Downhill Secret Revealed: Flat Tire Defender Foam Inserts - First Look

Feb 9, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
Flat Tire Defender


Frank Stacy has been designing tires longer than most Pinkbike members have been riding mountain bikes, and before that, he was doing the same for off-road motorcycles. Stacy keeps a low profile, and he's worked for a number of elite brands, so while you've may have never heard his name, there is a good chance that you have ridden his work. Stacy's latest brainstorm is called "Flat Tire Defender" and it's a cylindrical, closed-cell-foam tubeless tire insert that prevents pinch flatting and protects the rim from sharp-edged impacts.


Flat Tire Defender Details:

• Long-wearing high-density closed-cell foam insert does not absorb sealant
• Requires no special tools to install or remove
• Intended to work in conjunction with tubeless tires
• Stabilizes tire bead interface to prevent burping and side-wall flex
• Eliminates pinch flatting and reduces rim damage
• Kit includes liner, tubeless valve and Zip ties to assist installation
• Sizes: Six options to fit 26", 27.5", 275+, 29", or 29+ tires
• Weight: 275 to 350 grams
• MSRP: $69.50 USD (single), $121.50 (double)
• Contact: Flat Tire Defender Foam Inserts
Flat Tire Defender


Before you start chuckling, you should know that since 2014, when Stacy began developing it, prototype Flat Tire Defenders have been raced at the highest level by Tracey Moseley and Justin Leov on the EWS circuit, and on the World Cup DH, by Laurie Greenland, Brook Macdonald and Neko Mulally. Aaron Gwin used the inserts throughout his victorious 2016 World Cup season and also assisted in its development.

Stacy's Defender insert may have been the best kept secret in gravity competition - one that was revealed after Gwin broke a wheel 20 seconds into his World Championship run and would ride the next few minutes of the course on a slowly deflating tire - until the half way point, when he landed on a large, loose rock that had rolled into the course, ripping the low tire off and exposing the FTD insert to the world. Miraculously, nobody noticed.

bigquotes Gwin landed on a large, loose rock that had rolled into the course, ripping the low tire off and exposing the FTD insert to the world. Miraculously, nobody noticed. - 2016 World Championships
Flat Tire Defender Major Accomplishments:

• 2015 Enduro World Series pro woman series champion, Tracy Moseley
• 2015 UCI Junior Men Downhill Worlds, 1st Laurie Greenland
• 2016 UCI Elite Men World Cup Downhill series champion, Aaron Gwin
1st Lourdes
2nd Fort William
2nd Lenzerheide
2nd Mont Sainte Anne

• 2016 UCI Elite Men Downhill Worlds, 14th place Charlie Harrison

Flat Tire Defender athletes for 2017:

• Team YT downhill riders: Aaron Gwin, Angel Suarez and Neko Mulally
• Team Canyon enduro rider: Justin Leov
• Team Trek enduro rider: Tracy Moseley
• Pro athletes (enduro and/or downhill): Christian Gonzalez, Cole Picchiottino
• Weekend test riders: Ely Woody, John Hall, Ben Arnott, James Richards

Flat Tire Defender
Designer Frank Stacy (left) and mechanic John Hall demonstrate the Flat Tire Defender insert in the makeshift pits. Carol Stacy photo

Stacy says the Bib Mousse foam insert concept has been around for years and has successfully solved the three issues that continue to plague mountain bike riders: pinch-flats, punctures and damaged rims. The Bib Mousse, however, is monstrously difficult to install, it's heavy, and it occupies all of the space inside the tire, so it eliminates the option to fine-tune traction and tire stability by varying air pressure.

Stacy's solution (after a dozen or so dead ends) was finding a tough, closed-cell material that had a quick rebound rate, and then molding that into an oval-shaped insert that takes up roughly, a third of the air-space inside the tire. When the tire is overwhelmed by an impact, the tread crown butts against the liner, which cushions the blow and spreads out to prevent the tire carcass from pinching against the rim flanges. The air space makes room for liquid sealant and allows the tire to perform in all other respects, like a conventional one - except for one remarkable detail.
Flat Tire Defender
The 27.5+ sized liner illustrates that the tubeless tire is free to react normally until the crown tread makes contact with the Flat Tire Defender.


For the third year in a row Aaron Gwin has won t the opening round of the World Cup series and has set the bar that other must now push to meet if they want to contest for the overall.
Gwin began the 2016 season with a victory for the YT Mob - and for the pre-production Flat Tire Defenders.


Aaron Gwin Talks Tech



It seems that the insert has a positive effect upon the suspension. At the Flat Tire Defender launch in Laguna Beach, California, Aaron Gwin spoke at length about how the insert performs. He acknowledged the insert's pinch-flat protection and stated that, since he began using them, the only time he suffered a puncture was when he ripped a sidewall open and that, unless he broke a wheel, he could finish a race run with zero air without losing a tire. But, the main reason he runs them is that they enhance his suspension. The liner eliminates sharp impacts, and his bike rolls over momentum-robbing square-edged hits.


