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  1. #1
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    airless/flat proof inner tubes?

    Is there such a thing as an airless inner tube? My kids are getting flats every couple of days it seems. They are already using the Slime tubes, and those are only lasting 1 week tops.

    Both of them have mountain bikes.

    Is there an airless solution? I don't care how heavy they are.

    Also, feel free to move this to another forum if it's more appropriate somewhere else (I'm new here)...

  2. #2
    Gravity hunter dminor's Avatar
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    Tire Balls is working on some beta testing for mountain bike tires. They've been working for ATV applications. A friend of the owner floated some exploratory queries on this forum about them a bit over a year ago but got lukewarm response.

    How 'bot those foam swim 'noodles' like kids use at the pool?

  3. #3
    Duathlete indygreg's Avatar
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    You are better off trying to figure out why they are getting flats then trying to find something that will not flat.
    Kids ride every day of the year without flats. Many kids will ride an entire summer without a flat.

    The key is to figure out 100% what is causing the flat.
    If you are getting a puncture flat every few days, have them ride somewhere else
    It is entirely possible that the flat is coming from the same thing every time. If the tire itself has a thorn or nail in it it is going to puncture the tube time and time again. You need to run your finger through the tire completely to feel for debris.
    Secondly, the rim can cause repeated flats. Are the spokes properly covered with a band or tape?
    Run, Bike, Run.

  4. #4
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    The Tire Balls look like exactly what I need. They haven't even started beta testing yet though...

  5. #5
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    Thick, puncture resistant tubes and the tuffy strip tire liners work wonders in combination with each other! Most thorns that come through the tire are turned to the side by the harder tire liner!
    Here is a good decription of both
    http://www.utahmountainbiking.com/fix/flatstop.htm

    Mr Tuffys Tire strips
    http://www.bikepro.com/products/tubes/tubes-tuffy.html
    And Extra thick Thorn resistant tubes
    http://http://www.amazon.com/Pyramid.../dp/B000AOA0KG
    Last edited by born2bahick; 11-07-07 at 02:56 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by indygreg View Post
    You are better off trying to figure out why they are getting flats then trying to find something that will not flat.
    Kids ride every day of the year without flats. Many kids will ride an entire summer without a flat.

    The key is to figure out 100% what is causing the flat.
    If you are getting a puncture flat every few days, have them ride somewhere else
    It is entirely possible that the flat is coming from the same thing every time. If the tire itself has a thorn or nail in it it is going to puncture the tube time and time again. You need to run your finger through the tire completely to feel for debris.
    Secondly, the rim can cause repeated flats. Are the spokes properly covered with a band or tape?
    +1

    Hell, I don't even remember the last time I got a flat.
    http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g3...BFARSIG3-1.jpg
    ...someday I'll have money for it...

  7. #7
    Duathlete indygreg's Avatar
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    another way of looking at it . .. if not making it one week without a flat were normal, zero bikes would be sold.
    Run, Bike, Run.

  8. #8
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    Well how often you get a flat depends on what you're riding through.

    My kids are riding their bikes to school, taking the same route every day.

    Changing the route isn't an option, so I need to do something else...

    Those tire liners look like they might just do the trick for me. I think I'll even get a set for me and the wife while I'm at it...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saltydawg View Post
    Well how often you get a flat depends on what you're riding through.

    My kids are riding their bikes to school, taking the same route every day.

    Changing the route isn't an option, so I need to do something else...

    Those tire liners look like they might just do the trick for me. I think I'll even get a set for me and the wife while I'm at it...
    what kinds of pressures are you running in the tires?

  10. #10
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    Usually around 50-55 PSI. The side of the tires say 40-65 PSI...

  11. #11
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    Try flat resistant tubes with Slime in them.

  12. #12
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    Yeah, they are currently usign the Slim tubes. They're better than regular tubes, but not by much...

  13. #13
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    I would say go with these and the tire liners.
    http://wheelworld.com/itemdetails.cf...gId=39&id=3920

    Make sure you check for thorns still in the tire before you replace the tube.

  14. #14
    Gravity hunter dminor's Avatar
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    OK, here's another to consider: Pyramid thorn-proof tubes. My shop gave me a pair for DH tubes this season and my gosh, I think they were heavier than my tires! Thickest-walled monsters I've ever seen; I don't think you'd need Slime or liners to augment them.

    Pyramid is a kind-of generic brand that most shops can get through one of their wholesale suppliers (like J&B Importers maybe?)

  15. #15
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    Thorn resistant tubes. The Bontrager ones at my shop sell for $8.99
    Thicker/hardcase tires. Bontrager has a pretty wide selection of Hardcase tires, running for about $29.99 a piece.

