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Vittoria's new foam insert for road bikes with flat tires

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Vittoria's new foam insert for road bikes with flat tires

Old 04-02-21, 12:19 PM
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Seattle Forrest
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Vittoria's new foam insert for road bikes with flat tires

I'm skeptical, but it would be great if I'm wrong. They claim it has no effect on rolling resistance and weighs less than your valve. The idea is you can limp home or back to your car without damaging your rim.

https://cyclingtips.com/2021/04/vitt...or-road-bikes/
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Old 04-02-21, 12:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm skeptical, but it would be great if I'm wrong. They claim it has no effect on rolling resistance and weighs less than your valve. The idea is you can limp home or back to your car without damaging your rim.

https://cyclingtips.com/2021/04/vitt...or-road-bikes/
It looks like a roadie version of cushcore that has been used in mountain biking for a number of years: many of the pro racers and freeriders use it because it increases their chances of getting down safely if they suffer a flat. It also helps prevent the tire rolling off the rim so easily. Obviously, they also don't have time to stop and fix the puncture, so they need to keep going.

Does it have an application on the road? Possibly, although I'm not sure its needed as most [non-racing] people carry spare tubes of repair kits. I can see the safety aspect if you flat at high speed, but people need to decide for themselves if that's a big enough concern for them.

Is there a use in the pro Peloton? Isn't the "run flat" capability the reason most use tubs?

Last edited by Doomrider74; 04-02-21 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-02-21, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm skeptical, but it would be great if I'm wrong. They claim it has no effect on rolling resistance and weighs less than your valve. The idea is you can limp home or back to your car without damaging your rim.

https://cyclingtips.com/2021/04/vitt...or-road-bikes/
Is this for tubeless tires only?
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Old 04-02-21, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I'm skeptical, but it would be great if I'm wrong. They claim it has no effect on rolling resistance and weighs less than your valve. The idea is you can limp home or back to your car without damaging your rim.

https://cyclingtips.com/2021/04/vitt...or-road-bikes/
Neat idea. Using a type of foam that compresses under the localized pressure inside the tire but expands when exposed to ambient is really clever.

However, this is the part that seems a bit off-putting to me:

...there’s one major caveat here. Vittoria’s Air-Liner better work as it’s supposed to, because you unfortunately have no recourse if it doesn’t. It may not be unreasonably difficult to get the things installed, but there’s absolutely no way you’re yanking them out roadside to install an inner tube if the sealant isn’t sealing and/or you can’t get the hole plugged. And even if you could, where would you put the thing? It’s much too big to stick in a jersey pocket, and it’d be covered in nasty tubeless goop, anyway.
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Old 04-02-21, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by abshipp View Post
Neat idea. Using a type of foam that compresses under the localized pressure inside the tire but expands when exposed to ambient is really clever.

However, this is the part that seems a bit off-putting to me:
Yeah, saw that. I'm curious how squishy it is. Could you compress enough with your hands to get it shoved into a pouch of some sort? I don't see what the difficulty is in yanking it out, just the issue of what to with it afterwards.

Does this also open up the possibility of running tubeless tires without sealant, since the downside of no sealant is just a slower ride home, or possibly sticking a tube in without concern of a goopy mess? Random oddball question. Is there a way to spot apply sealant to TL tire punctures (eg. after getting home), or is a bacon-strip or boot the only way for TL?
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Old 04-02-21, 02:23 PM
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Sounds pretty cool to me. Roadside removal is a non-issue for me; with the sealant as first line defense and the Airliner as a second, fully rideable line of defense, the need to pull the tire roadside vanishes for me. Maybe self-supported touring would be a situation where the Airliner makes less sense, but for tyical sport riding, it sure sounds cherry to me.