Weight vs Performance

Weight and complexity are two factors that Stacy worked hard to minimize, but in the end, he says that there was a critical point, where if he used a lighter foam, the riders complained that the suppleness that the liner added to the ride evaporated, as did some of its ability to protect the rim and tire. Liners that fit 27.5 x 2.4-inch downhill tires are said to weigh around 275 grams each - enough to make a noticeable lag in acceleration, but not enough to dissuade competitors from using them. Gwin says that he will remove the front liner for smoother, courses that have a lot of pedaling, but that the speed he gains from the enhanced ride offsets any losses he might suffer from the heavier wheels. The fact that Trek's top enduro riders choose to run the Flat Tire Defender echoes Gwin's sentiments.


Mechanic John Hall Shows How It's Done



To address the complexity side of the Flat Tire Defender equation, Stacy has produced a video that shows how to install and remove the liner without tears, and he includes some simple installation aids in the accessory kit. At the launch, Gwin's mechanic John Hall demonstrated his installation technique, and later, using Hall's method, I installed a liner inside a Maxxis Minion DHF without tools, in about four minutes. The takeaway was that the liner creates some additional difficulty, but it isn't that tough to get it inside a tire and mounted up. The up-side of the liner is that, like an inner-tube, it naturally presses the tire's bead to the rim flanges, so reportedly, tubeless tires air up with a simple hand pump and don't burp air or sealant, no matter how hard you push them in the turns.


Flat Tire Defender
Frank Stacy advises first-time installers to use a zip tie to hold the insert and tire in place.
Flat Tire Defender
The tie frees up both hands to work the insert onto the rim while installing the bead.


Mechanically, the Flat Tire Defender functions much like Schwalbe's Pro Core system. Pro Core, however, uses a high-pressure treadless tire, inflated inside of a conventional tubeless tire and it comes with its own installation issues, including a tiny vulnerable tube inside the core, and a fussy two-stage valve. The Defender's closed-cell construction can't be deflated, and its compression and damping ability provide a superior feel (so say the athletes who have tried both systems). By contrast, Tracy's solution uses a conventional tubeless valve stem, modified with deep cross-slots on its inner face to allow air to pass freely beneath the insert, so the Flat Tire Defender is a simpler system that can be maintained with off-the-shelf parts in a pinch.
Flat Tire Defender launch
John Hall watches while I install an insert into a Maxxis DHF tire using his method. I managed it without tools. Carol Stacy photo

Flat Tire Defenders are available to fit 26 and 27.5-inch tires from 2.3 to 2.5 inches, mounted to rims with inner widths from 24 through 34 millimeters; 27.5-inch Plus tires from 2.6 to 3.0 inches on rims from 36 through 44 millimeters; and 29-inch tires and rims in similarly sized combinations. Weights range from 275 grams, to 350 grams for the largest, 29+ model.

Flat Tire Defender
The key player in the Flat Tire Defender accessory kit is this modified tubeless valve stem. Without its deeply grooved face, the liner would prevent air from being released.


Who Will Benefit Most Using the Flat Tire Defender?

Beginning with Frank Stacy, all those who have ridden the Flat Tire Defender inserts agree that they are best suited for gravity riders. The extra weight would be a burden for most trail riders, who would be slogging around 700-grams of rotating mass 80-percent of the time, only to reap the benefits on the fastest and steepest technical descents. Enduro racers can justify the weight, because the inserts give them a huge insurance policy against mistakes that could cost them a stage, as well as another level of bump control. For downhillers, Flat Tire Defender offers the greatest benefits. Defender inserts are a pop-in solution for racers battling for series points or searching for a way to shave off the two precious seconds that lay between the podium and a tenth-place result. And, in spite of their MSRP, the inserts should be popular among park shredders who pay full pop for travel and lift passes, and don't want to be sidelined for an hour wrestling with a flat tire.

Tracey Mosely drops into the super-g start to stage one
Tracy Mosely on her way to winning round four of the 2015 EWS at Samoens, France. Downhill speeds, minimal practice, and ever-changing terrain is a recipe for wheel disasters.



Pinkbike's Take:

bigquotesSadly, trail closures due to heavy rain prevented us from downhill testing at the Flat Tire Defender launch, but we got our bikes mounted up with inserts and Frank Stacy gave us an extra set of 27.5 and 29-inch Defenders to review later. The concept is well engineered and executed. It has posted victories at the highest level in EWS and World Cup DH, and the athletes who have participated in its development are committed to it. All indicators point to a successful product, We will be testing the Flat Tire Defenders at home, so hang tight for a full review in a month or so. - RC





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233 Comments

  • + 361
 Huck Norris does not approve of this review
  • + 206
 ...Everyone searches for Gwins run where tire comes off.
  • + 22
 neither does schwable procore
  • + 72
 And that right there is how you install a tube that's not a tube inside of a tubeless system - carry on...
  • + 23
 Bye Huck, now we wanna hear about that invisible chain that Gwin ride ! This is a proper secret ! Smile
  • + 7
 @yerbikesux: you'll have to weigh it for us first buddy. Metric please...
  • + 10
 @Worm-Burner: It needs to be in keurigs to be considered a correct measurement
  • + 9
 I'm thinking of marketing a version of this flat tyre defender which saves weight by filling that tube with air instead of foam, which would also eliminate the need to have air in the outer tyre. Anyone want to help me patent it?
  • + 16
 @medievalbiking: I'm in. We can call it "tunnel over outer bike-rim" and market it as T.O.O.B.
  • + 1
 @medievalbiking: Thought same thing, inflates when needed. But if tire is off rim, or nail is in tire, will do no good.
  • - 1
 @medievalbiking: ummm... schwalbe procore...
  • + 2
 @MoonboyMTB: I was mostly making a joke about conventional inner tubes, but yeah schwalbe procore also stole my idea
  • + 120
 He's a tire designer who keeps a low profile? That's hilarious.
  • + 25
 But now that his product has blown up, his charade has been deflated. Hopefully it doesn't fall flat.
  • - 44
flag scott-townes (Feb 10, 2017 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 @TheRaven: Here's a pun... your puns make me want to punch babies in the face.
  • + 19
 @scott-townes: Uh...that's not a pun. It's just wrong.
  • - 20
flag scott-townes (Feb 10, 2017 at 17:37) (Below Threshold)
 @TheRaven: OK let's try this...

