Tyre Innovations: Inserts for Airless to Low Air Volume

LOMAZZO, Italy – The biggest in tyres are presenting innovations that come with inserts. Schwalbe recently launched its Airless system for public and e-bikes making them puncture-proof. Now Vittoria presents the Air-Liner insert for tubeless mountain bike tyres which replaces air volume for providing a “Fully tunable system that gives a progressive feel.”
Air-Liner insert replaces air volume in Mountainbike tyres for providing a tunable system. – Photo Vittoria

In its announcement on Air-Liner Vittoria says “It used to be that riders had to choose between high-speed tyre stability, and ultimate grip. The reason was, the air pressure was the only thing preventing the tyre from bottoming out on the rim. While riders wanted this stability and protection, they also wanted traction and grip, which meant the tyre needed to be soft enough to deform to the terrain. Through casing and compound advancements, huge gains in stability and grip have been made, however, one thing has remained the same… the air in the tyre.

“The Air-Liner destroys the traditional compromise of stability vs. grip, and allows your tyres to remain stable, grippy, and controlled. The secret is the exclusive shape of the insert, and the proprietary low-density super-durable polymer material. These factors work together to bring tubeless mountain bike tyre performance to the next level.”

Insert replaces air volume

According to Vittoria “The Air-Liner insert replaces air volume in the tyre, and when combined with the shape, provides a fully tunable system that gives a progressive feel. First, the insert replaces a portion of the air volume within the tyre. This reduced air volume allows the tyre to compress and rebound in a more controlled manner compared to standard tubeless systems. Impacts are absorbed and damped, much like in a suspension system. This protects both the tyre and wheel, which traditional suspension does not.

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“Second, by using a round cross section with V-channels, the Air-Liner insert provides a progressive feel that is easy to tune. The top V-channel provides room for the tunable air chamber that sits directly beneath the tyre tread. Upon impact, the corner edges of the V-channel flex first, and progressively build to the thicker portion, as the tyre is compressed. This allows the tread to remain flexible, which increases traction, without sacrificing impact resistance.

The bottom V-channel allows for easy fine-tuning of the air chamber, and allows for full compatibility of all valve core styles. The round cross-section shape mimics the natural shape of the tyre, and supports a greater contact area within the sidewalls of the tyre casing. Side-to-side tyre stability is increased, yet the tread remains soft and grippy. This improves cornering, climbing, and braking performance. In other words, the Air-Liner design places the material where you need it most, which is critical in decreasing bead-burps, and improving lateral stability in cornering.


The Vittoria Air-Liner is available in 4 sizes, to suit the needs of XC, Enduro, Trail, and Plus bike tyre volumes, and is compatible with all makes and models of tyres. Air-Liner is made from a proprietary high-density superdurable polymer material, specifically designed to increase the performance of mountain bike tyres and wheels. This polymer material has been tested to a projected life of 2,000 hours under normal riding. Air-Liner is completely water-proof, and does not absorb tyre sealant. This gives consistent performance all season long, and allows your tyre sealant to still do its job.

The Air-Liner will be available in shops in June 2018. The insert comes in 4 widths (Small, Medium, Large and Extra Large); is compatible with any wheel diameter up to 29” (700c), and is designed to be trimmed during install for a perfect fitment around your wheel. Air-Liner retails for € 69 to € 75.