Is Innova's ITT System The Next Step For Tubeless Tires? - Taipei Cycle Show

Mar 21, 2017
by Mike Levy  
2017 Taipei Cycle Show


Taipei Cycle Show


Innova isn't exactly a household name to most mountain bikers like Schwalbe or Maxxis is, but they're showing a clever integrated tire and tube system at the Taipei Cycle Show that is probably going to turn some heads. Their 'ITT' range tires employ what they're referring to as ''Integrated Tubeless Tech'' that, as the name suggests, combines the tire casing and tube into a single component. The final product is claimed to be slightly lighter than a standard tube'd setup, a touch heavier than tubeless, and not possible to pinch flat due to the construction of the insert and how it sits inside of the rim and tire.

So, why run this over a standard tubeless setup that so many of us use today, especially if Innova's system is heavier? A rep at their booth told me that the reason is two-fold; first, the integrated tube locks the tire onto any standard rim, with it being near impossible for the tire to blow off once installed. Second, installation is easier than a tight-fitting tubeless tire. I've neither ridden or installed an ITT tire, so I have no idea if those claims ring true, but it's interesting stuff nonetheless.


Taipei Cycle Show
Taipei Cycle Show


The ITT system isn't just half of a rubber tube glued to the inside of a tire casing. Instead, Innova takes a section of thin nylon and coats it in rubber before curing this together with the tire to create a single unit that can't ever come apart. The design uses a normal presta valve stem with a removable core, through which you can install sealant into the cavity between the casing and the liner, although you'll never be able to get the old, dried up sealant out once it has gone past its prime.

Innova says that, aside from the liner locking the tire onto the rim, the system actually 'feels' like a tubeless tire as well because the outer section of the tire casing is pretty much the same as any normal tubeless tire. In other words, an ITT tire should offer similar damping abilities as a normal tubeless tire, but with apparently zero chance of it ever coming off the rim when running extremely low air pressure. This is also what a lot of those new inserts claim to do, but Innova's ITT system doesn't add hundreds of grams to each wheel. That said, it also doesn't add the rim and flat protection that the Huck Norris, Cush Core et al. will provide. There is a similar system for dirtbikes, in case you're wondering where you've seen it before.
Taipei Cycle Show

There are currently four ITT-spec tire options, starting out with the 620-gram, 26'' x 2.0'' Mustang and 670-gram 27.5'' x 2.1'' Mustang, both of which are fast roll tires designed for cross-country use. At the other end of the spectrum is the burly looking Schist that comes in a 26'' x 2.5'' size (990-grams) or a 27.5'' x 2.5'' option (1,080-grams), both of which are essentially downhill tires with a folding bead. No word on pricing at this point, but I'd expect Innova's ITT tires to be priced as competitively as their standard options.