I hope this idea doesn't fall flat because I just punched a baby in its stupid chubby face.
  • + 20
 @scott-townes: Uh...maybe stick to riding. Puns are not one of your strengths.
  • + 11
 Good find!
  • + 5
 no 29er tho
  • + 5
 Haha has anyone tried these, other than the 81 reviews at wal-mart?
  • + 3
 @powderturns: I have had customers with them come in and wonder why their bike is hard to pedal. It feels like you have a flat tire and every time I have to take off the tire it breaks the bead and destroys the tire.
  • + 3
 @ibishreddin Google sponge rubber cord.
  • + 5
 It is funny how Mousses have been on dirt bikes forever and they try to sell this and Huck Norris as the next big invention.pretty much like disc brakes...
  • + 55
 How about a Brocore Flatmender, a foam donut inside a small high pressure tube inside your tubeless tire? You could land jumps from the Grand Canyon without flatting, like a Terducken for your tire which is the best of everything!
  • + 11
 You spelt "turducken" wrong ????
  • + 5
 @Zay: Or did he?
  • + 9
 Good find! Il stick to a piece of closed cell pipe lagging that costs £2 and weighs 30gs!
  • + 1
 @Zay: Spelt. LoL!
  • + 52
 it's like one night huck norris went to a party with a 12 pack of pbr, but procore was already there with a nice bottle of red wine. they hooked up with flat tire defender who was sitting in the corner smoking some dank weed. they all went to the back room together and apparently shit got weird.
  • + 37
 not the best marketing with gwin considering he blew the tire off the rim in world champs.
  • + 12
 I think it's decent considering how much times other racers blow there tires in their racing season(syndicate riders for example).
  • + 7
 @pigit77: i just had to get the jab in there. when you watch the video it looks like gwin blew up the wheel
  • + 7
 @adrennan: carbon rim! ! !
  • + 5
 Rim stayed in tact actually. He started getting a slow leak further up the track and rolled off the tire when he landed on the side of a rock.
  • + 5
 @ckcost: You sell it Gwin! He's really going for it in this video. Perhaps a change of career? Selling houses would surely net him more than riding a bike!
  • + 1
 @adrennan: your honesty gave me a great laugh. Just like yeah, f*ck you Gwin. A pop to the nose. Lol
  • - 2
 @pigit77: syndicate riders you say... you mean josh brycland 10 years ago at worlds :O?
  • + 25
 It's invented. We,ve been using similar thing in Spain for a long time. At the third of price and weight. 50 euros for a pair. 70gr per wheel.

It's called "Nube Tubeless" (aka tubeless cloud) and worth every penny. It saves rim from impacts and tyre from dents. And you can drop the pressure around 0'2-0'3 bar of your normal pressure without fear of damage. Awesome grip.

For carbon and wide alu rims is simply a must have.

www.ruedasgordas.es/blog/view/probando-la-nube-tubeless
  • + 14
 "if you are a destroyer and you do not stop to rock, maybe in a year you have to change because you have pulverized it"

There are some amusing Spanish to English google translations on that link, remember kids always stop to rock if you don't want to pulverize it...
  • + 3
 @qldmtb: Mine working flawlessly with no problems at all for 4 months. And rocking the rocks! Wink
  • + 1
 Huh it looks like you could make it yourself too.

www.mcmaster.com/#standard-foam-hollow-tubing/=16ax6dt
  • + 2
 And this is how the Nube Tubeless looks after 3 month of riding:
www.ruedasgordas.es/blog/view/uso-y-abuso-nube-tubeless
That 50 euros suddenly isn't cheap anymore Smile

On the other hand, my PROCORE after 2 seasons still looks and performs great!
Money well invested.
  • + 3
 @bikebert:
if you read carefully... this is how it looks after 3 months.... after a final downhill rolling WITHOUT AIR in the tyre. considering that the rim finished without any damage at all... 25 euro (not 50) very well invested!

mine after 4 months is perfect, and i use to eat rocks for breakfast everyday Wink
  • + 2
 @inaxganja: with that kind of diet you should see gastroenterologist soon Wink
  • + 8
 @bikebert: gastroenterologeologist, maybe.
  • + 20
 Good idea. Not for everyone. I'd say depends on your local DH terrain.

Weight... How can people complain about weight when real DH tube is just as much. Plenty of guys I know are still riding DH tubes on their DH rigs.

Might be able to run the foam with on a Supergravity casing or DD casing tire for those concerned about the weight.

