Spare tubes when running tubeless road tires?
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  1. #1
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    Spare tubes when running tubeless road tires?

    I have about 500km on tubeless tires and I’m contemplating getting rid of the tube in my saddlebag in exchange for a tubeless repair kit. I was wondering how many of you tubeless riders have ever required a tube (I.e. had a puncture that a plug could not repair but a tube was able to repair?)?


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  2. #2
    tjc
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    I've been running tubeless road since 2016, and have never had to put a spare tube in while on a ride. I only had one case of not sealing, and that was when the sealant had dried up and I had forgotten to check/top-off sealant level. Fortunately, I was only a couple of miles from home, and the wife rescued me by car - figured that was going to be faster than dealing with pulling the valve stem out and wrestling in the tube. However, if my wife wasn't home when I called, or if I were further from home, I would have been very glad I had the spare tube.

    I don't think a plug kit (unless it has some kind of sealant) will be air tight on its own. But if you are sure to always keep up with your sealant levels, and don't loose too much from the puncture, you'd probably be fine.

  3. #3
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    I still carry a tube and a boot in case I get a cut sealant won't fix.
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    I don't think a plug kit will work on a large cut, like from glass or a piece of metal where you need a tire boot.

  5. #5
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    Why on earth would you not carry a tube? Actually, why would you use road tubeless? The benefits are minimal and the risks are not so minimal.

    Say you normally don't carry a tube, and you carry 2 CO2 cartridges. You pack a tubeless repair system like Side of Bacon. Let's assume that instead of a puncture you slice the tire. What will you do? You will probably waste a cartridge trying to seal the slice because you think the sealant might work. You then realize that the hole in your tire is not repairable and you have to call someone for a ride home.

    If you'd had a tube you could've booted the tire and installed the tube, then you could carry on.
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  6. #6
    tlg
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    You still need a tube. I wouldn't trust a plug on road tubeless . I've known a few people who've had bad luck with them.
    I've been been running tubeless for a few years. Love them. Never had sealant spray, not one single flat except for a sidewall cut from a rock. Tire boot and tube and on my way.

    Recently I put new tires on and found a 1/2in thorn sticking inside my old tire! Don't know how long it was in there. It never sprayed sealant.

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    the issue from what I have seen with tubeless is depending on the set up, you are never going to get the tire off one side to get the tube in and the tire back on. From what I have seen the Mavic rim with their tire is easier but many combos are almost impossible for the average rider to manage on their own. There can be a big difference from a shop setting up the tire/wheel/sealent in a shop and trying to get a sealant covered tire-tube-rim-tire lever on the side of the road to work. Like I said some of the interfaces would be next to impossible to simply put a tube in. People make fun of me riding tubulars, but I can cut a tubular off a rim and replace the tire in five minutes, they are not the problem people think they are.

  8. #8
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bee-an-key View Post
    the issue from what I have seen with tubeless is depending on the set up, you are never going to get the tire off one side to get the tube in and the tire back on.
    I've never seen anything like that. I've seen a few roadside repairs and tires always came off just fine.
    Any of my wheels tires changes are done easily by hand. I can usually get them off without levers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Why on earth would you not carry a tube?
    Because they weigh soooooooooooooo much.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Actually, why would you use road tubeless? The benefits are minimal and the risks are not so minimal.
    Precisely.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Why on earth would you not carry a tube?
    After having a child, I only ride on paved rail trails on which I have never experienced a puncture. I would like to get rid of some of the stuff I carry around unnecessarily.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Actually, why would you use road tubeless?
    Having cutting edge gear makes me want to ride more and anything that motivates me to exercise is a win in my book.


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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bee-an-key View Post
    the issue from what I have seen with tubeless is depending on the set up, you are never going to get the tire off one side to get the tube in and the tire back on.
    Nah, people do it all the time. Might be a problem with a tight rim / tire combo but you would have the same issue with a tubed tire in that situation.
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  12. #12
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    I'm new to tubeless, but I don't think after any amount of miles that I would stop carrying a tube. I have the same saddlebag with the same stuff I used to carry when running tubes, except now I added a plug kit (about the size of a small pencil).

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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    I've never seen anything like that. I've seen a few roadside repairs and tires always came off just fine.
    Any of my wheels tires changes are done easily by hand. I can usually get them off without levers.
    It can happen. I had to cut Schwalbe tubeless tires off of Zip 303 rims. No way they were going to come off w/o damaging the rims. I think they must have changed the dimensions of the tires though because the other day I had some Bontrager TLR tires that were insanely tight on Bontrager Aeolus rims and Schwalbe tires went on much easier.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    It can happen. I had to cut Schwalbe tubeless tires off of Zip 303 rims. No way they were going to come off w/o damaging the rims. I think they must have changed the dimensions of the tires though because the other day I had some Bontrager TLR tires that were insanely tight on Bontrager Aeolus rims and Schwalbe tires went on much easier.
    Yep. Some rim-tire combos are just impossible to work with. I built up a pair of 650b WTB KOMs and mounted a pair of WTB Byways on them. They were impossible to remove without a bead jack and even that was challenging. I have since replaced those tires with Panaracer Gravel Kings which are much easier to mount and remove. Peace of mind in case I get a flat 20 miles away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsebastianorozco View Post
    Having cutting edge gear makes me want to ride more and anything that motivates me to exercise is a win in my book.
    Tubeless = cutting edge? Road tubeless has been "the next big thing" for over a decade and it still has minimal market share. The proof is in the pudding.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kerry Irons View Post
    Tubeless = cutting edge? Road tubeless has been "the next big thing" for over a decade and it still has minimal market share. The proof is in the pudding.
    I remember when people said that about radial tires on motorcycles, and getting rid of kickstarters on street bikes, and disc brakes on road bikes.... the time is coming, not quite there yet but it will be.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Srode View Post
    I remember when people said that about radial tires on motorcycles, and getting rid of kickstarters on street bikes, and disc brakes on road bikes.... the time is coming, not quite there yet but it will be.
    For tubeless to become predominant, it will have to become more convenient for casual riders. That means wheels and tires that are air tight enough that they don't need sealant - like car rims and tires. Presumably that will add significant weight as well as being even more difficult to mount and dismount, so I don't see it happening anytime soon.
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  18. #18
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    For tubeless to become predominant, it will have to become more convenient for casual riders.
    IMO this is the only drawback of tubeless. Needing an air compressor to mount them is a non-starter for most people.
    But this is changing. The problem has been there's no standard (wow what a surprise for the bike industry) so every mfg was doing what they wanted. But the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standard for road tubeless is now in place. As more mfg's start following it, things will get better.

