Once a bike tube needs its (n+1)th repair, where nis the number of times you’re willing to fix it, you can slice up what remains, and end up with a semi-infinite stash of cool looking rubber bands.
Useful? Yup. Cheap? You bet. Quick? Yes, to the point of being trivial.
On the other hand, not only is this a fun way to recycle, but using these is the office supplies equivalent of the secret biker’s handshake– only other bikers will even notice what you’re using.
If you ride a bike, you probably know this drill. Out comes the tube, and out of the tire come the shards of glass, screws and nails, or in this case, the goat head thorns. I had three of them this time.
(I’m not generally in favor of extinction, but do we really need this particular species?)
Cut the tube into a set of rings with a pair of big sharp scissors. You can use the whole tube except the valve stem and any areas with big gashes through them. One tube makes an awful lot of rubber bands.
Try to find the interesting parts– check out how cool the cross section through the patch above looks!
If you cut apart the area around a patch (or other interesting feature) as a unit, you can reassemble the set of bands into a coherent structure, here just on my fingertips. You may end up with talc on your fingers this way, since the tubes are often dusted inside. If your tubes are dusty, it’s probably best to give them a quick wipe with soap and/or water.
If you really want to show off, keep the bands in their original order when you use them. This set of bands is being used to hold a stack of acrylic parts together.
As a final note, we find it amusing that some people are already using bike-tube rubber bands and have been for ages. Whenever you get a new tube, it’s held together by little black rubber bands. I’ve always thought that this was a clever way to recycle at the factory. But, you can do it at home too!