Our local DH mountain has almost zero pedaling. Super steep, old school - wet and chunky. Low psi helps a ton but is hard on the rims. Even on a super fat DH Magic Mary 275 x 2.5" I'm still running between 25-30 psi out back so I don't kill my rims. If this foam lets me run 5 psi less, and then not have to worry about rim hits - well that could be a game changer for my local mountain.

Might be a good idea for riders running carbon on a rocky course that don't want to kill their rims.

I just may get me a pair of these foamy doughnuts this season.
  • + 1
 Yea I don't know if I want to add any more weight to my reign, it's gravity enough right now. I can see the benefits for my DH bike, especially in the bike park.
  • + 6
 Your local trails remind me of your mom... wet and chunky
  • + 19
 I bet the inventor of the THE rims is rolling in his grave.
  • + 4
 hahah, I had a set of those, changing tires was the worst thing ever
  • + 5
 What is THE rims? I'm curious to learn as I couldn't find anything through an internet search
  • + 8
 @blob425: THE stands for Toby Henderson Enterprises. It's the company that made those awesome moto-inspired fenders back in the day.
  • + 13
 @jewpowered: They were a complete nightmare! I watched a friend try and change a tire for like 60 minutes before he broke into a mad rage.
  • + 7
 @rideonjon: Available in 26", 24", and 20"
  • + 14
 @nfa2005: The original dirt wheel size debate.
  • + 3
 @seraph: They also had the best fitting and most comfortable knee pads I've ever owned, cost like $29 bucks too..shame
  • + 2
 I seem to recall Panaracer made some rims with a rubber strip all the way around in the 90s too
  • + 1
 @seraph: The rear part of their front fender (circa 2001) was awesome run on its own.
  • + 1
 I had the THE myself and changing tyres wasn't hard if you did it the right way. You had to put the rim inside the tyre first and then pull over the beads one by one. If you didn't put the rim in the middle it is indeed nearly impossible. Also it worked perfectly, after years of riding with the lightest tyres and many hard cases I never had a pinch flat. It was a heavy rim but it allowed me to compensate by running lighter tyres. The total weight in the end was the same but it was much better against pinch flats than a light rim with heavy tyres.
  • + 15
 There is a one major difference between Huck Norris and this product and that is the volume spacer effect. With the Defender it makes the tire more progressive so you can run lower pressure, but it will ramp more quickly so you have the same bottom out characteristics. Sadly the downfall of this and Procore (which I have owned for a while) is that the tire can still slide up the side of the Defender and pinch on the rim. Usually this happens when leaned over in a rocky corner and I have seen/experienced it multiple times. It looks like Huck Norris will prevent this since it sits at the widest point of the tire.
  • + 2
 ohhh. yes!
  • + 5
 thanks smart internet person thats a great point
  • + 3
 So i am going to put both in my wheels.
  • + 13
 $120 and an additional 200 (800 rotational) grams is really pushing it for me. Might as well spend that money on a nicer rim and some additional sealant.
  • + 9
 This gives your nicer rim some protection from impacts. It also should allow you to run lower pressures with less risk of burping and spunking out that additional sealant.
  • + 8
 @dingus: exactly what I was thinking. There are riders with 2k wheelsets on there bikes. I don't give a shit about 200 grams if it can save me 1k for a broken rim in the future.
  • + 21
 @pigit77: but you buy nice rims to be lightweight soooooo
  • + 12
 @pigit77: Buy $2k wheelset because it's light - add on protective covering that counteracts the lightness. Doesn't smell right to me, but hey.

Not saying there aren't other benefits for the product (rolling over bumps like they said), but that's like spending extra money on undies with a really special color - you're just going to wear pants over them.
  • + 9
 But people don't buy carbon wheel sets because they are light because they really aren't that light. If weight were your biggest concern get an EX 471 or a spank spike enduro. They are plenty strong and lighter than ENVE DH rims. The main reason to buy carbon rims is for the stiffness.
  • + 43
 @mixmastamikal: I thought it was to look cool.
  • + 3
 " Liners that fit 27.5 x 2.4-inch downhill tires are said to weigh around 275 grams each "

allot heavier than you realized
  • + 8
 This or ProCore combined with a lighter rim would allow you to keep the weight down somewhat and at the same time run lower tyre pressures to get more traction with less risk of burping or damaging your rim.
  • + 1
 @nug12182: there's that. Also make 29'ers rideable.
  • + 7
 @KankleGnar: that's lighter than a thick DH tube and comparable to a normal tube weight.

I'm still running tubes on my DH bike, so this would actually make my bike lighter and give me more rim protection.
  • + 5
 Like with the procore system it allows you to run single ply tires rather than heavy dh tires thus offsetting some of the weight. Of course if you were already on single ply tires and tubeless it will weigh more. I personally prefer a bulletproof system with loads of grip rather than compromising by running higher tire pressure on a lighter weight set up. I'm happy with singleply tires front and back with procore. If this had come out a couple of years ago I would be on it seeing as it is cheaper. Also you gain more weight savings from tires rather than rims.
  • + 3
 @SintraFreeride: You don't get any protection against puncturing on sharp objects with these products, so some people will still need to run DH tyres. Depends where you ride.
  • + 1
 @dingus: These products protect against pinchflatting and burping. Sure you can still get a flat if you ride over a nail or thorn or if the sidewall gets cut. Having said that you can use sealant with both so that reduces the chance of those problems even further. Also with this system you tend to run less pressure so the tire conforms more to the terrain and thus further lowers the chance of pointy object piercing the tire. In my opinion running DH tires nowadays isn't necessary unless you want to save money in the short term or prefer running super soft rubber. I eagerly await for single ply tires with 40a rubber.
  • + 13
 So it's like Huck Norris but with more names attached....... Similarly priced....

