Tube versus tubeless tyres

By Stella Naigino

tubeless tires and wheels are quiet expensive.

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Tyres are usually viewed as the ones responsible for carrying the weight of the car and also determine how the car moves on the road.

However, a motorist is left with the challenge of deciding on whether to use tube tyres or tubeless tyres.  But one wonders how a tube tyre differs from a tubeless tyre.

According to Saleem Meerasa a marketing manager Tyre Express, tubeless tyres are those that can be used without an inner tube, but rather have a rim that enables the bead of the tyre to seat on and seal properly.

He explains that for it to function well, a valve stem is also necessary much as some car owners prefer adding a seam sealant to avoid air loss.  "Tube tyres usually have an inner tube that is inflated with air pressure," he says.

Issues to do with getting flat
Meerasa notes that with tubeless tyres, a motorist will rarely get a flat tyre while on the road. He explains that with a tube tyre, going flat while on the road is common because when you hit a hard object on the road or even just a hump.

Better traction
"With a tubeless tyre, a motorist gets better traction while on the road simply because with a tubeless tyre, you can drive on lower pressure which puts more tyre tread in contact with the ground," he explains.

He adds that this guarantees good balancing on the road since tyres absorb bumps on the road, hence making you enjoy your ride.

Fuel efficiency
Meerasa notes that with a tubeless tyre, a motorist reduces on the car weight. This makes you use less energy to drive. He adds that since there is no tube, and the weight is reduced, you will end up using little fuel.

He adds that a tubeless is cost friendly because one does not have to pay extra for the tube, yet the one who uses a tube tyre pays extra fee for the tube.

Tubeless tyres guarantee safety
Naira Namuddu the director SMK tyres notes that when you have tubeless tires, you still have control of your car even when your tyre gets punctures.

"This is because air loss is very minimal and it allows the driver to slow down the car and work on the a tube tyre, this does not happen. Once a tube bursts, it makes a sound of a balloon and it becomes deflated. The sound it makes alone can scare the driver who can in the end lose control of the vehicle and cause an accident," she explains.

Life span
Namuddu says tubeless tires last long because they rarely get punctures and also are not so much affected by heat generated due to friction. Tube tyres can burst any time because they are exposed to heat caused due to friction between the tire wall and the inner tube.

However, experts note that much as they are better to use, tubeless tires and wheels are quiet expensive compared to their counter parts.

"Fixing them is another challenge that if a motorist is not informed on how to fix the tyre, he is bound to fail. Always ask professionals to help you fix the tire," he says.

Which cars use what type?
Moses Kayiira a mechanic notes that the type of tyre a car uses is determined by the car rim and incase a motorist wanted to change to another type, they start by first changing the car rim that matches with type of tyre that motorists prefers.

However, he notes that cars like Tata Elf, Land cruisers, Harriers, trucks and trailers usually use tube tyres. He says tubeless tyres are commonly used by small cars like Spacio, Raum, Premio and Vitz among others.

He notes that prices of tube tyres differ from those of Tubeless tyres, but the range is sh150000-8500000 depending on the size and type.