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Mick's Tips - The Society for the Protection of Injury to Bicycle Inner Tubes
Keep them sweet and they wont let you down!
Before you install your next inner tube dust the inside if the tyre with talcum powder.
Make sure your tyre is clean and free from debris first - then: A generous squoosh and spread it around with your fingers getting it on every bit of surface. Shake out any excess (but try to avoid breathing it, it may be a carcinogen).
Lubricating the inside surface of your tyres in this way makes for very happy tubes. They sit more comfortably and are therefore less likely to end up twisted within the tyre, pinched under the bead or snagged by a lever. I suspect (but would find it difficult to prove!) that rolling resistance is minumised and the likelihood of getting a puncture is reduced. In the long term it prevents the tube from getting stuck to the tyre and inner tube wear is eliminated (if you have ever opened up an old tyre to discover a load of rubber dust you'll know what I mean).
We have 15+ bikes in the garage and I get more than a year out of a small container - so it's not an expensive addition to your home workshop kit. But once you start using it, and experience the benefits, you wont feel right installing a tube without it.
Un-perfumed is best we suspect - it has been suggested that perfumed talcs cause the rubber to perish.