Which tubes are the most rugged, maintenance free?

Discussion in 'General Questions' started by stringer, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. stringer

    stringer New Member

    i was wondering what the best tubes are. looking for something very rugged, reliable, and needing the least maintenance. something that i can ride many miles from my house and never have to worry about. i see these ones called slime tubes, are they the best? :cool:

  2. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Don't get slime tubes!!

    Go to your local bike shop... buy either heavy-duty or thorn-resistant tubes (heavy-duty are same thickness all the way around, thorn-resistant are even thicker than that on the outter side of the tube - for thorn-resistance - but they're regular tube thickness on sides & inner side).

    Then get liners for both sides of the tube (tire & rim sides). You can pay for them at the bike shop, online, or make some homemade liners... electrical tape for the rim side, so your spokes don't pop the tube; old trimmed-down road tire for the tire side, so glass and thorns will never hurt you!
  3. ChrisEddy

    ChrisEddy New Member

    I have HD Slime tubes with poly liners and Conti Town and Country tires - I haven't had any problems with them - and zero punctures. Probably overkill, but my bike is used as a daily commuter - so reliability, safety and durability were primary concerns - Chris
  4. stringer

    stringer New Member

    hrmmm which to go with .... :/
  5. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Try either one 'til ya have a problem, then switch.
  6. stringer

    stringer New Member

    Attached Files:

  7. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I personally chose thorn-resistant tubes because 95% of my flats have been puncture flats. I really couldn't imagine heavy-duty tubes being that much different really.

    But honestly, with the addition of the tire & rim liners... it'd be next to impossible to get a flat so long as you inflate the tire properly, and keep it within the recommended range.

    As for the Big Apple tires, I have heard good things about them. I *love* the tires I have right now - Shadow Conspiracy Undertaker Folding tire - but as far as I know, it's a 20" tire only. The Big Apple's prolly just as good, if not better.
  8. stringer

    stringer New Member

    Thanks. those are some nice looking tires you got. in fact, i really like the tread pattern on just about all the tires from the site you linked to. i wish they made em in 26"!

    im realy liking the look of the big apples i may pull the trigger tonight. im just scared, sice i dont know what im doing, that they would be less than optimal (just worrying) for friction.
  9. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I doubt the Big Apple's traction would be less than optimal for friction drive, but the price might be. Those Innova Swiftor tires that Loquin linked you to in another thread might be better suited for friction drive because they're cheaper. You could have three sets for the price of one set of Big Apples, and that could come in handy since the friction drive will be burning thru your tires.
  10. motman812

    motman812 Member

    What's all this about friction drives "burning thru" tires? I've had a Stanton Honda 35 friction drive since December, put over 775 miles on it and haven't had any problem with the drive wearing the tire. The few times it's slipped it was because I didn't have the drive properly adjusted, I could tell it was slipping and quickly tightened the drive. For me, riding on paved streets at the beach, the net benefits of the friction drive are much than those of a chain drive.
  11. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I've only seen friction drive GoPeds, and they sure did eat up the back tire, alright.

    I'd imagine driving style had a little to do with it, but the tire compound has gotta be the most important factor here. It'd be sweet if there were a list of good/bad tires for friction drive.

    Could the Big Apples really be better than 3 pair of the Innova Swiftor?? That's what I wanna know.
  12. loquin

    loquin Active Member

    I've never had a problem with the staton friction drive eating up tires, either. Just adjust it right.
  13. stringer

    stringer New Member

    should i but schraeder or presta valve tubes? this is for a mountain bike and im getting 26x2.0 tires. im at alfred e bike now and it would be super if they had some hevy duty, thorn resistant tubes to get. but im not sure which ones to go for!
  14. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    Presta valves are only necessary if you have a super thin rim, like on a road bike, where you need all the structural integrity you can afford. So, get the Schrader tubes.

    And I honestly believe that the tire liners are more important than the tubes. I've got a regular tube in my front tire, and a thorn-resistant tube in my back tire (I have no interest in taking my back tire off for any reason)... no flats since I got the liners, and I have purposely ridden over a broken glass bottle and anything else that looks dangerous to most bikers.

    I also laugh while riding over the glass, too. It's an evil laugh, like nobody should be able to do what I'm doing. A demon walking on glass...
  15. cruiser66

    cruiser66 Guest

    You might want to check out the Bell Flatblocker MAX. It's a heavy duty tube with a sealer. Owners give it excellent reviews. I just bought one to replace a standard Slime tube. I have not had good results with the Slime tube even with tire liners. I had two flats with no apparent external punctures. The Flatblocker can be found at Walmart and Kmart. Just installed mine today with the tire liners and I use the electrician tape wrapped around the inside of the rim to cover the spoke ends. Hopefully, this will end my rear tire flats.....

  16. ihatemybike

    ihatemybike Member

    In all honesty, unless you live in an area with lots of tire puncturing thorns or broken glass you're financially better off using regular tubes and watching your air pressure.

    The most common type of flat I saw when I worked the bikes shops was what we call a snake bite otherwise known as a pinch flat. These are caused by not having enough air in the tire for a given situation, most often by hitting a pothole or curb and having the tire smash down till it hits the rim. The difference in speed between the tire's diameter and the rim's cause the tube to get sliced in the direction of travel. Usually the tube will get cut in two places (tire side and rim side), but I've seen one side cut and the other scuffed. Heavy duty and thorn proof tubes, did not prevent these flats from happening. The only thing that cuts down their occurrence is increasing tire pressure or increasing air volume to prevent the pinching from happening. This is the reason those super skinny road bike tires have such high psi while cruiser/mtb tires can go much lower.
  17. sjackson

    sjackson Member

    I've only had puncture flats, but I also knew about pinch flats when I started seriously biking. My road tires are usually kept at 110psi or there abouts.
  18. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    I have had about 20 puncture flats on bicycles, while I just got my first pinch flat a couple months ago (either 'cause I didn't air it up properly, but I really think the tire came with a bubble in it).

    You prolly saw pinch flats in a shop most, because people can replace their own tubes easily. If they need to replace the tire... perhaps they'd rather just let you guys do all the work??

    I feel like tire liners are far more important than heavy-duty or thorn-resistant tubes. BUT, I have a question... don't kevlar tires only have the kevlar on the sides... for pinch flats?? ... or is it there for punctures too?

    I think kevlar tires with regular tubes and liners on both sides of the tube wil prevent you from 99.999% of flats.
  19. ihatemybike

    ihatemybike Member

    I very rarely ever get a puncture. My tires are Kenda K-Rads and I use standard tubes.

    Most of the flat repairs I performed did not include tire replacement. People that replace their tubes are usually people that will replace there tires as well.

    Most Kevlar in bike tires is not used for flat prevention, instead it is used instead of steel in the tires bead. Primarily this is done to reduce weight, it also allows the tire to be folded taking up less space for shipping and for bringing along a spare.
  20. sparky

    sparky Active Member

    (1) Kevlar tires are AWESOME.
    (2) Tube liners are GREAT.
    (3) Heavy-duty tubes are GOOD, but they're not as good as the first two pre-requisites to never changing your tubes again.

    I got some "folding" tires, but I never really thought about taking one along as a spare since I've rolled over an entire 500+ ft hallway covered in glass and staples.

    I trust that my tires will outlive everything on my bike.