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"Tubed" tires vs "Tubeless Compatible" for a non-tubeless bike

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"Tubed" tires vs "Tubeless Compatible" for a non-tubeless bike

Old 06-17-20, 09:25 PM
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"Tubed" tires vs "Tubeless Compatible" for a non-tubeless bike

I'm sure this is very simple, but I'm a little unclear: I'm looking at getting some new new tires for my Cross Check, which I run w tubes (the stock rims are not tubeless-ready). So, looking at something like GravelKings, they offer both "Tubed" and "Tubeless Compatible" versions. Is there any kind of downside to using the "Tubeless Compatible" ones vs the "Tubed" ones on a non-tubeless rim? I might go tubeless on this bike one day (I love tubeless on my other bike), but...I might not. Honestly I'd probably wear the tires out by the time I get around to it...

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Old 06-17-20, 10:43 PM
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Some rims are NOT happy about trying to accommodate the thicker bead of a tubeless tire. I built my son's bike on some non-tubeless take-off wheels from a Giant. I can't get but one or two different tubeless tires to seat on them without a big wobble, because the beads just won't seat all the way. Any tubed tire goes on in a snap. Might be an isolated incident, but might also be something to consider before you order. I would personally buy the non-tubeless for running tubes, because they're usually quite a bit cheaper.
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Old 06-17-20, 10:46 PM
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My direct A versus B experience is limited to Continental GP5000 tube & tubeless tires.

The tubeless version has a slightly tighter bead. The bead is also a bit fatter with a "flange" & more pronounced square shape to better interlock with the rim. The tire also has an extra thin layer of rubber on the inner surface to prevent the sealant from bleeding through &/or premature drying out.

Conversely, the tubed version has none of those features & to my perception the tire was slightly lighter. (Offset by the addition of a tube, of course.)

You can run a tube in any tubeless tire, but installation may be difficult. Especially if the tire has never been previously installed & pressurized.
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Old 06-17-20, 11:03 PM
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Thanks guys. Makes sense.
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Old 06-18-20, 10:35 AM
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Given the choice I will always choose the "tubed" tire because I don't use tubeless and because the "tubeless" tire is likely to be heavier and stiffer due to the extra rubber required.
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Old 06-18-20, 01:13 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Given the choice I will always choose the "tubed" tire because I don't use tubeless and because the "tubeless" tire is likely to be heavier and stiffer due to the extra rubber required.
You'll save weight from not using a tube
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Old 06-18-20, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Given the choice I will always choose the "tubed" tire because I don't use tubeless and because the "tubeless" tire is likely to be heavier and stiffer due to the extra rubber required.
Apparently "tubeless ready" means the bead will seal like a tubeless, but the casing will allow permeation more than a tubeless... not really rubber-related.
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Old 06-18-20, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
You'll save weight from not using a tube
Incorrect. Truly air-tight "tubeless" tires that can be run without sealant (does that actually work?) are heavier because they have an airtight membrane. Just like, you know, what an inner tube does... "Tubeless ready" tires require so much sealant to function correctly that there is no weight difference compared to a lightweight tube and the tubeless setup is likely to actually be heavier.

Further reading:
https://www.renehersecycles.com/myth...s-roll-faster/
https://www.renehersecycles.com/tubeless-faq/
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Old 06-18-20, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Incorrect. Truly air-tight "tubeless" tires that can be run without sealant (does that actually work?) are heavier because they have an airtight membrane. Just like, you know, what an inner tube does... "Tubeless ready" tires require so much sealant to function correctly that there is no weight difference compared to a lightweight tube and the tubeless setup is likely to actually be heavier.

Further reading:
https://www.renehersecycles.com/myth...s-roll-faster/
https://www.renehersecycles.com/tubeless-faq/
A typical butyl mtb tube weighs ~180g. A valve stem weighs about 10g. And at most you would add maybe 100g of sealant (which is quite a bit).
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Old 06-18-20, 03:09 PM
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FWIW:The decision to go tubeless isn't primarily about weight as much as it is about rolling resistance.

Weight discussions while valid, are sort of adjacent to tubeless' primary design objective. That being reducing the drag coefficient between tire & road.

