Search Results for: "tire liner"

The End of Tire Liners

This marks the end of my infatuation with tire liners:

Schwalbe 20 inch tube - tire liner damage

Schwalbe 20 inch tube – tire liner damage

There seems to be no way to eliminate tube erosion at the end of the liner. I’ve tried tapering the thickness, taping the joint, and so forth and so on.

Fortunately, the tire went flat in the garage and I did a quick swap before our morning ride.

Searching for tire liner will reveal the rest of the stories, both good and bad.

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Another Tread Gash: Tire Liners FTW Again!

Found this in the front tire of my Shop Assistant’s bike.

Front tire gash

Front tire gash

It’s a Primo Comet Kevlar, not that the Kevlar belts can cope with an assault like that. The smooth surface at the bottom of the gash is the tire liner, of course.

She won’t be using the bike for a while, though, so I’ll keep our stock of new tires for our bikes. I’m sure they’ll come in handy this season.

Sheesh!

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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…

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Bicycle Tire Liners FTW!

Gashed tread

Gashed tread

We’re getting set up for a bicycle vacation and I did a quick tire inspection… good thing, too, considering the gashes I found in the rear tire on Mary’s Tour Easy.

I put Schwalbe Marathon 700x35C tires on the back of our ‘bents, for well and good reason: Marathons have plenty of rubber and include a Kevlar puncture-resistant layer. In this case, that was just barely enough!

Here’s a cross-section through the tire; the Kevlar layer is yellow, with the tire carcass fibers inward of that.

Schwalbe Marathon tire cross-section

Schwalbe Marathon tire cross-section

The greenish-yellow tint in the left-hand gash (in the top picture) is the Slime tire liner (they prefer “tube protector”) showing through. Here’s what the liner looked like after we pulled the tire off; the liner shows some damage, but it’s just surface scuffing.

Scuffs on tire liner

Scuffs on tire liner

Quite by coincidence, the gashes straddled the overlapped end of the liner. The end of the liner is on the tube side; I haven’t trimmed or tapered the end of this one.

Here’s what the inside of the tire looked like; the Kevlar fought the gashes to a standstill and left the carcass mostly intact. The painted and illustrated fingernails belong to my shop assistant.

Scuffs inside tire carcass

Scuffs inside tire carcass

Here’s a cross-section through the Kevlar layer. I don’t know what Mary ran over, but it was most likely a sizable chunk of the broken glass that litters the roads around here. I doubt anybody gets prosecuted for littering, but as far as I’m concerned, a fitting punishment would be collecting the glass from a few miles of roadway: crawling on hands and knees, picking up fragments with their lips.

Cuts through tire anti-puncture layer

Cuts through tire anti-puncture layer

I put a new tube in a new Marathon (for obvious reasons, I have a supply of both on the shelf at all times), we positioned the liner, pumped it up, and it’s all good.

,

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Tire Liners

After putting Mary’s newly covered seat on her Tour Easy, I replaced the tire liner in the front wheel; the previous tube had gone flat, as mentioned there, due to erosion from the end of the liner.

Here’s what the taped liner looked like: smashed as flat as you’d expect from 100 psi applied evenly over the surface. The tube had a rectangular imprint on it, with what looked like minute abrasions, around the outline of the tape. Nothing major, but it shouldn’t ought to look that way.

Taped tire liner

Taped tire liner

I rolled that liner up, popped it in the Bike Tire Stuff drawer and replaced it with a Slime liner. This picture shows the ends of the two liners: the brown one (bottom) is about 90 mils thick in the center, the Slime liner (top, fluorescent green) is 60-ish.

Tire liner comparison

Tire liner comparison

As nearly as I can tell, I’ve never had an abrasion flat with a Slime liner, while various other brands have caused troubles.

I broke the edges of the Slime liner with a bit of sandpaper, just to see what that’ll do. Most likely, bad things, seeing as how I’ve never done that before…

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Bicycle Tire Liner Abrasion

The front tire (a Primo Comet blackwall) on Mary’s Tour Easy was flat when we rolled out of the garage a few days ago. While a flat isn’t pleasant at any time, it’s much nicer to find one at home, before the ride, rather than out on the road!

I figured the tire ate something sharp that managed to work its way through the tire liner and into the tube; that’s rare, but it sometimes happens. These two pix of the tread show why we use tire liners: sidewall-to-sidewall nicks, cuts, gouges, and gashes, despite the fact that the herringbone tread has plenty of life left in it. Click the pix to enlarge, if you dare…

Tire cuts 1

Tire cuts 1

And another section; it’s like this all the way around the tire. I think this one is the better part of a year old, so it has maybe 2000 miles on it. It handled 200+ miles along the Pine Creek Gorge rail-trail this past summer, which was sharp crushed gravel, but most of the cuts came from roadside debris on our ordinary utility rides around home.

Tire cuts 2

Tire cuts 2

As it turned out, the tire liner had prevented all those punctures from reaching the tube, while killing the tube all by itself. The sharp edge where the the two ends of the liner overlap had worried its way through the tube.

Abrasion from tire liner

Abrasion from tire liner

The tire liner wasn’t a genuine fluorescent green Slime strip, but some translucent brown thing. The difference: Slime liners are thinner and don’t have nearly this much abrasive power.

Alas, I didn’t have a Slime liner in my stash (remedied with the most recent bike parts order), so I put the brown liner back in with a few layers of genuine Scotch electrical tape to build the end up a bit. There’s really no good way to feather the end without making it into a ragged knife edge.

New tire and tube, of course. I’m not that crazy!

With any luck, the liner and tape will behave for another few years, until the tire wears out, and then I’ll replace everything. Other than this event, flats aren’t a big part of our riding experience.

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Why We Use Bicycle Tire Liners

Bike tire puncture

Bike tire puncture

A glass chip gashed the front tire of my bike a while ago, but the slit didn’t cut the Kevlar belt underneath and I let it slide. The pre-ride check before our 50-mile day trip to Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome showed that things had gotten worse (the tire liner was peeking out through the belt), so I replaced the tire before we set out.

Tire liner abrasion

Tire liner abrasion

This pic shows that the tire liner was doing its job, although it was slightly abraded and had picked up some road grit. The tube had a barely visible mark.

I generally use fluorescent green Slime tire liners, but this one is a competing brand I picked up a while ago. Not much to choose between the two, although I think Slime liners have a better edge taper and tend to be more flexible.

Notice the other nicks and gashes in the tire tread? We run Schwalbe Marathons on the rear and Primo Comets on the front, both have Kevlar belts. Flats are not a problem any more, even with plenty of sharp road debris; I replace the tires every two years or so when the tread wears smooth or a major gash worries even me. My rule of thumb: when I can see the liner, it’s time to replace the tire.

Tread gash - Schwalbe Marathon

Tread gash – Schwalbe Marathon

There are riders who argue for very lightweight tires on the basis of performance: better acceleration and lower rolling resistance. I’m willing to trade all that off against not having to dismount a tire by the side of the road…

[Update: Plenty more posts on this general subject, with graphic illustrations of tire damage. Search for liner and you’ll find ’em.]

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