New semi-tubeless tire

I was amazed by a huge prototype tire my local bike shop was playing
with. It’s a 26 by 2.7 “semi-tubeless” tire made by the guy who used to
own Onza tires. It is a tire with a built-in tube bonded to it. The guys
at my LBS had mounted a pair on a downhill bike–at 9 pounds of pressure
on the front–and tried to beat it up on Green Mountain. They were unable
to get a pinch flat–even though you could easily feel the rim using
finger pressure.

The prototype is a heavy lug of a tire, but they also had a retail version
that weighed half as much.The tire is foldable (kevlar bead) so it’s
easier to transport. The one I saw used a big porcupine tread. He has also
licensed to Specialized, so we should see some variety of treads soon.

It sounds as if these tires will be available in a month or so. He will
also be making 24" versions.

David Maxfield Bainbridge Island, WA

Here is more info on this new tire. It seems very cool.

Love Tire Gets Spec From Bike, Wheel Makers: REDMOND, WA (BRAIN)—Danny
Sotelo’s Love Tires will make it to market under the guise of several
non-tire companies for 2002. Sotelo, who set tire design trends for
years with the Farmer John and Porcupine, is back with a totally new
tubeless design.

The semi-tubeless tires will bear the Ellsworth, Knucklebone, Slime,
Spinergy, THE and Vuelta names while using Love technology. Sotelo and
Innova Tire company, the producers of Love Tires, are making the private
label tires.

“Danny originally was looking for a way to bring the advantages of
tubeless tires to normal rims. What he did was continue a tubeless tire’s
air-proof lining between the tire beads for a self-contained system. It
is not a glued on addition to a normal tire, but it is manufactured as
part of the tire. And recently we have been working with Slime on a new
sealant as part of the package,” said Henry Reyes, Love Tires sales and
marketing manager.

Slime’s traditional formulas were designed to seal punctures in tubes,
many times less than 1/8 inch thick. But in tubeless systems the puncture
is through the tire carcass that can be 3/8 inch thick. Slime developed a
different formula which, coupled with a tubeless tire’s pinch flat
resistance, is boom proof, according to Reyes.

Since the system works on standard rims Spinergy will have a line of
tubeless road tires and Knucklebone a line of BMX tires. Innova is also
making a 24-inch version for downhill applications. Overall tire weight is
on par with traditional tires and tubes.

Bicycle Retailer Editorial Staff —August 14, 2001