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  #1  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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inner tubes

hi all
planning a trip to Africa soon ,
my nightmare is flat tires ,specially when I'm loaded ,
i need to know the best way to get the best from the inner tube for my Honda Africa twin
i used slime before ,
heard of mousse ,and other things
so what is the best to avoid as much to have a puncture,
i found the heavy duty tubes are so hard (at least for me ) to fit the tire side of the road and i had more punctures with it than the normal type of tubes
cheers and ride safe all of you
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  #2  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omar mansour View Post
hi all
planning a trip to Africa soon ,
my nightmare is flat tires ,specially when I'm loaded ,
i need to know the best way to get the best from the inner tube for my Honda Africa twin
i used slime before ,
heard of mousse ,and other things
so what is the best to avoid as much to have a puncture,
i found the heavy duty tubes are so hard (at least for me ) to fit the tire side of the road and i had more punctures with it than the normal type of tubes
cheers and ride safe all of you

I've heard that thick tubes are a problem because they heat up too much. I wouldnt think they are harder to fit,though. Maybe I'm wrong here....

Ive used Slime stuff and it was effective but made any larger hole difficult to repair. But I certainly got less punctures.
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  #3  
Old 6 Oct 2012
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Get thick heavy duty tubes. Forget that "heat up" bullsh*t. They resist damage better and they're also easier to repair and work with.

Forget slime. It won't stop anything but the TINIEST puncture in a tube and it makes a friggin mess everywhere and makes patches impossible to patch.

I find heavy duty tubes EASIER to change. You can be a *little* rougher with them.

It's all technique. It's not an easy job. Practice practice practice. There are lots of videos on youtube

The best advice I can give you is to get A LOT of HIGH QUALITY patches and at least three tubes of glue (they split and dry up- Dont get stranded). Get some good levers too. A valve key is essential too.

I think these are BRILLIANT. I haven't nicked a tube since I started using them.

Sealey VS1818 Deluxe Tyre Lever 300mm | eBay


I once had 15 punctures in one day whilst in Tanzania. I had a high quality heavy duty tube which was wrecked in a big blow out (nothing to do with the tube). After that I was stuck with cheap tubes and more punctures than I care to remember.

If you haven't got a centre stand on your bike... GET ONE NOW !!

Also, a quality 12v pump will make life easy. I have a 'cyclepump"

http://www.zenoverland.com/tools/cyc...adventure.html

Those crappy £5 pumps are asthmatic and are a bit of a lottery.

Fingers crossed you won't get a single puncture..... You can go months without one and then like me, get 15 in a day.
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  #4  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Mousse is ONLY used for rallies and get changed every day - and are not good for high speeds - they ar NOT for you.

Heavy duty innertubes are made thick to prevent damage from pinching when you let out the air to ride offroad. The thicker tube does not in any way prevent punctures from thorns or other foreign objects that are able to work their way through the tire. However, if you have a rim which is full of rust and debris, I would immagine that you would have more to go on when it comes to chaffing - then again, your rims should be clean anyways.

Maybe also you reduce the risk of destroying a tube when changing it - i.e. from pinching it with the tire irons. I however pinched and punctured my heavy duty innertube the last time I changed the tire, so the heavy duty was no help to me here.

As for the overheating of thicker tubes, the argument makes sense, but I am not so sure if there is any significant difference the way most overlanders ride. Maybe if you ride higher speeds for long periods of time, on scorching hot pavement... like 140 km/h???

This summer I rode my f650gs 2.000 kms in two days (France-Germany), most of it at 110 to 120 km/h - using heavy duty tubes (max comfy speed of the f650gs with loaded panniers). I set off with a tire that had way too little air in them to begin with (The bike had been sitting for ages so the leak was likely very slow, I had no pump, and I was racing agianst the clock - stupid and reckless, I know). Upon my arrival, my tire was completely flat. I pumped it up and rode arround with it for another couple of weeks having used tire repair on a can - but it still leaked quarter a bar every 24h. When I finally came arround to change the tube I found there was a leak where the valve was attached to the tube - which I assume had been the culprit all along, but which had been made worse from the fast riding at low pressure. So, if an old leaky heavy duty tube, can hold up with very low pressure, at 120 km/h, for 2.000 kms., it is good enough for me, and I don't give a damn about the over heating argument - my top cruising speed is 120 km/h anyways.

