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Thread: Tires: Solid vs Air

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Lancaster, Pennsylvania

    Tires: Solid vs Air

    Sorry, I am too lazy to read that massive thread on tires. Can anyone comment whether they like solid vs air? I was thinking of trying out a solid tire but I'm concerned as to how much of a pain in the ass they are to put on. Do they compare to a 100psi tire?


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  3. #3
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    NE Ohio
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    I went with solid tires after a couple of flats. I've never changed my own.

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  4. #4
    I been using solids for over 12 years and can't see myself going back to air tires again. I have to go out in our shop at work sometimes and there is metal shavings everywhere, so solids are a must. I usually change out to new solids about every 2 years but this last set I got about 3 years out of them. I've worn them slick before but never exposed the inner part of a tire. They can be a pain to put on by yourself but I usually get someone to help and have both wheels done in less than 30 minutes. I like the fact that I can roll across almost anything without having to worry about popping or puncturing a tire and being stuck with a flat.
    SCI Birthday: April 25, 1993
    T4,5,6 Incomplete
    Chair: TiLite TR3

  5. #5
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    the reasons above are good ones, but if you don't currently get alot of flats than I'd recommend against solids.

    I find the people I know who get alot of flats are the ones who don't maintain optimal pressure in their tires. If it is a pain in the ass to do or just isn't high on your priority list to do tire pressure weekly than you are likely running at 85-100 psi anyway so you won't notice much difference if you change to solids.

    In my case I started my SCI life with solids because of my limited hand function due to a cervical injury. I thought the maintenance and up-keep of pneumatics wouldn't be something I would be capable of. The day I changed to a 145-psi high-pressure pneumatic tire changed my wheeling life - pushing was night-and-day different because of the high rolling resistance of solids.
    You will hear/read otherwise, but I found I had to push two-thirds less using a high-pressure tire compared to the Shox 110psi version. At the time I was 9 months post-SCI and pushing 2-3km a day outdoors, and my shoulders really appreciated the boost. This year I got to the point where I was routinely doing 5-8km runs, sometimes 13km on a good day. Keep in mind I am a full-tilt personality so 95% I'm pushing like I want to maim someone.

    Can't imagine going back. Keep in mind I am a tire pressure nazi, usually doing them twice a week in conjunction with my rugby chair. I've only had one flat in 2 years time using thin Schwalbe SpeedRun's in a city full of sanded/gravelly (leftover from winters) sidewalks littered with broken glass.

    This is only my personal experience.

  6. #6
    Tooley nailed it on the high pressure tires. They are a game changer. I'm a C7 with limited hand function as well and these tires are just in a whole new class. I did 22 years on the 65-100 psi tires and just upgraded a year ago to the 145 psis and wow.

    Don't underestimate these new high pressure tires.

  7. #7
    I use solids now, I posted a tutorial about how to mount them so that just about anyone can do it. Requires the special tool Sportaid sells.
    I was getting flats all the time, in the most inconvenient places... flatting on family walks a mile from home is no fun for anyone. Getting a pressure sore from sitting on the ground while you fixed that flat is even MORE fun! Sure, solids are slower, but for me the trade-off is worth it. I just think of it as more daily exercise.

    How does everyone get their tires pumped up to 145 PSI? Air compressors?
    Last edited by dr.zapp; 01-22-2012 at 12:06 AM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member brucec's Avatar
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    Jan 2009
    Virginia Beach, Va
    I've always used air tires, the regular 70psi type, they provide less bumps, etc
    i usually only keep about 40psi in them
    We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.
    Ronald Reagan

  9. #9
    Senior Member tooley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by dr.zapp View Post
    How does everyone get their tires pumped up to 145 PSI? Air compressors?

    this guy sits on the lower rung of an end-table at the end of my couch, along with a spare tube and tire tools. Pumps to 150 psi no broplem.

  10. #10
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    Aug 2002
    Windsor ON Canada
    Quote Originally Posted by brucec View Post
    i usually only keep about 40psi in them
    Really? I can 'feel' when I'm down to 45ish because the chair becomes so sluggish ... I go with 75's but usually pump them to 80. I've had two blow-outs though due to air contraction from cool air conditioning to outdoor heat.

    In winter I simply have to grin and bear air castors because they run over frozen ruts of snow/ice so much better ... but I love my solid castors for manouvreability and traction in the summer .. even though you feel every bump in the pavement. Wouldn't with air .. such a trade-off with chairs .. nothing is ever perfect!

    What I'd really like to try is nitrogen in the front/back in winter and see if that lessens the @2 weeks I have to check my tires because of its stability in temperature changes. Anyone used nitrogen?

    I use a portable air compressor at home and carry extra tubes in my car's glove compartment and one in my purse if I happen to be travelling (like that happens anymore!) Also have a portable air compressor that attaches to my lighter for the car .. but I haven't been able to locate it since my ex left.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

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