French chalk

Discussion in 'Bicycle Mechanics and Repairs' started by Browser, 6 May 2010.

  1. Is it still accepted practice to give one's tubes (steady!) a good dusting with this prior to installation in one's tyres? My late father taught me to do this after repairing a puncture to stop the tube sticking to the tyre, and I've always got by by powdering some up from sticks of it I, ahem, 'appropriated' from work :tongue: Lookin on the 'net, Cromwell Tools, of which there is a bracnh in P'Boro, sell it in 1/2 kilo bags for £4.39 + V.A.T. but describe it as 'natural talc', and I saw it described elsewhere as unscented talc. Apart from making me/my bike smell vaguely like a tarts handbag, does this mean it's OK to use talc, as it's cheaper than this?
  2. ASC1951

    ASC1951 Guru

    Completely unnecessary, IMO. It's a hangover from the days when tubes and tyres contained natural rubber, which had a habit of getting sticky when they got hot or worn. Inner tubes are now made of butyl, which doesn't.
  3. Davidc

    Davidc Guru

    Somerset UK
    UKIP won't like it at all if you use FRENCH chalk - but the answer is that 1) Talc is the same stuff with perfume in it and I've never heard of the perfume causing a problem 2) Your father (and mine) probably grew up with natural rubber and early synthetic rubber for tyres. I believe there was a problem with the tyre and tubes weakly amalgamating (and so sticking) to one another.

    I can remember 40+ years ago that tubes and tyres had a load of french chalk in with them as new, but don't recall that since the '70s, and can't ever remember having the tyre and tube sticking together.
  4. Chrisz

    Chrisz Über Member

    Don't worry about them - they're too busy pulling their aeroplane out of a ditch :rofl: :biggrin:
  5. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    May not be necessary to use chalk or talc but it certainly helps to fit a tight tyre on a rim.

    And no, the perfume is only there at 0.5% to 1% and will not attack the rubber.

    I've been thinking for some time of marketing an unperfumed talc, which could be used by cyclists, divers and anybody else involved with rubber.
  6. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    I use a bit of talc - stops the tube catching on the rim as you fit tyres.
  7. NickM

    NickM Veteran

    Fnaaar ;)

    Oh, and we did this topic a while ago and I was persuded to abandon the talcing habit (for cycling purposes, anyway!) after many years.
  8. OP

    Browser Veteran

    Already being done if you Google it. OK, looks like I don't need to worry, but it'll be a tough habit to break!
  9. numbnuts

    numbnuts Legendary Member

    North Baddesley
    scented talc will rot latex i.e the seals around diving drysuits so I've been told
  10. chillyuk

    chillyuk Guest

    The only thing I use chalk for is to dust off patches after glueing them onto the tubes to stop any glue residue sticking to the tyre inside. When I haven't used it, the tubes still remain free of the tyre, but old habits die hard.
  11. g00se

    g00se Über Member


    +1. Put talc ovar a fresh patch to kill off any residual glue - unless it's a pre-glued patch when there shouldn't be any overspill.
  12. gwhite

    gwhite Über Member

    Auchtermuchty Fife
    I have to admit that I still do this, but then I'm ancient. It does help with tight tires in that it prevents the soft rubber compound from sticking on the rim preventing it from slipping on.
  13. Fiona N

    Fiona N Veteran

    I still use talc too (Johnsons Baby Talc :laugh:) inside a new tyre or a quick dusting on a new tube as it does seem to make getting the tubes in and out easier. Mind you the biggest use of talc in the garage (where I do my bike maintenance) is so I can get the disposal vinyl gloves on :biggrin:
  14. noelist

    noelist New Member

    I just repaired a puncture which had a thorn through the kevlar tyre, after removing thorn (learnt the hard way), i pumped up the tyre (yes,had removed it from wheel etc), and marked the spot with the yellow crayon supplied with repair kits, and let the air out, on two moments during the deflating, puffs of chalk emitted from the hole in the "inner"tube pierced by the thorn, I was amazed by the occurrence.
    And to find that rubber was not what tyres are made of....
    I do find that if talc(French chalk) is not used, next puncture, inner tube needs tugging out of tyre cos rubber cement from previous repair has glued it to inside of tyre.
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