Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Classic & Vintage
Reload this Page > reusing tubes from rotted tires
Classic & Vintage This forum is to discuss the many aspects of classic and vintage bicycles, including musclebikes, lightweights, middleweights, hi-wheelers, bone-shakers, safety bikes and much more.

reusing tubes from rotted tires

Reply

Old 10-22-09, 11:44 AM
  #1  
bitt3n
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
reusing tubes from rotted tires

I've got some tubes that are probably 5-10 years old (the tires they were in are rotted). is it worth tossing them even if they hold air?
bitt3n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 12:02 PM
  #2  
lotek 
Forum Admin
 
lotek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: n.w. superdrome
Posts: 17,712

Bikes: 1 trek, serotta, rih, de Reus, Pogliaghi and finally a Zieleman! and got a DeRosa

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Given the price of tubes I'd toss them and buy new ones. They may hold air now but why
chance a failure down the road (double entendre intended). If the tires were rotted chance are
the tubes aren't too far behind.

Marty
__________________
Sono più lento di quel che sembra.
Odio la gente, tutti.


Want to upgrade your membership? Click Here.
lotek is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 12:13 PM
  #3  
TejanoTrackie 
Veteran Racer
 
TejanoTrackie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ciudad de Vacas, Tejas
Posts: 11,072

Bikes: 29 frames + 72 wheels

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 609 Post(s)
Originally Posted by bitt3n View Post
I've got some tubes that are probably 5-10 years old (the tires they were in are rotted). is it worth tossing them even if they hold air?
Assuming that the tire rot is not stuck to them, I'd carry them on the bike as emergency spares, but not install them on my wheels.
TejanoTrackie is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 12:31 PM
  #4  
bitt3n
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 134
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
Assuming that the tire rot is not stuck to them, I'd carry them on the bike as emergency spares, but not install them on my wheels.
actually, that's another question I was wondering. when I say "rot" I mean the rubber looks dry, and some of the sidewall lip is coming unglued near the rim. What is the minimal wear that, when you see it on a tire, you automatically throw it away?
bitt3n is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 12:42 PM
  #5  
DiabloScott
It's MY mountain
 
DiabloScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Mt.Diablo
Posts: 8,182

Bikes: Klein, Merckx, Trek, Bike Friday

Mentioned: 50 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1858 Post(s)
Rubber rot is caused by moisture and sunlight - if these tubes have been kept dry and dark then they're probably fine - I'm sure I've got a 5 year old tube in one of my bikes somewhere.

When a tube is bad it'll show signs of cracking and won't stretch very well so give them a good look over and test them out and if they don't rip apart then don't throw them away.
DiabloScott is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 01:40 PM
  #6  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: West Village, New York City
Posts: 33,671

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1973 Raleigh Twenty, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 298 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3619 Post(s)
I use them, but I don't find a flat to be terribly inconvenient. I can't recall ever having a tube fail because of dry rot, though it might have happened to me. If flatting is a really bad thing, then follow lotek's advice.

On Monday, I offered the 11 year old neighbor boy an old BMX bike I didn't want. He didn't want me to give him a bike for free, so I let him earn it. I had him spend an hour going through about 15 old tubes I have hanging around, in various sizes. He made two piles, good and need patching. I taught him how to patch and had him patch three tubes. I gave him one of the tubes he patched to keep as a spare.

I plan to use all these old tubes. I feel confident. I even put them on bikes I sell. That's how confident I feel in them.

I decided the 55 year old latex tubes in that German or Austrian 3 speed were not good to save. They leaked quickly, because latex is more porous than butyl (the standard material for tubes).
__________________
Tom Reingold, [email protected]
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 02:12 PM
  #7  
miamijim
Senior Member
 
miamijim's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Tampa, Florida
Posts: 13,903
Mentioned: 34 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 314 Post(s)
If they dont leak down over a day or so use 'em.
miamijim is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 02:43 PM
  #8  
i-timy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 74
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I am with Miami Jim. Go green and use em.
i-timy is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 02:43 PM
  #9  
molarface
Junior WHAT?!?!
 
molarface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd toss 'em as I hate flats and try to minimize their occurance.
molarface is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 02:50 PM
  #10  
tashi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Victoria
Posts: 1,222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
A 1974 Raleigh I had is running the original tubes still, no problem. I see no reason to replace old tubes just 'cause they're old. Even though they're rubber and rubber does break down it really doesn't break down much if not exposed to sunlight etc.

If they hold air I say use 'em. Better than having some poor kid in China make you new ones!
tashi is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 02:56 PM
  #11  
bicyclridr4life
Bicyclerider4life
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Florida and Idaho
Posts: 962

Bikes: Huffy Beach Cruisers, Miami Sun Trike, Vertical PK7, KHS Montana Summit, Giant Cypress DX, Schwinn OCC Stingray

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 96 Post(s)
Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I use them, but I don't find a flat to be terribly inconvenient. I can't recall ever having a tube fail because of dry rot, though it might have happened to me. If flatting is a really bad thing, then follow lotek's advice.

On Monday, I offered the 11 year old neighbor boy an old BMX bike I didn't want. He didn't want me to give him a bike for free, so I let him earn it. I had him spend an hour going through about 15 old tubes I have hanging around, in various sizes. He made two piles, good and need patching. I taught him how to patch and had him patch three tubes. I gave him one of the tubes he patched to keep as a spare.

I plan to use all these old tubes. I feel confident. I even put them on bikes I sell. That's how confident I feel in them.

I decided the 55 year old latex tubes in that German or Austrian 3 speed were not good to save. They leaked quickly, because latex is more porous than butyl (the standard material for tubes).
Sounds like a responsible 11 year old who is going to take care of the bike.
I agree, if they hold air, use them; dry rot is rare in a tube that has been in a box or tire.

In answer to OP's other question, I toss a tire when I see cord in the tread or sidewall. Since it is "impossible" to hydroplane a bike tire, the tread does not really matter unless riding off road in the mud/sand or in the snow during the winter.
__________________
"Whenever I see an adult riding a bicycle, I know there is hope for mankind." (H. G. Wells)
bicyclridr4life is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-09, 03:24 PM
  #12  
molarface
Junior WHAT?!?!
 
molarface's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 149
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Originally Posted by tashi View Post
Even though they're rubber and rubber does break down it really doesn't break down much if not exposed to sunlight etc.
And that is my concern.......the tube may be all protected but the valve stem is most likely going to have seen alot of light. I've had several cases of failure in that area. The tires go just as flat but are impossible to patch there.
molarface is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service