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Thread: Air filled tires (maintenance etc.)

  1. #1
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
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    Air filled tires (maintenance etc.)

    I have always had solid tires on my manual wheelchair. This is because I am unable to maintain or change pneumatic tires by myself and do not have anyone close by that could help me with this. Typically I am on solid surfaces so they roll fine but going up curb cuts is very difficult. I have read that this may be due to a lack of give in the solid tires causing them to "stick" at the edge of the cement rather than springing up over it.

    For my next set of wheels I am somewhat undecided between trying air filled tires and solids. The solids that I have right now are no names because I did not know what I was choosing when I got my first chair. I have read that the genuine KIK mako solid tires, particularly the high-density ones, ride a lot better and are closer to air than other solid tires so I would like to try them out. The zero maintenance appeal of solid tires is still quite strong. However, increased mobility, better braking and better curb handling abilities would be greatly appreciated.

    So my questions for those of you who use air filled tires are:

    What sort of maintenance do they require?
    How often do you have to put air them?
    How long does a pair last?
    How often or easily do they get flats?
    What have you found to be the best brand and model (I travel primarily on solid surfaces)?

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff B
    I have always had solid tires on my manual wheelchair. This is because I am unable to maintain or change pneumatic tires by myself and do not have anyone close by that could help me with this. Typically I am on solid surfaces so they roll fine but going up curb cuts is very difficult. I have read that this may be due to a lack of give in the solid tires causing them to "stick" at the edge of the cement rather than springing up over it.

    For my next set of wheels I am somewhat undecided between trying air filled tires and solids. The solids that I have right now are no names because I did not know what I was choosing when I got my first chair. I have read that the genuine KIK mako solid tires, particularly the high-density ones, ride a lot better and are closer to air than other solid tires so I would like to try them out. The zero maintenance appeal of solid tires is still quite strong. However, increased mobility, better braking and better curb handling abilities would be greatly appreciated.

    So my questions for those of you who use air filled tires are:

    What sort of maintenance do they require?
    How often do you have to put air them?
    How long does a pair last?
    How often or easily do they get flats?
    What have you found to be the best brand and model (I travel primarily on solid surfaces)?
    jeff i run primo "at"[knobbies]. i put air in every two weeks. they say 65 pds i run 75-80. better performance.
    if your not real active im sure its alot less. my tires last 2-3 months. if u use your brakes you need knobbies or they wont hold well. my ins pays for them so i buy 3-4 pair at once
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jeff B's Avatar
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    Thanks fuentes,

    bumping this for more replies

  4. #4
    Chen Shins run about $14 a pair at my local bicycle shop. I line my tires with an insert before putting the tube in. Has greatly reduced my chances for any flats.

    Tire pressure typically is not an issue. I may add air every 2-3 months.

    Tire usage for me runs about twice a year, unless I do some new activity.
    Rick Brauer or just call me - Mr B

    http://www.riseadventures.org

  5. #5
    I run Kenda Iron caps at 110-120 psi with presta valves. I should top them off once a month, but its more like every 6 weeks or so. If you don't need to climb much, the kendas could last a year, probably more like 6 months. But I know of a pair of kenda that were run down to the thread that still held air pretty well.

    I also run a pair of mountain bike tires with schrader values at ~60psi & top them off every three weeks. These I replace once a year if I run them year round.

    The higher the psi, the less the rolling resistance. Its huge difference when I let my kendas get down to 50 psi before inflating back to 110-120.

    In almost ten years of pneumatic tires, I've had 4 flats. Three of from running over thumb tacks and one unspecified slow leak.

    You can get nearly any car shop or full service gas station to top off your tires. You could also do bike shops.

  6. #6
    You really should be using pneumatic tires. They give ya such a better ride. If you're worried about getting flats buy a spare set of rims and keep good tires and tubes on them. Then just switch them over until you can get to a wheelchair or bicycle repair shop. Only takes a second to remove them with quick release axles.

    If you don't have insurance you shoud be able to pick up some used rims with tires and tubes at a wheelchair repair shop. Or eBay.... if you trust doing business that way.

    I still use the standard grey (Quickie GPV) wheelchair tires that call for 70 lbs PSI pressure. I always give 'em 80.... they roll a little better. Since getting a rechargable electric air pump/compressor I usually re-air mine every month. I keep it under the bed so it's handy to get to. I've only recharged it once... maybe twice in two years.... just the other day as a matter of fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sporty
    Three of from running over thumb tacks
    Those thumb tacks seem to have a magnetic attraction to wheelchair tires. Nothing worse than lying in bed and looking over and seeing a thumbtack in your tire. Hmmm, should I remove it now and let the tire go flat faster or risk screwing up my tube altogether by riding on it a little longer? Decisions, decisions.....
    Last edited by bob clark; 02-28-2006 at 09:09 PM.
    "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rrrrronnn's Avatar
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    Jeff is there a bike shop in your area? If so, stop in and say hi. Ask them if they will fill your tires every 2 - 3 weeks. I call the shop on my cell and ask if I can swing by. They come out and fill my tires while I wait in my van (I transfer into a 6-way power seat). Of course you can always go in and they can do it while in the chair. My bike shop doesn't charge me, and I hook them up during the holiday season.

    As others are saying, pneumatics are so much smoother. I also use the cheap $15 tires for the rear, I get them from the bike shop. They are less expensive then buying them from DME. I buy the 6" tires and tubes from my DME guy. The tubes and tires for the castors are more expensive since they are specialty tires, but worth the smooth ride. All my flats are fixed by my bike shop, as well as most other issues with my chair.

    I am c6-7, and I have had flats that I had to deal with for a full day. It's a little more effort, but not as bad as u would think. When a front wheel goes flat it's not as bad as the rear. It doesn't happen too often tho.
    Last edited by Rrrrronnn; 03-02-2006 at 12:29 AM.

  8. #8
    man, how do u guys go so long w/out airing. i can feel when my tires are low, i hate it, lol.

    i keep a little compressor for my rugby tires at the gym.
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  9. #9
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    I'm getting a new chair soon. The vendor suggested pneumatic tires with solid tubes. The tires never go flat.

  10. #10
    be careful sofla, if the vendor suggested them they are probably crap
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

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