Road tubeless inserts - Vittoria Airliner Road

LOL love the sarcasm, but seriously going tubeless has saved me a lot of time. Last fall I retired this rear tire after ~2000 miles and it looked like this:

with 20 weeping spots, and each one involved a small wire or goat head that would have required stopping and putting a new tube in. But the tubeless sealant allowed me to keep rolling for 2000 miles.

I’ve had a tube tire pick up a goat head and start hissing loudly while descending at 35mph. Scary but I was able to keep calm and come to a controlled stop. And I’ve had a few tubeless tire incidents like that. From my POV an insert is about making a sudden loss of air at speed less dangerous, without having to go tubular.

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I"ve tried riding my Gravel 38c tires on the Vittoria gravel liners. The tire does feel like it’s at about 15-20psi… so yeah, I would just use it to get home and prevent pothole damage if you want to run the tire 10psi less.

Install though… When you put a TL tire on a TL rim, getting that last bit on the rim requires the middle of the tire to lay flat folded in half away from you. Now you’re sticking something firm in there. It should be a nightmare to get on and off.

What would be the ideal insert for a 32mm road (not gravel) tire?. Thanks

Ideal? Dunno. I’ve got the large air-liner road on order for 25mm internal width rims and 32c tires (Continental 5000 TL). Expected to ship before the end of month.

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@bbarrera there are a couple of use cases where road tubeless is clearly the way to go, I agree. If you’re always riding in areas that are infested with tribulus terrestris (as you do) or some other sort of thorny vegetation then tubeless is well & truly a practical solution.

The other case would be roads that are so poor pinch flats are an unavoidable risk.

In either of those cases it’s not clear to me an insert makes sense.

So why are ‘pros using it’? Well, if you can have a candid conversation with those pros they’ll tell you the mechanic is installing the insert, installing the tire, then ‘spritzing’ some sealant in the tire…just enough to seal the bead and sidewall so that the tire will hold air. Not enough to prevent puncture flats. That’s why they need the insert: puncture protection from sealant is nil. They need an insert because punctures are still a very real risk.

Why are they doing it that way? For exactly the reason I keep giving to the forum…if you put sealant in a tubeless tire it rolls about the same as a butyl-tubed tire. If you want rolling resistance that matches a latex tube you have to use a very minimal amount of sealant.

Maybe I’m unlucky, but I’ve had some scary moments with both tubed and tubeless clinchers. The reason I want to run an insert is purely driven by self preservation and not wanting to deal with tubular tires.

Yeah, I never cared about weight. But also never added unnecessary weight. Wonder if is it even noticeable:

CushCore 125g x 2, $150
Vittoria Gravel 47g x 2, $60
Tubolight 23g x 2, $180

:thinking:

These air liner road inserts are finally in stock in the UK and I’ve bought myself a pair.

I’ve gone from GP5K TL to Corsa Speed + inserts. The corsa speeds are a much looser fit than the GP5K - I don’t think i would have got the GP5Ks on with the inserts - there are already a super tight fit on my campy WTOs.

The install was pretty easy - probably easier than a tubed clincher. I have tried to fit these corsa speeds to these rims before but had to give up because I couldn’t get them to seat (too loose) no matter what tricks I tried - the insert allowed me to seat the same tyre will just a track pump :+1:

The one issue I have - and its my own fault - is that I cant deflate my tyre :joy: The tubeless valves supplied with the inserts have a feature that stops the insert blocking it but they are the wrong size for my rims so I couldn’t use them. So i thought “how bad could it be?” … So I now have to poke a bit of wire up the valve to displace the insert :upside_down_face:

I haven’t tried removing an insert yet - but if its as easy as fitting it then I don’t really see any downsides of running them - at least with “loose” tubeless tyres.

Shopping now for suitably sized valves…

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I bought the road Air-Liners in large (for 30-32mm tires), and put them on 3 weeks ago. Bontrager Aeolus Pro 3V rims and Conti 32x622 5000 TL tires. Overall it was easy to install although one airliner wanted to twist, and I had to use a tire jack to get the 5000 TL onto the rims. So far so good.

Curious what this is based on? I’ve never been able to tell when my tires have a lot of sealant remaining or not, usually I have to check or I get a flat that doesn’t seal. Still run tubes(latex) on my road bike but tubeless everywhere else and can definitely tell the difference between butyl and latex tubes

bicyclerollingresistance.com data.

But the difference between a butyl and latex tube is ~5W, whereas the difference in amounts of sealant is ~0.5W. So it doesn’t suddenly turn it into a butyl

This is the article I assume you wanted https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/specials/road-bike-tubeless-sealant

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You can’t get the full story from just one article on the site because brr consistently use way, way less than the manufacturer’s recommended sealant to test tubeless tires. You have to cross reference with data they show in the sealant comparison article.

For the really sharp eyed you’ll notice they sneak in tubeless rolling resistance taken from a setup with very, very little sealant in the tire.

Am I going to have to post the annotated graphic again? :smiley:

Apparently the difference between a Butyl and Latex tube in the 5000 at 100psi is ~2w per tire. I think most would be dishonest or maybe exhibiting some confirmation bias if they said they could feel a difference in speed. I’m sure it is faster in a proper test on paper, and butt says latex feels a little smoother and less buzzy/vibrationey, but I certainly don’t feel like “omg latex is def faster” by saving 4w if I’m doing 300+

Corsa Speeds are not suitable for british roads :joy: At least I got a chance to test the inserts out when i got a sidewall puncture on my first ride :joy:

I’ll be going back to Gp5ks and keeping the speeds for special occasions.