A punctured tire is probably one of the most unpleasant surprises that every cyclist can face. And it doesn’t matter what caused this unfortunate unpleasantness: failure to notice a sharp rock on the road, over-pumping the tube, or any other reason. But it is at this point, standing in the middle of the road, that you begin to think about the impermanence of everything in this world and the quality of the tire. Let’s leave philosophy for conversations at night, it is better to talk about the quality of rubber and such a concept as anti-spill tires for bicycles, as well as tell you what other ways to keep the wheels from a puncture.
Let’s say at once, anti puncture tires – this is not a panacea. However, according to manufacturers, the risk of punctured tire is reduced by 2-3 times. Let it remain on the conscience of the manufacturers, but we’ll see what’s so special about anti-piercing tires.
Levels of protection for Schwalbe run-flat tires
Guys who prefer long trips on bicycles, begin to prepare for the trip in advance, preparing a bike and meticulously checking the condition of each mechanism. Particular attention should be paid to tires and their resistance to mechanical stress. Experienced cyclists prefer tires Schwalbe. They are lightweight, have a harmonious tread pattern, have several degrees of protection against punctures, and are the best option in terms of price/quality ratio.
Schwalbe company produces six varieties of tires. Let’s consider each of them in more detail:
- No additional protective layer is used on these tires. The carcass is made of a rather coarse material.
- The carcass is of a higher density, no additional protection is used. Tires of this level are used for lightweight models of road bikes taking part in competitions.
- From this stage more serious models start, with a special anti-tread layer which covers not only the carcass, but also the tire from the inside.
- The tires are distinguished by a double layer of fiber, which does not weigh it down and is suitable for the wheels of sport bicycles.
- Non-elastic tires covered with the same double layer of nylon fiber. There is an additional high-tech layer that protects the sides of the tire, but does not weigh it down.
- Perhaps the most effective level of wheel protection against a puncture. Such tires are covered with an elastic protective layer with a thickness of 5 mm. Of course, to the detriment of the weight of the tire and its elasticity.
Essentially, it all comes down to increasing the thickness of the rubber and using high-tech coatings to increase its strength. Some manufacturers use kevlar in tire production – the material greatly increases rubber’s resistance to minor punctures, but at the same time increases the tire’s weight many times over.
Popular Schwalbe anti-tread tire models
Products of this company deserve special attention because they are preferred by experienced cyclists for whom the bike is not just a means of transportation or a passing fad, but a way of life and a loyal companion, who should not let down at the most inopportune moment. All Schwalbe anti-skid tires are divided into appropriate categories or series to satisfy even the most demanding customers:
- Evolution Line. The manufacturing process uses innovative technology optimized for a particular application.
- Performance Line is a harmonious combination of optimal weight, universal tread and affordable cost.
- Sport Line is a high quality tire, which is most often used for participation in various competitions. They produce anti-tread tires with a diameter of 26 inches.
- Base Line is the basic level of quality, which is characterized by low cost and designed for the mass consumer.
Schwalbe uses the following compounds in its production:
- Dual Compound – two grades of rubber, combined in one tire: in the center stiffer for better rolling, and at the edges – soft, for better traction in turns.
- Endurance is a tough and wear-resistant compound for touring tires.
- SBC is a simple and versatile compound.
- SpeedGrip – from the name it is clear that we are talking about the sports rubber, which is characterized by low resistance and good grip.
- Winter – tires for winter tires, which confidently overcome slippery surfaces and loose snow.
- Triple Star Compound is a whole family of triple compounds of German quality.
As for specific models, experienced cyclists recommend selecting tires according to the specifics of cycling. In particular, if you prefer to conquer forest trails and small mountain peaks, then you should choose a tire with the maximum degree of protection against damage. And if you occasionally get out for evening walks on smooth asphalt, as such there is no point in buying expensive tires with additional protection.
