DIY Tire Retread

Discussion in 'Transmission / Drivetrain' started by DanTheDIYGuy, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    I am testing out an idea of mine to retread my mountain bike tires.

    Since the motorized bike I have built was originally using stubby knob off road tires, it does not hold up too well to road use. However, I believe I can slow the erosion with the application of Rubberized Undercoating.

    Sold at auto shops for application to the underside of your vehicle, it comes in a spray can. The can brags that it will stick to nearly anything (and I can attest to this, it will not come off except with Mineral Spirits and some elbow grease).

    I plan on applying this to my rear tire once every 3 rides or so (I do not ride often, so this will not be a hassle). I first tested the application to the tire in a very small amount, so as to see if this would damage the tire in any way. Thankfully, the tire did not get damaged from the application, so I have proceeded to apply a decent coat to the tire.

    I spun the cranks while spraying, in order to apply an even coat. As my tires are not yet bald, the undercoating is merely creating a protecting coating over the knobs on the tire. The coating will most likely wear off very quickly, due to friction and heat. My hope is that this will keep the tire preserved, and lower its wear.

    I will post back with the results of my test.

  2. CrazyDan

    CrazyDan Active Member

    Interesting idea
  3. Tony01

    Tony01 Member

    This is a bad idea. The whole point of tires is to have good traction with the road. Spraying your tires with undercoat will make them heavier, less grippy, attract dirt that wouldn't normally stick to tires, and it would wear off in the first quarter mile.
  4. Steve Best

    Steve Best Well-Known Member

    But after riding in the sand while still tacky, imagine the winter traction!

    Key words, tacky, imagine....

    I worked in a major tire factory for a lot of years. Huge tech in tires!
    Don't expect anything good from a bucket.

    Tires are built up from strips of different types of rubber. Rubber mixes really, each with a purpose.
    I had various jobs over the years, assuring uniformity was one of them. Every tire, exactly the same.
    The belts, cords or fabric was either steel wires or an organic synthetic. Huge science in every step.
    The steel wires were drawn from all barstock, thinner and thinner. Cooled, lubed, drawn, cleaned and finally plated.
    The plating was to promote rubber adhesion and prevent corrosion.
    Then they were bundled into a muti-strand wire with a grip wire wrapped around it.
    The sidewall exteriors were made from a UV and ozone resistant rubber and the interiors from a air sealing synthetic rubber that doesn't stick to other rubbers well so and intermediate type rubber had to be used. The amount of bounce of each rubber is factored to give a proper damping effect to the tire for noise and vibration.

    Before I worked there I figured they just poured quick setting rubber into a mould!

  5. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    I expected as much. But after doing much research on whether or not anybody had tried this, I found no results. I figured that I could at least provide a result in case someone else considered trying this.
  6. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    My results were as I had expected. The rubber wore off quickly. However, there are multiple reasons for this. It is not so clear cut as you might think.

    1. It took 2 days for the rubber to set up (and in retrospect I do not believe it was fully cured).
    2. I applied a very light coating of the rubber, making it very easy for it to flake off. I didn't want to go too gung-ho with my first test.
    3. The undercoating was never intended to withstand friction or mechanical activity such as that which I subjected it to.

    I believe it is worth another shot, however with a larger coat and longer cure time.
    To address Tony01's concerns, the undercoating did not attract any more dirt that the tire normally would. Additionally, the weight of the coating I applied, did not add any extra weight since the tire was already worn down to begin with (it however was not bald).
  7. DanTheDIYGuy

    DanTheDIYGuy Member

    Very interesting. I would have assumed the same, that tires are simple. If I have learned one thing in life, it is that there is more than meets the eye.