The puncture

Miles from anywhere in a remote corner of Scotland and we get a puncture on the large disability scooter. I was surprised because when I bought it I paid extra for the stuff you put in tyres to prevent punctures. Some sort of foam, they said. It's very good, they said.
I decided that I'd try to fix it, though I doubted that I'd be able to. I had no option really though. It would have been the end of the holiday if the scooter was out of action. But it was a fine evening, and still light. And I'd only had two pints of strong beer.
I jacked the machine up using a length of driftwood as a lever and a rock as a support. The wheels were fastened on with deeply recessed 13mm studs. A socket wouldn't go in. Years ago I searched high and low for a set of box spanners ("Nobody uses them nowadays mate") and finally found one. The 13mm box spanner went into the hole but I couldn't turn it. The bar just bent. I found that I could fit a larger box spanner over the other end of the 13mm one and put a stronger bar through that box spanner, and I just managed to loosen the studs. I then found that the rims were split, the halves held together with 5mm hex drive machine screws. These were immovable. Eventually I found that applying torque with an allen key and tapping the key with a hammer for ages broke the seal. It took a long time but I got the screws out. They had been coated with a loctite-like substance.
Not knowing what I was going to find and still wondering about the alleged foam I prised the two halves of the rims apart. The tyre was stuck to one half. I was then able to pull out the inner tube. There was no foam. I inflated the inner tube and soon found a pinhole. This was inconveniently next to a seam. With a torch and my ultra-close-up glasses I searched the tyre for the cause of the pinhole. It turned out to be a thorn. The only way I could remove it was to push it through from the outside using the back end of a darning needle.
I got the puncture repair kit from my bike saddle bag. It had never been opened. I begun to feel optimistic, for the first time. Maybe I would be successful.
I marked the pinhole and sanded the area to roughen it. I broke the seal on the tube of rubber glue and squeezed it. There seemed to be some air in it. Eventually I realised that the tube contained only air. There was no trace of glue whatsoever. My optimism evaporated.
In order to travel the next day to find a shop that sold rubber glue I would have to reassemble the wheel so that I could get the scooter into the trailer. I was so annoyed. I was an hour and a half into the job.
I had a vague idea that I had another puncture repair kit somewhere, despite there being no logical reason why I should have. Nevertheless I started searching in the back on the van. Within seconds I found a very old and battered, but unopened, puncture repair kit. This had a tube labelled 'rubber glue' that actually contained rubber glue.
I patched the pinhole and put a second bigger patch over the first one. This was the first time I'd repaired a puncture since 1963. I rubbed the chalk over the area and was able to reassemble the wheel and fit it on the scooter with no trouble. I cautiously inflated the tyre to 20psi rather than the normal 30psi.
The next day it was still OK. The holiday continued.
There's nothing I can do about the empty tube of glue, but I'll be onto the vendor of the scooter. I'll be wanting my money back for the 'foam'.
The inner tube turned out to be a 12.5 x 4.00 size; rather a rare beast it seems. It's sold by the disability industry, which is a rip-off industry if ever there was one, at £19. Seems far too expensive to me compared to more common sizes.
Bill
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Bill Wright formulated on Friday :

You were lucky you could get a patch to even stick on a modern (plastic?) tube. If a replacement tube is reasonably 'stretchy' you could maybe get away with a more common size which is cheaper.
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Actually, having seen a few old tubes from these scooters in recent past, let me say that they are old school, in the main, ie just like the bicycle ones of yore were. The disability industry is basically 30 years out of date most of the time in my experience. Brian
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On Friday, June 16, 2017 at 1:47:14 AM UTC+1, Bill Wright wrote:

e

Try a farmermachinery shop for a replacement inner tube. Some farm machiner y has small wheels. I was plagued last year with paper thin replacement inner tubes for a wheel baroww wheel. Some genius had discovered a cheap paper this inner tubes in China and had flooded the market with them. On price no doubt. These were such rubbish they couldn't even hold a low pressure without spliting. Every shop I tried had the same piece of shite until I tried a farme machinery o utlet
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Yes heard of this sort of thing before. All disability stuff is overpriced as they seem to assume that some grant or donation pays for the bloody things. The foam being missing is an odd one. Maybe its been made by the same company as the tube of glue?
The foam if its there will be obvious, so it looks like you have been ripped off here. Brian
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On Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:47:13 +0100, Bill Wright
<snip good story>

