Another tire insert. Size large 29er 65 grams.- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Another tire insert. Size large 29er 65 grams.

    https://tubolight.bike/#SZ

    Came across these inserts and decided to order 2 sets.

    One set for my wife's bike because she rides by herself and recently pushed a long ways due to a flat. This gives her an escape plan so to speak. Her tires last a year so the expense is minimal if the inserts last the length of one set of tires, which is what the manufacturer claims.

    I also wanted to compare them to my beloved Pepi's (seriously, never riding without inserts again) which have been great and I think are the best solution currently. And at 90 grams for the red ones and 112 grams for the Yellow ones aren't much of a weight penalty at all.

    Decided to try these TuboLights for myself cause I'm a weight weenie and these will save me 70 grams rotating weight and I have a new set of wheels I'm working on and these seem like a nice addition.

    How they wear for me does matter cause I destroy tires every 6-8 weeks. But my Pepi's have been able to last 3-4 tires pretty easily so I'll see how these do.

    Will update in 2 months or so which is how long it's going to take to receive them, get them in the new wheels, and get some good ride time on them.

  2. #2
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    Good luck, looking forward to your thoughts!

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  3. #3
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    Received these today.
    The large 27.5 weighs 61g.
    The large 29 weighs 71g.
    52mm diameter and it's one firm pool noodle.
    At first I use to fight my Pepi 's for like an hour to install. And to remove, well I had to cut it off one time.
    Somehow I managed to install these in like 5 minutes. I've taken to liberally spraying my tire beads with car tire shine which seems to make everything so much easier and I'm hoping it makes removal much easier when the time comes.
    A nice touch was they included Al valve stems with sideways cut outs so that air could still enter and exit the tire. Pepi's included these but they were steel so I never used them.
    I installed the 27.5s on my wife's bike, she won't even know the difference. Put it on her bike as a get home plan when she's riding by herself as she is unable to repair tires in the field.
    Mine are being saved for some new lightweight Enduro wheels I'm building. Going to be a while before I can report back on performance.

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  4. #4
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    Curious how these seem relative to Pepiís. I know you havenít ridden them yet, but does density and tightness to the bead seem similar? Looks like the tubo lights have a bit of a bulge to fit against the rim, does that seem to work based on your install? These seem like a nice (lighter) middle-ground between CushCore and Pepis in terms of shape, curious what you think.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Received these today.
    The large 27.5 weighs 61g.
    The large 29 weighs 71g.
    52mm diameter and it's one firm pool noodle.
    At first I use to fight my Pepi 's for like an hour to install. And to remove, well I had to cut it off one time.
    Somehow I managed to install these in like 5 minutes. I've taken to liberally spraying my tire beads with car tire shine which seems to make everything so much easier and I'm hoping it makes removal much easier when the time comes.
    A nice touch was they included Al valve stems with sideways cut outs so that air could still enter and exit the tire. Pepi's included these but they were steel so I never used them.
    I installed the 27.5s on my wife's bike, she won't even know the difference. Put it on her bike as a get home plan when she's riding by herself as she is unable to repair tires in the field.
    Mine are being saved for some new lightweight Enduro wheels I'm building. Going to be a while before I can report back on performance.

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  5. #5
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    Got a picture of them? How do they feel compared to PTN?




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  6. #6
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    I'll get you a guy's a picture this evening when I'm back at my garage.
    They are perfectly round, which surprised me. They show that fitted shape on the website but I guess what they're trying to imply is that they take that shape once they have air in them and are inside the rim.
    I have both new red and yellow PTN on the shelf, these Tubolights are not only larger 52mm vs. 41mm, but considerably denser even than the yellow. So bead tightness is even more than it is with the Pepi's. Doing a squeeze test I couldn't really tell much difference however once the tire was installed. When I saw how physically large they were I thought they'd be hard to install but I think my technique has gotten a lot better as they went in very quickly.
    They also don't have the skin on them.
    The PTNs have a hollow core which you can feel when squeezing, these Tubolights appear not to have the hollow core because they are very firm. I wonder if that will affect ride quality because there's much less air inside the thing?
    The PTNs don't absorb any sealant at all, even with a well torn skin on them. I removed a red PTN that was heavily damaged and it weighed the exact same as a brand new one on the shelf.
    PTN has been very good to me and I'm a fan. The protection is appropriate and allows me to choose the air pressure that performs the best, they have held up much better than what they claim, and they flat work.
    I destroyed 1 red PTN ridiing down a small lift assist mountain with no air up front. And I had a yellow PTN get loose and began clunking in the rear. I actually cut an inch out of it's length, zip tied it back together, added duct tape, and reinstalled it.
    Red 29er PTN weighs 90g, and yellow weighs 112g.
    I liked that the Tubolights had a cut out for the valve stem and the aluminum valve stems included. The valve stems had sort of like an accordion looking O ring on the bottom side, that iscertainly going to help with the rim sealing. I always get leakage around the valves when I swap tires, this time nothing at all.They're nice valve stems.

