Don’t leave well alone, the thing about fat tubes

Riding the Pugs is cool and there’s more coming about that, what’s not cool is the silent hiss of a tyre going flat, even more annoying is the second – of a peeled off patch… The original Surly Toobs fitting Pugsley’s 26×3.7 tyres are hard to get and on the expensive side. Going flat happens just like that and keeping a close eye on the future I started looking for other solutions.

My first choice were downhill specific 26×2.7, not only significantly cheaper, but coming in at half the weight. Bargain!? Not necessarily… Such a tube in a 3.7 inch tyre becomes so far stretched that successfully applying a patch becomes somehow of a lottery. Not impossible but far away from being 99% recurrent and 99% recurrent is a good thing to have around when far away from home.
Out of necessity I have tried a 29×2.3 mtb tube. The tyre inflated nicely but after having problems with 26: mtb tubes it’s not really building up confidence. More of an emergency solution really i.e. as a spare. For regular use the rubber gets too thin and prone to thorns and snake bites.
Searching the internet I’ve stumbled upon Coastrider’s post about using motorcyle tubes. Why not? If one can speed 100 km/h with those, they can’t be wrong for plowing local forest trails. There’s just one but. Surly rims are drilled for Presta type valves and won’t fit Schrader valve equipped tubes.
Being 65 mm wide, Marge Lite rims can be drilled to fit Schrader cores without affecting rim strength. Holes were drilled, 21×3.0 tubes fitted and the most time consuming tasks were getting the wheels of the bike and rubber of the rims.

What can be noticed first is the feeling of the motorcycle tubes being bullet proof. They are well over 250 gram (umph!) heavier and the rubber feels a lot thicker than on the original Toobs. I’m sure there are lighter options available for those weight conscious.
Left corner: Surly Toob ~ 500g
Right corner: Michelin MDR ~ 750g
Another positive side of this modification is that now I can fit both Schrader and Presta valves on my rims. Yay!
Coming days will be used for testing.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s