My local bicycle shop is offering "premium kevlar belt tyres" and are "extremely puncture proof" how much of this is true? Does this "kevlar belt" offer good puncture protection? What does this protect against? Shards of glass? Stones?
2I'd liken it to a pair of work pants with double-knees ... they last longer and protect your knees ... if you kneel on a pile of thumbtacks (not recommended) they'll do more to keep you unbloodied, but they're not bulletproof. If you ride enough eventually you'll get a flat with a kevlar belt, but it will be less frequent than with a thin racing slick.– WTHarperMay 29, 2013 at 1:00
1Definitely yes. Punctures are reduced at least 10x, probably 30-50x, in my experience (vs equivalent touring weight unbelted tires).– Daniel R HicksMay 29, 2013 at 1:56
1I ride kevlar tyres and have had 4 unrelated punctures in the last two months. Prior to that (always ridden the same brand of tyre) I'd probably had 4 punctures in 4 years, if that. I think Kevlar does offer better protection, plus there are steps you can take yourself to minimise risk (e.g. correct pressure), but ultimately it boils down to luck of the draw, there is no silver bullet– PeteHMay 29, 2013 at 9:52
Also see: What type of tires can prevent goatheads?.– sleskeApr 11, 2014 at 13:51
I currently ride Schwalbe road plus on my commuter. I don't know whether they have kevlar in them, but a 3mm puncture guard, so this is just a comment. I just recently took a closer look at my tires and started to remove the stuff embedded in them: I was totally stunned. There was a ton of little stones, shards and thorns, some up to 3 or 4 mm and really sharp. Without the guard I would definitely have had 5 or more flats. (Didn't have a flat for 3 years :) )– linacAug 30, 2014 at 15:13
Kevlar fibres do resist cutting, and the kevlar belts in my tyres have certainly stopped lots of sharps (mostly glass and flint).
What it won't protect against are pinch flats (which you can avoid anyway by keeping your tyres at the right pressure) and, if it's just a central belt, it may not protect against sidewall cuts either.
There's generally a tradeoff between ride quality and puncture resistance FWIW: my tyres are lighter and faster than Schwalbe Marathon Plus (for example), but also less tough.
If you want anything more than generalities, you'll need to name those tyres and ask about them specifically.
1One might also add that good protection against punctures might be achieved from within with puncture fluids or liquid sealant. Those will not protect you form puncture, but will help you get back home when you catch one. Might be better investment than just better tires.– mpmApr 10, 2014 at 9:21
I have been using them for years and have not had a puncture flat with them. I live in an area that gets these tiny little thorns, kind of like rose bush thorns, in the gutters. I used to get a flat every two weeks from one of those thorns. Now, I never get them. Totally worth the price.
I change to this kind of tires because of a puncture every ride, yes, every time I went for a ride and it reduced my puncture record to one every three rides. The kind of punctures were made by small wires generally left by exploted truck tires.
You should try the Schwalbe Marathon Plus, which has a very thick tread— rather than trying to deflect punctures, it has so much rubber that a thumbtack just gets stuck in the rubber layer rather than going through to the tread. It's heavy and slow, but nothing slows you down more than a flat tire. Apr 10, 2014 at 15:46
I mean 'through to the tube', not 'through to the tread'. Apr 10, 2014 at 15:54
Beware of tyres claimed on-line as having a Kevlar Belt in them. They may have just Kevlar particles blended into the tread compound to reduce wear. Maxxis Refuse is a tyre that has K2 on the tyre sidewall and a statement on the packaging/material/label that comes with the tyre as stating a Kevlar Puncture resistant Belt. I have been using Vittoria tyres for years and after trying to get some of the same quality tyres from Vittoria I have had to change to Maxxis Refuse.