As for Tanzania. I had two sets of tubes in Tanzania, a regular and heavy duty one that I would rotate whenever I punctured, whic was often. But all the punctures was from all the thorns and other foreign objects that would slowly work their way through the tire. This year I rode from Spain to Bissau, some of it offroad with low tire pressure, all with regular tubes, and I only got one flat.

I allways change tubes when I change tires. I now ended up ordering regular tubes - simply because they could be shipped faster than the thick ones (not in stock). Regulars are always more readily available and are cheaper, so it would be best if these were good for the job (which is my hunch). I will now try the regulars for a while and see how it goes, but I will still bring heavy duty as a spare. My gut feeling tells me that they will do great, even off road with low tire pressure.

So what should you choose, regular or heavy duty? I really don't think it matters much. Maybe regulars are better as allround tubes in Africa, maybe not??? Go with whatever makes you feel most confident. For me, that is having heavy duty on the bike, and regulars as a spare. I don't feel more confident that the heavy duty will puncture less easy (except maybe if I ride offorad with low pressures for a long time). But, I feel more confident that the heavy duty tube may hold up a little better for repairs, if it went flat and I had to ride with it for a little while, or if I didn't notice that it was flat when riding offroad.

That much said I wouldn't be the least bit concerned riding off with just regulars - as I am doing now.

I just Read Lois Pryce's book Red Tape and White Knuckles - she rode straight through the center of Africa and had zero flats - she used heavy duty tubes.
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  #5  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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There's 3 types (maybe even more), the standard 1mm tube, the 'cross' or heavy duty 3mm, and the UHD (ultra heavy duty) 4mm tube, which I'm using now.
I find the UHD, branded Continental and difficult to find, a bit difficult to fit, but I'm well pleased with them. I drove 32000 km through Africa so far, and not one single flat. Even drove them at 1 bar for 1500 km in the DRC.
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  #6  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Get thick heavy duty tubes. Forget that "heat up" bullsh*t. They resist damage better and they're also easier to repair and work with.

Forget slime. It won't stop anything but the TINIEST puncture in a tube and it makes a friggin mess everywhere and makes patches impossible to patch.

I find heavy duty tubes EASIER to change. You can be a *little* rougher with them.

It's all technique. It's not an easy job. Practice practice practice. There are lots of videos on youtube

The best advice I can give you is to get A LOT of HIGH QUALITY patches and at least three tubes of glue (they split and dry up- Dont get stranded). Get some good levers too. A valve key is essential too.

I think these are BRILLIANT. I haven't nicked a tube since I started using them.

Sealey VS1818 Deluxe Tyre Lever 300mm | eBay


I once had 15 punctures in one day whilst in Tanzania. I had a high quality heavy duty tube which was wrecked in a big blow out (nothing to do with the tube). After that I was stuck with cheap tubes and more punctures than I care to remember.

If you haven't got a centre stand on your bike... GET ONE NOW !!

Also, a quality 12v pump will make life easy. I have a 'cyclepump"

CyclePump Adventure - 12v Compressor

Those crappy £5 pumps are asthmatic and are a bit of a lottery.

Fingers crossed you won't get a single puncture..... You can go months without one and then like me, get 15 in a day.
I certainly dont mind a robust difference of opinion - but I´d prefer it if you didnt scream "bullshit", even if this is something you know well.

¡"15 punctures a day" is an interesting outcome to your ideas on this topic! GIGO?

You could pick up some useful info from Wheelie´s very good post. And I´d say that the levers you use are far too long, encouraging tyre damage; they´re a bit of a gimmick. The handle is unnecessary and would be better with a normal profile.
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  #7  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Titbird View Post
There's 3 types (maybe even more), the standard 1mm tube, the 'cross' or heavy duty 3mm, and the UHD (ultra heavy duty) 4mm tube, which I'm using now.
I find the UHD, branded Continental and difficult to find, a bit difficult to fit, but I'm well pleased with them. I drove 32000 km through Africa so far, and not one single flat. Even drove them at 1 bar for 1500 km in the DRC.
Now, that is one strong argument in favour of UHDs from a reputable manufacturer! Still, can we attibute no punctures to this tube or would a regular tube have held up the same?

