The Claim: Bike mechanics and low budget mountain bikers know that all it takes is a tube split down the middle and some pre-mixed sealant to create a poor man’s tubeless set up. The Hutchinson Convert’air tubeless system improves on the idea with a more durable oversized rim strip and removable valve stem.
The Trial: Installation is a snap, the directions are easy to follow, and Hutchinson provides all the tools needed to convert to tubeless. It’s easiest to use CO2, or an air compressor to get your tires to seat on the rim, preventing you from getting covered in tire sealant while pumping frantically with a floor pump. The perforated lines on the rim strips also make it easy to remove excess material, making this tubeless conversion look much cleaner than using a split tube.
The Verdict: With tubeless tires it’s possible to run lower tire pressures for better traction. Reduced rolling mass in the wheels translates to the most noticeable weight savings on a bike as well. It’s like adding extra horsepower to your legs without spending time in the gym. Hutchinson’s kit isn’t as elegant as other systems on the market. On the other hand it’s simple, effective, and makes any tire and rim combo tubeless. The Convert’air kit is the perfect upgrade for those looking to switch to tubeless, but not ready to invest in a new rim and tire combo. $25; hutchinsontires.com —Gavin Gibson