Tubes No Flat Tires(BELL Rigid Foam Tire Insert) No Air tubes

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by Bonefish, Sep 13, 2009.

  1. Bonefish

    Bonefish Member

    Anyone try one of these, putting it in the rear tire instead of an air tube, so you never get flat tires? does it work, how hard is it to install? how much does it slow your bike down with the extra weight? I know it doesn't weight that much, but rolling weight is very different from non moving stationary weight.


  2. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    From what I have read, it is a good idea that does not work out well.
    They develop flat spots and eventually ride bumpy. They are a royal PITA to install, and make tire changes all that much more difficult.
    A better way to go is a heavy duty innertube and a flat proof tire liner or two.
    Some folks use a tire liner and cut up a sacrificial heavy duty innertube to make a second, more supple liner arrangement, both in the tire in addition to a heavy duty innertube.
  3. wheelbender6

    wheelbender6 Well-Known Member

    I think a combination pneumatic/non-pneumatic tire may be successful.
    A non-pneumatic tube, with half of the required cross section (width) could be installed closest to the rim.
    An outer pneumatic tube with half the required cross section could be mounted over the non-pneumatic tube, nearest the tire.
    When the pneumatic tube goes flat during a ride, the non-pneumatic tube provides enough cushion to get you home without rim damage.
    I got the idea from NASCAR. They run a tubless race tire, but a smaller tube lies within the tire to provide some control and cushioning when the tire punctures.
  4. Clotho

    Clotho Member

    With my first bike I had a problem with getting rear flats all the time. Nearly every other ride. Never the front. Always the rear wheel. I used one of these airless tubes to solve the problem. It worked quite well but the ride had a mushy feel to it.

    As previously stated they can be very difficult to install. They also have a tendency to break spokes.

    Now that I have built a few more bikes I now know that the real problem was geometry. That first bike was too small for me and I needed something with a longer wheelbase. The 3 bikes I have built since were all bigger and I haven't had any problems with rear tires failing.
  5. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    The foam tubes are for little kids bikes.

    They are for kids bikes and the cheap walmarts that hang in the garage 360 days a year.

    They break spokes because they do not distribute the forces of suspension against many spokes at a time (think suspension bridge), but concentrate it sharply on a couple pairs at a time. This causes rapid fatigue or spoke loosening.

    Also, sharp curbs or potholes may cause rim dings or catastrophic failure.

    They do have a "mushy" ride feel (see above) and are subject to temperature related inconsistency.

    I tried them on a 26" generic rigid bike. Waste of money.
  6. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    A product you might like!

    SLIME company makes 26" modern mountain bike tires, that are basically tubeless tires with slime in them, which have clincher flanges so they can mount on the normal wheel. I've ordered some from Nashbar but haven't seen them, still waiting.

    Nashbar Elevator tires (good recessed patter tread! I love these) with kevlar belt
    Slime tubeless tire for clincher rims $10! includes slime inside tire.
  7. give me vtec

    give me vtec Active Member

    I have one on the front of my GEBE townie. The back tire was a little too big so I put the air-filled tube back in it.

    For the most part I like it... It adds more centripetal force to the wheel which makes it more stable (the front tire wobbles a little on the townie if you take your hands off the handlebar, so that was actually a plus for me). It is a little strange at first and the play in between the tire and tube makes me take wider lines around corners but other than that I cant even tell it is there.

    Bottom line... I like it enough to keep it in.
  8. Ray_ja

    Ray_ja New Member

    What if you filled the tube with high expanding foam from Lowes. Take out the valve stem, and fill it with foam and put everything back together before curring? Do you think it would work or would it be too stiff?
  9. Zev0

    Zev0 Member

    That tubeless tires sounds interesting. Know of anyone that has tried one?
  10. GearNut

    GearNut Active Member

    That stuff cures to a brittle consistency and crushes under a heavy load.
    I doubt it would last, but you could always try it out and report back to us. :)
  11. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    re: Tubeless slime tire for clincher rims it works

    I have them on my pedal bike (full suspension Jamis). They are basically oriental made 2.3 clincher tires with a heavy duty slime tube bonded in there. They have a great mud tread and don't slosh with the slime. They are not too heavy either.
    They would not hold up long on the road though under motor power. They are mud tires with widely spaced blocks.

    If the innertube is actually busted somehow, you can cut the stem out with a razor or knife and just put regular tubes in there. Perfect deal for $10 each. See if Nashbar is out of them yet.

  12. Ray_ja

    Ray_ja New Member

    I have a standard "80" cc engine from BGF mounted on an older schwinn cruzer. Lots of fun. The tires are very old - probably in th 20-25 year range and probably will not last. However, they are staying put until they bust!!!
  13. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    When you go for new tires, ray, make sure you have the right ones. The new bikes use decimal sized tires (ex 26x2.1) and the older bikes may use American fractional sizes (ex 26x1 3/8) They are not interchangeable. The rims are actually different sizes.
  14. Ray_ja

    Ray_ja New Member

    Thanks for the info. Should all the necessary information be on the existing tires?
  15. michael m

    michael m New Member

    I have 4 of them for sell cheap like $5.00 anything over 35mph and all **** breaks loose.Oh I forgot my bike only goes 20mph
  16. michael m

    michael m New Member

    tell ya what anybody wants these things you can have them just pay the shipping and you can have them. their pretty heavy +++++++++ side you wont ever get a flat!!!! their like that first kids bike with the solid tires , you skid a couple of times and you know the rest of the story!!!!!!!!!
  17. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Your message was confusing. What are you selling? And is your speedometer on the blink? :dunce:
  18. I tried the bell no flat

    They are a pain to install. Only time I noticed the rolling drag was when I tried to pedal with out motor. Once the tube was installed I noticed the tire could be flexed side to side on the rim by hand. When motoring over uneven parts of the road [center dividing lines that are slighty domed] I could feel the tires shift and wobble. Took them off and replaced with thick thorn tubes inside armadillo kevlar tires
  19. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Things are going good with my my home made tire liners. I actually got a flat, apparently a small hole that looks like a nail did it. I'm surprised I didn't get more in the industrial area from glass and small sharp rocks. (hole shaped like the end of a deck nail with pinhole leak in center) But it was a pinhole that didn't go flat immediately. I rode for several miles on the flat, apparently. I wondered what the vibration was and figured it was the rough road since the chain was tight and the tire looked to be ok. I got back on and decided it must actually be low/flat because I felt the rim bottom on the ground. Still the tube was undamaged except for the hole, and the tire liner didn't get wound up in there. The rim was undamaged. I put in a new tube and have been riding again today.

    I made mine from red 3" fiberglass&rubber backwash hose, marked Goodyear IRONSIDES Hong Kong.
  20. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    If you want to try the foam non-pneumatic tubes, try this for getting them in.

    Wipe the beads of the tires with Silicone spray lubricant (do this on a cardboard or outdoors, or your carpet will be ruined). Use 3-5 tire levers, esp the kind with the little hooks for the spokes. Install the tire partially, insert the tube, and try to put the other side in as much as possible. Put the tire levers under the bead, close by each other, and move several at a time about halfway towards setting the bead. Then work them one at a time the rest of the way over. Wipe up any silicone spray esp off of braking surfaces.

    I tried a "no more flats" Walmart foam tube about 15 years ago. The ride was "mushy" and the tire wobbled a little. I didn't like it. Great for 12-16" kids bikes though. Might be just the thing for a warehouse bicycle or some industrial bike you ride short distances on (like from a dock to a parking lot far away).