Tubeless for gravel - does it make sense?

Especially for light weight issues concerning cyclocross / touring bikes & parts.

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Marin
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Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

I'm running tubeless on 650b wheels with 42mm Pari-Motos and they have been excellent.

I even used tubeless worms to repair a tire recently following since @bm0p700f is such a proponent. Worked really well, could ride on after 2 min, much faster than any tube change.

Tubeless is almost a necessity for rougher gravel since you don't want to have to ride on tiptoes to avoid snakebites. With tubeless you can drop your pressure and just ride over anything.

by Weenie


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lukasamd
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by lukasamd

But if I have carbon frame, carbon handlebar, carbon fork and my weight is not big (about 73 kg)... do I really need very low pressure?
Snakebites are possible on hard terrain (like my last race), but not on "standard gravel roads".

I tested gravelkings for about month with different pressures and gravel roads. Too low pressure = they are slow. Something about 40-50 PSI is great enough for comfort and also very fast. And with that pressure, I can use tube.

About flats: I can "save" money using tubeless and not chaning broken tubes (but there is additional cost for tyres, for tape, for sealant, etc.), but I can also buy better tyres with better protection.. or use some sealant in tubes.

Marin
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Location: Vienna Austria

by Marin

If you don't need it, don't do it. I'm not trying to convince you.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

lukasamd, refitting a previously fitted tubeless tyres give sealing issues sometimes the bead stretches. you end up having to fit more tape to get a seal. So it not the tubeless tyre that the proble but an assumption you made + lack of knowledge.

bm0p700f
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by bm0p700f

low pressures are faster off road than higher pressures full stop. there is no debate on this it is simply fact.

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lukasamd
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by lukasamd

Ok, so my conclusions are simple - tubeless tyres are not good option for my usage. For many, many other bikers should be great.

MikeD
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by MikeD

I've got the same rims and WTB Riddler tires. I had trouble getting them to seal as well with Orange Seal Endurance. I think they were leaking through the sidewalls, as I saw a few pinholes with sealant. They seem OK now. Best thing you can do is submerge it in water to find out where the leaks are. If sidewalls then turn the wheel so that sealant contacts that area. If you're seeing leaking at the spoke nipples you've got a bad taping job. The valve could be leaking as well and also at the beads.

I was getting lot of goat head flats so I went with Schwalbe Marathon tires. Then I went tubeless and saved over 2 pounds of weight on the bike. That's a huge weight savings. The Marathon tires weigh 1000 g each and the Riddlers 550. My new wheels are also lighter and have no tube weight.
Last edited by MikeD on Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:18 pm, edited 2 times in total.

AJS914
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Joined: Tue Jan 28, 2014 6:52 pm

by AJS914

Tubeless has been flawless for me on my gravel bike.

Stan's Iron Cross rims
40mm Clement X'plor tires (not even the newer tubeless version)
Stan's tape
TruckerCo sealant

I run 50psi for mostly road, 45psi for mixed rides, and around 40psi for trails. My only wish is that I had maybe gone with narrower tires but the 40mm tires come in handy on rough, rocky trails.

I realize that I probably just got lucky by picking a compatible combination of tire/rim.

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lukasamd
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by lukasamd

I will try again with my second wheelset for road - decided to remove Schwalbe Pro One Tubeless and come back to Continental 4000S II with tubes. But I will use rear wheel from this as my gravel and will try seal Gravelkings agin. Maybe it's tape... not sure.

If it will be ok - I will use tubeless on gravel wheelset and tubes on road. If not, I will go back completly to tubes.

markdjr
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2017 10:21 pm

by markdjr

There is nothing more satisfying to me than coming home from a ride and seeing my frame covered in sealant, meaning I had punctures but didn't know it and didn't have to stop to change a tube. Personal preference but if I were you I'd try a different tire than the panaracers, for me tubeless is a greater advantage than having tire (x).

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CBJ
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by CBJ

I put stan's avion pro wheelset on my gravel bike with 40mm Vittoria Terreno Dry and they mounted up with no sealant and was seated around 40psi. I then added sealant through the valve. Ran them at 35psi last ride and they were great. Really help softning the ride.

Finx
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Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 1:14 am

by Finx

Tubeless is awesome for gravel... Until it isn't.

I ride quite a bit of variety in terms of terrain. I'm riding anything above 32c tires, I'm riding tubeless. Anything less (very smooth fire roads, mixed terrain, etc...), I'm not bothering with tubeless.

There are a lot of factors that go into whether or not tubeless is 'better' or not. Rider/bike weight, terrain, tire/tube combo, etc...

And one other thing. I have several sets of wheels for my gravel bikes. Some get used more than others. For the wheels that only get ridden once or twice a year, it's not really worth the hassle of having to re-fresh sealant, or worse, remove old dried sealant.

On the other hand, If I'm wearing out tires fast enough that I don't need to service the sealant between tire changes, I'm a lot more inclined to run tubeless.

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