Innova ITT tires







142 Comments

  • + 340
 WOW, the next evolution in 'tubeless' is.....A tube. lol
  • + 27
 Perhaps a more accurate name for this system would be "tireless". There's some good slogans in that one, too.
  • + 17
 For those who were missing those pinch flats
  • + 29
 I'd say it's closer to a clincher than a tube. Prepare for next year! Innovation will be gluing the thing to you rim for ultimate burp protection!
  • + 22
 I bet it corners like schist with all those unnecessary knobs blocking the cornering channel.
  • + 8
 hahaha. Schist or ShChist ?, they have not decided the spelling
  • + 9
 @polarproton: Next year we'll just ride an inflatable hub. Large volume is good, right?
  • + 6
 @polarproton: my first thought was that this is a tubular clincher.
  • + 4
 @vinay: there is a hub that can change the pressure in your tires. i wish i was joking
  • + 4
 @polarproton: haha. I can see it now. MTB rims with bead lockers.
  • + 9
 And when you get a flat, now you're replacing the tire and the tube lol
  • + 3
 Duh! putting the tube back in tubeless is the future
  • + 5
 Is it Huck Norris compliant?
  • + 5
 They got the date for April Fools day mixed up is all. This was meant to come out next Saturday.
  • + 1
 Very self describing name. Didn´t get it at first. Accidentally pronounced the c and the s.
  • + 123
 Impossible to pinch flat? That's what they said about the Titanic.
  • + 41
 Does that mean the film is basically a sick edit leading up to a ride ending case?
  • + 28
 Hold on, a pinch flat caused the Titanic to sink? Well, you learn something new every day.
  • + 36
 @bigtim: That's what you get when you huck an iceberg.
  • + 4
 Turns out a fire sunk the Titanic.
  • + 26
 The Titanic was sunk by terrorism. Hit an ISISberg.
  • + 4
 That's a great name for a new sealant Titanic seals giant holes
  • + 53
 They should evolve this idea to have a removable insert that you can replace it for minimal outlay. No sealant, no mess, no fancy pumps and theyd take up hardly any room or weight. You could produce them in their billions very cheaply.
  • + 55
 Called "tubelessless"?
  • + 11
 I have to go and check but I might have something in the garage, from the ancient times, that’s quite similar to what you have described.
  • + 3
 @bishopsmike: you win all of the internets today. ALL OF THEM!!!
  • + 3
 @bishopsmike: i'll go halves with you on the IP for this. We'll be millionaires by xmas.*phones Taiwan
  • - 8
flag davehuffstetler (Mar 22, 2017 at 8:31) (Below Threshold)
 like a tube???
  • + 17
 congrats @davehuffstetler you get the joke!!
  • + 2
 Accidentally neg propped ya, your idea is flawless!!
  • + 1
 Totally tubular dude!
  • + 1
 Down the tubes
  • + 51
 Yep. You read it correctly. Tubeless tyre with an inner tube. Wow. Imagine the design team meeting on this one. They must have been at it all night.
  • + 87
 I like to imagine that the were all stoned and that it went something like:

"Man, what if like... the tyre... is the tube?"