So you should (for many reasons).
Looking forward though and seeing how being in that position can be a right PITA, may I recommend two things:
1) Have a spare tyre and a tube or two.
2) Get yourself some Punctureseal. Not 'foam', not 'Tyre slime', not any other brand, Punctureseal. I say that specifically as that is the only stuff I can actually recommend personally and over several instances and over many years. I'm not saying there aren't equally good alternatives out there, just that I don't know of them. (I have tried a copy-cat product retrospectively, even over-dosing the tyre and it didn't work).
The nearest to your usage I can think of was a gardener mate of mine who had one customer who had a ride-on lawnmower. He was regularly getting punctures and mainly from thorns, roughly once every other visit. I introduced him to Punctureseal and the owner of the mower agreed to have it installed. For the year or so he worked there after that, not one puncture.
I came out of my Mums to find a flat tyre on the Meriva. Pumped it up and found a nail in the tread and air leaking out around it. I drove it home (not far), jacked the wheel up, removed the valve, applied some Puncturseal, put the valve back in, re-inflated the tyre and drove it round the block. Checked the tyre pressure the next day, still spot on and it's been fine for 2 years now. Whilst Punctureseal isn't really supposed to be used retrospectively, it does and has done on cars and motorbikes many times.
Because it would be a real PITA to get a puncture in our motorbikes, trailers and daughters van, they are all treated.
And if you do want to get it out of a tyre, it's water soluble and I have easily washed some out of a tyre that had it in for over 10 years. I've even recovered some from a tyre that had been treated but then suffered kerb damage to the wall (a hole the size of a 10p piece) and the transfer worked fine.
http://www.punctureseal.com/ http://www.punctureseal.com/mobility-vehicle.html
(No connection other than very happy customer).
Cheers, T i m
p.s. The concept must be endorsed by tyre manufactures because you can buy tyres with it pre installed:
http://www.continental-tyres.co.uk/car/technology/extended-mobility-main/contiseal
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On 16/06/2017 09:46, T i m wrote:

I was of the understanding that these products do not work well with inner tubes and were only recommended for tubeless tyres. The basis of that understanding was that the foreign object could still be embedded in the tyre and cause further damage to the tube as it moves around slightly within.
Mike
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Going back many, many years when cars had tyres with tubes, I had a puncture in a fairly new car and found the puncture was caused by a dust cap which had somehow got between the tyre and inner tube.
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from KT24 in Surrey, England

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wrote:
<snip> >> 2) Get yourself some Punctureseal. Not 'foam', not 'Tyre slime', not

I understand they may not work 'as well' as with tubeless tyres but the lighter / generic stuff does seem to work in most cycles and they are still mostly all tubed do the better stuff should work better?

From my experience of tubed tyres (especially if there has ever been any water between the tyre and tube) is the tube is effectively 'stuck' to the inside of the tyre and so to all intents and purposes, the hole between tyre and tube will remain coincident long enough for the lubricative properties of the sealant to eject the object from both and the hole then sealing in the in the same way it would in the tubeless tyre (contact with the air, centrifugal force, heat and movement etc).
Cheers, T i m
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I have found on my bike that slime gums up the valve and eventually you can't get air into the tire regardless of using a very high pressure inflator ....
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 06:38:33 +0100, "Jim GM4DHJ ..."

... but you could take the valve out and clean / replace it presumably?
That could be another disadvantage with using something that stays very liquid like most generic 'slimes' then, as the likes of Punctureseal, once spread round the inside of the tyre, stays there.
When I removed the back wheel / tyre off a motorbike that had been standing for some years, there was no noticeable 'pooling' of the (then) Ultraseal at the bottom and certainly none near the valve or rim.
Like I said, anyone who considers the likes of the slimes with stuff like Punctureseal is really trying to compare apples and bananas. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
p.s. Punctureseal is also ok to use with runflat tyres (saving them being destroyed once run-flat) and tyre pressure sensors.
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Given who's recommending it, I'd discount it immediately.
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Today is Boomtime, the 21st day of Confusion in the YOLD 3183
I don't have an attitude problem.
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Oh dear ... poor, sad, miserable 'Huge', who thinks him recommending a cheaper (?) and potentially inferior product somehow makes him better than me ... ?
I guess jealousy (and having a miserable life) can be a reason why people stalk people on the Internet? ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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On 16/06/2017 09:46, T i m wrote:

