First Ride: Schwalbe Launches Double Chamber Tire System

Feb 8, 2014
by Andy Waterman  
Tire manufacturer Schwalbe has teamed up with German component maker Syntace to produce a double chamber tire system that is said to increase traction while decreasing the risk of punctures. Historically it's a claim that's been too good to be true, but in two days of testing with Switch-Backs.com around Malaga in Southern Spain, we were unable to cause a flat that would end a race run. Precise details are still to be released, but here is what we know so far...

Spot the two valve stems? One valve inflates the high pressure chamber that fills the rim well, while the other inflates the low pressure outer chamber.



Two Chambers?

Schwalbe and Syntace are pooling their know-how to develop what could be a revolutionary idea for mountain bikers. With a double chamber system, it will be possible to ride with very low air pressures and, consequently, to improve tire performance enormously. Initially, Schwalbe and Syntace had the same idea independently of each other. Now, the two companies have decided to join forces and further develop the system together.

Why go to the trouble of creating a two chamber design? “With low air pressure, off-road tire performance improves - the tires can adapt better to the terrain and react far more sensitively,'' Schwalbe told us. ''They roll more easily over uneven ground and provide more grip and control. But one can hardly risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 1.5 bar, because the risk of pinch flats is simply too great with the current trend towards wide rims, the performance of tires with low air pressure is considerably better and less spongy. The risk of pinch flats, however, remains the same.” And this is where the double chamber system looks to leap ahead of standard technology that we're all used to seeing. “The solution is a double chamber system,'' they explained to us. ''There is a further air chamber inside the visible tire. This inner chamber is filled with high air pressure and effectively prevents the tire hitting the edge of the rim. At the same time, the inner system secures the tire on the rim and prevents burping, a loss of air of the tubeless system in the case of low pressure. Depending on the situation, the air pressure in the outer chamber can now be reduced down to 1bar without running any risk.''

Markus Hachmeyer, Schwalbe's Senior Product Manager, had a busy time checking tire pressures between runs and ripping laps himself.



What's Inside?

So, what exactly does this double chamber system look like? Despite the intentionally vague description by Schwalbe, we're not quite sure yet, and we were kept pretty much in the dark before the first ride as to what we were even there for. That there were two valves into the rim was obvious, but beyond that... What we were told is that it isn't the kind of system many downhill teams use with a tube inside a sealed tubeless system that acts as a back up if the tube pinches; we were told it was about performance, about tuning the spring curve of the tire; we were told that when Michael Kull, Schwalbe's marketing and race support guy, tested the system for a week on the Canary Island of La Palma's notoriously rocky, high impact trails, he was unable to puncture.

When will it be available? We'll find out during the 2014 Eurobike trade show, during which we'll be able to present precise information regarding design and prices. Schwalbe says that they will be responsible for the production and marketing of the system, and it is expected to be compatible with conventional tires and rims while weighing less than 200 grams.

Schwalbe sponsored French enduro racer Nico Lau was with us, trying the new system for the first time. He seemed pretty confident on it.



Schwalbe is making some big claims of the new dual chamber system, and it's obvious that they've been quite happy with its performance during the development phase. They told us that all of the testers involved have been thrilled about the possibilities that the design presents:

• With 14.5 psi / 1bar, the tire grip is gigantic. The contact surface is very large and the tires seldom, if ever, slide on loose ground. Even on the roughest terrain, the tires literally stick to the ground.

• The tire is the most sensitive cushioning element on the bike. The extra cushioning and traction in the case of low air pressure lead to much better control over the bike and allow distinctly higher speeds.

• And all this without the risk of pinch flats. Dented rims are also a thing of the past. Consequently, much lighter tires can be used even for the toughest conditions. What is more, the additional air chamber has excellent emergency running characteristics.

Schwalbe's marketing guy Michael Kull has spent a serious amount of time on the system, and has overseen testing with some of Schwalbe's top sponsored riders. Expect to see some World Cup downhillers riding the dual chamber system this season.



On the Trail

This last week Schwalbe pulled together something more like an informal gathering of the bike press than a full on product launch: there were no powerpoint presentations, no goodie bags and no thumb drives loaded with product imagery - just good old fashioned shuttling on some of Europe's best winter trails.

We started riding on day one with 1.9 bar in our tires front and rear. That's 27.5 psi, so about what I would expect to inflate a tubeless tire to for a day of shuttling. The first couple of runs were fun, the tires felt good and no-one flatted, despite the rock-strewn track we were riding. After two runs the Schwalbe engineers dropped the pressure to 1.2 bar front, 1.4 bar rear, which works out as 17 and 20 psi. Chances are, you'd never run that low of pressure on purpose in a traditional system, even with the thickest casings you could find - the tire would roll from side to side, and the risk of pinching or burping would be too great. With Schwalbe's new system, it didn't feel particularly strange, and in fact the first place I really noticed it was under heavy braking - the extra traction you gain when the tire is able to spread wide across the trail and doesn't skip over bumps meant rethinking the braking points I'd worked out on my first two runs.

Normally you'd think twice about ripping into a berm with 17 psi in your tire, but with the stability of a two chamber system and a wide rim, you really didn't think twice. And Nico Lau is FAST - he's going to have a big year in 2014.



Through flat corners the lower pressure felt good, but pushing through sandy ruts felt strange - the tire felt like it wanted to catch the edge more than it did at a higher pressure. It's safe to say, though, that having flown in from a particularly wet British winter, dry, sandy ruts aren't something I've ridden much recently, so this could well be something you'd work around.

