I've had a spate of punctures recently. First of all the rear tyre on my recumbent punctured on a recent ride. I got another puncture on Saturday night on my town bike. A very sharp piece of pointed stone had gone right through the tyre. In winter and in the wet, bike tyres are very much more prone to punctures.
In the past I've tried every type of anti-puncture device. Nearly 20 years ago I tried "greentyres." These are solid (or microcellular as they like to describe them) bike tyres which were extremely difficult to get onto the rims and resulted in a harsh and slow ride and broken spokes. They were enough to make me realise why pneumatic tyres are such a good idea.
I tried Mr Tuffy strips which did prevent punctures for a while, but the sharp edge slowly made a long cut around the entire circumference of the tyre, which caused a completely non-fixable puncture.
The idea of a barrier is good, though, and there are better products. I found the Panaracer Flat-awaystrips to work very well. These are not made of hard material, but a sort of kevlar "cotton wool", so they don't damage the inner tube. I had one of these left in the cupboard full of bike bits and it has gone into the town bike front tyre.
The recumbent is another story. I've been running a worn Tioga Comp Pooltyre on the back. That's a good fast tyre in the summer, but is too hard a rubber compound for grip in the winter and it's not terribly puncture proof either.
I am switching back to the reliable Vredestein tyres that I mostly have used before. I had extremely good luck with the Vredestein Monte Carlo, having never had any punctures at all with those tyres (I've had flats, but only due to faulty tubes) even though I've got through several sets and even when I've worn them down to almost nothing at all. So, for my PDQ I'll be looking out for another Monte Carlo, or the new replacement, the Vredestein Perfect Moiree.
Since writing this text, I've found that even the Vredestein Perfect Moiree is vulnerable to the small sharp stones which seem to be so common around here. The ultimate puncture resistant tyre, with which I've not had a puncture at all, would seem to be the Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
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