The anti-slip cycling gel
Is it realistic to increase the durability of the existing tire? Yes, and there are several options. First of all, you should pay attention to sealants, which are most often used on tubeless wheels. Gel based sealants have a whole range of advantages and distinctive qualities:
- spreads evenly over the surface;
- the sealant remains in a liquid state, but when the integrity of the chamber is broken, it fills the resulting hole as a result of air pressure;
- if the necessary amount of anti-piercing gel is injected, the camera can remain operable even after several dozen punctures;
- it is enough to pump 60-70 ml of gel-based sealant into the chamber with a width of up to 2 cm;
- Gel-based sealant contains antifreeze, which means that the wheel can withstand both low and high temperatures, so the gel can be used at any time of year.
The convenience of using a gel-based sealant also lies in the fact that the kit includes a container with the contents, a syringe and a special tube for pumping the gel into the “AV” type spool. Any other anti-spill fluid should be poured by deflating the tires beforehand. In turn, the wheels should not be deflated in order to pump the gel.
Other ways to protect tires from punctures
In fact, they all come down to the application of an additional layer of protection. It can be anti-tire tapes, liquids, gels and other sealants, which cover the inside or outside of the camera, thereby increasing their layer. Let’s look at each of them in detail.
Anti puncture “Hi gear”
A very effective product with which you can make emergency tire repairs. It is worth noting that “Hi gear” is also used to repair car tires.
The carbon fiber and polymers included in the composition are as strong as steel and are used in the production of body armor. A minor problem with this compound is that it has to be poured while the wheel is spinning, so it is better to get someone to help you distribute it evenly. To patch a puncture, “Hi gear” should be squeezed directly into the hole. Once it is completely dry, it will form something like a cork.
Hi gear” anti-puncture compound does not affect the balance of the bicycle in any way. Moreover, the composition is absolutely safe for metal and rubber parts of the bicycle. One bottle should be enough for repairing 7-10 holes. The “Hi gear” contains antifreeze, so you can use it in all weather conditions. Another plus to the positive qualities of the anti-tear agent: it does not accumulate in the lower part of the wheels during prolonged parking.
Bicycle anti puncture fluid
It is a budget-friendly way to protect and repair bicycle tires and is suitable for any type of wheel. The liquid should be poured immediately after the hole is formed or to prevent it (e.g., before a long ride). It is noteworthy that the maximum efficiency of this product is observed after 4-7 months. When pouring it inside, it remains in a liquid state. And when a puncture is formed, the liquid turns into a denser substance by interaction with the air, thus plugging the hole.
The composition does not emit any hazardous substances, so it is safe for humans and pets. In addition, the product is not flammable and can be easily washed off with normal water. Anti-piercing liquid consists of natural thickeners, thanks to which it turns into a clot at the interaction with air, i.e. at the moment of formation of a puncture. This composition creates a kind of protective film on the surface during the rotation of the wheel. About 150-200 ml of the product can be poured at a time.
As for the disadvantages of this agent, the anti-spill liquid does not provide proper protection to the sides of the tire. This product is ineffective for cracks, cuts and punctures larger than 3 mm.
Tape and Velcro
Technology never stands still: along with anti-tear fluid, effective “Hi gear” remedy, and protective gel, special tape has also appeared. Manufacturers produce it in a variety of colors to match the width of the camera. If you buy the widest tape, you can cover the sides of the tire. The principle of installation is clear even to a child: you just need to insert the latex tape inside the tire. If done correctly, this method of protecting the wheels will not affect the balance of the bicycle.
With its low cost, latex tape is one of the most effective ways to protect your wheels from punctures. To maximize the fixation of the latex inside the tire, double-sided tape is used.
As it turns out, avoiding a punctured wheel is not that difficult. The main thing is to address this issue responsibly. There are a lot of variants to avoid the annoying nuisance: from using anti-piercing fluid to buying special tires, which effectively resist any mechanical influences.