Cmon Pinkbike how about a comparison?
  • + 9
 It's more like the Pro Core system than Huck Norris, as the article mentions. Huck Norris gives you rim dent protection, but that's about all. This helps force the tyre bead up against the rim, making it harder for the tyre to burp air.
  • + 3
 @dingus:
They said the same thing in the Huckles review
  • + 1
 @YoKev: They don't mention burbing in the review. HN pushes the sidewalls out, but the insert sits a lot higher in the tyre so isn't going to do much for the bead/rim interface. Compare that to a cutaway of the ProCore system (which this is more akin too) and you'll see that it forces the tyre bead against the rim.
  • + 2
 We need this in the comparison. Cush Core.
  • + 1
 @JoeManyhats:
I ordered a single CushCore thing this weekend. It is quite a bit lighter than the Flat Tire defender if you can believe their website. We will see :/
  • + 2
 @cutamerc: been running these for a week!!! Way better than either of the other options!
  • + 0
 @SILENTNINJAONE:
Awesome! Care to share your wheel/tire/pressure set up? I'm pretty excited about this thing.
  • + 2
 @cutamerc: I'm running an se4 team issue 29x2.4 in the rear and a maxxis minion dhf 29x2.5 front at 13 psi rear and 17 psi front. My super deluxe is at 170 psi and pike rct3 at 77psi. These inserts let the suspension do what it does and eats up all the charter as well as defends you from big hits and tire roll at low pressure. These accomplish this much more efficiently than either of the other ones in my opinion. Same install headache though....
  • + 2
 @cutamerc: wheels are the stock bontrager line comp boost wheelset found on the 2017 trek slash 9.8. I believe they boast a 30mm inner rim width.
  • + 1
 @SILENTNINJAONE:
That sounds awesome! I appreciate the reply, thanks for taking the time. Happy shredding!
  • + 1
 @cutamerc: one word to describe it.... GGGGRRRRIIIIIPPPPPPPP!!!!!!!!

No problem man!!! Have fun gettin rowdy yourself!
  • + 12
 So similar concept to the Huck Norris except it sits tighter on the rim bed and also has some shock absorption properties. Cool.
  • + 13
 Why is foam so expensive these days Huck Norris now this.
  • + 14
 Foam lobby...
  • + 6
 "Gwin landed on a large, loose rock that had rolled into the course, ripping the low tire off and exposing the FTD insert to the world. Miraculously, nobody noticed. - 2016 World Championships"

I noticed. I though it was a schwalbe procore though even though he rides for maxxis so it almost ended in some conspiracy theory shit.
  • + 3
 Me too, I was convinced it was some sort of ProCore but from Maxxis!
  • + 2
 No he 'uses' Onza tires ever since the switch to YT. I use parenthesis for obvious reasons
  • + 10
 @YoKev: Gwin stated in his first interviews that Onza would allow him to ride Maxxis if necessary while he was developing a competitive DH tire with them (Onza and Maxxis are made at the same factory). I met with Aaron a few days ago and he showed me the final Onza Aquila tire and said that he finally signed off on it, and will be racing the Onza tire this season.
  • + 9
 Looks a lot more well designed and money worthy than the Huck Norris
  • + 4
 it's a foam ring.... a ring! How much designing does that need?
  • + 4
 @Gweggy: 3 dimensions and a specified material.

Add to that a logo and a marketing scheme and hope for black figures within a year or two.
  • + 1
 @Gweggy: way less than engineering wank-off that Procore is
  • + 4
 I use Michelin Mousse Bibs for my off-road moto racing. They are expensive and take some extra time to setup but worth every penny when you figure out what a race weekend costs and end up getting a flat. This seems like a great idea to me if your going after points in a series.
  • + 11
 "Take some extra time to setup" your being nice. It takes 5 people and lots of blood to install them!
  • + 1
 @jewpowered: I'm always surprised that nobody has come up with a similar solution for mountain bikes. Between the product in this article and Huck Norris it seems like they are dancing all around it, but nobody wants to go all the way.
  • + 3
 @kcapitan: schwalbe procore is pretty much tubliss...
  • + 1
 @kcapitan: the procore system is the Mtb iteration of tubliss. On a moto weight is less of an issue, plus procore is expensive and doesn't work as well as tubliss on a moto for various design reasons. That's why it hasn't caught on.

