Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinders?

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spinningmagnets   100 GW

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Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinders?

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 13 2017 10:04am

Pedal-only bicyclists often use "thumb-sized" CO2 cylinders (also used by toy pistols as a propellant), as a way to fill a flat tire after a nail-hole has been repaired on the side of the road. For those who like this method, they seem to most appreciate how tiny and light the CO2 canister is, compared to a traditional air-pump.

Regardless of how the tire is filled after a flat is repaired (CO2 cylinder, or hand-pump), I remember being able to repair nail-holes in my automobile tires (tubeless) after retracting a nail or screw from the tread. There are cheap kits available in auto and motorcycle supply stores (and websites). You ream out the hole to clean it and make it rounder, then you apply goop to a plug that is being held onto an insertion tool. Shove the plug into the hole, and when you pull back, the plug is set. Apply air pressure to the inside, then trim off the protruding "tail" of the plug, and you are ready to drive away. Plugging a nail-hole was faster and easier than changing the wheel with the spare.

I have removed tubes from bicycles and motorcycles to patch nail-holes in the tubes, and then re-assemble everything. On my motorcycle, I began carrying a spare tube instead of the patch kit (I only got flats on the rear for some reason).

Of course, using the tubeless style of hole-patch only works on tubeless tires, but...Karl Gesslein wrote an article on converting a fatbike to "ghetto tubeless", which was very persuasive about the benefits. Basically, you slice the centerline of the OD of a bicycle tube and then lay the rubber edges over the metal rim of the wheel, then seat the tire as you normally would.

I don't yet know if that would lead to steady leakage over the course of a week, but if you pumped-up the rear tubeless tire before every trip, then you could make use of carrying the pocket-cylinder of CO2/compressed-air.

Due to the cost of using a LOT of CO2 cylinders (which are considered disposable) by the air-pistol and paintball industries, there are now a lot of options when it comes to re-fillable cylinders of all sizes. CO2 is a much larger molecule compared to air, so seals that work well on CO2 might leak a little if the cylinder is filled with compressed air. However, air is free, just pump up the cylinder once in a while to make sure it has pressure when you need it for a tire repair...

I'm just starting this thread to have a place to park info I find while I'm bored at work. There are dozens of videos on this, but...this one covers the important points and its only 2-minutes...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=72SyjaHxBhI

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by motomech » Oct 13 2017 11:59am

About a year ago I went "ghetto"(slit tube) tubeless for my 24 X 2.4" Holly Rollers/CST Cyclopes tires. I figured if I couldn't prevent flats, I would make the repair as easy as possible.

http://ridemonkey.bikemag.com/threads/g ... ks.240026/

I used(in order):
Stans yellow rim tape
Sticky foam tape
20" generic tubes w/ all-threaded Schrader valves.
Stan's sealant.

The sticky foam tape is an extra step that allows the first inflation with a tire pump.
If the rims are wider aftermarket(like my Alex DM 24's), the foam tape closes the space between the tire bead and the rim.
The way to know if it is needed is to install the tire(uninflated)on the bare rim and see if it spins freely.

The thing I found to be most important is, the donor tubes need to have the threaded Schrader valves. This allows the slit donor tube to be locked in place during and after installation.


And now I carry a mini-plug kit made for bicycles;

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017B ... UTF8&psc=1

And a CO2 inflator and an attitude of "bring on the flats".

Can't say how it works because in a case of "reverse Murphy's Law", I haven't had a flat in the year since I made the change.

But going tubeless does have some drawbacks. They are a bit of a pain to mount and when it's time to replace the tire, I'll have to use a new tube to split and make the rim airtight. Also, I have read where the serious MX bike guys have smacked the rear tire's sidewall into big rocks and such and knocked the tire off the bead, but I don't ride that hard off-road these days.

Also, the Stan's sealant does slowly evaporate out and I had the replenish it at about 6 months.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Oct 16 2017 9:06pm

spinningmagnets wrote:I only got flats on the rear for some reason
if by flats you mean punctures then you are doomed to keep wandering the wasteland of ever more convoluted fixes unless & until you understand the anatomy of why you keep getting poked in the back.
why do you suppose trikes don't get way more flats, maybe fewer even though they have more exposure?
perhaps trike owners can weigh in on this or he who existsforphysicalscienes can explain it 4u.
the simple exploit that flows from this understanding will become slapyourforeskin obvious.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by motomech » Oct 16 2017 11:07pm

Is that supposed to be clever?
Look, some of us takes this seriously and`I for one, after taking the time to post, take umbrage when the subject is needlessly cluttered w/ incoherent ramblings.
Spare us please.
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'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/10Ah Multistar Lipo rear 4Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, Crazy Bobs run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by MadRhino » Oct 17 2017 8:11am

Tubeless wasn’t a success for me, but the small CO2 bottles are. I carry a green slime and two CO2 cartridges. Last time I needed them was 2 years ago, but I was very happy to have a quick solution to ride back home.
Make it fool-proof, and I will make a better fool.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by chas58 » Oct 17 2017 11:35am

Yep, I go tubeless.

