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  1. #1
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    Hi folks, I started a solo trip across the gibb river road in northern Australia today. I snapped a derailleur today and am waiting for a spare to hopefully arrive tommorrow. However, I picked up six separate flat tyres today, affecting all thee surly tubes. I'm running three endos, one obviously a spare, but I tried that today in desperation. Any thoughts would be appreciated. It's the four sided thorns doing the damage. Could I glue in another split tube inside the tyre to give it more of a buffer? Any ideas would be appreciated. There is a local sports shop with very basic supplies, and nothing fat bike specific. Tubeless is not possible at short notice.

  2. #2
    Fat & Single
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    Awesome trip ! Hope you get something sorted so the flats dont ruin the trip.

    If i was in you situation i would be looking at lining the inside of the tyre with something. Are the thorns you are talking about 3-corner jacks/goat heads ?

    I have not had much luck with stans in my tubes against 3-corner jacks but something like slime might do better. Endos have a lot of un knobbled surface so the jacks will be killing you.
    The big issue with them is you can collect 20 punctures in a couple of rev's of your tyres and you cant patch 20 holes on 1 tube.... kinda brings you to a standstill.

    I would definately be looking at lining the inside with insertion rubber about 2-3mm thick, this will add quite a bit of weight but at least you will be able to continue with the trip.
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  3. #3
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    You could give this a try: closed cell foam.
    Never tried it myself though.
    Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Dunno if you have these 'pool noodles' down under, but they grow like weeds here in suburbia. These are sliced down the middle and "butterfly"ed to stay open. They're about 2 1/2" diameter & 3/4"--17mm? thick and stiffer and springier and more durable than the pipe insul. I've seen. That's red duct tape holding them together. These 2 weigh 3oz. & cost $2. Oy!Oy!Oy!

  5. #5
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    I can't picture the foam doing anything after the tube is installed and air is added. The tube is just going to completely compress the foam.

  6. #6
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    Tubeless isn't that hard with a few basic supplies... A removable core presta valve stem (could cut out of any tube), a roll of gorilla tape, and some sealant.

  7. #7
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    Did those surly toobs have sealant in them? I've found sealant in the surly toobs works quite well. Unscrew the valve cores and squirt some in. Sounds like you might not have access to proper bike sealant but maybe you can get some automotive stuff that might help in the pinch your in, just a thought.

  8. #8
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Call out to Ozzy, I think he has a couple sets of wheels set up tubeless.

  9. #9
    Fat & Single
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    Quote Originally Posted by alphazz View Post
    Call out to Ozzy, I think he has a couple sets of wheels set up tubeless.
    Hes already started the trip and wont have the gear to get it done where he is.

    The Gibb River Road is a very isolated road running through one of the most scenic areas of Australia, its a 660km trip that needs to be planned from start to finish and you need to be self sufficient with everything including fuel.We are planning to do it by 4WD in the next few years, up the Tanami Track to Wolfe creek the across to Broome, then up the Gibb River Road..... never thought about doing it by Fat bike, bloody awesome adventure. The Tubeless thang should have been worked out a little bit before now
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  10. #10
    Laramie, Wyoming
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    Sounds like a trip where a lot of things should be worked out ahead of time. I figured you were closer than many of us, but I was just joking.

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I have a solution. The endos were going to be the weak link. I bought 3.0 inch tyres and tubes from the sports store, ran the surly tubes flat inside the tyres as a buffer, and will carry the spare endo and tube as backup. Running a sealant through the tyres as an added buffer. Machined a hanger from a piece of steel at a local workshop. Did some laps of a thorn tree with no punctures. Dropping as much weight as possible and will see how we go. Back out tommorrow.

  12. #12
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    happy trails mate!!
    plus+, plus+ = win:

  13. #13
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    Good luck, for sure!

  14. #14
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    wait. You had access to 3.0" tires, and tubes, and the internet, but you couldn't find duct tape and tire sealant?

    I would think you could find those at a gas station.

