Good concept, decent implementation ... Bad idea!

[ Tuesday - March 13, 2012 ]

So the concept is there.  It even makes a bit of sense (mentally) and has been mentioned on  I'm talking about the use of heavy duty inner tubes to add just that little bit more tire puncture protection.  So for my 26K tire change, I decided to use a set of Moose heavy duty inner tubes (instead of the standard inner tubes used by the BMW dealer).  yeah... the concept is good, the implementation is decent, but it turns out this is a bad idea.  The added weight of the heavy duty tube and the centripetal force made the wheel, when it's in motion, feel heavy.  Not only that, no matter how much I balance and re-balance the wheel, it refuses to remain true at all speeds.  In the end, I went back to the regular inner tube and the 8GS behaves the way it's suppose to.  Even the amount of weights used to balance the front wheel is 16oz instead of the heavy duty tube's 37oz.  That's significantly less.  I don't know if it's because the Moose heavy duty tubes aren't well balance in construction, but the heavy tubes are making my 8GS a bit wonky.  In so many words, this is equivalent to saying, "BMW knew what they were doing.  There is no use in reinventing the wheel (literally) so I'm sticking to the manufacturers specs."  The heavy tubes will be OK for off-road low speed riding, but for this commuter boy (who will get up to Freeway speeds), forget the wonky heavy tubes.  I rather have the smoothness and agility of the standard tubes.

Now I have to spend time to swap out the rear tube and re-balance the rear wheel also.  What a hassle.

[ Update: Friday - May 4, 2012 ]

It's not the tube(s), it's the tire.  It turns out the new Continental Trail Attack front is defective.  Whatever was done during the manufacturing process, this front tire is not concentric.  I've had the Brown BMW folks in Pomona verify the balance for both wheels and they said the electronic balancer says they're both zeroed (e.g. completely balanced).  It goes to show that the Marc Parns static balancer I have is doing what it's suppose to be doing.  After riding another week with the funky front tire, I can't wait to swap out the funky front.  This time around I'm trying the Dunlop TR91 Trailmax.  Let's see how well it does.  So for the next 6K+ miles it'll be a Dunlop and Conti duo until it's time to change things out again.  Through this lesson, I see now that riding with the heavy duty tubes would be fine.  However, the wheels do feel a bit weighed down with the HD tubes.  For myself I'm sticking to the regular butyl tubes because it makes the bike light and flickable.

Written on: March 13, 2012
Last modified: March 13, 2012