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by James Huang
April 21, 2020
Photography by Effetto Mariposa and Brian Park
Aching for a tech fix now that the annual Sea Otter Classic trade show has been pushed back to October? Never fear! In its place, we bring you Pond Beaver 2020, our own virtual trade show! We went ahead and gathered up a mountain of information and images of new gear to come this season, all of which we’ll be rolling out to you in a satisfyingly steady stream over the next few weeks.
Tubeless tire plug kits are hardly new at this point, but Effetto Mariposa’s clever take on the idea is pretty interesting nonetheless.
The new Tappabuca plug kit comprises a silicone rubber cap with an integrated stainless fork for inserting the plug. The plug is sized to fit inside the end of your handlebar (drop bar or flat) for quick and easy access in the event of a flat. Alternatively, it’ll also fit inside the otherwise-unused hollow spindle of “most” modern cranksets.
The silicone rubber caps are sized to fit inside road or mountain handlebars for easy access.
Regardless of where you store it, the Tappabuco is also a little different in that it’s offered with two different fork sizes: the more common 3.5 mm-wide one typically used for mountain bike tires and/or bigger cuts; and a smaller 1.5 mm size that’s designed to work better with higher-pressure road and gravel tires.
Extra plugs can be attached directly to the Tappabuco fork, too.
Claimed weight is 13 grams for the Tappabuco 3.5 and 11 grams for the Tappabuco 1.5. Retail price for either kit (including five plugs) is US$18 / AU$25 / £12 / €10 (including VAT, where applicable). If you really want to be prepared, Effetto Mariposa is also selling combo kits with both sizes for US$25 / AU$49 / £20 / €20.
Effetto Mariposa is offering the Tappabuco in two different fork widths. The larger one is better suited to MTB tires and larger cuts, while the smaller ones should work better for smaller punctures and higher-pressure road or gravel tires. Photo: Brian Park.
Also new from Effetto Mariposa is a version of its Tyreinvader foam tire insert kit for narrower gravel tires or tubeless cyclocross setups.
Like other models in the Tyreinvader family, the Tyreinvader 35 is essentially a flat strip of thick EVA foam (the same stuff used in most athletic shoes) that lives inside your tubeless tire casing. Unlike other insert kits that fill up more of the casing interior, though, Tyreinvader’s flat form factor is intentionally designed to only come into play when the tire is bottomed out, providing a measure of impact resistance to protect against pinch flats and rim damage, but supposedly without otherwise affecting tire performance.
According to Effetto Mariposa, the EVA foam doesn’t absorb sealant, either.
Tyreinvader is a flat strip of EVA foam that lives inside your tubeless tire casing. It’s not meant to provide additional casing support, however. Instead, it’s mostly there for pinch flat and rim protection.
“Inserts can be easily overbuilt and over-engineered,” said Effetto Mariposa founder Alberto De Gioannini. “For most cycling purposes, you don’t need a very heavy insert as long as you choose the right material.”
The narrower 35 mm-wide size is designed for 32-42 mm tire widths, and internal rim widths from 18-25 mm. Claimed weight is 45 grams per insert, and retail price is US$70 / AU$114 / £50 / €50 per pair.
The Tappabuco plug kit works like most others as far as how holes are actually repaired.
They’ll also fit inside “most” hollow crankset spindles.
Tyreinvader is a pretty simple product when it comes down to it, but if it works, that’s all that matters.
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