So, were there any troubles during the two days we spent riding the double chamber system? On my third run on the lower pressure, I hit a rock really hard and felt the rear suspension bottom in a way you'd normally associate with a pinch flat. I pumped through the next couple of compressions and was surprised to find the tire holding pressure. At the bottom of the trail, I gave the rear tire the thumb test and found it considerably harder than the front - something had happened when I hit the rock, but the tire hadn't flatted, and if anything, it had gained pressure. I pushed the Schwalbe representatives over lunch to find out what had happened but they remained tight-lipped. On day two, Markus Hachmeyer, Schwalbe's Senior Product Manager, told me that the inner chamber had been incorrectly seated and the impact had forced air from that high pressure chamber into the low pressure main chamber. If this was a race run, I'd have been pretty happy to finish with an extra 10 psi more in my tire at the finish line rather than a flat thanks to an impact like that. This also shows that, just like with a standard tube or tubeless layout, proper setup is key.

Despite a distinct lack of details, it seems the system provides many of the benefits of a lower volume tire - more stability at low pressures, more small bump compliance thanks to the lower pressure - with the advantages of a larger volume tire, like the reduced risk of a pinch flat and a broader contact patch. Even if you do flat the outer chamber, the inner chamber, which occupies a much smaller volume that a traditional inner tube, will retain high pressure and allow the rider to finish their run with the tire firmly secured to the rim.




Pinkbike's take:
bigquotesWe've still not seen what's going on inside Schwalbe's dual chamber tires, but we'd guess that it works like two tubeless systems rather than a tube inside a tubeless tire. The high pressure inner chamber would therefore be contained by a bulbous rim strip. Until the official launch, we don't know, but what we do know is that we were able to run insanely low pressures on some pretty gnarly trails without flatting. And it wasn't just us - Schwalbe sponsored pro and two-time Trans-Provence winner Nico Lau was riding with us and, despite taking some super rowdy lines at speeds most of us couldn't dream of, he didn't flat in two days of shuttling. At the moment Schwalbe is aiming this technology at the gravity disciplines of downhill and enduro, but they are already talking about the advantages it could have across all off-road cycling, including XC racing and cyclocross. If you're riding a bike off-road, lowering the pressure works, but the compromise has always been pinch flats, damage to rims, a lack of tire stability and burping of tubeless systems. With two chambers Schwalbe and Syntace seem on the way to solving those problems and allowing the advantages of greater traction - braking, cornering and drive - to shine through.- Andy Waterman

www.schwalbe.com
www.syntace.com


221 Comments

  • + 311
 Great to see a tire company doing something completely different! I think the idea is awesome
  • + 179
 I hope they make a 26" version..
  • + 102
 We were riding 26 and 650B versions in Spain.
  • + 2
 Nice shots Andy, impressed you managed to get so many in so few runs! Or did you ride back up the uplift with Nico?
  • + 41
 Thank god it's not ONLY 27.5!!! I'm getting annoyed that the MTB industry is seemingly abandoning 26"...
  • + 25
 Best Tyre Innovation in a looong time! To hell with "enduro" specific Tyres, with changes in wheel sizes;

THIS is the next evolution.

... IMO. Smile
  • - 13
flag Lilshredman (Feb 8, 2014 at 12:18) (Below Threshold)
 They should make an Enduro Version Moon
  • + 8
 Awesome engineering, I cant wait to see these on the market. The trouble I can think of though, would be long term
reliability and fixing it if it breaks. If either chamber fails, it's a new tire eh?
  • - 5
flag stefanfresh (Feb 8, 2014 at 12:40) (Below Threshold)
 Im not sure wether to think this is crap , or to be stoked about it. On the one side, I think, it´s not really very usefull and it was already invented, and it would mean to change all rim valve sytems, extra weigth, only really useful for dh where runs arent long or uphill( i mean less pressurre is more rolling resistance, and this is considerable), and it all just seems like a marketing strategy, and there´s standar tubless with wich is hard to get flats with, and you can still run a tube incase.... on the other... maybe u understand it better when u try it... Anyhow it´s ALWAYS good to see innovation in the sport, but preferably something that wont mean that your super expensive newly bought material is outdated. I´d have to think about this one...
  • + 3
 I am certainly open to this idea. I guess it will be good for the gravity orientated side of the sport (to much rolling resistance for xc IMO but i could be wrong). However, I the sound of burping tubeless tyres even at 32psi. I will have to try and read up a bit more about it.
  • + 17
 stefan- that's a whole lotta assumptions there... Personally I think this won't trickle down into something as common as disk brakes but this is insanely cool for racing. It'll be interesting to get an inside look.... inceptiontube... it's a tube within a tube...
  • + 5
 It weighs 200g more than a regular setup. Call me a weight weenie, but that's a deal breaker to me. Almost a pound of weight added to your bike, and in the worst place possible, the wheels.
  • + 6
 lilsherdman, just put 27.5 psi in and you'll be good for any enduro ridesWink
  • + 1
 @scott-townes i know it may seem that way, but it is obvious that it is more weight and as @mnorris said in the worse place, wheels!! and the thing im concerned about is it is indeed very interesting for dh racing, but it when taking into consideration pros and cons, don´t know if it makes it through. I agree with you though for racing it could be quite interesting
  • + 8
 Fill the inner rude with Helium! like they do for track/velodrome racing.
  • + 13
 and ull know if you got one of those small punctures if u start to talk weird, not a bad idea...
  • + 4
 I've had horrible experiences with tube/tubeless so this is very awesome to me, haha. A lbs. of weight seems like a lot but if the performance is much better without ever the worry of getting pinch flats... well that's a prayer answered from the bike gods. Weight isn't everything especially since the rider's skill has a lot more say than a couple hundred grams. It does look like early prototype so it seems that they'll tweak this around a bit and only once it's available for purchase, can we then criticize/analyze the system.
  • + 6
 yeah extra weight, but it mentioned being able to run a lighter casing, which may balance it out. (as well as less weight in your bag from a extra tube and patch kit) its only the first, so young they won't even talk about it much prototypes you're hearing about. with a new material they could end up featherweight in a few years or less, just think about the concept.

as a heavy rider who always gets pinch flats this is huge news. I'm too heavy for tubeless burps, and have to run DH tubes, heavy sidewall and fairly firm pressures on everything. if i could erase the pinch flat problem id be the first to buy a set.

this a huge game changer for any racer, or anyone who is paying by the hour to be on a lift, or anywhere else where a flat is a big loss. every motorcycle would benefit from this as well
  • + 10
 But how can we turn this article into a rant about wheel sizes? Wink
  • + 5
 just when you think everything has already been invented on the "simple" bicycle...there are some pretty innovative minds behind this. i love the idea!
  • + 3
 Sounds great! Amazing the article is so long despite lacking any technical details!
  • + 8
 Well, there's this one issue: CA$H!

