Puncture Prevention Part 2
If you are using tyres with protective belting but are still getting penetration punctures, then it’s time to step it up a notch.
Puncture Resistant Tyres
If you want to reduce the risk of penetration punctures without adding a ton of weight or spending a fortune, use tyres with some form of protective belting. A weave of Kevlar or Aramid fibres is built into the casing to resist penetration punctures. While they typically weigh a few grams more than a fully fledged race tyre, they still perform admirably.
If you are using tyres with protective belting but are still getting penetration punctures, then it’s time to step it up a notch. Tyre liners are made from robust but flexible nylon and fit between the tyre casing and the inner tube. They add weight and stunt tyre performance but will dramatically reduce the chance of penetration punctures. Just ensure that the liners are fitted properly with no angled edges where they are cut to size—poorly fitted liners can actually cause punctures.
Thorn proof Tubes
Thorn-proof or heavy duty inner tubes are not really a popular option amongst roadies but some will use them in desperation. The outer wall of the tube is about five times as thick as a standard issue tube (see the cross section on the right) and this reduces the risk of penetration. They also weigh around 150g more than a standard issue tube—that’s 300g of additional rotating mass on your bike.
Self Healing Tubes
These inner tubes are filled with special sealant that aims to plug any holes before you lose too much air. Some claim to be able to ‘self-heal’ holes of up to 3mm in diameter. While I can’t vouch for their success, they may be worth a try if you ride on high puncture risk roads. The ‘Slime’ tube pictured weighs 170g which is around 60g more than a basic 700c tube.