TYRES - Tubeless rims


TUBELESS RIMS

In the last few years there has been a number of tubeless type rims introduced to try and improve safety. Are these safer than tube types? Well it depends on how you look at it, it's not just the safety factor but what suits you with the practicality of either type. Production tubeless rims where first made in Vietnam, they wasn’t the first, I had made them for sprinting 10 years earlier and I guess I wasn't the first either. There are two Vietnam versions, early ones don't have a tyre bead and tyres can pop off rims and instantly deflate and many have had accidents because of these. Later versions have this tyre bead and are much safer as the tube pops into place and stays there. These actually run quiet true but as with all Lambretta tubeless rims the Lambretta hub design doesn't help make for a good tubeless rim. If the wheel rim studs were 10mm closer we would have perfect tubeless rims. With both rims you really need to keep an eye on the tubeless valves used and check for the rubber seals for perishing!

There's a UK company who make a spit tubeless rims, sealed with a large rubber O ring, these run out of line, they have casting holes and can leak, they are difficult to fit a tyre and have been known to explode when adding air, we have nothing at all to do with these even though we instigated their design! There's a couple of Italian companies who have also made a split alloy version and are the most expensive of the lot.

Both AF and SIP have made cast alloy tubeless rims which look very similar and I believe come from the same supplier. Both types have advantages and disadvantages AF's are a little loose on the hub locating area but still use the standard hub studs which is an advantage, but the down side with this design is the tyre well is not as big. Making a good tubeless wheel in this area is near impossible to do because of the stud positioning. SIP re-looked at the same set of rims and had a re think and thickened the rims to get a bigger tyre well to help fit tyres, the down side is you need longer wheel studs which come with the rims but these are not a good quality so we make our stronger MB versions. This down side can be a right pain, occasionally hub studs will come out, when they don’t it comes down to drilling and tapping them out which is not easy and can cost an hours worth of time! The other down side is the long screws make it harder to swap a tyre and you may have to unscrew these long screws to remove a rear wheel. SIP rims come in Polished, Matt Black, Matt Black with polished edge or Silver. MB offer a tyre fitting service or you can buy our own MB designed tyre fitting tool or buy the rim studs separately.

What's best inner tube or tubeless? Both have advantages and disadvantages. split rims have the advantage of been able to strip a tyre and inner tube anywhere with simple tools providing you do it right, any one can do it or it's easy to carry a spare inner tube. The disadvantages are you tend to get more punctures and if a inner tube tares or rips out a valve you will have sudden lose of air and can be dangerous. Tubes can be patched up or can take many patches and just keep going, this makes for a very cheap tube repair and of course tyre changing is easy. BUT always change a patched tube for a new one as soon as you can. These days there are lots of tube sealers to try and help with a puncture, these help with slow leaks but with a rip or split it will only just help! Where as a tubeless tyre with a sealer will hold up as it looses air and can easily be repaired at the side of the road with a repair kit. But a tubeless tyre is nearly impossible to strip and replace at the side of the road but you can take a spare as you know.

Lambretta 350:10 rims come in;

Matt Black
Matt Black with polished bead
Silver
Polished

Vespa 350:10 rims come in;

Super wide 300:10 Silver
Wide 2.50:10 Matt Black
Wide 2.50:10 Matt Black with polished lip
Wide 2.50:10 Silver
Std 2.10:10 Matt Black
Std 2.10:10 Matt Black with polished lip
Std 2.10:10 Polished
Std 2.10:10 Silver

You can read more about tyres here


Mark Broadhurst 12.6.2013 If you have any questions email mark@mbseriousoutdoors.co.uk