Seriously, I can remember paying 50€ for a Set of Maxxis Minion 60a 2-ply tires plus 2 DH-Tubes in 2006. They easily held up 20 or 30 days of heavy use.
Not only have the prices of "simple" tires almost doubled, but industry is constantly pushing us into buying the latest evolution trailstar apex profil foldable snakeskin 3c tubeless ready whatever tires, that cost 50€+ each. And well, I could accept that price even though some car tires are cheaper than today's MTB tires. BUT car tires last years while some of the new tires have a ridiculous live span, 3 or 4 days of intensive riding and you might consider throwing them away already. That's a joke.

This new technology sounds pretty amazing and seems to be making a lot of sense, but seriously, offer them with a compound that holds up at least half a season. Otherwise I won't be willing to pay some 120€ for a set of tires I can dump after a week of riding.
  • + 2
 well I really like the idea but my problem is, wont it need different rims for the two different valves??
  • + 4
 No, just drill another hole with the proper sized bit
  • - 2
 mnorris u can only do that in certain rims...
  • + 2
 Why's that? As long as you don't drill through the weld or pin, it should be fine
  • - 4
flag TheDude88 (Feb 9, 2014 at 14:06) (Below Threshold)
 i hope this is enduro-ready
  • + 2
 Schwalbe's dual air chamber system in most likely what moto's have been doing for a while. Check out Motocross tire Tubliss system here:
nuetech.com/tubliss/#performance
  • + 1
 Hey nuttypoolog, don't stress if you wait long enough 26 will be the new 26.
  • + 57
 looks exactly the same as the item by the company TUBLISS www.tubliss.com, good work reinventing a item from motocross to fit a bike.
would it not be better to balance the wheel abit by having a valve at opposite sides of the rim?
  • + 22
 hell i created a version almost 6-8 years ago now and tried to pitch it to half the bike tire companies in mtb and got turned down, its when i tried to patent it that i discover the tubliss version
  • + 4
 I knew I seen this somewhere else. I just couldn't put my finger on it. Thanks for the link.
  • + 2
 Be careful now spesh may try and sue In all seriousness that does sound exactly like this system
  • + 2
 Thanks for the link! the layout of the tubless system is exactly what was going through my head as I tried to picture what must be going on inside of the Schwalbe tire. The increase in tire pressure spoken about during the test ride seems to be consistent with a leakage from the high pressure inner chamber into the lower pressure main chamber.
  • + 6
 Im pretty sure the valve hole is normally drilled 180 deg from the rim weld
  • + 0
 bj007, you're spot on. Drilling on the opposite side of the valve would put you right in the rivet/weld and would severely compromise your rim.
  • - 4
flag samtomkins (Feb 8, 2014 at 21:55) (Below Threshold)
 I drilled right on the weld when I went to running a tube inside a tubless setup and the rim hasn't broken at all, yet...
  • + 4
 I guess with this 2 valve system you could put them 90degrees each way from the weld.
  • + 2
 @samtomkins Oh well that proves it then. Thanks for the conclusive evidence.
  • + 4
 let me give you all some more out of box thinking here, rotate the holes over then a couple of degrees, so instead of holes drilled 12 oclock and 6 oclock, we then drill them 1 oclock and 7 oclock, hows that for some deep thinking for all you haters trying to put down a sensible comment, holy crap PB is full of some real deep thinkers like bj007 and timkoerber
  • + 2
 I have been running tubliss on my moto for 3 years, and love it. 10 psi wide open on rocky mountain single track and I have only lost one tire when a maxxis split the side wall.
  • - 1
 @stopcomponents. deep thinkers, eh? I'm not saying don't drill your rim, just saying if you do think about where you put the hole. Like you said rotate a couple of degrees then drill. All I said was use your head and don't put it in the weak spot of the rim. My info comes not from myself, but from discussions with the boys at a local wheel company who I've had this very discussion with a number of times this summer while trying to come up with a reasonable way to approach the tube in a tubeless system idea.
  • + 0
 stopcomponents, maybe you should consider hiring a pr representative to take care of postings for you. Deep thinkers? Haters? What haters? Nice way to build up your "business" reputation.
  • - 2
 mikszko, naw its cool i will keep doing what im doing people like people that tell it how it is on here . business is booming on here , by you mentioning my name i probably got 3 more people today to follow me, thanks for the free PR yeah like a said if you need some one to tell you to rotate the wheel 1 spoke over to avoid the weld , then like said there is your deep out of box thinking , not really something that a group of guys from a wheel company should have to sit and think about for more than a minute
  • + 1
 Yeah but then it's not symmetrical and it looks stupid
  • + 3
 stopcomponents, I meant no harm by my comment. i was just suggesting why they drill the hole where they do. I also didnt say there was no other possible solution. your "deep thinker" comment is out of line. lets try to make this site more friendly...were all here cause we enjoy bikes, and discussing things about them
  • + 1
 Okie dokie stopcom, tell it like it is brother. But I'd work on reading comprehension a little more first. Oh and feel free to send me some kit in lieu of my PR work. Diggin the look of some of those rotors. In red.
  • + 1
 I imagine an MTB version of this TUbuliss system would be heavier than the conventional inner tube, but do you reckon you'd be able to run a lighter rim seeing as the system protects the rim?
  • + 24
 Ill buy your guys" old worthless deemax wheel sets for 100 bucks. You wont be needing those outdated pieces of junk that only have one valve hole. 100 dollars is a fair price for obsolete wheels.
  • + 27
 Time to pull out the old 1/4" drill bit and get to work!
  • + 12
 Sounds like moto style dual chamber set up. One is a tough inner tube type thing that locks the bead to the rim and gives bottom out protection and the other is the big air chamber.
  • + 10
 This is the type of innovation I want to see in our industry. Instead of this 26/650b/29 infighting.
  • + 9
 check out Tubliss, i run it front and rear on my dirt bike. works great. i would bet they are similar to this
  • + 1
