MXA TECH SPEC: THE WILD & CRAZY WORLD OF NO-FLAT INVENTIONS
There is nothing worse than a flat tire at a race. Most riders don’t know how to change a tire, so a flat often means the end of their day at the races or paying someone to fix it for you (if you have the correct tube with you). Thankfully, there is no shortage of no-flat concepts on the market to make flat tires an unlikely happenstance. Here are six ways to end flat-tire phobia.
HI-POINT INTEGRATED TUBELESS TECHNOLOGY (ITT)
Most creative: Integrated Tubeless Technology (ITT) uses a vulcanized layer of nylon fabric to form a tubular air chamber inside the tire. In layman’s terms, Hi-Point takes 1 ply of the tire’s carcass and lets it hang down from the inside of the tire. It is vulcanized, essentially rubberized, so that this single ply can hold air. The single vulcanized ply completes the circle of the tire’s carcass so that the tire itself is the tube. The Hi-Point motocross tire is no longer available, but there is an Innova ITT mountain bike tire.
NITROMOUSSE ELASTOMER FOAM TUBES
Most used: Nitromousse gets its name because its foam mixture contains a high concentration of nitrogen in the micro-bubble matrix of the elastomer foam. This lessens the dead feel of a normal mousse. Nitromousse makes two different models. The standard Nitromousse mimics the 12 psi of the typical motocross setup. The Nitromoussee Soft version mimics 8 psi. The Soft version is designed for EnduroCross, rock-garden rides and muddy woods. No matter which Nitromousse model you choose, the best thing about a Nitromousse is that it can never go flat. www.nitromousse.com
STI TECH 2 HEAVY DUTY TUBES
Cheapest: Heavy-duty tubes are cheap protection, and STI makes three models. They make a 2mm-thick Heavy Duty tube, (which is what the MXA wrecking crew uses in our test bikes), a 3mm-thick Extreme Duty tube that is best suited to off-road bikes and adventure bikes, and finally they make a 4mm-thick Ultra-Heavy Duty tube for rally bikes and big four-stroke adventure bikes. Best of all, the STI Heavy Duty tube is cheaper than most regular tubes. www.stipowersports.com
TUBE SADDLE NO-PINCH TIRE LINER
Anti-pinch: The Tube Saddle is a lightweight foam insert designed to prevent pinch flats. It requires no modification to the rim and installs essentially the same as an inner tube (although in addition to an inner tube). Think of a Tube Saddle as one-third of a mousse. It fits against the rim and up the sides of the tube to act as a cushion against having the rim pinch the tube on hard landings. With the Tube Saddle, the MXA wrecking crew was able to run rear tire pressures as low as 8 psi for added traction with no ill effects. www.tubesaddle.com
NUETECH DUAL-CHAMBER TUBLISS SYSTEM
Tubeless: There are no readily available tubeless motocross tires. Why not? They require special rims, rubber sealing bladders and messy sealants. Nuetech devised a way to turn a standard tire into a tubeless tire. Instead of trying to seal the rim to keep air in the tire, Nuetech seals the gap between the two tire beads with a special rubber inner liner, which is a fancy way of saying bicycle tire. By filling the gap between the tire’s beads with an inflatable rubber bladder, the tire becomes an airtight chamber. It isn’t exactly tubeless, though, as the rubber inner bladder holds 100 psi. www.tubliss.com
TIREBALLS HIGH PERFORMANCE INFLATION SYSTEM
More is better. The TireBalls High Performance Inflation System consists of multiple individual inflation cells inside your tire that replace the traditional tube. The puncture of a TireBall cell does not result in a flat tire, because it is only one cell out of 30. The TireBall cells are 10 times more puncture-resistant than a conventional heavy-duty tube. Available in motocross and off-road versions, TireBalls can be inflated to whatever pressure you want. www.tireballs.com