> wrote in message
> I'm not sure what the substance was, but it was some kind of solid that may have had air bubbles
> in suspension. I think the brand name was "No-Flat" or "No-Mor Flats". I found it at Walmart.
Sounds like a closed-cell foam inner-tube.
> > sounds like my Voler-par-la-Nuit tireless wheel(tm), guaranteed to eliminate those
> > inconvenient flat tires.
> I never heard of that. I'll have to see if I can dig up info on this. It sounds like it would be
> a snap to install as I would simply replace the entire wheel instead of trying to peel off the
> tire, add
This was a joke, not a real product. Wheels are expensive and replacing one would cost you more than
your entire bicycle.
> with any matches. Later I found out that they were referred to as airless inner tubes, plus they
> have airless tires, and now you have mentioned a tireless wheel. My cup spilleth over
Airless inner tubes go inside a standard tire. Airless tires are just that - a foam-rubber tire that
requires no inner tube. Both are a pain to install, are prone to slipping, and in the case of the
airless inner-tube, may not fit the tire well.
> Are you folks performance oriented? I've got a cheap bike as it is ($64 new) and it is far from a
> comfortable ride, and my only concern is in getting from point A to point B reliably, and not
> having to baby it around debris-laden terrain. I guess I'm trying to figure out if these things
> are held in low regard by those who value performance or if they are held in low regard period
Most of the folks around here are commuters, recreational riders and sometimes racers. We all demand
the best performance out of the bike we choose to ride. Most of us would not find a $64 (new)
bicycle comfortable. Many of us believe that a bike of that caliber isn't safe to ride (substandard
wheels, brakes, components, etc.). Even if you find that bike comfortable, then you might not find
it as comfortable with a set of airless inner tubes or tires. Barring the presence of suspension
components, the tire provides most of the suspension for a bicycle. Filling it with foam makes it
less compliant, thus harder over the bumps.
> I'm just gun-shy because my old bike had numerous flats, and I hated dealing with them so much
> that I stopped riding the bike. I really, really, really hate flats. Changing a flat on a car is
> easy, changing a flat on a bike is a pain.
> With my old racing bike the flats were caused by hitting bumps. I guess being 200+ lbs, moving
> fast and hitting anything more than a
> 1/4" bump caused it to go flat.
Your old bike was a road bike with narrow tires. I'm betting your new bike fits in the "mountain
bike" category. The tires will be much less prone to flatting. In seven years of using a mountain
bike for commuting, I have never had a flat, even with slicks mounted. When you flat by hitting a
bump it is called a pinch flat or "snake bite." It is caused when the tube is pinched between the
rim and the bump. They key is to not let the air pressure get too low and to take it easy over
sharp-edged bumps. Don't just park your butt in the seat and let the tires take the abuse. Unweight
the rear wheel by "hopping" a little as it goes over the bump.
I'm also guessing that you have the stock knobby tires on your bike. These will help prevent flats
by keeping small slivers of glass and wire from penetrating through the tire. But these will also be
the least efficient and least controllable tires on pavement. A slick or semi-slick tire will
greatly improve the ride and handling of the bike with just a little more risk of a flat.
Dealing with a flat should be no problem. Perhaps you never learned the best way to do it. On a
cheap bike, it will be harder because of the extra tools required to remove the wheel (but a single
crescent wrench should take care of it). Go to a bike shop and buy your supplies. Everything you
need will either clip on the bike or fit in a small seat bag. Ask them to teach you the best way to
do it. It is surprisingly easy and takes no more than 10 minutes, even on a bad day. It is certainly
less work than changing an auto tire.
> Hmmmmm, these sound good but I'd like even more guarantees -- or as close as I can get to them.
> With no air comes no possibility of a flat.
There are no guarantees, even with a foam-filled tire. These may slip around the wheel when wet (not
too big of a problem when accelerating, but think about trying to stop). These may not fill the tire
properly, causing additional wear to the tire and greater rolling resistance. These will make the
tire less compliant over bumps, making the ride less comfortable. Most folks around here agree that
airless tires are a bad idea.