"Whoa dude, that's deep bro."
  • + 16
 Not up as long as the marketing team
"How the hell are we going to sell this as being something other than a tube"
  • + 4
 @SacAssassin: "hey...got an idea. Call it Enduro Tube and they'll sell like hot cakes". And back to sleep. ZZZZZZ
  • + 48
 All the puncture protection of a tube, with all the replacability of a tire. Awesome.
  • - 26
flag stevocxt (Mar 22, 2017 at 6:23) (Below Threshold)
 "All the puncture protection of a tube"??? I haven't had any punctures since switching to tubeless about 2 years ago. That's half the point of tubeless!!!!
  • + 13
 @stevocxt: I think that's his point.
  • + 6
 @stevocxt: #sarcasm
  • + 1
 Exactly. And a tire isn't that replaceable as well, at least compared to a tube.
  • + 3
 All the puncture protection of a tube, with all the replacability of a tire, at the cost of a wheel. Aces!!!
  • + 25
 They've done these for years, branded as Love tyres first, then Slime did them with gunk pre-installed. The main problem is you can't patch tears without cutting the tube part out. With modern tubeless as it is, it's a solution looking for a problem!
  • + 4
 Exactly! Kind of as good a tubeless, but more expensive (I'm certain), heavier (even without sealant) and can't patch or repair anything. So if you hate to be like everyone else...
  • + 2
 Thanks, I was trying to remember the name of those love tires. I remember them being green with a strange semi slick tread pattern.. for dh
  • + 1
 I was trying to find more info on love tires a while ago cause I had them on my bike way back and a friend had no clue what I was talking about! This is exactly the same as those! Also I couldnt find anything about them, like they just vanished.
  • + 1
 Bingo, I was going to mention the same thing! I had several pairs of Love tires when they were first introduced to the states. Heavy, to say the least. Did have better than tubed rolling resistance.
  • + 1
 @omclive: Green or orange!
  • + 25
 Transformers - inner tubes in disguise.
  • + 1
 Transformers - Love Tires in disguise!
  • + 20
 read the headline... saw the pics... went straight to the comments... thanks for the laugh everyone.
  • + 7
 @BigKahunaASE isn't that what you're supposed to do on PB? haha
  • + 17
 Well at least they're offering 26' versions?
  • + 10
 I remember seeing exactly this system in a bike shop in the late 1990's I think it was Geax, but I could be wrong. Those tires I saw like this was even before UST was invented. It seems like if it didn't take off then, something must not quite add up with this idea.
  • + 2
 Yeah, i feel like Tioga did something like this ages ago as well
  • + 3
 I had a very similar tire called Love Tires, almost 20 years ago... They made the same type of inner tube as these Itt.
  • + 2
 It was slime, back in 2005-ish.... They were trying to brand their own tubeless tire with a bladder just like this with their shitty green goop inside.... The tread pattern is all that worked..... Kinda....
  • + 4
 it was Love Tires, started by the original owners of Onza. It was around 2000 if I recall correctly
  • + 1
 @VicSandrin: The Love tires (they called them "Semi-Tubeless") and the Slime tires (They called it LST, as in "Love Semi-Tubeless") were manufactured by Innova. Early 2000s is right. I still have a pair of the Slime tires in my old tire pile.
www.pinkbike.com/photo/14534832
www.pinkbike.com/photo/14534831
www.pinkbike.com/photo/14534830
  • + 7
 What if something pierces my tire and I can't get it out from the outside? To be honest I don't see how this system could possibly succeed. Too many downsides. Looks like they didn't think it through. Also not being able to remove the old sealant is kind of a bummer for those who don't ride that often to wear out the tires fast.
  • + 4
 But they re marketed the wheel. A lot bigger then a tiny bit bigger and everyone bought them. No reason why they wouldn't buy the tyre tube. Lol
  • + 0
 @betsie: Wow drunk much?
  • + 8
 @TheJD spot on.

"The difference between something that might go wrong, and something that can't possibly go wrong, is that when something that can't possibly go wrong goes wrong, it proves impossible to get at or fix." - Douglas Adams
  • + 2
 @sideshowb: that is the most apt quote that has ever been used in any situation ever
  • + 7
 1x systems with easy interchangeable chain rings (with allen key) and tires with tubes in them i thought i would never see the day.. brave new times we live in..amazing.. .. ..
  • + 3
 One positive is no mess from sealant when changing tyres. I know most people who run tubeless stick with the same tyres more or less all year round, whereas I still run tubes because I like being able to change tyres to suit the conditions, this would definitely be an option for me depending on tread performance vs life vs cost.
  • + 3
 Seems like a bad idea. What happens when you do pinch flat? The kind where you slice the tread between a rock and the rim? With a tubeless tire you have the ability to install a tube out in the field. What about protection from thorns and other pin hole leaks?- no sealant to thwart those. The only upside seems to be ease of installation and at this point, with a proper tubeless rim and tire, it's not all that hard. Tough sell here.
  • + 6
 It isn't anything new... I saw something like that a couple years ago in my local bike shop. I bet it still there
  • + 2
 Bike industry just trolling at this point...see how dumb consumers and blogs can be to actually hype a reduntant product. I bet next year hydration packs are going to be making a comeback with some new feature that existed in 2003
  • + 6
 How do you repair a sidewall slice with this? Oh you don't? Ok never mind.
  • + 2
 Not sure if anyone remembers Love Tires from the early 2000's. It was started by the original owners of Onza, this was their design and it worked well. Never took off but I do believe Innova was making the tires back in the day. what's old is new again.
  • + 5
 I dont know. I just dont know.
  • + 1
 Well, that demonstrates why Innova will remain undetectable in the mtb market. Shoddy looking rip-off tires with a tube glued in so that you have to throw your tire away if you can't patch the hole in the tube, which will happen because it is a tube and pinch flats are inevitable. A village somewhere is missing an idiot or two...
  • + 1
 "...Starting out with the 620-gram, 26'' x 2.0'' Mustang and 670-gram 27.5'' x 2.1'' Mustang, both of which are fast roll tires designed for cross-country use."

