No announcement yet.

DIY Tire Liner Thread

  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    DIY Tire Liner Thread

    This is a thread for DIY tire liners. I will document what I have tried and include the data, including "How To" photos, what works, and what doesn't.

    My particular requirements are limiting myself to 26" bicycle rims, tubes, and very fat, knobby bicycle tires. I will not be switching rims or moving away from very fat knobbies.

    I have four bikes that are almost identical, so I will try something slightly different on each bike and document how each works, how much cost and effort, etc.

    The idea for this thread comes from a private discussion between Alan B. and myself wherein he tactfully told me that I have almost certainly frustrated a lot of people with all of my threads on my flat tires. In those threads, I failed to explicitly mention that I am sticking with the rims and fat knobbies that I have, and I am only focusing on DIY tire liners.
    Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 01:47 AM.

    The first thing I tried was a single Mr. Tuffy liner along with only 8 oz. of slime, and this made almost no difference.

    Every time I got a flat, I would cut my punctured tube around the inner circumference, wash out the green slime and use the punctured tube as additional tube protection for my new, inflated tube. This works nicely, and the more layers the better. One of my bikes now has four used tubes around the inflated tube. Of course, the wheel assembly is heavier, but I have a big motor so the only penalty that I suffer is decreased range.

    I also use 2-3 Mr. Tuffy liners in some tires along with 16-24 oz. of green slime, and this definitely adds to my number of miles between flat tires.
    Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 01:50 AM.


      Another idea that I had really high hopes for was using Aramid (Kevlar) tape. This idea failed because this material is designed to be used with an epoxy resin, much like fiberglass cloth and epoxy resin.

      Without the epoxy resin, which would make the Kevlar tape rigid, one does not reap the benefits of puncture resistance.

      I tried up to 21 layers of the Kevlar tape, but I had no success.
      Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 01:51 AM.


        Another idea that I researched extensively was solid tires. I may have read everything on the internet about them. Bottom line is that they are a death sentence for spokes and only good for children's bikes. Ebikes need a pneumatic tire. Flotation is a good thing.


          Another idea that I currently use is converting my used, bald tires into tire liners. After my tire has gone bald or received a humongous gash, I use the largest die grinder that Harbor Freight sells and smooth down all the knobbies. This takes awhile, but what else are you gonna do on a Saturday night?

          After smoothing down all of the knobbies, remove a 1/4-1/2" segment of the tire. This accomplishes two things: (1) it allows the used, smoothed down tire to fit inside your new, equivalently sized tire, and (2) it allows the tire to expand in circumference when you inflate your tube.

          Looking again at point (2) above, it is crucial that any tire liner is able to expand when your tube is inflated. This is why Mr. Tuffy liners are strips, not hoops.
          Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 01:53 AM.


            I am currently waiting to get another flat tire so that I can use a very thick motorcycle (street) tire as a tire liner. I will cut off the sidewalls and remove a small segment. Hopefully Harley Davidson makes their tires nice and thick.

            One may note here that I am maintaining the outward appearance of a bicycle tire, but cramming in thick liners in an attempt to deflect debris that would puncture my tube. My main motivation for this is so that a traffic cop will think "bicycle".
            Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 01:58 AM.


              My final idea was posted in another thread, but I managed to derail my own thread by vigorously defending my love of knobby bicycle tires. This idea is to use an automobile tire larger than 30.5" and cut a strip out of the center of it, smoothing down the sides to tame the steel braiding.

              This admittedly extreme example of a tire liner is intended to reap the benefits of the steel belts in steel belted radials.

              I am starting to make this tire liner this weekend, so I will upload some pictures of that process.

              Of all the DIY tire liner ideas, I like the car tire one the best. Sure, someone could just buy 6 or 7 Mr. Tuffy liners and shove them in there, but this would cost about $200 and putting together a tube and tire with that many liners gets aggravating.

              When I put together my tube and tire with my used, smoothed down tires it is very easy. The shape conforms and it is rigid.

              When I use all of the old tubes, it goes together okay, but it starts to get aggravating after about 3-4 old tubes.

              I recently put together a tire and tube with 3 Mr. Tuffy liners, and I don't think it would even be possible to put 5 of those in there.

              Getting back to the steel belted radial strip, it ought to be easy to assemble because it is just one thick layer.

              It will be interesting to see how this extreme tire liner conforms to the inner curvature of the bicycle tire.

