There was a time when vehicle manufacturers fit tubeless tires only on expensive, luxury vehicles. These days almost all vehicles come with tubeless tires straight from the shop. These tires have made our roads comparatively safer and saved the money and time of the vehicle owner, in the long run, leading to happier and satisfied drivers all over the world.
To understand how the tubeless tire has achieved this, let us first discuss how the tubeless tire is different from the tube tire.
A tube tire has three components, the rim, the tube and the tire. The rim, generally made of steel or an alloy is the part of the wheel on which the tire is fitted. Then comes the tire which is the hollow, cylindrical sleeve that fits on the rim and is in contact with the road. Sandwiched between the two, runs a tube, in which you fill the air and maintain it at a sufficient pressure for a smooth ride.
The tubeless tire is the tube and the tire coupled together. The inner liner is integrated on the tire’s inside. The valve to fill the air is situated on the rim and the tire is air sealed onto the rim.
There are certain advantages to using the tubeless tire over the conventional tire. These are as follows:
Goodbye to flat tires:
The driver can drive for about 30 to 50 kilometers with a punctured tubeless tire as they have the ability to carry the weight of the vehicle even at lower pressures, unlike tube tires. If the pressure reduces in a tube tire, the tube gets pinched between the tire and the rim, causing a puncture.
Moreover, you have the choice to add a liquid sealant to the tubeless tire. In case of a puncture, the liquid oozes out of the puncture point and dries up, immediately sealing the puncture. You can fix the puncture once you reach your destination.
Slow release of air:
While it’s true that tubeless tires get punctured, they have an added advantage that the air will not escape immediately from the vehicle. The air escapes through the prick point at a slow rate which prevents the driver from losing control of the vehicle. A tube tire releases air immediately which is dangerous on freeways or when the speed is high.
Lighter than tube tires:
Comparatively lighter to tube type tires, the tubeless tire improves your mileage as the power requirement is directly proportional to weight. The engine consumes lesser fuel for less power.
At high speeds, increased friction in a tube type tire increases the operating temperature putting one in a precarious position as the risk of a tube explosion increases. This problem is non-existent in a tubeless tire. Also, since the air is in direct contact with the rim, heat dissipation is improved.
Uneven tube pressures in a tube type tire increase wobbling at high speeds. This is not seen in tubeless tires as air is filled in the tire itself. Maneuverability is better at high speeds. The side rims are also toughened to maintain the shape and increase the life.
The tubeless tire is a technological wonder but like everything has a few flaws that one must know about.
- In case of a puncture, not every repair shop will be able to fix it as you require special tools. Moreover, the time needed for repair is more as it has to be made sure that the tire is airtight to prevent leakage on the road.
- High initial investment compared to tube tires.
- Sidewall puncture in a tubeless tire will force you to change the tire. If this happened in a tube type tire, all you would have to do is change the tube and you would be on your way.
All the advantages of a tubeless tire make it a better alternative to tube tires. It’s true that there are disadvantages, but these inconveniences will be few and far in between. So if you are thinking about, making the switch, don’t hesitate because tubeless tires overall are more reliable, safer and cost efficient.