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Rim tape/Tire liner
#1
I got a new low-end Schwinn and while most of my riding will be on paved surfaces, I'd like to do as much as I can now to prevent a flat. Is it likely that my bike will already have factory rim tap, and if so should I leave it in place or put on aftermarket? Also, any ideas on tire liners, I see a few different kinds but have no performance or weight issues, just looking for the most economical solution that works? Thanks
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#2
First, yes the rim tape you have is just fine and replacing it is a waste of money. So leave it as is. If you want to reinforce puncture resistance then I would put a little money into the tires! They make Kevlar enforced tires, heavy duty (thicker material), and another type. As far manufacturer there are many! Google search word "puncture resistant bicycle tire".
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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#3
When I buy new tires, I'll do exactly that and put the money there, but since its a new bike with only 10 miles on it, I'd rather get some use out of the tires I already paid for and find a good tire liner solution. Plus I should be able to keep the tire liners for the next set of tires I hope as some are expensive. Any experience with tire liners?
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#4
I agree, the stock rimtape is fine. But, if you're feeling froggy, the best rimtape in the world is fiberglass reinforced packing tape. The plastic tape with fiberglass woven into it. Cheap as hell from walmart, and does the job better than anything.

The only downside? I had a weight weenie tell me his wheels were, ahem, 5 grams heavier than when he dropped them off.

You just can't please some people.
Dedicated scholar of bicycles
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#5
Check your rim tape and make sure that is is completely covering the spoke holes.

Earlier this year I was having a flat a week, sometimes more. While I was repairing the last flat I had, I noticed that the plastic rim tape had shifted around and exposed several of the spoke holes. I finished fixing the flat and went straight to my LBS where I purchased 2 rolls of Velox cloth rim tape, went home and installed it - no more flats. My theory was that the tube was being squeezed into the spoke hole and abraded by the sharp edge.

Worth checking out.
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#6
Any rim tape will do the job as long as it is properly fitted and covers the spoke heads, punctures due to this are very rare.
I have seen several problems when using tyre liners, they are prone to moving around the tyre, and the cheaper ones can split along the length and pinch the tube, the edges can also rub the tube, they also feel harder when riding.
A better option is to have a puncture sealant injected into your tubes, or buy tubes with it already in, cost not much more than standard tubes, and at your next tyre replacement, fit puncture proofed tyres, there is a large choice of these in most sizes.
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#7
I think the OP is rather asking for something to put between tube and tyre. While those do exist (haven't seen them for a while) I am not sure that they are a real bargain.
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#8
Maybe I could have worded my question a little better. I now understand the rim tape issue so that is done. Now I'm trying to decide about how to best prevent a flat due to road hazards and whether it would be better to use slime or use a tire liner or get the extra-thick tubes? The reports I see is that slime can be real messy. Tire liners are expensive. And the thick tubes seem to be reasonable and some even have slime already inside. And as mentioned before, while technology is available in new tires, my bike is new with 10 miles on it so I don't want new tires this soon, on replacement I'll get more puncture resistant tires.
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#9
Tyre liners are expensive, "thick" tubes are... well... they don't help that much, in my opinion. Latex tubes would be good, but they don't hold the air that well (check pressure every day) and are only available for road bikes (I think) and slime can be messy -> maybe better to buy reasonable tyres? I believe most of the Schwalbe tyres offer some sort of Kevlar guard (except for the light weight race stuff for road and MTB).
I'd buy tyres. Or just wait until I get too many flats and then replace the tyres when I cannot stand changing tubes any more. All other methods are just workarounds.
What tyres do you have installed on the bike? Maybe they are already puncture resistant?
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#10
Why are liners so expensive? I use StopFlats2, and they are < $25 for 2. To me, that's worth the insurance they provide.

As Trevgbb implied, you just can't throw liners in and expect them to work. Careful installation should be followed.

My basic steps:

- deflate tube
- remove one side of tire
- remove tube
- unroll StopFlats2, remove the curl
- fit into tire
- shorten it about .5" - that is, where they overlap, pull that half an inch more
- fit tube back in tire
- one or two pumps of air into tire
- ensure liner is even all the way around the tire, no kinks etc
- replace side of tire
- pump tire to appropriate pressure
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#11
Hi;

I can share with you what I have done for my commuter bike. When I got it, I got several flats in the first month due to glass. I purchased Bell brand tires with Kevlar, Slime tubes and tire liners from my local Wal-mart. In the almost two years since then, no flats. I only put the liner in the rear tire, as it carries 75% of the load. In addition to the street with glass and other hazards, I have about five miles each way on a hard gravel bike path.

A couple other comments:
(1) tires: make sure you get ones with a continuous center rib in the tread if the majority of your riding is on the street. Off pavement, the front tire is critical to safe handling on gravel, decent tread on the edges is very important. Even a slick city tire on the rear works fine on gravel and hard pack. You only really need knobbies in soft dirt, sand and mud; other places they slow you down and are noisy.

(2) when changing tubes, or adding liners, give the tube, inside of the tire, and liner if you add one; a light coat of baby powder or similar. It goes a long way in preventing pinch flats.

(3) if you choose to add liners, make sure you put the over lap well away from the valve stem. I put it on the opposite side of the wheel.

(4) Amazon is another good source.
Nigel
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#12
I use decent tyres... well... not true: I have a set of Schwalbe Blizzards, their entry-lowest-level road tyre (as far as I know, ~15 EUR a piece, at a bike shop, probably cheaper online). They are heavy but the only flat came from a glass shard that was needle shaped, about 1cm long and had razor sharp edges. The outside of the tyres looks very rough by now, lots of cuts and nicks, but only one flat. (so they are "decent" from a maintenance point of view).

Personally, I wouldn't use tyre liners, I have enough trouble installing most tyres as it is (my rims seem to be all on the large side. On most of my bikes (one is ok). Really, you'd think that the sizes would be standardized...) and having another layer inside the tyre that can move around when installing... well... no.
But this all depends on where you ride. If you need to cross some place where young punks drink at night and drop their booze bottles on the pavement and everything is covered with glass shards: Get the liners and the slime tubes.
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#13
There is a 3rd option which involves "ghetto tubeless"

get some "Stans no-tubes" and follow the instructions. This means you have no tube, though you do have to check the pressure every week or so (which you'd do anyway) and occasionally top up the fluid in it. This stuff is FAR better than slime (which doesn't work at all):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTlZvOVG8zs

This is good for commuters because you don't normally change tyre very often (except when they're dead) and becomes a fit-and-(almost)-forget solution. I don't know if it works with road tyres but it defo works with MTBs. The only time I've seen this fail was when my mate ripped a huge gash on the edge of the tread (not quite the sidewall) about 3x0.5 centimeters in size (pretty much writing off the tyre) going down a pretty hard MTB route.
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#14
I am impressed! More impressed what you pointed out on the last part of your post about the slash. Because I was gonna say let me test it with a box cutter hehehehe. All seriousness you say you have used this stuff?
Good maintenance to your Bike, can make it like the wheels are, true and smooth!
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