What are the disadvantages of "puncture proof" (or puncture resistant) tires?

  • Some people refer to tires that are more resistant to punctures as "puncture proof" tires.
    For example: Specialized All Condition Armadillo Tyre

    Even though these tires are not really puncture proof, they do reduce a lot the chances of puncturing. So the advantage is obvious.

    Apparently, they're not too expensive compared to regular tires. So, I was wondering why people would choose not to use these more resistant tires. What are their disadvantages?

    Well, they *are* more expensive. If not, I believe nobody would ever buy (nor produce a new bike with) non-resistant tires.

    jensgram: There are reasons why you would not buy/produce ONLY non-resistant tires. I would never put them on my road bike, as they are too heavy.

    Very nicely asked question!

    If you have wide tires with presta (car style) valves then the self sealing slime stuff works very well.

    @Martin Beckett - I think you mean Schrader valve which is what most cars would use. The Presta valve is specific to bikes.

  • Though there no doubt are "puncture-resistant" tires that seek to accomplish that end by means of extra-thick rubber, for the past 15-20 years the standard for puncture resistance has been Kevlar belted tires, which look and ride like ordinary tires and weight essentially the same as ordinary tires (maybe a few grams more).

    The Kevlar belt under the tread increases puncture resistance by at least a factor 10, eliminating most common glass/thorn punctures, and also reducing the tendency of the tire to "bruise".

    Price wise, my recollection is that they are about 30% more expensive than standard tires, but they likely last that much longer (plus save a lot on tubes), so the cost is pretty much a wash. (The odd thing is that Kevlar-belted tires are so hard to find.)

    Some people apparently confuse "Kevlar belted" tires with "Kevlar bead" tires. The latter are "folding" tires and are supposedly desired because they are a hair lighter than metal bead tires, plus they can be folded and stuffed in a pannier. But you can buy Kevlar belted with a metal bead (my preference, since folding tires are a PITA to install), and Kevlar bead tires are not necessarily Kevlar belted (in fact, most often not).

    Update: Last Saturday I had my first puncture in maybe 5 years (maybe 2000 miles), while finishing up a 35-mile morning. Just got around to fixing it because it's been ungodly hot and humid. (Hitched a ride home the last two miles, since there was no way to fix the flat in 95-degree weather on a 4-foot shoulder in the sun with traffic whizzing by at 70 MPH.)

    The culprit was apparently a construction staple that had pierced the tire just outside the belt, gone through the sidewall of the tube, and then punched a bigger hole in the inside diameter of the tube.

    I do notice the tire is wearing a bit thin, so I'll probably have to replace it within a year or so. I'm dreading trying to find a 700/35c road tire with Kevlar belt, though -- the catalogs are now full of off-road tires and cater even less to the touring market than they did 5-10 years ago.

    OK -- To make this into a direct answer to the question, the main disadvantage of Kevlar belted tires is that you forget how to change a tire, you do it so rarely.

    I've been using Kevlar-belted tires for a while; no flats yet. Near the end of the life of my previous pair, when they were wearing a bit thin, I actually managed to tear a bit of rubber (1-2 cm long) off the central strip. I didn't notice when it happened, and suspect I rode for a week with the belt exposed there. I'm pretty sure they work.

    I believe some brands like Gator Hardshell tires also put some of the protective "magic" into the sidewalls. This can add a tad bit of weight. I'm told this makes the ride rougher, though I can't tell the difference.

    The question was about disadvantages, and the only two you mention are cost and punctures. This reads like a counter to the other answers. I don't think it's up to your usual standard.

    I ain't got no standards. (I was basically attempting to clarify the question, particularly about what is and isn't "puncture resistant".)

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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