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  1. #1
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    Tubeless road?

    I am switching my road bike to tubeless
    I bought ultegra tubeless wheelset and Hutchinson tubeless tires
    I took it to my LBS to have it converted since I have never put on tubeless tires.
    My mechanic had nothing but bad things to say about road tubeless
    He said it's too hard to add a tube if you get a serious flat because the tires go job too tight
    He tells me I'm making a bad choice... is he right?
    Someone else told me it's too messy when you flat
    Is tubeless road worth it?

  2. #2
    changingleaf
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    It depends on the rim, but if you needed the shop to set it up for you it may end up being more trouble than it's worth for you.

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    I had never done it before
    I have stretched tubeless tires over a rim with a tube
    But never set it up without a tube
    I worry a lot
    So I figured for the first time I would have the shop do it for me
    The rims are shimano ultegra tubeless

  4. #4
    changingleaf
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    It all depends on the inside shape of the rim and channel diameter of the rim. I haven't used Ultegra rims, but I've heard tire can be tough to mount on them which would indicate the channel diameter is too large. A lot of riders also don't realize that you need to mount the valve area last for the tire to go on the easiest. - So this is just mounting the tire. If the tight is fit you'll also have a tough time getting a tube in there if you cut the tire tire and get a flat that won't seal when you're out on the road.

    If the channel diameter is too small (deep) or narrow with steep sides it can be very difficult to inflate get the tire inflated. Ideally you want to be able to inflate it with a floor pump when you have the tire mounted properly.

    The one good thing about shimano tubeless rims is that they have a bead lock so that once the tire is inflated it will stay in the bead when you let the air out so you can remove the valve core and install sealant, unfortunately Shimano wheels don't come with valves with removable cores.

    So, what I'm saying is you need to learn your system by doing it yourself otherwise their is a good chance you will be annoyed with tubeless if you get a flat.

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    I want to learn
    I don't feel comfortable going out for a long ride if I don't know my equipment

    So let me get this right... in theory with shimano wheels you can put sealant in without taking the tire off however you would need a different valve than the stock one that comes with the wheelset?
    Who makes a valve with a removable core? Is there such a thing?

  6. #6
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    My Schwalbe tires went on easier than I've had some Michelin tubed tires go on, so I can't say it's too hard. So far, I have no regrets going tubeless.
    I love how I can go over two weeks without airing up my tires and not worrying about getting pinch flats! The improved handling for me is also very nice.
    Now, yes, I'm using wider rims (Grail) and 30mm tires. YMMV
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  7. #7
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSalvadore View Post
    Who makes a valve with a removable core? Is there such a thing?
    LMGTFY

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a tubeless valve that didn't have a removable core. It's kinda the purpose.
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  8. #8
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    I agree with the LBS, it seems silly to complicate your ride.. But I guess it all depends on what you want to accomplish.. If you just want a softer ride I would try larger tires (25 or 28 or 32s if you have room.) Clinchers are stupid easy to fix, the parts/spares are small and easily stashed.. What do you plan to gain from the switch.

  9. #9
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    after years of making fun of tubeless, I finally converted a few months ago after one too many goat head thorn punctures. Depending on the tire, it's not that hard to install a tube on the road (I'm riding specialized roubaix tubeless for the 'winter' here in SoCal) and the whole point is that you should get far fewer flats anyways (I use orange seal, which is supposed to be better than many others). Carry a set of tire irons to remove the tire.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by tlg View Post
    LMGTFY

    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a tubeless valve that didn't have a removable core. It's kinda the purpose.
    Excepting the ones that Shimano provides w/ their tubeless wheels...they don't have removable cores. Stupid isn't it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Excepting the ones that Shimano provides w/ their tubeless wheels...they don't have removable cores. Stupid isn't it?
    I always find Shimano is late to embrace good technology unless they invented it. It's just like the CX1 1x drivetrain SRAM created for CX racers...Shimano still hasn't come out with a clutched road rear derailleur to help keep the chain from coming off.

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    Don't let your LBS scare you. As a long time mountain biker using tubeless tires, I decided to try it on my gravel bike. I couldn't be happier.

    I recommend putting sealant to help with punctures. If you do flat, first try pumping the tire and spinning it to force the sealant into the hole. In a worst case scenario just add a tube. You will need to take out the valve and put it in the tube. Yes some tires are tighter then others but the same can be said about non tubeless tires. I always felt Conti tires are some of the tightest tires to install.

