Puncture Proof?

2:22 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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Hi Everyone,

I am still trying to get a sewing machine and hope to do that soon, but wanted to know if you all could help me with something else.

I want to find a material that is very puncture proof, (thorns and such) and since you all make stuff I thought you might have a suggestion.


3:17 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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I think that any material you can sew easily with a regular home machine will be pretty easy for a sharp thorn to penetrate.

Leather is one 'old school' solution.

Perhaps an 'inner liner' of thin flexible plastic (I use .015 Mylar for some fiberglass project molding; it would be quite puncture proof) would work?

Or, ultra-trendy would be titanium!

5:24 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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Snakey...there are a lot of materials that are resistant to punctures...the question is what do you intend to do with the material. If you are thinking along the lines of tent floor or bivy bottom...then Seattle Fabrics sells a nylon fabric called Super K-Kote Ripstop...it weighs 4oz compared to the thinner 1.3oz or typical 1.7oz tent floors. I used it for the floor of my bug-tent and would not be surprised if I retire the bug-tent before I puncture a hole in it. If weight is less important than durability this is certainly a great choice of fabric (probably the best for a water-proof tent floor).

7:56 p.m. on March 15, 2014 (EDT)
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burlap? :)

11:45 a.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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It definitely depends on what your making. 500 or 1000d cordura is probably the most durable and tough fabric on the market, also fairly inexpensive. It is a little heavier than other options though, and is really only best suited for packs. IMO 500d is plenty tough enough and while not as thick as 1000d it is more puncture resistant due to its tighter weave.

My pack is made of 500d cordura and is holding up very well after about two years of heavy use.

For things like tents etc a good quality silnylon ripstop fabric or a dyneema fabric is your best option. While they may not be punture proof or even puncture resistant really, they punture wont turn into a gaping rip or hole due to the ripstop grids. And in general its slick nature tend to "resist" puncture and damage in general due to things sliding or deflecting off of it easily.

Let us know what your planning to make and we can probably help you alot more.

12:03 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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<Let us know what your planning to make and we can probably help you a lot more>


The solution will depend on the application - and the thorn!

For resisting blackberry/raspberry canes, most fabrics will do well.

We used to have a 'Firethorn' Pyracantha coccinea (Scarlet firethorn) beside the house which seemed to be able to reach out and puncture me (with bloody results) whenever I passed by with the lawn mower. Those long and very sharp thorns would definitely pass through many fabrics.

A coated fabric to add to your list (for packs and similar) would be X-Pac which has a shiny plastic-like surface. Buy at diygearsupply.com or ask Scott (owner) there for advice.

12:28 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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Leather is one of the best materials that is thorn proof. But it is heavy and needs to be water proofed to stay dry.

1:41 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I camp with a mountain bike, a fat bike no less.  These bikes have fat tires, hence the name, which are 3 to 4 inches wide.  They are really easy on the trails, and are very comfortable to ride, however the wide tires pick up thorns like a magnet.  They do not make many types of tubes for these things and so you either have to slime the tires or patch them when you get a flat.  I have scowered the bike sites for ideas but with little success, so I thought you all may have suggestions.

I was thinking of making a lightweight liner to go in between the tube and the tire, a fabric that is puncture resistant, light and somewhat flexible.  (no...they do not make anything...at least not wide enough.) 

Many of you already make your own stuff, and as you have noted, these fabrics work great for ground clothes or tent floors, having many of the same characteristics.  I cannot seem to find a site that sells just the fabric...well one place that Joesph Renow mentioned.  

I moved to Sacramento a few weeks ago, from ND, and only ride bike...no car.  So I really need to find a solution...any help would be appreciated.


2:57 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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It looks to be on the pricey side, but what about kevlar tape?

3:39 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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kevlar isnt puncture proof, not even remotely close to it.

Just fill your tires with fixaflat foam and call it good =P

9:41 p.m. on March 16, 2014 (EDT)
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I may go tubeless and use slime...that's seems to be what most people do, but when you do pull off the tire it is a big stinky mess.  I just patched the tubes for now, but I got a 29" MTB tube and made a liner out of that by slicing it lengthwise.  Heavy way to do it though.  The fabric would be nice as it would be lighter.  I found some stuff called Turtleskin, but they won't sell me the fabric as they sign exclusive contracts.  

