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Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel
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Usually the rear tire flats for me.

It's hard to remember the last time I had a front flat tire because they are so rare. The one I remember was a pinch flat. Can't recall a front flat tire from glass / puncture.

To lessen rear tire flats, what strategies would you suggest?

Here are some that I'm trying:

Rear wheel inflation greater than front wheel seems to help. Not rock hard inflation because I want some deflection while riding. Not only has this reduced pinch flats, it seems to reduce punctures. Not sure why that would would be, less surface? Could the likelihood of puncture increase or decrease with tire pressure/surface tension?

Does rear wheel "grind"/friction make it more likely to puncture? Where as the front tire "rides" over the glass/metal, the rear wheel has to "work" itself over the glass/metal.

Would putting the more puncture proof tire in the rear help or be a value/cost savings proposition? Aesthetically I might have to get past the ugly of two unlike tires. Yet flat tires, new tires and tires that came with the bike are causing a mismatch of tires to deal with.

Thank you in advance for your help with information and your ideas.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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I believe rears flat more because in part it’s easier to steer around obstacles with your front than rear and may have something to do with more weight on the back than front.

For training tires, the best solution is a good flat resistant tire. I use gator skins and ride about 4,500 miles during the 4 months of the summer, with lots of glass on the road and generally get 1 or 2 flats at most.



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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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There are some people that will say roll gatorskins since they are more puncture resistant but I have trained in Conti GP4000s for years and no issues. I have also found those tires cheaper than the gatorskins and they feel a lot better. I also rotate my race tires and make them into training tires. So right now I have a Conti Supersonic on the front and a TT on the back. I am cheap so I just use what I have around or what is on sale but I will not use gatorskins, like ever. I just do not like them.

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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Front tire kicks it up, rear tire eats it. Same physics is in play on cars, but it happens less overall in that case.

"...the street finds its own uses for things"
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [AutomaticJack] [ In reply to ]
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Also, the rear tire bears more of the load than the front.






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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [jrielley] [ In reply to ]
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jrielley wrote:
There are some people that will say roll gatorskins since they are more puncture resistant but I have trained in Conti GP4000s for years and no issues. I have also found those tires cheaper than the gatorskins and they feel a lot better. I also rotate my race tires and make them into training tires. So right now I have a Conti Supersonic on the front and a TT on the back. I am cheap so I just use what I have around or what is on sale but I will not use gatorskins, like ever. I just do not like them.

In N GA was using Conti GP4000s with few flats/problems and it was the most popular tire there.

In FL and now using the bike lanes in urban/suburban areas. Road debris makes it only as far as... the bike lane. So started using Krylions when four were on sale for about $20 each. Big improvement and it lowered cost. Good friends/riders here swear by Gatorskins. Less use of GP 4000s here. After using up all but two of the GP4000s on hand, felt the need to go for a different tire for the conditions here.

If riding on clean roads, I'd ride the GP4000s. Now that I am riding on bike lanes without knowing what's coming up, I'm trying to get better at managing my tires. Have gotten way better at changing flats.

Yet, why do I have so few flats in the front when it's is so easy to get a flat here? The rate is no where 50-50. More like 90-10.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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IT wrote:

Yet, why do I have so few flats in the front when it's is so easy to get a flat here? The rate is no where 50-50. More like 90-10.

Over the past 60 years of biking I've dodged innumerable bits of road debris at the very last second with the front tire only to run right over the same piece with the rear tire.

YMMV,

Hugh

Genetics load the gun, lifestyle pulls the trigger.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [AutomaticJack] [ In reply to ]
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AutomaticJack wrote:
Front tire kicks it up, rear tire eats it. Same physics is in play on cars, but it happens less overall in that case.

Exactly this. I was thinking about this thread when I got a nail in my *rear* tire this morning. Pretty sure the nail wasn't sitting point up just waiting for a tire...

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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Conti 4000 sII on front and back of all my bikes - I am doing approx 20k km per year and am getting max one puncture per year - and I ride on some pretty ordinary roads.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [cgrubb] [ In reply to ]
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I wish I could say the same in Goathead land (south central Kansas). I went 3 years flat free, training on Gatorskins. Two weeks ago, some asshole left a busted beer bottle on the bike lane, and destroyed my back gatorskin. I had bought a set of GP 4K 2's for racing, but haden't used them yet, and it was all I had, so I put one on. 16 miles later, I got a goathead puncture. I patched it, and 9 miles later I got another puncture. Screw that... I'm back to Gatorskins for training.

