Tubeless for years with many failures, should I return, and which tire?
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  1. #1
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    Tubeless for years with many failures, should I return, and which tire?

    Seeking objective input since my paralysis by analysis has taken over.

    For a few years I rode Sector 28, and not once did the tubeless sealant actually do its job. I used Stan's original which I've since been told Orange Seal does a better job with high pressure. FWIW, I use both Orange and Stan's new Raceday in my mtb with great success. Ended up putting tubes in the tubeless tires and when the tread wore out I went back to tubes.

    Now that it's better weather, and I'm done with Zwift, I'd like to replace the Grand Prix 4 Seasons with something faster and more comfortable. I'm 160 pounds, wheels are 23mm ID if memory serves me right. I'd be buying 25c due to frame/fork clearance on current bike.

    The new kid on the block is the Conti 5000, but it's more of a raceday tire. I'm looking for something more durable on our chipseal rough roads, but I don't want a slow tire since I use the road bike to train for mtb racing. Yeah, I'm also a strava douche KOM hunter, ha.

    Is there a durable "training" tire that is fast and seals reliably with Orange or the new Stan's Raceday.....or should I get a pair of GP4000s II since they're dirt cheap?

  2. #2
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    First, the GP5000 is not at all a 'race day' tire. It's a great high performance tire but will definitely last longer that a true race tire. Can't tell if you're thinking about using the GP4000 tubeless or not so I'll remind you that it NOT a tubeless tire.

    That said, I used tubeless on the road for a few years and had good luck. About 5 years ago I had a big cut that wouldn't seal. The tires are tight, sealant spills all over the place, and getting the tire back on w/ the sealant on everything...and at that point I'd been a pro mechanic for close to 20 years. It was such a pain to deal w/ sealant on the side of the road that as soon as I got home I switched the road bike back to tubes...and tires that have much better ride quality. I had talked myself into believing that tubeless on the road was great when in fact it isn't. I rarely flat anyway so that's not really an issue. From what I've experienced at the shop over the last few years there are a LOT of people that would not be able to remove a cut tubeless tire and repair it w/ a tube. They'd be left to call for someone to give them a ride.
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  3. #3
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    All I've ever ridden are clinchers. So obviously I'm not an authority on tubeless. What I can say is if you build a better mouse trap people will go for it and that is in theory what tubeless theoretically represents.

    Since clinchers have for years remained the most popular by far both for pros and serious recreational road bike riders clinchers seem for most people the best.

    My Bontrager clinchers ride comfortably, last long, and I get very few flats with the Bontrager hard-case lite protection, especially given how many miles I've ridden in proportion to the number of flats I've gotten over the years.
    Last edited by GlobalGuy; 04-20-2019 at 01:23 PM.

  4. #4
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    don't flat often enough to be curious about tubeless.

    looks like a PITA that I will gladly avoid.
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  5. #5
    'brifter' is a lame word.
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalGuy View Post
    All I've ever ridden are clinchers. So obviously I'm not an authority on tubeless. What I can say is if you build a better mouse trap people will go for it and that is in theory what tubeless. Since clinchers remain the most popular by far both for pros and serious recreational road bike riders clinchers seem for most people the best. My Bontrager clinchers ride comfortably, last long, and I get very few flats with the Bontrager hard-case lite protection, especially given how many miles I've ridden in proportion to the number of flats I've gotten over the years.
    Uhhmm no. The VAST majority of pro racers are on tubulars. It's an overwhelming majority.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Uhhmm no. The VAST majority of pro racers are on tubulars. It's an overwhelming majority.
    Yes, absolutely quite right. Thanks for correcting my mistyped and noun confusion cognitive breakdown in composing my statement in my post. I meant to say tubulars regarding pro riders while thinking NOT on tubeless.

    Tubulars is the way to go for pros that have support cars and personnel at their beckoning. I'd go that way too if I had the same support.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    First, the GP5000 is not at all a 'race day' tire. It's a great high performance tire but will definitely last longer that a true race tire. Can't tell if you're thinking about using the GP4000 tubeless or not so I'll remind you that it NOT a tubeless tire.

    That said, I used tubeless on the road for a few years and had good luck. About 5 years ago I had a big cut that wouldn't seal. The tires are tight, sealant spills all over the place, and getting the tire back on w/ the sealant on everything...and at that point I'd been a pro mechanic for close to 20 years. It was such a pain to deal w/ sealant on the side of the road that as soon as I got home I switched the road bike back to tubes...and tires that have much better ride quality. I had talked myself into believing that tubeless on the road was great when in fact it isn't. I rarely flat anyway so that's not really an issue. From what I've experienced at the shop over the last few years there are a LOT of people that would not be able to remove a cut tubeless tire and repair it w/ a tube. They'd be left to call for someone to give them a ride.
    I should have been more clear; I am thinking of going from GP 4 Seasons to GP4000sII because it's a great tubed tire at a screaming deal.....and was seeking info if current tubeless such as GP5000 are able to seal with today's sealant, unlike the Sector 28 tubeless I used for years without much success. When the S28 flatted I was able to get them off and tubed roadside without issue. Decades of changing motorcycle tires has taught me good technique with pesky road bike clinchers both tubed and tubeless.

