Sharon’s first 2012 Commuter Flat…

22 10 2012

Sharon taking off her front wheel to fix a flat…

Sharon got her first flat of 2012 and first flat in well over 12 months. Not bad at all. She’s running Grand Bois Cypres 700 x 30mm tires. These are fast, supple and comfortable tires with no flat protection. The benefit is she gets the maximum benefit from her pedaling effort and a comfortable ride. So far the Grand Bois are getting less flats than her previous tires that had some designed in puncture protection.

Trouble with getting so few flats is Sharon doesn’t get much practice fixing them. So she tackled the repair in my office so I could provide some advice. She only used tools she carries with her on her bike to ensure field repairs would be possible.

Sharon fixing her own bike…

Sharon located the hole in her tube and used that information to narrow down the search for the culprit in her tire. We found some glass that had cut her tire. It didn’t quite go through the casing. We discussed the pros and cons of using this tire vs. replacing it. She had a spare Grand Bois sitting around just for such a circumstance. She decided that since it was a front tire she wouldn’t take any chances and she’d replace it. She kept the old tire and will use it as a rear tire if needed at some point with a patch on the inside. Likely this tire won’t ever see action again as we’ll buy a spare from the Fairfield Bicycle Shop.

Small cut across tread…

It sucks to lose an expensive tire that’s nearly new, but given how little maintenance Sharon’s Surly Cross Check takes to keep working well as her commuter rig this is no big deal.


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20 responses

22 10 2012
Micheal Blue

I had this happen to my Marathon Racer tire. I also decided to replace the tire. i’ll be switching to Marathon Plus tires soon. While they may be harder to spin, I’d rather have the extra exercise than spend even one miserable time fixing a flat when it’s cold and/or windy. BTW, has it ever happen to you that when you were taking an air pump off a presta valve, the top part of the valve unscrewed?

22 10 2012
thelazyrando

Some presta valves have removable cores that can come out. Some don’t.

22 10 2012
Chris Cullum

The ones with removable cores can be tightened down with a small crescent wrench to prevent them from coming unscrewed when using a tread-on pump.

The Pasela 32 is a decent tire that is a good substitute for the Grand Bois Cypres. I’m not sure I’d commute on the Cypres, in the wet season I switch my 700C rando bike from the Cypres to the Pasela. The tread is a bit thicker and they are a lot cheaper while still having a nice ride to them.

22 10 2012
thelazyrando

If we exclude the time another cyclist T-boned Sharon she’s had one flat in 2 years on the Cypres so it hasn’t been particularly expensive to run as a commuter tire. She doesn’t generate much power so the fast rolling Cypres is worth the cost in terms of making her commute easier.

22 10 2012
Sean (aka Bigger Dummy)

I’ve been running some Stan’s tubeless sealant inside of my commuter tubes. The removable core tubes make it a quick conversion – just push the sealant in through a large syringe and a piece of rubber tubing. I heard about this idea in Moab where some of the shops do this with their rental bikes to protect against Goat’s head punctures

22 10 2012
Max

That tyre is still rideable!

22 10 2012
thelazyrando

Max – I would ride that tire on the rear of my bike, but I don’t take any chances on the front wheel. As far as Sharon goes she’s on the cautious side and doesn’t want to take the risk on running a tire that’s cut to the casing. We’ll hang on to it as a spare. It may see action on the back of her bike – it may not. Hard to say.

22 10 2012
rob campbell

Any opinions on mixing tires? Apropos to these comments, I have sets of both Cypres and Pasela Tourguards, and 3 wheels… (rear, front, and dynohub front). I plan to run the dynohub almost full-time, and it is indeed getting on the nasty season here in the PacNW. So Paselas on both, with Cypres on spare wheel, or will that (Pasela on rear) cancel out the benefits of the Cypres? I know I am overthinking this, but like to hear thoughts from others.

22 10 2012
thelazyrando

@Rob – I would run the dynohub all the time during the winter. It’s simple and you never have to think about it.

22 10 2012
rob campbell

Oh dynohub full-time, for sure… Let me clarify: I could run 2 Paselas, 2 Cypres, or one of each. Does one of each negate their benefits? I gather the Pasela is much more flat resistant, the Cypres is “faster”. So is there some wisdom in putting the faster tire on the front? Or just use the 2 Paselas until I have reason for a light and fast road ride? I bought the Cypres set when I thought I was going to get a bike with crappier tires, was a pleasant surprise to end up with the Paselas. Hope that clarifies.

23 10 2012
thelazyrando

I can’t see any reason to run 1 of each if you have a set of both. If the Paselas are fast enough and you own them I’d run them for the winter.

