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Upgrading Tires
#1
Hi all:
I am currently deployed to Afghanistan and I have a Giant Cypress with 700x38C tires on it (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/bikes/lifestyle/2303/32209/). My problem is that I'm very quickly going through inner tubes (like 5x in the last 8 months). Others have told me that the problem is my tires. What's not clear to me is whether the wheel limits me to this specific kind of tire, and if it does whether changing the wheels on the bike are practical, and incidentally what kind of tires should I have for this terrain which is apparently kicking my bike's tooshie. I ride over a lot of rocks, and I understand my tires are more geared towards roads.
Can you advise me and Alex, could you consider making a video? I'm sure others would be interested how to do "upgrades" to their bikes. Any suggestions for specific products are welcome, as I want to get my bike back up and running.

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#2
G'day
Sheldon Brown (RIP) as a good sizing chart on tyre sizes. You just need to know your rim size. You might also want to look at replacing your OEM tyres with some better quality ones with better puncture resistance.
Regards
Andrew

Aushiker.com
@Aushiker on Twitter

A broken clock is correct twice a day
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#3
Road tires by their nature are pretty fragile. I even read of people having to be real careful with them in crossing railroad tracks, so they don't hit the wrong way and get pinched. Much more so, rocks, I suppose. Basically due to the small size and high pressure of the tires, I guess they can't take too much.
That's why the mountain bike tire tends to be wider and generally accepted for multiple terrain. But from what I read, they have risk of puncture too, especially on pointy rocks. Of course, there are things you could ride over/through that would puncture any tire.
My thought, though, is that there is a lot of the "run-flat" type technology that has come out in the cars that is starting to show up in bike tires, too. I see things like inner tubes with sealant inside and more expensive tubes that claim to never puncture, and so on. You might look in that direction for a replacement, if you can.
But on a more serious note, it sounds like it would be beneficial for you to inspect the tire that you are using for any kind of persistent cause of a puncture. Or check the tire. See this for more details that Alex talks about.

Why is it that they make adult bikes that'll generally work for 5'9" or above, yet when you pedal these same bikes they only work for someone who is 5'4" or so?
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#4
Thanks Sky and Andrew for your responses,
I definitely learned a lot more about tires. It's funny how everything is more complex than it seemed when I was a boy scout a long time back. I'm not smart on mechanical things so the simpler, the better.
So I understand according to Brown that the big thing is this BSD. In my case that's 622 which appears to be a pretty standard size. The width of my tire is 38, and by the chart there I understand I could probably get away with 44 or 47 based on a roughly 20-21 mm rim width.
The first question I have is practical. Would going from 38 to 44 or 47 in itself make a big difference in puncture resistance? Should I rather look at the tire type or the inner tube type?
The second question is more theoretical. How "upgradable" are the wheels of a bike? I mean if I get wheels that have a larger or smaller BSD will they work as long as the rim width is the same? How about getting a wheel with a larger rim width? (besides the obvious that it has to fit in the appropriate parts of the bike.
Thanks. I checked the insides of my tire and rim, and nothing was obviously poking.
Dion

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#5
Hi Dion
Whilst your rim may take wider tyres, getting them might be an issue and more importantly your bike frame (gap in the forks for example) might not take such wide tyres. Also the tyre width is not really your issue here (punctures).
At the end of the day, I suspect Giant provides a pretty low cost tyre. Are the ones fitted the Kenda 700x38 Multi-Surface? I couldn't find these listed on the Kenda website so suspect that these are a low cost OEM tyre. That is nothing special.
My suggestion would be get a good quality puncture resistance tyre, e.g, Marathon Plus HS 348 and/or puncture resistance tubes.
Maybe having a chat to your local bike shop about options would be worthwhile.
Regards
Andrew

Aushiker.com
@Aushiker on Twitter

A broken clock is correct twice a day
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