to tubeless or not to tubeless, that is the question

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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IrrelevantD
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by IrrelevantD

pmprego wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:50 am
I just can't see the benefit of not going tubeless. Rolling resistance is claimed to be better but apart from that the main benefit for me is being so less likely to get a puncture. Even if you replace a tube at the speed of a F1 pit stop you are going to lose more time than with good tubeless tires and sealant.
I'm in this boat as well.

I've been running road tubeless since sometime arround 2007~2008, and exclusively tubeless for about the last 10 years. For the last 5 years I have averaged over 6,500mi/year and I can count on one hand the number of times I've suffered a catestrophic failure and had to either call for a ride or walk since I started running tubeless.

I used to go through at least a dozen tubes a year, which amounts to I don't know how long on the side of the road changing tubes and had to call for a ride due to multiple punctures at least every few months. Switching to tubeless was the best bike upgrade I ever made. Additional comfort from being able to run lower pressure and better rolling resistance is just an added benefit.

I generally will pull off my tires, rinse them out and re-mount them every 4~6 months. Aside from that, unless I get a puncture I don't bother with them. The key is good sealant. My personal preference is Stan's Race, or regular Stan's if I'm in a pinch. I also cary plugs and a mini-pump for emergency situations. I don't bother carying tubes for road anymore, only for gravel or MTB tires.

If you get a puncture, DO NOT let it go all the way flat, pull over and put a plug in it. If it seals before you stop, great, but if it doesn't seal in a few seconds don't wait for all of the sealant to blow out. Put a plug in it and air it up. If it still leaks, ride it till it gets spongy, then stop and air it up again. Worst case, it will get you to where you need to be.

DO NOT let it go all the way flat, If the tire gets too low (like 20PSI low on a skinny tire) you run the risk of the bead slipping into the channel, and that's where the nightmare begins.

DO NOT USE CO2 unless absolutely necessary. And I mean the only thing you should use CO2 for is if the bead comes off. CO2 comes out cold enough it will flash freeze your sealant rendering it useless. If you must use CO2 for any reason other than re-seating the bead, keep the valve stem at 12 O'clock to minimize the chance of the sealant freezing and take the tire off, clean it out and re set it up when you get home.

You're going to get all sorts of opinions on the toppic in here. People who are 100% for, people who are 100% against. Neither will be 100% right fit for everyone. Best thing to do is to educate yourself on it and make up your own mind as to what will be best for your needs.
* There is a 70% chance that what you have just read has a peppering of cynicism or sarcasm and generally should not be taken seriously.
I'll leave it up to you to figure out the other 30%. If you are in any way offended, that's on you.

by Weenie


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Lewn777
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by Lewn777

I think tubeless or not depends on your circumstances. There is no right or wrong answer. Could be a no brainer either way.

-Most sealants were developed for MTB, they don't seal road tires at high pressures. If you can get reasonably priced large consignments of working sealant like Orange sealant then that would be a plus.

-The idea that road tubless means no more punctures is wrong. The wrong tire for your conditions is still the wrong tire. Too thin a tire and you'll get multiple tubeless punctures and you'll have a dried out tire that won't seal in five minutes. If you get loads of punctures with tubes you simply need a more robust tire.

-Make sure that you use tubeless only on a bike in regular use. Tubeless on a bike you barely use will just end up dried out and again punctures won't seal.

-If you are a high mileage rider there can be significant increased cost going tubless. My favorite tubeless tires are more than double and sometimes treble the cost of their tubed versions. That means as I change the tires every 3000kms which is every month spring to autumn including sealant can start getting way more expensive.

-Lots of people get very few punctures with tubes, or are very good at changing and reapiring old tubes, for those people I would suggest just sticking with tubes. Some people are terrible at changing tubes, and/or are terrible at repairing punctured tubes so buy a new tube each time they puncture, for those people I would suggest trying tubeless.

In my circumstance I have cheap locally avaialable tube type tires and tubes. Tubes are very easy to repair here and tubeless tires and good sealant is exotic hard to source and expensive, but if I lived somewhere else then I might run tubeless. I always run tubeless on my mountain bikes because I get through far less tires, a Minion or Magic Mary can last for 6 months or even longer. For gravel riding and CX tubeless, road somewhat on the fence.

