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Thread: Tire wipers

  1. #1
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Tire wipers

    Some time ago there were some forum comments about tire wipers (device to rub against tires to clean debris off while riding). At that time, I did some web browsing and found a shop in the UK selling them on their web site. However, I have not been able to find that site again. Tried a forum search on this subject as well as several Google searches with different terms but have not come up with anything.
    Does anyone know of a source or an official brand name that might get a hit on Google.

    I know they are seldom used any more and don't have many supporters any longer but I would like to check them out and form my own opinions.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

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    I have not seen any since around 1975. They were very popular at that time, as many folks still used sewup tires that got flats just looking at a shard of glass. I'd bet they are sold on E-Bay, because everything made after about 1910 seems to be available on E-Bay.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    I have a bike or two from the 70's that has the tire wipers. I think most people didn't know what they were, or had them adjusted wrong, so they faded into antique novelty.

    Apparently, the idea was to adjust the tire wiper so that came as close as possible to the tire without actually touching it. If a shard of glass or debri caught on the tire, it was supposed to get knocked off by the tire wiper during the first rotation of the tire before the debri had a chance to get imbeded deep into the tire.

    An old timer friend of mine said that the only problem with the tire wipers was that they did not work. Of course, I don't know if he had it adjusted properly. It seems that a certain amount of finess was required in adjustment and the tire had to be perfectly round and true.

    Still, I like the idea. Even though I have a couple of bikes that have them, I never went to the trouble to make sure they are adjusted correctly, so they are mostly non-functional.
    Mike

  4. #4
    Coyote!
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    When nicely adjusted they made a beautiful quiet pulsating bzzz-hiss in time to one's cadence. As I recall, you adjusted 'em by carefully distorting the wire bale.

    They were the same era as the "Flick Stand", a wire device that made a rigid connection between the front tire and the down tube [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick_stand]. . .made leaning bikes a little more stable.

  5. #5
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    They were called Tire Savers, and they aren't made any more.

    You can make a low tech concept of them though by cutting a triangular flap out of a 2 liter bottle, punching a mounting hole and attaching them to the brake caliper or mount hole for the caliper if you have canti's. set it so it just scrapes your contact patch of the tire and it'll help remove debris before it damages the tire.
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    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coyote!
    When nicely adjusted they made a beautiful quiet pulsating bzzz-hiss in time to one's cadence. As I recall, you adjusted 'em by carefully distorting the wire bale.

    They were the same era as the "Flick Stand", a wire device that made a rigid connection between the front tire and the down tube [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kick_stand]. . .made leaning bikes a little more stable.
    Hey, Coyote, what is a Flick Stand? I think I have one of those on an old bike, but I could never figure out what it was or how it worked. Any pics? The link you gave was a bad link. Sounds interesting.
    Mike

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    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Tyre savers work only on a specific type of flat; those that are caused by glass and goatheads. They won't work for pinched-flats caused by hitting rocks or potholes. Nor will they work on internal issues like torn casings on the tyre or weak rim-strips.

    I used to commute from Isla Vista (student-community next to UCSB) to downtown to work at Open Air Bike; an easy 13-mile ride. There was a bike-path that ran almost the entire distance, however, it often was overgrown with weeds and had ample glass and goatheads. For the first couple of months, I would never fail to get a flat at least once a week from the goatheads, even with the toughest tyre at the time, the kevlar-belted Specialized TouringS tyre. The thing is, glass and goatheads do not puncture your tire immediatly when you run them over. It requires many revolutions and squirming to work their way through. Every single goathead puncture I had showed only the 3-4mm spike of the goathead in the tyre. The big body had already been run over so many times that it wore or broke off.

    So the idea with the tyre-saver is to scrape off this debris on the very 1st revolution of the tyre when you've just picked it up. You won't have your body-weight pounding that thing over and over again until it pokes through. I was rummaging through the bins and found some tyre savers, "Ah hah! Let's try this" I thought. It look about 30-minutes of bending and prying until I could get the shape of the wire to be contoured to the curve of the tyre and rest just 1-2mm above it. But you know what? I went from 1 flat a week to about 1 flat a year.

    After picking up cycling again 1.5-years ago, I've had exactly 2 flats. One of them was actually my fault for installing a new wheel and didn't check the brake-pads. The rim was slightly smaller in diameter than my last one and the edge of the brake-pads ended up rubbing through the tyre. But I do take every precaution possible. I use kevlar-belted touring tyres, tyre-liners, tyre-savers and thorn-resistant tubes (thicker outside edge requires longer thorn/glass-shard to fully penetrate).

    I couldn't find tyre-savers in the shops anymore, so I made my own from old spokes:



    For those that don't think these work on goatheads, try an experiment yourself. Sprinkle a handful of goatheads across the path. Back up about 50ft and ride over them at normal speeds. And continue on for about 50-ft. Stop and you'll find 1-2 goatheads per tyre. Pick them out, install tyre-savers and repeat the experiment. After 50-ft stop and you'll find that there are ZERO goatheads stuck in your tyre.

    The other practice that works is to rub your tyre after running through glass. You learn to recognized the sound of running over glass. Be sure to hook your thumb around back of seat-stays when rubbing rear-tyre so that your hand won't get yanked forward and stuck between the tyre and seat-tube...
    Last edited by DannoXYZ; 05-27-07 at 02:12 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Hey, Coyote, what is a Flick Stand? I think I have one of those on an old bike, but I could never figure out what it was or how it worked. Any pics? The link you gave was a bad link. Sounds interesting.
    This page still sells them, and has a couple pics (scroll down to the bottom):
    http://www.melpintoimports.com/hardtofinditems.html
    ------
    As I was told, there was an old traditional way to make tire-scrapers out of old bicycle spokes....
    ~

  9. #9
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    I saw the one I am refering to within the past year and I am sure it was on a web site for a shop in the UK. It was still listed for sale on the web site at that time. It looked like a small spring that rubbed on the tire and appeared to be mounted via the mounting bolt for the brake caliper.

    I found it interesting that when I was doing a Google search, I found a patent application from 1995 for a tire wiper. The patent application was built around a design that used some type of brush for the wiping action.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

  10. #10
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    send an Email at Gregg's Greenlake cycle www.greggscycles.com

    We've got some in a box. write a query Attn: Parts and I'll hunt you up a set.

    agreed though, that they didn't really work. neat idea though.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  11. #11
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    I've used "Tyre-Savers" for years; here are some pictures. If you can't find a source, you might be able to make a couple from an old spoke or coat-hanger and a couple of pieces of plastic tubing.

    - Wil
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    How about hanging a thin chain between the forks such that the chain lays lightly on the tire?
    Mike

  13. #13
    Senior Member oldokie's Avatar
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    Bingo. Doing a Google on Tyre-Savers turned up the place I had been looking for. The web site is http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/product.a...VALUE&sfile=1= in the UK and they cost about 8 pounds which makes them pretty pricy with the current exchange rate.
    I think I will experiment with something I make myself for now.
    Inside every old person is a young person wondering what happened.

    06 C'dale SR500
    96 Bianchi San Remo for touring

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