Dirt Bike Tubes
How To Avoid Flat Tires

Your suspension is the middle between everything below (the dirt bike tubes, tires, wheels etc.) and everything above (the rest of the bike + rider). It is obvious that you want to minimize the weight of the upper part. But the suspension has also to work for everything below as well. So the extra weight of tires, tubes and slime has a very bad effect on the handling.

You might notice with extra heavy duty tubes in the front that your forks feel too soft. Or that you get deflected from your line in rocky sections.

We in South Africa battle with flat tires. Everything bush, tree and even flowers have thorns, some so thick and big that they will prick though your hand guard when passing them on a fast section.

One tree is called a "wait-a-bit" because when it catches you, you'll just stay there till someone comes to help you out. Besides it is very rocky so we also get a lot of impact punctures. My point is: if we can avoid punctures in SA then wherever you are, you can too!

Mousses

Mousses are not an option for us because on our outrides we come to very remote areas and you definitely want to be able to fix a puncture and not be stranded with a crumbled mousse. My husband also doesn't like the dead feel of feedback they create.

Many pro riders use them, but they make sure they test with them in order to make click adjustments to compensate for their weight and feeling. Read this article to know more about how to adjust your suspension to different terrains and conditions.

How To Avoid Flat Tires

If you have problems with impact punctures due to rocky terrain use heavy duty tubes (not extra heavy duty!). Some people use an old tube cut up like a coat around the normal tube. Don't do it. It just adds unnecessary weight. Try to use as little slime as possible in your wheels. 200ml in each wheel works fine and avoids adding too much extra weight. For every gram extra you add handling is compromised!

I am not the world champion in mounting tires that's why I rather watch my husband or the tire machine do the hard work. But basically here is what you do:

  • use a fairly thick tube
  • apply lots of baby powder to avoid friction between tube and tire
  • use 200ml of slime
  • don't tighten the lock screw of the valve down to the rim, to avoid the valve ripping out when the tire moves on the rim
  • use rim locks

Well prepared wheels with the least possible weight and correct pressure (~0,9bar) offer big handling advantages. And I can use any handling advantage I can get!

Carry a 19 inch tube as spare as you can use it in the front or rear wheel in an emergency.


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