Good Riddance, Pinch Flats! Introducing Dual Chamber Tire System from Schwalbe
Schwalbe is making waves across the internet today with a new dual chamber tire and wheel system that makes extremely low air pressure possible, improving traction greatly while also nearly eliminating the chance of a pinch flat or burping your tire. How? By using an inner high-pressure chamber that simultaneously locks on the tire and provides pinch flat protection, they are able to used a sealed outer low-pressure chamber. Just how low? Schwalbe says as low as 14 psi!
Exact details are not available at this time, but we expect it works much like the well-regarded Tubliss system used in motocross applications. As an added benefit, the inner chamber serves to protect the rim from damage. By using a sealant in the outer chamber you could retain flat protection from punctures, too.
We first saw Schwalbe rider Steve Smith's bike with two valve stems after winning the 2012 Hafjell World Cup. Could a prototype have been in use way back then? It's certainly possible, and we expect to see more World Cup and Enduro riders on the system in 2014. The use of any tubeless tire/rim could be feasible if made correctly. Smith's bike is seen here with Easton wheels.
Read on for more details direct from Schwalbe...
Schwalbe and Syntace are pooling their knowledge and resources to develop a revolutionary idea for mountain bikers – a dual chamber tire and wheel system.
With a dual chamber system it will be possible to ride with very low air pressures and consequently, to improve tire performance enormously. Independent of one another, Schwalbe and Syntace had the same idea, but now the two companies have decided to join forces and further develop the system together.
With low air pressure, off-road tire performance improves significantly. The tires can adapt better to the terrain and react far more sensitively; they roll more easily over uneven ground and provide more grip and control.
Riders cannot risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 20 psi because the possibility of snake-bites is simply too great. And with the current trend toward wide wheel rims, the trail performance of the wide tires at low air pressure is improved, and has become less "spongy", but the risk of snake-bites remains the same.
The solution is a dual chamber system.
The dual chamber system has an additional air chamber inside the tire. This inner chamber is filled with high air pressure and effectively prevents the tire hitting the edge of the rim. At the same time, the inner system also secures the tire on the rim and prevents the dreaded "burping” (a loss of air) of the tubeless system in the case of low pressure. Depending on the situation, the air pressure in the outer chamber can be reduced to 14 psi without running any risk.
Schwalbe will be responsible for the production and marketing of the dual chamber system and it is expected to be compatible with conventional tires and rims and weigh less than 200 grams.
All test cyclists to date have been thrilled with the new possibilities:
- At 14 psi, the tire grip is incredible. The contact surface is very large and the tires seldom, if ever, slide on loose ground. Even on the roughest terrain, the tires literally stick to the ground.
- The tire is the most sensitive cushioning element on the bike. The extra cushioning and traction because of the low air pressure leads to much better control over the bike and allows distinctly higher speeds.
- All this without the risk of snake-bites. Dented rims become a thing of the past. Significantly lighter tires can be used in even the toughest conditions. And in addition, the additional air chamber has excellent emergency running characteristics.