False. Those are not Cross Country tire sizes. Might as well be 195/60/15.
  • + 2
 tubular tire with a Kevlar bead. Not really all that new. I'll stick with tubeless, just stop casing jumps or add air pressure. if ur pinch flatting that often then I'd look at your technique instead of blaming the bike...
  • + 1
 After my stubborn refusal to go tubeless for years, then converting one bike last year to tubeless and having ZERO flats for 12 months, compared to my 4 flats on my tubed bike (the rims aren't tubeless, at all. Think it was a manufacturing/marketing error. No inner lip, tire pops itself off the bead when deflated) I can't see a reason to go back to a tube type tire of any design.
  • + 1
 I haven't had a flat in 7 years haha, I used to get a flat once a month?
  • + 1
 Mmm, I like the idea but it bothers me nobody has tried it before, except on the road, where ironically tubeless is now a "thing". I suspect that this system will cause more problems than a well sorted tubeless set up. For instance if the tube or whatever it is called does manage to get holed, will the sealant work against the inside of the rim?
  • + 4
 Isn't it just a beaded tubular? A tub for clinchers, anyway I'm talking roadie, I'll see myself out.....
  • + 1
 @Mike Levy
Do you have to use sealant with the included tube?
It would be easier to run without the "milk" for most riders.
I personally haven't ever installed a tubeless tire and have no experience with sealant. I would prefer a system without.
  • + 4
 Enjoy your punctures.
  • + 3
 It really is super easy, with the right rim and tire combo. The pros of a tubeless system heavily outweigh any possible cons, the only one I have seen is slightly more routine maintenance.
  • + 2
 Then I think I would prefer a classic tubeless setup.
  • + 1
 You could (theoretically) just add stans through the valve core. I'm not sure where you ride, but not having thorn protection in the high desert is a disaster waiting to happen. A little hole that you wouldn't even notice if you have sealant can ruin a ride if you don't.
  • + 1
 This would have been a million dollar idea 5-6 years ago before tubeless tires and rims became the norm. I could see some racers doing this for their rear tire just for the pinch flat protection. But the tire itself has to be as good as the competition to even think about it...
  • + 5
 Think I'm going to invent the wheel again !
  • + 1
 Wow, someone actually managed to combine the worst of clinchers and tubulars into a single product. What will this company think of next? Maybe the travelless suspension fork or rim mount cantalever disc brake.
  • + 0
 what's the cost? I'm sitting here visiting with my pops, and the first thing he said when I showed him the picture was "hmm, bet that's expensive." If they could make this competitively priced (i.e. in the $50-$70 range), could be a winner. If not, I'm not impressed at all.
  • + 0
 Haters gonna hate, i guess...

Though i see the cons, and i'm usually a hater myself, i'd actually give this thing a try, out of sheer curiosity if nothing else.

I think most of its' advantages would benefit the beginner/intermediate riders who would opt for simplicity and ease of use over serviceability and maximum performance. I can set up a tubeless setup in 10 minutes, but most people i've seen still think it's voodoo magic and for them- simplicity is key.
  • + 0
 This is my reply to BobbyHillBomb and the rest of you.

I'm so impressed how you handle peer pressure just because the trend started you have to follow thru to look and sound cool by making sure you give it even a bigger failure handle then your peers. Yet you and your peers have never seen or tried IIT, tires. Wow all of you must have extra ordinary talents to pass judgment on a product by just looking at it (in pictures of all that).

