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Doing a dumb experiment...

Old 11-02-19, 12:40 PM
  #1  
fullergarrett
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Doing a dumb experiment...

This is probably one of those things that get you ridiculed on BikeForums and among bicyclists for the rest of your life...

One day I was on YouTube and came across this video where someone turned their tire inside out. It was a really interesting concept, so Iíve decided to try it myself...

I flipped the stock 26x1.95 Kenda tire that came with my bike inside-out, so the tread is on the inside. I mounted the tire and inflated it to 45 PSI.


Proof that the tire is really inside-out.

I originally tested the concept with a tire Iím replacing due to a gash in it. Installation was really tricky, but not nearly as tricky with the good, undamaged tire.

Because of the really tight fit between the rim and tire, I had to slide the rim with its deflated tube through the tire and center it. Then inflate slightly, mount one bead, inflate some more and mount the other bead. When the tube was deflated the beads would instantly pop right back off the rim, and with too much pressure theyíd also pop off. So it was really tricky finding that perfect pressure to mount the beads at.

Another thing- to get the tube to work I had to shove part of the tube in on itself to make a ďsmallerĒ tube, as the tube at its original size would not work.


More proof that the tire is really inside out. Itís a really tight fit.

I did this yesterday and managed to inflate it to 45 PSI. A day later, itís held perfectly fine. I had lots of concerns and even went outside to inflate it in case it did decide to pop. I was worried the tread may pop the tube, or one of the beads may not hold while being inverted. But it held.

Iím currently waiting for a replacement to the other tire. When it arrives, I may even take the inverted tire for a spin and see how it handles.

Any hypotheses on what may happen? Obviously I have way too much time on my hands...
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Old 11-02-19, 12:52 PM
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I generally approve of experiments but a couple of questions:

1. What are you testing (ie, "why")
2. Shouldn't you try this first on only the back wheel, for safety reasons?
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Old 11-02-19, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
I generally approve of experiments but a couple of questions:

1. What are you testing (ie, "why")
2. Shouldn't you try this first on only the back wheel, for safety reasons?
1. Mostly because I'm curious. I'm curious to see how well an inverted tire will handle on pavement. I'm also curious to see how it will handle when turning/cornering.

2. I agree - I should've installed it on the rear wheel. Because I'm planning on putting the new tire on the front and moving the tire currently on the front (the one that's inverted) to the rear. But it was a PITA to install and it's already mounted and at pressure. I also hate changing the rear tire. I plan on taking it really slow and not going far.

I'm also concerned whether or not the inverted tire in this experiment will be usable when it's flipped back to its normal condition, because I'm planning on putting this tire on the rear after the experiment.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:10 PM
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I wonder how long the reversed bead of the tire will hold?

Hmmm, having a thin bicycle innertube against a fairly aggressive tread pattern, and the fact that the cord of the tire is only a thin layer away from the new "tread", you now have a short tread life tire. Which I guess is good as the inner tube may outlast the new "tread".

Of course, tire manufacturers make slicks to overcome anyone needing to make a homemade slick.

Last edited by FiftySix; 11-02-19 at 01:13 PM.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:12 PM
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I can't stand people who tinker around trying to re-invent a wheel and make things worse....What's the point, why would anybody do such a dumb thing ??...You've done absolutely nothing to improve the tires handling, traction, wear and safety.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by fullergarrett View Post
1. Mostly because I'm curious. I'm curious to see how well an inverted tire will handle on pavement. I'm also curious to see how it will handle when turning/cornering.

2. I agree - I should've installed it on the rear wheel. Because I'm planning on putting the new tire on the front and moving the tire currently on the front (the one that's inverted) to the rear. But it was a PITA to install and it's already mounted and at pressure. I also hate changing the rear tire. I plan on taking it really slow and not going far.

I'm also concerned whether or not the inverted tire in this experiment will be usable when it's flipped back to its normal condition, because I'm planning on putting this tire on the rear after the experiment.
With the idea that a tire with a cut on the outside, when turned inside might get you back from a ride? It's an interesting idea to test. Just don't take any turns please!

We already know that the inside rubber won't last very long (much thinner & no reason to use more durable materials). Doubtful that the bead will hold up as well. So I think at best we're looking at a temporary emergency fix.
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Old 11-02-19, 01:23 PM
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Yeah, I had similar concerns about this, like others mentioned.

I'd also like to warn about using that tire in the rain (i.e. I don't expect the traction to be good for handling that type of weather).
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Old 11-02-19, 01:51 PM
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Nice idea. I'll try it with my studded ice tires.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I can't stand people who tinker around trying to re-invent a wheel and make things worse....What's the point, why would anybody do such a dumb thing ??...You've done absolutely nothing to improve the tires handling, traction, wear and safety.
Yes, how dare the OP tinker with their own belongings! (Sarcasm)
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Old 11-02-19, 02:33 PM
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Be prepared. After your study or experiment, somebody is bound to criticize it explaining why the study is flawed and biased.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:43 PM
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Next step - MŲbius tire: installing a tire so that both inside and outside are actually the same side.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:52 PM
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Next thing you should do is experiment with using a broomstick as a handlebars and a toilet plunger as saddle and seat post.
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Old 11-02-19, 02:56 PM
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I'm not sure why it shouldn't work as long as you've taken the time to get all the glass, thorns, radial wires, etc out of the road surface of the tire.