 I ran those for a few months on my moto but I had to get rid of them. I was surprised at how many holes a moto tire gets, from knobs being ripped off to punctures. When they worked it was great, especially if you had to ride out on a flat. I went back to HD tubes and the flats stopped.
  • + 10
 Holy cats that will be the most expensive tire ever....but so worth it!
  • + 7
 its going to be like the Nuetec's TuBliss system. Basically a small hard tubed or mini tire inside the tire, which helps hold the beads in place
  • + 5
 Yeah finally. Now people know why Mick Hannah was using 2 valves per wheel on his deemax like two or 3 years ago. On top of that it had nothing to do with Schwalbe but they are smart enough to see the potential of that serious tech. Good times roll. I just wonder what kind of wicked ideas wc riders have on mind that can turn into game changers.
  • + 4
 Seems like a good idea, but this part of the quote from Schwalbe, " the risk of pinch flats is simply too great with the current trend towards wide rims", is BS. Maybe that's true for some of their weirdly made tires, but in my 19 years experience as a professional mechanic, it is the opposite.
  • + 2
 Actually, the first mtb's used 1.5" and wider rims, 28 years experience. Companies slimmed down the rim sizes because of all the pinch flats on skinny 1.75" tires and paper thin sidewalls. Changed hundreds of tubes because of this. Pushing the rim towards the middle of the tire kept it off the sidewalls and required a maximum hit to pinch flat. In my experience, my only pinch flats also included rim damage. The trend a few years back of dropping pressures, instead of weight based settings, pinch flats came back, but new sidewalls have started to help that. I have 22mm and 28mm rims and run as small as a 1.9 single ply tire on the rear and have not pinched flatted on either rim, on my xc bike I like the smaller rear larger front setup. The thought of narrow rims is still used today, that's why motocross rims are still 2.5" wide, they cut down on pinch flats.
  • + 2
 Oldschool43, your logic is totally wrong regarding pinch flats. Manufacturers reduced rim dimensions for weight and nothing more. If you put the tire sidewall under a wide rim the sidewall of the tire is less prone to collapse and deforming under impacts (the sidewall adds to the vertical compliance). mecabeat is absolutely correct, the pinch flat comment by Schwalbe is totally false which is a shame as the Double Chamber system looks interesting. That said, would I rather have a rim with a 21mm inner rim width and the double chamber system or a 28mm inner width and normal tubeless? It would be the latter all day long.
  • + 0
 Well then it's a good thing Schwalbe, whom is just as incorrect as me, is fixing an issue that doesn't exist. Spending a ton of money too no doubt. Can't believe they were smart enough to develop the Hans Dampf. Look, I like my wide rims and the last three sets have been wide. I can't kill the last set of narrow rims, but I have yet to pinch flat it, I have gotten 2 pinch flats on my 28mm rims with 2.35 Maxxis and 2.35 Kenda tires. If it's not an issue on wide rims, then I don't know what is.
  • + 6
 Read it all again: "But one can hardly risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 1.5 bar, because the risk of pinch flats is simply too great with the current trend towards wide rims, the performance of tires with low air pressure is considerably better and less spongy. The risk of pinch flats, however, remains the same." Now read it corrected: "But one can hardly risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 1.5 bar, because the risk of pinch flats is simply too great. With the current trend towards wide rims, the performance of tires with low air pressure is considerably better and less spongy. The risk of pinch flats, however, remains the same." They said you can get better performance from the wide rim, but the risk of pinch flats is the same. That is not them saying wide rims = more pinch flats. Schwalbe was misquoted - they didn't spew any BS.
  • + 1
 You got it, Frankie! That totally makes sense now. Probably a proofreading error. I couldn't understand why Schwalbe would say something so ridiculous. This shows the importance of proper punctuation and capitalization.
  • + 1
 Yes I stand corrected on the quote. That said, who runs tubeless and has issues? I've had about two minor burps and no flats in nearly two years. Sure I'm not running 17psi, more like 25psi. Still, the system sounds interesting, especially for DH racers, but I would need to be convinced of the narrow rims/double chamber V's wide rim/tubeless.
  • + 1
 The article never actually mentioned anything about narrow rims. It just seemed like they were saying wide rims were more prone to pinch flats, because Pinkbike screwed up the quote. I'm interested in this new system. While I don't have any problems with my TCS setup, if I can get noticeably more traction with less rolling resistance, I'm all for it.
  • + 4
 Riding here for the last 14 years I have come accustom a fair share of pinch flats - the sharp rocks of southern Spain are lethal. My solution has always been dual plys and 35+ psi. But seeing Nico hit the same lines faster than I ever have with half the tyre pressure - WOW!!
  • + 1
 think i will try my own duel tire system when i come out to you in May
  • + 3
 This totally makes sense, and like other mentioned, it exists and works for motos and autos. Let's admit it: whatever pressure we end up choosing is often a compromise between grip and preventing pinch flats or an unstable tire. I only wonder about the weight. Moto's "Tubliss" system doesn't have a big net gain, depending on how heavy your previous thick moto tubes were, but our tubes are kind of light to begin with.
  • + 4
 Weight shouldn't be a problem,they say you'll be able to run a lighter weight tyre than you usually would due to added security. I'm excited by this.
  • + 4
 Maybe, but lighter weight tires get holes in them easier
  • + 0
 Think your missing the point
  • + 1
 That was my exact thought, I've used a schwalbe tyres in the super gravity version, it was great until I ripped it wide open on the top of the tyre where the walls are thinner. I'm keen to see how this works but would probably use it with dual ply tyres if possible.
  • + 0
 Also got an issue of tyre roll with lighter tyres, unless the inner chamber provides some support to the sidewalls. Anyway, I'm pretty amped to see what this is gonna look like.

