2.0 TUbliss tire system (rear 18 inch) – Review by Ronald Kuba
I started riding motocross when I was six. I raced the Slovak, Hungarian and Central European Championships. In 2010 I suffered a back injury so I retreated to Enduro and Cross Country. I race casually on various offroad events.
What is it?:
A device that seals off your tire against the beads of your rim, thus eliminating the use of traditional tubes. This saves you a lot of unsprung weight, mainly when using heavy duty tubes or a mousse. The main advantage of a tubeless tire is, however, the elimination of pinch flats caused by low air pressure.
Before trying out the Tubliss Tire system, I have heard some horror stories about the installation and various leak issues, so I was a bit worried. I have chosen to mount it on my D.I.D. Dirt Star equipped wheel set, which is excellent for enduro. My first tire of choice was a FIM legal Mitas EF07 Superlight, which has an extremely soft compound and a very pliable carcass. The installation procedure, however, was a breeze. Preparing the rim, installing the bladder and mounting the tire, everything worked out on the first try without damaging anything. After lubricating the inside of the tire, I got a leak free fit, so the bike was ready for some forestry. One minor complaint: the supplied rim tape could be stickier and at least 2mm wider to properly cover the spoke area of the rim.
I set of with a 0.5 bar tire pressure, because that`s what I usually run with tubes. I felt confident immediately, partly because the rear felt planted and partly because I knew I had a 7.5 bar bumper between my rim and the rocks. The real advantage of the Tubliss system comes out when you go really low with the tire pressure. I started dropping it gradually as I rode, and the traction was massive. It is even possible to run a completely deflated tire when the going gets really technical. This worked particularly well with soft sidewall tires, as they spread over the terrain completely. Tackling slippery roots, mossy rocks, wet logs, or muddy climbs has become much easier with this much traction at the back. It is a good idea to carry a small bicycle pump when you experiment with the tire pressure. I ended up setting my pressure between 0.1 and 0.3 bar, depending on the terrain. Of course, it is possible to run pressures this low with tubes, but it creates several problems: the bike becomes unstable and wallowing, you can pinch the tube and bend the rims easily and the spokes become loose because of the increased beating the wheel takes. That`s not the case with Tubliss. It boosts not only the performance, but the durability of your rear wheel. Changing the rear tire also becomes much easier than with tubes or mousses and since it holds the tire against the rim, it doesn`t rotate, thus eliminating the need to run 2 rim locks.
The Tubliss Tire system is an excellent product. Sure, it can be messed up when not installed properly (but that`s also true for a piston or any other part) and it doesn`t make me ride like Jarvis, but it does add up to the confidence to get out of your comfort zone. One thing is sure though, I`m never running tubes again!