  13. #13
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    I have sometimes begrudgingly ridden road tubeless for quite a long time. I also have set-up many dozens of tubeless set-ups for our customers, when we were really pushing it. We have since dialed back the tubeless push as it becomes a bit too complicated for the average customer. I realize that you have probably left this forum already based on your other thread in general, but I will leave this here for whoever. CX covered a lot of this in his post, but I have some more. The only reason I have stuck with road tubeless for so long is 1) because I have been doing it for so long, and 2) because I am currently running a very good tire/wheel combo. Rims that need tape will eventually let you down and fail. Hed Belgium Plus, Pacenti, Velocity, etc....... You absolutely need two layers of tape, but even with that the air eventually finds it way out. Road tubeless just uses too high a pressure to work well sometimes. Most road tubeless tires totally suck. Hutchinson sucks, Schwalbe one and Pro One suck, Kenda sucks. The only tire I have found that is worth a damn as far as weight, durability, handling, and rolling resistance is the IRC Formula Pro RBCC. Really good tire. I ran Belgium Plusses and A-23's for a long time, and at some point the tape would let me down and require a re-taping. Often at inopportune moments. I am currently running Bontrager Aelous 3 TLR wheels and they got tubeless right. The rim strip can handle high pressure really well and offer security in that aspect.
    When you do get a a large puncture sealant will not only spray everywhere, but because of the higher pressures, you tend to lose a great deal of psi by the time it seals. Leaving you with a low tire and now needing a pump anyway, as Co2 tends to not react with most sealants well. It is great for small punctures and you will never even know that you have had numerous punctures that sealed until you swap tires and look inside the tire. Longevity of a road tubeless tire is not as long as it's tubed counterpart. With tubed tires, you can ride those things until they are totally squared off if you are so inclined. Even to the threads if you must. With tubless, all of those punctures you have gotten over the course of riding create little "scabs" if you will of a hole that has been filled by sealant. As your tire wears down it will wear past the "sealant filled core" of the puncture and open up yet again. This becomes problematic and you eventually have to replace a tire that would have lasted a much longer time if using tubes. They are usually harder to install or remove. Especially at roadside if it is wet, or cold. You more than likely will need an air compressor in your home shop or garage if you intend to do any tire changes on your own, as despite what every glowing internet and magazine review states......."I was able to easily get the tire to snap into place with just a few strokes from my trusty floor pump!" you will need a compressor to seat it.
    So.........after all of that typing, the choice is yours. It works for some people but offers another level of complication for others. I stick with it, cause I want to believe in it, and am generally happy with the experience.......and I can tell the difference in road feel between tubed and tubeless.
    edit to add.......I have never tried Specialized Turbo tubeless tires. I have heard good feedback about them.
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  14. #14
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    You should do a test. Pretend you have a serious flat requiring a boot, hence a tube. Remove the tire, insert a tube and inflate with what you will use on the road.
    If you can do that without losing skin off your knuckles and your religion, you'll be ok with tubeless.
    I abandoned tubeless as I couldn't do that.
    And the ride with tubeless was no better. Most people inflate their tires too much with tubes which ruins the plush ride. Running lower pressure gives the better ride so if you aren't having pinch flats, cut your tire pressure some.
    Also never saw weight savings from tubeless.
    You can tell I'm not a fan of road tubeless.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    I have sometimes begrudgingly ridden road tubeless for quite a long time. I also have set-up many dozens of tubeless set-ups for our customers, when we were really pushing it. We have since dialed back the tubeless push as it becomes a bit too complicated for the average customer. I realize that you have probably left this forum already based on your other thread in general, but I will leave this here for whoever. CX covered a lot of this in his post, but I have some more. The only reason I have stuck with road tubeless for so long is 1) because I have been doing it for so long, and 2) because I am currently running a very good tire/wheel combo. Rims that need tape will eventually let you down and fail. Hed Belgium Plus, Pacenti, Velocity, etc....... You absolutely need two layers of tape, but even with that the air eventually finds it way out. Road tubeless just uses too high a pressure to work well sometimes. Most road tubeless tires totally suck. Hutchinson sucks, Schwalbe one and Pro One suck, Kenda sucks. The only tire I have found that is worth a damn as far as weight, durability, handling, and rolling resistance is the IRC Formula Pro RBCC. Really good tire. I ran Belgium Plusses and A-23's for a long time, and at some point the tape would let me down and require a re-taping. Often at inopportune moments. I am currently running Bontrager Aelous 3 TLR wheels and they got tubeless right. The rim strip can handle high pressure really well and offer security in that aspect.
    When you do get a a large puncture sealant will not only spray everywhere, but because of the higher pressures, you tend to lose a great deal of psi by the time it seals. Leaving you with a low tire and now needing a pump anyway, as Co2 tends to not react with most sealants well. It is great for small punctures and you will never even know that you have had numerous punctures that sealed until you swap tires and look inside the tire. Longevity of a road tubeless tire is not as long as it's tubed counterpart. With tubed tires, you can ride those things until they are totally squared off if you are so inclined. Even to the threads if you must. With tubless, all of those punctures you have gotten over the course of riding create little "scabs" if you will of a hole that has been filled by sealant. As your tire wears down it will wear past the "sealant filled core" of the puncture and open up yet again. This becomes problematic and you eventually have to replace a tire that would have lasted a much longer time if using tubes. They are usually harder to install or remove. Especially at roadside if it is wet, or cold. You more than likely will need an air compressor in your home shop or garage if you intend to do any tire changes on your own, as despite what every glowing internet and magazine review states......."I was able to easily get the tire to snap into place with just a few strokes from my trusty floor pump!" you will need a compressor to seat it.
    So.........after all of that typing, the choice is yours. It works for some people but offers another level of complication for others. I stick with it, cause I want to believe in it, and am generally happy with the experience.......and I can tell the difference in road feel between tubed and tubeless.
    edit to add.......I have never tried Specialized Turbo tubeless tires. I have heard good feedback about them.
    Good info! 👍
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocop View Post
    I have sometimes begrudgingly ridden road tubeless for quite a long time. I also have set-up many dozens of tubeless set-ups for our customers, when we were really pushing it. We have since dialed back the tubeless push as it becomes a bit too complicated for the average customer. I realize that you have probably left this forum already based on your other thread in general, but I will leave this here for whoever. CX covered a lot of this in his post, but I have some more. The only reason I have stuck with road tubeless for so long is 1) because I have been doing it for so long, and 2) because I am currently running a very good tire/wheel combo. Rims that need tape will eventually let you down and fail. Hed Belgium Plus, Pacenti, Velocity, etc....... You absolutely need two layers of tape, but even with that the air eventually finds it way out....
    Agree with most of your post and the conclusion, especially the part that running tubeless is best left to mechanically inclined types.