A bib mousse would be awful on a Mtb for a few reasons--it would be impossible to pedal and heavy!
  • + 1
 @kcapitan: A full mousse tire insert for a mountain bike would kill the ride and add a busload of weight and rolling resistance. It's been tried both on the road and on the dirt and the results are not subtle. A partial insert ads some weight, but it allows the tire to react exactly as a pneumatic tire should - flexible, spring-like and able to conform to the ground. The extra mass and power of a motorcycle can overcome the negatives of a full mousse insert.
  • + 2
 This is so last week. I've just combined the best of the new trends in tire technology, foam and tubeless sealant. I just use the canned foam "greatstuff" in my tires. Foam and sealant in one, even better.... custom foam job for each wheel, tire and valve combination ever produced. Cant beat that.... and all for $4.99.
  • + 6
 But it doesnt have a sick name like Huck Norris...
  • + 1
 Great idea! Since the shipping from US will take too long I went in the downtown shop and take an extruded high density neoprene...that's the result! The big surprise was the prince...only € 9,80 (like 10$)! Are you sure about YOUR price?
s30.postimg.org/hg39cgxld/flattiredefender.jpg
  • + 1
 What exactly is that you used there? Not sure what to even ask for in the shop.
  • + 1
 Could you tell us something more about your hack? Materials, sizes, where did you get everything and, if you tested it, how does it works.
  • + 1
 I like it!. As the product becomes more popular, engineers will probably figure out ways to decrease the weight without sacrificing density in order to maintain the added suspension feel and rim protection benefits. I wonder though, how this product does with rims that already have an oval inner rim shape to prevent burping such as the spank race 33 rim? And how is air pressure changed? The volume of air pressure would be less. so does that mean you would run less air in your tires or the same?
  • + 1
 I've been running deaneasy tubeplus on trail bike as few years. I was able to drop from dualply to exo and at 120g per wheel its great. Only works for upto 23mm but does all what this claims. I'm thinking same here if can run this and drop to an exo tyre on dh bike then theres no weight issues..
  • + 1
 haha THE eliminators....they were actually a pretty good deal for a 20/150 downhill wheelset. the hub was loud, and they were rugged as hell....bitch to put tires on, but they worked. I had mine forever untill I blew the freehub up.
  • + 1
 We have been developing our system since 2015
And if we evaluate all other systems then it seems that ours is the best developed. We are on the way to start production ASAP. At the moment we make handmade made small series which were also used at the world cup in 2015. Models are for DH, Enduro, XC.
The Video is in Italian language but we try to offer English version ASAP . Sorry

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWZ6gJ2Ygs8

www.bikesuspension.com
www.pepi.it
  • + 1
 Cush Core is another option out there with a bit more specific rim interface shaping... I feel I gives all that a pro core gives in terms of benefits, but adds a bit more anti tire roll support. Check them out...

P.s. if you can't deal with 275 more grams(If you choose to NOT move to a lighter wheel set up...) per wheel for these type of noticeable improvements, you need to step up... yes you notice the weight if your bike is in the stand. You know where you don't notice it????? On the freaking mountain!!
  • + 1
 We have been developing our system since 2015 And if we evaluate all other systems then it seems that ours is the best developed. We are on the way to start production ASAP. At the moment we make handmade made small series which were also used at the world cup in 2015. Models are for DH, Enduro, XC. The Video is in Italian language but we try to offer English version ASAP . Sorry

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWZ6gJ2Ygs8

www.bikesuspension.com
www.pepi.it
  • + 1
 We have been developing our system since 2015 And if we evaluate all other systems then it seems that ours is the best developed. We are on the way to start production ASAP. At the moment we make handmade made small series which were also used at the world cup in 2015. Models are for DH, Enduro, XC. The Video is in Italian language but we try to offer English version ASAP . Sorry

www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWZ6gJ2Ygs8

www.bikesuspension.com
www.pepi.it
  • + 1
 A bit offtopic but, i noticed the (longer?) aluminum seatstays on gwin's worlds bike. I missed the foam insert.

