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Old 06-19-12, 08:44 PM   #1
Tandem Tom
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Talcum/Baby Powder & tubes?

I have heard something about dusting the tire tubes with powder while there are stored while traveling and when you change a tire.
Is there any merit to this?
Thanks
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Old 06-19-12, 09:19 PM   #2
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Probably not really needed, but I've always done it out of habit. Seems to make it easier to take tubes out and in when mounting tires, especially skinny ones.

Sheldon Brown thought it unnecessary: http://www.sheldonbrown.com/brandt/talcum.html
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Old 06-20-12, 12:31 AM   #3
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It keeps the tube from sticking to the inside of the tire so it's easier to change. I suppose it's possible to make a performance argument but I think the whole "rolling resistance" thing is way overblown anyway.

I do it when I'm in my home shop and have talcum powder available. If I'm somewhere else, I don't worry about it. To me it's in the "nice to do but not very important" category.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:35 AM   #4
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I always powder tyres and tubes as it makes installation easier (especially with racing tyres), reduces pinch flats, and might be one of the reasons I experience so very few flats. It is not so much to benefit the tube but makes slipping the tyre over the rim easier on difficult installations.
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Old 06-20-12, 12:53 AM   #5
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I used to do it on my BMX bikes when I was a kid. Seemed to help the tube not stick to the tire as badly. Could be nonsense though lol
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Old 06-20-12, 04:45 AM   #6
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I always do it. It seems like it lets the tube and tire get comfortable with each other. I use cornstarch also.
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Old 06-20-12, 07:57 AM   #7
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I never did it in forty years and never had an issue or problem. It wasn't until the internet that I realized how ignorant a am of the proper ways to do these things . I still don't do it.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:12 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
I always powder tyres and tubes as it makes installation easier (especially with racing tyres), reduces pinch flats, and might be one of the reasons I experience so very few flats. It is not so much to benefit the tube but makes slipping the tyre over the rim easier on difficult installations.
I installed some new tires on my bike a few days ago and struggled to get the bead over the last little bit, over and over. Then I realized I'd forgotten to use the baby powder.

Add baby powder, next try success! Next tire, baby powder and done.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:13 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tandem Tom View Post
I have heard something about dusting the tire tubes with powder while there are stored while traveling and when you change a tire.
Is there any merit to this?
Thanks
It doesn't hurt. It may not help anything but it doesn't hurt either. I have seen lots of tubes welded to tires on bikes that haven't been powdered. Sometimes the tubes are so well adhered to the tire, that the tube even rips when trying to remove it. That usually only happens after 20+ years of the tube being in the tire, however.

By the way, true talcum powder works better than cornstarch. Cornstarch tends to pack and compress while talc doesn't.
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Old 06-20-12, 08:25 AM   #10
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Yep. Agree with most previous posters. It mainly makes it a lot easier to install and remove helping prevent pinching the tube in the process. Talc on the bead of the tire, which often gets there from a talced tube, serves as a lubricant making it a lot easier to get in on and off the rim. Plus, it smells baby-bottom fresh! Uncented is available in most auto-stores.

I pre-talc and wrap spare tubes I carry on the bike.
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Old 06-20-12, 04:42 PM   #11
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I use talcum powder, but usually only in the shop. Some of the tubes I buy come with a light coating on them.

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Old 06-21-12, 12:59 AM   #12
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tired without Talc have rubber pieces wearing off somewhere
on the inside of the tire, found, when I fix punctures
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Old 06-21-12, 08:57 AM   #13
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Quote:
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I use cornstarch also.
That could work if you never ride in the rain. Otherwise, that would be a mess (yuck). Better to stick with talc.
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