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I have a very nice fixie bike, which I keep suffering from flat tires. I live in Bogota which is a city full of potholes in the road.

I have been examining options to implement in order to have less issues with this flat tires, I got to know this company which is so far the best option I am considering, but it's quite expensive to order a pair of tires just for me, to Bogota.

So I kept checking and I found this videos in youtube 1, 2 and 3 that shows how to do that with a special sealant. Have you tried that in a fixie? Does that work?

EDIT

In more detail:

  • I suffer a lot of "bite" punctures (so called here) which are two holes in the tube because of a hole or a sidewalk and the rim pressure.
  • I don't suffer that much of a single hole puncture.
  • I don't know exactly the amount of pressure, but always that I inflate the tires, are really "tight" you could say.
  • I ride almost everyday, home-work-home. Each trip around 13km.
  • I have flat almost once a week. Sometimes once each two weeks.
  • I inflate the tires at least once a week.
  • My tires are one year old.
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    The pressure is too low. What pressure exactly do you mean by "tight"? What is the width of the tire? If the pressure is already high enough, use a fatter tire. It is OK to exceed the pressure written on the tire if you are using good tires. – Angelo Aug 5 '15 at 20:38
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    Get a "floor pump" with a built-in pressure gauge. You will then discover that your tires have been way underinflated. – Daniel R Hicks Aug 5 '15 at 22:03
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    Even a nice pressure gauge over a pump. I have an expensive pump and it is off by almost 10%. – paparazzo Aug 5 '15 at 22:12
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    I suggest editing out "fixie" as it has nothing to do with the problem. – jqning Aug 6 '15 at 0:06
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    @Frisbee, perhaps not if you're an elite time-trialist, but for the OP, commuters and almost everyone else-- not a big deal. Even those of us who are picky can do fine with a primitive gauged floor pump and some trial and error to get to the right pressure. – Angelo Aug 6 '15 at 13:00
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The advice I can give is

  1. Buy a good pair of tires. I use Maxxis Re-Fuse and can't complain at all, they are pretty strong and not expensive (they aren't cheap though), I've ride them literally over broken bottle shards and survived. Some friends of mine have Black Mamba tires and they seem to be happy.
  2. Keep you tire with the correct pressure. I usually ride with 100PSI - 110PSI. The max pressure for my tires is 120PSI, so I try to keep them just a little bellow the max. This is crucial to prevent the "snake bites" punctures, if your tire's pressure is not enough the rim might "bite" the tube on a hard kick against the ground.
  3. Sometimes I put an old tube wrapping the tube inside the tire just to give it a little extra resistance. No problems so far with this approach, only happy rides.

When I started riding a fixie, several years ago, I found myself having several flats in a month, it was pretty annoying. Then I realized how important was to keep the correct pressure of the tire.

UPDATE: as @Will Vousden correctly comments, this has nothing to do with using a fixie, but with the tires you are using (likely something like 700x23).

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    This really has nothing to do with the bike being a fixie. The same thing would happen on a geared road bike. – Will Vousden May 9 '16 at 8:21
  • That's right, it has nothing to do with the bike, but with the tires, I mentioned it only as context. – Rodrigo May 23 '16 at 16:58
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You are correct that the type of puncture you're getting is caused by the rim "pinching" the inner tube.

The root cause here is one of the following:

  • pressure too low (most likely)
  • You're not avoiding potholes carefully enough
  • Weight is too high for the tires/terrain.

This has nothing to do with fixies except perhaps that people on fixies tend to awkwardly power through obstacles without unloading enough weight at the right instant in time.

There is junk you can inject into your tubes, but that stuff is terrible and increases rotating weight. You don't need it. Also, this has nothing to do with tire quality. Your rim is pinching the inner tube, not something from the outside the tire.

Suggest you increase pressure on tires and avoid potholes. If that fails to work, try fatter tires. It is OK to go beyond the pressure specified on sidewall.

