It's 2020 and flat tires are still a regular occurrence for some riders. Over the years there have been numerous valiant and not-so-valiant attempts to fix flats once and for all, and yet the problem still hasn't been completely solved. That is, until now. Atmospheric Solutions claim their new lightweight insert solution virtually eliminates the chance of getting a pinch flat. Based in Los Alamos, New Mexico, the company previously worked closely with the US military on flat-prevention solutions for armored vehicles before turning their attention to the mountain bike world.
Pressure Insert SyStem™ Details
• Quickly eliminates risk of pinch flats
• Compatible with all tire sizes
• Weight:1.225 kg/m³
• MSRP: $420 USD (includes insert installation tool)
• More info: Atmospheric Solutions
Heavy duty casings, foam inserts, and tubeless sealant mixed with magic glitter have all been used in the fight against flats, but the most effective solutions also tend to be the heaviest. That's the beauty of the new Pressure Insert SyStem™ – there's virtually no weight penalty, and it's also incredibly easy to fine tune. How does it work? First, the insert installation tool is pushed over the valve stem. Raising and lowering the handle will force the inserts into the tire. For maximum pinch flat protection, installing somewhere around 50 to 60 pressure inserts should do the trick. Once the gauge indicates the desired pressure insert level, simply remove the tool, close the valve, and head to the trails.
Now, the one possible downside is that traction and tire compliance can diminish if too many inserts are installed – it takes some experimentation to find the optimum number. Atmospheric Solutions has a handy tool on their web site
that helps riders choose the perfect number based on their weight, riding style, and geographic location.
The pressure inserts aren't available on their own, but the insert installation tool comes pre-loaded with a large supply that Atmospheric Solutions say should be enough to fill at least 50 tires. The tool is priced at $420 USD, which seems high, until you calculate the price of all those flats over the years.