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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 10-31-09, 11:11 AM   #51
coffeecake
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The LBS mechanic repurposes old tubes as chainstay protectors - I've got one wrapped around the chainstay on my hybrid. Cheap and does the job, and when wrapped neatly, inobtrusive.
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Old 11-01-09, 08:54 AM   #52
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A lot of the people that I ride with treat tubes as disposable items and go through large amounts of them. I used to subscribe to that way, but I don't anymore. I won't even throw away a tube anymore and I will only stop using a tube when it's beyond patching repair (I once got five patches on one tube). I currently have a collection of five tubes, all with different numbers of patches on them. The one tube that I did stop using, I used it to make shims for stuff that I mount on the handlebars.
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Old 11-01-09, 12:32 PM   #53
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I personally haven't had a flat in several years now, thanks to some extremely flat resistant tires. Marathon Plus and XR on my cargo bike, Marathon Supreme on the Bike Friday.

However, at the bike co-op, flats are a common occurrence and we usually help people fix a few each day. There's a big box in the back room that is just piling up with them.

Some of the uses we've had for these tubes include:

Chainstay and downtube protectors. Just as protective as "professional" ones like Lizard Skins, very tough, recycled, and free.

Rack / carton / trailer straps. Common usage.

Some of the bike punks like to make belts out of them using sprockets or little loops of chain for the buckle.

I sometimes slice them up into small bands to hold parts together when throwing them into bins instead of blowing hundreds of easily broken thin rubber bands.

We've got a coffee table in the shop that has tire edging as decoration, made from some worn out MTB tires. Looks pretty good.

Shims for attaching lights / computers / various equipment that does not quite fit as-is.

Sticking small squares to the frame where things like watter bottles are tapping it, making rattling noises.

Potential replacement boots for suspension, we've done a few suspension seatposts this way. With some more effort, you could boot a fork with tubes too.

A few sidenotes:

Putting patches that are normally used for tubes on the inside of a tire is largely ineffective. The patch does not provide the same level of protection that the tire did, by far, and will not do much at all to prevent another flat if an object enters the exact same nick left by the last one.

In the case that the tire has blown and needs to be "booted" to make it home, a tube patch is largely ineffective again - its too stretchy to do a good job of holding in the pressure, and would only hold a fairly small hole in check.

And, you'd have to be like the princess and the pea to feel a tube patch as you ride.
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Old 11-01-09, 01:24 PM   #54
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Good post.

A patch or a piece of inner tube used as a boot won't hold the air inside a torn tire, it will bulge out and rupture. As you said, it's too stretchy. That is why you will never feel a thump from a patched tube. The tire casing defines the shape of the outer surface of the inner tube. A thicker section of inner tube such as a patched hole will be thicker on the inside surface of the tube, not on the outside pressed against the tire casing. It cannot affect the shape of the tire, you cannot feel a patch inside an inflated tire.
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Old 10-09-10, 11:37 AM   #55
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I can't repatch my last tube because it tore at the stem so I'm going to cut it into manageable pieces and use it as a sling for my ladened grapefruit branches that are hanging to low to the ground.
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Old 10-11-10, 06:27 AM   #56
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I have a piece of inner tube as a mudflap on my front mudguard (fender for you americans). Just cut a section about 4-5" long, cut along the inside to flaten it out then cut to shape.
If you take thin slices of inner tube you have a supply of elastic bands.
Cut circles from inner tubes and use as puncture repair patches.

