As you may know, I’ve been experimenting and following various tubeless tyre solutions over the years as tubeless is the way to go on the long road. Why? because punctures – your most likely breakdown on the road – can be easily and reliably fixed in a jiffy (see the link for the long explanation).
Golden Tyre – the unfortunately named Italian tyre maker – has come up with a new idea to the old problem of running tubeless on a spoked rim. The Flite Tubeless System (FTS) has a thick inner tube bonded permanently to the carcass of a hard wearing GT723 Rally Adv tyre creating a new thing: a tubeless-tubetyre.
This means that unlike a foam mousse, you can meddle with the pressures, but also unlike a mousse when the tyre is punctured it will go flat. But! – like a tubeless tyre, you just do the ram-plug thing and jog on if you’re not running Slime (right) or a similar sealant were hoping for the best.
Because the tube is bonded to the tyre you imagine there’s less heat from tube-to-tyre friction at low, flexy pressures, and mounting should be a little easier – certainly easier than mousses, they say. The FTS is lighter than a mousse too. And of course they’ll fit and work on any rim, whether it has the all-important tubeless tyre lip (left) or not. That was the problem I had on my WR recently: all set to fit an Outex tubeless system (right, not my wheel) to the back wheel until I noticed it had no tyre-bead retaining lips. Without them slow leakage is likely.
The drawback – well they only come in two sizes right now, and they cost from £150 each from Adventure Spec, but if you factor in the possible cost of needing to convert to tubeless rims (as I could have done with the WR), maybe it works out. A regular GT723 is only some £30 cheaper – pretty expensive tbh, when my similar Mitas Rockriders (right) cost about half that. And for travelling, when your FTS GT723 wears out, where will you get a new one? Well that’s always been the problem with getting any good tyre on the road – and is why long-wearing ones like the Heidenau K60 or Mitas E07 are worthwhile.
If they ever come in my bike size, I hope to try one, although the bodger in me wonders if you could bond a regular inner tube to the inside of a regular tyre, and achieve the same effect? Thing is, I bet GT do more than just glue a tube into the tyre – I suspect it’s vulcanised or something. Otherwise, it would have to be a brilliant DIY glue job as any heat might see it all delaminate.