archival and resource material for human powered recumbent tricycles

Mr. Tuffy for fatrikes … or tubeless? Easy Answer!

I’ll make this quick:

Bigfoot Tubeless Conversion 03

One “thumb-down” since my other hand is busy holding the box

In case you have not read the report, I’ll sum it up here and simply say that I had 4 flat tires in 17 miles while riding my ICE Full Fat in California’s Mojave Desert. This is in spite of the fact that I had carefully installed the famous Mr. Tuffy 4XL tire liners in each tire to protect the vulnerable inner tube setup that shipped from the ICE factory for use on this trike. Bottom Line: Mr. Tuffy failed repeatedly, with numerous needle-like thorns sticking clear through the liners, leaving the inner tubes with so many minuscule puncture holes in each tube that it would have been a futile effort to patch them all (especially since they would go flat again in just a few more miles). Conclusion: Convert to a tubeless tire setup!

So, seeing the wisdom in all this, and realizing that if I truly do want to ride my wonderful fatrike through the wilds of Planet Earth, which I do, I am in the process of converting the stock factory tube setup to a tubeless solution with Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant inside. The lesson has been learned the HARD WAY, but at least it was indeed learned. My skull may be thick, but it is not impenetrable! Yee Haa … fun days lie ahead.

Bigfoot Tubeless Conversion 01

Wheels have been removed to facilitate the conversion (old boxes make great trike stands)

Bigfoot Tubeless Conversion 02

Three Alexrims ready to go tubeless – rim strips are 65 mm width

Bigfoot Tubeless Conversion 04

These beefy VEE tires are definitely more rugged than the original Schwalbe Jumbo Jim tires that came installed direct from the ICE factory when I received the trike. Visit the VEE tire company HERE if you wish to learn more about them for your own fatrike. Even though these VEE tires are tougher, I still recommend converting to tubeless if you prefer to keep on riding rather than replacing inner tubes continually! Go tubeless – ride free!

Watch this demonstration of how well Stan’s NoTubes tire sealant works:

Stay current on all the Bigfoot happenings (such as they are) HERE.

2 responses

  1. As of your last update on your tire failure, I had spoken to a few engineer friends, and have had discussion on the issue of your tire dilemma out in the desert.. It was after a few hours of discussion that my friends nephew walked in, and overheard our discussion, and come up with a simple resolution to the issue that we all had a very good laugh, he had said why not use a venetian blind louver as a tube protection runner inside the tire well we thought this pretty silly, until he, and my friends son returned the following morning knocking on my door as he thinks me his uncle, as my friend and I have been friends since grade school, and have been as close as brothers, and said Uncle Zack, I, and Mark not the same grammar though as he is very young as yet, but went on in saying how they went to the garage, and slipped a couple of venetian blind louvers into the the tires of his mountain bike, and had something to show me… Well I’ll be, if the boys weren’t right, they had a hand full of my friends small map pins that he uses for modeling like in R/C, wood frame modeling with the little round plastic heads no more than 1/8″ in. in pertrution but long enough to do the demonstration.. They dumped them out on the floor of my carport, and run over them with his mountain bike at first I was hesitant, and did not want him to ruin a good tire tube, but the boys said not to worry, and you know what they had found the most simplest of methods I have ever heard of..! But then again there was someone who I remember saying how they had used some popsicle wrappers to fix a tire once, or twice, and I said to the boys that they are pretty smart for a couple of grade school kids..! With that I had given him $5.00 to replace his father’s pins for one, and a couple of cokes on the uncle, for teaching me something new…! Grade school boys, and some pins a couple of venetian blind louvers, and these boys that shown me how they could teach an old dog a new trick…!

    December 27, 2015 at 10:01 am

  2. Now that’s a prime example of “lateral thinking”! I guess the main problem would be to keep the louvers in place inside the tire, how to avoid the metal to pinch the inner tube, and how to prevent corrosion. But it surely seems like an idea worth exploring!

    January 8, 2016 at 9:43 pm