New Michelin bike inner tube squeezes punctures closed
The uniquely shaped and textured Michelin Protek Max bicycle inner tube is said to compress punctures closed, instead of blowing them open
Bicycle inner tubes that contain a small-puncture-sealing slimy liquid may not be a new development in and of themselves, but Michelin has released a product that takes the concept a step further. The company's Protek Max tube not only contains a sealant, but is designed to compress when punctured to assist the self-sealing process.
The two things you'll notice about the Protek is that it has a square cross-section, and funny little bumps on its surface. The square shape helps align it within the tire casing and against the rim well, which Michelin says eases mounting and eliminates the twisting problems that can occur with traditional sausage-shaped tubes.
When the tube is fully inflated within the tire, its textured surface causes the rubber to compress instead of expand when under pressure. This means that the internal air pressure actually closes holes off, giving the sealant a better chance at taking care of them for good.
The tubes also are claimed to hold air longer – when tested against Michelin's self-sealing AIRSTOP tube, the Protek was said to maintain proper pressure for twice the amount of time.
Commuters and mountain bikers, but not road racers, can get a Protek Max to fit their tire. It is available in sizes of 700 x 35-47c (200 grams) and 26 x 1.4-2.125 inches (260 grams), with Presta or Shrader valves, for a suggested retail price of US$8.99.
About the Author
An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.
All articles by Ben Coxworth
If I use these with my Marathon Plus tires it could be a very nice combo.
need it for roadies!!!
Looks good.. and the price is decent as well, it\'s nice to see that you don\'t always need to get ripped off when you use new technology.
You\'ll have to pardon me for being a skeptic, but I\'ll believe these things work only after seeing some impartial third party tests. It sounds too good to be true, especially with the price, which is lower than many existing self-sealing tubes.
This new bike tire technology would also be perfect for electric bicycles, as well.
I've got to try these. Looks far better than Slime tires, which tend to be a bit cheaply made.
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