Really, it is a pain to to unless you have a tubless tire and wheel combination. I've done it, it works. it was a pain to get everything seated, but it works.

Limitations:
- need to add sealant every 6 months
- need to add air to tire more often.
- harder to fix flats on the road - sealant is a mess if you get a bad enough flat where you need to put a tube in
- hard to mount and inflate initially (some of my tires have been easy - mostly the skinny ones).
- only seals fairly small holes. Will work with pin size holes and nails/screws - if you don't take the object out. Will not fix gashes or holes more than a few mm in size.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by chas58 » Oct 17 2017 11:43am

spinningmagnets wrote:
I have removed tubes from bicycles and motorcycles to patch nail-holes in the tubes, and then re-assemble everything. On my motorcycle, I began carrying a spare tube instead of the patch kit (I only got flats on the rear for some reason).
Yep, I've plugged holes a lot on cars. So for my bike I got a mini plug kit. Hope it works, but I haven't tried it out yet.
https://www.amazon.com/Genuine-Innovati ... ir+bicycle

Why do you get flats on the rear?
Its the same with bikes, motorcycles, cars.

Most obstacles lying on the ground are not going to puncture your tire. However, when your front tire grabs and releases the object (causing it to tumble or to move) it may be in a position to puncture your rear tire. I've run over nails/screws on the ground. I've never found one lying in a position where it could/would puncture my front tire. However I have gotten them tossed up by my front tire so that they are at the proper angle to puncture my rear tire.

BTW, I've used skinnystripper.com wheel liners to go ghetto tubeless. Same basic principle as the ghetto tubeless Karl described, just lighter and more appropriate to a road bike than a mountain bike. The nice thing about doing this with a latex sealant, and a latex wheel liner is that it makes a "tubular" tire that can hold air without a wheel (once the latex of the sealant bonds to the liner).
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by melodious » Oct 17 2017 12:02pm

I carried a CO2 cartridge for 2x flat tire events. 1st time I realized my 29er x 2.5" tire/tube was oversized for the stock CO2 cartridge and under inflated the tire. A slow ride to the local bicycle shop fixed the rest as well as a purchase of a larger type CO2 cartridge. The 2nd flat event left me walking home as my ignorance and impatience forgot to thoroughly inspect the tire & tube for debris :roll: . The CO2 cartridge was quickly emptied, the leaking "hiss" was followed by "palm to forehead" :? . This was a realization, that my trusty hand pump & spare tube & tube patch & tire patch that I've always carried before was so much more dependable. :wink:

That is, until I had two flats in a single ride. But that's another story. :|
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by spinningmagnets » Oct 17 2017 5:06pm

I wondered why someone would use CO2 instead of a tiny cylinder of compressed air. I was recently reading about air-rifles, some of which use CO2. It's not horribly expensive, and CO2 has a much larger molecule than air (which is 20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen), and theoretically, CO2 would leak less from the fill-stem valve...

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by motomech » Oct 17 2017 7:35pm

I owned a scooter/sm. motorcycle shop for 10 years and fixed countless flat tires and can say, without a doubt, the place most likely to get a flat are alleys, especially near a construction site.
The dirt or gravel surface holds objects at all angles ready to puncture the tire.
Add to this the garbage that gets strewn around by the garbage trucks and worst of all, the dump trucks hauling construction debris. The gap at the bottom of the tail gate seems like it was designed to sift out the nails and spread them around.
Avoid alleys!
Motomech

'03 Rocky Mountain Edge 2WD 260 Q100H frt and Ezee V1 rear 2 Elifebike 20A & 25A 9-FET controllers 12S/10Ah Multistar Lipo rear 4Ah Turnigy frt Luna Cyclops Extra lite Alex 24DM rims, Crazy Bobs run ghetto tubeless. 25 mph. Mean Well HLG-320H-54A
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by Drunkskunk » Oct 17 2017 7:54pm

spinningmagnets wrote:I wondered why use CO2 instead of a tiny cylinder of compressed air. I was recently reading about air-rifles, some of which use CO2. It's not horribly expensive, and CO2 has a much larger molecule than air (20% oxygen, 80% nitrogen), and theoretically, CO2, would leak less from the fill-stem valve...
You can get more CO2 in one of those bottles than you can with air. It compresses better.
Also when you compress a gas, it gets hot. when you release it, it gets cold. How cold is based on a lot of things as well as the gas's boiling point. For CO2, it won't get colder than -109. But Nitrogen and Oxygen are cryogenic gases. Nitrogen boils at -320. Cryogenicly freezing your valve stem probably isn't the best roadside plan.

