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Nitrogen in tires?

Old 07-08-14, 08:48 PM
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pumabicycle
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Nitrogen in tires?

Would it be feasible/possible to put nitrogen in tubular tires to prevent day to day pressure loss. I've used it many vehicles from truck tires to ultra low profile high performance tires and it worked very well. Any reason why it wouldn't work, downsides?

If it matters, I ride Veloflex Extreme 22mm

I ride about 40 miles a day and pumping up my tires everyday is a real hassle.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:01 PM
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Then pay some one to pump up your tires

This is the cost of playing the game at the level you've chosen to do so. Andy
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Old 07-08-14, 09:03 PM
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You are already filling your tires with 78% nitrogen.
Filling with 100% nitrogen will not stop the pressure loss.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:04 PM
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Air is what, 80% nitrogen? So if it's only the oxygen and carbon dioxide that are leaking out, then after a few pumpups, you should have a tire full of nitrogen anyway, right?

However, to the best of my knowledge, putting nitrogen in car tires is just an absolute scam. I've read that started with Nascar, and their interest was in avoiding water vapor. But car tires have lower pressure, much more volume, much thicker rubber, and the effect is that they lose pressure very very slowly even just airing them up with regular ol' air.

In my case, I would bet that 50% or more of the observed pressure loss in my bike tires is due to that PST! when I take the pump off.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:16 PM
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It's not a scam at all. On my sportscar I had to pump my tires nearly every day to proper pressure. When I had the nitrogen put in it completely solved the problem, no doubt about it. I never have to air them up. So I don't know who you heard it was a scam from but I doubt they ever actually tried it and just told you that to earn your attention.
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Old 07-08-14, 09:43 PM
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Originally Posted by pumabicycle View Post
Would it be feasible/possible to put nitrogen in tubular tires to prevent day to day pressure loss. I've used it many vehicles from truck tires to ultra low profile high performance tires and it worked very well. Any reason why it wouldn't work, downsides?
.
You're already using an 80% nitrogen mix. Since the Oxygen bleeds through faster (in theory), you'd be selectively replacing the lost oxygen with the 80/20 mix and after a few bleed and pump cycles would be riding on almost pure nitrogen anyway.

In any case, the selective loss of oxygen vs. nitrogen is a butyl rubber thing, and I'm not sure that it applies to the latex tubes in most tubulars.

OTOH- if you have nitrogen on a line for the other tires, you have little to lose by trying it for the bikes.
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Old 07-08-14, 10:22 PM
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You would simply be substituting your daily routine to filling with N2 instead of pumping your tires.

Tires - Nitrogen air loss study

I would check your tires for the leaks.

Bontrager: How to Find and Fix Leaks in your Tubeless Tires
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Old 07-08-14, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by pumabicycle View Post
It's not a scam at all. On my sportscar I had to pump my tires nearly every day to proper pressure. When I had the nitrogen put in it completely solved the problem, no doubt about it. I never have to air them up. So I don't know who you heard it was a scam from but I doubt they ever actually tried it and just told you that to earn your attention.
Scam might be a strong word, but straight from my source in the Audi LMP-1 program, the only reasons nitrogen is used is because there's no water vapor, and it's non-reactive. The vapor issue is huge for race cars, but is a complete waste of time for a street-driven car. Air is already mostly nitrogen, and unless someone is able to pull a vacuum on your tires, you will never have pure nitrogen in there anyway.

If you have a car that needs air every day, something is wrong. Either the valves were leaky, the tires weren't well seated, or there was a leak elsewhere that got fixed about the same time you got nitrogen. Nitrogen alone did not fix it.
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Old 07-08-14, 11:38 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
. . . If you have a car that needs air every day, something is wrong. Either the valves were leaky, the tires weren't well seated, or there was a leak elsewhere that got fixed about the same time you got nitrogen. Nitrogen alone did not fix it.
Please don't dismiss the placebo effect.
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Old 07-09-14, 12:07 AM
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Originally Posted by pumabicycle View Post
If it matters, I ride Veloflex Extreme 22mm
I certainly does matter. Those tires aren't made to retain air longer than a race stage. Get some butyl based "training" tires for everyday use.

But if you have access to nitrogen there is no problem putting it in bicycle tires.
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Old 07-09-14, 06:56 AM
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Nitrogen inflation prevents oxygen from degrading the rubber. The inside of a car tire is higher pressure than the outside and gets warm from rolling resistance induced friction so oxidation is worse from the inside.

Tubulars don't last long enough for it to make a difference.

