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  1. #1
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    How good are tire liners??

    I know, I know, I'm asking a lot of questions...but I'm alone on a deserted island (in South Korea I haven't found any serious roadies yet, and certainly none who speak English) and you guys are wickedly helpful!!

    So...I've been getting some punctures here...and some of you have suggested tire liners...since Gatorskins and Armadillos are hard to come by around here, I'm thinking of giving them a shot...

    How effective are tire liners? What brands do you suggest? Someone suggested Mr. Tuffy, which I found on eBay for 25 bucks for the set (shipped). Will something like a pair of Maxxis Detonators with tire liners give me as much protection as Gatorskins or Armadillos? More?

    Thanks again, and sorry for all the newb questions, but sadly, walking into my local bike shop or asking my bike buddies is simply not an option for me.

    T
    Specialized Allez factory stock with Tiagra/Sora stuff
    Univega Alpina507 frame with Marzocchi Bombers, XTR/XT drivetrain, XTR brakes, RaceFace Turbine cranks, RaceFace handlebar, oldskool Syncros stem, Sun rims, etc

  2. #2
    Devoid of all flim-flam
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    I put tire liners into my Vittoria Corsa Evos on Friday. I got a flat on Sunday.
    That is all.
    Mapie is a conventional looking former Hollywood bon viveur, now leading a quiet life in a house made of wood by an isolated beach. He has cultivated a taste for culture, and is a celebrated raconteur amongst his local associates, who are artists, actors, and other leftfield/eccentric types. I imagine he has a telescope, and an unusual sculpture outside his front door. He is also a beach comber. The Rydster.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Tire liners can cause flats! They work ok but you have to use a thicker tube so the edges of the liner don't chaff a hole into a thinner tube.

    Lowrider, what country do you live in? You mentioned Specialized and Continental tires aren't available where you live, so what is available?

    You can get either of those two tires on internet. The Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire is the toughest tire you can buy for a road bike, and they will stop most flat causing problems. You won't need a liner with those tires either.

    Otherwise let us know what brands of tires are available and we can advise the best one, then you might have to get a set of Mr Tuffy's but then you will need a thorn proof tire so the edge of the liner doesn't rub a hole in the tube as you ride. You can sand the edges of the liner down so their smooth but they can still rub a hole in a tube. Mr Tuffy liners are the better liners.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    Tire liners can cause flats! They work ok but you have to use a thicker tube so the edges of the liner don't chaff a hole into a thinner tube.

    Lowrider, what country do you live in? You mentioned Specialized and Continental tires aren't available where you live, so what is available?

    You can get either of those two tires on internet. The Specialized Armadillo All Condition tire is the toughest tire you can buy for a road bike, and they will stop most flat causing problems. You won't need a liner with those tires either.

    Otherwise let us know what brands of tires are available and we can advise the best one, then you might have to get a set of Mr Tuffy's but then you will need a thorn proof tire so the edge of the liner doesn't rub a hole in the tube as you ride. You can sand the edges of the liner down so their smooth but they can still rub a hole in a tube. Mr Tuffy liners are the better liners.
    the armored d!ldos are basically just tires with the liner built in, like schwalbes durano plus. Works great to avoid flats and ride like bricks.
    oh, the OP said south korea....
    Blows your hair back.

  5. #5
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    Keep in mind that if you put in a tire liner, you need to play with it quite a bit at first to cut it to the right length. If you leave too much (or any) overlap than your wheel will be slightly out of balance and you could induce a wobble.

  6. #6
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    Useless, just get Continental tires.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jtimmer1 View Post
    Useless, just get Continental tires.
    yeah sure, a set of supersonics will just hold up swell against punctures.
    Blows your hair back.

  8. #8
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    I rode for years in Hawaii which probably has similar conditions. For my commuter, I used Gatorskins, nothing else worked as well. I never wore one out, I would just wreck the tread with broken glass, random pieces of metal, and seams in the pavement. I would get around 1800 miles out of the rear and 3600 out of the front.

