nitrogen tyres?

young Ed

Veteran
not sure if i'm in the right section? if not please move this thread mods

anyway, been browsing internet and stumbled across the old idea of nitrogen filled tyres. basically you leak less than air as nitrogen molecules are bigger than air ones and it is lighter too, albeit only very slightly but maybe worth it for some down and out TT'ers
any one on here tried it? tempted to try it even though i have no problem with using air so i'm not trying to fix a problem but trying to find something new to play with :smile:
Cheers Ed
 

PpPete

Guru
Location
Chandler's Ford
not sure if i'm in the right section? idea of nitrogen filled tyres. basically you leak less than air as nitrogen molecules are bigger than air
No such thing as air molecules.
Air is mixture of (mostly) N2 molecules and O2 molecules
GCSE chemistry .... compounds is different from mixtures, innit ?
 

User269

Guest
not sure if i'm in the right section? if not please move this thread mods

anyway, been browsing internet and stumbled across the old idea of nitrogen filled tyres. basically you leak less than air as nitrogen molecules are bigger than air ones and it is lighter too, albeit only very slightly but maybe worth it for some down and out TT'ers
any one on here tried it? tempted to try it even though i have no problem with using air so i'm not trying to fix a problem but trying to find something new to play with :smile:
Cheers Ed
My car tyres get filled with nitrogen each time I get new ones.
I'd quite like my bicycle tyres to be filled with Helium though.

The AA says;

Nitrogen in car tyres
For passenger car tyres the main claims seem to be:

  • Less corrosion – because unlike air there's no moisture in pure nitrogen
  • Slower rate of pressure loss – nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules (which make up 21% of compressed air)
Air loss can occur through the inner liner of the tyre as well through the valve, punctures, or failure of the seal between tyre and wheel rim. Pure nitrogen might leak more slowly through the liner, but you would still have to check tyre condition and pressure regularly.

Corrosion of the tyre from using normal compressed air is unlikely anyway because only the outer tread band of a car tyre contains steel – the amount of moisture reaching it from the inside is minimal.

To change to nitrogen you have to have the air already in the tyres removed before the tyres are re-inflated with purified compressed nitrogen. There will be a one-off charge per tyre but once filled with nitrogen, future top-ups would have to be with nitrogen if any advantages are to be maintained.

Overall, while accepting the possibility of purified nitrogen being of benefit in certain applications, we don't think that the cost and possible inconvenience are justified for normal passenger car use.

(4 November 2013)


PS; ATS don't charge me any extra for inflating my new tyres with nitrogen.
 
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Ern1e

Über Member
@young Ed I have heard of this being used by plant equipment in the past, but I am none to sure just how you would get hold of this "stuff" it is in quite heavy bottles and if memory serves me correctly a licence may also be needed ? so i will stick with my trusty old track pump for the moment thanks.
 
OP
young Ed

young Ed

Veteran
I remember Roger Rivière used helium to inflate his tyres for his hour record rides.
ok how an hour but helium is smaller than air so it escapes a fair bit quicker

interesting comments, am interested in the rust one due to moisture in air. not noticed all that much of a problem ever when doing vehicle tyres and restoring wheels although i always paint the inside of the rim i think (a while ago i last had to do one)

and yeah as you say the weight difference is next to nothing, so the only real benifits are slower leakage and less corrosion
Cheers Ed
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
  • Slower rate of pressure loss – nitrogen molecules are larger than oxygen molecules (which make up 21% of compressed air)
.
I think the AA have it right although the rate isn't slowed that much and the difference between air and nitrogen arguably has little practical significance. The way gases permeate through different materials is only partially dependent on molecular size, CO2 is a larger molecule than both but will permeate through butyl rubber much faster than air- it's fairly soluble in butyl rubber.
 

MartinQ

Veteran
I remember Roger Rivière used helium to inflate his tyres for his hour record rides.
Apparently, he flew round the track.
 

palinurus

Legendary Member
Location
Watford
tempted to try it even though i have no problem with using air so i'm not trying to fix a problem but trying to find something new to play with :smile:
Cheers Ed
Air is much easier. Even if nitrogen were an advantage- there's little to suggest it is- you'd have to buy nitrogen which is separated from air by a fairly energy-intensive process. Filling a bike tyre with air is just the most efficient way, the air is already there and you compress it with your track pump. Simple.
 

winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
If oxygen escapes from your tyres so much faster than nitrogen, the best way to nitrogen-enrich your tyres would be to pump them up with air. The rubber then acts as a filter, allowing the oxygen out but retaining the nitrogen. Every time you top up the pressure, you are just adding more air to this nitrogen rich environment and the process continues until you have virtually pure N2 at the required pressure. Easy peasy!
 

Levo-Lon

Guru
Nitrogen is used in shock absorbers due to low or now water content so pressure is stable and no corosion.
as above have said...

put nitrous oxide in them if you want a laugh?
 
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