Vittoria Air Liner Gravel

Vittoria’s puncture solution for gravel and cyclo-cross tyres

Vittoria's Air Liner Gravel will let you run lower pressures and protect your rims
Vittoria’s Air Liner Gravel will let you run lower pressures and protect your rims

A while back I asked do we need tyre inserts? I had yet to try out an insert, but since then I have used Effeto Mariposa’s Tyre Invaders. These convinced me that tyre inserts are worth having, especially off-road. I now have a set of Vittoria’s Air Liner Gravel inserts to try out and these have a different shape and colour!

The Vittoria Air Liner Gravel is one of four types of liner in Vittoria’s range. There are two for MTBs, one for road and this, the gravel version. All of them are made from the same bright green, high-density polymer which has been treated with a water-proof coating. The coating is to stop the liner absorbing your sealant.

The Air Liner Gravel is designed to give you impact resistance and puncture protection. It does this by compressing when you hit an edge square on; a rock, pothole or root. Vittoria says the resistance of the Air Liner Gravel increases as it compresses. The liner feels firm when you handle it, not as soft as a pool-noodle, if you’ve used one of those before. It has got a slight ‘squidge’ to it, but it’s a lot firmer than you might think. This means that the ‘crack!’ as you hit an un-seen rock, should be transformed into more of a dull, less expensive thud.

The Air Liner Gravel has a coating to stop it absorbing sealant
The Liner has a coating to stop it absorbing sealant

Air Liner Gravel means lower tyre pressures

According to Vittoria the liner also helps keep your tyre’s bead locked in place against the rim. This will reinforce the sidewall when cornering; handy as you will be running lower pressures. With the ability to run lower pressures – I found I was using 10psi less – your ride will be more comfortable. As you’ll no longer be worrying about damaging your rims, you can drop your tyre pressures for a more comfortable ride. On long off-road rides this can make a big difference to how you perform. Not being constantly battered by the trail surface, you’ll finish fresher and get better performance from your tyre. Those lower pressures will get more of the tread in contact with the ground. This will help with grip when cornering and climbing; ask any ‘cross rider.

Weights and sizes

The Air Liner Gravel comes in one size fits all, up to a 40mm tyre and a 25mm rim bed. Weight is claimed at 47g, mine came out at 48g on my kitchen scales. Inside the handy bright green carry bag that they come in, you get a 40mm tubeless valve and a zip-tie. The zip-tie is used to join the two ends of the liner together after you cut it to size. The valve has multiple air holes to help prevent the sealant from clogging it. Some of these are positioned around the side of the valve, so they aren’t blocked by the liner sitting on top.

We'll be trying out the Air Liner Gravel with Vittoria's Terreno Dry tyres and Universal Sealant
We’ll be trying out the Air Liner Gravel with Vittoria’s Terreno Dry tyres and Universal Sealant

I’ll put up a video to show how easy – or not – installation is. The Tyre Invaders were a bit of a faff to fit, but as this is generally an operation you’re not often doing, that’s acceptable. I’ll see how the Air Liner Gravel compares both with installation and in use; keep an eye out for the final review. You can see the Air Liner Gravel on Vittoria’s website.

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