Tyre/Puncture Advice


Active Member
Hi, been a while since I posted here but always lurking :biggrin:

I "attempted" the Isle of Wight Randonnee on Sunday. Can't believe, despite the weather, how much a thoroughly enjoyed it! However I feel my bike may have let me down.

After zero flats in the past 6-7 months since I got the bike, I get three in one day! Lucky I had two spare tubes with me. However the third puncture 7 miles from the finishing line done me in and I ended up walking the rest.

So I thought I'd throw out a couple of tyre/tube/puncture questions and see what the experts here think my best solution is...

1) Am I being over precautionary thinking about changing my tyres? I read somewhere that Specialized Armadillo's are supposed to be very good at avoiding punctures. Are they worth a try or should I stick with my current tyres?

2) What about inner tubes? I picked up the cheapest inner tubes from Halfords, was that a mistake? What about the ones with the slime in, are they worth the extra? Do they actually work?

3) How exactly do you fix puncture by the road side? Daft question I know but I've never actually done it! I know how to find a puncture with a bowl of water and can repair it once found. Does anyone have any easy fool proof methods of finding the hole without spending half hour pouring my precious water supply over the offending inner tube?

Thanks in advance for any advice offered.


Quite dreadful
lost somewhere
In answer to the last point, just pump some air into the inner tube. You will very quickly be able to feel/hear where the hole is without any water at all


Regarding question 1, I was a convert to Specialized Armadillo's and had a high regard for them, but after a series of mishaps with them, outer laminate coming off, beading coming away, punctures, cuts in the tyre, and always having to after every ride remove numerous flints etc from the tyre, the majority which would have penetrated right through the so called protective band, I took advise from my usual LBS who recommended Bontrager race all weather and after a 1000 miles on them up to now, no problems with them at all, in fact hardly showing any wear, it is even very rare to find a flint stuck in them so I am now a convert to them and the best bit their a lot cheaper. I was lucky to get 700 miles out of a Armadillo without a problem or having to change it.

But other people will have different opinions of them, a lot of it though could have to do with the conditions you mainly have to ride in, my areas are prominently hilly with lots of flints and stones that get washed out when it rains and deposited all over the roads and remain there for ages.
1, There are many almost 'puncture proof' tyres on the market, Schwalbe Marathon Plus are very well regarded, as are any type of Specialized Armadillo branded tyre. None are truely puncture proof, but punctures with them fitted are very rare.

2, Tubes filled with slime can be more trouble than they solve. The fluid can bubble up into the valvepump when being inflated. Also, they can be hard to patch if the slime does not work properly first time due to the site of the hole being 'slimy'. IMHO, much better to stop the puncture in the first place where possible.

3, I inspect the outside of the tyre for the thornshardscrew etc. If I cannot, then running my fingers around the inside of the tyre generally locates the offending item quite easily. Using this as a guide, I can find roughly where the puncture is in the actual tube.
This of course depends on keeping the orientation of the tyre in mind, or even leaving it on the wheel so that all markers related between puncture, tyre and tube.

I hope this helps.


Powered by caffeine & whisky
After getting a few punctures i bought some Specialized Armadillos, that was nearly 500 miles ago and no puntures yet, and no picking out bits of flint or anything else for that matter. But there are loads on the market so have a good look round before you buy.



Active Member
Thanks guys. I'm begining to think that a good 7 months without a flat means my current tires can't be that bad but I will look at some puncture proof ones when I'm next feelin flush.

I think as for the rest it's a case of just getting on with it and learning to repair a tube on the road. I suppose I should look on the bright side - I've got three spare tubes to practice on!


Bexley, Kent
I have Bontrager race on my hybrid commuter (26 mile round trip). No punctures for over a year now. Maybe I've been lucky? Either way, they've become my tyre of choice for 23mm wheels. Schwalbe Marathon Plus on my Audax bike have proved similarly puncture resistant, and despite what some people say, I find they roll really well. They're not the easiest tyre to get on and off though, so on a dark, wet, windy night changing a tube could be fun.
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