Of late we’ve seen a few MTB tubeless tire add-ons designed to further lessen the chance of a flat on the trail. While sealant does a great job plugging holes, with many experimenting with lower tire pressures and wide rims, if you smack a rock at speed you can still puncture, or worse, dent or crack a rim.
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Along the same lines as the Cush Core tire insert, Mr Wolf's Banger Anti-Flat system is essentially a foam tube that fills a portion of the tire to not only reduce the inner air volume but also pad the rim.
The Banger is made of a low density ‘technopolymer' and Mr Wolf says it reduces the air volume inside the tire by 95 percent while also reducing vibration, absorbing shocks and providing ‘flat prevention’ by reducing the risk of punctures or cuts to your tire by 90 percent. The brand goes on to say the Banger reduces the force of vertical impacts by 75 percent, lateral vibrations by 83 percent and longitudinal vibrations by 67 percent.
Part of the advantage of tubeless tires is reduced rolling resistance by eliminating the friction between the tube and tire, and you'd think to put a solid structure inside the tire would reintroduce this function.
To find this out, Mr Wolf enlisted rolling resistance specialist Wheel Energy to test the Banger's effect, and the results showed that when compared to a tubeless system, the Banger only adds 1 percent or 0.7-watts of resistance — though the firm doesn't mention at what speed the tire was tested.
Being that the Banger fills the majority of the casing it also appears to provide support for the casing, not only to protect the rim, but also providing a bit of cornering support for the side wall, as well as holding the bead in place to prevent burping.
As with all of these systems, they add rotational mass to your wheelset, and the Banger is claimed to weigh between 180g and 350g per wheel depending on wheel size and tire width. But Mr Wolf is quick to point out that its system should also allow you to use a lighter weight tire. Whether or not the positives outweigh the negatives is to be determined.
Mr Wolf says it has spent five years in developing the technopolymer foam that is extremely lightweight, but also maintains elasticity, shock absorption and is claimed to last about a year depending on the rider. The brand also says the Banger has a ‘skin’ that is waterproof and prevents it from absorbing tire sealant, too.
Available in tire widths and the three major wheel sizes, the brand says the Banger is compatible with any tubeless wheel and tire combo and doesn’t require any special valves, tubes, tools or rim strips, just a small insert that fits into your current valve.
Set to retail for €249.99, the price will likely be hard to swallow for many, but for the money you get two Bangers, two single serves of sealant, two T-Reduction valve inserts, and a valve core removal tool.
Live on Kickstarter Mr Wolf’s Banger has already raised over €40,000 of its €50,000 goal.