All engineering decisions are a series of compromises & priorities. If weight matters more, then there is a system for that primary objective too.

I've often wondered about the drag caused by frictional & inertia losses related to sealant viscosity & sealant "sloshing" around the inside of the tire. But thus far found that whatever losses those are, the other qualities more than make up for it & make for a better, more efficient "system."

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Old 06-18-20, 04:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
A typical butyl mtb tube weighs ~180g. A valve stem weighs about 10g. And at most you would add maybe 100g of sealant (which is quite a bit).
The Schwalbe SV14 tube weighs 108g and works great in my 26x2.1" tires. Stan's recommends 3-4oz of sealant for a MTB tire. 3.5oz = 103g. Add the 10g valve stem and now you're heavier than a tube. Some sealant brands recommend more.

Originally Posted by base2 View Post
FWIW:The decision to go tubeless isn't primarily about weight as much as it is about rolling resistance.

Weight discussions while valid, are sort of adjacent to tubeless' primary design objective. That being reducing the drag coefficient between tire & road.
There is no need to guess. Tubeless is not faster. It's been tested. https://www.renehersecycles.com/myth...s-roll-faster/
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Old 06-18-20, 04:44 PM
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My 650B gravel bike is tubeless--came with everything "tubeless ready"---and I must say, the lack of flatting is impressive. I used to get goatheads and whatnot causing flats before but have not flatted in almost 2 years w tubeless. Plus, I run super low pressure offroad.
I would love to go tubeless on this Cross Check that I mention in the OP but new wheels are out of the budget right now, so just trying to sort it out as I'd like some new rubber for it. And everything I read about trying to convert non-tubeless rims to tubeless makes it sound kind of hit or miss.
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Old 06-23-20, 09:34 PM
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Back again. Maybe I'm way overthinking/worrying too much about this but here I go: I have some gift $ at my LBS and I can get some Nanos which I've been wanting to try: https://www.wtb.com/collections/grav...28333697433677
They are labeled as "TCS", tubeless compatible system. My rims are as I mention NOT tubeless-ready, just the stock Alex rims that came on the bike(I think they're these: https://alexrims.com/products/dc19/). So, I would run these with tubes. Could there be any issues with these "TCS" tires, with non-tubeless-friendly rims? Could they be hard to mount?
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Old 06-24-20, 09:14 AM
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You can run a "tubeless" tire on any rim. You would need a tube if the rim is not compatible. The inability of the rim to contain the sealant, pressure, or manufacturer specification conformance testing is the hang-up. (Think: drilling of the spoke holes, or legacy product line, or quality control tolerances...or, any one of a million other reasons a manufacturer might have.)

Similarly, you can run a non-tubeless tire on a tubeless rim. You would need a tube. The loose tolerances of the tire, weeping of sealant, & porous nature of the tire itself is the hang-up.

In your situation, you may have a difficult installation process, have the potential drawbacks of a tube (pinch flats, higher rolling resistance, etc) & none of the benefits of tubeless, (low pressures, flat resistance.) Can you do it? Sure. As long as it's free money, why not? Plus assuming you don't wear out he tire with age & use, you'll have them for when you do make the switch to TL rims.

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Old 06-24-20, 09:37 AM
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
You can run a "tubeless" tire on any rim. You would need a tube if the rim is not compatible. The inability of the rim to contain the sealant, pressure, or manufacturer specification conformance testing is the hang-up. (Think: drilling of the spoke holes, or legacy product line, or quality control tolerances...or, any one of a million other reasons a manufacturer might have.)

Similarly, you can run a non-tubeless tire on a tubeless rim. You would need a tube. The loose tolerances of the tire, weeping of sealant, & porous nature of the tire itself is the hang-up.

In your situation, you may have a difficult installation process, have the potential drawbacks of a tube (pinch flats, higher rolling resistance, etc) & none of the benefits of tubeless, (low pressures, flat resistance.) Can you do it? Sure. As long as it's free money, why not? Plus assuming you don't wear out he tire with age & use, you'll have them for when you do make the switch to TL rims.
Thanks. I guess I'll just have to take my chances and see how it goes. It's getting hard to find the "tubed" version of some of these fatter tires these days! I guess I might as well go all-in and try and convert these rims (I can't afford new wheels). Also hit or miss I know. And i gather running the tires initially with tubes on the rims once I get them on could be helpful with how they seat when I do the conversion...

