Update 2018: it seems Golden Tyre have withdrawn this product
I’ve been experimenting and following various tubeless tyre solutions over the years because tubeless is the way to go on the long road. Why? because punctures – your most likely breakdown – can be easily and reliably fixed in a jiffy (read this for the long version).
In 2017 Italian tyre maker Golden Tyre came up with a new idea to the old problem of running tubeless on a spoked rim. Their Flite Tubeless System (FTS) had a thick inner tube permanently bonded 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 spike-ram-plug thing and jog on if you’re not running Slime (right) or a similar sealant.
Because the tube is bonded to the tyre 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The drawback (apart from them being withdrawn) was they only came in 140/80 18″ and 21″ and cost from £150 each from Adventure Spec, but if you factor in the possible cost of needing to convert to tubeless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 – still pretty expensive 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? (Nowhere). That’s always been the problem on the road – and is why long-wearing do-it-all tyres like the Heidenau K60 or Mitas E07 are worthwhile.
Seemingly no longer available despite a good review on Adv Spec, the bodger in me wonders if I could bond a regular inner tube to the inside of a tyre and achieve the same effect? Thing is, I bet GT did more than just glue a tube into the tyre – I suspect it was vulcanised. Otherwise, it would have to be a brilliant DIY glue job to avoid any air pockets as any heat might see it all delaminate.