Sy Reene I dunno why you’d not want to run sealant, but yeah, if you’re okay with the diminshed performance of running on the Airliner when flat, you can skip sealant. You could certainly carry sealant and inject it if needed, but the silliness of that should be obvious; if you’re going to stop and faff around with sealant and reinflating, what’s the point of the Airliner? You may as well just do a tube change at that point.
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Old 04-02-21, 02:24 PM
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Old 04-02-21, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post

Sy Reene I dunno why you’d not want to run sealant, but yeah, if you’re okay with the diminshed performance of running on the Airliner when flat, you can skip sealant. You could certainly carry sealant and inject it if needed, but the silliness of that should be obvious; if you’re going to stop and faff around with sealant and reinflating, what’s the point of the Airliner? You may as well just do a tube change at that point.
I'm not really sure either. Thinking maybe there are some who may want to run tubeless, but who typically don't flat much at all. Which of course begs question.. just run tubes. But if the tubeless for some might be just to run low pressures without as much fear of pinch flatting, then could you have a clean setup without sealant but these vittoria things inside. In a emergency, you could pull the foam thingie out and stick a tube in without the mess. If you're only 5 miles or so from home or the finish, then you could opt to just deal with it later after your ride.
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Old 04-02-21, 04:09 PM
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Looks like promising new tech.
Thanks OP for sharing.
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Old 04-02-21, 04:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
I'm not really sure either. Thinking maybe there are some who may want to run tubeless, but who typically don't flat much at all. Which of course begs question.. just run tubes. But if the tubeless for some might be just to run low pressures without as much fear of pinch flatting, then could you have a clean setup without sealant but these vittoria things inside. In a emergency, you could pull the foam thingie out and stick a tube in without the mess. If you're only 5 miles or so from home or the finish, then you could opt to just deal with it later after your ride.
That’s a perplexing scenario to me, as there really is no downside to having sealant to the rider who doesn’t flat much. The stuff is cheap, and it’s just in there, in the tire, until it dries out, at which point they’re back to just having the Airliner...which cannot be removed roadside (i.e. without a bead jack and fistful of levers).

How we’ll know how much sealant is in there with the Airliner installed is an interesting question. Thoughts? I guess we could weigh to check...
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Old 04-02-21, 04:11 PM
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$40??? I'll stop and replace my tube.

Last edited by UCantTouchThis; 04-02-21 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 04-02-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That’s a perplexing scenario to me, as there really is no downside to having sealant to the rider who doesn’t flat much. The stuff is cheap, and it’s just in there, in the tire, until it dries out, at which point they’re back to just having the Airliner...which cannot be removed roadside (i.e. without a bead jack and fistful of levers).
..
Is it hard to remove? I read the article, but I'm not clear why it's not just a matter of popping a bead, getting a hold of thing and yanking it out as you move around the wheel? They did seem to imply it's harder to remove than install, but that doesn't make sense to me.

I completely agree there's no downside to sealant if you don't have one of these things installed.

The downside I guess is just the usage of sealant itself, and as the article mentions, mess you might have if you need to install a tube and remove this thing.
Anyway.. just a thought -- it might not make sense for everyone or anyone I suppose.
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Old 04-02-21, 04:37 PM
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The purposes of sealant are to make sure the rim and tire interface is air tight, and to seal minor cuts and punctures.

There's really no downside to having sealant in your tires with or without a foam thing. There are advantages to tubeless beyond simply flatting much less.
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Old 04-02-21, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by stevoo View Post
Looks like promising new tech.
Thanks OP for sharing.
We are in an amazing time; between “tech tubes” (e.g. Aerothan, Revoloop, and Tubolito), this Airliner runflat device, and the array of tubeless tires, we’re able to fine tune our wheel systems to our needs like never before. I think it’s awesome!

The downside is that it’s more complexity and cost. It’s crazy to consider the number of things we spend money on these days which my parents didn’t have to spend on (because they didn’t exist), and we’re not talking about spending “nickles and dimes,” but rather $10s and $20s! Cell phones, of course, but also cable TV, internet, movie channels, Strava, Sirius XM for the car, iPad insurance...and I’ve not even gotten to bike stuff like computers, HRMs, helmets, lights, clipless pedals and air compressors to seat your tubeless tires! My god, it’s no wonder I’m poor!
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Old 04-02-21, 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Is it hard to remove?.
Yes. Watch the GCN video I posted upthread
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Old 04-02-21, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
The purposes of sealant are to make sure the rim and tire interface is air tight, and to seal minor cuts and punctures.

