Talc on tubes

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A long time ago, in a land of my youth, everyone learned to repair punctures in fragile tubes. Tyre levers and cutlery handles were used to pull off a bead and the ritual of partially inflating a tyre and immersing it in the sink to find the telltale bubbles were familiar to all. However the march of technology has taken us to tubeless self sealing tyres and the affair with changing tubes has cooled.

However I still use tubes, albeit gunk filled, and can feel the difference when the tyre and tube stick together so I periodically invest in a large plastic bottle of talcum powder and use liberally over the tube before fitting. It is important that the tyre well is clean and dry and a small amount is squirted inside the tyre but when fitted the tube and tyre distort independently and it feels softer or more compliant.I have ridden without talcum on my tyres but found that the gunk spreads further after a puncture and the bead can end up stuck to the rim.Instead apply a foot’s worth of talcum and feel the difference. Obviously when forced to change a tube at the farmyard gate the smell of the occupants will be completely masked by the perfume, your riding buddies will stay to help and you will immediately find the thorn.The last bit is not guaranteed.

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