So I Had Another Blow-Out..... Tire Recs Please
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  1. #1
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    So I Had Another Blow-Out..... Tire Recs Please

    Yesterday....bombing down a hill at 32MPH, just before a curve- and thankgoodness no cars came the other way (which would have required me to slow down quickly and hug the edge of the road). Thank goodness it was the rear tire....

    Two blow-outs with only 1100 miles on the bike, is too many!

    First one: O-K, it was a cheapo tire that came with the bike; a little over-inflated on a 100* day.

    This one: A Serfas Seca tire, below max psi...no apparent damage....didn't hit anything...it just went POP! -Turns out, the tire tore just above the bead. Only had 700 miles on this tire.

    Now I'm getting paranoid and am afraid to descend hills fast- what if it's the front next time?

    So I'm looking for some tires that will be very unlikely to blow! Do any of you have experience with Gatorskins? Are they what they're cracked-up to be? Are they too heavy (I'm not a racer or weight weenie....but do a lot of climbing)-

    Any other recommendations for a good tire? Don't want to go through my cycling life being paranoid...and don't want to have to buy new tires every month or two!

    Help!

  2. #2
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    I'd be looking for root causes.

    Are your brake pads aligned correctly?
    Are you installing the tire/tube correctly?
    When you say "less than max pressure" what do you mean, exactly? Most people don't need any more than 100 psi. The "max" is just that, "max" not "optimal".

    Have you had any previous flats where you might rode on flat tire for a short way?

    Etc.
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  3. #3
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    First a couple of things to look at.

    1. are your brake pads set to high and rubbing on the side wall of the tire. This is often the cause of the failure you described.

    2. You said it was a hot day. Do you store you bike indoors with A/C? If you pump the tires up inside in A/C then take it out in the hot weather on a hot road and add heat from braking going down a hill. Air expands when hot you might have past the max PSI on the tires.

    Conti makes great tires. The GP4000s and the Gatorskins are the go to tire for a number of riders.

  4. #4
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    +1 for Conti gp4000!

    lots and lots of miles on mine, with few flats, and excellent grip in all conditions. they also have very easy to see wear indicators built in.

  5. #5
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    I'm with the others. Something's up and it may not only be the tires. Check the things they recommend.

    As for tires you don't necessarily need anything bullet proof unless you ride in an area that's got regional issues (thorns, etc). So I'd avoid stuff that purports to be impervious to all known hazards since it will ride like a Flintstone mobile.

    I've always been happy for many years now anything foldable that says Vittoria on the side. Rubino Pros seem to be a good balance of price and performance. Not really ever liked any Contis. They always seemed to be having some threads (I do mean threads, not treads) near the beads wanting to be pulled off of them and seemed over priced. But that's from long ago so they may be better.

  6. #6
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    A vote for Conti Gatorskins.

    At one point I was riding through so much shattered glass on the side of the road that tiny bits of glass were spraying out of the sides of both wheels as if they were water droplets from a very wet pavement. Knock on wood, tires still fine.

  7. #7
    Christopher Teifke
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    +1 to looking for root causes. Also, check out Specialized Armadillos. They are total tanks.
    - Christopher Teifke -

  8. #8
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    Well, ya know guys, I did notice yesterday that one brake pad did appear to be dangerously high- even though it was set as low as it could go in the caliper(?) arm. The place where yesterday's blow-out occurred on the tire, would be exactly where one would expect damage from a high pad.....AND when I had the blow-out, I was either riding the rear brake, or had just finished using it.....so those of you who are saying "brake pad" may just be right!

    Before doing my 21 mile ride today (which I just returned from) I bent the brake caliper arm with the offending pad just a tad by hand, to try and get the pad positioned better. In a little while I'm going to go out and use something a little more persuasive than my bare hand to try and position it a little better, to ensure that i don't have this problem agin[sic]. I don't know why this situation should be, other than that I have a cheap bike....

    Think I'll order another Serfas Seca tire for $26- as I like them, and haven't had one flat with them, other than the blow-out (Not much in the way of glass or debris where I ride...so maybe the Gatorskins or Armadillos would indeed be overkill..... (Although i did run over a snake a couple of days ago )

    So what would have happened if this had been the front tire that blew? Barreling down a hill at 30-something MPH with a lot of momentum???? (I wouldn't think it would be pretty....eh?)

    Thanks for the help, everyone.

    Oh, and I have some Kool-stop salmon pads on the way- maybe they'll fit better.... (and stop better- these hard metallic pads SUCK!)

  9. #9
    Down Goes Frazier!!!
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    I had spec armadillos on my bike for about 2200 miles, yes they are really durable, also feels like riding on a solid rubber tire. They are reported to weigh about 400g, as marketed. My scale said 422g and 417g. Heavy heavy tires.

    Switched up to Conti GP 4000s this spring and wouldn't consider going back. They are popular.

    Sounds like you need to look into why you're flatting. Good advice above.