  15. #15
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    set up the pool noodles with normal 26" tubes on mine this weekend

    so far I can't tell they are even in there, should keep any thorns etc shorter than 1/2" or so away from my tubes

    I used 2 noodles per tire, split lengthwise and duct taped them end to end into a doughnut, they were just slightly larger than the tire diameter so they fit in nice and snug and didn't wiggle around

    my tubes were held in place nicely in the center of the noodle

  16. #16
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    Thank You, Titan, for trying this and posting. I was feeling pretty under-appreciated. I know tubeless is lighter, but I change tires often enough that it's not worth it for me. I'm pretty sure the pool toobs have saved me from 2 pinch flats and one puncture in just 2 rides since install. Still not sure about the ride quality, though. Would love to hear from You or anyone else who's tried the same tire with and without the pooltubes. I'm sure they compress a little, especially on harder surfaces at higher pressures, and may even add rolling resistance.
    Last edited by dudeist; 05-18-2013 at 04:12 AM.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dudeist View Post
    Thank You, Titan, for trying this and posting. I was feeling pretty under-appreciated. I know tubeless is lighter, but I change tires enough that it's not worth it for me. I'm pretty sure the pool toobs have saved me from 2 pinch flats and one puncture in just 2 rides since install. Still not sure about the ride quality, though. Would love to hear from You or anyone else who's tried the same tire with and without the pooltubes. I'm sure they compress a little, especially on harder surfaces at higher pressures, and may even add rolling resistance.
    I'm following this idea with interest - looks like it could be a great alternative to tubeless if the ride's OK

    Thanks for sharing!
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  18. #18
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    while I have to say that I HAVEN'T done the pool tube method, I don't think that it should be compared to tubeless, which is far more than avoiding pinch flats. This actually adds rotational weight to your bike, not ideal.

  19. #19
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    2 pool noodles and duct tape per tire was only like 100g, 40-44 per noodle

    so between this and a smaller tube it's still less than a surly tube
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  20. #20
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    2 pool noodles and duct tape per tire was only like 100g, 40-44 per noodle

    so between this and a smaller tube it's still less than a surly tube
    True dat!! Are you running some ultra light tube now? Did you just tape the foam together at the ends, down the middle, or all over? I'd be concerned about a tube working in between and, you know, pinching. Also, abrasion? Got pics?

  21. #21
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    GearInches.com » Panaracer FlatAway Review Less weight= mo' money. $15-$20 [and only 40mm wide-not for fatties]

  22. #22
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    i've done the pool tube/pipe insulation first on a rear tire, and then on both... haven't had flats or issues with foam deterioration.. mind you ,, it's only been a few months. I suspect it would help with pinch flats as well,, but never had gotten those, so can't say..

    I don't feel much of a difference in ride quality,, but I know on my 29'ers. going from tubes to tubeless. I actually disliked the squishy feeling of tubeless. but that's just my opinion...

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by autodoctor911 View Post
    wait. You had access to 3.0" tires, and tubes, and the internet, but you couldn't find duct tape and tire sealant?

    I would think you could find those at a gas station.
    This is exactly what I was thinking.

  24. #24
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    It might be a good idea to cut out a square inch of foam and then put a 6 pound or 10 pound weight on it to see what happens, 'cuz that's how it will compress when it is in your tire with 6 psi or 10 psi. I think at 6 psi it should be 25% smaller, and at 10 psi it should be 40% smaller. That's not too bad.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godlikedog View Post
    It might be a good idea to cut out a square inch of foam and then put a 6 pound or 10 pound weight on it to see what happens, 'cuz that's how it will compress when it is in your tire with 6 psi or 10 psi. I think at 6 psi it should be 25% smaller, and at 10 psi it should be 40% smaller. That's not too bad.
    If I remember correctly, the pool noodles are pretty stiff foam, so your estimation seems about right. It would be good to test the compression rate like you suggest. If your estimation holds up, it should yield about a 1/4 " or more of protection, which is great for around 3oz per tire.

    I have seen a flat protection urban bicycle tire from Michelin that has a foam rubber layer between the casing and the tread. It should yield a lighter, better rolling tire than the hard plastic armor, and no thin material, no matter how tough it is can offer as much protection from small, sharp objects as a thick enough layer of anything.

  26. #26
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    True dat!! Are you running some ultra light tube now? Did you just tape the foam together at the ends, down the middle, or all over? I'd be concerned about a tube working in between and, you know, pinching. Also, abrasion? Got pics?
    I only duct taped the noodles to each other end to end, duct tape does not flex like a tire or noodle so I wouldn't cover the whole thing

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  27. #27
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions-20130511_101941.jpg
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  28. #28
    nothing to see here
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    that's a cool idea
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    that's a cool idea
    x2!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by TitanofChaos View Post
    Click image for larger version. 

