Puncture-proof bike tires

Most days I ride my bike to work, and about twice a week I do a several-hour trail ride. On average I was getting a flat a week (mostly rear pinch flats on downhill trail rides). My friend told me about Stan’s NoTubes system. The next time I sat in the dark cursing yet another flat, I decided to convert.

In the NoTubes system you remove your inner tube from your tire. No tubes! You add a rim strip that seals your spoke holes. Since there is no tube you need a filling stem to put air into the tire…..this is built into the NoTubes rim strip. Then you add some white liquid inside the tire that seals it airtight. It’s one of those things that seems like it would never work, but it works amazingly well. The white liquid sloshes around inside the tire and immediately reseals any punctures as they occur without any air loss. If you still need convincing, watch this amazing video.

I have not had a flat since switching, and I can run at much lower pressures when needed for technical downhill without the danger of pinch flats. The system even saves some weight (and un-sprung rotational weight at that). Installing the system is pretty easy, especially if you use lots of soapy water while installing the rim strip and tire. The only maintenance is that you have to keep adding a bit of the liquid every few months or so. The site also has preferred tires that work the best, and other good installation tips worth looking at before committing. I will never go back to tubes.

-- Alexander Rose 11/16/04

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