We see a lot of new cycling products on T’InterWeb – some good, mostly shit / useless / unnecessary / done before / etc. Remember: every new product further kills our planet.
However, the following is one product we wholeheartedly support and wish to stock for our customers.
(Hat-Tip to: http://www.bikerumor.com/2012/11/09/milele-flat-proof-inner-tube/)
The Milele Tube
” There are over 5 million people in sub-Saharan Africa who scratch out a living with their bicycles. Many spend over a day’s wages every other week to fix their bike. It is a market served by low quality, imported goods with no focus on products that add value to their lives. “
” Baisikeli Ugunduzi’s first product permanently eliminates the biggest problem with bicycles, flat tires, for less than $10. The Milele tube uses a flexible solid tube and replaces conventional pneumatic tubes. Boda boda (bicycle taxis) spend around a quarter of their income fixing flat tires alone! The Milele tube eliminates the risk of a flat tire and the burden of costly and frequent tube repairs. This technology lasts several years, never flats, doesn’t need air, can be cut to length for any size wheel, can be reused as tires wear out, and rides like conventional tubes. “
Jeffrey (one of the test riders) shows off the Milele tube for a national news agency.
See the website here.
Of course such a product would be GOOD for cyclists worldwide.
Of course such a product would NOT BE GOOD be good for the western world’s “Bicycling Industry” – which doesn’t give a s**t about environmental, social or economic sustainability and relies on the sale of new bikes & products to justify its existence and profits.
At Re-Cycle Engineering, we give a s**t and are trying to encourage Repair, Reuse and Renovation – very much an antithesis to all other shops and the ‘Industry’. We would love it if we could provide this solution to our customers.
As a contrast to the Milele Tube, see this product: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hPWcTLTATRw&feature=plcp. At face value, it seems like a good idea. On closer examination, one could ask all sorts of questions (How much will it cost once mass-manufacturing is attained?, Can mud, stones and snow get clogged inside?, What’s the lateral stiffness?, How does one vary the ‘pressure’ or tension? Will tyre manufactures be able to provide various tread surfaces?, Can it made to fit my existing wheels?. etc.). Apologies to the designers, we can’t see this product making it into the mainstream.