened in the past.

One afternoon while on tour my rear rack failed at the seat post braze-on. The rack, still attached at the hub braze-on, slid down the rear tire and began scrapping against the pavement. The slide down the tire took about 10 inches of rubber off the tire. It did not expose the tube, but there was not much between the tube and the road. I was able to limp into the nearest town, which was about 12 miles away. This small town did not have any bike tires, but I did find a glue that is used on tennis shoes that I used to layer over the tire gash. Layer by layer (it took me a number of hours because each layer had to dry before I could add another). The nearest town with available bike tires was about 65 miles away. That shoe-gu stuff lasted for about 40 miles, then I began having flat after flat. I had to walk into a town that was about 20 miles from the town where I could obtain a tire. I called the bike shop and they delivered the tire, for a hefty fee.

After that mishap, beside obtaining a new rear rack, I began carrying a foldable spare if my route was to take me where services were spotty. I did that for a number of tours, but I haven't carried a spare for the last several years.

Another tour mishap is also why I carry four spare tubes. Overkill, yes, but it gives me peace of mind, and it doesn't weigh that much.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nelson on May 27, 2020, 01:35:36 am
That's a very interesting story Patco. Shows you that bizarre things happen.

I have toured with and without a spare tire. I currently feel better with. There are a number of tire failures that there is no recovery from, e.g., a broken bead. Only a spare will get you moving again. And, as you say, the nearest place to buy a new tire (that fits your bike) might be a long, long ways away. In your story, it was 65 miles, but I've been in many places where it would have been a lot farther than that.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 27, 2020, 02:12:58 am
John - nice to know that it lasts a couple of months on a tour - however my next big tour, in a few years, will be several years in length. And if it would last at least a couple of years on a bike tour that would be brilliant for it would eliminate the need to bring an assortment of patches (tyres, matras, tent etc..)
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 27, 2020, 09:23:21 am
The worst case is to buy a roll and have some patches sent to you periodically as part of your resupply packages say every year.  That way the bulk of the patches are in a controlled environment and should last for years. 

I wish you a wonderful trip!

Tailwinds, John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: hikerjer on May 27, 2020, 11:59:59 am
"I wish you a wonderful trip! - That's not a trip. It's a lifestyle. ;)

I hope it goes wonderfully.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: hikerjer on May 27, 2020, 01:53:04 pm
"I wish you a wonderful trip!" - That's not a trip. It's a lifestyle. ;)

I hope it goes wonderfully.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 28, 2020, 02:37:31 am
John - that is good thinking as well - might indeed just do that. Woukld definitely be a lot cheaper than buying smaller strips and cutting them to size.

Though I have not found a supplier with patches on a roill, yet.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 28, 2020, 10:31:01 am
https://www.tear-aid.com/buy-now/  (https://www.tear-aid.com/buy-now/)
Ask and you shall receive.  I think I bought the 500 roll of die cut 7/8" patches.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: froze on May 28, 2020, 05:03:50 pm
Wow, you have enough patches to last many lifetimes!
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 28, 2020, 05:06:21 pm
I did but I kept giving them away to interested parties and now I am down to about 100 I would guess of Type A and maybe 150 of Type B.  They really are useful for many things so I actually use them somewhat frequently.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 29, 2020, 02:49:11 am
John - thanks for the link. Need to figure out now if I can order this in NL as well.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 29, 2020, 01:20:43 pm
Try Amazon or eBay.  In the US, they usually have them.  Be sure to know which one you are getting, type A or type B.  The website explains the difference but basically if you have Ortlieb pannier, you need type B to patch holes in them and type A for the other stuff.


Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 30, 2020, 02:10:25 am
John - the problem with amazon of ebay is that they charge very high shipping cost not making it worth while to order from them.

Though I have mailed tear-Aid hoping that they have a European distributor for me.

Thanks for the reminder of A/ B type. I have Arkel bags so type A should work for them.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: John Nettles on May 30, 2020, 03:25:27 am
Worst case is I can buy it for you and ship it to you.  If you need assistance, just private message me.  John
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: Inge on May 30, 2020, 03:47:38 am
If need be I will do that John - thanks a gezillion for the offer.
Title: Re: Flats while touring
Post by: bast1aan on June 01, 2020, 05:12:57 am
First question: On average, how many flats do you get while on a single tour?
During the winter Marathon Plus; none so far. During the summer more supple tires, about once in a 3000km/2000miles

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Second question:  How many tubes do you carry with you if you are using tubed tires and not tubeless?

Third question:  How many spare tires do you carry?

Usually one narrow lightweight tire and tube combination that I can replace a flat with during a ride. I never replace only the tube for it can result in another flat if the sharp leftovers are not removed, which can be hard to spot. Replacing tube+tire costs almost same time as only the tube :)

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Fourth question:  Do you patch your flats or replace the tube or both?
When I have time and the weather is good I patch my tube at the side of the road. Else I replace everything as described above. When at home I fix the original tube and check the tire for sharp particles.

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Fifth question:  Do you do anything to the tire to beef up the flat protection built into the tire like use flat liners, and or a thorn resistant tube, and or sealants?  Again only tube type tires not tubeless.
Marathon Plus during the winter, then I don't want to run flat on rides to work etc. The new versions run quite OK (the old versions were very slow). I used to use flat liners with mixed experience and tried sealants that didn't work so well for me. It seems they don't work in cold temperatures during the winter.

Quote
I use Schwalbe Marathon tires, inside of that I use a Panaracer FlatAway Kevlar liner, and a regular tube with no sealant.  I then carry 1 spare tube, 1 spare tire, and a dozen patches and a tire boot patch.
Sounds good. Besides I think the extra liner is redundant, the Schwalbe Marathon is already quite much flat-resistant. Myself I use much more flat-prone tires during summer touring in Europe. And I don't find fixing a flat once in a while is a big problem, but that is personal of course