  8. #8
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    Technique is not a problem for me. It's purely the mess of having to deal w/ the sealant that's in the tire while unseating the bead and removing the valve. I also got tired of the crappy ride quality of tubeless tires. I'll always use tubeless on mountain bikes, I'll never use it again on road bikes.
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  9. #9
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    I have been tubeless on the road for years. I'm surprised by your problem with 28mm Hutchinson Sectors not sealing. Could it have been a rim issue? I have used them along with other Hutchinson tubeless tires, on many different rims, with very good results. I am currently running 32mm Sectors. Knock on wood, tubeless hasn't let me down. I have had cuts that wouldn't hold more than 60psi, but always been able to get home without throwing in a tube. I have had sidewall cuts on rough gravel with gravel tubeless tires but that's never occurred on the road. I am interested to see how the Conti tubeless tires perform as their first foray into road tubeless.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy13 View Post
    I have been tubeless on the road for years. I'm surprised by your problem with 28mm Hutchinson Sectors not sealing. Could it have been a rim issue? I have used them along with other Hutchinson tubeless tires, on many different rims, with very good results. I am currently running 32mm Sectors. Knock on wood, tubeless hasn't let me down. I have had cuts that wouldn't hold more than 60psi, but always been able to get home without throwing in a tube. I have had sidewall cuts on rough gravel with gravel tubeless tires but that's never occurred on the road. I am interested to see how the Conti tubeless tires perform as their first foray into road tubeless.
    They would not seal a puncture. I had zero issue sealing against rim. Using Stan's from a few years ago even a goathead would not seal up. Starting pressure was around 80psi. Was told new Orange Seal or Stan's Raceday would work.
    Doesn't matter: ended up buying pair of 4000sII for $58.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Technique is not a problem for me. It's purely the mess of having to deal w/ the sealant that's in the tire while unseating the bead and removing the valve. I also got tired of the crappy ride quality of tubeless tires. I'll always use tubeless on mountain bikes, I'll never use it again on road bikes.
    CX, you have posted a few times about tubeless being great for mountain, but not for road. I am commenting because so far, I am not convinced to try tubeless for anything.

    I may not do anywhere near as much mountain biking as road biking, so maybe my anecdote isn't valid, but I have had exactly 1 (one) flat on the mountain bike and that was a valve which tore from the tube - a Schrader believe it or not.

    Way back when, I had a flat on my hybrid and that was from doing something very obviously stupid - running diagonally over a curb.

    As far as road bikes, every flat I've had was from a wire or glass puncture, never a pinch flat. I probably get about one road flat per year.

    So count this cyclist in for keeping tubes. The messy sealant alone is enough of a deterrent for me.
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  12. #12
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    Tubeless isn't just to improve flat prevention.

    It allows you to run lower pressures without risking pinch flats, and can improve ride quality (tire dependant). There can also be a small weight savings. However, tubeless tires tend to be a bit heavier than their non tubeless brethern, so if you run a tube in a tubeless tire, you are definitely going to be on the heavy side.

    I'm a big, heavy rider, so I don't really get the benenfit of lower pressures, as I have to run enough pressure to prevent a hard rim hit.

    I don't get many flats on any of my bikes.

    I tried road tubeless, and the one flat I got didn't seal. Getting the tire off of rim on the side of the road in the cold/wet/dark was almost impossible. It made such a mess of the bike and me, and my tools....

    I decided that day that im done with road (high pressures and narrow tires) tubeless, at least until there are standards in place and all of the manufacurers are following them, so that, within reason, I can buy any wheel I want and put any tire I want on it.

    I run tubeless on any wheel/tire wider than 32mm. Otherwise, I'm just going to run my favorite road tire on my favorite road rim with tubes in them, comfortable with the fact that if I cut one, I can boot it easily and be on my merry way.

  13. #13
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    Tubeless on the mountain is the only way to go. You get a few benefits...there is no tube to pinch, you can run lower pressure because of this and get much better traction, you greatly reduce punctures.
    On the road the only tire I have seen that still has good ride quality is the Vittoria. All the others suck. The chances of damaging a tire enough that the sealant won't work is greater on the road, I've had the experience. That one time was enough to get me back on tubes.
    Finx...you should run the pressure you want for best ride, traction, and maybe rolling resistance. Don't inflate your tires to a higher pressure to avoid pinch flats that might happen once or twice a year, keep your eyes open and if it happens it happens. I'm now on Compass 44mm tires. I'm using 35 frt/40rr. I've determined that's the pressure that will give me the best ride...I don't care if I pinch flat every now and then. If I ding a rim a bit I'll fix it. If it's not fixable...oh well. I want the ride quality and traction ALL the time.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    On the road the only tire I have seen that still has good ride quality is the Vittoria.
    Another vote for the Vittorias. I use the Rubino Pros as I see them as a good compromise between durable and comfortable. I'm a little gun shy about trying the Open Corsas even though people rave about their comfort. They seem fragile.

    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    I'm now on Compass 44mm tires. I'm using 35 frt/40rr.
    How much do you weigh, CX? I'm using those pressures on my 47mm WTB Byways. I just got a pair of Panaracer Gravel Kings. I wonder how much nicer the ride would be with Compass Switchbacks. Do you have the standards or the ultralights?
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  15. #15
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    I think the Mavic UST system (rims and tires) is the best tubeless road system. Easy to get tires on and off and air up. I've had a couple of punctures, and the Orange Seal sealant worked well.

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