Grass inner tube fix

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Greg Hall, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. Greg Hall

    Greg Hall Guest

    Was reading the TdF review issue of Cycle Sport and came across the
    report of viewing the Alp du Huez stage. The reviewer (or a member of
    his group) ran out of spare inner tubes and patches so relied on an
    obscure fix of stuffing the tire with grass to make is home. Has
    anyone heard of this or tried it?

    I've seen tubulars put on clincher rims in an emergency but this grass
    thing is really out there IMO.

    Greg Hall
     
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  2. Leo Lichtman

    Leo Lichtman Guest

    "Greg Hall" wrote: (clip) Has anyone heard of this (clip)
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    I read about it in a book, years ago, but have never had to do it. I once
    stopped and offered this info to someone who was stranded with a flat, and
    he just wrinkled his nose at me. The article suggested using grass, leaves,
    newspapers, or any material at hand to make the tire "plump up," and then
    riding very slowly.
     
  3. Jim Smith

    Jim Smith Guest

    "Leo Lichtman" <[email protected]> writes:

    > "Greg Hall" wrote: (clip) Has anyone heard of this (clip)
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > I read about it in a book, years ago, but have never had to do it. I once
    > stopped and offered this info to someone who was stranded with a flat, and
    > he just wrinkled his nose at me. The article suggested using grass, leaves,
    > newspapers, or any material at hand to make the tire "plump up," and then
    > riding very slowly.


    How bad for the wheel is riding on a flat? I have ridden 5 or 10
    miles a couple of times on flat tires with no apparent damage. did I
    just get lucky? Taking the tube out got rid of the thump-thump-thump.
    Anything wrong with doing that?
     
  4. Jim Smith wrote:
    > "Leo Lichtman" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >
    >>"Greg Hall" wrote: (clip) Has anyone heard of this (clip)
    >>^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >>I read about it in a book, years ago, but have never had to do it. I once
    >>stopped and offered this info to someone who was stranded with a flat, and
    >>he just wrinkled his nose at me. The article suggested using grass, leaves,
    >>newspapers, or any material at hand to make the tire "plump up," and then
    >>riding very slowly.

    >
    >
    > How bad for the wheel is riding on a flat? I have ridden 5 or 10
    > miles a couple of times on flat tires with no apparent damage. did I
    > just get lucky? Taking the tube out got rid of the thump-thump-thump.
    > Anything wrong with doing that?
    >

    It shouldn't damage the spokes or hub but may dent the rims and will
    destroy the tyre (assuming it was worth saving, i.e. the sidewall isn't
    completely ripped out as happened to me last month).
     
  5. Peter

    Peter Guest

    Zog The Undeniable wrote:

    > Jim Smith wrote:
    >
    >> "Leo Lichtman" <[email protected]> writes:
    >>
    >>
    >>> "Greg Hall" wrote: (clip) Has anyone heard of this (clip)
    >>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    >>> I read about it in a book, years ago, but have never had to do it. I
    >>> once stopped and offered this info to someone who was stranded with a
    >>> flat, and he just wrinkled his nose at me. The article suggested
    >>> using grass, leaves, newspapers, or any material at hand to make the
    >>> tire "plump up," and then riding very slowly.

    >>
    >> How bad for the wheel is riding on a flat? I have ridden 5 or 10
    >> miles a couple of times on flat tires with no apparent damage. did I
    >> just get lucky? Taking the tube out got rid of the thump-thump-thump.
    >> Anything wrong with doing that?
    >>

    > It shouldn't damage the spokes or hub but may dent the rims and will
    > destroy the tyre (assuming it was worth saving, i.e. the sidewall isn't
    > completely ripped out as happened to me last month).


    I think it's unlikely to damage anything since you'll be going rather
    slow and able to avoid bumps. I rode home about 6 miles a few months
    ago with a flat rear tire. As Jim said, I removed the tube to avoid the
    bumps from the valve and also so the tube wouldn't be damaged and could
    later be patched. There was no damage to any part of the wheel or to
    the tire. I was also towing my boat at the time which added a bit of
    extra load on the rear tire, but the tongue weight of the trailer is
    pretty small.
     
  6. Tim Olson

    Tim Olson Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] (Greg Hall) wrote:

    | Was reading the TdF review issue of Cycle Sport and came across the
    | report of viewing the Alp du Huez stage. The reviewer (or a member of
    | his group) ran out of spare inner tubes and patches so relied on an
    | obscure fix of stuffing the tire with grass to make is home. Has
    | anyone heard of this or tried it?

    I've had the unfortunate opportunity to try it. A few years ago I was
    bike commuting back home on my road bike when I got a flat in the rear
    tire. And the spare tube I had hadn't been patched from the last flat.
    And I was out of patches.

    I remembered some outdoor show on PBS mentioning the above technique, so
    I thought I would give it a try. I pulled up a bunch of long, dry grass
    / straw by the side of the road and proceeded to stuff it into the tire.
    It was hard to get it to distribute evenly, and when I finally got the
    tire back on the rim, grass stubble was sticking out in various areas.
    I got back on the bike and proceed along slowly, thinking that the
    technique wasn't half bad -- the bumps seemed to distribute out evenly,
    and as long as I was riding slowly things were OK.

    That's when I got to a big downhill run. As I started to coast down the
    hill and pick up speed, the rear tire did its best impression of an
    unbalanced washing machine. WHUBBA WHUBBA WHUBBA it shuddered, as bits
    of grass and straw periodically flew out. By the time I got to the
    bottom of the hill, the grass had somehow redistributed itself in half
    the tire, leaving the other half empty. I ended up taking the tire off
    and removing the rest of the grass, then walking my bike home the rest
    of the way.

    Maybe next time this happens, I'll try the "fill the tube with water"
    technique, just to see what fun ensues...

    -- Tim Olson
     
  7. On 6 Oct 2004 12:39:17 -0700, [email protected] (Greg Hall) wrote:

    >
    >obscure fix of stuffing the tire with grass to make is home. Has
    >anyone heard of this or tried it?
    >

    we used it once in the middle of winter... icebiking, my friend ran
    out of tubes and we were about 3 miles from the parking lot ( mountain
    bikes...2.3 tires). We filled the tire with leaves, and even a scarf
    that my friend was wearing. It got us back.. riding slowly.

    charlieb in Ct.
     
  8. dvt

    dvt Guest

    > On 6 Oct 2004 12:39:17 -0700, [email protected] (Greg Hall) wrote:
    >>obscure fix of stuffing the tire with grass to make is home. Has
    >>anyone heard of this or tried it?


    Done that, been there. I think the ride home was around 5-10 miles. The
    ride was very rough, but I think the grass probably saved my rims. I
    didn't try a double-blind test :). After I got home, I saw that I
    probably should have added some grass somewhere during that distance
    since the grass compresses quite a bit as the liquid is squeezed out.

    I did this with 28-622 tires on the road; I don't think it would work as
    well with skinnier tires.

    Bottom line: avoid this if you can. My incident was caused by my own
    forgetfulness, and I hope I never make the same mistake again.

    --
    Dave
    dvt at psu dot edu
     
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