How does the price of the TUbliss system compare to that of an equal quality tube/tubeless setup on a moto?
  • + 2
 I think its about $120usd for the Tubliss kit and doesn't really offer much overall advantage. Great when it works, but fails more frequently, at least in my experience.

This Schwalbe kit will probably add significant weight (rolling weight, not static) but overall I'm guessing it will work well. Probably be best for DH racing where you never want to flat and you also run 2-ply tires.
  • + 2
 How's it failed with you Wayne?

I was thinking you'd maybe be able to run lighter rims with this system. The website says the TUbliss system gives your rim some protection, so if the same is true of this system surely a lighter rim would be a possibility?
  • + 2
 Nothing to do with pinch flats, just holes in the tires from punctures and knobs being ripped off. That happens a lot, to my surprise. But if that doesn't happen to you, then the system would be perfect.

For moto tires, they offer a great deal of structural support, as does the rims. Its not quite the same in MTB where tires and rims aren't nearly as supportive because they have to be light. But that said you could be right. Maybe a lighter rim could be used? Its definitely interesting though as it opens up new doors for mtb riders.
  • + 1
 Yeah, definitely gonna be cool to see where this goes.
  • + 2
 just been in my garage and created my own twin chamber/tubliss type set up, you don't need to drill your rim and you can use any tire you want.
start off with a reasonably wide rim (i had an old D521) next fit a 1.1 to 1.5 width road tire (still 26") with normal xc tube (it doesn't need to be heavy because its protected by two tires) then fit what ever DH tire you use (i had an old mitch 32) so that's the 32 over the road tire. now inflate the tube to about 70 to 80psi to hold the tires in place, the next bit is the only bit of specialist kit you need but their not expensive, i have a hypodermic needle fitted to a valve for servicing KTM forks i used this to inflate the DH tire by pushing it through a nobble on the tire and inflating to about 20psi when i pulled the needle out there was no air loss i would use some slime to stop punchers anyway.
the whole job took about 10mins.
  • + 2
 Why not just run a tubeless tyre/rim with sealant in it and a tube?!!!! tube pinches tyre stays inflated non? Easier to seat too, the motor bike cyclists have been doing it for a while I believe to help seat their tyres at the very least.
  • + 1
 I've been wanting to try a tube with sealant for a while. You could probably run a light tube too.
  • + 1
 This system is more about tyre performance than puncture-proofing. It's about having a lower pressure across the treaded-face of the tyre so that the face has more compliance with the ground, giving more grip.
  • + 1
 From the descriptions it sounds like there's a high pressure internal chamber (kind of a like a tube, but limited in volume so it won't take up the full space), surrounded by a low pressure outer chamber (for low pressure handling). The internal chamber is hard due to the high pressure which would help seating, protect against rim damage, and would also explain why the rear tire got harder after the big bottom-out on the rock; the wall between chambers would have been compromised, causing the pressures in the two chambers to equalize and making the tire feel harder. Pretty awesome idea, because you get the low pressure benefits without the sketchy side-to-side tire roll feeling or the worry of damaged rims.
  • + 1
 No mention of sealant. I'm curious if he hit hard enough to puncture the inner chamber, as these would be completely separate to avoid pressure changes. Relying on an open high pressure inner structure for seating (tech said: "inner chamber had been incorrectly seated and the impact had forced air from that high pressure chamber into the low pressure main chamber" sounds like a pain to set up and there are 2 rim channels or lips to seat the tire and inner liner or high pressure chamber.
  • + 1
 This seems interesting. If we can save wheel weight, do away with pinch flats, use AM rims on dh bikes and be able to change tyres between AM and DH bikes so if i can have spikes on the trail bike or fast rolling tyres on my DH bike i dont have to buy one of each tyre type for each bike.
  • + 1
 I had this Idea a while back, posted in 'the future of downhill' thread on PB forum. Like others have said i reckon the valves on either side on the wheel would better balance out a heavy spot.

I reckon the inner high pressure chamber is a lot like the T.H.E Eliminator rim.......?
  • + 4
 If I remember correctly, my wheels are set up so the valve stem is opposite the weld, Meaning you couldn't add a hole exactly 180 degrees from the original.
  • + 1
 This reminds me a LOT of the Tubliss Motocross/Dualsport tire system, where you run a rim liner at a high psi and can either run your tire tubeless on a spoked rim, or you could, I suppose, run a second tube. Cool beans nonetheless. definite xc/AM application as well. lower psi=more traction.
  • + 1
 This sounds like a dream come true. Could be the greatest thing about MTB tires ever. I tried tubeless and it just caused grey hair, and I hate tubes as they pinch all the time, this week every day. I ride with insane pressure if the trail is dry, if wet I usually stay home. It's been the most clear problem with the bike. God damn tires and tubes... Hope to get my hands on these as fast as possible!
  • + 5
 Why do you find running tubeless so hard? Get the right wheels and it's puss easy. Even without the right wheels,stans conversion kits are awesome. Then you can fit and forget and enjoy all the benefits
  • + 2
 "piss"
  • + 1
 What rim and tire combo did you try Tubeless? And was it the same combo that has been giving you hell with tubes? It sounds like your tires are to light for your riding style or weight.
  • + 1
 Specialized Butcher in the front and The Captain rear. Mavic UST wheels. Problem was snakebites through the tire, too large for the sealant to fill.
  • + 1
 Ah yes. I've always found that the casings on the Specialized Control tires to be to light for hard riding. the Specialized Enduro racers are known to use the butcher Sx and the purgatory grid 2. A bit heavier but worth it in my opinion.
  • + 1
 Pinkbike assumption at the end is that it is like 2 tubeless chambers, but earlier in the write up it says it's compatible with conventional tires and rims. For it to function 2 tubeless systems wouldn't that require a special tire?
  • + 1
 21st century and we need (at least) 2 valves on anything. Including tyres.



