Tube size issues - double ended tubes

Katysax

Member
The rear wheel of my Veego semi fat is a real pain to remove. It’s not feasible to remove it to replace a tube on the road. I am an experienced cyclist who has ridden thousands of miles. I’ve gone long stretches without a flat but I’ve had a day with five flats. I commuted to work for years on a bike with mr tuffy liners and never got a flat on it until I took it out tooling around on a bike path. Sooner or later a flat will happen. My bike has 20x3 wheels. The tubes are currently protected with slime. I carry a patch kit and a 20x3 tube. But patching does not always work.

I’m thinking I’d like to try a Gaadi tube or the Huffy Quick Change tube. Unfortunately the only 20 inch tube fits 20x2.1. I’m thinking of getting one anyway. Over the years I’ve used various odd sized tubes. It seems to me that a 2.1 tube would pretty easily expand to fit a 3 inch tire. At least I could use it on the road and put back a proper sized tube at home. Feasible?
 

Tars Tarkas

Active Member
Get the right wheels and go tubeless. Problem solved
I'm interested too in a Gaadi-style tube for 26x4.0 tires. Gaadi doesn't have them. Does anyone else?

And I'm getting into the tubeless conversation late, obviously; how does going tubeless solve the problem?

TT
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
The rear wheel of my Veego semi fat is a real pain to remove. It’s not feasible to remove it to replace a tube on the road. I am an experienced cyclist who has ridden thousands of miles. I’ve gone long stretches without a flat but I’ve had a day with five flats. I commuted to work for years on a bike with mr tuffy liners and never got a flat on it until I took it out tooling around on a bike path. Sooner or later a flat will happen. My bike has 20x3 wheels. The tubes are currently protected with slime. I carry a patch kit and a 20x3 tube. But patching does not always work.

I’m thinking I’d like to try a Gaadi tube or the Huffy Quick Change tube. Unfortunately the only 20 inch tube fits 20x2.1. I’m thinking of getting one anyway. Over the years I’ve used various odd sized tubes. It seems to me that a 2.1 tube would pretty easily expand to fit a 3 inch tire. At least I could use it on the road and put back a proper sized tube at home. Feasible?
If you are wise you will always use tires with some kind of flat protection and good quality tubes, And aggressively replace them before they wear out. I'd also consider extra-thick tubes and tire liners to see if you can minimize flats.

My experience with hub-drive bikes is that as hard as it is to get the rear wheel off, the real challenge is getting the rear wheel back on the bike properly. Also, a lot of bikes seem to come from the factory with the nut on the rear wheel ridiculously over-tightened, often to the point where I needed to use a cheater pipe to break the nut loose.

As for tubeless, yes, 90 to 95 percent of your flats will be trivially easy to fix. But for that remaining five percent you'll need a tire boot and a spare tube so you'd just end up back where you started. And that is even assuming that the wheels on this bike are compatible with a tubeless system.
 

Katysax

Member
My wheels will not work tubeless. I would need different wheels. I can’t find a tire liner that would fit. I am using slime. This is not a huge worry because I don’t expect a lot of flats but one never knows.

Getting the rear wheel off my bike is a pain be cause of the way the wires are connected. I would need to cut some quick ties and replace them with spares. I’ve already loosened the overtight factory nut.
 

rich c

Well-Known Member
My wheels will not work tubeless. I would need different wheels. I can’t find a tire liner that would fit. I am using slime. This is not a huge worry because I don’t expect a lot of flats but one never knows.

Getting the rear wheel off my bike is a pain be cause of the way the wires are connected. I would need to cut some quick ties and replace them with spares. I’ve already loosened the overtight factory nut.
You first said you had a day with 5 flats, now you say you don't expect a lot of flats? That makes it hard to give advice.
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
My wheels will not work tubeless. I would need different wheels. I can’t find a tire liner that would fit. I am using slime. This is not a huge worry because I don’t expect a lot of flats but one never knows.

Getting the rear wheel off my bike is a pain be cause of the way the wires are connected. I would need to cut some quick ties and replace them with spares. I’ve already loosened the overtight factory nut.
My own advice would be that the least awful solution to your problem is to not use slime in the tubes because that makes the tubes harder to patch and spectacularly messy if you have to put a Gaadi type tube in. I'd just patch your high-quality tubes Dutch style and replace them once a year. I'd again recommend replacing your tires pretty aggressively, possibly every 1500-2000 miles depending on the road surfaces you ride upon.
 