  16. #16
    World's slowest cyclist.
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    Quote Originally Posted by indygreg View Post
    You are better off trying to figure out why they are getting flats then trying to find something that will not flat.
    Kids ride every day of the year without flats. Many kids will ride an entire summer without a flat.

    The key is to figure out 100% what is causing the flat.
    If you are getting a puncture flat every few days, have them ride somewhere else
    It is entirely possible that the flat is coming from the same thing every time. If the tire itself has a thorn or nail in it it is going to puncture the tube time and time again. You need to run your finger through the tire completely to feel for debris.
    Secondly, the rim can cause repeated flats. Are the spokes properly covered with a band or tape?
    +2. Lots of times repeat flats all come from the same place and easily fixable. Tire liners, thick tubes, etc are all good ideas but finding what's causing the flat is critical.

  17. #17
    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    I"ve been doing testing with Tireballs over the last few months. It is still in the testing mode for XC applications. They have the downhill balls dialed in and there are many riders using them as of right now.

    Feel free to fire away some questions.


    I can say that I've used slim in tubes and it works great for thorns, but I did land a small jump on an off camber trail and the tube exploded. I bought the slime bottle and added myself to the tubes, the ones you buy have too much slime in them I think and add way too much wieght.
    Santa Cruz Tall Boy
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  18. #18
    Writin' stuff ZeCanon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dminor View Post
    OK, here's another to consider: Pyramid thorn-proof tubes. My shop gave me a pair for DH tubes this season and my gosh, I think they were heavier than my tires! Thickest-walled monsters I've ever seen; I don't think you'd need Slime or liners to augment them.

    Pyramid is a kind-of generic brand that most shops can get through one of their wholesale suppliers (like J&B Importers maybe?)
    Yeah pyramids are available through J&B. Those things are massive...
    Velo Magazine/VeloNews.com tech guy get in touch or hit me on the tweeter @CaleyFretz

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by indygreg View Post
    another way of looking at it . .. if not making it one week without a flat were normal, zero bikes would be sold.
    False.

    I'd still buy one.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by RIC0 View Post
    I"ve been doing testing with Tireballs over the last few months. It is still in the testing mode for XC applications. They have the downhill balls dialed in and there are many riders using them as of right now.

    Feel free to fire away some questions.


    I can say that I've used slim in tubes and it works great for thorns, but I did land a small jump on an off camber trail and the tube exploded. I bought the slime bottle and added myself to the tubes, the ones you buy have too much slime in them I think and add way too much wieght.
    How heavy are they compared to a normal setup?

    How much more flat resistant are they?

    What would be the price for a set?

  21. #21
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenLi View Post
    How heavy are they compared to a normal setup?

    How much more flat resistant are they?

    What would be the price for a set?
    Website's video estimates $150 per wheel.

    Works on the principal that if one of the balls gets punctured, you still have 19 of them to keep you going.

    Also curious as to how much they weigh exactly.

  22. #22
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    In response to the original question; I would suggest you look at better tires rather than trying to find a tube that will not go flat. Most "kids" level mountain bikes have pretty low quality tires. Depending on what size tires are on the bikes, there are tons of puncture resistant options. If you combine a puncture resistant tire with a tire liner you should be able to reduce the frequency of getting flats.

  23. #23
    Senior Member colombo357's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saltydawg View Post
    The Tire Balls look like exactly what I need. They haven't even started beta testing yet though...
    Considering the rate at which those kids puncture tubes, they'll easily eat through $150 worth of balls in a matter of weeks.

  24. #24
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    sounds to me like you you have probably got some kind of puncture cauing debris or defect in the tire or wheel. No one gets flats that often enless they are riding over known bad terrain. First, look at the rim tape. If the spokes or nipples are protruding through the tape, you will definitely have problems. Second, make sure you check the inside of the tire for a protruding obect which keeps repuncturing the tire. Finally, if the tire crcass has a defect that isn't readily visible, you can find it by ensuring that you always mout the tire with exactly the same orientation. If you keep getting a puncture in the same spot, the tire is your problem and should be replaced. Just line one of the tire labels up with the valve stem in the exact same way every time you put the tire back on the rim. If you kep puncturing tubes in the exact same spot, relative to the stem, you've found your problem.

  25. #25
    PBR Racing RIC0's Avatar
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    Last time I weighed mine the balls wieghed more than a standard tube.

    I had 29 balls total so if you got a flat it was a 1/29th of a flat tire. Pinch flats won't happen, but a thorn will surely puncture one. I've mentioned to them about putting something inside to seal small thorn holes.

    The tire balls will also come with a warranty, probably 1 year.
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