The facts up front here. I generally roll around on my bike weighing in at about 235 pounds, give or take a beer or three. I wanted to put that out there so you can tell if we are in the same category, or what!
So here is the problem I ran into. Back in 2014 I bought my Specialized Roubaix and I loved it, still do! But here’s the thing. I got flats. I got a lot of flats. I got a flat in my first week. I got two more right after that. I started doing organized rides and started carrying 3 tubes and 6 CO2 cartridges with me. I ride with a buddy who has a Scattante bike. He gets flats too. He gets a lot of flats. Our first year riding together, we decided to ride across lower michigan – all 200 miles worth. We did it, but it took hours longer than it should have due to the 7 or 8 flats we experienced between us.
That shit got old. I read all the same repeated stuff online. Check your tire pressure, check your rims, etc. Over and over. I checked all that, everything was good to go on every ride. And not one of those damned flats was due to a road hazard. The one thing the internet did explain to me was pinch flats. It has to do with turning or hitting a bumb and your tube gets pinched between the road/hazard and the rim. The cause is often attributed to having too low inflation. Well, I always rode with my tires at the maximum PSI.
Here’s the gig. There’s probably a whole lot of tires out there not designed for heavier riders. Your bike probably came with a set. Ours did. We put a lot of extra pressure on the tires and tubes if your weight is above that of a horse racing jockey!
I don’t have a list of tires here for you, because I lucked out right away. I upgraded the Specialized brand tires that came with my bike to Continental Gatorskin Duraskin tires and I will never look back! Here are the changes I experienced immediately:
- On my old Specialized tires I experienced about 20 flats between 2 tires. Two tires? Yup, I had to buy a new tire halfway through the season because my first one wore through on the rear at about 2000 miles.
- On my Continental tires I have about 8500 miles on the set with zero flats, not one, I still have the same tubes in there as the day I installed them. The tread area is starting to wear so I will be replacing them next season with the same tires, but to be honest – judging by the wear indicators they probably still have 1000 miles or so on them.
That’s it for today, nothing magical. But just in case you were experiencing the same issues I described and were having a hard time finding straight up answers, I wanted to let you in on what I struggled through.
What about you? Any other FGOB riders out there that have a success story with a particular brand of tire? I’d love to hear it!