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  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info. The Tubolights do sound promising, though I wonder if the large size and firmness will affect ride quality. With the PTNs I do worry a bit about sealant distribution, I've seen reports of folks opening their tire to find no liquid sealant left after a couple weeks with a PTN. I suspect this is not absorption but rather a lot more surface area; if you damage a PTN and sealant can get inside the tube, it just ends up so thinly distributed that it doesn't have much potential to seal a gash.

    FWIW I'm interested in inserts for trail/Enduro and even light park riding. Been running CushCores but man they're heavy. The Tubolights seem like they might do well with wider rims and 2.4"+ tires, where PTN is maybe the pick for XC? Suns, you seem to have a lot of experience with the PTN at least, what's your pick?

  8. #8
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    So, is your Yellow/Rokkline PTN (at 41mm) the size large?

    I think 40mm or so is ideal for my XC application, provided the foam isn't easily compressed by air at riding pressure.

    Not sure if you saw it, but I posted some pictures of what happens to 1" closed cell backer rod at 20psi; I presume the same thing happens to 2" closed cell backer rod (i.e., the Anaconda tire liners I have) at that pressure.
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  9. #9
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    Sorry but I don't recall the size of my PTN's, I just know that they measure right at 42mm diameter.

    I ordered the size large tubolight's based on the manufacturers recommendations on their website.

    Pepi's is great, and I follow them on FB and they have new upgraded product in the pipeline. I'll also add that Pepi himself assisted me personally when I had an issue installing his product at expense to him. He is a standup man.

    All I can say about choosing one over the other, is that Pepi's is proven (by me but also others) and that it's less dense which might turn out to be advantageous, I don't know. Also Pepi's showed itself well in a tire insert shootout where it had the second best protection out of many products but was also the lightest by a wide margin at the time.

    However if the Tubolight doesn't degrade quickly, and if the tire feel doesn't change for the worse, just based on specs it's my choice at this time. It's dense texture (although light) suggests that rim and pinch flat protection would be outstanding.

    These are wearable products so ya know, as new product is released I reserve the right to change my mind.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    So, is your Yellow/Rokkline PTN (at 41mm) the size large?

    I think 40mm or so is ideal for my XC application, provided the foam isn't easily compressed by air at riding pressure.

    Not sure if you saw it, but I posted some pictures of what happens to 1" closed cell backer rod at 20psi; I presume the same thing happens to 2" closed cell backer rod (i.e., the Anaconda tire liners I have) at that pressure.
    Link to those photos?

    You just gave me a good idea for tire removal with inserts: Over inflate tire for 15 minutes to compress the insert.

  11. #11
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    Another tire insert. Size large 29er 65 grams.

    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Link to those photos?

    You just gave me a good idea for tire removal with inserts: Over inflate tire for 15 minutes to compress the insert.
    Yeah. Over inflating would help compress the insert and maybe sink it into the center channel. And, maybe, help with tire retention?

    Inside container at 20psi, then outside, for scale. Same coin.




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  12. #12
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    What do these end up costing shipped to the US?

    Seems like Huck Norris and CushCore are the only two foam style inserts available stateside. Everyone else is from Europe.
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  13. #13
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    Spent 25 Euros for shipping. They did not fold them up in a box either. Huge box arrived.

    It appears Americans invented this great idea, but the Euros really embraced it, ran with it, and greatly improved it.

    Personally I think adding a pound of rotating weight is absurd, and even the pro DHers quickly moved away from it, but lots of people do it. But if you can minimize the weight, tire inserts really work well in several ways. Unless a huge improvement is made in tire technology (i.e. fully foam no air tire), I'll always run inserts.