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Old 06-24-20, 05:16 PM
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pros of tubeless:
-the main (sought) advantage of a tubeless setup: having zero pinch flats (a.k.a. snake bites);
-another main sought advantage is a bit less rolling resistance;
-the greatest REAL advantage for going tubeless is that the sealant acts as to help deal with punctures: seal them out and if they're small enough you do not even need to do anything about them;

--- weight is quite the same as with tubes;

cons of tubeless:
-more costly and more messy when getting the tire off the rim and cleaning the rim;
-sealant needs to be replaced (topping out is the easy way out but it means building up goo inside) now and then (costs);
-more messy and possibly very nasty accidents in certain terrains;

---
i'd say 1. try getting rims twice the size of the tires, for example 25mm inner width for a 2" tire, even if 21mm still works alright. not only will there be a better lateral stability (main reason) and precise cornering but also less pinch flats (because you need a ratio of no more than 2.5x);
2. get through trial and error the right rim tape thickness. if the tire is tightly radially pressed on the rim seat all around the rim - and this is attested by a slight drop of spoke tension on almost ALL tubeless setups that work - then you will have eliminated another common cause of pinch flats for a tube setup. what i mean is: after mounting the tire, inflating it as to seat it properly on the rim bead (out of the rim channel and at the extremity flat end of the rim seat) and then just having the tire deflated but still seated properly with ZERO space in between the rim seat and the tire all around the rim almost all tubeless users will be able to detect a slight drop of spoke tension IF they care to inspect the same spoke and just pluck it and note the sound frequency in Hz for comparison sake. you do not have to measure with a tension meter that slight drop in tension. that's because there's usually more or less pressure (positive, not zero) of the tire against the rim radially otherwise the tubeless setup would not work except for a short time.
3. get better tires that have better puncture resistance - unless you encounter frequent nasty thorns that puncture resistant tires cannot deal with and a tubeless setup can let you ride for a season until the tires are good to go because all those cuts cannot be endured forever. only if you are prepared to replace tires very often should you be considering tubeless setup on a MTB.
4. because of the advantage of the slightly lower rolling resistance and the lack of the sand on the road... tubeless are usually more sought for with competition road bikes - except most still prefer tubulars.
5. put almost a teaspoon of talcum powder inside each tire when mounting not only to more easily mount the tire but also to keep rolling resistance low, there'll be less friction between the inner tube and the tire and also better protection from (ghost) punctures. talcum powder helps prevent aluminum corrosion and also helps prevent tire rot.


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Old 06-25-20, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by adipe View Post
pros of tubeless:
-the main (sought) advantage of a tubeless setup: having zero pinch flats (a.k.a. snake bites);
-another main sought advantage is a bit less rolling resistance;
-the greatest REAL advantage for going tubeless is that the sealant acts as to help deal with punctures: seal them out and if they're small enough you do not even need to do anything about them;

--- weight is quite the same as with tubes;
Again... Tubeless is not faster. It's been tested. https://www.renehersecycles.com/myth...s-roll-faster/

I don't understand the pinch flat argument. The only time I've ever pinch flatted (it was a double!) was when I was using 25mm slicks on a bumpy cyclocross course, inflated to something silly-low like 50psi. If I were routinely bottoming out my rims I'd use a wider tire, especially now that we know that wider tires are not slower than narrow tires. Are there people that enjoy using narrow tires on rough terrain so much that they will set them up tubeless to avoid suffering consequences from bottoming out...?

The puncture argument makes sense. If I lived somewhere with goathead thorns or other similar hazards I would surely be using tubeless.
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Old 06-25-20, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by FastJake View Post
Again... Tubeless is not faster. It's been tested. https://www.renehersecycles.com/myth...s-roll-faster/

I don't understand the pinch flat argument. The only time I've ever pinch flatted (it was a double!) was when I was using 25mm slicks on a bumpy cyclocross course, inflated to something silly-low like 50psi. If I were routinely bottoming out my rims I'd use a wider tire, especially now that we know that wider tires are not slower than narrow tires. Are there people that enjoy using narrow tires on rough terrain so much that they will set them up tubeless to avoid suffering consequences from bottoming out...?