10:02 a.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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I do some bikepacking too. I've used "Mr. Tuffy" liners with mixed results (http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1096488_-1_400234__400234). You could glue or tape two together, side by side, and see if that works. Otherwise, I'd consider a double layer of tube, glued together with rubber cement.

12:17 p.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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so, for clothing, heavier cotton duck or cotton blend is highly resistant to thorns and branches.  particularly waxed cotton duck, like Filson uses in their tin pants and jackets.  i would think at least 10 oz fabric with a tight weave. 

cordura 500 or heavier is common for high-wear areas on backpacks, like the bottom.  some people like dyneema/spectra for that too - it's a fabric where a normal sewing machine might have limits,  you probably need abnormally strong needles and thread to effectively work with spectra. 

tent materials? wouldn't worry about being resistant to thorns. 

3:31 p.m. on March 17, 2014 (EDT)
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I have no idea about what to use as a liner between a tire and tube. However...since you mentioned that you cannot find sites that sell fabric I thought I would mention a few.

Seattle Fabrics (not a personal favorite...but a wide selection)

Quest Outfitters (good prices...wide selection...one of the few places that consistently has treated downs and Primaloft One available)

Thru-Hiker (one of the best for more advanced materials)

Z-packs (a personal favorite for more advanced materials)

Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics (I hate the way you order materials through them)

The Rainshed (a lot of fleece choices and other apparel fabrics)

DIY Gear Supply (a personal favorite...usually the cheapest site for the most commonly used fabrics and materials)

10:05 p.m. on March 18, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks everyone  :D

3:58 p.m. on March 20, 2014 (EDT)
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Some protective fabrics can be "puncture resistant" but any woven fabric in a single layer cannot be puncture proof. Just think about the mass with which you are driving that thorn into your tire. 

You might wish to fill your tires with a shear-thickening fluid (STF). : )  It would be an interesting riding experience and it should stop thorns. Of course, it might stop you as well. Every bump would cause the tire to become solid for a second.

5:44 p.m. on March 20, 2014 (EDT)
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Thinking outside the square (in this case help from outside the sport) can be good but I would think that ,given  biking is many more times popular than hiking and that many cyclists spend a lot more money than hikers do on their gear, if there was a home made solution, a cyclist would have come up with it by now. Neither tent material nor groundsheets/footprints need to be as puncture resistant as a tire because the forces involved are very different

Anyway , this is a thread discussing the problem : http://forums.mtbr.com/fat-bikes/fat-flats-789715-2.html

and here is a comment about two of the existing puncture resistant layers :

Puncture-resistant belts work but they're not created equal: Nylon, aramid and other belts placed under the tread do help ward off flats but there are benefits and trade-offs to the various materials. Tougher ones like aramid are durable and highly cut- and puncture-resistant but their stiff nature sucks up a lot of energy, contributing to rolling resistance. More flexible ones like nylon aren't as bulletproof but offer a better compromise if you still want to retain good performance.

10:35 a.m. on March 21, 2014 (EDT)
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Thanks again...for now I have found a solution, but I will re-read the MTBR thread.

9:19 a.m. on March 30, 2014 (EDT)
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Short of a ribbon of thin metal, nothing comes to mind that will preclude thorn flats. 

Racers have puncture flat issues too, because of the thin running surface of their tires. Road flats usually are not instantly created; rather the penetrating object is driven progressively deeper with each tire rotation.  To reduce this problem riders will hold a gloved hand to the rolling tire for a few revolutions every so often, and after rolling through debris, to wipe any sharps of the tire before they fully penetrate.  There is also a little device that mounts to the brake pivot bolt of standard road bikes that positions a wire formed to the profile of the wheel's tread. This device alleges to clean the tire automatically.  Regard of using both glove and wire device, I still got lots of flats.

In the end I don't think there is much any of these tricks will do for you, as off road thorns of significant girth can instantly penetrate the tire.  Another concept that may work is coming up with a roll flat concept, such a RTV foam you can fill the inner tube with, that once cured will preclude the effect of a flat, or at least reduce it so the ride can be completed before attending to the tire.


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