For commuting I'm a big fan of Mr. Tuffy tire liners.
The liners will increase rolling resistance and make your bike feel a little more sluggish. I wouldn't put them on my sport bike but for commutes flats are very inconvenient so to me it is worth it. Don't consider solid tires though. Tuffys will hurt your ride a bit but solid tires will ruin it. Makers claim they ride great but all solid tires are slow, heavy, and have a harsh uncomfortable ride.
Mr. Tuffys prevent most punctures. I use them on my commute bike and go years between flats.
As others have said, try to determine the cause of your flat. When you don't find anything in the tire look for other causes. If you are bottoming out due to underinflation than you will often see punctures that look like "snake bites" Two slits a short distance apart. You could also have a sharp or rough spot on your rim causing flats; if you find this you should get rid of it with a file or emmory cloth. Your rim strip may be failing under pressure allowing your tube to protrude into the rim; if your rim strip is failing replace it with Velox cloth rim tape (the best rim strip available for decades). If you don't find any of these problems chances are that you ran over something sharp that didn't stay in your tire.
Fitness Minutes: (73,076) Posts: 11,620 6/23/09 9:41 P
I took the tire off and examined it, no sharp objects and no damage. I examined the tube and couldn't find any apparent leak, but as soon as I put it back on it was going flat again. So I put on a new tube. Maybe that was just a bum tube.
Michelle Be as you wish to seem.
Fitness Minutes: (73,076) Posts: 11,620 6/23/09 4:03 P
I do have a spare tube (brand new, while the others were spares that the previous owner of the bike passed along), but not a patch kit. I will see if I can get the tire all the way off to check it really well.
I'd change the tube but go around the tire VERY carefully to see if there's anything that may be causing the leak. Both inside and outside - use gloves just in case you stab yourself. Normally a slow leak is going to be something small, like an embedded bit of glass/gravel or a staple, etc. Also check your rim tape to make sure that it's actually covering the spokes.
If you can trace the source of the flat on your old tubes and figure out where that spot is on the tire that'll make your life easier. The best way to do this in the future is line up the tire label with the valve stem. Not only does that look neat, it gives you a great method to match the tube with the tire when both are off the wheel.
In God we trust, all others bring data. - W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise. -P.Z. Pearce
OOC, You answered it - Before patching or replacing the tube again, check the tire. Maybe use a flashlight if you can't feel anything. Sometime glass or metal will reflect the light. A good tip is to line the tire manufacturer logo with the valve when installing the tire. That way you can find the leak and quickly check the corresponding area of the tire. If there is a small hole in the tire you can patch it or place a small "boot" to ensure that the tube isn't sticking through. Make sure you have enough pressure in the tire to prevent pinch flats.
Keep us posted
Fitness Minutes: (73,076) Posts: 11,620 6/23/09 3:44 P
Here's my situation. I rode my bike to work because my car is in the shop and my husband is at work. I just replaced the tube due to a slow leak, and now this one has a slow leak. I was still able to get to work, but I had to stop once to pump it and was worried the whole time. My commute is 7 miles, approximately 30 minutes.
So, do I replace the tube again before I leave work today, this time checking the tire more carefully for something sharp inside? Or just keep pumping and try to make it home where it would be easier to deal with?
Any other tips? Besides spitting on the valve to see if that's what's leaking?
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