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Two different approaches to “reinventing the wheel”

Commuter, Concept, Mountain Bike, Utility / Cargo Bike 10 3419

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  1. Andy October 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm -  Reply

    I think the biggest issue with airless tires is that they seem to lack any adjustability, and have huge rolling resistance. With pneumatic tubes, I can put the pressure where I want, and just ride. A flat might take 10 minutes to fix, and costs me about 25 cents to patch (I bought a bulk patch kit of 100 that will hopefully last a long time). But with foam or other methods, you have a set pressure forever, and it has less efficiency compared to air tubes. I welcome the attempts, but I think there’s a reason why we still use tubes even after so many years!

  2. greenobike October 31, 2012 at 10:47 pm -  Reply

    I would like to see some technical data from a reputable, independent source regarding the Milele bicycle tube before donating money. The websites listed only provide limited anecdotal evidence.

    • John Gershenson October 31, 2012 at 11:51 pm -  Reply

      greenobike – I would agree. It is important to know who you are backing. You can see more about Baisikeli Ugunduzi at We believe the evidence of the success is strong. One proof of this is the fact that USAID has just decided to get behind us and support what we are doing in Kenya. Regardless, please feel free to contact me directly and I would love to tell you ore about what we are doing.
      Thanks, John.

  3. Ben November 1, 2012 at 12:42 am -  Reply

    Andy, good point. For Baisikeli Ugunduzi, however, imagine yourself in rural Africa. You don’t own a pump or a patch. A repair will take an hour. You earn only $2 a day using your bike, and, due to harsh roads, cheap tubes, and heavy loads, you flat twice a day. You can ill afford the loss of 25% of your income, plus the time of earning new income. The extra effort you can handle if you have to, your bike already weights >50lbs and your drivetrain is hacked together. Come check us out on Indiegogo, it would be great to have the bicycle design community jump in so we can bring the milele tube to thousands more people who depend on bicycles for their livelihood.

  4. botchjob November 4, 2012 at 8:41 am -  Reply

    @ andy …
    why is nobody reading the post ??

    “rubber stretched over a series of rods to provide its cushioning. These rods can be adjusted, changing the tension of the rubber to suit different types of terrain. The 29er rim is made from carbon fibre to keep weight down, and Russell is thinking about adding a thin sidewall to keep mud and trail debris out.”

  5. schris December 6, 2012 at 1:51 am -  Reply

    The Tweel project does have merit and regarding tire pressure – for commuting and urban riding it would be realistic to retain a specifc tire pressure (or characteristic for this pressure). For MTBing variable pressure is desirable for different conditions and is a potential option that would need to be mechanically adjusted, and in comparion to air, is over complicating this aspect. If we look at tires today, there are shifting trends though for a general market acceptance of this radical change, something special needs to happen.

  6. Ron May 30, 2013 at 6:31 am -  Reply

    The Milele tube looks exactly the same as the Perma-Tube which has been for sale in South Africa since the 1970s.

    • Baisikeli Ugunduzi November 22, 2013 at 2:13 am -  Reply

      Yes, a very similar concept. However, with a completely different material. These work – they can be loaded, they don’t increase tread wear, they are not as heavy, and they come in a wide variety of sizes. Look at

  7. kipchumba August 3, 2013 at 4:55 am -  Reply

    I wil like to fit those solid rubber tubes in our hospital wheelchair which as been an headache in repairing them

    • Baisikeli Ugunduzi November 22, 2013 at 2:11 am -  Reply

      Kipchumba please contact, we have been working with wheelchairs as well.

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