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    it's also possible that OP is installing the tubes incorrectly. that is a problem i had when i got my first road bike -- the tubes would get caught under the bead of the tire before inflation, and after inflation would pinch and burst at the slightest bump. – Woodrow Barlow Aug 6 '15 at 13:22
  • If it is the rim, like Angelo suggested, also upgrading your rim tape to an extra strong/soft one can prevent punctures by the spoke ends. – AutomatedChaos Aug 6 '15 at 13:33
  • I know an average-strength person can sense tire pressure up to about 3bar (43.5psi). As Angelo has listed, this is way too low for a road tire. From that up, the tire is just "hard". – Vorac May 9 '16 at 13:30
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I know there are a few answers here but they don't address the tonus solid or tubless.

Here is you problem:

I don't know exactly the amount of pressure, but always that I inflate the tires, are really "tight" you could say.

"Tight" is not good enough. Check pressure without a gauge. Get a real pressure gauge. They are not expensive and inflate to maximum pressure.
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Pinch flat on a properly inflate tire is rare. If you are running like a 23mm or 25mm then maybe. On a 28mm or 32mm running at maximum rated pressure a pinch flat should likely dent the rim. I have never had a pinch flat on 28mm or bigger tire running at maximum pressure.

As for that Tannus solid. Solid tires are not common for reason.

As for those tubeless conversion kits. Yes they have tubeless for road but it is not common. Tubeless is more used for mountain so you can run at lower pressure. You don't have a need for running at lower pressure. You have a problem with running at lower pressure.

Put the biggest tire you can on your fixie and run at maximum rated pressure. You should not be getting pinch flats unless you are banging curbs. For punctures get puncture resistant tires and pre-slimed tubes. I don't like THE most puncture resistant as they are heavy.

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    I would suggest maximum rated pressure (inscribed on the sidewall of the tire) instead of just maximum pressure (at the point of getting to which the flat or the pump fails uncomfortably). – Pavel Aug 6 '15 at 8:54
  • @PavelPetrman What you think maximum pressure is if it is not maximum rated pressure? – paparazzo Aug 6 '15 at 9:54
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    Whatever crazy amount of air I can pump in - maximum is maximum. For a person not familiar with the concept (as the Question suggests) I'd be cautious with terms like maximum without explaining how to find out what the maximum is. Otherwise a good answer! – Pavel Aug 6 '15 at 11:08
  • @PavelPetrman, the pressure written on the sidewall of the tire can be exceeded (sometimes by a lot) when riding with good quality tires and rims. – Angelo Aug 6 '15 at 12:10
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    @Angelo Are you ready to take responsibility for giving that advice (as an answer to the original question)? – Pavel Aug 6 '15 at 13:45
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I would try buying a set of 28mm tires (or larger). You can run them at a lower pressure than a 23mm or 25mm and doing so won't likely cause the bite puncture you are experiencing b/c the air chamber is much larger and thus has more area to compress before it nips at the tube. An upside is that the ride quality is far superior to say, a 23mm.

Also, make sure you are installing your tube properly. If it isn't seated under the tire just right you will keep pinching it over and over. Start at the valve stem and keep it even as you work it under the tire. Roll the tire around with your fingers and palm to seat the tube after you get the tire back on, and before inflating the tube to pressure. DON'T use levers to get the tire back on if possible. Just another opportunity for a pinch.

I ride a road bike with Conti 28mm tires on a daily commute through Chicago with many potholes, broken glass piles, nails, etc. and haven't had a pinch flat or puncture in probably a year, and, I ride them at a very low pressure (80psi/ 175lb rider) When I did flat last it was because the tube was not installed properly.

  • +1 for checking correct tube installation. It can take a few tries to really get the feel for it, but it's vital to make sure the tube isn't pinched between the tire and rim. After installing a new tube/tire, I will inflate the tube to near max pressure, then carefully inspect all the way around the rim on each side to make sure that the tire is sitting evenly - with a good quality tire, any rise indicates you've got some tube pinched there. Let the air out and work that spot to get the tube out, then reinflate. Repeat that until the whole tire is sitting evenly. – FreeMan Aug 6 '15 at 16:40
  • @FreeMan for sure. When I started riding more heavily it was completely worthwhile to practice installing tubes at home before I was on the road with a real flat on my hands. – ebrohman Aug 6 '15 at 17:26
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You are asking about converting inner tubes to tubeless. As far as I know, tubeless system isn't 100% puncture proof, if you get a nail on the road, it's impossible to fix right away and you need to call a taxi. For me, inner tubes are still the best options for bike commuting.

