Armouring a Bicycle Tire for Final Puncture Protection.

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Introduction: Armouring a Bicycle Tire for Final Puncture Protection.

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Puncture protection tires are available (quite expensive) which have either an inlay of thick elastic material or a web of strong fibres. Liners can also be placed between the tire and the tube. An alternative to buy one of this products is to cut the bead of old tires and mount them as liners inside of the tires to be protected. Check this site for more information: http://bicycling.about.com/od/bikemaintenance/a/avoiding_flats.htm

All this systems give some amount of protection. However, a piece of glass that is big enough will make his way through any of the above protections. I propose you here a cheap and hopefully effective alternative. Of course this armouring increases rolling resistance and weight. However, these effects cannot be noticed in my 20 inches folding bicycle and I really don't care.

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Material  needed:

- old tires, thinner than the tires to be protected,
- self-retracting tape measure;
- an old brake cable

Step 1:

Cut the bead of the old tires.

Step 2:

Cut the tape. The length should be a bit longer that the diameter of the tire, the extremities will overlap.

Step 3:

Cut the central knobs in order to make place for the tape. It may also work if you ignore this step.

Step 4:

Separate one wire from the cable.

Step 5:

Sew the tape to the old tire knobs with the wire. Alternatively you may try with dental floss or some other strong yarn, but it risk to be cut by the tape.

Step 6:

Place the old tire inside the tire to be protected.

Step 7:

Mount the tire and the tube in the wheel and inflate.

The tire is formed even without air. With an strong tape or many metres of tape it would even be possible to cycle without air at all!

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34 Comments

Steel tape works great until it rusts, breaks into sections, and pokes a hole in either tire or tube, whatever it's next to.

I'm sorry to hear that. Was the steel tape painted? I hope that the paint on my measure tape keeps rust away a bit longer. May be an aluminum tape would be a better idea.
The brake wire may rust as well, it would be better to fix the tape with other means.

Yes it was. My present meth. has been working for months now, with no internal friction flats either. Here's how: For a 20" tire get 20" of tire tread with beads cut away. Add a 24 or 26" mountain bike tube with valve cut out, pinching the tire tread to feed it into the tube. Pull the whole strip in and overlap the excess tube over the other end, making a liner ring. (the tread strip alone would wear against the inflated tube & eventually cut it.)
Caveat--my first try was with duck tape, not tube, and that also cut the inner tube, believe it or not....

Good method. You should publish an instructable on that.

If you don't have an old metal tape measure lying around, you could also try using some of those old aluminum blinds. They're about the same width/gauge.

Good idea. May be the tape is better because its resilience is higher.

did you put the inner tube in contact with the sharp-edged tape? or added at least electrical tape inbetween?

The tape is sandwiched between tire and the old cutted tire used as lining. The tube should not be in contact with the tape or with any other sharp object.

what if you stack more tires inside? that way you could have a semi-solid tire, then youll never have to worry about a flat again

If you ride on very smooth surfaces, that's fine. But on any irregular surface, it will make for an incredibly jarring ride. That's why the original bicycles had those enormous tires -- pneumatic tires had yet to be invented, and a reasonably smooth ride required a very large tire diameter, especially on the dirt and cobblestone roads prevalent in that era. Only when Mr. Dunlop came along and perfected what is more or less today's tire technology could tires be reduced to modern sizes and still offer a comfortable ride.

With today's polymer technology, it's probably possible to make some sort of solid composite with similar performance, and such things may even be commercially available, but a solid-rubber tire is no better an idea today that it was in the 1800's.