Back on topic, that insert looks like the ultimate rim protection to me. A well designed, tested and race approved product. And it comes in 26"!! Sweet.
  • + 1
 I like this ^ I wonder about making a modified valve stem like the FTR stem to avoid the step with the zip tie in this video.
  • + 1
 I did it to my dh and am bike it worx gr8. Its harder to set up than the vid shows but at $25 a wheel I am so happy with the set up. I run super low pressure and it does not get squirrelly. The outer tire provides tubeless style traction and the inner tire provides bump absorption. I run 15 psi front and 20 rear. It is awesome.
  • + 1
 @SlinkySammy: I was worried about drilling wholes in my rim. I knew about ghetto procore before seeing the vid but the vid gave me the confidence to do it.
  • + 1
 Might give this a try when my wheelset is ready for replacement, wouldn't hurt as much to drill the hole in them.
  • + 2
 @asboites: i really wouldn't worry about drilling the hole. Like the vid says, your rim probably already had 33 of them. I don't think it'll compromise the strength of the wheel any. I think I would run the valves on opposite ends of the wheel, unlike the vid, which are side by side. Just make sure you don't drill where the wheel was "joined" at the factory.
  • + 1
 @Gasket-Jeff: Got any suggestions for a tubular tire that works well for a 29mm id rim?
  • + 1
 @SlinkySammy: Yeah whatever CRC has on sale. Also do NOT pre inflate the tubular tire. I got some tufos for $23
  • + 2
 @Gasket-Jeff: Ya I thought about that. I suppose the way to do it is to inlate your main tire to get it to seat properly, then adjust to riding pressure, and then inflate the tubular to "lock" it in place.
  • + 1
 I was just about to post this! You can get these in some really light versions too..
  • + 1
 @SlinkySammy: Ask your mechanic if they do not have one used, preferably the most used one, it is lighter and it will do the same function
  • + 1
 if you are using deemax or 823 rims specially with schwalbe tires do not bother with any of this, mounting a tube is already a challenge, i tried to fit something similar and it is impossible!
  • + 0
 Didn't get through all the posts, but I like it. Switched to something like this on my moto last year and it was verrrry noticable. Plus, nice job mechanic dude (John Hall). I like the micro instruction, it's the little things. I will try it for sure
  • + 1
 So far procore rules, especially for downhill, e-bike...... Very easy to plop a tubeless and you can ride with 1.00-1.40 bar on a 2.35 tire without any problems. I'm waiting for it, but for the moment procore is it.
  • + 2
 Still $70 to 120 that's a lot of money, Huck Boris was this sorta price too, hopefully now there are a couple of options more companies will get involved and bring down price
  • + 1
 Ah FFA I hate autocorrect
  • + 11
 Somewhere in China there is a sweatshop taking delivery of masses of EVA foam and some cutting machines (people with Stanley knives and rulers) as we speak.
  • + 5
 Huck Norris is about $85 for a PAIR. This is $70 EACH.
  • + 3
 Cheaper than $230 for ProCore though and should last you a long time too.
  • + 8
 @dingus: Well, until 680d tyres and wheels come out.
  • + 8
 Then you can at least donate them to a poor '650b for life' peasant and then you'll get to feel good about yourself for a while.
  • + 20
 I am headed to home depot right now for some water heater line insulator and some velco, if that doesnt work im moving on to pool noodles. seriously, Jewpowered isn't a joke its a kosher way of life.
  • + 1
 @dingus: I did ghetto procore for $25 a wheel
  • - 1
 @Fix-the-Spade: HAHA They are made in USA.
  • + 4
 @RichardCunningham: these ones might be, but the ones you buy on eBay next week? If there's a market at this price, you can bet there's someone in China who can do a similar looking product at half the price for the same gross margin.
  • + 1
 @dsut4392: Agreed, how does the equivalent of a high density pool noodle justify a cost of $120!? Sure he's put a lot of R&D into it and has some big names behind it but cmon guys, its still a foam liner at the end of the day...
  • + 1
 @RichardCunningham: These may well be, but the inevitable tide of knock offs on Ebay and Ali Baba won't.
  • + 1
 for that weight penalty. give it back to the tire/tyre manufacturers.... we could be running full ust burly tires if your going to throw 275g+ back into your rotating mass
  • + 1
 If schwalbe could fix their terribly plagued dual valve core, their system is/would be very soid, but when you cant get your air pressues correct due do to the faulty core the system turns into Poo quickly..
  • + 2
 Why is no one talking about Cush core? They are out in Bend, Oregon.

The seem to offer better protection at a similar weight penalty. PB we await your comparison.
  • + 0
 Just saying I run the new stans flow ex rims with minion dhf exo casing. No problems so far (but have some leaks while in NZ) running 30 front 40 back (Luke Strobel hyperbole, probably run 25 front, 35 rear). No problems with this tire, pressure, rim, and sealant, but maybe I am just a lil bitch (been coming 3rd in local races tho).
  • + 3
 Will products like this allow narrow, lighter rims to make a comeback? No more rolling the tire off a skinny rim.
  • + 3
 I might just be lucky but ive never had a pinch flat whiles using tubless tyres !
  • + 1
 ya i never pinch the tire but i have torn a number of casings setup tubeless. i want a lightweight solution for that. until then i will just use dh tires (at least in the rear)
  • + 1
 @adrennan: not really ligthweight either, but yeah, that works great! Smile
  • + 0
 @Aprilfisheye: pretty much my only option. i am all ears if you have a lighter suggestion. i tend to use heavier parts if it means more reliability. the rider in my case can shave the weight off if needed.
  • + 3
 @savmeister
Nearly all of my flats come from pinching a tubeless tire. Occasional sidewall cut, but mostly all pinch flats. And that's at 25/30psi Front/Rear with a 2.3/2.4/2.5 EXO DHRII, Aggressor, DHF, Grid casing slaughter, Grid Butcher. I try to go much below 30 and it never fails that I get a pinch flat in the rear at some point by hitting some bony line at speed. Speaking for trail riding. At a park I try to run 28-30/34-35.
  • + 1
 You're not riding hard enough....
  • + 1
 @NeilB1979: ride smarter not harder
  • + 0
 number of shits given>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>^
  • + 1
 Sorry! Haha!
  • + 2
 I had these in my bmx bike 30 years ago as a tube replacement. It was a bitch to install and kind of heavy, but no rear flats!
  • + 2
 Sorry but what's with the big black foam thing in my rubbers do they come ribbed haha.
  • + 3
 Am I able to adjust the lsc/hsc on the "extra travel"?
  • + 1
 I'd give it a go if it tests well, super expensive for some closed cell foam though. The article title sounds like click-bait.
  • + 3
 nobody noticed beacause it looked like he's riding a tube
  • - 1
 There's another company, Tire Insert Technology that makes another (2-piece) insert set (Defender Buttress) to fill the void between the Defender's oval top and the tire casing to keep it positioned correctly. They are $26. Each. You need 4 total for both wheels.
  • + 2
 This is Gwin on Spec, we're talking about Gwin in 2016 on YT...
  • + 3
 that's from Leogang 2014, they're talking Val di Sole 2016
  • + 1
 @Gweggy: ah ok cool thanks
  • + 2
 Maybe good for racers, but not so to common man. Just install 2ply tires would be same weight and save money for beers.
  • + 0
 Yeah but I've been denting rims with 2ply on my dh bike. Cannot run tubeless anymore due to dents so for future rims I'm looking for protection.
  • + 1
 I always use tubes setup for its simplicity and cost as I am only a weekend warrior. No hassles using them rather than pumping it rock hard (35/40 psi)
  • + 1
 poor mans procore? id give that a try. i still think procore is the ultimate way forward with some more development, e.g. ergonomics and weight
  • + 2
 Search YouTube for ghetto procore
  • + 1
 Check out cush core. Same idea different shape, lower weight.... worth looking into indeed. P.s. Don't be a weight weeny!!!! Your bike weighs thirty pounds dammit!
  • + 2
 I thought of this up in a class science project 2 months ago now we wait for a ghetto replacement.
  • + 2
 Diy is best!
  • + 1
 Italian language only .sorry . That's our Tire Noodle system which we developed since 2015.
youtu.be/wWZ6gJ2Ygs8