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    So what does that ride like?? Very clever btw!!
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  31. #31
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    at "normal" fat bike pressures (8-12PSI) there is a minor amount of noise that seems to be caused by the duct tape against the tube as it's twice per rotation

    this could be avoided entirely by not taping the inside of the noodle at the connection points, or maybe some baby powder or whatever to lube it, I was just being thorough

    at my normal 20-25lbs I don't notice any difference (I'm 255#) so this is comparable to most people riding 12-15psi

    I've ridden them at higher pressure as well when I ride the roads thru town to the trail, 30-35ish and there is absolutely no difference at all at this pressure
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  32. #32
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    I cut a 1x1 piece out of a 2 1/4" foam pool tube from Dollar Tree. They're 5/8" thick. An 8 lb. weight makes it 1/2", and 11 lbs. squishes it down to 3/8". Of course it gets firmer as it's compressed, as does the whole tire . I changed from Nate rear tire with Surly tube to On-One Floater with same tube + pool toob, so I can't compare the "feel" yet. It may add damping,and may create drag as the leading edge of the contact patch compresses and flexes it.

  33. #33
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    Dudeist,, I am no scientist, but I did ride by a Holiday Inn express last night...

    and I could be totally wrong here, but... do the same experiment, but instead of just the foam between a hard surfaced weight and table (another hard surface).. blow up an inner tube, lay the foam and weight on it. and measure,,

    since at least in my head the foam and imbedded inner tube would have some flex back and forth as they "work together"..
    I know nothing about the leading edge of the contact patch, but my guess would be it would not deform as much as some tubeless tires aired down to their floppiest point.

    I had set mine up at first, simply because I needed to ride and didn't have a large tube...I've switched both wheels over now.. and plan on riding it for a few months and see how they do..

    I see this as another option, not meant to be better than tubes alone, or tubeless...

  34. #34
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    Good points, Twright, but we'll never really know what goes on in there unless we get clear tubes with a go-pro inside. What I'm really interested in is whether this creates extra drag, which I think is the only possible downside. [beside delaying tubeless conversions] The best test would be side by side similar bikes, same tires and tubes, with & without pool tubes. Anyone game?

  35. #35
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    Thanks for all your advice folks. Made it to Derby yesterday. 800 km or so so all up. Great ride, if a little tiresome at times with the unseasonal rain. I'll be trying some of the recommendations in the coming months. The Internet is a great place for sharing of ideas!

  36. #36
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    With the incredible difference one feels when changing simply from a normal tubed fatbike to tubeless, I can't imagine that the only difference would be drag. Adding foam, no matter what it weighs, is going to change the deforming plushness quality that we so love.

  37. #37
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    Well, it's been 2 weeks since pool toob insertion, and still no flats, but can't really credit the toobs cuz:
    Oh well, now it's 1mm of protection and probably not much rebound damping.
    I had the On-One Floaters pumped up to like 30# for pavement cruising but lost 1mm off the tread in about 40 miles, so I'll save 'em for winter.
    Maybe just too much air? Maybe the bigger $4 tubes are better? Someone else please check Yours and report. Don't worry, everyone here is just trying to be helpful and I'm sure no one will say "Nyah Nyah" or anything.
    Last edited by dudeist; 06-01-2013 at 06:27 PM.

  38. #38
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    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions

    Wow, that's pretty flat. Fat tires wear out fast on pavement. I doubt the pool tube contributed. My Husker dus are hurting already from summer use.

  39. #39
    Fat & Single
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    Oh yeah.... dirt is a husky killer. Awesome tyre but wear very quickly.
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  40. #40
    Lord Thunderbottom
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    Noodle Update

    So despite not getting any flats since my last post here I opened up the tires last night with the intention of trimming some duct tape to eliminate a minor squeek against the tube

    and I see this

    Urgent help! Flat tyre solutions-20130620_174058.jpg

    pool noodles are not a strong enough closed cell foam for this application, they are now 100% flat

    they may still provide some flat protection just like another layer in the tire but they obviously will not protect the tires from thorns of any length as they now only provide like 1/8" of thickness for protection
    Today I will do what others won't, so tomorrow I can do what others can't

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newborn View Post
    Thanks for all the suggestions folks. I have a solution. The endos were going to be the weak link. I bought 3.0 inch tyres and tubes from the sports store, ran the surly tubes flat inside the tyres as a buffer, and will carry the spare endo and tube as backup. Running a sealant through the tyres as an added buffer. Machined a hanger from a piece of steel at a local workshop. Did some laps of a thorn tree with no punctures. Dropping as much weight as possible and will see how we go. Back out tommorrow.
    How was the trip, and did you write about it anywhere?

    Tim

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