              I anticipate having to make adjustments such as a silicone bead to keep the thick strip centered. Also, I am ready to put a Mr. Tuffy tire liner between my new tube and the steel belted radial strip because the Mr. Tuffy tire liners have one very soft side for the fragile tube.


                It seems to me that someone could make themselves some extra money by selling these steel belted radial strips online. The used tires would be nearly free, and the only costs would be fine tooth metal cutting blades for the jigsaw and coarse belts for the belt sander. Beyond that it is just labor. Sell 1, 2, 3 and 4 inch widths and tell the customers that the tire liner lasts a lifetime.


                  I just bought one of these radial (Aramid belted) motorcycle tires which I will trim to fit inside my bicycle tire to use as a tire liner.

                  Click image for larger version

Name:	87-4561.jpg
Views:	2732
Size:	23.4 KB
ID:	18624
                  I called around to a few motorcycle tire salespeople and they were all very helpful with helping me find the right width and circumference. I could have chosen a bias ply, but I wanted the Kevlar belt.

                  I think this tire is 1/2" thick. It will definitely tax the motor. Hopefully it wont be too hard to cut. I will probably cut off about half of the sidewall.

                  Also, I will slice it crossways so that it can expand when I inflate my tube. That is really going to suck if the circumference is too small. If the circumference is too large, then I will remove a 1/4-1/2" segment.

                  I am excited about the curvature of the outside. Looking at it, it looks like it will fit like a glove inside my bicycle tire.

                  I will post pictures and the weight of the trimmed carcass as soon as I can.
                  Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 09:03 AM.


                    Why not just adapt that tire to your bike and get it over with.


                      Originally posted by calfee20 View Post
                      Why not just adapt that tire to your bike and get it over with.
                      I love the way my fat knobby bicycle tires and Surly rims look. I am sticking with the bicycle rims, fat knobbies, and tubes. I already have in service ten matching rims and ten wheel builds which are perfect except for the single problem of a thin tire carcass. I need only to add an effective tire liner.

                      I was hoping that the thread would focus on DIY tire liners that deflect the sharp debris. Think of it as looking like a bicycle tire, but having a near impenetrable tire liner inside because getting a flat tire sucks!

                      The tire liner using the $139 motorcycle tire above will last me a lifetime if I got the size right (i.e. the diameter and thus the circumference).

                      I'm confident that it will stay centered in the tire because that has never been a problem with other experimental tire liners. The pressure from the tube presses it firmly against the tire at pressures of 20-30 psi.
                      Last edited by commuter ebikes; 09-23-2016, 02:18 PM.


                        I'm enjoying your tire escapades rather a lot. The crazy dedication to a single task, the refusal to be derailed, the creativity, and the sheer work and overkill you apply, are fun to read and kind of inspiring. Don't give up!

                        I can't wait to see the motorcycle tire results. Kind of surprised you didn't go dumpster digging for used tires, but again, crazy overkill for the win, here! Plus, that's actually cheaper than one of my bike tires. :(

                        Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.


                          The increase in reciprocating mass calls for better brakes. You have seen the disc brakes on motorcycles--they are huge.

                          Even running hydraulic bicycle brakes with the largest size rotors, the increased weight is still a safety concern, and one should reduce speeds to compensate for the diminished braking capacity.


                            Once driving through the Qaxacan Valley in Mexico, we passed an Old Man pushing a Wheelborrow, down the two lane blacktop, many kilometers from anywhere. He must have been tired of fixing flats too and made himself a Concrete Wheel & Tire. Bet it didn't corner very well. The Gryoscopic Effect of all that mass would greatly interfere with handling in the rural, Day of the Desd Festival Wheelborrow Race.
                            Last edited by Reddy_Kilowatt; 09-24-2016, 06:27 PM.


                              Originally posted by Reddy_Kilowatt View Post
                              Once driving through the Qaxacan Valley in Mexico, we passed an Old Man pushing a Wheelborrow, down the two lane blacktop, many kilometers from anywhere. He must have been tired of fixing flats too and made himself a Concrete Wheel & Tire. Bet it didn't corner very well. The Gryoscopic Effect of all that mass would greatly interfere with handling in the rural, Day of the Desd Festival Wheelborrow Race.
                              Fred Flintstone?


                              • Pilot737
                                Pilot737 commented
                                Editing a comment
                                Geez, I am so discurraged reading al, of this. Waiting on delivery of my first Ebike. What do I carry for repair?