As we race towards peak tire insert, we found a new one that’s gearing up for launch this fall. However, this is not your typical flat protector. Instead, it’s actually an airless system designed to allow you to use your favorite rubber tires. Since AirFōm isn’t launching until the Taipei show, details are still fairly limited, but the concept is pretty interesting.
One of the biggest differences between AirFōm and much of the airless competition is that it’s an insert, not a complete tire system. To ensure proper fit around the rim and to fill out the tire, the inserts appear to come in interlocking sections. It’s mentioned that only the larger MTB sizes use a three piece construction with the Energy, Backbone, and Foundation as shown above, the smaller sizes combine the Foundation and Backbone into one piece.
AirFōm claims their design mimics the ride of a pneumatic tire by using multiple foam layers and it is able to achieve about 60% of the rebound performance of an air tire.
Installed using tire levers, AirFōm also mentions a proprietary installation lubricant that is sprayed onto the tire bead to reduce tire/rim friction by 80%. But it also drys up in 30-45 minutes and won’t be reactivated by water.
With a claimed weight of 240-280g depending on the size, AirFōm is heavier than a tube, but it is impossible to flat. AirFōm also points out that their design uses materials that are not cross linked which makes them easily recyclable, though they’re also completely reusable.
AirFōm says that product will be in stores this winter, with more sizes offered in 2019.