Review: Vittoria Air-Liner Road Tubeless Insert Kit
The Vittoria Air-Liner Road Tubeless Inserts are designed to keep you going if you lose pressure in your tires. The system works, but it is a bit difficult to install and the system is not suitable for all situations. That said, they’re great for keeping the tire on the rim.
Tubeless inserts are nothing new. They have been around for mountain bikes and gravel bikes for a number of years now, mainly because these disciplines have been much faster to adopt tubeless tire technology than the road market.
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For mountain biking and gravel, the point of a tubeless insert is as follows. First, they help protect the rim from rock impacts. They also support the sidewall of the tire when running at very low pressure which is great for grip, and at these pressures the insert will help prevent the tire from bursting air. And finally, the damping qualities of the tire would be improved. That’s a whole bunch of functional benefits that you can enjoy on every ride.
But what about the side of the road? While the pressures decrease with wider tires, we don’t run those ultra-low pressures of the off-road world. The answer to what the ocean liner does on your daily commute is … absolutely nothing. Yeah, you can’t tell they’re in there while you’re riding. When I raced over them at the weekend the bike didn’t feel any different and I still finished in the middle of the field like the average rider that I am.
In fact, to begin with, I cursed them. Mounting this system adds tremendous benefits to the setup process and there are a few considerations to take into account if you are using deeper wheels. There is also the question of what you would do if you punctured the tire beyond what the sealant could clog.
The Air-Liner is there to secure the bead of the tire in the bead hook and it does a really good job. So good that removing the tire from the side of the road would be an absolute nightmare, and then if you take it down you have a nasty putty covered foam tube to get home. It costs a lot of money and you can’t install it with an inner tube in the tire, so what are you going to do with it?
If you die away from home, you can keep driving on the tire, but it looks like a very soft tire. It is also possible to inflate as much as possible, ride until the tire becomes soft, and then inflate again. But essentially there is no way to start the tire and glue an inner tube like you usually would.
I would suggest that if you already think tubeless is too much of a bother for you, and trust me I understand that, then I suggest you stick to your inner tubes.
> Tubeless tires: 14 hidden traps to avoid
So it’s not a resounding endorsement, but before you start the installation, there’s the one major reason you should go buy them, and that’s security.
As I mentioned, the liner is there to keep the bead of the tire in the bead hook, and it does a really good job, and if you suffer from sudden air loss while driving fast, you will. grateful for these things are probably going to keep you from crashing into a hedge.
A tire with the Air-Liner installed can be ridden and, most importantly, cornered, at a decent speed. For the pros, that means they can ride on the flat tire just like they would with a tubular tire. The tire will not come off the rim so they can ride while waiting to be replaced by the team car.
But flat tires don’t just happen to the pros, and they don’t just happen in the race, either. Many of us who are just outside for a nice ride or even to tackle a sports car will die, and sometimes it can happen on a high speed descent. Having the ability to ride safely until you can stop is definitely worth it to me.
As for the installation, there are a few points to review. Firstly, they are available in three sizes, which match your tire size: S (25mm), M (28mm) and L (30mm). Second, and this is very important, do not add a sealant before you put the Air-Liner in the tire. It’s a next-level mess that you don’t want to clean up.
As with any system, the tire goes one side at a time. Then you need to put the valve on, then the Air-Liner should slide to the other side of the tire.
It sounds easy, but where, with a normal tubeless or tire-less setup, the bead of the tire may fall well into the rim to make it easier to put the tire on, the Air-Liner pushes it in and the result is a tight installation of the tire. You will need levers. But once they’re in place, you reap the rewards of the initial tight fit with easier tire bead seating.
Add putty through the valve, spin the wheel to get it all the way around the tire, then you should find the tire inflates with a crawler pump.
To remove the tire you will need the special tool (provided in the kit) or monumental strength inches. The tool clamps the tire together and then you can insert these special clips that prevent the Air-Liner from pushing the bead of the tire back into the bead hook.
