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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 12-18-06, 09:42 PM   #1
gerv 
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Recycle or toss old bike tires and tubes

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?
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Old 12-18-06, 10:18 PM   #2
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When I volunteered for an evening at the local bike collective, my assignment was to go through barrels of old donated inner tubes and pick out the ones that wouldn't hold air. They were used to teach school children how to fix flats.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:03 AM   #3
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old tires, this is a great topic. i'm sure many of you have seen those photos of old tire dumps where the tires go on forever. i still have not heard of a good solution for the reuse or recycling of old tires. i think that goes for bicycle tires as well (they are basically made the same way)

i always feel guilty, like last week when i took a small stack of old tires out to the dump. i bet some kids in a 3rd world country would have found my 'used' tires to be in great condition
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Old 12-19-06, 12:56 AM   #4
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Could bike tires be patched/repaired and used again? Was there ever a time when they did that?
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Old 12-19-06, 01:10 AM   #5
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Tire tubes can be used to fasten a milk crate to the rack on your bike. I'm sure there are a number of other ways that tubes can be used as fasteners. You cut them and then tie them in a knot. Nice thing about rubber is that since it's stretchy and squishy but not slippery, it holds knots quite well.

I have a tarp tied to the porch of my building which covers my bike. It's tied down in several places with platic twine. I should retie it with tire tubes because they'd probably hold a knot better and leave less slack.
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Old 12-19-06, 04:41 AM   #6
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I recycle the tubes various ways, I cut one up the other day to use to rebuild a flap valve on my son's vacuum cleaner I have never really thought of a way to reuse old tires, when my are done they are done. I do drop them in the tire bin that goes to the recyclers so hopefully they are being reused and not just going to a dump somewhere.

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Old 12-19-06, 08:01 AM   #7
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Old 12-19-06, 08:57 AM   #8
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I use an old inner tube to tie between my front tire and frame to keep the handlebar from steering and the front wheel from rolling, while I lean the bike against a wall to clean the chain.

You can see it in this picture:

http://www.focushacks.com/photo/war-...07-06_2155.jpg


I use two 2" sections of old inner tube stretched over my front dropouts when I remove my QR wheel and have to set the dropouts on pavement, to keep them from getting scraped up.

I cut 1/4" wide loops of old inner tube to make rubber bands.

I cut 1/2" to 3/4" wide loops of old inner tube, then cut it again to make a wide rubber strip. I use this to make shims for attaching lighting or accessories to my bike. They're also great for keeping metal host clamps from scratching the paint.

Back in high school, I made fenders out of an old mountain bike tire and some cut-up pieces of a clothes hanger (the wire kind). I cut the tire into 2 equal-length pieces to start (with tin-snips), then stabbed a horizontal slit in the tire, stuck a loop of wire through it and bolted it to my brakes, and used hanger wire inside the old tire shell to keep it spread apart and to keep it from rubbing on the tires. It worked pretty well for being so ghetto.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:25 AM   #9
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I save a few small pieces of inner tube for padding when clamping things to the bike, so I don't scratch the paint.

Could a person run a heavy chain through an old tube and make a padded locking chain?

I suppose one could use an inner tube for an exercise appliance, if it stretches enough.
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Old 12-19-06, 11:06 AM   #10
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Alchemy Goods makes messenger bags and haversacks from recycled inner tubes.

http://www.alchemygoods.com/messenger.html
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Old 12-19-06, 11:32 AM   #11
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My old martial arts instructor liked bicycle inner tubes as a teaching aide to get students to feel the connections between body parts. He'd get the inner tube to resist the direction of the movement to enhance the student's awareness of the muscle groups involved in a technique.
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Old 12-19-06, 12:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twochins
old tires, this is a great topic. i'm sure many of you have seen those photos of old tire dumps where the tires go on forever. i still have not heard of a good solution for the reuse or recycling of old tires. i think that goes for bicycle tires as well (they are basically made the same way)

Recycling Tires:

http://ohiodnr.com/recycling/awareness/facts/tires/
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Old 12-19-06, 07:21 PM   #13
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The only use I can think of for old tires might be to use them as strap fasteners. I bought one of those at Lowe's last week for $2. Couldn't even get the size I wanted, so I thought an old tire might work if it had enough elasticity. Basically, cut it (maybe with snips?) about 2 inches by desired length. Drill a small hole in each end and add an S or snap hook. Would that work?

