As Mr. Paranoia on the prospect of thorns and other road debris burrowing into sewups, I have only vivid memories of great discomfort to impart on the benefits of tire savers. My paranoia grows out of my experience with the Velox sewup tire kit widely distributed in the late '60's early '70's--it featured a plastic thimble. I hope I'm not the only unfortunate patcher of sewups to discover the hazard of working the needle with that placebo thimble: the needle can and will puncture the thimble and the entrapped digit. I went to a sewing awl after that event; it has all the psychological therapeutic value of learning to reflexively jerk your hand away from a fire. Hence, the paranoia relative to all the unseen evildoers seeking to puncture my sewups. As an embarrassingly bad racer, I regard myself as Everyman and that goes for gloving as well. As someone who recently discovered a cache of tire fragments, I realized I had created a mini production line for patching sewups and tubes. I'm Green now and evidently recycled with a latex/butyl passion 35 years ago, but it also accurately described my fear and loathing of punctures and further possibilities of becoming impaled on my sewup needle. So with the passion of one borne by the irrational I stuck all sorts of tiresaver/thingamajigs on fenders, brake bolts, seat clamps and the like. The most ubiquitous was the Velox thingie -- punched metal badge, plastic arms acting as soft springs encasing a round cable cluster that rode on the tire -- that was gentle to say the least and was designed to discourage burrowing thingies before they got a grip: an argument midway between the first stab effectiveness of a puncture bound object and the more insidious burrowing mini-thingie that worked its way into your bad graces. They were popular and effective on items that would be the best candidate for gloving removal and they were immediately effective...and gentle as the cable was round and the plastic and only a couple pounds force. I have a few of another popular tire saver that probably gave rise to all the most denigrating jibes at the entire family of such devices: an aluminum device with an eye on one end to attact to brake bolts, a 2-inch sixteenth inch arm that extended from the mounting eye to an arching half-moon approximation of the horizon that purports to be an outline of the tread. This half-moon, perpendicular to the supporting arm, conformed to no tread I ever owned, so it aggressively scrubbed the tire until some goo such as a dessicated fig punched it. Then, being a rigid construction, the tire wiping half moon was jarred beyond reach of the tire. The good news is that because of the aggressive unelastic pressure against the tire, wear eventually shaped the "saver" to conform to the tire, and yes, the tire managed to outlast the saver. Hence, use one at your peril, use the other with the understanding that a little gloving now and then is a good thing.
Harrison Lee Stockton, "you gotta be lost" Calif.