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Monday, April 28, 2014

Can I use a tube in my "tubeless tire?

 Saw this question  
"Is there any reason why we can't use inner tube?

When I was younger (45 - 50 years ago), we wear the tire to the bare bone, people use inner tube."

Inner tubes are made of a special type of rubber that is better able to retain air than the rubber used in the rest of the tire. Different types of rubber have different performance characteristics. Some wear better, some have better energy (fuel economy) performance, some are real good in ice & snow. All of these and other types also have negatives. Some might be bad wear, easy to cut, create more heat etc.

The challenge for the tire engineer is to balance the performance trade-offs.

The invention of the "Tubeless" tire allowed the elimination of the separate tube. Most of today's tires have rubber that is very similar to the rubber used in tubes on the interior of the tire. This is called the "innerliner". A major advantage is that if you get a puncture in a tubeless tire the innerliner doesn't rip like a tube would, so you have less chance of a true "Blowout".

Using a tube in a tubeless tire creates some problems.

It increases heat & cost are probably the biggest.

It also can temporarily trap air between the tube and the tubeless tire innerliner but this air will leak out around the valve hole over the next few days which means you would need to check the air pressure every day for many days to ensure proper inflation.

I have trouble thinking of any circumstance where using a tube in a tubeless tire would be a good thing.


  1. Frankly, I didn't know they still PRODUCED tubes in the size needed for a car or truck or RV.

  2. I have a one ton 1947 International pick up that will never carry any type of load. It will not exceed 30 miles per hour. I have 4 used 16 inch P215 tires to replace the 7.50 X 16 tires on split rims. I want to use tubes in the P215 tires on the split rims to drive to local car shows. See any problems?

  3. Yep tubes are still available just not at every tire or auto parts store. Having said that I quickly found over 60 different sizes at one parts store and also 60+ listings on eBay, so they are out there


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