“Can you really put a tube in a radial tire?” Yes, tubes can be installed in a radial tire. Whether radial or bias tires, radial tubes will perform excellently well in them.
This question has often been asked by random searchers and car owners for clarity to slash down percentage error in the automobile world.
Although the initial design of radial tires wasn’t meant to function with tubes as most of them were better off tubeless.
However, recent thinking has brought about the need for an elevation of the extent of shock absorbance in the automobile world — and this need can be met if there is an upgraded pattern of tubeless tires such that they can function well with tubes, hence the creation of radial tubes.
Radial tubes are compatible with both bias and radial tires. After all, they are made from rubber compounds with higher flexibility, whereas bias tubes will eventually fail if installed in radial tires because their designs only allow for compatibility with bias tires.
Knowing about the possibility of installing tubes in radial tires is quite good, but you’ll certainly end up in disaster if you do not do it right.
How can you put a tube in a radial tire?
Here are the basic things you should understand if you must put a tube in a radial tire.
Tubeless tires are entirely different from tube tires in that their inner liner is very airtight.
As such, one can easily say that installing a tube in tubeless radial tires will mean an addition of an unnecessary layer within the tire assembly.
And this unnecessary layer is supposed to bring about an increase of heat inside of the tire’s assembly and result in a chafe. It will happen as the tire keeps running.
The ideal corrective measure to be taken after a tire puncture is to seek professional tire repair and continue using it afterward, and not to infuse a tube inside of it.
All of the aforementioned reasons would be right only if you are installing a bias tube inside of a tubeless radial tire.
A tubeless radial tire, regardless, will function adequately if merged with a radial tube specifically designed for it as the tube is equipped with features that can withstand all the hurdles it is supposed to be faced with the inside of the tire and still function properly.
I will love you to understand that your road safety relies on simple information such as these.
To install a tube (radial tube) inside a radial tire you must have these tools:
- Rubber Mallet
- Air Pump
- Valve core removal tool
- Tire iron or any pry tool
Taking the old inner tube out of the tire
Start by first removing the wheel. Remove the valve stem core to release as much air as possible.
Twist the valve stem core counterclockwise using its removal tool.
Slack up the bead (the bead is the tire’s edge that has direct contact with the rim) from the wheel.
You do this by whacking the tire’s sidewalls on both sides with the aid of the rubber mallet.
From the bead, pry the rim with the aid of the tire iron or any other prying tool in a pattern of segment-by-segment until the tire completely comes outside the wheel.
Use the rubber mallet to hammer the valve stem into the tire completely.
Use the pliers to remove the valve stem and the inner tube from the tire.
For checks and balances, examine the tire’s inside for any possible damage, sharp edges, or anything that can cause tube failure, then fix it.
Lubricate the tube for easy placement
Get the inner tube pre-inflated to the tire’s approximate size so it can fill up the space therein while simultaneously helping with a better placement of the valve stem.
Use talc or baby powder to lubricate the tube as this will aid in easy placement of the tube within the tire.
Before putting the tube inside the tire, make sure to deflate it, but not completely.
Leave a considerable amount of air inside of it to eliminate fold-ups inside the tire and to help with better positioning of the valve stem.
Insert the tube into your tire
From around the wheel, insert the tube inside the tire.
To avoid wrinkles, use the air pump to slightly inflate the tube. This will also help facilitate better positioning of the valve stem through the hole inside the rim.
Use the tire iron and the rubber mallet to stretch the edge of the tire that sits on the rim such that it goes over the rim.
But be cautious enough to position the air valve stem properly because the stem will eventually leak when the valve is crooked.
Slowly inflate the tube while ensuring that both sides of the tube are correctly positioned. Of course, you can see the line of the rim on both sides of the tire.
Have the tube inflated to its working pressure as the manual reads
What happens if you put tubes in tubeless tires?
Understand that tube tires are entirely different from tubeless tires.
Nonetheless, this hasn’t stopped people from crossbreeding. Is this practice safe? Here are what will happen if you engage in this practice
Instant loss of air pressure
The installation of tubes in tubeless tires (tubes that are not designed to fit into these tires) is potentially dangerous because there is a high probability of loss of pressure.
This is because the tube is not going to sit properly, or if the tire is punctured.
This phenomenon can lead to accidents from the loss of the vehicle’s control, especially if you’re driving at a very high speed.
When a tubeless tire gets punctured, the inbuilt tube gets to hold whatever debris or metal that might have punctured the tire.
Hence, there is a slow leak such that the driver has pretty much time to get hold of the car and park at a safe spot for a proper tire fix.
But that is not the case when you install a tube in a tubeless tire and it gets punctured.
The metal or debris that punctures the tube will cause an instant air leak and will make the car disbalance and swerve because the air will escape rapidly through the valve hole that is located between the wheel and the tire bead
The risk of puncture
The inner surface of tires that are specifically designed for tubes is extremely smooth, but this is not the same with tubeless tires.
