Have you ever changed a flat tyre on a heavy Dutch bike with an internally geared hub? What about an e-bike with a hub motor? While tyres and tubes give you a comfortable ride, they’re also the part of your bike that are most likely to require repair. If you can’t easily repair or replace your tubes, your whole day can be ruined. Therein lies the unique selling proposition of the Gaadi bicycle inner tubes.
When the Gaadi inner tubes first arrived in Australia, the importer, PCI Imports, contacted me to say “You have to check these out”. I was skeptical, but game. Gaadi inner tubes are a patented product made by Rubena and I received two 28” (700 C) inner tubes with Schrader valves. While the Schrader valved tubes won’t fit my road bike, my mountain bike, or even my commuter, they will fit my wife’s classic Gazelle Dutch bike.
If you have changed an inner tube on these types of bikes, then you will know that it is not as easy as undoing the quick-release skewers and tapping out the wheels. There is nothing quick about getting the wheels off; you probably have to take off chain guards, release the brakes (such as the rod-linkage drum brakes on the Gazelle), remove mud-guards, detach the gear cables and undo the bolts (to which panniers and even kids bikes seat are attached) just to get the wheel out.
The front wheel with rod-linkage drum brake
The rear wheel with chain guard, gear cable, rod-linkage drum brake, pannier and childrens bike seat.
Gaadi tubes make it possible to avoid a bicycle disassemble and reassembly just to change the inner tube because the Gaadi tube isn’t a traditional circular tube, it’s a long, snake-like cylinder. Don’t know what I mean? It’s best explained by looking at a tyre change to see how easy it is.
1. Oh no, it’s a flat tyre
2. Remove the valve cap and the valve nut
3. A tyre lever is used to carefully lever the tyre over the rim
4. The old inner tube can be cut, removed and discarded.
5. The new Gaadi inner tube is slightly inflated, the valve inserted and the tube worked into the tyre
6. The two ends of the new Gaadi inner tube meet
7. The tyre is then massaged back onto the rim, tyre levers may be needed for the last bit
8. Pump up the tyre and you are ready to roll
It’s pretty nifty idea, but I would argue that for most bikes, where the the wheels can be easily and quickly removed, the Gaadi tube doesn’t provide any real advantage. Removing a wheel and replacing the tube is very quickly done with a bit of practice. But for bikes with internally geared hubs or e-bike motors, the Gaadi tube is extremely convenient because removing the wheels is more complex and these inner tubes make repairs simpler. It’s a practical solution to a very real problem.
Surprisingly, they ride really well; I was expecting to feel a bump at the spot where the two ends meet while riding, but it was smooth. Perhaps on a road bike, the join on the Gaadi tube would be more noticeable, but on the Dutch bike, or cruiser bike, or E-bike with large thick tyres, the Gaadi inner tubes do not appear to impact the ride.
The Gaadi inner tubes are unconventional; they break the rules and because of this they can be hard to get used to or take seriously. But for the right bike they make perfect sense.
The Gaadi tyres are available in 28″ / 700c in 3 widths: 28/35, 37/42 and 47/52 and retail for $24.95 each.
More information and dealer locations is available via: pciaustralia.com.au