Hmm could we produce a line of recycled fetish gear maybe?
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Old 10-11-10, 06:15 PM   #57
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I patch my tubes until I can't patch no more ... then use them for bungees and such ... the tires, I hang in the garage for a year or two, then throw them away.
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Old 10-11-10, 06:45 PM   #58
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Old 10-20-10, 12:35 PM   #59
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have seen a youtube vid of someone making a bike storage rack using shelf brackets with sections of tyre over them to provide protection
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Old 10-29-10, 05:03 PM   #60
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I patch my tubes with cut up little pieces of old tubes. I've cut a tube in half and wrapped my bars with it. I've used it to make the diameter of my seatpost bigger to fit a standard stem used as a stoker stem on my big dummy. Chainstay protectors. Wrapped the little bent tube a passenger puts there feet on on the dummy to prevent slipping when butt hovering over bumps. If you cut a section, tie a loop in one end and a knot in the other, you can use them as a reusable and easily openable tie down. I do this to easily attach and remove fishing poles from my rack. I've cut pieces and used them in place of leather washers when installing metal fenders to prevent rattling. I've never thrown an inner tube out.
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Old 10-29-10, 11:47 PM   #61
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road tyres on WideLoaders

this is easy, its a no brainer.
for those who are XtraCycle'd
and using WideLoaders...

simply use old road bike tyre on the wideloaders...

so what does this do?

it does what tyres are made to do... provide traction

its an easy install, I could have been super fancy, by using the kevlar beads, punching holes thru the tyres, and lacing the "tyre wrap" ala steering wheel cover-esq

but instead I just used zip tie.

it makes nice for leaning the bike up against things like a wall, a curb, and/or laying the bike onto the WideLoaders...
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Old 11-11-10, 12:04 AM   #62
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I ride my tires til i skid through em pretty much.....that takes a while......I have a huge stack old tires that I pulled from bike shop dumpsters. I dumpstered a pair of old gatorskins rode them all summer delivering sandwhiches. I don't like patching tubes.....I rarely get flats....but i generally cut em up and use em as bungee cords.
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Old 11-11-10, 06:15 AM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
Good post.

A patch or a piece of inner tube used as a boot won't hold the air inside a torn tire, it will bulge out and rupture. As you said, it's too stretchy. That is why you will never feel a thump from a patched tube. The tire casing defines the shape of the outer surface of the inner tube. A thicker section of inner tube such as a patched hole will be thicker on the inside surface of the tube, not on the outside pressed against the tire casing. It cannot affect the shape of the tire, you cannot feel a patch inside an inflated tire.
I have used an inner tube as a boot, just had to double it over a couple of times. I have also used a scrap of cardboard, duct tape, note book paper.... Duct tape or cardboard was probably the best choices at the time.

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Old 11-12-10, 07:12 AM   #64
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I use a dollar bill folded in half twice.
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Old 11-12-10, 06:42 PM   #65
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Here in Northern California, when last I checked, the only
effort to recycle car tires is to ship them lower down in
the central valley to be burned in some sort of cogeneration
plant to generate electricity. This was actually some kind
of scam for a number of years where a local landowner
accepted any and all tires --- ostensibly to provide fuel
for this yet to be built cogeneration facility.

The tires eventually caught fire and burned for most of
one summer before the winter rains brought the thing
more or less under control. Made quite a plume of
toxic smoke and affected air quality down near Bakersfield
for the better part of that year.

The landowner fled the country, I believe, and took along
quite a pile of cash.


When confronted recently with a huge bike tire pile here
at the Sacramento Bicycle Kitchen, it was researched and
our options turned out to be:
1. Ship them to Utah for recycling.
2. Take them to the county transfer station,
where they are treated as landfill..

We chose #2 as the only reasonable alternative to date.

Mike Larmer

Last edited by 3alarmer; 11-12-10 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Add information
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Old 11-13-10, 04:22 AM   #66
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I noticed my LBS ships bike tires and tubes off for recycling as well. Not sure where to, however.

