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.


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