For over a dozen years I have been riding with puncture-resistant Continental Gatorskin bicycle tires. I’ve had two flats–one sidewall puncture, and one tube stem that failed after several years of use.
I rode across the U.S. with the Specialized Armadillo tires, which are probably the ultimate in flat-protection, but they are a somewhat heavier tire that may not hold the road as well. I highly recommend the Continental Gatorskin tire for great road grip, good rolling resistance and the ultimate flat protection all in one package.
How to prevent flats:
- Flat-resistant tires are well worth the extra cost and will give you thousands of miles of use.
- Make sure to use a new good quality tube when you install these tires, with no patches, which can fail. Heavy duty tubes will give you better service than think racing tubes.
- Always keep your tires fully inflated to the recommended pressures in order to avoid “pinch flats”, which happen when an under-inflated tire rolls over curbs or potholes, squeezing the tube against the rim.
- Use a floor-mounted pump rather than a hand-held pump so that you don’t put stress on the valve stem.
- If you ride over glass, stop and check for any pieces sticking in the tire. Flats often happen after the piece of glass works its way into the tire a short distance down the road.
- When at last your tire has worn down so that you can see the wear indicator or the kevlar belt, replace the tire. Flats are no fun for you or the people with whom you ride.