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DIY tire inserts is just an experiment. Been thinking about tire inserts for about a year after Schwalbe came out with the Pro-Core inserts. I think tire inserts are a good idea but the weight (usually 200-350 grams) and cost (100-200) is kind of a deterrent. Was thinking of using pool noodles to try out but couldn't find one with the correct diameter, but found some plumbing insulation that is correct fit. So, final weight is 62 grams for 27.5 and cost was 5 bucks. Used shipping tape to seal up the split and tape sections together. Also, made it so it was snug to the rim.

Seems like you can run lower pressures. You can almost ride with no air. Haha. Been holding air fine and haven't noticed differences in riding characteristics. There are some issues. Not sure if the sealant is flowing really freely around but it could be because tire has not been losing air. However, not sure how it will seal punctures. It is more difficult to put the sealant in because you insert through the valve very slowly otherwise it will overflow. However like I said, the tire has sealed up fine and holding air fine. I do have so ideas of improving it.

It is just an experiment because I haven't found anybody who has made a tire insert product that I like. Just food for thought.

IMG_20170517_143528.jpg
IMG_20170509_115834.jpg
 

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RAKC Industries
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Go to a hardware store...

Truly if you have to put air in your tire what is the point of the insert? The idea behind the tire inserts is to eliminate the need to deal with flats, sealant etc.

Actually going larger diameter also isn't a bad thing, foam increases firmness as it's compressed. So use bigger pipe insulation to effectively "raise" your tire pressure.

How much effect it will actually have is unknown till guys like you start playing around with the idea but it's a good start as airless tires are starting to appear all over the place. Just saw a landscaping company with bigger zero turn mowers using them. All they have is the internal ribs attached to the tread. See straight through the tires.

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Discussion Starter #4
They have it Home Depot or Lowes in plumbing near the water heaters. There are two kinds. One is more supple and heavier and the other is lighter and more rigid. I went with the lighter more rigid one.

I would maybe try the 1/2" x 2 inch diameter one rather than the 3/4" x 2.25 inch diameter one. It may allow the sealant to flow more freely. In a couple weeks, I will most likely try the smaller diameter one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Go to a hardware store...

Truly if you have to put air in your tire what is the point of the insert? The idea behind the tire inserts is to eliminate the need to deal with flats, sealant etc.

Actually going larger diameter also isn't a bad thing, foam increases firmness as it's compressed. So use bigger pipe insulation to effectively "raise" your tire pressure.

How much effect it will actually have is unknown till guys like you start playing around with the idea but it's a good start as airless tires are starting to appear all over the place. Just saw a landscaping company with bigger zero turn mowers using them. All they have is the internal ribs attached to the tread. See straight through the tires.

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For me, it is not only the need to deal with flats. I rarely get flats or snake bites with tubeless. To me, the main purpose of tire inserts is to protect the rim. Protect the rim from breaking is big when you run lower pressures on really rocky rooty chop. I just shattered my carbon rim. Also, protect the tire from snake bites is good too. An airless tire is bonus if someone invents one.
 

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RAKC Industries
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Ah, ya that makes sense but I guess my question comes into why not run pressures high enough to avoid that. Low pressures have diminishing returns very rapidly anyway.

Other thing is that besides stiffness, adding the insert don't you loose the benefit of weight loss/does it matter?

I'm not a carbon guy, so getting a clear picture of a thought pattern would be cool. Have carbon forks on my fat bike as well as bars, about the extent of carbon I've considered using. Though the benefits are hard to ignore.

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RAKC Industries
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I'm not raining myself, I'm actually quite curious as to the "common consensus" versus some ingenuity and how the 2 compare in the end.

Also trying to understand his goal here which now I understand. Just curious as to why this route vs adding air pressure.

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damned rocks...
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I like it.
Don't know if it was you (OP) that I saw suggesting this idea on another thread, or if you simply decided to try it.
I have seen some foam/sponge tubes on stores that sell water and heat products.
Some are softer others are more rigid, the weight is low on both, like +200cm*6cm weights​ less than a tube, if memory serves me right.
For this application the harder the better, but the ones I saw didn't seem to be able withstands a riders weight, or preventing a rim strike.
But I will try to get one or two of those to give it a try in the next days.

As a side note, not related to tire inserts, in the water/heat section they have this little foam pipes, that are super light and have a bore/ID of around 5mm and are awesome too use on frames that have internal routing cables that insist on rattle :).
 

