The Chainlink

4 Flats in 4 Months. Facebook group advice is useless. I want your advice.

My daily work commute takes me on both Halsted and Clyborn.  I've have 4 flats in 4 months.  2 front and 2 back.  I'm looking for something economical to help me.  I'm getting kinda tired of changing flats.  Tougher tubes? What brand? Mr. Tuffy tire liner was suggested.  I have a friend that is pushing me to go tubeless but he's a mountain bike guy and I'm an asphalt guy so I'm concerned about the ride quality and $$$.  I had someone on Facebook suggest that I split an inner tube open and wrap the new tube in that.  I've heard to use Duct tape inside the tire.  I was looking at the Schwalbe Marathon GreenGuard City Tire, but the reviews said it had problems with punctures.  What do you folk's do?   Help me Chicago Bicycle Community!

This wasn't even my most recent flat.

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I'd go with Schwalbe Marathons.  Any tire can get punctured, but I don't recall ever having a flat with a Marathon.  The other obvious advice is to stay clear, as much as possible, of the gravel, salt, and puddles near the curb that often contain broken glass (especially this time of year).  I'm pretty careful about that.

I use the Schwalble Marathons too on advice from this site. I've also switched to their tubes as well with a tube sealant. No flats this winter yet!

I'll add too the support for Marathons (Marathon Pluses to be specific in my case). In 5 years since using them, I've had 1 puncture, from a very long screw. 

(I've had 1 other flat, from a valve on a tube that was so corroded it broke when I went to add air. That's how I learned to start using those plastic caps that come on tube valves if you're going to bike through the winter). 

They're not very light or supple, but for fairly-upright commuter setup like your bike appears to be, they work great. 

I think I'm going to save up some $$$ to go with these the Schwalbe Marathons. I like a firm, high psi ride.  Are these tire going to make the feel of my ride much different?

The Marathons wil probably make your ride feel different, but in my experience it is totally worth it. Your story was my story for years (on and off) until I decided to cough up the dough for Marathon Plus. The time I've saved not fixing flats more than made up for the extra cost.

It depends somewhat on exactly which tire you get.  My workhorse bike is a hardtail steel mountain bike, which I run with Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (26" x 1.75").  That particular tire can handle up to 80 psi. I tend to run them at or near 80 psi because I deal with a lot of railroad crossings and places with broken glass. At 80 psi, it's a firm ride. 

I've used Marathons on most of my bikes for years and had very few flats - one due to a very long drywall screw at the edge of the sidewall, another when a tire was getting very old and had a lot of mileage on it.  They're not the easiest to get on and off the rims, but I've needed to do that very rarely.

I'll add to the chorus of folks praising the Schwalbe Marathons, they are really wonderful.

Continental touring plus are also good if you want something a bit cheaper.

My frequency of flats went down dramatically when I switched to Gatorskin tires.

I did have a flat just last weekend--I am looking forward to street sweeping's return as I think some of the bike lanes are getting pretty gnarly.

Panaracer's Pasela Tour Guard/ProTite tyres. Two flats in four years for me... i've worn a couple of them out before getting a puncture. They're lighter weight, more comfortable, and roll better than the Marathon's- although the Marathon is a good city tyre as well. Go for the widest tyres that will clear your frame.

Also, spend the money for Schwalbe tubes. i found that the typical low-end tubes (i'm looking at you, Performance!) have a tendency to fail at the valve -i've had them spring leaks at the base and also rip out completely.

Performance tubes need to be called out. A total lack of quality control goes into this product line. Consistent failures.

Schwalbe Marathons. They ride harsh, but I haven't had one flat since I put them on my beater bike.

Can you describe "ride harsh"?  I'm seriously considering these tires but the $$$ would make it be committing to the long term.  I enjoy a high psi tire and not a "mushy" tire sensation when I ride.

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