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Thread: Tubeless

  1. #1
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    Tubeless

    For my own learning. I've read good reviews on mtn bike tubeless but have read mixed reviews for road bikes. If your wheel can handle tubeless, is there any real draw backs on road bikes? I've read that once you have an actual flat that won't seal itself up, that its a huge mess...but the other side is....how awesome it is to not carry co2 or tubes and just keep riding....are there other advantages or disadvantages for road bikes?

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    You still have to carry those things. If you end up with a puncture or cut that won't seal, you need a tube and a boot to get you home.

    Also, punctures don't always seal instantly. You will need a way to top off your air


    The main benefit of road tubeless is reduced likelihood of small punctures forcing you to patch, and some reduction in pinch flats, which can allow you to run lower pressures with less risk.

    If your rides are on hard clean pavement, and you aren't prone to flats, the benefits are fairly minimal.

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    Last edited by Migen21; 04-01-2017 at 08:36 PM.

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    Why would you not have to carry a tube and a way to inflate it? It's not like they're 'flat proof'...As Migen21 posted you have to carry the exact same stuff you'd normally have, possibly more. Tubeless tires are tight, so you'll need levers to get the bead off the rim. Sealant is a big mess, so I used to bring a shop rag...which wasn't enough the time my tire got well and truly slashed. I used road tubeless for years, not anymore. Mountain bike, yes. Road, no.
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    Makes sense

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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
    That was hilarious!

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    the other thing is, even if a hole seals, there is still a great chance that its latex plug will become unseal as the tire wears down in like, 100-200 miles. Then you're screw. This happens to me in just 1 subsequent ride on a tire that just had about 300-400 miles on it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Why would you not have to carry a tube and a way to inflate it? It's not like they're 'flat proof'...As Migen21 posted you have to carry the exact same stuff you'd normally have, possibly more. Tubeless tires are tight, so you'll need levers to get the bead off the rim. Sealant is a big mess, so I used to bring a shop rag...which wasn't enough the time my tire got well and truly slashed. I used road tubeless for years, not anymore. Mountain bike, yes. Road, no.
    This is the primary reason I have no interest in trying tubeless.

    Not to mention that I probably get no more than 1 flat per year, if that. Tubes are cheap. They're also not that heavy - REALLY!

    And are tubeless really more puncture resistant? That all depends. Last year, I was on a club ride where traffic made these two potholes unavoidable. I rode through them and so did the rider behind me. Guess who had two flats (tires trashed) and had to call Uber for a ride home? Not I.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redondoaveb View Post
    I love Seth Davidson's blog, he's hilarious.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobra_kai View Post
    I love Seth Davidson's blog, he's hilarious.
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    We really need a sticky objective thread discussing the pros and cons of tubeless as this has been debated about a dozen times in the last few years. If there can be three stickys on Chinese carbon wheels, then this topic deserves one too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooskull View Post
    We really need a sticky objective thread discussing the pros and cons of tubeless as this has been debated about a dozen times in the last few years. If there can be three stickys on Chinese carbon wheels, then this topic deserves one too.
    Well if we do that, we must also have stickies on the following beaten to death topics:

    Wide vs. narrow tires
    Lower pressure vs. higher pressure
    Rim brakes vs. disc brakes
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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    I've gone tubeless on my fatbike and my cross bike (with the gravel wheels) with no issues but I really don't see a point in going tubeless on the road. I don't flat that often and it's a pretty easy change when I do. I don't know a lot of guys running tubeless on the road but the one time I did see it he got a puncture and the sealant didn't seem to work. Ended up calling a cab home.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Well if we do that, we must also have stickies on the following beaten to death topics:

    Wide vs. narrow tires
    Lower pressure vs. higher pressure
    Rim brakes vs. disc brakes
    Even in the movie Groundhog Day there was a way to end the madness. If the sticky threads won't work maybe I'll try binge drinking and some one night stands next to see if those break the loop...

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    Think the Sticky is a great idea.
    As written many times before, I've been a fan of TL since Stans started the tubeless conversion kits for non-TL rims, going back 8 or 9 years at least.
    To me the real advantage is being able to ride a narrower tire with the feel of a larger one, and since I'm a larger rider (and should be on 25's at least) one of my frames won't fit a 25 so I'm able to run a TL 23 with the feel of a 25.
    I realize this is a non-issue on many newer frames that allow spacing for larger tires but it works for me.
    In reference to the Assault on Mt Mitchell...
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    The easier solution is to find a biker bar in Spartanburg the night before, go in and pick a fight. The ass-whipping you'll get will be far less painful than the one Mitchell will give you the next day!

