During the Second World War many nations relied on bicycles to transport soldiers in rear areas, and to carry messages. Some nations, such as Japan, even used bicycles to rush troops to the front lines. This worked well until the bikes got flat tires – and with rubber in great demand many bikes proved to be sort of worthless, a feeling any rider with a flat probably feels. However, the Japanese solution was simply to ride on the rims until those bent out of shape. Fortunately today bicycle tubes are still just about the least expensive part on the bike, but that’s little comfort when you get a flat and have to change the tire – unless you think of riding on the rims.
So we’re not exactly sure who this “Stan” might be, but he invented one cool product – at least as long as you’re not the maker of bicycle inner tubes, or like riding on your rims with flat tires. The Stan’s Tubeless System is essentially a kit that allows for most standard bike tires to hold air without the use of a tube. This innovative system uses a rubber rim strip to cover the spoke holes along with a liquid sealant to prevent air from leaking through the tire.
In truth, this isn’t all that different from how automotive tires are mounted on car rims. And because the system includes a sealant, riders need not fear broken glass or thorns on the trail. In fact, Stan’s system should be able to stand up nails as well. The upkeep is pretty straightforward, as users should add some sealant every couple of months to prevent flats.
About the biggest drawback to Stan’s Tubeless System is that it costs about $60 and does require a shop to do the transition. It also sounds like it would be hard to change out tires as well, such as if you wanted to go from wide treads to slicks on your mountain bike. But if you pretty much keep your tires on the bike until they wear out this system should most likely keep you rolling and rolling… and rolling.