I believed them that I would never get a puncture!
Bill
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On Sunday, 18 June 2017 05:01:48 UTC+1, Bill Wright wrote:

I'd look for payment for your losses/costs as well as a refund on the slime. You've totally let them get away with it otherwise.
NT
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On Sun, 18 Jun 2017 05:01:47 +0100, Bill Wright

Quite, I wasn't commenting (particularly <g>) on your preparedness under the circumstances, just a though re the future, irrespective. ;-)
The point is, unless you go for solid tyres, there is a chance that a tyre could get catastrophically damaged (riding over the end of a broken glass bottle, hidden the some long grass or at night that rips open the side of the tyre and allows the inner-tube out). ;-(
Even though we generally run puncture proof tyres on our mountain bikes and with Slime / Punctureseal (depending on when we did what), I always carry one spare tyre (folding) and tube, along with a decent puncture repair kit etc, just in case. We used the spare tyre and tube once when the rear tyre on the tandem blew out (turned out a tyre we were testing was crap in this case). It turned what would have been a nightmare into a short delay getting to the campsite (not easy pushing / carrying a fully loaded tandem and BOB Yak trailer). ;-(
Your story of trusting people to do what they say (and give you what you have paid for) is why I (and many others potentially) do stuff ourselves? ;-(
Cheers, T i m
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On Fri, 16 Jun 2017 01:47:13 +0100, Bill Wright

It is usually a substance commonly known as green slime http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bike-maintenance/bike-puncture-repair/slime-bike-tyre-sealant
It slops around in the inner tube doing nothing until you get a leak, where it leaks the fibres in it clump over the hole as air escapes sealing the hole. Popular with mountain bikers and most bicycle shop stock it (there are several manufacturers).
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Available on eBay much more cheaply than from B&M retailers.
I use it in my ride-on mower.
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On 6/16/2017 11:09 AM, Huge wrote:

Similar stuff sold for tractor tyres at farm supplies shops etc.
This one £13 per litre
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1LTR-TYRE-REPAIR-EMERGENCY-SEALANT-PUNCTURE-REPAIR-SUITS-CAR-TRACTOR-BIKE-TYRES-/231303048672?hash=item35dabc6de0:g:XI0AAOSwbqpT5QGm
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On Fri, 16 Jun 2017 14:14:19 +0100, newshound

I guess like many things it can be 'horses for courses'.
e.g. Whilst there is a reasonable possibility that many of these pre-emptive sealants are as good as each other ... and certainly when used in 'less critical' or 'less demanding situations (a wheelbarrow versus a sports bike etc), one might weigh up the cost difference between something unknown or untested against something that has undergone all sort of independent and real world trials and generally comes out on top?
http://www.punctureseal.com/documents/Punctureseal-Millbrook-Test-Report.pdf
More anecdotal:
http://www.punctureseal.com/documents/Punctureseal-CaseStudy-Bicycle.pdf
http://www.punctureseal.com/documents/Punctureseal-CaseStudy-Agriculture.pdf
http://www.truckandbuspack.com/plantpf/puncture-prevention-plant.htm
I guess it's also like insurance or breakdown cover ... the real test is 'does it do what it says on the tin' when the whatsit hits the fan?
I have used generic slime in cycles (added it myself and bought tubes that were pre filled) but often alongside 'puncture resistant' tyres (belt n braces etc) and can't say I've had a puncture.
I have seen a kiddies slime filled bike tyre suffer a tyre / tube penetration by a drawing pin and the slime did it's job when the pin was removed (at that point in time at least).
I have also seen a (motorcycle) tyre filled with a supposedly good quality puncture sealant, not be sealed properly (intermittent deflation).
Now, if there are instances where the people likely to be impacted may not always be able or in a position to deal with it themselves (as Bill was able to do in this instance), I *personally* would try to minimise that risk as much as possible by fitting the best possible solution.
YMMV as always. ;-)
Cheers, T i m
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