The Air Liner Light
55g Tire Insert!
Head to the bottom of this article to read our Air Liner Light First Ride review
The NEW Air Liner Light – a superlight and superfast mtb insert for tubeless XC & Trail tyres that enhances suspension and with the ability for run-flat riding in the event of a puncture.
Available in Europe from late summer 2023.
The Air-Liner Light from Vittoria is the new insert for mountain bike tubeless tyres that enhances the performances and capabilities of the wheel-tyre system for Cross-Country, Down-Country and Trail applications.
Starting from the success of Air-Liner MTB tyre inserts, Vittoria engineered a new generation of mtb inserts whose aim goes far beyond puncture protection. Through close cooperation in the field with riders and mechanics from teams BMC MTB Racing, Santa Cruz FSA and KTM-Vittoria, Air-Liner Light has been developed to be extremely light and provide speed, protection, and run-flat performance.
Superlight and superfast
Air-Liner Light is the lightest and fastest insert for tubeless mtb tyres available in the market. With its 55g weight, Air-Liner Light is imperceptible and keeps the bike handling agile and fast. The shape of the insert is designed for a perfect fit with rim channels from 25mm to 30mm wide. This perfect fit ensures the insert is always properly fastened to the rim – this means no additional rotating mass inside the tyre.
Enhanced suspension characteristics
The tyre is the only point of contact between the rider, the bike, and the ground; it is therefore the first element that works to absorb the impacts when riding off road. The insert allows for the progressive compression of the tyre when the tyre is under load. By doing so, Air-Liner Light enhances the ride feel while increasing stability and grip. The progression of the compression is so effective that the rider does not even realize when the insert is working. In fact, the foam of the Air-Liner Light provides a kind of “limitless travel” to the tyre compression which translates into increased comfort, increased grip, and increased speed.
In case of a tyre puncture and consequent air loss, Air-Liner Light expands, offering excellent support to the tyre. The foam is made of open cells which can retain their own air pressure and releases the air held within the foam cells once the tyre starts to lose air. By doing so, Air-Liner Light expands in size and offers increased support to the wheel-tyre system, allowing run-flat riding. The insert is compatible with the use of sealant, and it is covered with a tough waterproof skin which prevents cuts and any absorption of sealant. Thanks to its advanced technology, Air-Liner Light can successfully take you home when you are out training or get you to the finish line when you are racing.
Protection and lateral stability
Air-Liner Light maximizes the tyre puncture protection. The progressive compression of the foam allows for extreme shock absorption and prevents tyre punctures caused by heavy impacts with the rim walls (snake bites). In addition, the design of the insert increases lateral stability in corners, preventing tyre burping. With Air-Liner Light inside your tyres you can attack the most extreme corners at speed with confidence.
Air-Liner Light specifications
Air-Liner Light comes in one superlight loop (55g only) coloured with the iconic Air-Liner green from Vittoria. It is compatible with mountain bike tyre sizes 29”x2.1” up to 29”x2.4”, with rim channels 25mm up to 30 mm wide, and with any type of liquid sealant. Air-Liner Light must be used in combination with tubeless tyres and multiway tubeless valves only. The packaging of Air-Liner Light contains one insert and one Vittoria Green Multiway Tubeless valve 40mm long.
MSRP: € 59.95
Head to the Vittoria website to learn more, or keep reading for our first ride impressions.
THE NEW Vittoria Air Liner Light
First Ride by Robert Johnston | Photos by Mountain Bike Connection Summer – Rupert Fowler
I had the pleasure of previewing the Air Liner Light inserts when Vittoria was first showing them at the Bike Connection Agency Mountain Bike Connection Summer 2022 event in the Dolomites, Italy. This allowed me to learn about the inserts from one of the team at Vittoria, which left me very intrigued about their performance. I managed to get a brief first ride out in Italy on board a Cannondale Scalpel SE, but with unfamiliar trails and a bike that was far outside my usual remit I would have to wait until I fitted them to a more appropriate bike and attacked the local trails to get a real feel for how they performed. Back home, I’ve had around five rides on the Air Liner Light inserts, which has certainly given me enough to talk about their feel, but not the ability to comment on their long term durability nor the run-flat performance.
As inserts go, the Vittoria Air Liner Light is as easy to fit as it gets. In fact, they almost make tire fitting easier, thanks to their tendency to hold the bead in place with a light pressure on the tire sidewall to make bead seating that little bit more likely to succeed. I aired up the tires to 3 PSI less than without the inserts, which achieved similar levels of sidewall support for cornering and g-outs, but gave the extra conforming to the terrain to take some more sting out of the trail without feeling any reduction in rolling speed. The 55g of the inserts makes little to no perceivable impact to the acceleration of the wheels with them fitted, it’s really quite impressive.
Slightly reduced air pressure in the tire combined with a slightly more damped feel combines to increase the ability of the tire to comform and stick to the terrain below, both up and down the hill. Technical climbs can be cleaned easier, and you feel a little more planted through rough terrain on the way down. But there’s only the slightest of impact to the agility of the bike – the Air Liner Light inserts really are “barely there”. There’s certainly not the same level of impact absorption as the likes of the Rimpact Pro or Cushcore XC inserts, but then you’d expect as such given the weight is around 1/3rd of the aforementioned. That said, the Air Liner Lights do a great job at adding support and cushion, punching far above their light weight, but don’t give you the sensation that they are there.
I’ve yet to log the kind of miles necessary to form a long term impression of their durability, nor sustain a puncture to test their run-flat performance. But if my initial impressions are anything to go by, the Air Liner Light inserts are going to find their way into every trail bike I ride for the foreseeable, as they only stand to improve the ride performance and increase my confidence in a less stiff tire casing. Impressive stuff!
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