Tire Liner Abrasion

Just fixed a flat on my bike which, like that one, came from the tire liner chewing through the tube. The holes are above the raised 28″ molded into the tube, at the upper-left corner of the tire liner impression.

Schwalbe tube with tire liner abrasion
Schwalbe tube with tire liner abrasion

In this case, the tire liner (which, judging from the color, was a Slime) was too short by maybe 50 mm. This view inside the tire shows a 10 mm gap where the ends didn’t overlap as they should:

Schwalbe Maration tire with liner abrasion
Schwalbe Maration tire with liner abrasion

I don’t trim the rear-tire  liners, but comparing a handful in the drawer shows that the as-sold lengths differ by a few tens of millimeters. The Marathons are husky tires, but the tread OD isn’t all that much different from stock tires: that’s the definition of a 700-series tire.

That we’re getting repeated flats from tire liners intended to eliminate flats is, mmmm, disturbing. Looking at the condition of the tire treads, however, shows we’re not getting an order of magnitude more flats from road debris, so it’s a net win. I doubt we could get through a month of riding without a flat; I replace tires when the carcasses accumulate enough gashes that the tire liners begin extruding through the tread.

Also, remember that these samples come from three bikes that travel upwards of 2000 miles a year (each!), not just one bike ridden along a nice rail trail on weekends…

4 thoughts on “Tire Liner Abrasion

  1. I used to ride at least 10km for 5 days a week (and often the same or more on weekends), so a conservative estimate would be something like 10(km)*5(days)*40(weeks) = 2000km a year, and I’d only have to fix up a puncture once every few months at most. If it were happening once a month that’d probably mean the tire was becoming fit for replacement, although some streets are worse than others. Of course we’ve been over the whole roadside debris thing before, but the thought that you’d almost have a guaranteed flat about once a month even with tire liners and everything is just that shocking.

    1. Well, that’s integrated over three bikes, so maybe I should expect only four flats a year on each bike. That’s close to your “every few months” for roughly comparable mileage.

      But it’s entirely too much junk on the road!

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