Tubed or Tubeless

What is the benefit of tubes, if any?

Author: SuperUser Account/Sunday, January 10, 2016/Categories: Technical Information

The original tyre invented by John Boyd Dunlop in1888 required a tube to contain the air that is essential to all tyres. It was not until 1954 that tubeless tyres first began being used. These tyres still relied on air to perform their role, but the tyre and rim, combined, formed the air chamber necessary to contain the air. This invention was a boon to tyre development, and gradually all tyres have adopted this technology. Today the entire range of motorsport tyres, particularly the Dunlop range is made in tubeless construction. There are however some specialised applications where tubes are still used.

A) In Historic cars where the rim is not suitable to retain a seal with the tyre, and especially for wire-spoke rims that cannot be sealed, a tube is still the preferred method.

B) In rally tyre use where the rims are not strong enough to withstand the risk of damage from rocks etc. In this case competition tubes can be an advantage.

For these applications Dunlop Japan produces a high quality, natural rubber, heavy duty tube with a sealable metal stem.

Shown here on the left, the valve stem has a rubber seal at the base that, when clamped into a tubeless rim with the washer and nut shown, provides an additional level of security.

Fitment of these tubes is a specialised process and should only be carried out by a trained operator. If the correct process is not followed these tubes can actually lead to a reduction in security.

Apart from these specific situations, there is no additional security that a tube can offer for any form of motorsport use.

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