I'm sure if Maxxis or Schwalbe or Kenda put out the same technology everyone would have a different tone, cause they're the cool companies. That's the same attitude I got from people like you when I introduced the Bar-End in 1987, sure they come and go in XC racing and other type of bike riding now days, but now one manufacture makes 3.5 million Bar-Ends a Month!

Same thing when I designed the Panaracer Smoke & Dart tire, people like you and your peers thought they were the most ridiculous over sized knob tires ever, even Specialized put out ads saying anyone who makes big knobs like that don't know anything about tire design... Yet, Smoke, Dart and the Porcupine went on to win every championship title in the world in 1990. Smoke is still a tire that can hold and its celebrating its 25th Anniversary, how many tires do you know that still sell and perform like that after 25 years.

If people like you designed cars, we'd still have square wheels cause your mind is so plugged up with "self image issues", and the thought of making round wheels would be uncool cause the fear that your peers would laugh at you.

By the way, you can thank Panaracer Smoke and Dart, for launching MAXXIS the brand owned by CST. Imagine if I didn't create the Smoke & Dart, your cool brand Maxxis Brand would have not existed, and how do I know this? Because I was the one CST came to after they saw the success of the SMOKE tire and they begged me to help them start a high end brand in 1991.

I can't tell you how many times I had to endure people like you inside the industry, where eventually they grew up apologized and became my friends as their minds open like parachutes and were astonished to see they worked.

Next time before you, and all of you who placed such negative judgement, try being men for a day, try it first before your call it Sh%t, or pass on any gas out of your mouth. You just might be blown away.

Sincerely,
OPENMIND101
Dan Sotelo
  • + 1
 Are people really having those much trouble with tubeless that all theses recent 'innovations' are needed. I run 25 psi in 2.3 tyres and can't remember when I last got a flat or a burp
  • + 1
 I mean I get the concept... but how low can of a pressure could you run in these before inner-tube thingy doesn't effectively hold the bead leaving your rim hanging out there... smash, smash, SMAAASH.
  • + 1
 Whats old is new again...except to mid-30s Pinkbike staff where whatever a manufacturer says they did first is the gospel truth and nevermind what Geax, Slime and Love (original Onza founders) did 15-20 years ago.
  • + 1
 Does anybody else think the quest to continually innovate for the sake of innovating gets out of hand a little bit. The need to reinvent the wheel (pun totally intended) is getting a little ridiculous.
  • + 1
 wow.....the marketing team stooped to new lows with this one. just bring back 26" wheels already.....i cant wait to see how they spin that one.
  • + 1
 My 1902 Cresent has the tube and tire as one so Im not sure how innovative this is, So if you get a Flat you need to Buy a 90 dollar tire ......... ? No thanks
  • + 1
 Tubes glued to tires... because the average biker and PB reader has the money to replace both at once. Perhaps this was a child of drunk science?
  • + 3
 Q: Is Innova's ITT System The Next Step For Tubeless Tires?
A: No
  • + 3
 Is the innovation part worth anything if you're stuck using a shit tire?
  • + 1
 No no no, it's Schist.
  • + 1
 they should make a better version of this tubeless system, where the tube and the tyre are independent, so if you have a flat you just can patch it or change the tube
  • + 4
 Just say no.
  • + 1
 I saw this & went directly to the comments. No disapointment whatsoever. Hilarious
  • + 2
 Leaving because all the good Schist jokes are already taken.
  • + 1
 Test it, break it, improve on it, sell it. They'll buy it up like little hot cakes.
  • + 2
 Be carefull, April is coming.....
  • + 2
 I'm not sure what it is supposed to be, but it won't twist my rubber arm.
  • + 2
 It's a tubular tire with wings.
  • + 2
 you gotta be shiting me, anytime now 26" will be back
  • + 1
 Well if this is really a revival of Love Tires from the 2000's then 26" better be right around the corner.
  • + 1
 I just pulled a tire off a Wal-Mart bike that was exactly like this!! Hahaha.
  • + 1
 What the Schist is this? I have a feeling PB posted this for their own entertainment and for that, I don't blame them :-)
  • + 1
 They should invent a rubber tubular thing that goes in tyres and can be easily replaced if you get a puncture.......oh wait!
  • + 1
 @innova here's a tip - integrate / sandwich some closed cell foam or similar inside tubeless tire and patent it.
  • + 2
 Soooooo is this a tubular clincher? The f*ck?
  • + 2
 Aw hell this looks like it's gonna be the schist!
  • + 2
 What are the downsides of not being able to remove old sealant?
  • + 2
 Gradual transition of sealant from useful substance to pointless rotating unsprung mass? Nothing else, really.
  • + 1
 fresh sealant also makes a b line for the big rubber snow ball and adds to it not your leaks.
  • + 2
 Awesome. The schist looks badass!
  • + 1
 At this point we should just go back to the days where tires were just solid rubber like on a shopping cart
  • + 2
 So a tube that's integrated into the tire is not a tube?
  • + 2
 Feel asleep, woke up...

