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Bicycle Mechanics Broken bottom bracket? Tacoed wheel? If you're having problems with your bicycle, or just need help fixing a flat, drop in here for the latest on bicycle mechanics & bicycle maintenance.

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Old 08-03-05, 12:02 PM   #1
lil ol lady
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I picked up a nice vintage Nishiki for four bucks at a garage sale. Problem: it has solid inner tubes. My biker friend told me I had to hacksaw them off and replace with regular tubes and tires. Well, 'tain't so easy! I have hacksawed through them down to the rim in four places, pulled them with vice-grips and pried them with screwdrivers, and they are still good as new! I think they are still quite ridable, even after being completely sawn in quarters.

Are they glued in place?

Any tips for removing them?

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!
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Old 08-03-05, 12:55 PM   #2
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Solid inner tubes??? What the heck is that... you're saying that instead of a normal inflatable inner tube, there is some solid object that retains its shape even when cut into pieces???
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Old 08-03-05, 01:43 PM   #3
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Yes. They appear to made of solid rubber. They are black and stretchy, and impervious to screwdrivers.

I had never heard of them either, until I went to check the tire pressure, and discovered, "Whoa! No valves!"

My friend tells me they are bad because being solid, all the shock absorption of a regular tube is lost, and all shock is transmitted to the spokes, rims, and headset, all of which will eventually be ruined.
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Old 08-03-05, 02:00 PM   #4
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Wow... I thought those went obsolete sometime in the mid-19th century Your friend is right, a bike with airless tires is a whole lot less comfortable and it puts a lot more stress on the load bearings components.

Sheldon Brown sez that people keep trying to bring back airless tires from time to time, but that they inevitably fail. This glossary entry may shed a little light on what you're dealing with... http://sheldonbrown.com/gloss_aa-l.html#airless
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Old 08-03-05, 02:20 PM   #5
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perhaps a torch?
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Old 08-03-05, 02:37 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by moxfyre
Wow... I thought those went obsolete sometime in the mid-19th century [/url]
Go to wallymart or kmart and look in bike dept for : 'No More Flats'. Solid tubes.
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Old 08-03-05, 02:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lil ol lady
I picked up a nice vintage Nishiki for four bucks at a garage sale. Problem: it has solid inner tubes. My biker friend told me I had to hacksaw them off and replace with regular tubes and tires. Well, 'tain't so easy! I have hacksawed through them down to the rim in four places, pulled them with vice-grips and pried them with screwdrivers, and they are still good as new! I think they are still quite ridable, even after being completely sawn in quarters.

Are they glued in place?

Any tips for removing them?

Thanks for any suggestions you can offer!
Have you actually got the tire off?? IF not, you probably need to get at the wire bead and cut it with wire cutters.
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Old 08-03-05, 04:52 PM   #8
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Wow- what's it ride like? Is it incredibly harsh?
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Old 08-03-05, 07:47 PM   #9
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Try slitting the tires around their circumference with a REALLY good utility knife. It will be tough going, but is the only way to not damage the rims. Then you can pull the two halves of the tire and the rubber donut off of the rim. Replace with good tires and real tubes.
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Old 08-03-05, 07:55 PM   #10
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I've seen those tires---not someting I'd want to ride.I forgot the name but they make a line for wheelchairs too.And No they are not the old single tube tires made for wood rims they were made for regular rims just solid or something???And YES walmart does sell an air-less inertube for kids bikes.
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Old 08-03-05, 08:02 PM   #11
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Here's the company!---http://www.greentyre.com/eng/product/categories.php?cat_id=1
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Old 08-03-05, 08:12 PM   #12
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Warm them. Leave them laying in the hot sun. It really helps.
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Old 08-03-05, 08:18 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydney
Have you actually got the tire off?? IF not, you probably need to get at the wire bead and cut it with wire cutters.
Oh! Hey Sydney! That was the problem. I dug that up and cut it, then everything peeled off pretty easily.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Next question: Is it essential to have the liner that keeps the spokes from poking into the tube? The one that was on there was pretty rotten and just disintegrated.


womble:
Quote:
Wow- what's it ride like? Is it incredibly harsh?
I've been tooling around town on it for the past month, and I wouldn't say it's a harsh ride at all. Yes, it takes the bumps harder than a mountain bike, but doesn't feel much stiffer than my old road bike with the tires pumped up to 95 psi. Now that the tubes are off, I see that they aren't truly solid--they have a hole in the center that's about 3/8". If I'd known that, maybe I would've left them on. It's been nice not having to worry about inflation.

demoncyclist and Rev.Chuck: Thanks for your tips too! I would've tried those next, but Sydney figured out the problem first.

Thanks to all who responded, and ride happy!
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Old 08-03-05, 08:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by lil ol lady
Next question: Is it essential to have the liner that keeps the spokes from poking into the tube? The one that was on there was pretty rotten and just disintegrated.
I'd definitely recommend it, it prevents the inner tube from bulging against the spokes or into any other crevices where it may get pinched or poked.

A new rim tape costs about $2-5, and will hopefully keep you from getting some flat tires down the road!
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Old 08-03-05, 08:32 PM   #15
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Okay, thanks moxfyre.

Guess I'll wait to put on the new tires, then.
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