Mr. Tuffee--Any Good?

  • Home
  • Mr. Tuffee--Any Good?
10 replies [Last post]
Anonymous's picture

I am undoubtedly the flat tire king, at least of the C-sig. I've had 3 flats since the c-sig began, with the last two of them on the same day (today).

Therefore, when the bike shop suggested Mr. Tuffee (I think that's the name of the product), I was very interested. It is a strip of rubber that goes inside the wheel between the inner tube and the tire. The clerk says it adds a little weight but makes the tire nearly impenetrable, which makes sense, since any object would have to work its way through both the tire and this stip.

Has anyone used it and do you have any opinions on it? Thanks!

Anonymous's picture
Bill Vojtech (not verified)

I have no personal experience with Mr.Tuffy, but I know people who used it when it came on the market. Some people ended up getting flats any way. Theory was that the plastic strip chaffed the inner tube. Also, it does not protect against sidewall cuts. From what I've heard, it deadens the ride. That might be ok for commuting, but do you want a dead ride on your pleasure bike?

The best way to avoid flats is to get a good floor pump. Pump your tires to the rated pressure before EVERY ride. Inspect the tread periodically and pick out any debris you find.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
All flats are not created equal

"Bad tubes (pinholes or weak seams), bad rim strips (especially the plastic ones), burrs anywhere on the rim - all can cause flats.

Punctures occur mostly on the rear tire because it carries most of the body weight, more often for heavyweights than lightweights (fact of life), and still more often once the rear tire begins to wear out and look square rather than rounded. Frequent flatting sometimes just means ""buy a new tire.""

Advice from the guys who commute by bike year-round (can you imagine fixing a flat in the winter?) - Specialized Armadillos.

Sometimes it's a mystery - supposedly one guy somehow managed to patch a tube with a piece of glass still inside it! You can guess the rest of the story.

I once had 13 flats in 8 months, finally realizing the tiny glass slivers were picked up on the sidewalk outside my building where the windows had all been replaced. Carrying my bike across the sidewalk instead of rolling it looked stupid but solved the problem. I also once met the flat queen of the Montauk Century - 7 flats in one day..."

Anonymous's picture
Peter (not verified)
rusty nails

I've had good luck with them while others have had flats as a result of them abraiding the tube. Make sure the ends of the tire strips are smooth. Judicious use of a cigarette lighter will help with that task - to melt and mold so I am told. I've been lucky as not further prep work was needed for me.

The one big negative with them is they add _considerable_ rolling resistance to the tire. You will notice a big difference in ride quality for sure. On the other hand, they do go a long way to prevent flats. I don't ever recall getting a flat using them other than the time my tire was punctured by a nail. No pneumatic tire will stop a nail, that's for sure.

I would not fret too much. A 2 flat day happened to me this past week, too. Luckily they don't happen too often. The 2nd flat was due to a nail which is too much for Mr Tuffy.

My 2 cent opinion is to not use Mr Tuffy for a recreational bike as the rolling resistance really takes away from the enjoyment of the ride. I would not hesitate to use them for a commuter bike as being 'on time' (and not arriving a greasy mess) is of great priority.

Anonymous's picture
fred steinberg (not verified)
Mr tuffy

I've been using Mr Tuffy for years on my off season bike to prevent flats on tires w/o Kevlar-belt flat protection.
They work very well; no flats through the tread.
But they do not protect the sidewall, so you can still get flats via sidewall cuts or snake bites due to under-inflation.

Anonymous's picture
Rick Braun (not verified)
Mr. Tuffy

I have no experience with Mr. Tuffy, but I want to reiterate what Bill Vojtech said and add what Annaline Dinkelmann taught me: always pump your tires the night before a morning ride or the morning before an evening ride. Thus, if you cause a flat while pumping, you will have time to fix it, rather than pumping up right before riding, causing a flat, and then not being able to ride.

Anonymous's picture
Evan Marks (not verified)
Flats before riding

Isn't that the argument for having several bikes to choose from?

Anonymous's picture
rick (not verified)
Mr Tuffy

it rocks....I currently have it in my tires and have yet to flat in the last few years.

Anonymous's picture
Alfredo (not verified)
Options: Mr Tuffy or Specialized Armadillos


I've tried Mr. Tuffy several years ago. It's practical if you're going low mileage, not-so-moderate paced rides. But I've used them on a self-sustained 5BBC 3-day tour from Newark to Philly & back via Staten Island (when the Goethals Bridge was open to pedestrians/cyclists).

You might consider using Specialized Armadillo tires. They are nearly flat resistant. I have a 23mm pair on my touring bike since 2001, no flats yet. It's not good for fast rides though--last year's B-SIG I replaced them with Continentals, after a few classes, on my fast bike.

Strangely enough, saw several road cyclists with Armadillos when doing last year's Longest Day double century.

Anonymous's picture
Chaim Caron (not verified)

Hi Alfredo,
Why aren't they good for long or fast-paced rides?

Anonymous's picture
Robert Gray (not verified)
Specialized Armadillo

Specialized Armadillo tires. They are nearly flat resistant. The only problem is that if you do have a flat, they are so tough, it is harder to fix the flat.
Other Specialized flak jacket tires ride better and are easier to change.

cycling trips