Your choice of tire has probably far greater impact on punctures than your choice of innertubes, as is having an immaculate rim interior, and making sure you do not damage the tube even a tiny bit when you fit it... well, that is just my guess anyhow. Therefore, it would be of great interest to hear what type of tires you have fitted and their condition. Also, do you use a rim lock, and how do you secure your valve when riding with low pressure, etc?

Some tires I've used just seem to eat sharp objects, letting them work their way slowly through the carcas/thread to the point where they start chaffing or cutting the tube rather than puncturing it, until you, for no apparent reason, get a sudden blow out after hours on a perfect stretch of new spotless tarmac, doing 70 km/h. It happened to my pal on our last trip. Hours before, after riding fast on desert hot tarmac for a long time, we had parked on the shoulder with fiery hot tires. The shoulders is a typical place where small pieces of glass lurks in the sand and dirt. Our hunch was that the softened rubber ate a piece of glass, that later worked itsway in in the ever softer rubber as we continued on our fast ride on the desrt hot tarmac.

Funny thing, I think all my flats have occurred on tarmac - never on gravel or offroad. Even after I have taken into account the fraction of tarmac vs no tarmac, I should still have had some flats. Why is this? I am thinking that heat has something to do with it. Tarmac gets extremely hot, and when you ride fast - your tires and tubes get soft and vulnerable.

I'm no expert, but I would assume that a tire's ability to dispipate heat, or not get hot in the first place, has a great impact. Radial vs Bias? Rougness of thread? Hardness of rubber? Ammount and type of reinforcement in the tire? Number of plies of rubber and reinforcement? Weight and ammount of material in the tyre? Tyre pressure? Etc. It would be really interewsting to have a tire expert comment these things - and by that, I don't mean a dealer - but by some tire engineer or something.

My gut says that dual sport knobbies, or offroad tires, are less puncture prone:

Here is an article that may support my claim: http://www.off-road.com/trucks-4x4/t...cle-19432.html
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  #8  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Talking tyres and tubes is like talking religion.
It's like when I used slime for years, I only got one puncture, but maybe without the slime I would have got 15, I don't know, it didn't convince me though, so now I don't use it anymore.
On this trip I used TKC80 and K60 tyres and I do think the UHD tubes made a difference, they are almost impossible to pinch, they are so thick that is is hard to see if the tyre is even inflated or not, I even think I could ride on them with zero bar in the tyre, and I don't use rimlocks on the standard 4 year old back rim or the excell front rim.
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  #9  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Stupid question

Hi
Soon to go for 6 months to africa on a GSA
Tubeless wheels, and my first set Heidenau (?) tubeless tires. am I nieve about this talk of heavy duty tubes? am I going to be fitting tubes to my tubeless tires or will my plugging kit be my best friend?
Not lots of off road in my past or future, can't be too reckless going solo.
Do I bring a spare tube? For tubeless tires?
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  #10  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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If you will be riding in sand for instance, you will quickly find out how big a difference letting out air out of your tires can make.

If you use a tubeless tire, and you reduce the tire pressure, you run the risk of your tire beed and rim not beiing able to hold the remainder of the air in the tire. You might end up loosing air without noticing, riding with way too little and maybe destroy either the carcas of the tire, the rim, or both - leaving you stranded if you don't have a tube. If you are really unlucky, then the beed suddenly gives due to the low pressure, leading to a sudden blow out and you eating whatever surface you are riding on.
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  #11  
Old 7 Oct 2012
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Heavy duty tubes (best quality you can get - Michelin) and run them a bit higher pressure than suggested.
Practice beforehand changing tubes and accept in your head that you will in all probability get at least 1 so don't get depressed when the inevitable happens. It really isn't the end of the world. Good levers help (Buzzetti) as does a centre stand or some other method of supporting the bike on both sides (i take both cases off and use them as props under the footrests - remember to take your tools out first though!!).
Take your time.If you need to, get a brew on first and then just get on with it.
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  #12  
Old 8 Oct 2012
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Tubliss

Even someone on a GS with tubeless wheel should carry a normal tube just in case you ding the rim and can't seat the tubeless tire bead on it anymore. I just put a tube in a cast wheel BMW in Mongolia for a Canadian couple. She'd hit a big pot hole and the rim had been compromised for holding a tubeless tire.