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    Upsides:
    - ability to run lower pressure without increasing the risk of a pinch flat
    - significantly lower rolling resistance (apparently)
    - sealant works pretty well, in my experience

    Downsides:
    - there's a direct correlation between how tight the beads are and how well the tire seals. Essentially, the tighter the bead the better. This makes mounting good tubeless tires a pain.
    - screwing around with taping rims. Then there's the issue of damaging/shifting the tape while mounting/dismounting tires. On top of all this, there's no industry standards for tubeless setups so you're never quite sure if a given rim/tape/tire combo will work well.
    - expense. Valves, sealant, tape, tires. None of this is cheap. There are homebrew alternatives to all of this but usually these don't work as well.

    Mixed issues:
    - sealant being a mess: pull the valve core and install sealant after mounting the tire. No mess. If you blow a tire catastrophically, it can make a mess but at least you're outside. Also, in my experience sealant doesn't leave a ton of residue on the inside of a tire unless you live in a really hot/dry area and constantly need to refill the tire.
    - getting a cut in a tubeless tire is a real pain as installing a tube on a tubeless tires is really tricky, especially on the side on the road. One the upside, tubeless sidewalls are generally much tougher than non-tubeless sidewall which makes getting a cut somewhat less common on tubeless tires.
    - tubeless tires weigh more than regular tires but about the same as a regular tire + tube.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    One the upside, tubeless sidewalls are generally much tougher than non-tubeless sidewall which makes getting a cut somewhat less common on tubeless tires.
    I have seen tubeless tires that had paper thin sidewalls cut when going over big bumps.
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Downsides:

    - screwing around with taping rims. Then there's the issue of damaging/shifting the tape while mounting/dismounting tires. On top of all this, there's no industry standards for tubeless setups so you're never quite sure if a given rim/tape/tire combo will work well.
    Not if you use a rim without spoke holes. Then it's a non issue.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Not if you use a rim without spoke holes. Then it's a non issue.
    Not to seem ignorant, but how do you lace a wheel that doesn't have any spoke holes?
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  20. #20
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Not to seem ignorant, but how do you lace a wheel that doesn't have any spoke holes?
    No spoke holes on the inside.
    You never seen a Mavic wheel? UST wheel? Shimano and Easton Tubless rims are this way as well.

    Shimano Dura Ace Tubeless
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    No spoke holes on the inside.
    You never seen a Mavic wheel? UST wheel? Shimano and Easton Tubless rims are this way as well.

    Shimano Dura Ace Tubeless

    How do you get the nipples inside the rims? Am I missing something?
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
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    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  22. #22
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    How do you get the nipples inside the rims? Am I missing something?
    Threaded nipple in the rim.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Threaded nipple in the rim.

    Interesting. I learn something new every day!
    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

    "Beware of geeks bearing formulas."
    -- Warren Buffett

    "Education is what you get when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get when you don't. -- Pete Seeger



  24. #24
    changingleaf
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    With THE RIGHT RIM tubeless tires are easy to mount and inflate. It's always a good idea to carry a tube in case the tire has a cut that won't seal, but in six years of running tubeless I've only had to resort to a tube once. There is a small learning curve for mounting and inflating tires.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    With THE RIGHT RIM tubeless tires are easy to mount and inflate. It's always a good idea to carry a tube in case the tire has a cut that won't seal, but in six years of running tubeless I've only had to resort to a tube once. There is a small learning curve for mounting and inflating tires.
    What is this magic rim you're talking about? Pretty much every tubeless compatible rim I've mounted tubeless tires on has been more difficult than most non-tubeless set-ups. Getting normal clinchers on the new tubeless Zipp alloy rims is a pain in the ass. For anyone. The whole idea is that they fit tightly so they seal well. If you have an 'easy' to mount tire/rim combo it's most likely not as safe.
    If you get a flat that the sealant won't work on it's a big mess...no question about it. You WILL get sealant everywhere and it WILL be a pain to get your tire back on once everything is covered in it.
    If 1-2 flats a year are 'too many' maybe these riders should take another sport. I am completely over tubeless for road use. Still convinced it's the only way to go for mountain bikes, but not for road.
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