Although it seems like a weird idea to get in MTB tyres (complicated, weight, another rim hole, etc. reasons) I'd love to ride them to test it under my won bum. Exciting news- I just hope it won't cost a bomb...
  • + 4
 So when I pinch flat I get more pressure in my tire instead of it actually pinch flatting? Genius.
  • + 1
 A pinch flate.
  • + 1
 If its a one piece tubeless tire with two chambers - how am I going to patch the inner outer tube if I cannot access it. Sounds like they want you to throw away 100$ of good tire if you just run in a nail or something. Probably what`s on their mind...
  • + 4
 They said it is compatible with old normal style tires. Which suggests its a 2 piece set-up.
  • + 1
 Sounds like a great product!

I'm thinking it shouldn't be that difficult to design a "2 position valve". Push on the valve (away from the hub) and it fills the outer airchamber. Pull the valve out (towards the hub) and it fills the inner air chamber. Or something like that. Should be do-able right?
  • + 1
 The system sounds great. What needs to be determined is the cost of the extra 200 grams in rotating weight. We went through this debate with 29ers vs 26ers and why the 29er had to have such lightweight tires and rims. Adding an extra 200 grams to the outer end of the radius of the rotating body is the worst place to put it if acceleration is important. The bigger the wheel, the more costly it becomes. As it relates to momentum, this isn't bad. The object in motion will tend to want to stay in motion. Does the bigger foot print as a result of lower PSI/ BAR increase rolling resistance? Does the extra traction offset the reduced ability to accelerate? Maybe this is the niche through which the 26er will survive the onslaught it currently faces.
  • + 1
 Weight weenies like me will save the 26 inch bikes. I am old and have lots of money to spend on things I want. I want a light, dependable, fun bike, to exercise with. MY 22 lbs, near 6ix inch Mach 5.7 fits the bill. I have tried many of the 29 and 27 inch bikes and even though the builds were not as good as my custom 26 pivot. They are in know way as light as my 22 pounder. So I won't be spending money on larger wheels. The Manufactures solution is to stop making 26 inch bikes. This is hurting mountain biking in the long run. But hey, how many times have we seen the goose that lays the golden egg slaughtered?

Did I say I was old? With lots of money to help me keep up with young folks?
  • + 1
 Ive seen people do this before, its nothing new. Specialized have just cottoned on that with a patent on it they can make stupid price tyres that arent really needed for this just so they can make a few extra quid from the idiots who would ditch their brand new £100 tyre set for basically the same thing!
  • + 1
 It sounds like someone needs to invent tubeless beadlock wheels for MTB. Motorcycles, rock crawlers, and military vehicles use them all the time. Beadlocks will let you run pressures all the way down to zero psi. The technology already exists. It just needs to be adapted to MTB.
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beadlock
  • + 1
 Here is what it looks like:
nuetech.com/tubliss/#performance
  • + 1
 I would bet a whole paycheck it looks like this on the inside. AKA not a new idea:
nuetech.com/tubliss/#performance