Paintballers use compressed air more often now because air isn't as compressible, so it's pressure isn't as affected by temp changes. the tanks they use hold much less volume of air at the same size and pressure of CO2, so they have to be swapped much more often. At the pressures they run, it doesn't get very cold.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by markz » Oct 21 2017 10:57pm

When going on long trips with a bicycle trailer, and using electron power, I dont see any problem hauling around my Motomaster 12-18Vdc air pump which has a digital psi ontop but I also decked it out pretty nicely with a new analog guage hose. Its a bit bulky I'd say 12"L x 8"W and 7"H.

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by DRMousseau » Oct 21 2017 11:13pm

So once again, the young teen grandson has a flat,... this time, his classic BMX. Think I've lost count this year. My daughter had to drive into town to pick him up, and bring his bike home. He's not really a hard rider, no skidding or dramatic jumps and such,... but he IS still learning the consequences of his neglectfulness.

"What happened?"
"Don't know. Parked the bike, and a 5min later, it was flat."
Yup, pumped it up, and it quickly went totally flat. No apparent damage, nothing of any penetration in the tread anywhere. I quickly slipped the tube out while still on the bike and inflated again,.... quickly found the leak, jus off-center a bit with a short damaging "crease". It was quickly apparent what had happened. With no internal tire damage in the area, jus a sharp light hit pinched it to the rim.
"What'da hit or jump in the 5min jus before ya parked it?"
Oh oh,... Pops knew! "I jus barely tapped a curb."
"And ya haven't checked your tire pressure in what,... weeks, a month? That's a pretty fancy and expensive rim to risk!"
And a good tire pump is ALWAYS right by the bikes! Jus takes a few moments,... but kids seem to have less time than imagined.

Think I'm gonna use the opportunity to test some double-sided butyl seam tape I use for a multitude of other purposes,.... jus a quick patch sorta thing. http://www.roofkitroofing.com/epdm-acce ... tape.shtml
Been considering it's use in a special tubeless application for myself. The stuff instantly "melds" to itself, and I would believe that as an inner lining, it would provide a more uniform sealing far superior to the liquid goos generally used with no greater weight than 1/2 of a split tube.

I'm gonna mention that I've never felt good about "plug kits" for a bicycle tire. I jus feel the light 2-ply carcass fabric and thin tread is jus too delicate for such a repair with typical insertion tools. Although I have considered using modified leather or darning needles with light impregnated cordage. But every time I have cordage soaking in a can of automotive rim sealant (yup,.. I use it on ALL tubless tires. Keeps kids bike tires from slipping on the rim too!), but someone always thinks the stringy stuff is no good and throws it away!!! DAMN!

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by fechter » Oct 21 2017 11:57pm

I have an electric pump that runs off the bike pack:
https://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewt ... 3#p1302913

It's bigger than CO2 cartridges, but maybe not, considering how much it takes to inflate a fat bike tire. For a slow leak, you could just stop and reinlfate periodically until you reach home. Ever since I started carrying it with me, I haven't had a flat. Reverse Murphy's Law at work.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by MikeSSS » Oct 22 2017 12:42am

CO2 is liquid in the CO2 cartridge, at the pressure and ambient temperature of most CO2 cartridges. The CO2 cartridge holds more mass, as liquid, than a similar size cartridge would hold as compressed air gas, air would be a gas at the same temperature and pressure that CO2 is a liquid and liquid is more dense than a gas. More mass means more gas phase at the much lower pressure of a tire and therefore more pressure in the tire. Take a look at the phase diagram for CO2 vs that for air.

My solution is to run flat resistant tires from Performance, along with thick tubes containing Slime. Downside is more rolling resistance from the flat resistant tires and more from the thick tubes and from the high viscosity Slime in the tube. Upside is fewer flats and much longer time between topping up the air pressure in the tires. Electric assist more than compensates for the increased rolling resistance, compared to more frequent flats.

There are more than a few ways to accomplish fewer flats and fewer tire pressure top ups, I use a simple and cheap solution that works. KISS.

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by ferret » Oct 22 2017 12:59am

Don't believe everything you think.