    It's much faster to run a light duty trail tire, with a light insert, than a heavy duty tire with no insert, I have found. I sliced tires constantly when I first began riding but now I'm much faster and ride very jagged terrain and rarely hurt a tire. Weird.



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  14. #14
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    Man I wish you know what size PTNs those are in that picture. Both of them look like the "right" size to me, for my purposes. Although the yellow looks slightly larger.

    The Tubolight looks like normal closed cell foam to me, so I'm hoping there is something else going on with them.

    I wish there was an easy way to test the relative compression of each when under a given amount of force or pressure.
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  15. #15
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    Just saw that they make an insert that is supposed to be good at ROAD pressures. So, this stuff must actually be significantly different than backer rod, which would shrink into a tiny, shriveled raisin looking thing at 60psi+.

    https://r2-bike.com/TUBOLIGHT-Punctu...Bundle-Road-28
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  16. #16
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    Interesting. Looking for a lighter weight insert for my trail bike and hardtail (run cushcores in the past, heavy and insufficient rim protection; currently have vittoria air liner in my big bike which are nice but also heavy) and these vs the Rimpacts both look intriguing

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Man I wish you know what size PTNs those are in that picture. Both of them look like the "right" size to me, for my purposes. Although the yellow looks slightly larger.

    The Tubolight looks like normal closed cell foam to me, so I'm hoping there is something else going on with them.

    I wish there was an easy way to test the relative compression of each when under a given amount of force or pressure.
    It's the large Pepi's. Just went to their website and compared my dimensions.

    The Tubolight looks exactly like a pool noodle, but it's not. It's not hollow, and it's much firmer to the touch.

    The Pepi's doesn't compress much under pressure imo because the effect on the tire bead is profound when they are installed. The bead feels like you have 8 more psi in the tire as far as the way the bead holds up under hard turning.

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  18. #18
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    70 grams is pretty amazing.

    How about durability?

    Durability is affected by many factors, including size to inner tire volume, usual tire pressure, and runflat rides.
    Tubolight is completely waterproof, doesnít absorb sealant and keeps its performance even when slightly damaged or compressed.
    Thereís no risk to damage the insert when using tire plugs.
    On hard usage, expect Tubolight to last as long as a medium compound tire.
    At 70 Euros a pair, these could be the winner.

  19. #19
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    Any further information after the weekend?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Any further information after the weekend?
    My wife rode on them (it was 102 degrees at the time) but she doesn't know or care about any differences.

    It's going to be at least a month until I can ride mine. I just mailed off some new rims to Berd today and these inserts will be combined with that wheel build.

  21. #21
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    Are they charging US customers VAT on top of that 70 EURO, or is the tax left out?

    Otherwise we're looking at $105 USD shipped.
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  22. #22
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    No VAT.

    You can just go to check out to get your final price (in Euros).

  23. #23
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    I was interested to note that these are apparently being used not only by a bunch of XC teams but also by the Commencal/Valnord team i.e. Amaury Pierron. Hard to know if that's 'cause they're the best or just because they're being paid to of course, but at least this implies to me that these might be able to hold up to gravity riding.

    By contrast some magazine did some destructive testing and found the Pepi's Red noodle to be barely better than no noodle at all, so I'll stay away from that one. Same test found CushCores to be awesome for protection, though of course they carry a weight penalty...

  24. #24
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    There is a Finnish test where they tested tire noodles.
    Pepi's (at that time, in May 2019) had the second best protection, at the lightest weight.
    I tried to do a better job linking it but I was unsuccessful.

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  25. #25
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    Ah. That picture reminds me. What are the pink PTN about?


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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Ah. That picture reminds me. What are the pink PTN about?


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    Presumably the same ďprototypesĒ in the photo of Pepi here?
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...all-stiffness/

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    Presumably the same ďprototypesĒ in the photo of Pepi here?
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...all-stiffness/
    Iím wondering where they are going to be positioned relative to the other two in terms of weight and purpose.


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  28. #28
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    I ordered another set of Tubolights as I like to have spares of wearables on the shelf when I'm working on a bike, particularly if it's a part that takes time to get.
    Really liking the damped feeling of this product. Will swap a tire within a month or so and will update on the condition of the liner but the ones I've seen in my wife's wheels looked as new, but she doesn't ride bikes that often or hard.

