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twomancrew

Tennis balls in front tire.

18 posts in this topic

Saw a guy put 34 tennis balls in his front tire today. Says he paid a dollar per ball. I asked him how much they weighed? Rebound affect like regular tire balls? He says they ride great. Low pressure feel.

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hmm i wonder how long that would last? i know tennis balls lose the air after awhile...but seems like a decent idea:thinking:

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I would be interested in knowing how that seals the bead of the tire - It can't possibly do that - If he went through a lot of water, I would think the front tire would become his worst enemy, as tennis balls soak up water real nice, or they use to anyway. Doesn't matter, I can't see how lack of pressure coming from within using tennis balls versus a tube, can seal the bead better than using a tube :thumbsup: - kind of scary :ride:.

I could be wrong, and guys have been doing it for years - heck, I even heard of a guy putting a package of beans in his tube with a little water just to limp it back to his campsite because of a flat. Of course, that was the era of the old drum brakes that I heard stories of what was very possible, and don't think those guys would lie about it.

That, and tube pressure with a rim lock help keep the tire from rotating on the rim, and yes, if you try to stop using a lot of front brake with no rim lock and low tube pressure, kiss that valve stem goodbye :banana:, I know I did, before I learned not to follow the advice of the not so wise and remove the rim bead lock thinking it would balance the front rim better. They make sticky weight strips for that. :ride:. I almost mercifully forgot this is the era of strong disc brakes, and there is so much we can't do, that the guys with the old drum style brakes use to get away with :D. I was actually kind of partial to the old style drum brakes, and after I bought my new bike with disc brakes and grabbed the front brake just a little too much and having the front end disappear, I learned to respect disc brakes rather rapidly.

Edited by nokickstandsallowed
Trial and error./Grammar correction.

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buddy runs em in his KTM. Says the tennis balls are roughly equivilant to running about 12psi. He also said he learned his lesson and now buys the best quality ones he can find, the cheap ones do pop and cause an odd flat spot type feel in the front end. I rode his bike running the tennis balls and I honestly couldnt tell the diff between the balls and normal tube.

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I'm sure that's where the "tire balls" came from. I'd say short lived and better in a skinny tire.

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buddy runs em in his KTM. Says the tennis balls are roughly equivilant to running about 12psi. He also said he learned his lesson and now buys the best quality ones he can find, the cheap ones do pop and cause an odd flat spot type feel in the front end. I rode his bike running the tennis balls and I honestly couldnt tell the diff between the balls and normal tube.

That is interesting. Running 12psi is a perfect in-between pressure I use often instead of the normal 14 or 15psi. That is amazing that you could barely tell the difference. I'm still wondering how they would respond in wet conditions, because a tube keeps the water out that may try to get in, and tennis balls seem to attract water because of their surface material. I still think the front end would become a tad heavier in super wet conditions :thumbsup:.

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I do believe this is how Scott Summers came up with the idea. Originally they called it TB-29 (29 tennis balls in the front).

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They do seal the bead, only prob is they start to fail after about 15 hours of average riding, if you ride harder it could be less, and once one goes, they start to go very quickly

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They do seal the bead, only prob is they start to fail after about 15 hours of average riding, if you ride harder it could be less, and once one goes, they start to go very quickly

Yeah, that is pretty much the way I was thinking. Similar to spokes on a rim going out of whack. It is a chain reaction that is inevitable, once spokes start to break, it works on the next set by placing greater strain on the opposite next set in the series.

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i could just be one of the lucky ones but i have had just one spoke broken for about 9 months

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i could just be one of the lucky ones but i have had just one spoke broken for about 9 months

One spoke is no problem. If the one adjacent or right next to it breaks also, then look out. The ones on the opposite side of the rim on the same side (mirror spokes as they call them) will start to loosen up due to the extra strain placed on all other spokes. I rode with them broken before myself, but if they are broke right next to each other and lace to the same side of the hub on the rear drive sprocket side, then there are usually problems - based on my results from running them broke right next to each other. Front tires, I have no idea, as I have never broken front spokes before. It is usually every other one in a series parallel that laces with a spoke that is right next to the same one on the same inner side of the hub. I just looked at my rim for confirmation, and saw that it is very possible to break two that are right next to each other on the rim and followed them to the hub where they are also right next to each other on the sprocket side. Meaning there was no spoke in-between the two that connects to the hub, unless it came from the opposite side of the hub and was between them on the rim. The easy way to remember it, is if they cross each other forming an "X" and they are both broke, don't chance it, because they are usually on the same inner side of the hub.

Edited by nokickstandsallowed

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I met a guy that was running them once.

Get pressure less balls, they do make them.

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I just swapped out my front tire to find out that I had 28 tennis balls in my front tire! haha.

I thought there was a mousse insert or something of that nature, I was wrong. Stu2 is exactly right, I had a flat spot in my front tire from 4 balls (4 in a row) bursting. Over time it got worse and that's what finally got me to swap the front tire (the flat spot pi$$ed me off). Anyway, I refilled with 26 tennis balls (went from a 100/100 to a 90/90) and it seems to do alright. I don't ride hardcore, just some trails and the street (dual sport). I live in southern oregon where it rains dang near daily and the balls were tore up inside the tire, but nowhere near what you would think. Anyway, that was my personal experience this weekend. :thumbsup:

-Ray

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Wow, tennis balls, never heard of that one before! would it work better if you tore off the fluff on the outside before putting them in?

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