“Mr. Tuffy is a thin strip of polyurethane which installs between the inside of the tire and the tube. The idea is for the two millimeter thick layer to prevent foreign objects that pierce the tire from puncturing the tube; the manufacturer claims Mr. Tufty will stop 95 percent of puncture flats....
... Because we felt Mr. Tuffy might be more susceptible to failure than the airless tubes, we were especially rigorous in our tests with this product. But Mr. Tuffy took the punishment like a man. We rode a 28 pound bicycle equipped with 27 x I 1/4” inch tires, tubes, and Mr. Tuffy over a glass bottle broken into the full spectrum of sizes of shards. After running directly over the glass at least 50 times and skidding to a stop right on the glass ten times, we failed to cause a flat. We did put numerous cuts into the tires. We even placed sharp pieces of glass in the tire's cuts, then rode on it slowly to push the glass farther in. . . still no puncture. Just to be sure, we rode the bike around town and aimed at every pothole and patch of glass in sight, but still no flat. Inspecting the protectors disclosed at least three marks that appeared to have been caused by the glass-unprotected tubes, we are sure, would have flatted.
Of all the products in this test. Mr. Tuffy rides the most like standard tires and tubes. Shock absorbency was not even noticeably worse, nor was acceleration or cornering. This could be attributed to Mr. Tuffy's light weight-85 grams per wheel in the 27 x 1 1/4 size.
Installation was the only sticking point. You need some muscle to fit Mr. Tuffy in place and install the tire on the rim. This was the only time we did get a flat. Our mechanic notes it is easy to pinch the tube, and the manufacturer recommends dealer installation. Unless you are mechanically adept, patient, and maybe lift weights, we agree. Instructions are provided for those who want to give it a go. The instructions say to overlap, the protector's ends. While the manufacturer told us that in some cases when riding, you may at first feel a slight bump from this, it will disappear as Mr. Tuffy Is used and seats itself. We did not notice any bumpiness.
Mr. Tuffy is available in sizes to fit...”
Thanks to product testing staff members Dave Sellers and Suzabbe Ebbert for their assistance.
* * * * * *
What about those protective tire liners? People say that they stop glass, thorns, nails, splinters. . .Well, you've probably heard the story: "I was riding across Maine when I fell in behind a grizzled tourer on an old Schwinn Continental. I noticed orange flashes in the spinning of his rear wheel, so I pulled him over and mentioned the foreign objects. Turned out to be an orange Mr. Tuffy liner peeking out through gaping holes in his worn-out tire. He'd been riding on that liner since North Carolina, too." That's generally the story, anyway.
What's the secret behind tire liners? It's polyurethane, one of those miracle thermoplastics spun off the petroleum industry, like Silly Putty and glow-in the-dark toys. The miracle about Mr. Tuffy tire liners is that they work, and very well, too. Witness the fact that Mr. Tuffy tire liners are gaining solid acceptance across the spectrum of cyclists: racers, tourists, commuters, mountain bikers, and especially triathIetes, who seem to be forever running over sharp objects.
Mr. Tuffy tire liners are long, narrow strips of translucent plastic (they look and feel like swords hammered out of Jell-O) and they slip neatly between tube and tire to provide a barrier to most anything that could threaten your ride. They're color-coded for various wheel and tire sizes: orange for 27 x 1 inch; red for 27 x 1 1/2 or 1 1/8; blue for 26 x 1 3/8 or 24 x 1 3/8; yellow for 20 x 1.75; green for 20x2.125; and brown for 26 x 2.125 or 24 x 1. 75. Weight per pair runs from four ounces for the 27 x I to eight ounces for the 26 x 2.125 inch mountain-bike size. The weight is the only detraction from the liners, which should worry only a handful of racers.
The Mr. Tuffy concept was conceived 10 years ago by Frank Simeca, New Jersey Schwinn shop owner who was frustrated with repairing an endless stream of tires. The idea was improved over time to its present design. An interesting note: The relative thickness of the liners (about as thick as a nickel) is intended to hold the liners snugly in place over the tube, not to stop punctures (that's accomplished by the unique petrochemistry of the material itself).
Mr. Tuffy tire liners are as easy to add to your wheels as a new tube; they shouldn't wear out or chemically deteriorate from heat or moisture. Some hints: Use plenty of talc or baby powder when installing Mr. Tuffys to avoid binding or folding the tube, and maintain normal air pressure when riding to help keep the Mr. Tuffy centered correctly within the tire.
I've only heard of one person getting a flat while using a Mr. Tuffy tire liner - me. It happened in the beautiful back country of southern Montana. I was on a mountain-bike trek when I picked up a half-inch long sliver of quartzite. It slashed right through the tire, the Mr. Tuffy and the tube. I was impressed. In fact, I still shave with it. You can find Mr. Tuffy tire liners at your local bike shop.
BR - Mike Moe
Mr Tuffy Product Review