Effetto Mariposa Tyreinvader Preview
Worried about damaging your nice carbon rims off-road? We take a look at the Effetto Mariposa TyreInvader
I wrote about tyre inserts a while back pondering whether it was something that would be of use on my gravel rides. Well the nice people at Effetto Mariposa have sent me a set of their Tyreinvaders to try out. If you haven’t come across tyre inserts before, then perhaps a little explanation is required. Tyre inserts are foam rings that sit inside your tyre, protecting your rims from hard impacts.
The material and shape of these inserts varies, some are designed to almost fill the tyre, others have an air-void inside. The Tyreinvader is made from a high-density EVA, similar to what you find on the soles of running shoes. This is a closed cell polymer that can absorb heavy impacts and won’t absorb fluid: handy when your tyre is full of sealant.
While many inserts have a round profile that mimics the shape of the tyre, the Tyreinvader is flat. This allows it to sit inside the tyre, overhanging and protecting the rim. The flat shape means it only works under extreme conditions, so it shouldn’t affect the feel of the ride. And if you do lose all pressure, then you can carry on riding the tyre. There are are also cut-outs in the insert, these allow sealant and air to move freely inside the tyre. There are also cut-outs that allow unobstructed air-flow to the valves.
Tyreinvader – Space Invader?
And what about those cut-outs, why the space-invader shapes? Well it’s a little nod to ’80s retro gaming, who’s old enough to remember Space Invaders? Effetto Mariposa decided that as their insert was invading the tyre, then the little alien motifs made sense: Space Invader, Tyreinvader. The Tyreinvader comes packaged as a pair in one length and five widths. You cut them down to whatever wheel-size you need and then join them with zip-ties.
With tyres getting wider and pressures lower – allowing for better traction and comfort – so the chances of harsh impacts damaging your rims increase. I have aluminium rims that have been dented off-road on harsh trails. While they’re still useable, getting them to seal tubeless can be difficult. Taking my new Handsling CEXevo out on the concrete-like chalk of the South Downs, I’ve had quite a few rim impacts. As tough as the carbon rims are, it’s always a worry. In fact this is what got me thinking about tyre inserts in the first place. I’ll be trying the Tyreinvaders out over the summer and will let you know how I get on. In the meantime check out Effetto Mariposa’s website, they’ve got some interesting tubeless products there, as well as lot’s of how-to videos, worth a look.