If rims are clean and there's little plan to lower pressures for riding off-road . ..skip the UHDs (btw, Michelin makes an 8mm tube that weighs more than many front tires !). The UHDs are definitely tougher to install, the thing is fat and stiff, characteristics which make it alot tougher to "snakebite" (pinch) flat.

Practice is good. Patience is better. It's not that hard with a decent set of levers. I prefer the MotionPro levers. Light and stupid strong they're also useful for other tasks like axle nuts or using as drivers for other sockets. I let a mechanic in Beyneu, KZ use mine to change a tire and he said, "you must sell these to me or I must steal them." They're excellent.

If you ride with a partner you can bust the bead with his/her sidestand or centerstand. If not . . .you should either know you can break the bead without or carry a bead breaker. An Aussie outfit makes a great one.

Using a little soapy water (or not) depending on tire, rim and preference is good to know beforehand. Having an extra tube so that the repair need not happen at the moment is good, say like when you're somewhere near a campsite or village but it's getting dark, cold and weather is coming. (Don't ask me how I've come to this example.)

Buy the BEST patch kit. Rema makes excellent glue and patches. The cheap asian stuff all ends in tears.

Slime ? It's never worked for me but I keep trying !

Lastly, Tubliss. Not for super rookies but . . . wow. If you have a rim which can use it. Amazing. Rode a Karoo2 nearly 11,000km across really bad terrain with a Tubliss. A tube's heating would have reduced that to something closer to 7,000km. You just need to check the bladder pressure regularly. If you're lazy or forgetful I cannot recommend this fantastic product.

CyclePump - yeah. The best.
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  #13  
Old 8 Oct 2012
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I managed the whole length of Africa without a puncture using Michelin UHD tubes, this was probably just luck as a couple of weeks after my return a small screw did puncture the rear tyre on my way home from work. I was able to ride the last 10 miles home at a steady speed, about 30 mph, without the tyre coming off of the rim and think this was due to the sheer volume of rubber in there, this was an unexpected benefit of UHD tubes but I do find them more difficult to fit than standard ones.
As has been said I think slime will help seal small holes but make patching almost impossible with all of the sticky goo that comes out, you pay your money and take your choice.
Remember your tyres will come off much more easily when they are hot and supple, this does help when changing by the side of the road.
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  #14  
Old 8 Oct 2012
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another stupid question

for a 17" rear and a 19" front, can one spare tube fit both, or are you talking two spare tubes?

from my bicycling days, you can stretch a smaller tube to a bigger tire. Can you do that an only carry a 17" spare for both? or maybe an 18" tube? (hard to find maybe but i think they are out there?) I bought a Michelin tube as a spare for Moroccco but didnt bring it as the thing is so big. No problems at all on the TKC80. But Africa will be harder i guess.
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  #15  
Old 8 Oct 2012
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Originally Posted by jimosse View Post
for a 17" rear and a 19" front, can one spare tube fit both, or are you talking two spare tubes?

from my bicycling days, you can stretch a smaller tube to a bigger tire. Can you do that an only carry a 17" spare for both? or maybe an 18" tube? (hard to find maybe but i think they are out there?) I bought a Michelin tube as a spare for Moroccco but didnt bring it as the thing is so big. No problems at all on the TKC80. But Africa will be harder i guess.
When I have travelled on my GS which is tubeless I have run it tubeless and carried a spare of each, ordinary not heavy duty as they take up a lot of space. Although I have not been to Africa with that bike and have never had to run with lower pressure in the tyres so tubes might be the way to go, I would be inclined to take one of each size.
I carry them in a plastic sandwich box with the valves taped and nothing else in there to prevent chaffing, I have seen people get out their "new" tube only to find it has been rubbing on something and has more holes than the one they want to replace.
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