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Low Air Loss Tubes and Other Ideas

Old 08-28-10, 07:44 AM
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Low Air Loss Tubes and Other Ideas

I'm looking for any tips for reducing air loss from my 29er's tires. I'm on a college campus without the same ease of access to a pump I was used to for the rest of my life (i.e., stepping out to the garage where the pump sat next to my bike, making it easy to pump up my tires whenever I wanted). My bike now sits locked up outside, several floors away from my pump, and the campus bike repair station isn't in a location I'll head by every day otherwise. It's not a huge deal to run up and down the steps every so often taking the pump back and forth, but if I could double the amount of time in between the times I needed to do that I figure it might be worthwhile. Especially if I get a little flat protection along with it. This is just my getting around campus bike, so I'm not concerned about weight or performance. Would extra-thick tubes like the Panaracer SuperTube help reduce customary tire deflation over time, or are they just better for avoiding pinch flats and thorns? If thicker tubes aren't the answer, are there any other things I'm missing? Thanks.
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Old 08-28-10, 08:20 AM
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Schwalbe tubes hold air better than any tube I have used in 60+ years. Honest. You can buy them off their website, or at most any dealer. (They may have to order) If you are going this route, pick up sopme of their rim strips at the same time.

Want excellent flat protection - Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, or Dureems........... magic!
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Old 08-28-10, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by phorn
I'm looking for any tips for reducing air loss from my 29er's tires. I'm on a college campus without the same ease of access to a pump I was used to for the rest of my life (i.e., stepping out to the garage where the pump sat next to my bike, making it easy to pump up my tires whenever I wanted). My bike now sits locked up outside, several floors away from my pump, and the campus bike repair station isn't in a location I'll head by every day otherwise. It's not a huge deal to run up and down the steps every so often taking the pump back and forth, but if I could double the amount of time in between the times I needed to do that I figure it might be worthwhile. Especially if I get a little flat protection along with it. This is just my getting around campus bike, so I'm not concerned about weight or performance. Would extra-thick tubes like the Panaracer SuperTube help reduce customary tire deflation over time, or are they just better for avoiding pinch flats and thorns? If thicker tubes aren't the answer, are there any other things I'm missing? Thanks.
Thicker tubes add weight and afford little protection from flats. It's like putting shingles on the INSIDE of your roof to prevent leaks.
Kevlar belted tires (Such as panaracer's pasella Tour-Guards) are a better way to prevent thorns and such from getting in.
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Old 08-28-10, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Thicker tubes add weight and afford little protection from flats. It's like putting shingles on the INSIDE of your roof to prevent leaks.
Kevlar belted tires (Such as panaracer's pasella Tour-Guards) are a better way to prevent thorns and such from getting in.
Thanks, Auchen. But do those thicker tubes keep the air in better, meaning they lose less air over time than standard thickness tubes?
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Old 08-28-10, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer
Schwalbe tubes hold air better than any tube I have used in 60+ years. Honest. You can buy them off their website, or at most any dealer. (They may have to order) If you are going this route, pick up sopme of their rim strips at the same time.

Want excellent flat protection - Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, or Dureems........... magic!
Thanks, Wanderer.
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Old 08-28-10, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow
Thicker tubes add weight and afford little protection from flats. It's like putting shingles on the INSIDE of your roof to prevent leaks.
Kevlar belted tires (Such as panaracer's pasella Tour-Guards) are a better way to prevent thorns and such from getting in.
Sure, but the OP is mainly looking to prevent the gradual loss of air due to diffusion through the tube rubber. Thicker tubes clearly do have an advantage there although 'thorn-proof' tubes are generally only thicker on the outer side and not on the side toward the rim. Also make sure you get the tubes in a wide size so they aren't stretched when inflated inside the tire.