Tubes have a million re-use possibilities. One thing many people forget is that you can buy a $2 patch kit and repair your tubes. If repaired properly, they are as good as new.
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Old 12-19-06, 08:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gerv
Basically, cut it (maybe with snips?) about 2 inches by desired length. Drill a small hole in each end and add an S or snap hook. Would that work?
I tried cutting a bike tire for some forgotten reason with snips. The steel bead put a nick in the snips. It was tough. The snips worked well for the rest of the tire. Now when I cut some thin sheet metal with the snips I can feel that nick in the blade. Try something stronger for the bead.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:52 PM   #15
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my tinsnips ripped right through the bead of my old tire. You could always use a dremel with a cutoff wheel, or a band saw to get you through the bead if it presents a problem.
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Old 12-19-06, 10:53 PM   #16
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Quote:
Tubes have a million re-use possibilities. One thing many people forget is that you can buy a $2 patch kit and repair your tubes. If repaired properly, they are as good as new.
This is true, but if the valve core or stem goes out, or a sidewall blows out and there's mega permanent damage to the tube, I usually cut my losses and start making rubber bands out of it.
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Old 12-20-06, 07:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyclepath
I skimmed through these links and didn't see mention of those tire tread sandals that were popular in the late '60s. I'd think that some shoe company might want to present a green image by putting used tires as the sole of a sport sandal line. Can you even get tire tread sandals anymore?
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Old 12-20-06, 09:14 AM   #18
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I used an old innertube to make one of those bands that you wrap around your right ankle to keep your chainrings from clawing your pants. I just cut a strip and sewed some velcro onto it and it works a lot bettern than the commercial ones in my opinion.
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Old 12-20-06, 10:10 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
I skimmed through these links and didn't see mention of those tire tread sandals that were popular in the late '60s. I'd think that some shoe company might want to present a green image by putting used tires as the sole of a sport sandal line. Can you even get tire tread sandals anymore?
OK, I found some DIY instructions for making footwear from tires.

http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm
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Old 12-22-06, 11:31 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Platy
Could bike tires be patched/repaired and used again? Was there ever a time when they did that?
yes, i patch mtn bikes tires in the summer when i do mtn parx...you can use the same patches as for tubes...worx fine,i know, i put tires through the paces
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Old 12-23-06, 01:59 AM   #21
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I will have to scrounge around for some links but there was one semi-green option in Europe. A company devised a material out of tires that is ideal for recreational paths. It is apprently better for cyclists and joggers as it is softer on the knees as you run along. Believe they were looking at using it for some of the National trails in the UK.
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Old 12-23-06, 03:04 AM   #22
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Tubes and tires are a thrifty person's bungee cords.
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Old 12-23-06, 11:23 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twochins
yes, i patch mtn bikes tires in the summer when i do mtn parx...you can use the same patches as for tubes...worx fine,i know, i put tires through the paces
I put a tube patch on the inside of a realtively new tire that got a gash in it from some nasty post car accident debris. I didn't want the gash to grow. It has held up so far but I can't swear that the patch has really done any good.
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Old 12-23-06, 07:32 PM   #24
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OK, I found some DIY instructions for making footwear from tires.

http://www.hollowtop.com/sandals.htm
Sandals from tyre carcasses are common in thailand. Unless you have baby feet to shod bicycle tyres would be too small.
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Old 12-24-06, 03:13 PM   #25
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Averaging only one flat a year, I basically toss my old tubes. I will not try to patch them due to the tire vibration caused by the patch. A person who rides a MTB on a rough trail or a commuter riding on rough roads maybe able to get by patching a tube, but since I ride on smooth paved roads, the constant thumping can get annoying. By riding a bike and keeping my SUV parked, I can definitely afford a new tube and the proper equipment to strap down my loads, and plus I do not wish to be confused with the many homeless bicycle riders in my area.
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