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by wturber » Oct 22 2017 4:12am

I had a flat on Monday at about 10P. It was the rear tire and I had a patch kit, but no spare tube. I decided to walk the three or so miles to home and fix the tire there - which I did.

So, while I was fixing the tire, I decided to put some slime in the tube. I had ridden the bike about 700 miles in about two months - on the el-cheapo tire that came with the motor/hub/wheel kit. I guess I was surprised this was my first flat. I shouldn't have been though.

Three days later I was a few miles from work doing about 25mph on the repaired tire when I suddenly hear a loud noise. At first I though I'd picked up a plastic bag or piece of trash in my rear wheel. As I slowed, it became clear that it was a puncture. I slowed, confirmed the puncture, and then rolled forward so that the clearly visible and spewing leak was pointed downward. The noise stopped. The slime sealed the leak and the tire still had enough air pressure to be moderately ride-able. I road a couple blocks and then stopped to put more air in the tire. The seal is still holding. I suppose I should pull it apart and do a proper repair.

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by DRMousseau » Oct 23 2017 7:42am

Well,... my quick butyl tape patch has worked better on the kids MTB with a tread puncture, not so good on the MX with a rim pinch. Time will tell, but it's seems to seal between tire and tube better than rim and tube, especially if moisture is present in the tube. So, used tube into the MX tire for now.

That moisture problem has ALWAYS plagued me! Compressed air is "dirty" and often WET. And it seems I'm ALWAYS topping tire pressures. The matter of moisture is worsened when using a hand pump as I do. The suggestion to me to avoid moisture, was to use a filtered and dried compressor, or better still, an inert gas,.... co2, nitrogen, even argon since I have these available occasionally for welding. Was told helium, which I also have occasionally, leaks out too quickly. Nitrogen is the big deal now, but it's mostly an expensive gimmicky money maker for dealers. I've never used any yet, other than the old "fix-a-flat" years ago that used propane or butane as a propellant,.... those were exciting! lol! And of course they were messy as heck!

I prefer a clean dry tube and tire, and would rather avoid he gooey sealants inside if I could. The current build I'm working on, will have a unique tubeless rear (heavy duty MC and nearly puncture proof), and conventional tubed front assemblies. That front will STILL be susceptible to goatheads and sand spurs, so it's something more to consider. I'll purge my new assemblies and try CO2 the first time. I'm hoping to see less of a need to constantly "top off" tire pressures all the time.

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by AZeBikeGuy » Oct 23 2017 3:33pm

CO2 has other issues and for me has been a temporary solution to get me home (I've got nearly 1,000,000mi on motos). It is a "larger" molecule but not that much and there are plenty of other factors that will affect the diffusion rate through rubber so I'm not sure it is fair to say it will diffuse slower (I'm not sure it doesn't either). My experience has been that tires filled with CO2 lose pressure a lot more quickly than air but I'm guessing that is likely due to more than just diffusion. CO2 is unlike air or nitrogen and reacts with moisture which will cause you to lose pressure if there's moisture in the tube already and if you've been using a pump or a compressor without a dryer there will be plenty enough to react with. When it reacts with water it forms an acid (carbonic acid) and although a fairly weak acid and not likely an issue - who wants acidic tire innards? With its high boiling point it doesn't behave all that close to an "ideal gas" with regards to temperature and pressure and you'll find the pressure changes considerably with temperature - much more so than air.

I've tried using the little single shot cartridges and after a couple of difficult fills and frostbite infinitely prefer a pump that gives and gives and just keeps on giving :wink:

I live in AZ and don't ride in the streets so pick up a *lot* of thorns and goat heads. With my old mountain bike and no protection I'd get a flat every other ride on average. Mr Tuffy's have helped a lot but the only thing that seems to have really taken care of things is going with Stan's - since I loaded the tires up with that I can see dozens of thorns living in the tire and only lose a few pounds a month. It doesn't do any good for tire balance but it's a reasonable price to pay...

YMMV...

