WHAT IS A TUBELESS SYSTEM?
Simply put, a tubeless system allows a tire to seal air tight directly to a rim without the need for an inner tube. Far from a new idea, tubeless tires became a standard in the world of motorsports in the mid-1950s, but it took another 50 years for the technology to start taking over bicycle tires.Why the delay? For one thing bicycle tires and rims were never manufactured to particularly high tolerances, and the variations from one rim and tire combination to another made inflatable inner tubes a necessity. Its also been traditionally more difficult to keep a tubeless system light enough to work on a bike designed for performance.
The first “Universal Standard” tubeless system appeared in the year 2000 and combined thicker, heavier tires with rims that had valve stems and no spoke holes. The added weight and minimal tire selection of these early systems was frustrating, but many people also found it tough to keep the tires sealed. That’s where we came in.
In 2001 we developed a liquid sealant that allowed almost any tire to be used without tubes. We also offered our own more secure valve stems, special rim strips designed to work with conventional rims, and special sealing tape. Our complete tubeless system weighed less, rolled faster, cornered and climbed better and sealed itself almost instantly when punctured. Word spread fast, and Stan’s NoTubes Sealant quickly became a necessity for pro racers and riders around the world.
The knowledge we gained converting countless wheel and tire combinations went directly into the development of our own rim, a radical departure from conventional designs. Lighter, more reliable, and much easier to use without tubes, our Bead Socket Technology rims have become the standard by which all other tubeless systems are judged.
Since we developed our first tubeless system and rim designs, so many similar “new tubeless systems” have entered the market that the whole idea of tubeless has started to seem pretty complicated, as if there are many different systems out there. In fact, there’s really only one. We wrote the book on today’s tubeless technology, and it’s a quick read. The simple system we developed is made up of five key pieces, and the majority of similar products on the market rely on these same pieces:
• Rim strip or sealing tape
• Valve Stem for inflation
• Liquid sealant
While almost any rim can be sealed to work without a tube, the best tubeless systems rely on a rim specifically designed to help create an airtight seal with the tire. Our rims offer an innovative center channel shape and bead lock area that help guide a tire into place during inflation and ensue an airtight seal.
Our rim strips and rim tape are designed specifically to seal the spoke holes found in most rims. While some manufacturers offer rims with no spoke holes, our rim strips and tape allow almost any rim to be sealed.With no inner tube necessary, a simple valve stem is required in order to inflate the tie. We offer valve stems with removable valve cores, making it easier than ever to inject sealant into your tire.
While original tubeless-specific ties were heavy and inflexible, today's “tubeless-ready” tires are lighter and far easier to seal. Freedom of choice was one of our original design goals in creating the NoTubes system, and our system is compatible with the widest range of tires available. The heart of our tubeless system remains our NoTubes Sealant. Because bicycle tires are thinner and lighter than those on cars and motorcycles, sealant is the key ingredient that makes tubeless bike tires airtight and self-sealing. While many similar products have entered the market since, our liquid sealant continues to offer the best sealing capability and the longest life. Lighter than an inner tube, true tubeless sealant remains liquid inside the tire, but is drawn to the friction of escaping air and can plug even fairly large rips and holes almost instantly.