Schwalbe is making waves across the internet today with a new dual chamber tire and wheel system that makes extremely low air pressure possible, improving traction greatly while also nearly eliminating the chance of a pinch flat or burping your tire. How? By using an inner high-pressure chamber that simultaneously locks on the tire and provides pinch flat protection, they are able to used a sealed outer low-pressure chamber. Just how low? Schwalbe says as low as 14 psi!

Exact details are not available at this time, but we expect it works much like the well-regarded Tubliss system used in motocross applications. As an added benefit, the inner chamber serves to protect the rim from damage. By using a sealant in the outer chamber you could retain flat protection from punctures, too.

We first saw Schwalbe rider Steve Smith's bike with two valve stems after winning the 2012 Hafjell World Cup. Could a prototype have been in use way back then? It's certainly possible, and we expect to see more World Cup and Enduro riders on the system in 2014. The use of any tubeless tire/rim could be feasible if made correctly. Smith's bike is seen here with Easton wheels.

Read on for more details direct from Schwalbe...

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 200 grams.

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, pricing and Patents pending.

Create New Tag

bturman 2/8/2014 11:57 AM

22 comments newest first

What pressures do you run? Anything under 30psi in the rear up here in the PNW where the dank dirt and bermed trails = massive G's resulting in burped or tire blown right off the rim. I have been running tubeless off and on since tubeleess was invented. Last year I ran with tubeless on my am bike with Stan's ex Flows and 2.35 Schwalbes. If the dirt was good I was running 33#, which is a compromise traction wise.

| Reply

I have 33mm wide carbon AM rims and I run either a folding 2.5 Minion front and a 2.35 rear or 2.35 Nevigals front and rear. I run between 25-28lbs of pressure and that is on my 2013 Uzzi with 7" travel front and rear. I use it for AM/Freeriding/Parks, the occasional DH race, railing turns, berms, rock gardens, drops, jumps and I get no burping.

| Reply

Why??? What is wrong with current tubeless systems? I've been tubeless for years now without any issues. This system just adds weight and makes it more complicated.

| Reply

The article says it should be compatible with conventional tires. If it's like the Tubliss system, then it's more of a unique inner tube with an extra valve hole in the rim rather than a unique tire.

| Reply

Great idea, but tyres are expensive as it is. I can see these being twice the price of regular schwalbes. It does look like it would work though. Vital, get those bike tests on here. 2 a day, before the 2015 bikes are in the shops ; )

| Reply

Mavic/michelin Le System was basically the same thing back in like 05. It's a great idea, we rigged one up at the fix with 650c tubular road tires in a UST rim. Worked well but you couldn't change the tire pressure once the road tire was inflated. Super stoked this is coming out, if it works as well as Tu-bliss, I'm buying it.

| Reply

As a professional motorcycle mechanic I can tell you that installing those TU Bliss tubes in MX tires is a pain in the ass! Not as bad as those solid moose tube things but still a pain. Let's hope that the MTB version is easier to install.

| Reply

I as a novice Mechanic find changing tires with the Tubliss system to be in fact easier for me, I follow the tubliss install method verbatim though. I could see mounting up a tubliss setup being harder for a seasoned moto mechanic since they have already developed a good technique for changing conventional tube/tires. Personally I have popped two of the inner high pressure rim lock tubes on the tubliss setup on my moto (running about 8 psi with a Maxxis Desert IT 18" 120) and dented up the rim as well, but I could never fathom running that low of a pressure in a tubed setup where I ride. All in all I think this will be a big step forward in terms of traction for mtbing.

| Reply

I like the idea, but eliminating rim damage is a tall claim. And personally, I don't like the feel of a low pressure tire squirming around underneath me in a turn. One looses the feel of the trail when the tire is all over the place. I remember at a Park City Norba race back in the 3.0 days overhearing an exasperated racer in the pits saying, "I increased my tire pressure from eight to twelve pounds and I still got a flat?"

| Reply

Agreed, low psi tires often feel squirmy. I can't see dipping clear down to 14psi like they mention as the extreme, but something in the 18psi range could be interesting to try IF the inner chamber helps provide some support. Truly useful or just complicating things? We'll see...

| Reply

There have been similar systems for 4x4 trucks for 10+ years they were used as a beadlock to keep the tire on, but allow single digit pressures. They are a pain to install, but do work well for the application. It should be viable in MTB if done correctly, it should be a similar effect to the old T.H.E. Eliminator rims.

| Reply

I cant see this working for the majority of MTB wheels.... Its great for an MX bike because their tires are so much thicker. But the average MTB tire is way to thin, you will still need sealant or you will be getting lots of flats. Also running your tires to low will just screw your rims up in no time at all. My current tubeless setup is fine.

I can only see this working DH bikes where the tires are stronger and thicker.

Happy to be proven wrong

| Reply
Show More Comment(s)