The thing I most recently used old tubes for were belts to help tie down a rain fly onto the back of my XC.
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Old 11-13-10, 05:27 AM   #67
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I use junk tube as tie-down bands as well. Plus, I use them for exercise stretching my arm, legs muscles, etc. .
A friend has a chain of " funky " restaurants. I have given him old tires to use as decoration the wall as " Moon Eyes." Black plastic salad plates can be cut-up to make the pupils.
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Old 11-13-10, 05:33 AM   #68
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I use junk tube as tie-down bands as well. Plus, I use them for exercise stretching my arm, legs muscles, etc. .
A friend has a chain of " funky " restaurants. I have given him old tires to use as decoration on the wall as " Moon Eyes." Black plastic salad plates can be cut-up to make the pupils.
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Old 11-17-10, 04:34 PM   #69
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Oh I got a new one, theres a guy in the UK uses old car tyres shredded into powder form then reformed with liquid rubber and a tank of oxygen to create fuel for rockets. Cycle trip on the moon anyone?
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Old 11-17-10, 05:29 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Russcoles11 View Post
Oh I got a new one, theres a guy in the UK uses old car tyres shredded into powder form then reformed with liquid rubber and a tank of oxygen to create fuel for rockets. Cycle trip on the moon anyone?
So conceivably we can now shoot giant freight rockets
filled with old tires to the moon using other tires and
some O2 for fuel? One small step for man ...

It would have the added advantage of providing a cushioned
landing platform for future manned exploration.

And I thought I lived in a great country. Hats off.

Most respectfully,
Mike Larmer
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Old 01-15-11, 11:29 PM   #71
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As far as bike tubes, I use them in place of handlebar tape. They last longer and provide a good grip.

Bike tires can be used to make belts. Go to Etsy.com and search for bicycle tire belts and you can see how some people have done this. You can also find tutorials on how to make belts out of bicycle tires. You can find the info here.
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Old 01-22-11, 02:12 PM   #72
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I use a cut up inter tube, to make a 3.0 inch rubber seal to put around the headset tube and
bearing area. It will keep some of the wet out of your bearing. I also had a couple of bikes
Ihad on a rack on top of the car. I found that a couple of time after, comming home from a
long trip to a bike ride, I would always tear down the bike to re-grease to bearing, that the
lower headset bearings would have most of the grease gone. After putting the innertube
around the headset bearing area, there would always be all the grease there. The only thing
I can guess was at 65-70 mph, the wind was somehow blowing the grease out. This is only
a guess.
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Old 01-22-11, 05:36 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerv View Post
What do you do with old bike tires? Recycle? Repurpose? Toss?
Also, I was riding this weekend and saw 2 tubes left by riders who apparently had flats. Just tossed on the side of an otherwise pristine bike trail! Aside from completely destroying the look of the trail, don't these folks realize inner tubes can be very useful for handlebar shims and also as fasteners for a bike rack?
Some riders just have no damn class at all when they litter in this manner.

Tubes I keep and repurpose for all sorts of jobs. Tires sometimes but mostly not so much,they get recycled.
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Old 01-22-11, 10:01 PM   #74
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I am sorry that I used a poor choice of words, instead of using "homeless", what I really meant was the bike riders who happen to be meth users in my area. They are bicycle riders who do not care about any of rules of the road, race down sidewalks ...
And all it takes to be confused with these folks is to have patches on your tubes? (Can passers-by even see that your tube has been patched? What, do you have transparent tires? (that would be cool, actually.))

Seems to me that a better way not to be confused with these people would be to avoid meth use, to care about the rules of the road, to not race down sidewalks, etc.
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Old 02-25-14, 10:42 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Abneycat View Post
A few sidenotes:

Putting patches that are normally used for tubes on the inside of a tire is largely ineffective. The patch does not provide the same level of protection that the tire did, by far, and will not do much at all to prevent another flat if an object enters the exact same nick left by the last one.

In the case that the tire has blown and needs to be "booted" to make it home, a tube patch is largely ineffective again - its too stretchy to do a good job of holding in the pressure, and would only hold a fairly small hole in check.

And, you'd have to be like the princess and the pea to feel a tube patch as you ride.
I've heard of people using a dollar bill to boot their tire to get home.......and yes, I've ridden even miles on patched tubes (even MULTIPLE patched tubes) and never feel the patch w/in the tire......and i use 700x23s...
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