Starlight Wheels

Half the Parts, Half the Hassle

No more pinched tubes or leaking wheel halves. That's what Starlight Wheels claims their new one-piece solid wheel can do for your ultralight.

If you've been flying your ultralight for a number of hours, I bet the following has happened to you.

You're taxiing down the runway, or have just landed only to find you have a flat tire. Or you've just installed a set of brakes only to find they really weren't worth taking the time to install.

A company called Starlight Wheels located in San Diego, California may have answers to fix these problems. According to Starlight president Bruce Root, most flat tire problems are caused by the tube in the tire being pinched by the two outer wheel rim halves. In the case of tubeless tires, flats can be caused by air leaking out when the bolts holding the halves together loosen.

Starlight's solution? A true, one-piece solid wheel. Instead of being bolted together, Starlight wheel halves are welded together with more surface sealing area for the tire to grip.

"This makes the rims truer running with a tighter fit," claims Root. "The rims are designed to be tubeless, but can also be run with tubes inside and are available in all standard sizes and rim offsets. Since the rim is one piece, tubes can't be caught and pinched. Even with all of the air out, the tire will not fully collapse, rather it will ride on the inner bead of the rim."

All Starlight wheel rims are designed to take a number of ultralight brake systems, with a weight savings of almost half a standard rim and brake system, claims the company. With some minor machining modifications to a brake system used with the Starlight wheel, braking performance is claimed to increase by 75%.

- Dave Loveman

Info: Starlight Wheels, 6676 Varney Drive, Dept. UF, San Diego, CA 92114.
Phone: (619) 266-1076 * Fax: (619) 527-4045.