Yvette from Bikes for the World was kind enough to provide some ideas about how to use tires and tubes that really aren’t reusable. Here are some of her ideas as well as other uses I've found for old tubes:
- as a huge bungee cord (great for attaching canoes and kayaks to a car roof);
- as big rubber bands;
- on a bike rack on a car to hold the back wheel in place;
- as padding between the car and bike to make keep the paint from getting scratched;
- to hang banners and pictures at events; and
- inside a tire to protect a new tube (that way if there is a slit in the tire glass will have to penetrate two layers of tube before hitting the new tube).
|Photo courtesy Y.Hass|
Jewelry can be made out of spokes, cogs and chains that can’t be used again. Yvettes sometimes sells these at Bikes for the World (BFW) events to defer costs for shipping the bikes.
As for tires…as long as it still has some tread on it and the side walls aren’t blown out BfW can take them(see listing in right hand column of this blog) . According to Yvette, a tire can wear out quickly when a bike is stored outdoors. If you get a slit in a tire, you can place a dollar bill – or a piece of old tube to provide an extra barrier to stop the debris from damaging a tube.
Sometimes it’s just better to get a new tire or tube. Unless the tire is in shreds or the tube valve is busted, drop it off at one of the bike shops that donates to BfW (again, see listing in right hand column of this blog). The quality of the tires and tubes that we have in the US …even with a patch or four …..are often better what what’s available in developing countries. Check the BfW website for a list of upcoming dates and drop off sites for your bikes and accessories.