ASK COACH FRED

Why Put Powder on Tubes?

Question:

I've seen mechanics sprinkle powder on inner tubes before putting them in tires. Why? -- Lanning L.

Coach Fred Replies:

Talcum helps keep the tube independent of a tire. Unpowdered, they tend to stick together, increasing the chances of abrasion and a hole in the tube.

Powder also makes the interface between the tire and the rim slipperier. It's easier to slide the tire onto the rim without catching the tube under the bead.

Don't forget the spare tube you carry in your seat bag.

First, toss the box and put the tube in a freezer-weight baggie for protection against rubbing by tools and other items. Otherwise, it might not hold air any better than the tube you need to replace. Sprinkle some powder in the bag.

Buy a container of baby powder and it will last for years. I'm still using the remnants from my son's infancy. He's now 38!

Coach Fred Matheny has decades of experience as a competitive racer and cycling coach. He is the author of 13 RBR eBooks and eArticles.

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