It's April 1st?
  • + 2
 Half way between Nino Schurters Dugast tubulars and standard tubeless?
  • + 1
 they should call it the u-tube
  • + 1
 Is it the 1st of April already?
  • + 1
 Silly people. They spelled Scheiße wrong!
  • + 1
 hello, tufo, are you there?
  • + 1
 Half the people I know don't even ride tubeless. haters gotta hate....
  • + 2
 ...looks schist
  • + 2
 Not a new thing.
  • + 1
 Solving problems that never existed.
  • + 2
 They misspelled "shit."
  • + 1
 I'm so impressed how you handle peer pressure just because the trend started you have to follow thru to look and sound cool by making sure you give it even a bigger failure handle then your peers. Yet you and your peers have never seen or tried IIT, tires. Wow all of you must have extra ordinary talents to pass judgment on a product by just looking at it (in pictures of all that).

I'm sure if Maxxis or Schwalbe or Kenda put out the same technology everyone would have a different tone, cause they're the cool companies. That's the same attitude I got from people like you when I introduced the Bar-End in 1987, sure they come and go in XC racing and other type of bike riding now days, but now one manufacture makes 3.5 million Bar-Ends a Month!

Same thing when I designed the Panaracer Smoke & Dart tire, people like you and your peers thought they were the most ridiculous over sized knob tires ever, even Specialized put out ads saying anyone who makes big knobs like that don't know anything about tire design... Yet, Smoke, Dart and the Porcupine went on to win every championship title in the world in 1990. Smoke is still a tire that can hold and its celebrating its 25th Anniversary, how many tires do you know that still sell and perform like that after 25 years.

If people like you designed cars, we'd still have square wheels cause your mind is so plugged up with "self image issues", and the thought of making round wheels would be uncool cause the fear that your peers would laugh at you.

By the way, you can thank Panaracer Smoke and Dart, for launching MAXXIS the brand owned by CST. Imagine if I didn't create the Smoke & Dart, your cool brand Maxxis Brand would have not existed, and how do I know this? Because I was the one CST came to after they saw the success of the SMOKE tire and they begged me to help them start a high end brand in 1991.

I can't tell you how many times I had to endure people like you inside the industry, where eventually they grew up apologized and became my friends as their minds open like parachutes and were astonished to see they worked.

Next time before you, and all of you who placed such negative judgement, try being men for a day, try it first before your call it Sh%t, or pass on any gas out of your mouth. You just might be blown away.

Sincerely,
OPENMIND101
Dan Sotelo
  • + 1
 From tubeless back to tubes, looks like we've come full circle.
  • + 1
 They forgot the talc and an idea was born.
  • + 1
 What a waste of time, money and advertising budget. Gimmick
  • + 1
 Color me unimpressed.
  • + 1
 Tube less tube ha ha
  • + 1
 Inner Tube !!!!

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