Nefarious86
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by Nefarious86

3000km a month? What tyres do you run?

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Nikoras
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by Nikoras

pmprego wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:50 am
I just can't see the benefit of not going tubeless. Rolling resistance is claimed to be better but apart from that the main benefit for me is being so less likely to get a puncture. Even if you replace a tube at the speed of a F1 pit stop you are going to lose more time than with good tubeless tires and sealant.
So I've run tubeless for a bit and the biggest downside by far is actually getting the tire onto the rim. Sometimes it's just so damn hard I'm afraid I won't be able to do it to change a spare. Other than that it's pretty alright.

velomane
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by velomane

Lots of great advice in this thread. Thanks so much your posts!

vinny
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by vinny

yeah thanks this thread was/is awesome

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Lewn777
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by Lewn777

Nefarious86 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:07 am
3000km a month? What tyres do you run?

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Panaracer Race A Evo 3 tube version. Reasonably fast for a durable tire. Not as quick as the benchmark Continental GP4000S2, but only gives away a few watts. Tried many other tires, but not durable enough, too slow or too expensive. I pay about USD$35 a tire and $3.50 a tube.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

d36 wrote:
Tue Dec 03, 2019 9:37 am
I dont get tubeless for road

I went back to latex tubes after multiple punctures
Nothing sealed and I was never able to ride home without taking off the tyre and putting in a tube (which is more effort with tubeless tyres)
You failed to carry plugs then.

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

Lewn777 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:40 am

-If you are a high mileage rider there can be significant increased cost going tubless. My favorite tubeless tires are more than double and sometimes treble the cost of their tubed versions. That means as I change the tires every 3000kms which is every month spring to autumn including sealant can start getting way more expensive.

Suck up the sealant in your old tires with a syringe and reuse it in the new tires. Or homebrew your own sealant. Also pick longer lasting tires. I've been praising Corsa Control G2.0s lately. I'm past 6300km on the rear.

dim
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by dim

TobinHatesYou wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 9:41 am
Lewn777 wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:40 am

-If you are a high mileage rider there can be significant increased cost going tubless. My favorite tubeless tires are more than double and sometimes treble the cost of their tubed versions. That means as I change the tires every 3000kms which is every month spring to autumn including sealant can start getting way more expensive.

Suck up the sealant in your old tires with a syringe and reuse it in the new tires. Or homebrew your own sealant. Also pick longer lasting tires. I've been praising Corsa Control G2.0s lately. I'm past 6300km on the rear.
How many punctures have you had on the rear tyre with the 6300 km?
Trek Emonda SL6
Miyata One Thousand

TobinHatesYou
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by TobinHatesYou

dim wrote:
Wed Dec 04, 2019 10:32 am

How many punctures have you had on the rear tyre with the 6300 km?

Only one at the very edge of the sidewall near the tread that sprayed any sealant at all. I didn't notice it during the ride. I did attempt to pull some of the excess dried sealant off the sidewall, but that reopened the puncture and it had to seal itself again. I don't want to make any claims about puncture resistance on these tires because it could just be luck. The tread life is measurable though...it's wonderful.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

Just mounted some Corsa control TLR tyre on a heavy bike, I suspect I'm a bit heavier than THY so lets see how long they last.

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kytyree
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by kytyree

I've been wanting to try a Vittoria TLR but haven't as their normal clinchers just don't hold up to the roads around where I live now. They used to be one of my preferred tires when I lived in more forgiving areas. Right now I've got one of the IRC's on one road bike and the Hutchinson Fusion 5 Performance on another. Whichever of those is done first I'm swapping to the Conti GP5000's. My gut feeling though is if I could get a good price on the IRC's I'd stick with them, and I may yet as it is possible that I'm not really saving any money by using something else.

But as of this summer I've swapped everything over to tubless except the old bike that lives on the trainer.

MikeD
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by MikeD

Are plugs only for larger holes? I had a thorn puncture that wouldn't seal. Tried a plug, but the hole was too small. I figured if I forced it in, I'd make the hole bigger, thus degrading the tire by ripping a larger hole in it. Didn't think that was wise. I think plugs are over rated. Most punctures I get are from thorns.

AJS914
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by AJS914

Were you low on sealant? It seems like a thorn hole should seal.

by Weenie


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