Smart Sam Tire Life

I just picked up my new RAT today. First impressions on my 12 mile ride home are this is a great trike. I think I’m going to like it a lot! For those of you who have been RAT riders for a while, how many miles are you getting out of the stock Smart Sam tires? Just curious. Thanks!


  • I think the R.A.T. has only been out for little over a year and the Smart Sam's are a quality tire. I hope the tires last a few years but like all tires it depends on the surface your using them on.
  • I've had my RAT for 13 months now. I live in Wisconsin. Last winter I had two flat tires in two weeks. I hate patching tubes when it is below 30F. Both times I called my wife to come get me with the SUV. So I bought three Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires, 1.75 inches wide. Haven't had a flat since putting them on.
    The Marathons are quieter than the Smart Sams. When going down hills the Smart Sams had a rumble to them. For me, the Sams seem to have bump steer when going fast down hills. The Pluses track much straighter.
    I was concerned that the Marathon Pluses wouldn't give me enough traction in the snow. Didn't have any problems.
    I put several hundred miles on each set of tires. For my riding and preferences, the Pluses are slightly better than the Sams. Neither set shows any sign of wear. Gordon
  • The folks in Arizona & New Mexico not only swear by Marathon Pluses, they also fill them with True Goo Tire Sealant. They say True Goo weighs less, is thinner, won't clog tube valves, and just works better. Alternately, some prefer to go tubeless, which I have only automotive experience with.

    I only ride out west in the winters, so I compromised: A Big Apple Plus in the rear (good traction and rolling resistance) and I have 406 Schwalbe Marathon Racers on the front... and now all my tires have True Goo. 1000+ miles so far, and no flats.
  • In Southern new Mexico and AZ and a few other places), we have the evil "Goat Head" thorn from hell. My Smart Sams are way too thin for this area, (MY opinion only). Only used them till the third flat. Maybe 25 miles. Bought folding Kenda Small Block 8 tires, made the rims tubeless and I just ride. I went with the Kenda vrs Marathons as I do ride in the dirt quite a bit and need some type of knob tire. Plus the Marathons come with a wire bead, and I prefer a folding bead tire to go tubeless. Have three fairly new Smart Sams for sale lidwx4xt0g3e.jpg
  • TrikeBirder.

    Just looked at the True I could not find out how much to put in say a 20x1. Is there a recommendation/tire size?
  • edited August 7
    1/2 of their small bottle, or 8 ounces.
  • Next couple of questions.

    1) How do you fill a Presta valve tube with True Goo?

    2) Does the goo/liquid eventually gum up the valve?

  • I converted my Presta valves to Schrader valves- personal preference, so I can't honestly speak from experience with regard to Presta valve stems and True Goo eventually gumming up the valve. I can refer you to Ajo bikes in Tucson, Az- (520) 294-1434. The owner told me they recommend True Goo precisely because it does not clog the valve stem. Since the biggest complaints people seem to have concerning using some sort of puncture repairing goo seems to be the mess it leaves in/on wheel/tire, and clogging the valve stems, when a bike shop owner (Frank) recommends such a product, it's quite an endorsement. Frank told me True Goo would not clog my valves.

    As for filling a Presta valve equipped tube, I believe you would remove the valve stem innards, fill with True Goo using the squeezing the tube and it's thin nozzle top, reinstall the innards, and fill the tire with air. Find out more here:
  • Just got this reply from True Goo:
    "Hi Yes, if the PV is removable, simply screw it out. If it is not removable, taking it apart is usually best (most will come apart-with some exceptions). I have heard of folks installing Goo through a made up presta valve but it is harder--taking it apart is better"

    I guess I can practice (wo/the goo) on some old tubes I have, that I use for bungies.

    AJO Bikes. Really nice shop. I've been down there numerous times. I lived in Tucson for 28 years. Matter of fact I think I corresponded w/Frank when I was looking at getting the tandem.
  • For anyone making a trip out to Tucson anytime soon, Ajo bikes sells the schwalbe tires they remove from new Catrikes (schwalbe 1.5" Marathon Racers) for $5/each! Not so good in Goat-head county, but great in the midwest. I picked up a few for spares.
  • For anyone making a trip out to Tucson anytime soon, Ajo bikes sells the schwalbe tires they remove from new Catrikes (schwalbe 1.5" Marathon Racers) for $5/each! Not so good in Goat-head county, but great in the midwest. I picked up a few for spares.

    OFF TOPIC. R U in Tucson?
  • In Michigan most of the year, but most winters I am there for a month or so. I know @TrikesterHal is located in Tucson, and he is here on the Forum off and on.
  • Thanks
  • Where abouts in AZ are located? Tucson area?
  • Me? (AZTandemPro).

    I'm in Show Low. That's approx. 200 miles north of Tucson, at 6300+ feet.
  • How does that altitude affect your riding and how is the terrain where you ride? I have driven between Tucson and Phoenix and know how flat it is. I've never seen that part of the state. But, I visited my son many times at the Air Force Academy at over 7000 ft and sometimes it was tough to walk distances. I could imagine riding a trike.
  • So... after getting four flats on the Smart Sam tires in the first 30 miles, I just ordered a set of Schwalbe Marathons. No more flats. I may add some wide tire liners to the Smart Sams and give them another shot at some point, but I’ve been running Marathons on all my other bikes and trikes for the past 5 years and they truly do live up to the hype. 5,000 miles on one set with 0 flats, (and very little tread wear) and no liners or sealant of any kind. Thanks for your responses to my original post. Cheers!
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