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I've got a stock GF Marlin and I'm looking to drastically reduce the flats I'm getting. I ride on very rocky mostly flat trails and the tires go flat AFTER each ride. There are thorns and cactus along the trail which I'm sure contribute to the problem. I weigh 190 and ride at 40psi. I'm not a serious rider, but I demand my equiipment to work. Is there a tube out there that is less prone to puncturing?--I assume that is the main problem since I've seen the ends of a few thorns on the inside of the tires when I'm changing tubes. The stock tires are Bontrager and I'm wondering if it might also be an advantage to get different tires as well. I do occasionally ride on the street so I would need to strike a balance if I get new tires. Thanks for the help!
 

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My experience

I just got back from a Utah trip and ha trouble picking up thorns. My slime tubes went flat so I replaced them with thorn resistant tubes. They are very heavy with thick rubber that is "thorn proof". They worked well for me but me experience is limited.
 

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I know its kind of cheese di(k but on my rigid steel frame that I use for commuting and bike path rides with a bike club I belong to, I put kevlar tire liners in. They are not cheap, but they work for thorns and are way lighter than the thick plastic liners or thorn proof tubes. On the bikes we use for the kids we use schrader valve tubes and fill them with slime. When we see a thorn, we pull it out and keep riding. We do have to change a few tubes a year but not too many. Try the kevlar, they work. :rolleyes:

Let me explain about the "kids". The club I belong to is sponsored by our local police department. The cops meet inner city kids while conducting their business, if the kids show any interest in riding, the cops have their parents sign a waiver and they join the club. Once a month when the weather is nice our club picks the kids up from their homes and we take them for bike rides. We feed them lunch and by then we are ready to take them back to their parents. In winter we get each kid a city recreation center card and take them to the area rec. centers to swim, play ball etc...I didn't mean to hijack your thread but I didn't want anyone to think anything evil thoughts when I said KIDS
 

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There are several things that could be happening. You need to determine what is causing the fllats. look at the hole(s) in the punctured tube (by inflating and submerging it) If the punctures are occurring in pairs (spaced radially 1/2 to 1" apart) you are pinch flatting (catching the tube between a rock and the rim, aka snakebites because of the paired holes) and you nee to either run higher pressure, heavyweight (ie downhill) tubes or larger volume tires. At 40 psi your pressure is fairly high (you could only go up a little more) so your best bet would likely be higher volume (larger casing) tires and/or heavier tubes. See Shiggys site for accurate info on tire sizes (the tire sizes given by tire manuf are typically not accurate. ie. there are many 2.30's that are actually smaller than others rated at 2.1 or even 2.0)

If the punctures are not occurring in pairs ("snakebites") then they are likely ordinary punctures (ie thorn punctures) When you fix a flat take great care that the thorn is no longer in the tire. Many times a thorn will break off from the outside but still be in the tire casing. After you change the tube the old thorn still in the tire will puncture the new tube (and this doesn't necessarily happen immediately, it could take an hour of riding till the thorn works it's way into the new tube.) When you change a tube turn the tire inside out and check it carefully for thorns poking through (run your fingers over the inside surface) You can also step up to heavier (thornproof) tubes, a little more weight but a lot more difficult to puncture.
 
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