23 10 2012
daus300b

I have Gran Bois and got flats constantly. It turns out that since they are so thin, you need to go up one thickness in tube. I also added a tire liner and since my incidents with flats have gone down dramatically. Next pair is going to be the Vittoria Randonneur Hyper with reflective sidewall. Those tan sidewalls are going to get dirty anyway, so I opt for the solid black this time.

23 10 2012
thelazyrando

If you put a tire liner in a Grand Bois tire you are giving up the benefit of the supple casing so you might as well just get a stiffer tire.

If I had frequent punctures on a GB I’d look into running sealant in my tubes or setting up my tires tubeless.

23 10 2012
heather

Bummer! My husband bought a set of grand bois Cerf tires and was smitten immediately. But, he recently ran over something very sharp like an xacto knife blade that sliced open the tire and tube. Not fixable. That bike is now inside for the winter, but his winter road bike needs new tires and is reluctant to spend the $ on grand bois. I have panaracer paselas and I like them compared to other 26inch tires out there, but they do not last long. They are inconsistent-some get flats all the time, others fall apart in months, some are fine. My husband says the quality of paselas is terrible compared to Grand Bois and do not have the same ride quality either. Not having any experience with Grand bois tires, I cannot personally compare, but the gb build quality is superior.
The magnesium chloride put on the roads here eats at everything including tires, so paselas might be a winter alternative. However as you say, the improved riding far outweighs the risk of flats or damage. This is why I ride paselas instead of the more sensible schwalbe marathons. I am usually better at fixing a flat if nobody is looking, but if my husband is around he catches me doing everything wrong and takes over.

My IGH with drum brakes bike got a flat the other day and had to ride/walk all the way home because we didn’t have all the tools or even consider what would be required to repair the rear tire. The tires are continental city tires with kevlar ‘no flats’ protection. ha ha ha.

23 10 2012
daus300b

I was concerned about the “suppleness” of a tire liner, but it seems like tough uncompressible stuff. Its much more durable than rubber. I put it on my tires and didn’t feel a difference in ride quality or speed. The only difference was not coming to a flat on my bike the next day. I also have a small slash on my tire and kept getting flats at – you guessed it, the slash. I tried a dollar bill inside the tire and a tire patch. The one things that did fix it was the tire liner.

Gran Bois seems to fill a nitch market. By themselves, I think they are ideal for road cycling with comfort. They also look best for those that want a “randoneur” style bike. Here it was on my older frame, the rivendell quickbeam:

http://totravelisbetterthantoarrive.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/rivendell-quickbeam/

I wouldn’t take them on a mild gravel road with the thin tan sidewall and have not been a match for the broken glass streets of MIami.

I know I have express interest in the Vittoria Randoneur Hypers, but I may also go back to a good standby from my BF tikit days, the schwalbe Marathon. No, its not the fastest, by it beats having a flat on a ride.

23 10 2012
thelazyrando

Heather I have fixed rear flats without removing the wheel by popping one bead pulling out the tube and patching it then remounting the tire. Only works if you can patch the tube of course, buts saves you having to deal with the IGH.

23 10 2012
thelazyrando

Daus – I’ve got hundreds of KMs of gravel on my Grand Bois tires without a flat. I’m actually flat free on GB tires over thousands of KMs of riding. I haven’t found them particularly fragile. But then I again I don’t live in Miami!

23 10 2012
AaronM

I’d like to throw in my endorsement for Grand Bois tires, their tires are superb. The 650×42 & 700×30 have an excellent casing that I find far more flexible than others and have only suffered one flat on a gravel road. I was on the Cypres 700c tire then and I’ve got two years of solid riding under them. Being vigilant about tire pressure goes a long way in fending off some punctures. Some form of puncture protection is desirable but not at the expense or ride quality. If you ride often then why not invest in a quality tire. Schwalbe’s Kojak & Continental’s Gatorskin have got it the best so far.

24 10 2012
daus300b

I think there is more to the story on the flats than just the Gran Bois tires. I had a similar situation with constant flats with Greenspeed Scorchers and Parimotos 650b’s. I know you like these GS’s Vik, I swear this isn’t personal!! :)

What happened with the Greenspeed is that they were a larger thickness than my schwalble Marathons. The tube has to scretch more and gets thinner to fill the extra space. Combine that with a thinner tread and they are more suspectible to flats. All of my flats were the small pinhole slow leak type.

What I noticed is that tubes for 32-700c and larger all seem to be much smaller than the tire to fill up the space. I ended up getting larger tubes and this my have help stopped my flat issue. So when the tube is inflated, it stretches less and is thicker. Of course, I also combined that solution with the tire liner for both the Gran Bois and the Parimotos, so who knows which solution worked the most.

24 10 2012
thelazyrando

Just as a note my friend Kurt often rides exactly the same tires as me on the same roads and our flat ratio is probably 1:10. There is also more to getting flats than the choice of tires.

Ultimately though you gotta run with what works for you – not what works for someone else.

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