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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been getting what seems like constant pinch flats on my new bike, a 04 Specialized Epic Comp. It has stock wheels and tires. They get annoying and one knocked me out of the top five spot in last Sunday's race at Blue Marsh (PA). I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to remedy this problem. Oh, BTW, I am running 40-42 PSI in the tube, so it's not super low.

Jake
 

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PAmtbiker said:
I have been getting what seems like constant pinch flats on my new bike, a 04 Specialized Epic Comp. It has stock wheels and tires. They get annoying and one knocked me out of the top five spot in last Sunday's race at Blue Marsh (PA). I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to remedy this problem. Oh, BTW, I am running 40-42 PSI in the tube, so it's not super low.

Jake
Go tubeless ;) Stan's or UST - that will stop it for sure! :cool:
 

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PAmtbiker said:
I have been getting what seems like constant pinch flats on my new bike, a 04 Specialized Epic Comp. It has stock wheels and tires. They get annoying and one knocked me out of the top five spot in last Sunday's race at Blue Marsh (PA). I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to remedy this problem. Oh, BTW, I am running 40-42 PSI in the tube, so it's not super low.

Jake
What are your rims and are you sure they're pich flats? I ask because I had a problem with Mavics a few years back, the rim strip didn't seem to stay where it was supposed to so once in a while, a spoke hole became uncovered and the tubes got pinched there. I just switched the rimstrip for a tape type strip and no more problems. Much cheaper than going UST if that's the problem...
 

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coating the tubes with talcum powder is supposed to help keep them away from the rim/tire so it floats more in the wheel. Theorectically, it helps reduce pinch flats and acts more like a tubeless wheel, reducing rolling friction within the wheel itself.

I don't pinch often, maybe twice a year.

Maybe a Slime tube while racing?
 

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-picking better lines would help.
check the sidewall of the tire. If it is very thin you would get pinch flats. Last year I got 2 pinch flats on both tires at same time flying down on a rocky trail. Front had 2 seperate spots with holes. The tires were kenda klimax 345g and tubes were 65g lunar lights that meant to be used for smooth trails. After that day I don't use those on technical trails. Correction: I have not used them since then.

If it all fails you could go UST like others suggested to reduce the chance of pinch flats.
 

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stoked said:
-picking better lines would help.
check the sidewall of the tire. If it is very thin you would get pinch flats. Last year I got 2 pinch flats on both tires at same time flying down on a rocky trail. Front had 2 seperate spots with holes. The tires were kenda klimax 345g and tubes were 65g lunar lights that meant to be used for smooth trails. After that day I don't use those on technical trails. Correction: I have not used them since then.

If it all fails you could go UST like others suggested to reduce the chance of pinch flats.
I only use regular heavy 195 grams butyl tubes and make sure pressure is high enough on my tubed bikes and I haven't got a pinch flat in a long time (not one in the last year). I don't trust too light tubes and I hate getting flats so... My main bike has UST now so I can go with lower pressure without worries.
 

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If you are getting snakebites/pinch flats, you need more pressure. At 205 lbs, I would have to run 55-60 psi minimum in a racing tire to keep from pinch flatting. Plus higher pressure rolls faster, good for racing.

Check your tire pressure with a high quality pressure gauge, not the one built into your pump -- pump gauges often read higher-than-actual pressure.
 

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I know it's not the best answer to your question, for many reasons, but I'll pile on to the UST-promoting crowd here and say that I haven't had a pinch-flat in 4 years of riding UST, usually at pressures of 30-40psi. To be fair, I didn't have serious problems with pinch flats before going UST.

Shiggy is right, UST does not make flats 100% impossible, but it sure makes them much less likely, all other things being equal.
 

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A number of factors... What tires are you using...

The lighter the tire the more likely you will pinch flat.

The lighter the tube the more likely you are to pinch flat.

The lower the tire pressure the more likely you are to pinch flat.

You are more likely to pinch flat the rear on a HT (all other things being equal).

Those are all the things we try to do to when xc racing. You can't get something for nothing. (Don't listen to the fellow above who says higher tire pressures are faster. Incorrect on all but the smoothest trails. He must be a roadie.) Without changing your entire set up you may just want to change tires and closely watch your pressures. I race xc on a HT and use light tubes. My fighting weight is 170 plus gear. Tires vary but I've used Bontrager Revolts when it's not too muddy. This year I've got only a few miles (no races yet) on IRC Serracs. As long as I closely watch my pressures I rarely pinch flat and my strong point is being fast on the downhills. I typically run 36 psi up front and 40 psi in back. That's not that high for my weight and using a HT. I'm in PA as well and the trails are super rocky. Picking my lines and checking my pressures before every ride are the most important factors.

Side notes. The Serrac's are one awsome xc tire. A bit higer volume would be nice but beside that they are great tire. They roll fast but still have tons of traction. At 585g they are a bit heavy for xc racing but with light tubes the combined weight is good. They say they have some type of snake bite protection in the bead.

