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Digital Subscriptions > Bikes Etc > March 2018 > TUBELESS TYRES


Say goodbye to punctures and hello to a faster, smoother ride!


Clincher tyres are pretty easy to get your head around: The tyre itself is constructed with a cloth casing (usually nylon), to which a rubber tread is glued to provide grip on the road, while a wire ‘bead’ along each edge hooks inside the wheel rim to keep the tyre in place. An airtight inflatable inner tube, made of butyl rubber or latex, is then inserted inside the tyre, with a valve to stop the air escaping.

It’s a pretty good system, and very user-friendly, although racers tend to prefer tubular tyres, which have the inner tube integrated into the casing and no bead – instead they are glued to the wheel rim. These tubulars are lighter, suppler and therefore faster than clinchers.However, they’re also a real faff to it and it’s much harder to repair punctures.

But there’s also a third option: tubeless tyres – reinforced clincher tyres fitted to airtight rims, doing away with the need for an inner tube. Fans claim three key advantages over regular clinchers:

1 BETTER PUNCTURE PROTECTION – liquid sealant inside the tyre instantly plugs any small holes. In theory, it works quickly enough that hardly any air will be lost, so you shouldn’t even notice when you get a puncture!

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E-BIKES This month, we give you everything you ever wanted to know about e-bikes, delivered in an alphabet style run down that even manages to include the letter Q, but only just.
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