Vittoria tubesless road inserts. This seems really interesting to me. Wonder if anyone has had any thoughts or has seen any other (cheaper) options.
Interesting. I wonder what it adds in terms of weight, didn’t catch that from the video.
I have been riding conti 5000 tubeless for around a year now and in a few thousand miles I am yet to have a flat (touching wood), apart from a slow one that meant I had to change the valve. Something like this could add that extra security that I will make it home in the event of a puncture, and I could leave the flat kit at home…
Interesting that they cite Kristoff in 2019 as someone who benefited from this tech when 2 weeks later, he was out of Roubaix with double flats caused by burping of his tires…which supposedly the Airliners prevent.
Regardless, I’m installing Airliners before The Rift this year and will almost certainly get these for my road bike. Being able to ride home with a soft tire instead of hassling with a tubeless repair / tube insert on the side of the road is worth it.
I have to say these look like a really good idea. I’m a bit paranoid about punctures on all-day events, especially alpine routes with long scary descents. I ran tubeless all last season and just bought a pair of Pirelli Cinturatos for their added puncture protection. But they are inevitably a bit heavier and slower rolling than dedicated race tyres. So maybe this could be a better solution for 5+ hour endurance events. i.e. fast rolling lightweight race tyre with airliner vs endurance tyre without.
It all depends on how long you can realistically ride on a flat tyre. If you punctured in the first hour could an 80 kg rider really ride another 4+ hours on it without losing too much time or damaging the rim? If the answer is yes then I’m in! But if it’s more just a means of allowing you to limp home for a few miles then it wouldn’t be worth it for me. I’m definitely going to look into it and see what experience people are having.
I thought it was a good question to ask why some riders in the team were choosing NOT to use tubeless/airliners. There didn’t seem to be an answer other than “personal preference” which doesn’t really mean anything. Maybe they did have some potential “issues” that he didn’t want to discuss.
Specifically, they recommend no more than 50 km at speeds lower than 20 km/h
I copied that from the article on these liners over at Bike Rumor. It has potential but seems limited if your ride involves going downhill to get back or for me here in the prairie if you’re going further away than 30 miles then you end up carrying tubes etc anyway.
Edit: Reading further on in that write up it sounds like the tire is even harder to remove than normal if you’re using these. So I don’t know that you really retain the option of popping a tube in if you’re quite a bit further than 50km from home, I can’t see me carrying those pliers with me to unseat the tire.
I think it’s not going to work that way. Ideally, you have sealant in your tire and it does the job. Or, you stop for a minute and plug the tire. If you are practiced, this can be done in a minute.
I was listening to the Mitch Docker podcast and he was talking about EF using the liners with a tiny bit of sealant. He made it sound like you could ride a few kilometers until you could get a roadside or team car wheel. Honestly, I don’t know why EF doesn’t just use a small amount of sealant to prevent pinhole flats.
Fwiw, I just made it a year and a half on a GP5000TL with zero flats. I noticed the other day that the casing was showing through the tread.
FWIW 235 miles on new bike with PirelliCinturato Velo TLR that I believe has highest tread puncture resistance on BRR.
Unfortunately haven’t had time to setup tubeless. Doing that today and trying out the CushCore insert. Couldn’t find the air-liner gravel in stock anywhere so I paid the big bucks for CushCore.
Yeah, sounds like this is not going to be much use for endurance events. I run with a fair bit of sealant and carry a plug kit and pump. Haven’t had to use it yet in over a year of riding road tubeless. I have been running tubeless on my mtbs for decades and the plugs have always worked for me on those. Maybe had only half a dozen uses in all that time, but I much prefer it to messing with tubes out on muddy trails! I had a lot more flats with tubes too.
The safety aspect is perhaps the only other advantage to consider. But I doubt I’ll bother. Will stick with the Pirelli Cinturatos this summer as they seem pretty bomb proof and roll pretty well.
As I understand, EF was using them as a stop gap measure until the riders could get a bike or wheel change from one of the cars during a race. If you live somewhere with long fast decents, then I could maybe see using these for the added safety.
However, these things make tires harder to work with. If you already think that your tubeless set up is hard enough to get a part and put a tube in, these things will multiply that difficulty. I have them in my cx wheels. Doing it in our shop is one thing, but it’s not something I’d want to have to mess with on the side of the road 40 miles from home. Plus if you have to put in a tube because your sealant and plug didn’t work, you then have to figure out what to do with the green insert that’s soaked in sealant.
I like these inserts for mountain, cx, and gravel. Road however, I’m not sure I’m sold.
Last night I setup CushCore with 35-622 Pirelli Cinturato Velos on Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V (25mm internal) rims. Happy to report no drama and it was surprisingly easy after watching the official install video.
Ok I’m pushing the limits of calling that a road setup but it will be my training setup for road and light gravel.
The Air-Liners look interesting because they are cheaper and weigh less. And look easier to install on my narrow/aero rims with 26c tires, versus a few alternatives.
I will try them on my winter bike with TLR clinchers this year. It looks like the best setup to be safe and not having problems on dirty autumn/winter roads…
Installation is hard but okay. But getting them off is murder!
I haven’t seen a review address this point yet but I suspect another value is the case when you don’t fully flat, but sealant can’t hold high pressure.
I’d guess maybe these give you a lot more stability and safety to ride home fairly normally at say 20-30 psi without worrying about bottoming out the rim or rolling the tire off.
Whereas with a full sidewall gash that has no hope of holding any air, you at least get the option to limp back home.
I would call it a day if I had to resort to attempting to fit a tube into a tubeless tyre at the roadside. I don’t even bother carrying a tube. I do carry plenty of plugs though, including the dynaplug mega-plugs. But I’ve only ever had to use standard size plugs on my mtb and since running sealant I haven’t had a puncture in the last decade! It’s early days for my road tubeless setup. No punctures yet in 2500 km and our local roads are pretty rough. I have to say the stock Giant Gavia tubeless tyres that came on my Defy have been super reliable - guaranteed blow-out this weekend!
These might sway me back to tubeless on the road. I must admit I’ve never been wholly convinced of the need, and I’ve never been totally confident in the plug repair system (though ironically the only road flat I’ve had on tubeless was a big tear that ruined the tyre, and wouldn’t have been saved/fixed by anything).
Looks like you are still saving weight over a standard tube (100-120 grams), but the large may be a just a slight weight savings for some lighter latex tubes (50-80 grams).
For the Aerothan and Tubolito tubes, large may have a slight weight penalty.
I still assume in most cases tubeless is probably going to give a return on rolling resistance. I will also say, I managed to complete a ride with a fairly large gash that was closed by sealant. I didn’t even realize it until I went to pump up my tires at the bike shop. I replaced the tire but the good thing was I completed the ride safely and managed to get back to a safer location to get it taken care of.
Just more proof that going tubeless is easier. It’s no pfaff at all and you don’t get flats.
Now there is this, a thing which you can put in your tire for when you get a flat so you can still ride on the tire. THAT IS AWESOME!!
Back in the day, when we just had tubes, if we got a flat we had to stop and PUT SOMETHING IN THE TIRE SO WE COULD STILL RIDE. I know. Crazy. Old fashioned luddites will point out that thing from yesteryear allowed you to ride normally. Don’t listen to that codswallop. Tubeless is where it’s at.
Unless you want low rolling resistance. If that’s what you’re after go with latex.