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  1. #1
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    To go tubeless or not to go tubeless?

    I just got a '15 Trek 7.3 FX with tubeless-ready rims. I'm considering switching to tubeless tires.

    If you've switched, please tell me why. What was the cost? What are the advantages?

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    I'm interested in this as well. I recently bought a cycloross bike that I has tubular tires with an extra set of wheels. I will put tubular tires on those as well but I wonder how much better will it be. I rarely get flats so that's not an issue.

  3. #3
    Senior Member KraneXL's Avatar
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    Its more trouble than its worth on all fronts. And there are certainly much better ways to save weight. I'd move on to other components if I were you.

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    Tubeless and tubular are entirely different things.

    A tubular tire ('tub' or 'sew up') is a tire/tube where the tire casing is sewn up to enclose the inner tube, then glued onto the rim. Because the tire is glued on, the bike can be 'run flat' for a short time if there's a puncture without risk of the tire rolling off the rim -- a good/safety thing in road racing.

    Tubeless became popular first in mtb: primarily because no inner tube means no pinch flats, so you can run much lower pressures. This increases traction off-road, and is a definite advantage.

    Various pushes have been/are being made to popularize tubeless for road use, but on-road the advantages are much less obvious. It is true that tubeless has slightly lower rolling resistance, and the ability to run lower pressures without risk of pinch flatting is a good thing. However, if one does have a puncture flat and the sealant doesn't do its job, one still has to have or have access to a tube to install in order to get going.

    Modern clinchers with tubes work so well it's not at all clear that on-road there's any real advantage to the non-racing cyclist of either tubular or tubeless.
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  5. #5
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    Tubeless and tubular are entirely different things.

    A tubular tire ('tub' or 'sew up') is a tire/tube where the tire casing is sewn up to enclose the inner tube, then glued onto the rim. Because the tire is glued on, the bike can be 'run flat' for a short time if there's a puncture without risk of the tire rolling off the rim -- a good/safety thing in road racing.

    Tubeless became popular first in mtb: primarily because no inner tube means no pinch flats, so you can run much lower pressures. This increases traction off-road, and is a definite advantage.

    Various pushes have been/are being made to popularize tubeless for road use, but on-road the advantages are much less obvious. It is true that tubeless has slightly lower rolling resistance, and the ability to run lower pressures without risk of pinch flatting is a good thing. However, if one does have a puncture flat and the sealant doesn't do its job, one still has to have or have access to a tube to install in order to get going.

    Modern clinchers with tubes work so well it's not at all clear that on-road there's any real advantage to the non-racing cyclist of either tubular or tubeless.
    I'd assume that for road cyclists, the lower pressure one could ride with, would be no advantage at all and quite the reverse?
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  6. #6
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    We did this big thread on the commuting forum last year. Despite the slapfights from the usual suspects, it contains a lot of good info.
    Why is no one pushing 650B or tubeless on commuters?

    When it came up on the touring forum a month or two ago I wrote this summary
    http://www.bikeforums.net/touring/991863-going-tubeless-2.html#post17525349


    I've decided not for now, for my commuting; but it absolutely has benefits for other situations.
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  7. #7
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I definitely wouldn't bother replacing perfectly good tires based on my understanding of the pros and cons of tubeless. Wait until you are ready for a new set of tires, then decide.

    In my mind, any supposed advantage to tubeless is diminished greatly by the need for sealant. If a person wants sealant, they can use sealant in their traditional clinchers with tubes.

    Even when you need new tires, I would personally consider a premium set of traditional clincher tires.
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    Does this scenario merit tubeless tires?
    Last weekend I was going downhill at a rate of about 30-35 MPH on a curvy paved road. Pros and cons of tubeless versus tubed tires in that instance?

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    Google searches on tubeless tires and their advantages for road bikes/hybrids turn up old information. I started reading one article just to notice that it was an article from 2010. A lot has changed since then! I'm really wanting to know if cornering at high speeds on a tubeless tire offers advantages over contemporary counterparts. Less chance of a blowout which leads to a broken leg, fractured ribs and concussion? Or is the advantage of a tubeless tire negligible in this scenario? And how much would it cost me to switch to tubeless tires? My rims can run tubed or tubeless.
    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    Does this scenario merit tubeless tires?
    Last weekend I was going downhill at a rate of about 30-35 MPH on a curvy paved road. Pros and cons of tubeless versus tubed tires in that instance?

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    Seems not many on this forum have switched to tubeless and therefore there's not much experience with 'em. A lot of speculation though. Would love to hear from someone who has actually made the switch.
    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    If you've switched, please tell me why. What was the cost? What are the advantages?

  11. #11
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    I wonder if you might get more responses in the Road Cycling forum. I did a quick search, and at least there are enough tubeless users over there that they have a couple of "Which tubeless tire is best?" type threads.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member KraneXL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BrockLee View Post
    Seems not many on this forum have switched to tubeless and therefore there's not much experience with 'em. A lot of speculation though. Would love to hear from someone who has actually made the switch.
    That by itself would appear to provide some level of practicality, don't you think?
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    I wonder if you might get more responses in the Road Cycling forum. I did a quick search, and at least there are enough tubeless users over there that they have a couple of "Which tubeless tire is best?" type threads.
    Well it is a general question; and the road forum is a much bigger audience. Even so, the results would still be anecdotal at best.
    Last edited by KraneXL; 03-26-15 at 11:37 PM.

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