Katysax

Member
You first said you had a day with 5 flats, now you say you don't expect a lot of flats? That makes it hard to give advice.
What I meant was that over thousands of miles of riding when I was younger I would go for months, and even years with no flats. But sometimes you have a bad day. You can ride for 6 months with no flats and then get 3 in a week. I’ve had a five flat day on a race bike with 18mm tires. But with the tires I’m using now I don’t expect many flats. Ironically I rode for years with no tools, spares or patches. It was only after I learned how to fix flats that I ever got any.

Replacing tires every 1500-2000 miles is aggressive. I’m not riding like I used to but I am doing 70-100 miles a week. The road surface I ride on is not all that bad. I know a lot of the tire manufacturers say 1500-2500 miles but that is road racing tires. The 3 inch Kenda on my ebike have very thick rubber. I guess I’ll change them if I start getting flats or they look worn. I commuted to work for years, about 20 miles a day, on a set of Kevlar belted 700x28 tires with a mr tuffy and never got a flat until a few years later still using those tires on a bike path. When I was club riding I was constantly changing tires in search of the latest and greatest so my tires rarely wore out.

If I get a flat on the rear I’ll probably just lock the bike to something stationary and Uber home. I just prefer feeling that I can fix the flat.
 

Ant

Member
The rear wheel of my Veego semi fat is a real pain to remove. It’s not feasible to remove it to replace a tube on the road. I am an experienced cyclist who has ridden thousands of miles. I’ve gone long stretches without a flat but I’ve had a day with five flats. I commuted to work for years on a bike with mr tuffy liners and never got a flat on it until I took it out tooling around on a bike path. Sooner or later a flat will happen. My bike has 20x3 wheels. The tubes are currently protected with slime. I carry a patch kit and a 20x3 tube. But patching does not always work.

I’m thinking I’d like to try a Gaadi tube or the Huffy Quick Change tube. Unfortunately the only 20 inch tube fits 20x2.1. I’m thinking of getting one anyway. Over the years I’ve used various odd sized tubes. It seems to me that a 2.1 tube would pretty easily expand to fit a 3 inch tire. At least I could use it on the road and put back a proper sized tube at home. Feasible?
I tried the Gaadi tube on my 700C wheels and got the correct wheel size, but one size smaller in the tube diameter as they didn't have the exact size. Worked okay for a while, but then got a hole at the end of the tube. Couldn't patch there; had to throw it out. I have the correct size now, but won't replace current tube until I need to.

I wouldn't get the 20x2.1 tube for a 20x2.3 tyre; I think you might have the same problem (though, with the lower pressure, it might work?). I've never tried to remove a fat tyre, but practiced removing my hubmotor rear wheel, at home, a few times to get it right. Just hoping I'm in a convenient place whenever I get a flat!
 

Katysax

Member
On my bike getting the tire off the rim is too easy. But getting the hubmotor off, the way it is wired, is difficult. I would only use the gaadi tube to get home, then change the tire where I have a work stand and better tools. I think I’ll try the huffy tube and see if it works.
 

sl_duck

Member
I just had my first experience with the Gaadi tube "in the field" and it didn't quite go as planned. It went in the tire great, but while pumping it up the tube got pretty hard while the tire casing was still loose. I guess it takes a good amount of pressure to stretch the tube. The tube was 2.3 size and the tire 2.35, so a bit undersized but I've never experienced a tire loose over the tube while the tube is still hard enough to ride on. I pumped it up as much as I dared to fill out the tire, thinking it might blow out. It got me most of the way before the valve stem tore at the base, and I walked another 45min through the woods to get home.

Gaadi doesn't make a larger version, so I think I'll go with a foam tire insert like Tannus so I can at least limp home on the flat tire and deal with it in the comfort of my garage rather than in the rain and dark.

Lessons learned:
- don't get an undersized Gaadi tube. Even by a little bit.
- cutting out the old tube seems like a waste, when it just had a small hole that could've been patched later on
- I wish I had a small headlamp in the repair kit. streetlights aren't bright enough to pick out debris in the tire or holes in tubes
- I wish I had nitrile gloves. changing a tube is dirty when everything is wet and grimy from winter riding. The riding gloves don't have enough dexterity for the job.
- even though I had the right tools and it only took 15min, changing tubes at night, in the rain, sucks.
- when trying a new method for flat repair, do it at home first to make sure it all works as expected.
- it's nearly impossible to hear the hiss and find the hole in the tube when there is traffic nearby. I got lucky and felt it blowing on my face. (The hole give you a hint where to look in the tire to see if something is still embedded there.)