    I just got a set of GP5000TL. Man those things seated like butter. I had used my compressor, but pretty sure I could've done it with a floor pump.

    The new Schwalbe Pro Ones are touted as being inflatable with a track pump. They show it here with a hand pump.




    That means wheels and tires that are air tight enough that they don't need sealant - like car rims and tires.
    That already exists. UST tire/rim combos don't require sealant. I imagine an ETRTO tire/rim combo would be the same. Some of my wheels will hold air overnight with no sealant.
    But I don't know why anyone would want to run without sealant. Bike tires will never be like car tires. You'll never have thick enough and dense enough rubber to protect against thorns, glass, wire shards.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    IMO this is the only drawback of tubeless. Needing an air compressor to mount them is a non-starter for most people.
    But this is changing. The problem has been there's no standard (wow what a surprise for the bike industry) so every mfg was doing what they wanted. But the ETRTO (European Tyre and Rim Technical Organisation) standard for road tubeless is now in place. As more mfg's start following it, things will get better.

    I just got a set of GP5000TL. Man those things seated like butter. I had used my compressor, but pretty sure I could've done it with a floor pump.

    The new Schwalbe Pro Ones are touted as being inflatable with a track pump. They show it here with a hand pump.




    That already exists. UST tire/rim combos don't require sealant. I imagine an ETRTO tire/rim combo would be the same. Some of my wheels will hold air overnight with no sealant.
    But I don't know why anyone would want to run without sealant. Bike tires will never be like car tires. You'll never have thick enough and dense enough rubber to protect against thorns, glass, wire shards.
    I'm using the new Schwalbe (Pros and Ones); haven't tried with just my floor pump as I my LBS gifted me the Specialized Air Blast after my new bike purchase. Biggest problem I had was initial seating, turned out there was a tear in the tape and the Roval valves are a bit finicky. Was the process a bit tedious to suss out (removing sealant, re-taping, even seating with a tube once)? Yea, a little, but I also gained valuable experience as a tubeless newbie and will be less put off/intimidated going forward.

    As for ride, they're terrific.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    But I don't know why anyone would want to run without sealant. Bike tires will never be like car tires. You'll never have thick enough and dense enough rubber to protect against thorns, glass, wire shards.
    I don't with tubed tires either, but somehow I manage to not get a flat more than once a year, if that.

    For me, tubeless is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
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  21. #21
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    I don't with tubed tires either, but somehow I manage to not get a flat more than once a year, if that.
    But with sealant, you DO have protection against thorns, glass, wire shards

    For me, tubeless is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.
    So was 7speed bikes, and 8 speed bikes, and 9 speed bikes, and 10 speed bikes.
    So were rim brakes.
    So were 19mm tires.

    Got it, for you it's not a problem.
    And for me, I'd get anywhere from 2-5 flats a year on tubed. Yet I've never had a flat with tubeless. When I replace my tires, I see multiple pin holes that were sealed. Those would've all been flats running tubes.
    Plus it's frigg'n awesome not having to change a flat when it's 30° out.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    Got it, for you it's not a problem.
    And for me, I'd get anywhere from 2-5 flats a year on tubed. Yet I've never had a flat with tubeless. When I replace my tires, I see multiple pin holes that were sealed. Those would've all been flats running tubes.
    Yeeeesh! I knew there's a reason I don't live in PA.
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  23. #23
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    After spending two years on tubeless in which I really tried to love this innovation...my judgement is "no thanks".
    Adding sealant 3 times per year, cleaning bike from splashed sealant from unsealed holes, cleaning tire from dried up sealant, sealant getting under rim tape...sorry not worth of my time.
    For me, number of unsealed holes and flats with normal tube was about the same.

    But, I'm willing to try it again on rims without holes and if they come up with tires that dont need sealant. Than after first pinch flat I'll just put latex tube inside and forget about it untill new tires are on.

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by smokva View Post
    But, I'm willing to try it again on rims without holes and if they come up with tires that dont need sealant. Than after first pinch flat I'll just put latex tube inside and forget about it untill new tires are on.
    This. It's the sealant that is a non-starter for me.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    For tubeless to become predominant, it will have to become more convenient for casual riders. That means wheels and tires that are air tight enough that they don't need sealant - like car rims and tires. .....

    FWIW, in 40 years of driving (and only 1 car that required inner tubes), I have never seen a tubeless tire that didn't need bead sealant to mount. I once actually mounted a tire onto a rim dry, and that thing leaked like a MF for the next week, when i had it dismounted, and had some bead sealant put on.
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