Thursday, December 16, 2010

Part 2 of my interview with Alberto De Gioannini of Effetto Mariposa

 Last week, I posted part one of my interview with Alberto De Gioannini of Effetto Mariposa.    Today, I received his answers to some additional questions:

Jason: Here in Colorado, we can see temperatures below from well below zero to well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (-18 to 38C).  I noticed it is not too warm this time of year in Bra, Italy either.   Have you discovered the effective operating temperature range of your sealant products?

Alberto: The effective operating temperature is -20/+50°C, that covers 99% of the conditions you might want (dare?) to ride in...

Jason:While your sealant products are well known to cyclists here in the United States, your rim strip may be less commonly seen.   What differences are there between your tubeless rim strip and some of your competitors such as Stans?

Alberto:  My rim strip is a super-strong, fiberglass reinforced adhesive tape. One layer can stand over 8 bar (but I use two layers for road tubeless, for additional safety in the long term use). Compared to other adhesive strips, it's very durable but requires a certain care while putting it in place on the rim.

Jason: What do you see as the future of road tubeless technology.   Do you think it will be a temporary fad, a small niche, or a major challenge to tubulars and standard clinchers?

Alberto: Tubeless in its current incarnation has certain advantages over tube-type (low inflating pressure, lightness, puncture prevention), but these advantages are more relevant/easily achievable for mtb than road applications. The fact you can't use a normal tire and that "hybrid" road-tubeless tires are not there yet (they're just fully "tubeless" tires), means the weight advantage over tube+tire is very narrow (given the same tread thickness, it's hardly there..).

Low inflating pressure for comfort is a good argument, but you can use a lower pressure with your usual tire+tube combo, as pinch-flat or punctures are not that much of an issue on the road (compared to the off-road environment).

What I would like to see is some serious data on reduced rolling resistance for road tubeless over tube type and tubulars: that would be a convincing argument for many people. The weight will eventually go down when more tire manufacturers start working on a road tubeless offering, so I see some good selling arguments coming for road tubeless products in the future.

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