    However there are two points I question. First, I think most tubeless tires- at least all the ones I've tried which is most of the available options- are at least of good quality (manufacturing defects aside). Perhaps not better than the best tubed clinchers out there, but certainly better than most. Agreed IRCs are the best, as are Maxxis if you can live with the undersized stated widths.

    I'm also wondering about your issues with taping. I've got 25K+ miles with tubeless tires under my belt and have never had an issue with a tape job blowing out, though admittedly I had to re-tape my wheels a few times over those miles for other reasons. I think the most important thing is to make sure that the rim channel is absolutely clean and the spoke holes burr-free before installing the tape. A good wiping of the rim bed with some Isopropol alcohol to get rid finger oil and/or spoke nipple lube ensures the tape has optimal adhesion to not let sealant infiltrate. For the record I use Kapton tape which has excellent no-residue adhesion, stretches less than Stan's/Tesa and costs maybe $1 per wheel (2 wraps).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cooskull View Post
    Agree with most of your post and the conclusion, especially the part that running tubeless is best left to mechanically inclined types.

    However there are two points I question. First, I think most tubeless tires- at least all the ones I've tried which is most of the available options- are at least of good quality (manufacturing defects aside). Perhaps not better than the best tubed clinchers out there, but certainly better than most. Agreed IRCs are the best, as are Maxxis if you can live with the undersized stated widths.

    I'm also wondering about your issues with taping. I've got 25K+ miles with tubeless tires under my belt and have never had an issue with a tape job blowing out, though admittedly I had to re-tape my wheels a few times over those miles for other reasons. I think the most important thing is to make sure that the rim channel is absolutely clean and the spoke holes burr-free before installing the tape. A good wiping of the rim bed with some Isopropol alcohol to get rid finger oil and/or spoke nipple lube ensures the tape has optimal adhesion to not let sealant infiltrate. For the record I use Kapton tape which has excellent no-residue adhesion, stretches less than Stan's/Tesa and costs maybe $1 per wheel (2 wraps).
    Yeah, I didn't mean blowing through mid-ride. I meant after one or two tire changes you will often see the edges lifting, and needing a re-tape, or those lifted edges getting more pronounced when using high pressure bursts of air from compressor to seat tire. Maybe I'm exaggerating the issue, but I sure seem to be re-taping tons of wheels when customers bring them in for new tires. I try to mitigate this by installing a tube for a few hours on newly taped rims to really get the tape to stick and conform, but this is not always possible considering time restraints. Again, just a healthy dose of potential issues riders should consider before taking the plunge. As far as the tires go, I agree they are all high quality as far as manufacturing goes, just suck imo when it comes to weight, suppleness, durability, performance, etc. Also again.....I very much like IRC, as they seem to excel at pretty much everything (for me.)
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  18. #18
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    There are several tubeless rims without spoke holes. Shimano C-24 and Easton EC's etc.
    I like the IRC also. I also like Schwalbe Pro One's. Absolutely can feel the difference on the road. Never going back. 0 goat head flats in over 2 years on tubeless. Pulled six goat heads out of my front tire and 2 out of the rear on one ride and lost about 10 psi in the front.

