The German tire manufacturer Schwalbe has partnered with the German component company Syntace to produce and design a Dual Chambered mountain bike tire system. This system would consist of an outer main chamber that utilizes lower pressure combined with an inner one that’s closer to the rim seat, which would use much higher pressure. These attributes are supposed to offer a tire with better traction and decreased punctures and pinch flats. Things are being kept purposely vague at the moment, until they finalize the design and acquire patents, but they wanted to get the information out to the public before we see it being used by the World Cup and EWS teams.
Schwalbe tossed out low pressures of 14 psi for the outer chamber, which would certainly give added traction and some pliability to the terrain. The inner chamber would use the higher pressure to hold the tire tightly to the rim, and prevent unwanted rim hits and burping.
We haven’t been given any schematics or additional information on how the dual design has been implemented. Some guesses on the internet rumor mill thought it might be like the motocross Tubliss system, but Schwalbe has inferred that no tubes are used? The system is supposed to add around 200 grams of weight, which is respectable increase for the supposed improvements. We’ll see some more concrete data, prices and information at Eurobike this year.
It sounds like a great idea, and we’ll be interested to see how it works in the real world. Offering better traction and control, a wider footprint, with no burping, pinch flatting and rim impacts. In a nutshell: “The dual chamber system allows extremely low air pressures around 14psi without the risk of snake-bites or the tire slipping on the rim.”
Official Press Release
The revolutionary dual chamber tire and wheel system makes extremely low air pressure possible
Schwalbe and Syntace are pooling their knowledge and resources to develop a revolutionary idea for mountain bikers – a dual chamber tire and wheel system.
With a dual chamber system it will be possible to ride with very low air pressures and consequently, to improve tire performance enormously. Independent of one another, Schwalbe and Syntace had the same idea, but now the two companies have decided to join forces and further develop the system together.
With low air pressure, off-road tire performance improves significantly. The tires can adapt better to the terrain and react far more sensitively; they roll more easily over uneven ground and provide more grip and control.
Riders cannot risk riding on standard MTB tires with less than 20 psi because the possibility of snake-bites is simply too great. And with the current trend toward wide wheel rims, the trail performance of the wide tires at low air pressure is improved, and has become less “spongy”, but the risk of snake-bites remains the same.
The solution is a dual chamber system.
The dual chamber system has an additional air chamber inside the tire. This inner chamber is filled with high air pressure and effectively prevents the tire hitting the edge of the rim. At the same time, the inner system also secures the tire on the rim and prevents the dreaded “burping” (a loss of air) of the tubeless system in the case of low pressure. Depending on the situation, the air pressure in the outer chamber can be reduced to 14 psi without running any risk.
Schwalbe will be responsible for the production and marketing of the dual chamber system and it is expected to be compatible with conventional tires and rims and weigh less than 200g.
All test cyclists to date have been thrilled with the new possibilities:
- At 14 psi, the tire grip is incredible. The contact surface is very large and the tires seldom, if ever, slide on loose ground. Even on the roughest terrain, the tires literally stick to the ground.
- The tire is the most sensitive cushioning element on the bike. The extra cushioning and traction because of the low air pressure leads to much better control over the bike and allows distinctly higher speeds.
- All this without the risk of snake-bites. Dented rims become a thing of the past. Significantly lighter tires can be used in even the toughest conditions. And in addition, the additional air chamber has excellent emergency running characteristics.
With the combined efforts of both Schwalbe and Syntace, the dual chamber system will reach market maturity by Eurobike 2014 with precise information regarding design and pricing and with Patents pending.