3

I bought an Origin 8 Intersekt 7 two years ago. Denver has so much construction, and "goat heads" that I've popped my tires 7 out of 8 rides. Needless to say, I'm way over it, and haven't ridden the bike since summer 2016.

I'd like to replace the tires and rims to something thicker, but not sure if I can do that with the bike.

Current wheels specs: 7-speed cassette on rear 700 x 28C 50mm walls

Can I bump up to a "wider" rim and "thicker" tire so I don't have as many flats. I love the look of the bike, and don't want to get rid of it, etc. Help?

  • 1
    What do you mean by "popped my tires"? – David Richerby Apr 6 '18 at 20:19
  • @David Richerby Sounds like pinch flats is the problem – Argenti Apparatus Apr 6 '18 at 20:53
  • Rims can take a range of tire sizes, so you most probably do not need a wider rim. Obviously, wider rims can take wider tires. There are many good answers that address how wide you can go. If by 'popping' a tire you mean getting a pinch flat (tire deformed enough that the tube ruptures) you need more pressure in your tires (or tubeless tires if your rims are compatible). If your rides take you on rough surfaces, wider tires is the way to go though. – Argenti Apparatus Apr 6 '18 at 20:58
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of What is the maximum tire width I can fit on my bicycle – Argenti Apparatus Apr 6 '18 at 21:00
  • What pressure do you put in the tyres? – Criggie Apr 6 '18 at 21:04
1

Punctures are a part of cycling - you'll never eliminate them completely.

You get a puncture because something has pierced your innertube. That might be loose objects on the roadway (glass, wire, nails) or the roadway itself (sharp pothole edges) or even your own bike's wheel rims.

There are two avenues to minimisation.

1. PREVENTION

Look at your tyre - is it worn down in the middle? Most tyres work fine with no tread pattern, but if your main tread is thin then it offers reduced protection. Consider buying new tyres.

If you're in the market for tyres anyway, look at those offering Kevlar/aramid breakers or belts. Often marketed as commuter tyres, they have an extra layer of armour under the tread to reduce penetration. Note they offer no protection on the sidewalls (but sidewall punctures are rare) They're also thought to have higher rolling resistance. Schwalbe Marathon Plus would be one brand, but there are many others.

You can get similar protection without replacing the tyre by adding tyre liners. These are plastic shells that fit inside the tyre and shield the tube all the way around the wheel. Downside is added weight.

Sealant can also prevent punctures. Originally from the tubeless tyre, a bit of liquid latex inside your tube can help seal small holes. Downside this stuff only lasts about 6 months before it needs topping up, so you need a tube valve with a removeable core.

2. AVOIDANCE

Think about where you ride - main roads are fast and direct but the high traffic levels tend to sweep the road with air gusts, pushing detritus into the sides of the road.

If you ride through these areas you're much more likely to run across small sharp objects. So change your route to avoid these dirty areas. Remember bikes can go slightly further easier, and there are bike paths etc.

Pinch flats are when the tyre is low on air, and an obstruction crushes through the tube into the rim, puncturing the tube with a characteristic two small holes. This is called a snake bite puncture, and can dent/crack your rim if there's enough force.

To avoid pinch flats, start by adding more air to your tube. It depends on the width of the tyre, but thin tyres could be 80-100 PSI or thick ones could be 30-60 PSI.

Second part of avoiding pinch flats is technique where you don't bulldoze your way through anything in your path. Instead you dodge potholes, or bunny hop over them, or merely learn to "unweight" the bike as you touch an obstruction. This means to get off the saddle and slightly lift the bike as you roll over things. That way there's less pressure on your wheel for the instant it is not on flat pavement.

One final help is to minimise the amount of weight on the bike. I started at 110 kg and now am down to 95 kg, and my flats have dropped to ~3 a year when they were almost weekly to begin with. You can also carry less/lighter stuff rather than heavier tools/pump etc.

tl:dr minimise and avoid, but can never eliminate completely.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.