If you place a tube inside of a tubeless tire, it will get punctured from the tube rubbing abrasively on the rough inner surface of the tire.
Tubeless tires are entirely distinct from their tubed counterparts — the inner liner of a tubeless tire is airtight.
This means you should know you’re adding an extra non-essential layer to the tire assembly when you put a tube in a tubeless tire.
And heat is sure to be generated inside the tire from the increased thickness and result in early tire failure.
Speed rate reduction
Your speed rate eventually gets tempered when you install a tube inside of a tubeless tire.
For example, a tubeless W-rated tire that can run for up to 260km/h can result in H-rated after installing the tube whose maximum speed limit is 220km/h.
Besides, putting tubes in tires where they do not fit reduces tire flexibility and increases rolling resistance.
This will require more energy to make the tire roll, as such, result in more fuel consumption.
The only case that is safe for the installation of tubes in tubeless tires is if those tubes were specifically designed for the said tubeless tires – like in the case of a radial tube inside a radial tire.
Why do drivers put tubes in radial tires?
The main reason why drivers put tubes in radial tires is to cut costs. Radial tires are tubeless until the introduction of radial tubes.
And they are pretty expensive. They usually get old, and when they do, their beads do not seat properly and cannot form an airtight seal, hence air escape.
As such, drivers opt for tube installation as buying new tires is not wallet-friendly.
Other times these radial tires get punctured on sensitive areas; like the tire shoulders.
This is where the weight of the vehicle mostly rests. Trying to patch a radial tire shoulder or side walls will always end up in futility as it is sure to get deformed in no distant time from the time of fix.
The most economically wise option is the installation of a tube as it comes with an added layer of protection.
But this option often derates the tire’s speed as there is now an added mass that places outward force on the tire. The tire will begin to dissipate heat less effectively.
These aforementioned factors will lead to a tire with high susceptibility to failure at high speed.
If radial tires are old or damaged, if you must install tubes in them, the best option from a safety standpoint is to use these tires on low-speed vehicles.
Can I put tubes in tubeless bike tires?
Yes! Of course, you can install a tube inside of a tubeless bike’s tire system.
What you should do is remove the tubeless valve before installing the inner tube. This is similar to how you will deal with any regular clincher system.
But, rest assured that a properly tubed tire is going to ride far better than a tubeless tire with a tube in it, even if both are having the same pressure.
It is possible to put in tubes in tubeless bike tires but you’re never going to escape the consequences that this decision bears.
First, you’re going to be faced with added weight and increased rolling resistance. The tubeless tires weren’t designed to function effectively with tubes in them.
The standard weight of a tubeless tire has been weighed by its manufacturer for an easy ride.
Adding an extra tube will mean an added weight which will, in turn, demand more energy for the tires to roll, hence, the aforesaid added rolling resistance.
As regards bicycles, a tubeless bicycle tire will always require some type of modification when you want to put tubes in them.
This is because of the bicycle rim. Although your tire can be usable again by installing a new tube in a case where you can’t get a new seal if you have a damaged rim.
A tubeless motorcycle tire on the other hand can be compatible with an inner new tube. All you have to do is to drill a fitting hole for the valve stem.
Just be cautious enough not to pinch the tube with the tire iron when mounting it.
However, the fact remains, whether it’s a tubeless motorcycle or bicycle tire, the pros are both rolling resistance and added weight. Plus susceptibility to further tear.
Can a run-flat tire work with a tube?
No, you cannot. The run-flat tire is designed to be self-sufficient. It is made to not yield to the effect of deflation when punctured.
One of the core features that helps with this is the safety rim inside of the tire, such that If punctured, will still be running on a special and excellent foam lining.
Now, this safety rim occupies a good percentage of the void inside the tire — this makes it apparent that tubes will have no fitting space to sit.
Besides, the toughness of the tire, to an extent where it can withstand weight even when punctured, will not allow for easy drilling of the tire to create a space where the tube valve can fit.
Can a tube go inside a tubeless tractor tire?
Yes. Sure. Although with a tractor, it is best to go tubeless 90% of the time.
But tractors tires are pretty expensive and farmers are trying to cut out on excess spending so that losses do not outweigh profits made.
Owing to this, the adoption of tubes in tractor tires to help against leaks is gradually becoming a norm. And it makes a whole lot of sense as the tire is given an added layer of protection.
The inscription “tubeless” is always written on the sidewalls of tubeless tractor tires. If the tire doesn’t say “tubeless”, you can install a tube, otherwise, you are calling for a quick tire failure.
Can a tube go in a tubeless snowblower?
Yes, you can. If your tubeless snowblower tire is getting old and the beads are not sitting properly, installation of an inner tube would help save you the hurdle.
Do it this way, before breaking the bead in the vice stem, cut off the rubber valve stem, and have half of the tire separated from the rim.
Installation of the appropriate tube should follow before threading the new valve stem through the rim.
Cautiously put the other half of the tire back on the rim and air it up a bit to allow the trapped air in the tire to escape. Just be watchful to not pinch the new tube. This way, you are good.