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If you're using closed-cell foam, it will shrink when air pressure is added to the tire. I believe pipe insulation (both soft neoprene and stiffer polyethylene) as well as pool noodles are closed cell. IDK if this matters or not, but something to consider.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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Truly if you have to put air in your tire what is the point of the insert? The idea behind the tire inserts is to eliminate the need to deal with flats, sealant etc.
The point of all the other systems and why I would be interested is to lower the practical pressure floor, which for me is limited by rim strikes and potential damage. Nothing to do with airless or flats.
 

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transmitter~receiver
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DIY tire inserts is just an experiment. Been thinking about tire inserts for about a year after Schwalbe came out with the Pro-Core inserts. I think tire inserts are a good idea but the weight (usually 200-350 grams) and cost (100-200) is kind of a deterrent. Was thinking of using pool noodles to try out but couldn't find one with the correct diameter, but found some plumbing insulation that is correct fit. So, final weight is 62 grams for 27.5 and cost was 5 bucks. Used shipping tape to seal up the split and tape sections together. Also, made it so it was snug to the rim.

Seems like you can run lower pressures. You can almost ride with no air. Haha. Been holding air fine and haven't noticed differences in riding characteristics. There are some issues. Not sure if the sealant is flowing really freely around but it could be because tire has not been losing air. However, not sure how it will seal punctures. It is more difficult to put the sealant in because you insert through the valve very slowly otherwise it will overflow. However like I said, the tire has sealed up fine and holding air fine. I do have so ideas of improving it.

It is just an experiment because I haven't found anybody who has made a tire insert product that I like. Just food for thought.
Nice goin'!
Keep us posted on what you find over the longer term... I may try this myself.
 

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How difficult was it to mount the tire with that?

Also if you are concerned about it soaking up the sealant you could spray the whole thing with NeverWet which creates a superhydrophobic surface and should keep most of the sealant from sticking or getting soaked up.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Nice job! In this picture, it appears you wrapped the entire insert with tape. Is this necessary to hold it together? Done to minimize the amount of sealant that gets absorbed by the foam? Or some other reason?
It is pipe insulation so there is a split down the middle so I had to seal off the middle cavity. That is another issue (the cavity in the middle made for the pipe) that I don't know how it will affect the sealant. Hopefully the tape seals the sealant from the cavity.
It wasn't overly difficult but it is more difficult because the foam pushes the bead out of the rim middle recess, but I guess it depends on the tire. I used a Hans Dampf 2.4 tire.

The polyethylene foam seems like it doesn't absorb moisture much but I won't know for sure until I open it up.

I am going to try a few more things this week with possibly a smaller diameter and try to get the sealant to flow better and to insert it in the tire better with a port that goes through the foam. I'll post my findings.
 

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RAKC Industries
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Actually smartguy, I want to know the specs on the one he chose.

You're not as clever as your mommy says you are.
Then why post:

"link to buy the insulation". Instead of asking the specs which you are saying your requesting???

Seeing as you go to a hardware store to buy it you wouldn't be asking for a link to buy it. You would have been asking for the details about it instead. Seems you missed you morning coffee so common sense is still in your bed


Nice updates OP and now (though people are pulling post segments of mine way out of context which isn't cool) that I got a full picture of the purpose it makes much better sense. All about saving the rims hopefully.

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IMG_20170518_123551610.jpg

I had to repair a puncture on my rear tire today, so ran over to Home Depot and picked up a couple of those pipe insulation tubes, 3/4 x 2.25 ones to give this "ghetto rim saver" a try. You need to use two, one is not long enough. Running 2.4 tires also.

I sprayed it down with a thick coat of NeverWet that I had laying around and will see if that keep sealant from soaking/sticking in. If this works out, good option to seal this up will be to tape it up with a layer of Tyvek tape. The Tyvek tape I had was chopped up for use as rim tape,so really could not use it.

Tyvek Tape (great rim tape and would be great for this)
https://www.amazon.com/Tyvek-Sheathing-Tape-1-88-164/dp/B000OZX35K/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1495143394&sr=1-1&keywords=tyvek+tape

Mounting was at bit hard though but the tire went on, just hard to keep the bead(s) in the channel.

Also cut out a small 3" long shallow channel for the stem, to make it easier to fill with sealant/air.
 
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