Maybe nitrogen lasts longer in some kinds of tires but as someone has pointed out, if it lasted longer inside a racing tubular then you would only ever lose 20% of your pressure and only on the first inflation. On the second top up, you could only lose four percent. On the third top up, less than one percent.
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Old 07-09-14, 06:57 AM
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ankle

I think you hit the nail on the head. Nitrogen inflated tires is little more than a sales gimmic.
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Old 07-09-14, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
The vapor issue is huge for race cars, but is a complete waste of time for a street-driven car.
Nitrogen inflation also prevents oxidation but I read a study showing it's still not necessary if you expect your tires to last less than about six years for most of the continental US. Further north, colder temperatures slow oxidation.
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Old 07-09-14, 08:11 AM
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"Nitrogen inflation prevents oxygen from degrading the rubber."

Funny, I learned that it was UV rays and ozone which degrade rubber.

If it was oxygen I would expect that the inside of my tires would degrade faster than the outside. I have observed consistently that the opposite is the case, which reinforces my UV and ozone hypothesis.

Can you provide a link or citation which supports the oxygen-degradation theory?
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Old 07-09-14, 08:32 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
"Nitrogen inflation prevents oxygen from degrading the rubber."

Funny, I learned that it was UV rays and ozone which degrade rubber.

If it was oxygen I would expect that the inside of my tires would degrade faster than the outside. I have observed consistently that the opposite is the case, which reinforces my UV and ozone hypothesis.

Can you provide a link or citation which supports the oxygen-degradation theory?
oxygen is reactive with just about everything
and the last time i got my tires replaced on my van
the insides were basically beginning to dissolve

I think you are right
that uv is the most damaging
but o2 will degrade from the inside
while uv degrades from the outside
until they meet in the middle
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Old 07-09-14, 08:45 AM
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"the last time i got my tires replaced on my van
the insides were basically beginning to dissolve"

Sounds like somebody put in Fix-A-Flat or something; I have never seen the inside of a tire, even decades-old ones, be other than pristine, even while the outsides were crumbling.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by dsbrantjr View Post
"Nitrogen inflation prevents oxygen from degrading the rubber."

Funny, I learned that it was UV rays and ozone which degrade rubber.

If it was oxygen I would expect that the inside of my tires would degrade faster than the outside. I have observed consistently that the opposite is the case, which reinforces my UV and ozone hypothesis.

Can you provide a link or citation which supports the oxygen-degradation theory?
the dsbrantjr axiom: If one thing can degrade a tire, then another thing cannot.

Ozone is nothing but three atoms of oxygen btw.

Last edited by garage sale GT; 07-09-14 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:12 AM
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Its malarkey, if you look around you wont see it much any more. Was more or less a scam.
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Old 07-09-14, 09:38 AM
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A scam by whom? The Nitrogen Cartel?
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Old 07-09-14, 10:24 AM
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If you have to pump up your tires every day, the problem is likely your tubes, not the composition of the gases inside them.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:29 AM
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Uh, nitrogen has been discussed in many threads.
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Old 07-09-14, 10:33 AM
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I buy high pressure compressed gas to use in a device which expels a lead projectile, typically called a "pellet".

I could buy Nitrogen at 4500 PSI or very dry air, the closest place is a fire protection place and they have very dry air. I would not expect to see a real big difference if I used either in bike tires...but I have no way to regulate it below 1000 psi so I have never tried it.

The biggest reason for using Nitrogen IMHO as another poster said is that it is very dry...moisture in the air causes more pressure change when tires heat up and cool down.

Bill
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Old 07-09-14, 10:41 AM
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Large jets use nitrogen in tires, the only reason is to prevent the addition of moisture .
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Old 07-09-14, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
You're already using an 80% nitrogen mix. Since the Oxygen bleeds through faster (in theory), you'd be selectively replacing the lost oxygen with the 80/20 mix and after a few bleed and pump cycles would be riding on almost pure nitrogen anyway.
This is correct. N2 concentration will asymptotically approach 100%.

I don't believe there is an advantage using N2 but if I did I still would not do it. It takes me perhaps 3 minutes to bring my tires back up to pressure. Assuming that I did that daily that would be 18 minutes per week. If N2 required pumping only have as much, I would save 9 minutes per week. That's about as long as the time I spent reading this thread. Geez!
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Old 07-09-14, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Grand Bois View Post
A scam by whom? The Nitrogen Cartel?
I have seen car dealers that tried to sell you on filling the tires with nitrogen for an extra $500 or whatever. Which makes me think, first off, how the heck would I know that was worthwhile, and then secondly, if they'd scam you in the first place, how do you know they actually even put any nitrogen in the tires? And how do they get the air out first? if the "empty" tire is full of air, then you inflate with nitrogen, about 30% of what's in there is still the original air which didn't go away.
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