Nice to see it's being introduced into the bicycle world though. I'd imagine it's probably pretty weighty though.
  • + 1
 Folks it sounds great. But I would like to know what, insanely low pressures, they are running. They should just try some stan's rims. I have been running a hansdampf and a nobby nic on my front at 15-12 PSI, on Stans Flows. I Thing the Stan's flow exe is even better. although I have not tried them. Arch x on the back flow x on the front will be my next wheel set.
  • + 1
 I cant see why you couldnt just ghetto this. Just drill another hole and run a bmx tube inside your existing system at a decent pressure. The smaller tube would sit really tight againt the rim and tyre bead and you then just pump up your tubeless to whatever silly low pressure. Surely the effect would be the same as tubliss system?
  • + 2
 It takes me less than 5 minutes to fix a flat using a patch on the tube using the old fashion vulcanization stuff. And while the stuff hardens I can relax and enjoy the forest.
  • + 1
 So, will the high pressure chamber stop tyre roll, because that is the problem with low pressures. I personally find I run perfectly low pressures now, with tubless. Any lower and rolling resistance is literally a drag, but I have great grip. I'm all for improvements, but it sounds a little bit like an expensive system, that won't offer massive advantages over current systems.. I imagine only elite racers going in for it. Personally I think they should develop a long lasting tyre sealant that doesn't make your eyes bleed. Fenwicks is quite good, but doesn't like my Schwalbes much.
  • + 1
 There is nothing new about this system, as mentioned above it is probably like the tubliss system. I used to use the Staun beeadlocks (www.coyoteents.com/beadlocks-how-they-work.html) for 4x4 off road competition use years ago. Next we'll be told that some ceramic beads in the tires will aid rotational balance... also old 4x4 off road technology.
  • + 1
 yes i think you have it there, but the interesting bit is how they get the air in to the outer chamber past the inner chamber ?
  • + 1
 In wet I run my conti rain kings at 14 psi front and 18 rear without issues and will plenty of cornering support, it can be done atm without limit. Extra complexity for sake of it.
  • + 1
 Digital gauge?
  • + 1
 yeah
  • + 1
 Id say that your working the sidewalls of those tires quite hard at those pressures. Unless your extremely light or slow. No offence intended:-)
  • + 1
 11 stone rider. but very heavy on a bike. have to run a xfirm coil in 888 and want it firmer.
  • + 1
 Wow, sounds very promising. Dang. And I was just about to build a new carbon wheelset. Oh no, wallet is feeling thin already. I wonder if these rims will be carbon and at what price point.
  • + 1
 From the article I understood that any normal rim should be able to be used. Obviously with an extra hole drilled.
  • + 1
 its already been said and the Tubliss system has been mention. But its just a bib mouse type idea from Moto. I love this idea for DH, cant wait to see if it comes out to the public.
  • + 0
 I have been running wide rims 36-42mm for years and can get away with 14-20psi with DH tires. And I flat like once a year if that! If this system allows me to run the same pressure but with even lighter tires that would be awesome! However, I think the sidewalls have to be slightly reinforced so they don't fold easily and so they resist abrasion.
  • + 1
 Looks like a great idea, but I'm curious how hard the system is to set up, I change tyres regularly depending on what sort of riding i'm going to be doing, so ease of setup would be an important factor.
  • + 1
 Could someone explain this statement from the article "What we were told is that it isn't the kind of system many downhill teams use with a tube inside a sealed tubeless system that acts as a back up if the tube pinches"
  • + 1
 Some teams used a tube inside a tubeless system so that if the tyre burps you still have the air in the tube , and if you pinch the tube it just fills the tubeless system.
  • + 1
 Does one merely stick the entire pre-filled tube (valve included) into a tubeless set up to accomplish this? Or am I just having a hard time visualizing this idea?
  • + 1
 ^^^Gee was running this at Mont Sainte Anne, I nicked his destroyed rear tire and rim for a noisemaker!
  • + 2
 I think thats about it mr baker
  • + 1
 You just have to rig up a rubber grommet or something similar on the valve stem of the tube so that it seals the valve hole, mimicking the tubeless valve stem. If you don't do that, then when you flat the tube all of the air will just escape as you don't have a sealed system.
  • + 0
 Rodies tubeless tires are a sealed unit that is glued to the rim. If an mtb tire had an inner chamber that held air it might work. Still if you land on the rim and hard and dent the rim.(my rims have plenty of dents) will it still pinch flat?
Stay tuned while PB does a long term testSmile .
By the way pinch flats don't cause dented rims. Hard landing on rocks causes the rim to dent. The tire gets pinched and puts a snake bike in the tube.
Perhaps some one with more experience should test these tires.
  • + 5
 Actually, road tubeless is the same as MTB in terms of function and fit, a dedicated tubeless tyre mounted to the set up rim via the bead hook and still using Stans or similar. A road tub or tubular tyre is a fully enclosed tube of material, with a tread on one side and glued or taped to the rim on the other. The valve is integrated into the tub, rather than the rim and the rim is specific to tub tyres, with no bead hook present to mount a clincher tyre. Back to train spotting now for me....
  • - 5
flag Sshredder (Feb 8, 2014 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Actually you like repeating what people just said.
  • - 4
flag saso (Feb 8, 2014 at 10:07) (Below Threshold)
 And the award for the biggest bike bore goes to: Corinthian
  • + 3
 That is tubular, not tubeless.
  • + 1
 Sshredder, you wrote "roadies tubeless tyres are a sealed unit that is glued to the rim". That description is of a tub or tubular tyre, rather than tubeless. I was being a bit pedantic, but they really aren't the same thing, nor does my comment rehash yours, rather it contradicts it.
  • + 1
 In theory a tubular tire( a phrase that only a Rodie would know) is a sealed unit glued to the rim. So it is tube less is it not.?
This is not about road tires so the reference is just to make a point that the mountain bike tire being discussed in this story uses a tubular tire approach to create a pinch flat free tire.
Im trying to understand the concept of how this new tire works.
You are just another Alphabitch.
  • + 2
 They make tubulars for mountain bikes too, only used in XC though. There is a difference between Tubular, and Tubeless
  • + 1
 Tubular tyres have a latex tube sewn inside.
  • - 1
 wow your are so right and very smart WOW thanks for your very smart comment.
Can we talk about DH tires and how to prevent pinch flats now. honestly who the hell cares about tires for pavement? Have you seen a bunch of stories on road bikes? No!
Have you helped to comprehend how this NEW tire works? No.
Do rodies where loud billboard spandex and skinny shoes that make them walk funny yes. Do rodies like doing rock infested DH gnar? I highly doubt it. So as a very smart rodie you know nothing about pinch flats from ridding rock strewn trails.
Buy hey if i need some sewing done on my tubular tire you the man to talk to!
  • + 2
 Why the roadie hate? This is a tubular MTB tire www.schwalbetires.com/bike_tires/off-road_tires/racing_ralph_425_ht they aren't road specific. Some people, myself included, aren't closed minded and ride multiple different bikes, from DH, to xc. some even road and BMX.
  • + 1
 Wow, Sshredder. Insecure much?
  • + 1
 Naaa I just hate rodies. so its a hate thing.
  • + 1
 You have issues.
  • + 1
 Nice innovation but I'm curious if this tire system works just as well on the climbs. My Hutchinson Cougars setup tubeless have never flatted in over a year's of riding. The weight penalty is an issue.
  • + 2
 At first I thought it was rubbish (I imagined 2 inner tubes in the tyre), but after reading it, I like it, it could be very interesting!
  • + 0
 That's pretty much what I pictured as well. It looks promising, all except for the potential weight loss. I can imagine this would be helpful for DH types of riding where pinch flats would abound, but the extra weight from making two separate air chambers would be... disconcerting.
  • + 1
 This article really caught my attention. I'm interested to see what is going on inside the tire. I wonder if schwalbe is planning to patent this design and lend it out to other tire companies?
  • + 4
 double chamber double price?
  • + 2
 I just wonder how it looks inside and if it will be as easy to repair as an ordinary tire/tube (when actually punctured, not pinch-flatted).
  • + 2
 So its like having a furious Fred inside a Hans Dampf. I imagine the wet conditions traction would be epic.
  • + 1
 "and it is expected to be compatible with conventional tires and rims"

