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Old 10-22-09, 11:44 AM   #1
bitt3n
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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?
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Old 10-22-09, 12:02 PM   #2
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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.

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Old 10-22-09, 12:13 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 10-22-09, 12:31 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 10-22-09, 12:42 PM   #5
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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.
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Old 10-22-09, 01:40 PM   #6
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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).
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Old 10-22-09, 02:12 PM   #7
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If they dont leak down over a day or so use 'em.
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Old 10-22-09, 02:43 PM   #8
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I am with Miami Jim. Go green and use em.
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Old 10-22-09, 02:43 PM   #9
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I'd toss 'em as I hate flats and try to minimize their occurance.
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Old 10-22-09, 02:50 PM   #10
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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!
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Old 10-22-09, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
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.
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Old 10-22-09, 03:24 PM   #12
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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.
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