Monday, April 13, 2009

Tube or Tubeless

My dad says I need to check to see if my flattened tire has a tube or is tubeless. He says he thinks my old ten-speed is tubeless so my bike is probably tubeless, especially if I've located (as I believe) a tear in my tire that's letting all the air out. He says if my bike had a tube in it, my tire wouldn't being going down because the tube really holds the air. But I figure that most tubeless tires would be on newer, sportier bikes to reduce weight or something. My bike is from 1974, give or take a year. Also, when I googled "tubeless bike tire vintage" all I got were results related to mountain bikes.

So what do you think--tube or tubeless?

7 comments :

Rat Trap Press said...

I'm sure your tire has a tube in it. There are some good instructional videos on BicycleTutor.com. here's a link to their video about repairing a flat.

http://bicycletutor.com/fix-flat-tire/

Hope this helps.

Thom said...

Yeah, most likely a tube--99.9% sure. Here's another helpful link:

http://bikewebsite.com/bike-tiretube.htm

2whls3spds said...

Tubes...unless you are riding on solid rubber tires.

Aaron

KN0qqugiwM3.Zb1yHUOppmB2v5c- said...

Indeed, your bike does have tubes. If there is actually a tear in the tire, you may need to replace that as well; your father is right in saying that the tube is what holds the air, but the tube can only do this if it is supported by the tire. If the tear is not too big, you may be able to put a "boot" in to support the tube. You can use a stray piece of tyvek, a dollar bill, or a chunk of sidewall cut from an old tire to do this. Make sure the boot is big enough to extend beyond the tear at least 1/2" all around, place it between the tube and tire, and inflate. If the hole is not too big, you should be able to get some more mileage out of the tire. It's a good technique for emergency roadside repairs, too. Val

Evan Bacon said...

Older racing bicycles and high end deep section rims sometimes have tubular tires which are glued to the rims. It's very unlikely that your bike is set up with tubular tires. What is confusing is that modern tubeless tire for mountain are actually clincher tires with air tight rims and a built in valve. This is not the same thing as a old school tubular tire which has an inner tube sewn up inside a glue on tire. You would be more likely to see that on an older colnago or masi, or possibly a schwinn paramount, but not a step through certainly. If your tire has a slice in it it's probably a good idea to just replace it soon, because you will likely get another flat sooner or later and it could be a more serious blowout if the tire casing rips suddenly. Wider low pressure tires will work a lot better with a boot than a high pressure road tire, but it's still a temporary fix because it will probably get bigger.

The Bronze Bombshell said...

Thanks for all the advice and links, guys. Luckily, a friend of my mom's came by yesterday afternoon (with a wrench) and helped me get my tire loose so I could get a peek inside. It definitely has a tube. Now if I can just figure out where my mom "stored" (more like misplaced) my toolbox, I'll drop by Walmart and I can this repair on the road.

Bill said...

I would be shocked if your bike did not have a tire tube . I believe almost all bikes now have tubes in them, one reason being safety. If you just Google the issue, I am sure you will be able to figure out your problem.