Tubeless tyres are offered with almost all new vehicles in the Nepalese market today. Vehicle manufacturers even advertise tubeless tyres as one of the vehicle features. So, what is a tubeless tyre? A tubeless tyre is very similar to a traditional tyre, only that it has no tube inside. Air in the tyre is retained between the rim and tyre itself, with the use of an airtight seal. Tubeless tyres have several advantages over tubed tyres and are far more numerous on today's bikes. Among those advantages are that they run cooler, so can cope with higher performance and give longer mileage. Their construction is stiffer than tubed so they don't deflate rapidly and deform like older tubed tyres. But if you ride an older bike with spoked rims that use tubed tyres your choice of tubed tyres to use is getting more limited all the time. However, you can fit tubeless tyres with tubes, but there are caveats. If the inside of the tyre is ribbed, that can chafe against the tube, generating heat and wear. So ideally you want a tyre with a smooth interior, or get the tyre fitters to use loads of French chalk to ‘lubricate’ the tube/tyre. Be aware that fitting a tube reduces the speed rating of the tyre, so a W-rated tyre that’s good for 167mph, becomes an H-rated tyre that has a maximum rating of 130mph. When you change to a different make of tyre from the original equipment run them at the tyre firms’ recommended pressures, not the bike maker's
No matter how fancy your car is, one of its most crucial elements is the set of tyres that it sits on. Proper tyre upkeep is extremely important because not paying attention to them could result in poor driving dynamics, a dangerous on-road situation which could end in an accident or having to bear the high cost of replacement. Tube-type pneumatic tyres in particular require a lot of care because they puncture easily, a situation which can be extremely dangerous when driving.Since its invention, the tubeless tyre has been a revelation in the automotive industry as it helps mitigate or at least lower the probability of some of the aforementioned issues. Here's a look at how tubeless technology is a huge improvement over older tube-type tyres.
When a pneumatic tyre goes over a sharp object, the intrusion can pop the tube that lies within the outer rubber casing. The tube plays the most important part of keeping the tyre in shape and once it's pierced, the pressurized air within it air escapes almost instantly and at a rapid rate. This sudden drop in pressure can result in the driver losing control over the vehicle which, at higher speeds, can result in a bad road accident.
Tubeless tyres function without the need of a separate tube within the tyre casing. The rubber tyre itself forms an airtight seal around the rim on which it's mounted. To withstand the high pressure of the air inside, the edges (or 'beads') of tubeless tyres are enforced with steel wires that press up against the rim upon proper inflation thereby preventing the air within from escaping. The air valve used to inflate such tyres, is fixed onto the rim itself as it allows air to be pumped directly into the space between the tyre and rim. By not having a tube, if a sharp object were to get stuck in a tubeless tyre, the air would escape at a much slower rate allowing the driver ample time to slow down and pull up safely on the side of the road or in the case of a small puncture, drive to the nearest garage to get the tyre fixed. Here's a look at some of the major advantages of tubeless tyre technology.
By doing away with the added mass of an inner rubber tube, tubeless tyres weigh much lesser than pneumatic ones. This helps keep the gross weight of the car down and allows for better driving dynamics. The car handles better and feels lighter, thereby giving the driver a much more connected and enjoyable driving experience.
Tubeless tyres also have a lower rolling resistance than their pneumatic equivalents because of their lightness. This improves the engine's efficiency as the car is able to cover an equivalent distance with lesser strain on the engine. They also don't heat up or vibrate as much as pneumatic tyres which helps reduce NVH levels within the cabin.
A tubeless tyre naturally has lesser components. This means that repairs and upkeep are both simple and relatively cost effective. In the case of a puncture, all one has to do is separate the tyre from the rim, find the puncture spot on the inside of the tyre and patch it up by first plugging the hole with a puncture strip and then sealing it by using rubber cement. Finally, re-inflate the tyre to its rated pressure and make sure that the puncture is sealed properly. Tubeless tyre repair kits are easily available and can be found at most tyre shops.
Tubeless tyres also happen to be much more durable than pneumatic ones. This makes them more convenient to live with as they don't require too much attention, last much longer, and are easy on the pocket. They are also less prone to getting seriously damaged if driven on in a punctured state. The slow rate of air loss in a flat tubeless tyre allows the car to be driven over short distances without running the risk of physically damaging the tyre as the only component that may get damaged is the air valve, that too if only if the tyre is completely flat. Tubeless tyres have the advantage to be filled with liquid sealants. If a sharp object does put a hole in a tubeless tyre, the liquid sealant immediately oozes out and dries up, sealing the hole. This enables you to travel longer, without having to stop to fix a puncture.
Since air is contained in the tubeless tyre itself, and not in the tube, driving at high speeds will be stable as the air in the tyre is also stable. With a tube, there are chances of uneven pressure, which will make the car wobble at high speeds. Also, since a tube type tyre has more components (tyre, tube, rim) compared to a tubeless tyre (tyre and rim), performance and efficiency are better with a tubeless tyre. While driving at high speeds, a tube type tyre will have friction with the tyre, which increases the temperature of the tube and there are chances of the tube exploding. A tyre/ tube explosion at high speeds calls for disaster. Tubeless tyres do not have this risk. Tubeless tyres are lighter compared to tube type tyres, which in turn affects the mileage of the vehicle. Heavy components on the vehicle will demand more power from the engine, and this requires more fuel to burn. In case you do encounter a puncture and the air leaks, it will leak very slowly in a tubeless tyre, which gives you enough time to pull safely over on the side of the road. A tube will let out air immediately, which might be dangerous on a highway or at high speeds.