How can you call it "compatible" with conventional rims? I don't get it


Really interesting!
  • + 1
 In terms of the bead, not that a conventional rim has 2 holes for valves.
  • + 1
 Yeah probably it is like that
  • + 1
 "Not sure what's inside yet" Uh I would bet a pay check that its a take on this tubliss set up for motos nuetech.com/tubliss
  • + 1
 Marc Beaumont was running a two valve rear wheel at Fort Bill last year. Don't think it was this set up but his mechanic said he'd never punctured on it!
  • + 1
 yeah great idea ...lets make even tires and tubes more complicated ! Rolleyes Next will be matches with two ends to light up.
I stay with my ghetto tubeless conversion.
  • + 1
 The full details about availability with come at Eurobike? Isn't that in August? So is it safe to assume that this is not something we will be riding this season?
  • + 3
 2014 and we still get punctures.
  • + 1
 Sounds great! Please tell me it will not be presta only. I like schrader valves. Pressure gauges work on them.
  • + 1
 how come none of the riders in the pics that accompany this story are running low tire pressure then ?
  • + 1
 Nice to see a new innovation to my wheels, and very nice pics of the FON in Alhaurin (Malaga)
  • + 1
 Excellent idea if works properly. Will be awesome in rocky areas especially.
  • + 1
 This is interesting. I'm all for any MTB innovation as long as it doesn't need batteries
  • + 2
 they,ve been doing it for years on atv's with a set up called tire balls
  • + 2
 Or, exactly like Stauns/Inner Air Locks in a 4x4 application.
  • + 2
 tire balls are nothing like this idea, they just fill the tire with rubber balls
  • + 1
 not really, multiple individual bladders you can set the pressure in, and the tire itself, or in really soft terrain, aka sand...personally I've run 0psi in the tire and done just fine
  • + 1
 It means new type of tyres, new type of rims, new type od tubes, if needed. Great idea!
  • + 1
 Sounds like a cool concept, well have to see how it performs, as well as longevity.
  • - 2
 So basically your saying if you put 2 inner tubes in one tire there's less chance getting a puncture but at the same time most people that race enduro have converted to tubeless and also running 2 tubes means wheel brands will now have to make 2 holds instead of one resulting in an extra £100 per wheel for a good wheel
  • + 1
 No they didn't say that, try again
  • + 1
 Sounds like a similar system that michellin was working on with jared rando back in 2005.
  • + 1
 Actually Michelin had this system in the mid 90s with many riders eg Rob Warner and Nicolas Vouilloz.
  • + 2
 Stevie has been running that all year
  • + 2
 Really cool. Nice bit of innovation within the MTB industry!
  • + 1
 so everyone is going to have to drill another hole in our rim for this to work?
  • + 1
 they are teaming with syntace so probably two holes from standard , but i guess if you don't want new rims then yep drilling time Razz
Surely you will need to get the wheels balanced , thats a lot of weight on one side of the wheel.
  • + 1
 unless you move it to the other side of the rim ? but i don't wanna be drilling holes,.........makes me whince as bad as seeing someone getting kicked in the knackers o___o
  • + 1
 no biggie
remember those bmx rims with the massive spoke holes in the inner wall to save wieght? they were first started by riders drilling the holes out of normal rims
  • + 1
 I doubt the extra weight would make a great deal of difference, it's only one extra valve, and mtb wheels are hardly spinning at the sort of speeds car wheels spin at.
  • + 1
 The missing rim material from the hole could be equal to the weight of the valve thus not effecting balance. Id guess that the values are next to each other for ease of installation.
  • + 1
 Still dont wanna drill out some havocs o___o
  • + 2
 You won't want to drill directly opposite of the valve stem as that's usually where the rims are riveted together and is the weakest part.
  • + 1
 Thank god Continental didn't develop this, Gee would have had another wasted year.
  • + 1
 Podium domination. 1,2,3.
  • + 1
 I remember those trails well. good times... This place is harsh on tyres!
  • + 1
 So,What about rolling resistance?
  • + 3
 it should roll faster , low pressures roll faster in off road situations.
  • + 2
 it wont increase the rolling resistance, its still the same foot print, unless you run less air pressure in the outer air chamber than normal. there is how ever a increase in the weight, but now because your tire wont peel off in a hard corners or you cant get a pinch flat now you can run single ply tires that will infact track better over the rough because of softer ,more complacent tires to conform quicker to the terrian than a stiffer 2 ply casing tire, so the weight should equal out. and no added resistance unless you run less pressure in your tires than before
  • + 1
 So who's drilling out there rims for the second stem?
  • + 1
 Yea, tubes will be cool again...
  • + 1
 Very interesting idea but we need more details!
  • + 2
 Noice!
  • + 1
 But how would you patch holes in that outer chamber?
  • + 1
 This is a great, out of the box idea. I'm excited to hear more.
  • + 1
 Youre not enduro unless you ride dual chambered tire system
  • + 2
 weight please?
  • + 1
 April 1st?

UST - that is all
  • + 1
 Mountain bike revolution that's been a moto thing for years. What's new.
  • + 0
 I would rather just run a wider rim and tubeless. I think you get almost the same results as this dual chamber thing.
  • + 0
 This doesnt prevent ur rim from getting dented up..... good rims are not cheap....
  • + 0
 Jesus, you guys run low pressure.im at 32-35 psi for dh. 14psi...that's insane
  • + 1
 Maybe you didn't read the article...
  • + 1
 WANT! Just bring it in a 26" version as well.
  • + 1
 Everybody in the pictures are enduroing
  • + 0
 I could use them on my specialized
  • + 1
 ignore me
  • + 1
 mick hannah also Wink
  • + 1
 this is so dumb
  • + 0
 early April Fools???
  • - 2
 will probably weigh a ton too
  • + 6
 no pnch flats means an end to heavy dual ply tyres i guess
  • + 2
 Yeah, you don't need dual ply tyres any more
  • + 3
 Sharpe rocks would disagree with anything less than two ply , fair enough it wont pinch but it's gonna be more prone to slashes as a trade off surely ?
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