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Early tube­less sys­tems also seemed des­tined to stay niche. They were aimed at XC rac­ers and weight-wee­nies. But of course, the tech­nol­ogy sur­round­ing them caught up. Tires im­proved, la­tex-based sealant ar­rived, and most re­cently, the tire plug made the leap from cars to bikes. Sud­denly, it was hard to imag­ine the days of the in­ner tube.

Tube­less plugs all do es­sen­tially the same thing, but each uses a dif­fer­ent method. Black­burn and Gen­uine In­no­va­tions sim­ply scaled down the plug sys­tem we all should (but prob­a­bly don’t) have in our glove box. And Dy­naplug scaled down a unique sys­tem of its own.

In­stead of wait­ing un­til I got enough pinch flats to ex­haust the sup­ply of the 53 var­i­ous plugs I planned to go through, I sat down in the garage with four tires, two bot­tles of Stan’s, an air com­pres­sor, an X-Acto knife, goggles and a lab coat in an ef­fort to find which plug I want with me when the sun is go­ing down fast, and my tire pres­sure is go­ing down faster.

The first mo­bile phones showed lit­tle prom­ise of ever ap­peal­ing to the masses. But then, cel­lu­lar net­works ex­panded, mi­cro­pro­ces­sors ar­rived and sud­denly it was hard to imag­ine the days of the land line.

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