  19. #19
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    I'm running Schwalbe S-ones tubeless on my road bike right now and love it. I'm only about 500 miles into this decision and have yet to get a flat, so I'm enjoying it so far.

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    Quote Originally Posted by changingleaf View Post
    I haven't used Ultegra rims, but I've heard tire can be tough to mount on them which would indicate the channel diameter is too large.
    Absolutely true. Mounting carbon-beaded tubeless tire on 6700 or 6800 rims is almost ridiculously tight. This is true even when you're really careful to get the bead into the sunken center channel.

    The one good thing about shimano tubeless rims is that they have a bead lock so that once the tire is inflated it will stay in the bead when you let the air out so you can remove the valve core and install sealant, unfortunately Shimano wheels don't come with valves with removable cores.
    This is the upside to the tight beads. You can set up basically any tubeless tire on an Ultegra rim with a few pumps of a floor pump.

  21. #21
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    I once waited 20+ minutes when another road cyclist suffered a tubeless puncture too large to seal.
    Big effort and hassle to remove the tubeless, insert an inner tube, and then trying to reseat the tire.
    Also the sealant was a mess, all over hands & bike, etc.
    What a headache -- and for no tangible benefit.
    Also, No tubeless is as good as quality race clincher for rolling resistance, eg see Blather 'bout Bikes: Getting Caught Up II and especially his more complete excel sheet.
    Having said that, I've read some Ironman competitors (112 mile TT) will use tubeless, because a minor (sealable) puncture keeps them in contention. But a larger puncture that doesn't seal, will likely lose them more time than if they had simple clinchers.

  22. #22
    tlg
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_h View Post
    Also, No tubeless is as good as quality race clincher for rolling resistance, eg see Blather 'bout Bikes: Getting Caught Up II
    Time to catch up with the times.
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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by tom_h View Post
    I once waited 20+ minutes when another road cyclist suffered a tubeless puncture too large to seal.
    Big effort and hassle to remove the tubeless, insert an inner tube, and then trying to reseat the tire.
    Also the sealant was a mess, all over hands & bike, etc.
    What a headache -- and for no tangible benefit.
    Also, No tubeless is as good as quality race clincher for rolling resistance, eg see Blather 'bout Bikes: Getting Caught Up II and especially his more complete excel sheet.
    Having said that, I've read some Ironman competitors (112 mile TT) will use tubeless, because a minor (sealable) puncture keeps them in contention. But a larger puncture that doesn't seal, will likely lose them more time than if they had simple clinchers.
    You seem to be making alot of assumptions relating someone else's tubeless experience rather than your own:

    How many miles had the cyclist ridden tubeless tires before that lengthy incident- 100 miles or 10,000 miles? That makes a huge difference in the overall hassle/benefit ratio.

    "and for no tangible benefit" - by whose estimation? Do you know how many lesser flats that sealed the cyclist avoided with his tubeless usage? Maybe he prefers the handling/ride of tubeless over tubed clinchers. And for the vast majority of tubeless users, having a tire with the absolute best bleeding edge CRR isn't a consideration.

  24. #24
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    Looks like the 2014 Conti GP4000S-II (w/ Latex tube) and 2016 Schwalbe Pro One are essentially equal with each other @ 18 mph @ 100 psi : 11.1 - 11.6 watts loss per tire.
    I compared to 4000S-II because it's one of the most popular and best performing for both race & training.

    There are some TT-optimized Conti tires that would be couple watts lower, but not well suited for all-around use.

    re: "Do you know how many lesser flats that sealed the cyclist avoided with his tubeless usage?"
    We've ridden many 1000s of miles together. We've had about same # of flats requiring either tube replacement or in his case, insertion. Low overall, but one of my flats takes just 3-5 minutes to fix.
    Last edited by tom_h; 02-07-2017 at 10:31 AM.

  25. #25
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    Road tubeless ain't worth it. For one, I get 1-2 flats PER year. Why should I bother with road tubeless. If I get 10 flats/yr, then maybe. Second, tubeless tires are expensive considering that you will never be able to get use its full life. Once tubeless tires wear down, the once sealed holes now become unsealed (yup, happened to me). Forget repairing an 1/8 inch cut, it ain't gonna seal, and if it does, it won't stay sealed for long.

    I've ditched tubeless all togehter, and actually switch to tubular on one of my bike! Yeah, after 2 years, I got 2 flats on the tubs. Might as well fancy my luck with tubulars. Tubulars go on sale often, $50 gets the top of the line tubular. And changing tubular on the road is as easy as stripping off the old and putting on the new one, glue later when i get home.

    It's either clincher or tubular for this hombre.

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