SoulCiccia, we are sure that this name will not reach you new, it is a Made in Italy anti-puncture insert used by one of the legends of Italian MTB: Martino Fruet.
In addition to Trentino, two other “thick” names in the enduro world use SoulCiccia: Marcello Pesenti and Erwin Ronzon, this is to make you understand that it is one of those inserts chosen by those who really go full throttle on their bikes.
We met Harry Bang (stage name), the founder of SoulCiccia who introduced us to the 2020 range, distributed in Italy by Mandelli.
One of the things that caught our attention is the fact that SoulCiccia claims to have made the lightest XC insert on the market: the 29 “version with 40mm diameter and medium density of the material, in fact has a declared weight of only 49 grams, a perfect match with GoodYear Peak tires.
Then there are two inserts, characterized by the blue color, with larger dimensions of 45 millimeters and 50 millimeters. The 45mm is from Enduro, it stays under 100 grams and has a higher density to meet the needs of aggressive off-road riding.
The 50mm insert on the other hand is expressly dedicated to use with E-Bikes. The electric world, together with the Gravel one, is perhaps the sector in which we see the greatest need for inserts since the weight of eMTBs more often leads to punctures and cuts especially on the rear.
SoulCiccia also produces a specific insert for Gravel and Cyclocross bikes for 700C wheels and 35 mm diameter, while all the others are available in 27.5 “and 29” versions.
WE ASKED AN OPINION FROM MARTINO FRUET AND ERWIN RONZON
Martino He told us: “I have been using SoulCiccia for 4 years and now I use them on any bike, on the XC, on the E-Bike at the world championship, when I do enduro, but also on the Gravel to always be sure to go home.
I like the XC ones because first of all they are very light and this is important in the race, but despite their weight they ensure the support they have to give. I haven’t changed the tire pressure, I use the same one, but at least I break fewer rims (and if you have ever seen Martino going downhill with his HardTail you understand why he says so, NDA) and then in the case of a puncture I can get to the technical area. To tell the truth sometimes when I’m in training and don’t feel like repairing I come home on the insert with no problems.
Another thing I like about SoulCiccia is the fact that they don’t absorb a lot of liquid, so I don’t have to add a lot and even if I take a plug the hole is closed without problems by the liquid. Let’s say that their main advantage is the weight / functionality ratio.“
Photo ©Deven Franzin
Erwin: “I always use them and on all bikes (Enduro, e-bike, gravel) I usually use the diameter ones 40, gray at the front and 45 blue at the rear for a little more safety, in my opinion it’s the perfect combo. I usually ride at 1.65 bar at the rear and 1.45 bar at the front … obviously it changes according to the route and the conditions. If it is wet it also drops to 1.35 and 1.55 bar, on the contrary if it is dry with maximum grip and perhaps with many parts pedaled in the race I rise to 1.55 and 1.75 bar … more or less almost always in this range here . The value of SoulCiccia is certainly the weight, it is practically not perceptible“.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE THE ANTI-PUNCH INSERT
SoulCiccia also explains each step of the editing in a practical video:
Here is explained in words. Unbead the tire on one side only, as for mounting an inner tube. Disassemble the valve and make a small channel with a cutter in correspondence with the hole on the inside of the rubber, then reassemble the valve (only for kits without the valve already modified).
Insert the “Soulciccia” by inserting the “taped” part above the valve rubber. Begin to heel the rubber from the valve side, to fix the “SoulCiccia” in the correct position, with the tape over the valve.
Continue to heel until just over half the circumference, at this point a portion of the “Soulciccia” will tend to come out on the opposite side of the valve. Gently insert the spilled portion, starting from the sides and working gradually. Once the “Soulciccia” is in contact, continue with the bead of the rubber, taking care to check that the bead is in the central channel of the rim, in order to minimize the resistance to the final bead.
Before proceeding to complete closure, insert the usual amount of anti-puncture liquid. Only if necessary, use a tire changer, always from the sides and in stages. Once the tire has been mounted, it is sufficient to inflate it with a common workshop pump, the compressor may be necessary only with some rubber / rim couplings.
On average, the inflation pressure with “Soulciccia” inserted is 0.3 / 0.4 bar under the usual pressure, with obvious advantages in terms of driving comfort and cornering grip, but it is still good to personally experiment with other possibilities based on your characteristics.
PRICES AND AVAILABILITY
The inserts SoulCiccia they are sold through the Mandelli distribution network in pairs with or without the two dedicated ultralight valves (5 grams each). All diameters have the same price 59 euros for the pair, 69 euros for the pair plus the two valves.