Cycling tyres come in two forms: Tubeless and Inner tube. “Typical” tyres with an inner tube have the tube filled with air to cushion the wheels while the tyre protects the tube and grips the ground for traction. The tubeless system is a type of wheel and tyre where the tyre is directly attached to the rim, with no inner tube in between. The tyre and rim form an airtight unit: you inflate the tyre directly, rather than the inner tube, which is the part that punctures. The tubeless system requires particular wheels and tyres, specifically designed.
Does this mean I’ll never get a puncture? No, but the risks are reduced. Most punctures happen because of pierced inner tube: if the tyre pressure is too light, the inner tube can bend and cut against the rim. The tubeless system eliminates this kind of puncture. A thorn or tiny hole in the tyre can still occur, however, making the tyre deflate. The tyre can then either be repaired, or an inner tube can be used temporarily until a replacement can be found.
Reducing the risk of punctures
If you experience a lot of punctures, you should try to find out why. Is there a small or large hole in the inner tube, or are there cuts on the inner tube’s sides? If it is a hole, check your tyre: it may be seriously worn.
You can also use self-healing inner tubes to reduce the risk of these kinds of puncture. If you do find cuts in the inner tube, this means that it hasn’t been inflated enough or that it’s not the right size to go with the tyre. Make sure the tyre is inflated accordingly to the instructions supplied by the manufacturer (pressure in bar written on the inner tube). Your usage, your weight, the type of terrain you ride on and the tyre’s size are also important when working out the pressure needed in your tyre.
Whenever you go for a ride, don’t forget to take a repair kit with you, with patches or new inner tubes.