Is this the answer to ending flat tires?

Aaron Gwin swears by Flat Tire Defender foam inserts

Flat Tire Defender

Aaron Gwin and his mechanic John Hall break down the Flat Tire Defender system.

What’s Aaron Gwin’s secret to racing success? Well, obviously the guy is once-in-a-generation fast. But turns out when it comes to tire punctures (and avoiding them), the four-time World Cup champ has the benefit of a little something called Flat Tire Defender, which is a foam insert that was inspired by off-road motorcycle technology and is made of a closed cell foam rubber polymer material that is airless. This helps reduce the chance of flats, rim damage, burping air, and tire sidewall roll over, especially when running lower air pressure. Gwin says he’s been running the product for a year, including last year’s victorious 2016 World Cup campaign. Here’s Gwin himself explaining how it works.

The Flat Tire Defender kits cost between $110 and $130 depending on wheel size and adds upwards of 300 grams.

Flat Tire Defender

The airless Insert has no air chamber and helps reduce vibration.

Here’s Gwin’s race mechanic breaking down the basics of installing and uninstalling the Flat Tire Defender system.

More info at

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Olympics, Tour de France, MTB world champs, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures all over the globe. Sumner has also done extensive gear testing and is the author of the cycling guide book "75 Classic Rides: Colorado." When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying life with his wife Lisa and kids Cora and Tommy in and around their home in the MTB Mecca of Crested Butte.

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  • jjj says:

    How does this stack up against the chuck Norris insert?
    It looks like it would waste less sealant due to surface area.
    And given the chuck is just shaped window/door sealing foam this one looks a bit more professional.
    But …it has to contend with the diy chuck Norris price of about $5 (any size and shape on eBay). Its a faff to cut the shapes but using a stencil it only takes an hour to make.

    Is there really $105 of benefit here?

  • Alvin Putra says:

    300 grams?! I’d take heavy duty tube any day, cheers. If not, original Schwalbe tube paired with heavier cased tire

  • Ted says:

    What digital tire pressure gauge is he using?

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