You can find more information on the Vittoria website.
How it works?
It’s enough about editing, the way the system works is what’s important. Vittoria says the Air-Liner doesn’t add any rolling resistance, and my personal impressions are of a fast system that works well with the Vittoria Corsa G2.0 TLR tires used for testing (I liked the version at tire / tubeless of these when I tested them last year).
In typical driving, there is no indication that there is anything in the tire, and that’s great. My bike is always fast and that’s how I like it.
Rather than cutting a new tire, I just let all the air out to see how the Air-Liners work during a hypothetical flat tire. The tires are a bit crooked under me and I have to say I wouldn’t want to do an alpine downhill with them flat, but as you can see in the video below I was taking a turn without the tire rolling.
If you’ve ever been in a muddy cyclocross race, where you effectively let all the air out of your tires in a desperate attempt to find some grip, this is it.
For short, fast races and races, I think that’s a no-brainer. It’s not a cheap upgrade – the kit here with two Air-Liners, tool, valves and putty costs £ 64.99 – but they give you safety in a blowout and it doesn’t. Seems to be no sacrifice in terms of performance or feel.
But for long trips I’m not so sure. While you can roll a flat tire with the Air-Liner, it is still a flat tire, and pushing one on the road is hard work. If you had a flat tire away from home, you would have a really hard time riding the flat tire all the way home. To put an inner tube you have to remove the tire first, which is very hard without the special tool, and even if you managed it you then have a putty-soaked foam tube to wrap around it. your shoulders. as bike riders once did.
Personally, I think a standard tubeless setup that allows for easier tube insertion is a better choice for long distances.
In conclusion, the Vittoria Air-Liner system works well to keep the tire on the rim flat. This is great for tire safety in the event of sudden air loss, but it may not be suitable for everyone’s ride.
Great for keeping tubeless tires on the rim flat, but the system isn’t ideal for everyone
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Brand and model: Vittoria Air-Liner Road Tubeless Insert Kit
Tell us what the product is for and who it is for. What are the manufacturers saying about this? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Vittoria says: “ The legendary combination of durability, protection and flat performance of the Vittoria Air-Liners, designed for your favorite tubeless road tires! The Vittoria Air-Liner System provides unmatched impact compliance and impact protection, while ensuring heel lockout at lower pressures. In the event of air loss, the Vittoria Air-Liner Road system is designed for flat use. The insert increases the safety of your tubeless setup by keeping the tire in place even in the event of a puncture – No risk of rolling on the wheels! The Vittoria Air-Liner Road system is compatible with all tubeless road tires on the market. The lightweight material does not absorb any sealants, while the exclusive Vittoria chamberless valves eliminate valve plugging. Whether you train, travel, explore or run, the Vittoria Air-Liner Road system will give you peace of mind and protection for the ride ahead. “
Tell us more about the technical aspects of the product?
The Air-Liner Road bag contains:
An Air-Liner Road insert
Two multi-way valves
Rate the product for build quality:
Longer valves for deeper wheels, please.
Rate the product for its performance:
Rate the product for its durability:
Rate the product by weight (if applicable)
Evaluate the product for its value:
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its purpose
When you don’t have a flat tire, the system is imperceptible. The fit is more complicated than usual, but it works great when drilling.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The system works well to keep the tire on the rim.
Tell us what you didn’t particularly like about the product
You’re not going to take the tire off to put on an inner tube if you’re bursting away from home.
How does the price compare to similar products on the market, including those recently tested on road.cc?
There are no other systems.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider purchasing the product? Yes, for my racing wheels.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes, for runs or short hikes.
Use this box to explain your overall score
These aren’t suitable for all situations, but for short, fast races and races I think it’s a no-brainer. They are awesome.
I usually drive: Cannondale Supersix Di2 My best bike is:
I have been driving since: 5 to 10 years I ride: Most days I would classify myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trial, cyclo cross, commuting, club rides, general fitness riding, I specialize in Cafe Ride!