Schwalbe Marathon vs. Brown Glass: Flat Tire

Having suffered flat tires due to the tire liner chafing the tube, I’ve been running the Tour Easy without a rear tire liner since last year. Worked fine, up until the steering went mushy on a recent ride:

Brown glass chip - in tire

Brown glass chip - in tire

Ever notice how a rear flat means you can’t steer and a front flat means you can’t pedal? Works that way on our recumbents, too. Weird.

The chip probably came from a beer bottle tossed out a car window, those being the canonical source of brown glass on the road. That razor edge punched right through the Kevlar belt in the Schwalbe Marathon tire and just barely penetrated the tube:

Brown glass chip - detail

Brown glass chip - detail

Fortunately, I discovered all that in a nice grassy area, patched the tube, fired a pair of CO2 capsules into the thing, and rode another 20 miles around the block on a lovely day. Unfortunately, I managed to pinch the tube while installing it, producing a very slow leak that flatted the tire by the next morning.

While repairing that flat in the comfort & convenience of the Basement Laboratory Repair Wing, I installed a tire liner with two strips of silicone tape over the ends to see if that reduces the abrasion:

Silicone tape on tire liner

Silicone tape on tire liner

Silicone tape doesn’t adhere to anything other than itself, so I added two duct tape snippets to hold them in position while I buttoned up the tire. And, yes, I left the transparent plastic cover tape in place, in the hope that it can’t do any harm.

Perhaps the inevitable slow leak will produce a flat in the garage, not on the road…


  1. #1 by Aki on 2012-07-30 - 12:36

    Broken glass, blast from the past…

    • #2 by Ed on 2012-07-30 - 14:13

      Much of the clear glass comes from non-returnable bottles, although I’m not convinced the folks who toss things from cars would return brown glass…

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