    For my road bike in Hawaii, I typically rode Conti Four Seasons and Vredensteim TriComps with Mr Tuffy's liners. I trimmed the liner but still had some overlap. I did 40+ mph descents with these tires and never noticed any kind of inbalance or wobble at those speeds. The Mr Tuffy's of today are far different than those of 15 years ago. Back then they were a harder type plastic that did have an edge on it. Today, they are a more rubber like liner with no pronounced edge. I've never had a flat caused by a Tuffy.

    The reason for the different tires between the commuter and road bike is that I used the Pearl Harbor bike path for about 75% of my commute and the morning ride was always in the dark with my headlight. I had an excellent headlight but I still ran over stuff in the dark.
    Retired sailor

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by den bakker View Post
    yeah sure, a set of supersonics will just hold up swell against punctures.
    I, of course, was referencing the gatorskins he mentioned in his first post. Good Day, Sir!

  10. #10
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    You may want to consider a tire sealant such as Flat Attack that you can put inside your inner tubes (you need tubes with removable valve cores).
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  11. #11
    Yo no fui.
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    I tried Mr. Tuffys. They made my wheels feel like they were composed of concrete. They also caused catostrophic flats after a while where the two ends of the liner overlap and rub against the tube.

    I tried kevlar lines. They felt nice in that I did not feel them at all. However, they also caused catostrophic flats after a while because the kevlar would wear through the tube in a millon places.

    The best option, as others have indicated, is a thicker better tire. I like Ruffy Tuffys. You can buy tires online and have them shipped to you.
    "It is better to conquer yourself, than to win a thousand battles." -Dhammapada

    "Fact is only what you believe; fact and fiction work as a team." Jack Johnson

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  12. #12
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    Tire liners work, but over time (a year or so) the liners lose their suppleness and develop cracks that create holes in the tube when the tire deflects from rolling over road imperfections. I've had it happen with Mr. Tuffy & Slime branded liners on my road bikes. I think this happens because the liner material becomes brittle over time. Because of this, I've done away with using liners and just hope for the best. Good luck!

  13. #13
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    Conti Gatoskins are the best tires in the world, their super fast making all other tires seem like your dragging a 1 ton anchor behind you, most puncture resistant, never cut, best handling in corners and any weather even ice, best riding, and they last for at least 20,000 miles. Their the best, take my word for it, I've used them.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by froze View Post
    Conti Gatoskins are the best tires in the world, their super fast making all other tires seem like your dragging a 1 ton anchor behind you, most puncture resistant, never cut, best handling in corners and any weather even ice, best riding, and they last for at least 20,000 miles. Their the best, take my word for it, I've used them.
    Well, I never got 20k miles out of a Gatorskin. After about 3000 miles the rear is ready to be replaced. Also, the sidewalls usually start to fall apart before they are worn out. They also get cuts.
    Valley Cyclist Wheels www.valleycyclist.com

  15. #15
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    I believe PBK ships to Korea (free?), other online companies must do the same. Do you get hit up for heavy customs charges?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by valleycyclist View Post
    Well, I never got 20k miles out of a Gatorskin. After about 3000 miles the rear is ready to be replaced. Also, the sidewalls usually start to fall apart before they are worn out. They also get cuts.
    You just hate big companies like Continental, you're a hater.

  17. #17
    pmf
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    When I first got into cycling, I was getting alot of flats. I bought a pair of Mr. Tuffys and immdeiately got a flat the first time out with them. I tossed them in the trash and bought some good tires and the problem went away. I think my troubles came for the low end tires my entry level bike came with.

  18. #18
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    Awesome!! Thanks for all the info, guys! Who is PBK? As far as I know anything under $150 is customs-free around here...over $150 we get hosed bad.
    Specialized Allez factory stock with Tiagra/Sora stuff
    Univega Alpina507 frame with Marzocchi Bombers, XTR/XT drivetrain, XTR brakes, RaceFace Turbine cranks, RaceFace handlebar, oldskool Syncros stem, Sun rims, etc

  19. #19
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    I love my Mr. Tuffys. 2000+ miles and 0 flats!