Not clear what the OP is using to inflate the tire if he gets a flat. If it's CO2 then note that it diffuses through rubber much faster than the N2 and O2 in air, so after using it he should deflate the tire and refill with air to minimize gradual pressure loss.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
Sure, but the OP is mainly looking to prevent the gradual loss of air due to diffusion through the tube rubber. Thicker tubes clearly do have an advantage there although 'thorn-proof' tubes are generally only thicker on the outer side and not on the side toward the rim. Also make sure you get the tubes in a wide size so they aren't stretched when inflated inside the tire.
I have the bad habit of using the same 700X25 tubes for everything, and they work just fine in my touring bike with 35mm wheels. There is no difference in air loss, no difference in number of flats, and no real difference in feel. The key difference is it's a little finicky to install, and the spare tube is much, much smaller.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:13 AM
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Thorn resistant tubes are extra thick, but the really fat ones are only in 26".

I rode on a puncture free tour on TR tubes but they were fitted in 700c -38 wide tires ..

with less than 50mm wide tires that is possible , but stretching a smaller tube to fill a big tire increases the volume
and so reduces its wall thickness.. balloon blowers know this..
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Old 08-28-10, 06:26 PM
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Well, if weight isn't your concern... why not mount a frame pump?
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Old 08-28-10, 07:10 PM
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Don't mount a frame pump. The pump will go missing on a college campus faster than the tube will loose air.
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Old 08-28-10, 07:36 PM
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Slime.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:46 PM
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yeah, i would give the "slime" a shot....
although I got a new set too, i thought I would give a shot at re-using the tubes that came on my used bike...
even in different tires.
I put a bottle of slime i already had in them and have been riding them for almost a month now and have not needed air yet.
it is rather heavy, but you did say that was not so much a concern.
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Old 08-28-10, 09:56 PM
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"Thicker tubes add weight and afford little protection from flats. It's like putting shingles on the INSIDE of your roof to prevent leaks."

although the OP's question was not about punctures, this is interesting to me....
it does not seem to make sense... a thicker tube is going to be harder to penetrate than a thin tube....
water from a roof and glass or thorns on a road/trail are not a suitable analogy.
this having been said, i would agree that a kevlar belted tire would be a first line of defense if punctures were the issue.
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Old 08-28-10, 10:00 PM
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Topeak Mountain Morph will go in your book bag. though short , it can work like a floor pump,
because it has a hose, a thumblock for the valve stem, and you push the plunger down towards the ground.
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Old 08-29-10, 05:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Mandelbrot
"Thicker tubes add weight and afford little protection from flats. It's like putting shingles on the INSIDE of your roof to prevent leaks."

although the OP's question was not about punctures, this is interesting to me....
it does not seem to make sense... a thicker tube is going to be harder to penetrate than a thin tube....
water from a roof and glass or thorns on a road/trail are not a suitable analogy.
this having been said, i would agree that a kevlar belted tire would be a first line of defense if punctures were the issue.
First line of defense - Exactly! The idea is to keep the thorns (and slivers of glass) out, not to try to deal them after they get in.
Now, assuming there are no holes in the tube, I would agree with the others who believe that thicker butyl rubber tubes allow air to migrate through more slowly so you won't pump as often.
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Old 08-29-10, 11:06 AM
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Originally Posted by skilsaw
Don't mount a frame pump. The pump will go missing on a college campus faster than the tube will loose air.
Yes, but you can take the frame pump with you. That said, I have a pump that fits three out of my four bikes, and whenever I put it on my commuter I end up forgetting about it.
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Old 08-29-10, 11:42 AM
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i got a cheap dual stage pump that can go up to 90psi from performance (or nashbar) for 9.99 on sale... about 9 inches long, fits in the little 'waterbottle' mesh bungied side pack on my backpack
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Old 08-29-10, 11:50 AM
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I keep a midsized compartment on my backpack just for bike related things that I would normally carry on the frame( but don't) to leave nothing for anybody to steal. That includes my saddlebag, lights, Topeak Road Morph pump, basic tools, etc. Moral of the story - I always have a pump with me and it takes up very little space, while requiring stealing my backpack off my person to steal the pump.

I have Continental tubes under my Gatorskin tires, and this combo seems to hold air extremely will. The Kenda tire/tube combo that came with my bike must have just been terrible, as I almost needed to add about 20psi whenever I was pulling the bike out to ride it (every other day or so during the summer). With the Continentals, I have not pumped up to my normal 90psi in about 10 days and I've still got about 75psi according to my gauge.
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