This was a Kickstarter that was successfully funded several months back (nearly 3 times the amount they requested) and I’m happy to say that I finally received my tires in the mail just the other day and successfully installed and tested them this weekend. Though I only rode for a short trip to test them out so far they seem like a great replacement for my tube tires and I’m really looking forward to not having to worry anymore about those nasty little, but surprisingly sharp/strong thorns, I seemed to constantly pick up. They kept deflating my tires… and also my hopes and dreams of getting back in shape.
Made from NEXELL, a type of polymer composite, these tires are fairly lightweight and because they are a solid core with no tube inside you’ll never have to worry about inflating them or getting a flat tire. The tires themselves have millions of tiny micro air pockets filled with nitrogen, and even if you get a thorn, nail or screw in the tire it will not deflate the tire because most of it is made of the solid polymer.
How do they compare to a regular tire?
Well per their FAQ, “According to laboratory statistics, NEXO’s rolling resistance is roughly 15-20% more than traditional pneumatic tires, meaning that the rider will experience the same level of fatigue at a distance of 80km as riders on pneumatic tires traveling a distance of 100km.” They also suggest that while the tire should perform much t he same as a regular tire with consideration to grip or traction they do caution that a rider should take extra care with regards to sharp turns made on traffic line markings or normally slick surfaces such as tiled floors. For myself I ride what I’ve been told is called a hybrid bike, which is to say that it is a rode bike but with mountain bike handles. I’d have to say that initially I’ve not really noticed much if any difference in comfort or how they ride, so no complaints there.
What is the installation like?
First off a few “Pro” tips, in case you’re a guy like me who likes to jump right in without reading any instructions. The tires have a direction, as in they should be installed on the bike in a specific way, and you’ll want to figure that part out before putting t
hem on the rims! Ya, like a dummy and in all the excitement of wanting to get them setup real fast and try them out I neglected to notice that the tires were marked with direction markers until after I had the first one on the rim and was working on the second and sure enough…I put it on the wrong way and it was the rear tire so I couldn’t just flip the tire around on the bike because of the gear tracks on the rear wheel. That being said it did seem to require a not-insignificant amount of arm strength to get the tire into place and locked in.
After the excitement of getting the first tire installed on the rim was ripped away by the sight that I had put it on backwards….I took a beer break before I got back at it again. (That’s totally a thing right?) The way these work though is, after determining the right size “T” bolt for your rim, you press them all into the tire, then (and this is where the arm strength comes into play) you make use of a zip tie to hold part of the tire in place while using the tool included in the packaging to force/stretch the tire over the rim. Then you use the same tool to push the remaining parts of the tire and the bolts into place. You can find video instructions on their site that will help you to determine the correct size bolt and how to get the tire in place.
While I’ve not had them long or put many miles on them yet I’m really liking them thus far. Not having to worry about flats or carry extra stuff to fix/replace a tube is also nice. Compared to the cost of other prevention methods these tires are more than worth that cost. At $90 (which includes the shipping charges), they are only $10 more than what the bike shop wanted to charge me to replace my tubes and liner with a different, (possibly stronger) liner and some self healing tubes. But with these I’ll never have to worry about inflating them. >
My typical ride will be back and forth to work a couple times a week which ends up being just shy of 10 miles each way, so in the coming months I may post an update here should I find anything different than I’ve already experienced, but in the meantime if you’d like more information or are looking into ordering a set for yourself you can head over to their website to sign up for notifications. Currently they are still fulfilling orders for the kickstarter campaign, but they say they’ve already placed another order with the manufacturer and expect to have some for sale in the near future, (though at this time I believe they are only available in the US). Lastly, if these tires just aren’t appealing to you for any reason but you’re still interested in a tubeless tire, they have a second option called Evertires that look more like a typical bike tire (except from the sides), that may be of interest.