  10. #10
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    Specialized Armadillos is what I'm riding on my Roubaix (what came with the bike). So far I've put about 600-700 miles on them they look like they're brand new. I've run over some pretty gnarly rocks on accident where I was sure I was going to flat, stopped to check them out and they're fine.

    I will say that if you get anything like the armadillo or the gatoskins, they're not "fast" tires comparativly speaking. I've used michilin pro3's on this bike as well and the difference is pretty striking but you can't beat the durability

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycoBob View Post
    Well, ya know guys, I did notice yesterday that one brake pad did appear to be dangerously high- even though it was set as low as it could go in the caliper(?) arm. The place where yesterday's blow-out occurred on the tire, would be exactly where one would expect damage from a high pad.....AND when I had the blow-out, I was either riding the rear brake, or had just finished using it.....so those of you who are saying "brake pad" may just be right!

    Before doing my 21 mile ride today (which I just returned from) I bent the brake caliper arm with the offending pad just a tad by hand, to try and get the pad positioned better. In a little while I'm going to go out and use something a little more persuasive than my bare hand to try and position it a little better, to ensure that i don't have this problem agin[sic]. I don't know why this situation should be, other than that I have a cheap bike....
    Something doesn't sound right. No way should the pad hit the tire if it is already in the low position. You either have a frame alignment issue or bent caliper.
    My Bikes
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  12. #12
    wim
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    Quote Originally Posted by veloduffer View Post
    No way should the pad hit the tire if it is already in the low position.
    If the frame has clearance for larger tires, there's a possibility that some short-reach calipers will do just that.

  13. #13
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    It's funny though- the pad on the left just makes it. One on the right is...well....

    The front brakes don't have this problem.

    I'm going out now to see what I can do- maybe the wheel is not seated properly in the drop-outs...but i doubt it.....

  14. #14
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    If the pads are indeed the root of your blow-out issues, which it sounds like they are, I'd still recommend a durable training tire like the Gatorskin or Michelin Pro4 Endurance. They'll last longer and offer some peace of mind if you do ride through debris.

  15. #15
    すし + Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycoBob View Post
    Turns out, the tire tore just above the bead. Only had 700 miles on this tire....
    Take a picture of the tear area and post it for us to see. Could you?

  16. #16
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    How about a picture of the pad being pressed against the rim of your bike and then we can eliminate 20 or so posts of what it might have been. Use your macro setting if you have a real camera and not an Iphone picture.

  17. #17
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    All the focus seems to be on the brake pad touching the tire and wearing a hole in the sidewall.
    Fair enough.

    That said, if that's the cause, I'd say you have a defective frame. There should be a few millimeters of adjustment above and below the ideal position. Rims are built to tight tolerances in diameter so you can discount a faulty rim.

    If you've saved the tire(s) then I'd bring them to the shop you bought the bike from and see if you can get it warrantied. Better yet; play stupid and go to any shop selling your brand and model bike. Examine the rear brake position to see if it might have the same problem. That'll bolster your argument.

    A home fix for the problem is to file the slots for the brake pad mounting bolts, lengthening them. Done properly, it'll be a good, permanent fix.

  18. #18
    すし + Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Pad rubbing? It would score the circumference of the tire [bead area]. The pad wouldn't make contact with just an isolated section above the rim to tire area. Almost sounds like there could be a faulty lip section inner rim grabbing the tire bead itself. Dunno. A photo would help.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycoBob View Post
    It's funny though- the pad on the left just makes it. One on the right is...well....

    The front brakes don't have this problem.

    I'm going out now to see what I can do- maybe the wheel is not seated properly in the drop-outs...but i doubt it.....
    That suggests you might have dual-pivot calipers that were set on the frame with the centering screw out of position.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by CycoBob View Post
    I still think the cause of the problem is that it's a [EDIT: Add a "C" here]heap Bikesdirect bike (Not that being a BD bike has anything to do with it...just the fact that it's a $350 bike- and is likely a mish-mash of stray components at that pricepoint).
    Now, you could have saved us a lot of guessing if you had told us this at the get-go.

    For whatever crap parts they bolt on them, and for however badly adjusted and set they might be, getting the brake bridge misaligned and not having it caught in QC is a perfectly plausible answer.
    A good habit is as hard to break as a bad one..

  21. #21
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    ehhhh

    Sorry to hijack your thread but I need 5 posts to start a new thread as a new user in here. You're my first.

  22. #22
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    If you examine just above the tear area to the left there is a pinch mark. I'd chalk this up to low tire pressure and or hitting a piece of gravel while riding. The tire looks dry [aged] as if it's been in storage for awhile. Though the "bicycle" is new, some times the tire stock can be old [old to me is couple years] on a shelf.

  23. #23
    すし + Sweet Potato Kugel
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    Welp, we could be looking at a manufacturers defect. It can happen. Or it was a really good piece of stone that made the pinch.

    Best to do an entire inspection of the bike before getting on it each day. I'm sure you do.

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