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Revealed: Gwin’s secret weapon that costs less than £100 – Flat Tire Defender

"A game changer"

One of the keys to winning a World Cup season overall is consistency. Leogang curse aside, Gwin always seems to make it down the hill one way or another and a big part of that could be thanks to the Flat Tire Defender (sorry for the spelling, they’re American).

The Flat Tire Defender is a foam tube the sits on the rim of your wheel that softens any impacts. This means that it, in theory, eliminates pinch flats and reduces rim damage. As an added benefit it’s supposed to prevent side wall flex and absorb small bumps too – all for $121 (about 96 quid).

It looks a bit like a cross between Huck Norris and Schwalbe Procore and we love that something so simple can reduce a problem that’s plagued mountain bikers for years.

It does add about 300 grams to your ride (if you install it front and rear) so we reckon this is probably one for gravity riders only.

So here’s the big question – what happened to Gwin at Worlds? As the puncture came from a ripped sidewall, there wasn’t really much the Defender could do in that circumstance. I have some phone photos that I took on the day and we decided not to publish at the time. Is that the Flat Tire Defender wrapped round his brake that we all assumed was a tube in a ghetto ProCore set up? Oops!



With endorsements coming from Tracy Moseley, Justin Leov, Brook MacDonald and Laurie Greenland, you can be sure this sin’t just a gimmick. FTD will be available in all wheel sizes and we’ll let you know where you can buy them as soon as they are released.

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