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Would you like to have flat proof tires???

  • yes

    Votes: 5 83.3%
  • no

    Votes: 1 16.7%
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well the subject pretty much says it all. I'll be meeting with a company tonight called Tire Balls. www.tireballs.com We will be mainly discussing things reguarding ATV's BUT they have and are slowly venturing into the mountain bike scene. They actually made up some prototype balls for a guy that works for maxxis that does downhill. He tested them out west and love them. Reason being is they are next to impossible to pop and your days of pinch flats are over. If you want to run 20 psi in your tires and get traction like you've never had before then you actually can. There is no air in your tire at all it's in the balls. Not sure how this would work with standard tires, might have to use tubeless tires only but not sure. Something we'll be working with and on in the future.

So I created a poll and would like feed back to relay on to the owners and developers of this product. be sure to go check out the website and videos to see the abuse these things can handle. Your feedback truly could help this product take off so please reply, vote and voice your opinion on this.

Cost is unknown right now but I do know they are costly for ATV's, but there is a lot more material to fill 4 atv tires compared to 2 small 2 inch wide mountain bike tires so the cost might not be as bad as you would think.. How much is a flat during a race worth to you or a long trip out on the trails??
 

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My friends used them in this year's ISDE in Slovakia.
I think your question/poll is, well, rhetorical. Look at the $$$$ Stan's has made, and it's far from perfect or convenient.
Right now the price is outrageous relatively speaking (about $170 per wheel for a mx bike if the site is current), but I'm sure many would buy it if the rotating weight wasn't much, if any, of an increase.
 

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It is an interesting concept and one I would be willing to try.

Bicycle tires do have a few more issues issues than moto tires that would need to be addressed: Weight, rolling resistance, wide variations in casing and rim volumes, variations in "pressure" needs, mounting the tires among them.
 

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That's a pretty cool concept. It would seem that because the air is compartmentalized, an impact in one spot (the contact patch) would not allow the air to compress into the rest of the tube and so you would get less deformation at that point and so more pinch protection too. I also wonder how you would get the thing mounted though. I gave up on Stan's a while ago and would be willing to try something different if it addressed the points Shiggy mentioned.
 

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My concern with the balls would be convenience of filling and adjusting the pressures. Aren't they each filled individually, resulting in tire and ball removal along with special pump adaptor?
 

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You can preset your tire pressure in each ball at a much lower pressure for better traction then forget about it. You can fill them with any old sports ball pump. At least thats how it works in motorcycles.
 

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JeffatTheQuadShop said:
You can preset your tire pressure in each ball at a much lower pressure for better traction then forget about it. You can fill them with any old sports ball pump. At least thats how it works in motorcycles.
How many balls to fill one MTB tire? Are there different sized balls to accomodate different tire volumes?

Say I have them set firm for dry conditions. If I get to the trail one day and find it damp and slick and want to run a lower pressure. How long will it take to adjust my pressure? How well do they hold air? Refill once per month - twice?
 

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The number of balls will depend on the tire diameter and I believe there is different size balls for different tire widths. You can run lower pressure all the time and not mess with adding air to avoid flats when it gets fast or rocky.
They will only loose 10% pressure over a one year period.
 

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I saw these at Interbike, and while it's an interesting concept, I don't think it's worthwhile. Especially since the issues are so easy to address in other means. And the fact that it sounds like it is going to be quite costly (they didn't have a price set yet when I asked).

Basically, you'll pretty much never get a flat with them, which is good. But if you want to change your pressure, for whatever reason, you have to adjust the pressure in a whole bunch of little balls--too much effort for a trailside change. Seemed pretty difficult to install too, since you had to install the balls prefilled into the tire then get the tire on the rim--with the help of velcro straps. You can run lower pressure, which is cool, but you don't loose as much rolling resistance as you do with a tubeless setup. (Seems to me there may be an increase in rolling resistance with all those balls in there).

Tubeless still seems to be a much better solution or option to the traditional tube. The only thing it misses is the virtual guarantee to not flat at all that tire balls gives (granted, that's a pretty nice feature!). But with tubeless, you can still run lower pressure, have puncture protection, and lower rolling resistance, less weight, fairly easy setup, ability to change pressure easily, and install tires without velcro straps (or even tire levers, usually). So, yeah, flat proof tires would be nice, but I've rarely had to change a flat running tubeless.
 
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