Tires Tires - Armadillo for 27 x 1 3/8 wheels ?

Discussion in 'Bicycle Repair' started by VTBikeman, Jul 29, 2009.

  1. VTBikeman

    VTBikeman Member

    My bike is a 25 year old panasonic steel frame with a 80cc HT motor on it with 27 x 1 3/8" tires. I weigh about 215, the HT motor about 25lbs and the steel bike itself is not light. I am frustrated with flats on the rear. The last thing I tried was the old tire inside of a new tire for double thickness which worked for a while.

    I was riding a few days ago when I heard that dreaded firecracker sound and the rear tire blew. I don't think I hit a hazard but I may have inadvertently put too much air in it. My front tire is at least 25 years old with no problems. However I've been through 5-7 flats since I built the bike last year on the rear tire. I've had mystery flats, snake bites and blow outs, one from a hole in the pavement.

    Recommended tire pressure for the rear is 90 lbs. I put it there to avoid snake bites.

    When the last blow out came I just slowed way down and coasted the last 1/4 mile home down a hill. I noticed the tire beads were completely outside the rim on both sides when I got back. I'm guessing that might happen riding on a flat to any tire or does it indicate anything?

    I came across the Armadillo tires and am thinking of putting them on or possibly a solid tire. Is this wheel size just to narrow to expect good tire life?

    I have been scouring the threads here and the Armadillos seem to get good reviews. Some solid tires seem to get mixed reviews and I assume are a bi-atch to put on or get off.

    The roads can be pretty rough here in Brattleboro, VT and I hesitate to go any significant distance on this bike.

    Any help would be appreciated, esp. opinions about tire size for this bike.

    Under inflation vs full inflation?

    Similar size bike results?

    VT Bikeman

  2. pdxrhett

    pdxrhett Member

    get a different bike. you need a wider tire with that much weight
  3. bamabikeguy

    bamabikeguy Active Member

    I'd tend to agree with pdx....even the cruisers have stickers warning "Do not add an engine to this bike", (the warranty being voided is what that is about), but I rarely use a tire less than a 2.0, fat enough to put a thornproof tube and tire liner inside.

    There was a discussion about this "tire inside a tire idea", and my diagnosis is the thicker rubber of the jagged edge of the inner tire abrades through the tube. It will rub through even the thicker rubber on the thornproof.

    (However, the tube inside a tube idea might work....I dunno till folks report back).

    If you find that Armadillo, that might do the trick.

    But if not, I'd say get a heavy duty 26" bike, which has a lot more possibilities of improvement.

    Good Luck......
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  4. Esteban

    Esteban Active Member

    I agree , with the above. You really need a bike with bigger tires. You will feel a great improvement in the ride, too.
  5. VTBikeman

    VTBikeman Member

    Thanks for the replies. One issue I have is insurance. The bike IS a Panasonic, it is legally a moped in my state and very few will insure it if it is considered homemade so I was able to insure as a Panasonic Moped without questions.

    To be honest the bike is a little too big for me but this insurance issue has to be addressed.

    If I can find a 26" or 24" wheel and move the rim brakes to work with that that might solve several problems by lowering the bike a bit and allowing a wider tire closer to the axel between the rear forks.

    It just may be too much work. I might try the Armadillos.

    Anybody know if Panasonic still makes bikes?

  6. VTBikeman

    VTBikeman Member

    I see the Armadillos on a lot of web sites. Who would you recommend as a dealer with a good rep? East coast preferred but a good dealer is more important.

    I can deal with the ride quality. I've learned to do that.

    I looked up Panasonic bikes. These are incredibly built because bikes were a passion of Mr Matsu****a who owned Matsu****a which owns the trade name Panasonic. He was raised in a family that ran a bicycle shop.


    I just saw the website edited out the 4 letters that mean feces in English but is part of their name.
    Technology rolls on.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  7. Turtle Tedd

    Turtle Tedd Member

    ..Had two flats right off the bat with new tires...put on the kevlar treaded Specialized Hemispheres and heavy duty thorn proof flats in 100miles....I think these are about the same as the armidillos and were easier to find....but 138 might be a little small...your call
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2009
  8. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Panasonic bikes are awesome. They make great garage finds.

    I have been wondering how one would do with a roller drive or a happytime on it.

    I can't believe you'd roll anything on 25yo tires!

    New tires are only $10-30 and super tubes are about $10 now, cheaper from mail order houses.

    I expect you can put a 24" or 26" wheel on the bike easily if you have a 1x1 coaster brake setup or if you WELD a bracket for a wide caliper brake. With a 26" rear wheel your pedals will drop about 1.5", keep that in mind, and your steering angle will slacken (slower steering perhaps). Niagara cycle Works NY has some wide caliper brakes with shoes and lever for $6/ set (one caliper brake and one "v" lever).

    Panasonic does not make bikes anymore, sorry.
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2010
  9. meatwad

    meatwad Member

    I have to agree with others in this thread that you should get a different bike.

    Decent road bike or not, one of these engines should not be put on a road bike.
  10. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

  11. meatwad

    meatwad Member

    Yeah I knew someone would dissagree. Still a bad idea. You want to encourage this guy to take a faceplant go ahead.

    The link posted was about a hybrid 700c bike. Those are more heavy duty than a "roadbike." It was also about an electric not a three horsepower vibrating twostroke that goes 30.

    200 plus pounds, 1 3/8 rims and thin walled mainframe triangle and dropouts is a recipe for disaster.
  12. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    A lot of "mountain bikes" have thin walled frame tubes, 1" wide rims, and thin dropouts.

    caveat emptor
  13. meatwad

    meatwad Member

    Do you want me to explain what is wrong with that statement as well?
  14. happycheapskate

    happycheapskate Active Member

    Go ahead, smartass. :)

    To the OP. Buy what you want, but if you use a road bike, use a heavy steel frame and fork, like a touring bike. Use some good old fashioned 36 hole 3x or 4x wheels with stainless spokes. Use the fattest tires you can fit. And of course take precautions like with any motorised bike, regarding chain idlers and such. I recommend adjusting the idler to track and welding in place, or making a cross brace from the chainstay to the seat stay as has been popularised on this website.