Why you should go tubeless
The tires used in the motorcycling can be classified into two main types, depending on how the air is kept inside:
In the automobile sector the “tube type” tyre has been practically abandoned since the end of the ’70s because it was inadequate for the increasing performance of cars. Although there are many disadvantages if compared to “tubeless”, in the motorcycle sector the tube type continues to be widespread due to the incompatibility of the tubeless tire with spoked wheels.
Benefits of the tubeless tire
Why should we prefer a tubeless tire for our bike? In facts there are numerous advantages to using tubeless. Let’s see them briefly:
Less risk in case of puncture, no valve breakage, optimal adhesion.
Fuel and tyres consuption
Reduced weight and friction, less tread wear.
Performance and driveability
Less power absorbtion, greater suspension readiness, less gyro effect.
Reliability and reparability
76/5000 It can be repaired with a simple kit, without replacing the tube.
Less tubes, less energy to produce them, less waste to dispose of.
Really a simple tubeless tire can bring all these advantages compared to the traditional tube type one? Sure, let’s see how:
In case of puncture
One of the best known benefits of the tubeless is its behavior in case of puncture: the escape of air from a tube type can be sudden and dangerous, especially at high speeds. Why?
tube type tire:
the air passes between the inner tube and the tire, escaping from the accidental puncture as well as from the valve and nipples’ holes.
the air can escape only by the accidental hole, so the tire deflates more gently thus reducing risk of loss of control.
The tubeless is easier to repair
in case of punture, using the appropriate kits avalaible on the market and without replacing the tube.
Breakage of the valve
Puncture is not the only drawback that can cause pressure loss and so-called “flat tire”: due to the continuous mechanical stress caused by running, the inner tube can slip around the rim dragging the valve with it. As long as this latter is bound to the rim and can’t move with the tube, the effort could cut the valve causing the immediate deflation of the wheel.
In the tube type
the valve is attached to the tube and it passes through a specific hole in the rim
Tube could rotate inside the tire
during running dragging the valve with it. In the long run, this could cause the valve to break.
In the tubeless tire this problem does not exist because the valve is fixed only to the rim and it’s therefore not subject to mechanical stresses.
Then, in summary:
in case of puncture.
+ easy to repair
with on-market kits.
the valve does not break anymore.
But this is not over yet! Now let’s go a little further into the technology:
Optimal pressure distribution
physics teaches us that the air pressure is distributed equally
around the tube; this in turn transmits the force to the tire through its own elasticity and its own form. However, the air chamber does not fit perfectly to the tire, so basically the pressure is unevenly applied: this leads to a deformation of the tire and with a non-optimal tire-surface contact area.
With the tubeless, on the other hand, the air pressure applies directly on the tire structure, distributing itself optimally.
Reduction of masses
between 0,8 and 2 kilos:
this could be the weight of a single tube of a motorcycle!
- The mass of the inner tube contributes to the overall mass of the vehicle: as this is greater, the more it absorbs power, negatively affecting performance and consumption.
- Moreover, the air chambers is an “unsprung mass”. The unsprung mass should be as smaller as possible, especially in relation with sprung mass, to increase the responsiveness of the suspensions, improving comfort and road holding (→what are sprung and unsprung masses?)
- Finally, the inner tube is a rotating mass distributed along the outer limit of the wheel: this means a noticeable gyroscopic effect (→ what?) that, when excessive, can compromise the handling of the bike.
therefore, removing the inner tubes:
lower power consumption: more performance, less fuel
responsiveness of suspension: more safety and comfort,
thanks to a better relationship between →sprung/unsprung mass.
less gyroscopic effect
allows better handling of the bike (→what is gyroscopic effect?).
less waste to dispose of
less carbon dioxide produced, between 0,8 and 2 kilos of waste saved for each wheel!
Frictions are generated between the inner tube and the tire, due to the deformations of both, especially in the shoulder of the tire. This necessarily involves:
- power consumption, that affects negatively performance, fuel consumption and carbon dioxide production
- overheating of the tire, that reduce lifetime and affects negatively performance, comfort and driveability.
The tubeless removes these problems by completely eliminating the friction due to the inner tube.
The tire overheats
because of the friction between it and the inner tube.
The friction between tire and inner tube contributes to increase the rolling friction: this means that the wheel absorbs more power to move forward, affecting performance and fuel consumption. Furthermore, this absorbed power is dissipated in heat, which causes the tire to overheat. A tire that is too hot further penalizes performance, but also comfort and driveability. In addition, a superheated tire will wear out faster and must be replaced first.
therefore, removing the inner tubes:
less power consuption: more performance and less waste of fuel.
best tire performance.
of tire, that will be replaced less often