The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Kobalt never flat wheel barrow field report

Kobalt never flat wheelbarrow

kobalt wheel barrow in actionWe've had the new Kobalt never flat wheel barrow in service for a few months now and it still feels like the best wheel barrow money can buy.

What would be great is if someone would come up with a never flat wheel upgrade for the size of wheels on the TC1840H garden wagon.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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They make them in the size you need for the cart, but they probably cost more than the cart. I saw some 13" tires for ~$70 each. You can just figure out what size axle is on the cart (5/8, 3/4, probably 3/4) and then just order them to fit the axle size.,or.r_gc.r_pw.&fp=3e51a8dc6b3a7cc0&biw=1310&bih=714

Comment by Shannon Sat May 21 00:37:02 2011
Thanks for finding that for us --- that was speedy!! :-) They do sound pretty expensive, though. On the other hand, they might pay for themselves --- we sure do get a lot of flats...
Comment by anna Sat May 21 09:06:44 2011

For tires with a separate inner tube, a good solution is to put some extra protection between the tire and tube. A strip of silicone sheet about 1/16" should do the trick. For bicycle tires there are special strips available, but I think they wouldn't be wide enough for these tires. Rubberized fabric might work as well. But if those are not available, get an old inner tube and cut it open to form a strip.

Deflate the inner tube and pull one bead of the tire over the rim. Put your strip of rubber between the inside of the running surface of the tire and the inner tube. Now partially inflate the inner tube so that the extra layer is locked between the tire and inner tube. Re-seat the bead of the tire on the rim and fill the tube to the correct pressure.

I recently did this for my bike, and it works really well.

For a tubeless tire this technique should work as well, but you'd have to bond the extra layer to the inside of the tire. Do not try this with your car, though; it might unbalance the wheel at high speed!

Comment by Roland_Smith Sat May 21 19:08:10 2011

That Platt product seems like a great idea.

I think I might cut up an old inner tube and try your idea of an additional layer some day. Sure is cheaper than forking out 70 dollars for a proper never flat tube.

I'm wondering if one could use the locomotion of pedaling to power some sort of repulsive magnetic field that would push a nail or sharp metal objects out of your path of the bike?

Might have to consult science fiction literature for blue prints of a tractor beam.

Comment by mark Sun May 22 18:42:50 2011

A stationary magnetic field will only repulse diamagnetic objects, and will attract most (paramagnetic) metals. And the last couple of leaks I had were from a glass splinter and a piece of flint respectively. None of which are affected by magnets. And due to the inverse square law, the magnet would have to be fairly strong and close to the road to work.

The generator on a bike usually produces something in the order of 3W max, which isn't enough to power a really big electromagnet.

One could attach a brush to the bike to clear the path in front of the wheels, but that would literally be quite a drag. And since cyclists have a limited power budget (say about 100W continuous for commuting, 250W for athletes) that's not very attractive.

Comment by Roland_Smith Mon May 23 01:35:25 2011

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