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  29. #29
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    I am curious; are there major differences as to how different brand tubular -style inserts work under various pressures?

    The only experience I have with tubulars is a very short trail test with a buddy's Vittoria Airliners under very low pressures, where they to my suprise enhanced tyre squirm.

  30. #30
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    Iíve been running the Tubolights for a few weeks now. They seem like a pretty good product, light and with a good snug bead fit. Iím running them on an enduro-type bike in Michelin Wild Enduro tires.

    I think how these inserts behave in use is a good and almost-unknowable question. That is, what happens when you actually pump up the tire? These are mostly air, and especially a really light one like the Tubolight must surely shrink quite a bit at 20PSI. Is it still snug to the tire bead at trail pressure? How much rim-strike protection is it providing at this pressure?

    I find the CushCore XC superior to the Tubolight in terms of ride feel (more damped and supportive at lower pressures) and I have to guess some of that is because the CC is made of denser foam. Very subjective assessment, as there are numerous variables and I havenít done a rigorous side-by-side.

    To some degree there may be no free lunch here, I.e. the lighter the insert the more itís just an air-sponge and the more itíll deform at trail pressures.

  31. #31
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    So I finally pulled out the tubo-light insert after probly 15 rides. It looked totally fine so I reused it. I just was in the mood to swap front tires for something different.
    What did surprise me is that it clearly moved. That notch that I carefully placed at the valve stem had rotated about a quarter of the way around. I would not have believed that possible at mountain bike speeds.
    They should just cut a channel all the way around on the inside that gives it room for the valve stem. It took about 15 minutes for me to get the air out of the tire as a result of this.


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  32. #32
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    ^what was your tire / rim / noodle size combination and how did you mange to get the air out?

  33. #33
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    Well they got a proper test yesterday. I lost rear air pressure and hit a sharp G-out at absolutely full speed. The clank was awful and a noise I've heard before usually followed by a cracked rim.
    Also rode the bike back to the truck on a flat (slowly) for 2-3 miles. I plugged it but it still leaked air.
    Anyways broke down the rim today and the rim lip doesn't even have a scratch on it and I can clearly see where the insert took the hit. They certainly paid for themselves and I'm going to continue to use them and in fact will reuse this one.
    Also the inserts rotating is typical and harmless.

    The rear wheel is a Carbon Fan DH layup, P321 hub, laced with Berd spokes using a Schwalbe Rock Razor rear tire.

    I removed the valve core and the air takes about 5- 10 minutes to escape.


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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suns_PSD View Post
    Well they got a proper test yesterday. I lost rear air pressure and hit a sharp G-out at absolutely full speed. The clank was awful and a noise I've heard before usually followed by a cracked rim.
    Also rode the bike back to the truck on a flat (slowly) for 2-3 miles. I plugged it but it still leaked air.
    Anyways broke down the rim today and the rim lip doesn't even have a scratch on it and I can clearly see where the insert took the hit. They certainly paid for themselves and I'm going to continue to use them and in fact will reuse this one.
    Also the inserts rotating is typical and harmless.

    The rear wheel is a Carbon Fan DH layup, P321 hub, laced with Berd spokes using a Schwalbe Rock Razor rear tire.

    I removed the valve core and the air takes about 5- 10 minutes to escape.


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    Glad to hear you got flat protection!

    Are you using the valves supplied with these, which have the side-holes that should make it easy to get air out even if the insert shifts? If so I'd have thought it'd be easy to air 'em down even without the notch in the right place.

    The fact that they moved makes me wonder (again) what they look like at riding pressures. Guessing that nice tight fit to the tire bead goes away when they shrink under ~20PSI external pressure.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrewBird View Post
    Glad to hear you got flat protection!

    Are you using the valves supplied with these, which have the side-holes that should make it easy to get air out even if the insert shifts? If so I'd have thought it'd be easy to air 'em down even without the notch in the right place.

    The fact that they moved makes me wonder (again) what they look like at riding pressures. Guessing that nice tight fit to the tire bead goes away when they shrink under ~20PSI external pressure.
    I am running the supplied valves. The extra time to remove air isn't a big deal.
    Also, I go pretty heavy on the Orange Seal so there is a lot of goo in the tires.

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