How's the course at Blue Marsh? I've never ridden there. Before I was shut down with an injury I had plans to do the race. Give us a race report. How manyrriders? Were the conditions good? I hear it's a relatively smooth course.

Mike
 

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get rid of those tires !

PAmtbiker said:
I have been getting what seems like constant pinch flats on my new bike, a 04 Specialized Epic Comp. It has stock wheels and tires. They get annoying and one knocked me out of the top five spot in last Sunday's race at Blue Marsh (PA). I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to remedy this problem. Oh, BTW, I am running 40-42 PSI in the tube, so it's not super low.

Jake
If you consistently getting pinch flats on specialized tires, you have to get rid of those tires. The rubber of those tires are defective from the factory. There is no point of keeping it. Specialized often install crapy tires on their bikes. I buy specialized bike because the company makes good frame otherwise, theirs tires are junk. You must buy tires from dedicated tire manufacturer such as panaracer, michelin, hutchinson.
 

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Picard said:
If you consistently getting pinch flats on specialized tires, you have to get rid of those tires. The rubber of those tires are defective from the factory. There is no point of keeping it. Specialized often install crapy tires on their bikes. I buy specialized bike because the company makes good frame otherwise, theirs tires are junk. You must buy tires from dedicated tire manufacturer such as panaracer, michelin, hutchinson.
:confused: I disagree. Specialized tires are not "junk." Some brands of tires work better or worse for different riders. I tend to pinch flat Continental tires (a "dedicated tire manufacturer") more than any other brand. Does not make them bad tires.
 

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I know at least some high-end Specialized tires are made in France.

Now, I cannot remember if I heard this, or convinced myself of it along the way, but I think these might actually be contract-manufactured by Hutchinson. ??? This of course would not be a bad thing, in my book. But really I have no clue if this is true.
 

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mcgarry said:
I know at least some high-end Specialized tires are made in France.

Now, I cannot remember if I heard this, or convinced myself of it along the way, but I think these might actually be contract-manufactured by Hutchinson. ??? This of course would not be a bad thing, in my book. But really I have no clue if this is true.
I think only the Tubeless tires are made by Hutchinson, Specialized had problems with their UST before so they got the best to manufacture the tires for them.
 

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shiggy said:
You can still pinch flat a tubeless tire. Hit hard enough and you cut the casing. Just harder to do, at least with UST.
I guess you're right...I should have been more verbos.
Go tubeless Stan's or UST - that will stop you from pinch flatting tubes for sure! Because you won't have a tube to pinch!
Better? :p :D

IMHO - if you hit with enough force that the rim cuts the side wall, you're got bigger problems than flatting. ;)
 

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Dan Gerous said:
I think only the Tubeless tires are made by Hutchinson, Specialized had problems with their UST before so they got the best to manufacture the tires for them.
I also pinch flatted 2x at Blue Marsh. The first time I pinched the rear while riding onto one the bridges, the second time I'm not sure what happened. I'm 160lbs and always ride with 45-50psi, however I do get alot of pinch flats. I was using Racing Ralphs at this race which probably didn't help.

The real reason I'm replying is to give my feedback from trying tubeless tires. I tried them last year and flatted 3 times, once on each of my first 3 rides, and never used them again. The first time I think I pinch flatted from only running 40psi, the next 2 times I tore very small holes in the sidewall from riding very rocky terrain (central PA). I had notubes sealant in the tires, and none of them were able to seal. All 3 flats were in the rear.

This is just my expierience, but I just want to show that tubless isn't always better. Expeccially considering that its really hard to get the tubless tire off/on while on the trail to get a tube in, and the tire is most likely destroyed once you get a flat. After $100 worth of tires in 3 rides I was finished!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Wow...

Miker J said:
How's the course at Blue Marsh? I've never ridden there. Before I was shut down with an injury I had plans to do the race. Give us a race report. How manyrriders? Were the conditions good? I hear it's a relatively smooth course.

Mike
I really didn't think I would get this much response, yuo guys are great. As per the Blue Marsh course, it is mostly smooth, fast singletrack all the way around the lake. There is also a section of steep loose switchbacks climbing up the back side of the mountain. It was a good race overall, very fast and with just a little technical riding. There were probably about 450-500 riders there total, and my class (Junior Beginner's 17-18) had 11 other guys. The first climb up the ski slope was sort of grueling, but was quickly rewarded with a blasingly fast downhill (complete with water bars to jump off of) on the other side. We then crossed a paved bridge over the lake and dropped into some sweet singletack along water. That is where I got my flat. You then continue along the lake, and finally into the woods, then back down the ski hill. It's a very good course, and I want to go back and ride around the lake sometime. I had fun, even after fixing my flat.

Anyway, I have a pair of FireXC Pro's on my old bike, I guess I could throw them on and see how I like them. Personally, I like the Roll-X's better because they roll faster and have the almost the same traction. Might that work? I never got pinch flats on my old bike, and it was a HT. It would be great if I could find a tire as durable as the FireXC, and as fast rolling as the Specialized, although as they say: Cheap, Light, or Strong- Pick two...

Jake
 
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