www.bikesuspension.com
  • + 1
 The "Accomplishments" are due to the rider not this product,but either way this is something I would try.im sure I'll still break any bike I ride regardlessSmile
  • + 1
 Props for respecting the closure and not riding.
Day after(yesterday)was still too wet to ride although open.
  • + 2
 Same concept as a mousse, which motocross racers run in their tires.
  • + 2
 I like the idea buts its an absolute rip off!
  • + 7
 Then spend the time and money to fabricate test samples, do the testing and then come up with production and release a competing product for less.
  • - 2
 @Sam16-Adelaide
Lets see you bring a similar or superior product to market for less. Please. I DARE you. We will all be thankful too.
  • + 2
 @Sam16-Adelaide: At the age of 39 I think you should be old enough to figure out the difference.
  • + 1
 Thats MTB
  • + 1
 @Sam16-Adelaide:
Yeah these types of products have been around for a long time, but this one and huck norris are the only two that really seem to have any kind of reputation of being effective and worth their weight.
I agree, they are both bloody expensive, but there is obviously something more going on here that makes them so costly.
Just because something is more expensive doesn't mean they are making more money off of it. I'm sure they would have loved to be able to bring it to market for much less and be able to sell 1000x more units and get everyone and their brother riding their product. They likely had to have worked with a manufacturer to either find an existing material, or develop a new type of foam that had all of the characteristics they wanted, and being such a low production volume the costs are going to be crazy.
VPD, D30 and Sastech are all a type of foam and not cheap at all, but you cant just use some generic off the shelf stuff from your hardware or hobby store and expect the same characteristics.
So again, someone, anyone, please bring something better to market for less if these truly are a complete ripoff.
  • + 3
 Moose tube for MTB....
  • + 2
 I stopped reading when I read that it cost $70 retail PER TIRE
  • + 1
 All the old moto guys saying F*** yeah, Frank Stacy! Rode for KTM/Penton in the old days.
  • + 2
 procore!
  • + 1
 It's definitely Defending against the Huck Norris.
  • + 0
 Didn't Gwin have a flat at the worlds? So much about "flat tire defender" Smile
  • + 1
 Ive been rockin pool noodles in my tires for years
  • + 0
 Nice idea but someones already done it before...

www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
  • - 1
 A more informative/detailed video about the product here

www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bqQSDltjKQ
  • - 1
 Gwinn does not need any of that shi$ to win races, ohhh wait we mare mortals do!
  • + 0
 inner tube + tyre liner is cheaper and weighs similar if not less.
  • + 0
 @theminsta this looks to be better then Pro-core Eek Razz
  • + 0
 Except it's heavier by 75 grams! Interesting stuff as I can see how it would change the ride drastically :o
  • + 0
 Biggest benefit over Procore is the fact that it is carbon friendly.
  • + 1
 @theminsta: And it does not prevent burping as good as ProCore does, even though they are saying the opposite. Just think of how difficult it would be to mount a tire on it if it would already sit very tightly on the rim ;-)
  • + 0
 Dont tell Danny about these
  • + 1
 Heavy!
  • + 0
 Please compare to Procore...
  • + 0
 Used in motobikes cross/enduro tires since 80'...
  • + 0
 PB product review you wont see #102: Aaron Gwin's Chain Defender.
  • - 1
 So how does the weight of these compare to ProCore and Huck Norris? So far I'm loving procore but I'm open to other options.
  • + 0
 foam insert plus sealant? I'll stick with $8 tubes, thanks.
  • + 0
 The zip tie trick is pretty cool. I will use that for normal tire setup.
  • + 0
 I noticed it.
  • - 2
 No option for 27.5 wheels with a 35mm width. That's a shame because I like the look of Hope's new enduro rim.
  • - 3
 .60 lbs per tire..... why don't you cry about it you big baby!?
  • - 3
 So frank stacey not working for trek/bontrager ?
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