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The local mechanic who replaced my motorcycle tyre tube added what looked like talcum powder to the insides of the tyre before inserting the new tube. I asked him the advantage of doing that and he didn't know for sure. He just said it helps the tube move freely in the tyre. Sounded like nonsense to me, so I Googled it.

There were three opinions I came across:
1. Talcum powder does not help at all
2. It helps reduce friction between tyre and tube
3. It prevents the tube from vulcanizing and sticking to the tyre when it gets too hot

Are any of these reasons credible? Which is the real reason for using talcum powder?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

As regards your option no 2, it can often be awkward getting the tube to sit evenly in the tyre. Powder allows it to move without sticking, making it easier to fit the tyre.

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It's just for getting it in place and letting it move around as needed easier. Could help avoid a tear or pinch failure too. It's standard procedure on motorcycle and airplane tire tube installations. – Brian Knoblauch Feb 4 '13 at 12:58

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