The center of your tire tread doesn't appear to be bad, although the edges have some aggressive tread. The problem with that is that the tube can get some uneven stretching and potentially pop due to being over-stretched. But, that may not be immediate. It could do permanent damage to the tube, but overall not a big loss.

You likely will have enough rubber for a couple hundred miles of riding. Then it may take some time to chew through the threads.

Overall, it may be a fun experiment, but I don't foresee any earth changing revelations.
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Old 11-02-19, 03:00 PM
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There's a saying....Your life rides on your tires.
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Old 11-02-19, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I'm not sure why it shouldn't work as long as you've taken the time to get all the glass, thorns, radial wires, etc out of the road surface of the tire.

The center of your tire tread doesn't appear to be bad, although the edges have some aggressive tread. The problem with that is that the tube can get some uneven stretching and potentially pop due to being over-stretched. But, that may not be immediate. It could do permanent damage to the tube, but overall not a big loss.

You likely will have enough rubber for a couple hundred miles of riding. Then it may take some time to chew through the threads.

Overall, it may be a fun experiment, but I don't foresee any earth changing revelations.
My money's on a pretty quick flat due to the (inside) tread pattern. But I'm also interested in how it goes.
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Old 11-02-19, 04:15 PM
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Hey, the OP is from Missouri and those people don't believe anything.
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Old 11-02-19, 04:19 PM
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My major concern would be how well embedded the casing is when seen from the inside. My experience, mainly based on failing studded tires, suggests that the cord is very close to the inside face of the tire. Iíd expect it to wear through quite soon compared to the tread side.
The theory that itíd prolong the usesable life of a tire with a cut in it is new to me. Canít quite understand it. Either a cut is only through the tread layer, in which case itís mainly unimportant (unless a piece of grit manages to hit just ĒrightĒ), or itís through the cord, and large enough to allow the tube to herniate, at which point it needs to be booted immediately to keep the tire useful.
But ar moderate pressures and frequent inspections, I donít think the experiment is particularly suicidal. The worst that can happen is a bad flat, and thatís always a possibility anyhow.
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Old 11-02-19, 04:56 PM
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What could happen?
1. A flat from the tube rubbing against the aggressive tread
2. Damage to the tire's casing material. You've flipped it backwards, which is probably stretching the casing threads in an unnatural way, and there's also just s thin rubber layer between it and the nastiness of your local roads. Damage might not cause an immediate problem, but something in the future after you've returned the tire to its normal-side-out and when you least expect it to happen.
3. Tire comes off the rim. There's usually a bead on the tire that catches a 'channel' on the wheel's metal rim for a secure fit, but an inside-out tire won't have that bead to make it secure. I'd think any bump, turn, or object you hit when you start riding will cause the tire to come off the rim and possibly cause a #1 above.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:08 PM
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Problem: No label, so your mechanic won't know where the valve is located when you have a flat in the Tour of France. And your friends won't know how expensive your tires were.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Problem: No label, so your mechanic won't know where the valve is located when you have a flat in the Tour of France. And your friends won't know how expensive your tires were.
Thread winner.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:40 PM
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I'll agree, this is about as dumb a post as I've seen on BF and there is no dearth of competition.
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Old 11-02-19, 05:45 PM
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Do please make sure video is rolling when you do the test ride. Then when the next guy says "why shouldn't I do this?" we can just post a link instead of typing.
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Old 11-02-19, 06:07 PM
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I hope you are well insured.
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Old 11-02-19, 07:00 PM
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This isn't a "fix" for the tear in the tire. That tire is done for and is being replaced, because the tube bulges out it. A proper but temporary fix for that would be a tire boot.

This "experiment" really is just to see what would happen. This isn't meant to be an attempt at a "redneck repair" or anything. I would not expect this to be a fix for anything, or solve any problem - no matter how temporary. It's just one of those "let's see what would happen if I did x because I'm just curious" type things.

A couple disclaimers here... I do not mean to ride it for long or very fast in the "test." Doing so would just be asking to get hurt. I'm moving the tire from the front to the rear because, as previously mentioned, I'm getting a new tire and its going on the front and the tire used in this experiment (the one that's inverted) is going on the rear. In

With that said, I already unmounted the tire. The tube actually doesn't look nearly as badly "damaged" as I thought it might. I thought that anything past 30 PSI would surely pop the tube, but no. It held fine, and they're the cheap "standard thickness" Kenda tubes - no thorn-resistant or heavy-duty tubes here. But then again it was pressurized for just over 24 hours.

As for the tire itself, it seemed to be pretty solid on the rim. I even bounced it a few times on the ground (fairly harshly) and it didn't have any issues. As skidder mentioned, it does have that hook. But I have a 1980s Free Spirit Pinnacle road bike (27x1 1/4") that has old steel rims without the hook where the tires are held in place solely by the pressure. Unless you're inflating to ridiculously high pressures, or riding on a trail or doing some serious cornering, I think it shouldn't have a problem. (In my case, 45 is the max pressure.) The main concern would be the damage to the nylon cords (which is the "structure" of the tire) or the lack of traction.

I may delay this experiment until this tire is worn or it gets replaced in the future, because I'm unsure if I'm going to replace it now and make a matching set. If I do delay, I'll definitely report back to this thread when it happens.
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Old 11-02-19, 07:42 PM
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If it's on the front, I predict that your hands will get sore;

if on the rear, your butt will, because, you know, the differential flex.
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