I can think of several ways:

  1. Purchase a bike pump with psi gause, so you can know precisely how much pressure the tubes have. Checking the pressure by hand isn't always the best method since I found it is hard to distinguish 30psi or 60psi on my tires.

  2. Get wider tires, for example go with 700x28mm or 700x32mm since wider tires can handle rough condition better.

  3. Some tires have kevlar protection, you can use those, but I doubt you need to purchase new tires

  • He doesn't have tubeless based on his edit (bite punctures) – Bibz Aug 5 '15 at 22:46
  • You are talking about "tubular" not tubeless. Tubeless still uses a clincher rim. – brendan Aug 6 '15 at 6:20
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    @Brendan, thanks for pointing that out... – azer89 Aug 6 '15 at 11:33
  • @Bibz, the OP also asks about inner tubes to tubeless conversion – azer89 Aug 6 '15 at 11:53
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Learn how to bunny hop. When you're heading over a pothole you don't have to jump it, but apply the same idea of shifting your weight to be nice to the tires. When you approach a curb, you lift the front wheel as best you can (I can't actually do a bunny hop) and then shift your weight to it before the back wheel hits.

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    Going round potholes is safer and more reliable than trying to go over them. In jurisdictions I'm familiar with, cycling on the pedestrian footway is illegal, so mounting kerbs shouldn't be an activity that happens often enough to be a significant source of punctures. – David Richerby Aug 6 '15 at 12:10
  • @DavidRicherby "because of a hole or a sidewalk". Agreed, go around. Although that's not always an option in traffic on a shared bike lane. – Mazura Aug 6 '15 at 12:14
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    Bunny hopping on a fixed gear is very difficult because you cannot arrange your feet the way you want. – jqning Aug 10 '15 at 16:22
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Stans No Tubes and other tubeless systems with sealant will provide you much greater resistance to both "puncture" flats from glass, nails etc, AND from "pinch flats" or "snakebites". The sealant will seal holes from quite large nails or other debris and the tubeless tyre can't really get a pinch flat because there is no tube inside it to pinch. Having said that, if you hit a bad enough pothole or rock, at really high speed, you could still tear a hole in the sidewall - but you'd have to be trying quite hard to do that.

A few notes on making tubeless work:

  • you must use tubeless specific tires on a road bike. Eg. Huchinson Fusion. This is because standard tires don't have strong enough sidewalls, and more importantly. they don't lock into the rim well enough. IF you ignore this advice, you can have a very bad accident if they tire comes off the rim at speed.
  • the sealant needs to be replaced periodically as it will eventually dry out.
  • the easiest way to put the sealant in is through a valve with a removeable core. Stans sell these.
  • If you do get a flat even with this system, you can easily fix it by the roadside: you just take out the valve, and put a normal tube into the tire. Then of course you can get a flat in the same way that you do now.

I have used stans no-tubes sealant with various tires and rims on my road bike, mountain bikes, and cyclocross bikes for 5+ years and I'd never go back.

  • Which Stan's wheel set are you running on the road? I've considered purchasing but saw someone add up the weight of the tubeless tire and sealant and it was heavier compared to a high quality clincher and tube. Also, do you carry a spare tubeless tire or just a spare inner-tube? – ebrohman Aug 6 '15 at 17:31
  • Sorry - to clarify, I haven't used Stans rims, only their sealant. On the road bike I have used c4 and Fulcrum rims. You are correct about the weight: tubeless with sealant is heavier than a light tube and tire - don't go that direction to get lighter. Just carry a spare tube - not a tire - you only need that if you are using tubular... – brendan Aug 9 '15 at 23:41
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    I am slowly working towards tubeless on all my bikes. This is the real answer to flats. – Deleted User May 9 '16 at 17:30
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What type of flats do you suffer from ? Punctures ? How much do you ride ? How often do you have flats ?

How much pressure do you have in your tire ? If it's too low it might be the cause of your flats. Tires will lose pressure over time so you need to re-inflate them periodically.

How old are your tires ? If they are too thin they will be prone to flats, try to check if you have wear marker.

With tubeless people usually put some sealant in the tire, so you might try that, this will prevent/repair puncture flat.

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