There's really no downside to having sealant in your tires with or without a foam thing. There are advantages to tubeless beyond simply flatting much less.
That was kinda what I'm getting at.. if the advantage seeking for TL is not about flatting less, then with this new tech to start thinking about skipping the sealant. I don't know if this article is accurate; are UST tires the only TL tires that work without sealant? If so, you can ignore everything I suggested unless you're running Mavics, right?

https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tip...s-tires-guide/
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Old 04-02-21, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
That was kinda what I'm getting at.. if the advantage seeking for TL is not about flatting less, then with this new tech to start thinking about skipping the sealant. I don't know if this article is accurate; are UST tires the only TL tires that work without sealant? If so, you can ignore everything I suggested unless you're running Mavics, right?

https://www.bicycling.com/skills-tip...s-tires-guide/
No, UST aren’t the only airtight tubeless tires. I ran first gen Schwalbe Pro One tires on American Classic Argent tubeless rims (non-UST) without sealant, no problem.

I’ve kind of lost track of what all the particular tubeless terminology refering to casing type means, e.g. “tubeless ready,” “Tubeless Easy,” “TLE,” “tubeless,” “tubeless TLR,” and all the rest, but basically some casings are lined to make them airtight, and some are not, relying instead on the sealant to make the casing airtight.
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Old 04-02-21, 05:25 PM
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At first I was like, what's this stupid gimmick.

Then, after seeing how it works, I'm like, hey, that's pretty neat.

Now, after reading all the comments, my eyes have glazed over and I'm back to zero desire to move on from tubed clinchers and tubulars.
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Old 04-02-21, 05:36 PM
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I've been doing road tubeless for five years. I've loved bikes my whole life; I've spent a lot of time on tubes. Tubes are a pain in the ass. They flat a lot more often, you have to run higher pressures because there's a tube to pinch, they add to rolling resistance, the ride quality is lesser.

This thing seems gimmicky, but if they work as advertised, even better. I'll use them if they work.
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Old 04-02-21, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
Tubes are a pain in the ass.
Yeah they are. Revisiting them, after not using them for a few years, illustrated that pretty well for me.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:50 PM
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I've been tubeless on the road for about 6 months and I have found that I love it. I am not typically one to be an early adopter of new tech, I usually let people pay for the experience of being first and and then just wait and watch to see if I want to join in or applaud myself for letting it pass me by. It took me about 8 years to get a cell phone, but this is something I think I could be an early adopter on. There have been times where I had the joy of flatting both tires at once and then realizing about a mile or 2 up the road, I did not find all the offending debris in my tire and I flatted a 3 time and I only had to spares with me and no tube patches. I like the idea of tubeless but don't like the idea of having to deal with the mess of the sealant as I put in a tube I have the unfortunately situation where the sealant will not plug it.

If this is something that will allow me to make it safely home at a slightly slower speed, allowing me to deal with the tire in my garage, yea, that I find appealing and could jump on that bandwagon.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:55 PM
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I'm glad this topic is being discussed here. I watched the GCN video and I have to admit. I am intrigued. I don't think I will be early adopter of this technology. But as people on the forums here adopt the tech and try it out, that might sway my opinion.

Definitely a cool/interesting concept. The price seems reasonable too.
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Old 04-02-21, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by NoWhammies View Post
I'm glad this topic is being discussed here. I watched the GCN video and I have to admit. I am intrigued. I don't think I will be early adopter of this technology. But as people on the forums here adopt the tech and try it out, that might sway my opinion.

Definitely a cool/interesting concept. The price seems reasonable too.
Out of curiosity, what is it that you cannot discern about the Airliner which relies on BF experience to gain your acceptance? I mean, we’re talking Vittoria her, not some Kickstarter startup, so that Airliner works as advertised should not be issue. What, then, is it you want to hear from strangers on BF which will sway you to try the tech for yourself?
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Old 04-02-21, 11:09 PM
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How does the 50 to 80 psi in the tire compress the foam enough to not touch the contact patch, and then the same foam hold your weight?

If it's the rear tire that's 60+% of your body being held up?
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Old 04-03-21, 04:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
How does the 50 to 80 psi in the tire compress the foam enough to not touch the contact patch, and then the same foam hold your weight?

If it's the rear tire that's 60+% of your body being held up?
Good question! Dunno, but I’d guess variable compressibility, such that the entire volume of the Airliner doesn’t compress, but maybe only a range or layer of it does. Maybe some of the cavities in the foam are under vacuum which, at atmospheric pressure, the mechanical properties of the foam overcomes to maintain form, but then collapse when air pressure is increased inside the tire. Does that make any sense?
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