  20. #20
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    I bought a set of Mr. Tuffy's (orange strips) in 2000 and put in a lot(!) of kms with them, including a fair amount of urban riding (read: lots of road debris). Long commutes, training, city or mountain, I've never suffered a puncture with them installed, even when using old, worn and very thin tires. The strips are great and that original set of strips is today still in use, installed on an old wheelset used for commuting, rough rides, etc. I highly recommend them.

    The biggest negative to the strips is that, depending on the rear tire and its wear/age, it's possible to feel a slight bump where the strip overlaps itself. In the big picture, this bump is minor compared to the bumps on a typical road surface in a typical city. On a very smooth road it can be noticeable.

    My suspicion is that anyone who believes Mr Tuffys caused a puncture either has misinterpreted the source of the puncture, or didn't install the liners correctly.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kenrow View Post
    I believe PBK ships to Korea (free?), other online companies must do the same. Do you get hit up for heavy customs charges?
    This was kind of my thinking- if the OP has to order tire liners off the internet... then surely he can order good tires off the internet.

    FWIW, I found tire liners to be a major PITA to install and made the tires feel like crap.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverfever View Post
    I bought a set of Mr. Tuffy's (orange strips) in 2000 and put in a lot(!) of kms with them, including a fair amount of urban riding (read: lots of road debris). Long commutes, training, city or mountain, I've never suffered a puncture with them installed, even when using old, worn and very thin tires. The strips are great and that original set of strips is today still in use, installed on an old wheelset used for commuting, rough rides, etc. I highly recommend them.

    The biggest negative to the strips is that, depending on the rear tire and its wear/age, it's possible to feel a slight bump where the strip overlaps itself. In the big picture, this bump is minor compared to the bumps on a typical road surface in a typical city. On a very smooth road it can be noticeable.

    My suspicion is that anyone who believes Mr Tuffys caused a puncture either has misinterpreted the source of the puncture, or didn't install the liners correctly.
    I know lots of people who were using ultralight road tubes and after about 2 to 3k miles the liner would rub a hole into the tube, this would not happen with heavier mtb tubes or heaver thorn resistant road tubes . When those people discovered that they then sanded the edge of the liner so that the thick edge became quite thin, this eliminated the rubbing AND it eliminated the bump you were talking about.

  23. #23
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    I have yet to have a flat using Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elite tires. Yes, they ride hard, but are super tough and reliable. I have gone through broken glass, nasty gravel, anything and everything and I havent had a flat yet.

    Mr Tuffy Liners have also worked well for me but still leaves the sidewalls vulnerable for cuts. They reduce the ammount of flats nicely though.

  24. #24
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    I use to use Specialized All Condition Armadillo, but not the Elite, and can attest that they are the toughest tire on the market, not only tough in the tread but also the sidewall. I use to live in the desert area of California and goatheads grew out there, and any tire I tried would flat, I averaged 4 to 5 flats a week on a good week! Even with a Mr Tuffy I still got 2 or 3 flats a week. But when I switched to the Armadillo's that all stopped, and stopped without having to use a Mr Tuffy. I had one flat in roughly 30,000 miles (obviously the one tire didn't last that long, they lasted about 5,000 miles); and the flat I did have occurred because I rode the tire to the cords.

  25. #25
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    I've used Tuffy liners for a few years now and will not leave home without them. I use Conti 4000s which are great tires but where I ride out here in the Sacramento, Ca region there are weeds that have tiny thorns. The thorns will work their way into your tire and then your tube. Tuffy's prevent this from happening. Yes- the Tuffy's will work into the tubes eventually and cause them to flatten but that usually takes a full season. The trade off is worth it for me. I can go almost a full season without a flat and for training that is awesome.

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