Tube vs. Tubeless Tire: Should I go tubeless or not?

 November 06, 2018

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Whether to change the tire to tubeless or not is one of the frequently asked questions by motorcycle enthusiasts. To answer this question, let’s find out the differences between a tube and a tubeless tire.

Back in the day, manufacturers of motorbikes would fit tubes with a much better air containment and would have almost no effect on the performance of the tire. But the biggest drawback of this design happened during bike punctures. The deflation of the tube caused a sudden loss of air and air escaped through the spoke heads on the wheel, which might invite something very dangerous at high speeds.

Concerning this problem of danger, the tubeless tire was created. A tubeless tire is pretty much similar to a traditional tube tire, only that is has no tube inside.  Tubeless tires have thicker sidewalls. Air in the tire is retained between the rim and tire itself, with the use of an airtight seal. A tubeless setup gives better performance and reduces the risk of flats, but is a little more expensive and requires a little more maintenance.

Before making any decision, vehicle owners need to consider both pros and cons of tubeless tire.  They are:

Pros

  1. Safety

The main reason for going tubeless is safety. Tube tires are more likely to pop like a balloon in case of a puncture. It is that tubeless tires also burst but are less likely to pop than tube. Also, the comparatively looser fit of a tube tire to the rim makes it a little more likely to separate from the rim in the case of fast action.

 

  1. Liquid sealant

Tubeless tires can be filled with liquid sealants. If a sharp object does put a hole in a tubeless tire, the liquid sealant immediately oozes out and dries up, sealing the hole. This enables to travel longer, without having to stop to fix a puncture.

 

  1. Light

Tubeless tires are lighter compared to tube type tires, which in turn affects the mileage of the vehicle. Heavy components on the vehicle will demand more power from the engine, and this requires more fuel to burn.

 

  1. Less risk

While driving at high speeds, a tube tire will have friction with the tire, which increases the temperature of the tube and there are chances of the tube exploding.  Tubeless tires don’t have the risk.

 

  1. Stable

With a tube, there are chances of uneven pressure, which will make motorbikes wobble at high speeds. But since air is contained in the tubeless tire itself, driving at high speed will be stable as air in the tire is also stable.

 

Cons

  1. Difficult to fit

Tubeless tires are difficult to fit on the rim. It has to be fit by an expert.One need to visit bike servicing center nearby their area or authorized bike servicing center in order to fit tubeless tires on their bikes.

2. Punctures

With a tubeless tire, it generally requires specialized equipment to get off the rim and repair. This makes tubeless tires not a good choice for dirt bike riders. But it’s easier to repair a tube tire as tire slips off easier, and a tube with a small puncture is easy to patch or replace.

  1. Expensive

Since different components are used, tubeless tires are expensive, compared to tube tires.

  1. Maintenance

The sealant in tire needs to be replaced in every 2-6 months.

Thirdwheel, an online two-wheeler servicing mobile application, has started the service of tubeless service for various models of bike such as:

  • Bajaj
  • Yamaha
  • Honda
  • Suzuki
  • TVS
  • Hero
  • KTM
  • Royal
  • Mahindra and
  • Hero Honda

Once you install “ThirdWheel” app on your mobile phone, sign up, register your bike with bike details and request for “tubeless service”, you can get pre-information about the rates of tubeless service. Please go through it once.

So, before cost and ease always choose safety and go tubeless.