Re: [CR] Question: Tire Saver

(Example: Production Builders:LeJeune)

From: <>
Date: Tue, 6 Mar 2007 02:27:39 EST
Subject: Re: [CR] Question: Tire Saver

I don't know whether there is merit in the theory of flints being tipped up to impact the rear tire more than the front. However, I can assure you that the simple thorn-catchers do save my tires from the most damaging and most frequently encountered natural hazard in the southwest. From southern California through much of the dryer southern states we are plagued with a thorny botanical (tribulus terretris) commonly known as Goatheads around here. Originally an escaped species from along the Mediterranean, this low-growth ground-cover plant with small woody, multi-thorned nutlets has been rapidly spreading during most of the 20th century. They have 1/2 inch long thorns, one of which is usually pointed upward toward a tire because of their many pointed geometry (If you played with a "ball and jacks" as a child, you'll understand the principle of always-upright prongs).

These will puncture even the thickest treaded tires more easily than a well positioned nail or broken beer bottle. The low creeping plants require minimal soil and most commonly grow along dry sandy or barren patches, at roadsides, along bike paths, beside sidewalks, around traffic circles... basically everywhere a bicycle wheel might pass. The tire savers, thorn catchers or whatever they are called are supremely effective in ejecting these ever-present threats from my tires - many times each day. These anti-bicycle spikes can be both seen and heard as they are flicked off a tire on the first pass, and before they become fully seated into and through the tread.

Regrettably, with the coming of knobby treads on MTB tires, and the growth of a subsequent illogical myth that deeply grooved or roughly surfaced tire treads can also offer improved traction on road surfaces, the demand for those wonderful and cheap wire gadgets had diminished because they naturally work best on the smoother tire treads. They are close to extinction these days, so I buy them whenever I see some left over in an old bike. I seldom used them when growing up in Connecticut, but in the US southwest they work great and are seen on even the fanciest and newest racing bikes... whenever someone is lucky enough to find them and smart enough too use them.

Bob Hanson, Albuquerque, NM, USA

Phil Brown wrote:

The "tire saver" is one of the greatest hoaxes in cycling./ I all the years I

rode on sewups I don't think they ever saved one flat. The classic tire

saver-a piece of rounded wire with a couple of plastic tubes pressing it

against the-tire is incapable of exerting enough force to remove a grain of sand, much

less the ubiquitous "flint."

Phil Brown

They never worked in San Rafael, Calif.

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