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by wturber » Oct 24 2017 2:42am

AZeBikeGuy wrote:
I've tried using the little single shot cartridges and after a couple of difficult fills and frostbite infinitely prefer a pump that gives and gives and just keeps on giving :wink:
I tried CO2 cartridges a few years ago. Then I had a flat and ended up filling up the tire on the last cartridge. I forget the problems I had, but the incident pointed out how you can run out of CO2. If I were to use CO2, I'd still feel compelled to bring a regular pump with me as well.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by Toorbough ULL-Zeveigh » Oct 24 2017 9:26am

AZeBikeGuy wrote:CO2 has other issues and for me has been a temporary solution to get me home (I've got nearly 1,000,000mi on motos). It is a "larger" molecule but not that much and there are plenty of other factors that will affect the diffusion rate through rubber so I'm not sure it is fair to say it will diffuse slower (I'm not sure it doesn't either). My experience has been that tires filled with CO2 lose pressure a lot more quickly than air but I'm guessing that is likely due to more than just diffusion. CO2 is unlike air or nitrogen and reacts with moisture which will cause you to lose pressure if there's moisture in the tube already and if you've been using a pump or a compressor without a dryer there will be plenty enough to react with. When it reacts with water it forms an acid (carbonic acid) and although a fairly weak acid and not likely an issue - who wants acidic tire innards? With its high boiling point it doesn't behave all that close to an "ideal gas" with regards to temperature and pressure and you'll find the pressure changes considerably with temperature - much more so than air..
don't forget that along with a bigger molecule comes an increase in unsprung weight
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by chas58 » Oct 24 2017 11:43am

wturber wrote:
AZeBikeGuy wrote:
I've tried using the little single shot cartridges and after a couple of difficult fills and frostbite infinitely prefer a pump that gives and gives and just keeps on giving :wink:
I tried CO2 cartridges a few years ago. Then I had a flat and ended up filling up the tire on the last cartridge. I forget the problems I had, but the incident pointed out how you can run out of CO2. If I were to use CO2, I'd still feel compelled to bring a regular pump with me as well.
Yeah, I do that. too many times I've run out of CO2.
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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by chas58 » Oct 24 2017 11:48am

wturber wrote:
Three days later I was a few miles from work doing about 25mph on the repaired tire when I suddenly hear a loud noise. At first I though I'd picked up a plastic bag or piece of trash in my rear wheel. As I slowed, it became clear that it was a puncture. I slowed, confirmed the puncture, and then rolled forward so that the clearly visible and spewing leak was pointed downward. The noise stopped. The slime sealed the leak and the tire still had enough air pressure to be moderately ride-able. I road a couple blocks and then stopped to put more air in the tire. The seal is still holding. I suppose I should pull it apart and do a proper repair.
I had good luck with sealing on a larger (26") tube when a nail got in the tire. Took me a couple of days to figure out I had a leak - and by then, the nail punctured the inside of the tube (against the wheel) and slime would not seal that.

I've tried it on higher pressure skinny 700c tubes, and it didn't work at all. I did purchase 2 "flat attack" tubes (similar to slime), but both of those tubes failed on the inner circumference at the same spot (no nothing is wrong with the wheel). Some odd manufacturing defect...
25^3 bike: 25 lbs, 25 mph, 25 mile range.
Road and Mountain Bike Cute Q100 builds:
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Baron   100 W

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by Baron » Oct 24 2017 10:24pm

MikeSSS wrote:CO2 is liquid in the CO2 cartridge, at the pressure and ambient temperature of most CO2 cartridges. The CO2 cartridge holds more mass, as liquid, than a similar size cartridge would hold as compressed air gas, air would be a gas at the same temperature and pressure that CO2 is a liquid and liquid is more dense than a gas. More mass means more gas phase at the much lower pressure of a tire and therefore more pressure in the tire. Take a look at the phase diagram for CO2 vs that for air.

My solution is to run flat resistant tires from Performance, along with thick tubes containing Slime. Downside is more rolling resistance from the flat resistant tires and more from the thick tubes and from the high viscosity Slime in the tube. Upside is fewer flats and much longer time between topping up the air pressure in the tires. Electric assist more than compensates for the increased rolling resistance, compared to more frequent flats.

There are more than a few ways to accomplish fewer flats and fewer tire pressure top ups, I use a simple and cheap solution that works. KISS.
slime tubes in my experience always seem to clog up the shrader valve after about 6 months to a year. it becomes almost impossible to drain/add air to it. pumping it up seems to work up to a point, seemingly about 30 psi in mine. but the psi gauge is waaay off on my pump, probably because it has to fight so much harder to force air into there. so there's no way of knowing the exact psi in the tire. anyone have a fix for shrader valves getting clogged?

melodious   100 kW

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Re: Fixing flats, tubeless, plus hole-plugs and CO2 cylinder

Post by melodious » Oct 24 2017 10:59pm

Pump the tire with the valve between 9 & 3 o'clock position. :wink:
Surly Ogre rigid 29er, rear 10T MAC @ 50V 25AH & 40A: 30mph road/gravel/hill machine
42" dual diagonal Eskateboard @6s & 90mm wheels
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