Desert Biking Club Of Kuwait

Founded in 1999

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Information on Tyres and Tubes:


We use mountain bikes because they are the most suitable type for off road riding, in the desert; and that’s mainly because of the fat tyres. Most mountain bikes use 26” diameter tyres but larger 650B and 29” sizes are becoming popular. Widths range from2.00” to 2.4”; Choose according to rider weight and riding preferences. Narrower will be faster on the road, but wider will give more comfort, traction, grip and speed off road, especially in sand. The best all season tread is one with small knobs; although for summer riding on roads and pathways, some people use slicks (no tread) or semi slicks.

Punctures (flat tyres), caused by thorns are an ever present hazard in Kuwait. Most tyres fitted to new bikes are not suitable for our rides. The best protection is given by puncture resistant tyres. Different brands offer various kinds of puncture resistance, using special rubber compounds and Aramid or Kevlar plus higher density weaves. There is a slight penalty in cost, weight and performance but good, puncture resistant tyres are highly recommended.

Tubeless tyres are mainly for the committed enthusiast. They use a semi liquid sealant instead of an inner tube. They cannot be fitted directly onto standard wheels, and retro fitting requires new wheels or a conversion kit.

Inner Tubes

The best mountain bike inner tube brands are American or European (even if made in China or Taiwan). Cheap Indian brands available in Kuwait are heavy and less durable. The 26” tubes for Indian style bikes will fit but are not really the correct size. They have Woods/ Dunlop (Indian) type valves which make it difficult to add Slime and they require a special pump adaptor. Avoid them. Various kinds of self-sealing (e.g. Slime) tubes are now widely available.

Valves Types

Mountain bikes use either Shraeder (American/ like cars) or Presta (French/ high pressure)You can easily add Slime (see below) to the Schraeder valve tubes and they can be inflated with most pumps and in any petrol station. Tubes with Shraeder and Presta Valves are not interchangeable; the holes in the wheel rims are of different sizes.


Slime is a kind of liquid sealant put into inner tubes that seals small holes caused by thorns and the like. It works most of the time but is not foolproof. It will not work if the puncture / hole is too big but close inspection of the tube will often show that it has already sealed several small holes and saved you a lot of trouble. Slime comes in 8oz bottles. You need 4oz per tube. It is highly recommended and really does make a difference. Tubes pre-filled with Slime are now widely available.

Slime Tape/Protector

For non puncture resisting tyres, this is a thin but tough plastic strip which goes between the tube and tyre. It stops thorns, glass and nails etc from going into the tube. Like Slime liquid, it is not completely foolproof and adds a little weight but it greatly reduces the chances of a flat tyre.


Buy good quality puncture resistant tyres or use Slime Liner/ Protector. Keep a spare tube of the correct size and valve type plus some Slime or a pre Slimed tube and a pump with you. Get some tyre levers as well.

Where to Buy

There is a limited choice of tyres available in Kuwait; better to bring them from outside. Tubes and Slime can be bought from Extreme Sports, ACE and Decathlon. See above “Buying a Bike” for more info.

Further information about tyres and tubes:


  • At June 22, 2010 4:15 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    thanks for the inspirational site - I'm moving to Kuwait for a two year commitment and am an avid I know there's....HOPE!!!!

  • At October 15, 2011 2:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I checked the Salmiya Extreme sports selection and the top model that they have is on the 4900 and it was priced at KD 307.00. Converted to US$,it was already a thousand dollars. For christ's sake! you can already buy 6000 series for a grand.

  • At April 14, 2015 10:05 AM , Blogger Thapar rubber said...

    You have given information tyre and tube so i am very happy .
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    First of all let me tell you, you have got a great blog .I am interested in looking for more of such topics and would like to have further information. Hope to see the next blog soon.
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