Review | Flat Tire Defender tubeless inserts are easy on your rims, but hard on your hands

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Tubeless tyre inserts claim to offer additional protection for your mountain bike rim, so you can run lower tyre pressures for improved traction. The Flat Tire Defender is a US-made foam insert that is used by none other than a Mr Aaron Gwin. To find out if it’s all that and a bag o’ chips, we got our local rim-dinger, David Hayward, to put them through the grinder as part of a tubeless insert group test. Over to David!

Gimme an E! Gimme a P! Gimme a D! Gimme an M! What have you got? Ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber!


flat tire defender tubeless insert tyre

Unlike the other foam tyre inserts in this group test, Flat Tire Defender is an EPDM foam rubber extrusion, which in comparison feels very different. If you’ve ever picked up a snake, you’ll know they actually feel quite warm, dry and strong. People who haven’t ever handled a snake though tend to imagine them as floppy and squishy. That’s what Flat Tire Defender feels like – an imaginary snake.

Initially, this squish, flop, and comparatively small cross sectional area didn’t fill me with confidence, so of course I threw it in a wheel and thrashed it down some things so rocky they barely qualify as trails. And in short, it works. It works much better than I expected it to, but I’m getting ahead of myself. First, let’s talk about fitting it.

flat tire defender tubeless insert tyre
Oh, they’re just Flat Tire Defender tubeless inserts.

Fitting The Flat Tire Defender



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Interested to see what other tubeless inserts are available and how they perform? Check out all of our tubeless insert reviews right here!

Review Info

Brand:Flat Tire Defender
Product:Elite 27.5
Tested:by David Hayward for 6 weeks

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