Both of these technologies enables riders to let out a few PSI, rip corners, and climb better, but they come at a cost. The one mentioned by tire manufacturer Schwalbe is snake bite, but we’d like to also include the greater risk of developing a flat spot, and burping when cornering aggressively.
In order to reduce the risk of these scenarios, the company has been hard at work developing a dual chamber system they now call Procore. We’ve gone over the basics before, but essentially, the new system utilizes a inner tube (that’s not really an inner tube) to inflate the center channel of the tire. Then a second valve is inflated at a much higher volume, which presses against the tire bead. This helps prevent burping and allows the rider to dial in traction without worrying about flatting.
The entire system is expected to weigh 200g and be compatible with existing tires. Full press release and more pictures below:
No more snake-bite punctures: A revolutionary dual chamber system makes it possible to ride with very low air pressures and, as a result, improve tire performance enormously. Initially, Schwalbe and the wheel manufacturer Syntace were working on such a system independently of each other. Now, the two companies have joined forces to further develop the dual chamber system.
With low air pressure, off-road tire performance improves signaificantly. 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. “But one can hardly risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 1.5 bar (20psi), because the risk of snake bites is simply too great”, explains Markus Hachmeyer, Senior Product Manager. With the current trend towards wide wheel rims, the trail performance of the tires at low air pressure is improved and has become less “spongy”. The risk of snake bites, however, remains the same.
The solution is an innovative dual chamber system. There is 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 now be reduced to 1 bar (14psi) without running any risk.
“All test cyclists to date have been thrilled with the new possibilities”, reports Markus Hachmeyer and recaps the feedback:
- With one bar (14psi), 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 allow distinctly higher speeds.
- All this without the risk of snake-bite punctures. Dented rims become a thing of the past. Significantly lighter tires can be used in even the toughest conditions. What is more, the additional air chamber has excellent emergency running characteristics.
In order to exploit the advantages of the low tire pressure without risking a puncture, Schwalbe and Syntace were working on the same idea independently of each other and had also applied for patents. Now, the two companies are pooling their know-how to develop the system to market maturity. “At the latest at the Eurobike, we will be able to present precise information regarding design and prices” says Markus Hachmeyer. Schwalbe will be responsible for the production and marketing of the system that is expected to be compatible with conventional tyres and rims and weigh less than 200g.