One of the stranger things we’ve seen so far at Eurobike is Huck Norris. They say it fights off Bruce Leaks. Hailing from Finland, it’s a type of foam tubeless puncture protection that they’ve tested extensively racing rocky tech. They’ve given us a set to test, which will be going to David thanks to his substantial reputation for smashing wheels into waterbars.
Below is how it fits. Astoundingly, it also makes it much easier to seal tubeless tyres.
“It’s not the same foam as a camping mat” they volunteered, and indeed on closer inspection it isn’t. It’s a closed cell foam and slightly denser. I asked how many types of foam they’d tried in prototypes, and they said five different industrial foams before they found the right balance of weight and resilience. At just 70 – 77g per wheel, it’s also a lot lighter than the other puncture protection systems out there.
Unlike more complicated setups like Procore and Deaneasy, it’s just one piece of foam that goes in your tyre and doesn’t need to sit tight down to the rim bed. It actually floats a few centimetres above the rim, in the middle of the tyre.
They challenged me to fail at using a track pump to mount a tyre with it in. There was no sealant and no lube on the beads, but thanks to it reducing the total air volume slightly, and giving the tyre a bit of shape when deflated, to my surprise it went straight up and onto the beads. Sure, it’ll leak without any sealant in, but short of using a compressor this was the easiest time I’ve ever had getting a tyre to seal. The show halls are boiling hot and I didn’t get even slightly sweaty!
Once inflated, it also made a whizzing sound as it rotated inside the tyre. I suspect that will be less pronounced when sealant’s in there, and apparently on the bike you’ll only hear the whizz under hard braking.
It remains to be seen how Huck Norris will withstand the rocks of Calderdale, but it’s off to a promising start. We’ll let you know as we test it for the next few months.