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Puncture proofing for life needed for rural school kids


theRussian
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I run a project as a sideline where we provide bicycles to school kids in extremely rural areas. Our main challenge is punctures. I have a mechanic on the ground to keep the bikes on the road, but punctures are killing some of our good intentions. If you need more info, feel free to google #BIKES4ERP. You will find a few videos and articles etc.

 

I had a road bike when I was a kid. I rode that thing in the Kalahari as a commuter for 10 years on one pair of permatubes. I think something like that is the solution. Mine was very heavy, but durable. 

 

Note, these are not for performance. It is literally to get kids to school and back. Weight is not a big issue, but I was wondering if there are something better already in South Africa. Obviously is money an issue. We buy 50 - 100 bikes at a time, so it is pretty expensive. If we increase the price by R500 per bike, it is a big deal...

 

I am not importing from China. Long story.

 

What will be your suggestions.

 

Looking forward to your responses.

 

 

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I too have a small project getting young underprivileged kids on bicycles . I keep the bicycles and let them ride and ride with them . They can't ride any distance beyond 4/5 km on corrugated roads on permatubes . I use tyre liners , not foolproof but eliminate most punctures. You can also use sealant in the tubes but once it leaks it is almost impossible to mend .

Edited by Prince Albert Cycles
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We use perma tubes called Mousses on the motorbikes. they work really really well. They are expensive and yes in the wrong hands/application you can destroy them in a few hours but they are the most fool proof for racing still IMO. They start hard and soften over time, some guys trim and drill them to get them to the right equivalent pressure.

 

So I have a few thoughts, the el cheapo stupidly hard permatubes(as in Mika/sportsmans etc)- maybe it is worth drilling holes in them like we do to mousses to make them softer for grip or comfort/give. 

 

Or see if any of the mousse manufacturers make bicycle versions.

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Back in my time at Yamaha we tested quite a few solutions for the bikes we supplied to the Kruger Park rangers.  Mousses definitely worked the best, but were pretty expensive and quite difficult to fit.  We also tested some of these https://www.tireballs.com/ which actually worked quite well because they didn't break down as badly as Mousses do when they got hot.

 

Which got me thinking about MTB tyres because back in 2005 I was still riding V-brakes and couldn't afford Tubeless tyres- my idea was to put squash balls in a MTB tyre to see how it would ride.  Crazy thought I know, and most likely very expensive, but I still often wonder if it would have worked.....

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O wait, I misread your post. You mentioned that you're NOT importing from China, sorry, let me carry on searching  :).

 

 

Found something here in SA after posting quite a few links from China  :whistling:

 

I am sure these folks will be able to assist you: http://www.stopaflat.co/distibutors.html

Edited by RobertWhitehead
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We used old garden pipes in our bmx's back in the day. Permatubes were to expensive and the pipes did ride softer. The only problem was that it looked under inflated.

 **** - we make PVC mining hose 32mm and 40mm and there are bags and bags full of reject hose.  It's a lot tougher than your normal garden hose.  I wonder if that wouldn't work?

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