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If tubeless tires are so cool, how come...

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If tubeless tires are so cool, how come...

Old 10-16-17, 05:06 PM
  #1  
epnnf
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If tubeless tires are so cool, how come...

...nobody specs them on their new bikes. Im referring to 2" wide & less. At least I dont see any. What am I missing?
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Old 10-16-17, 05:14 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
...nobody specs them on their new bikes. Im referring to 2" wide & less. At least I dont see any. What am I missing?
Longer "just works" shelf life, and passes cost of tubeless setup to the customer.
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Old 10-16-17, 05:25 PM
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Wasn't it initially a mountain biker thing? I think they felt that it resolved the issue of pinch-flatting when they road really rough terrain and fairly low pressures.

But I don't know. I don't think that you can generalize as either tubes or tubeless being superior for every application.

I prefer tubes and it'll be a long time before I can be swayed to wanting anything else for my road bike tires.

But please correct me on their history, I admit I've never paid it much attention.
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Old 10-16-17, 05:28 PM
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Almost every gravel bike comes with tubeless tires and rims.

A bike can't be shipped with sealant installed.

Tubeless has nothing to do with being cool.


-Tim-
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Old 10-16-17, 06:33 PM
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Oh!!! MAN!!! I thought I was cool!!!
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Old 10-16-17, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by jimbo. View Post
Oh!!! MAN!!! I thought I was cool!!!
Believe yours are "Tubeless ready." Only tubeless if you ditch the tubes and add the sealant. As Tim pointed out above, it still may not make you cool.
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Old 10-16-17, 07:10 PM
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Since when is it cool to post as a sock puppet?
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Old 10-16-17, 08:13 PM
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Tubeless requires some maintenance that isn't consistent with shop floors. Even tubeless mountain bikes are setup with tubes on the sales floor.
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Old 10-16-17, 08:19 PM
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The tubeless sealant needs periodic replacement because it dries out.
Also the bike needs to be ridden regularly or the sealant will pool and solidify in one spot.
This just doesn't work out for a bike that may sit in the shop unpurchased for months.
Also, due to the aforementioned maintenance issues, they aren't for everyone.
Best to leave it up to the rider to convert.
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Old 10-16-17, 08:19 PM
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Even tubeless ready rims and tires will ship with tubes, for all of the aforementioned reasons. They also ship with spoke protectors and reflectors.
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Old 10-17-17, 06:08 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Even tubeless ready rims and tires will ship with tubes, for all of the aforementioned reasons. They also ship with spoke protectors and reflectors.

Great point. Most riders convert to protectorless and reflectorless eventually.

Bikes also come with flat pedals and many convert here as well.

Less is more.


-Tim-
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Old 10-18-17, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post

Less is more.
Says the guy who started the "what did you just buy" thread for this subforum.
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Old 10-18-17, 02:29 PM
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Originally Posted by epnnf View Post
...nobody specs them on their new bikes. Im referring to 2" wide & less. At least I dont see any. What am I missing?
The easy answer is that overall,,,, bicycle tubeless doesn't really work all that well.

It does work, in that if you buy all the parts and out them together correctly it will do what the manufacturers say it should, but there are practical drawbacks to it that are preventing its uptake.

Some of these drawbacks are inherent to the concept and aren't easily resolved.
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Old 10-18-17, 02:49 PM
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I have tried tubeless on my road bike twice so far. The first time I had an unfortunate combination of tire and rim that ended up destroying the rear rim (the tire was such a tight fit that it detensioned the spokes enough that they would unload during a ride, which ended up destroying the rim). The second time was with a Schwalbe One tubeless. They were a biatch to get on there, but once on, they rode really nicely. I did in fact run over something once with my tubeless road tires and heard the hissing noise of air escaping for several revolutions, then it petered out and stopped as the sealant did its job. I didn't have to stop, and road home with the tire maybe 10-15psi lower tops.

The one reason I'm not running tubeless right now is that I live in a very hot climate, and the garage where I store my bikes gets very, very hot during the summer. The sealant dries out quickly enough that it will end up drying up to some extent inside the tire, and even if you keep adding sealant, you're adding more solids just to get more liquid, and at some point you've just got this mess of liquid, semiliquid, and dried up latex-based crap all over inside the tire and the rim.

The only way I could see avoiding that where I live is to periodically (like every month or two at most) remove the tire, thoroughly clean it out, and then put it back on, new sealant in, etc. That's just more work than I want to do on my wheels right now.

On the mountain bike, however, it's tubeless all the way, and I'll never go back to tubes, and it doesn't matter to me what I have to do to keep them running well. Tubeless for MTB is just way better in every way. It's more comfortable because the tires seem to have better suspension effects when it's just the tire under pressure and not also a relatively thick tube. You can run lower pressures. They just feel better. And if you run over something that punctures they seal up really nicely.

Very narrow road tires have to run at high pressure, and that means that tubeless doesn't work quite as effectively in my opinion. I may be wrong on this. The vastly lower pressure of the MTB tires just works well with the sealant.

I may try tubeless again on my new bike with wider tires, like 35mm or so, and see if the lower pressure these will run at will work well with the sealant. I'll still have the issue of mounting the tires the first time, periodically cleaning them out, etc. But it may well be worth it.

I will say this: both road and MTB bikes I've ridden tubeless were more comfortable than with tubes, even comparing exactly the same tires, wheels, bikes, etc. with the only difference being whether there was a tube in there, or no tube plus sealant. It's a noticeably nicer ride.
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Old 10-18-17, 02:56 PM
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tubeless-ready rims/wheels are more expensive than non-tubeless-ready rims, so when you're also talking sub$2000 retail, you've got margins to hit...
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Old 10-18-17, 03:27 PM
  #16  
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Giant Bicycles is spec'ing tubeless on just about all but their cheapest road bikes for 2018.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bikes-contend-2018

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/bi...-advanced-2018

Last edited by Moose; 10-18-17 at 03:31 PM.
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