Athlinks / Strava
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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 Ive been using the same Conti GP4000s for over 10 hours per week since April on a wheel on trainer and not had a flat. Did a 4.5 hour outdoor ride on it last week and still no issues.

Something like 1500 trainer miles on that thing. I can't believe it lasted that long.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [cgrubb] [ In reply to ]
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cgrubb wrote:
Conti 4000 sII on front and back of all my bikes - I am doing approx 20k km per year and am getting max one puncture per year - and I ride on some pretty ordinary roads.

Do your ordinary roads have a bike lane? If they don't have a bike lane, then my results are like yours. Whether it's N GA or FL, when I share the road with cars then there's practically no glass, etc. and just the occasional rock or hole.

Car or truck traffic seems to "move" junk into the bike lane. Regardless, I don't get front wheel flats whilst riding in the bike lane.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [Tri-Banter] [ In reply to ]
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Tri-Banter wrote:
Also, the rear tire bears more of the load than the front.

This might be the biggest part of the issue. I'm not a very flexible at 63 yrs so I know over time that more and more weight is on the rear wheel.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Dean T wrote:
I wish I could say the same in Goathead land (south central Kansas). I went 3 years flat free, training on Gatorskins. Two weeks ago, some asshole left a busted beer bottle on the bike lane, and destroyed my back gatorskin. I had bought a set of GP 4K 2's for racing, but haden't used them yet, and it was all I had, so I put one on. 16 miles later, I got a goathead puncture. I patched it, and 9 miles later I got another puncture. Screw that... I'm back to Gatorskins for training.

Exactly. While rolling resistance has value, not having a flat tire has more value - especially when not racing and speed matters less.

For races, I would go with my best tires because race courses are often cleaner or spot cleaned.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [Dean T] [ In reply to ]
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Dean T wrote:
I wish I could say the same in Goathead land (south central Kansas). I went 3 years flat free, training on Gatorskins. Two weeks ago, some asshole left a busted beer bottle on the bike lane, and destroyed my back gatorskin. I had bought a set of GP 4K 2's for racing, but haden't used them yet, and it was all I had, so I put one on. 16 miles later, I got a goathead puncture. I patched it, and 9 miles later I got another puncture. Screw that... I'm back to Gatorskins for training.

Question - were they front wheel or rear wheel punctures?

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Both rear wheel punctures. I've only had one front wheel puncture in the last 5 years or so... and that was from a fish hook of all things.

Athlinks / Strava
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Had a puncture on the front wheel during my first full Ironman.

Did 5 more 70.3 and 2 week camp in Mallorca on the same rear wheel tire - no issues.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [NickMa] [ In reply to ]
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NickMa wrote:
Had a puncture on the front wheel during my first full Ironman.

Did 5 more 70.3 and 2 week camp in Mallorca on the same rear wheel tire - no issues.

So one front wheel puncture on a tri bike with no rear wheel punctures - is that correct? What caused the front wheel flat? Weight distribution on the tri bike?

Thank you for your answers.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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Yes, correct.

I guess the cause was a little piece of a rock or glass (the cut was very small).
There were a lot of small rocks on the road that day (after the rain) and I was unlucky to get a puncture on 170 km.

Both tires are Conti Gran Prix TT, front - 23mm, rear - 25mm.
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Re: Flat tire comparison - front wheel versus rear wheel [IT] [ In reply to ]
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FYI.

The reason for my multiple rear flats was due to the rim tape wearing out on the rear wheel. The wheel is a reputable brand and I've had it for three years. The significant difference is that the rim "tape" was that tough plastic that they use to bundle freight rather than cloth tape.

It was such a slight imperfection along the rim tape, that to touch, it didn't seem like it could be a problem. Nothing like a spoke pushing through rim tape. More like a little sliver along one edge.

After keeping several tubes, it seemed like the puncture was in the same place (plus or minus 1-2"). When I put a new tube in, it would usually last one to two months and then blow after/while riding over a bump.

Since I was new to an urban area and was seeing a lot of trash in the bike lane, I assumed it was from riding over the trash. There were several nicks and some real punctures in that rear tire that kept my wrong assessment going.

So if you are getting more than your share of flats in either wheel, check the rim tape too.

Indoor Triathlete - I thought I was right, until I realized I was wrong.
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