The puncture argument makes sense. If I lived somewhere with goathead thorns or other similar hazards I would surely be using tubeless.
For me it's all about two things--the puncture fixin' and the lower psi for cush. Speed is of no concern--I'm slow on anything. On my geared gravel rig, I have not flatted in around 2 years with tubeless, I ride it like a mountain bike and I run about 20-21 psi offroad (650B). I love it. My dilemma with the ss Cross Check is really just cost-based--dunno how much $ I want to put into a rim brake bike at this point, that's not my #1 ride...

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Old 06-25-20, 10:48 AM
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The Rene Herse Cycles "test" is an auto-discard, as it is incomplete, biased, woefully outdated, and most importantly-- misses the point entirely. From their own statement:

"We tested the very same tires mounted tubeless with as little sealant as possible – a best-case scenario for tubeless. Then we removed the sealant and installed tubes. The tires rolled at almost the same speed. Even with almost no liquid sealant inside, the tubeless setup rolled only marginally faster."

So they ran tubeless tires with tubes in them as a test against tubeless tires without tubes in them? This is cherry-picking at its absolute worst. When comparing full-blown TT tires with latex tubes to similarly-spec'd tubeless tires, the difference is often around half a watt. That's what we call marginal. So the tubeless might offer an advantage of a watt or two (in a roughly same-for-same comparo.) But when comparing the survivability of a TT tire with a latex tube to ANY tubeless tire, the tubeless wins hands down, end of discussion.


So let's see... a tubeless tire feels a little better, rolls a little faster, and virtually eliminates nuisance flats. Yeah. That just sounds awful.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
The Rene Herse Cycles "test" is an auto-discard, as it is incomplete, biased, woefully outdated, and most importantly-- misses the point entirely. From their own statement:

So they ran tubeless tires with tubes in them as a test against tubeless tires without tubes in them? This is cherry-picking at its absolute worst. When comparing full-blown TT tires with latex tubes to similarly-spec'd tubeless tires, the difference is often around half a watt. That's what we call marginal. So the tubeless might offer an advantage of a watt or two (in a roughly same-for-same comparo.) But when comparing the survivability of a TT tire with a latex tube to ANY tubeless tire, the tubeless wins hands down, end of discussion.

So let's see... a tubeless tire feels a little better, rolls a little faster, and virtually eliminates nuisance flats. Yeah. That just sounds awful.
If you have a link to a better test, please share it.

Misses the point? I can't tell what your point is. How is running the exact same tire setup tubed/tubeless cherry picking...? Did you miss the part where they used so little sealant in this test that the tubeless setup is not reliable? Add enough sealant to make it work and tubeless is slower (to be fair, they should've tested that too...)

It's also worth noting that Jan doesn't do anything remotely resembling "full blown TT". Neither do I. I ride wider tires that don't have problems "surviving" being ridden on real roads. So let's see... my tires feel a LOT better than narrow tires, roll just as fast or faster on real roads, and don't suffer nuisance flats either. Gee, I'd better convert to tubeless immediately!
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Old 06-25-20, 11:24 AM
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Look: they ran tubes inside of tires specifically designed to be run without tubes, and considered that a test of tubed vs. tubeless. That's insane. It's not so hard to find a tire that comes in both versions, and test those. The differences will likely be small-- but virtually always in favor of the one without a tube.

In that vein, I have a much better test: it's called 40,000 miles of riding on tubeless tires from 700x23 to 700x43, and everything in between. I'm not going to make broad, over-generalized, statements like "my tires feel a LOT better than narrow tires, roll just as fast or faster on real roads, and don't suffer nuisance flats either" because I'm not a big fan of that sort of thing. How someone else does over an unknown number of miles in unknown conditions is about as valuable as how a tire does on a drum in a lab. On tubed tires (barring Gator Hardshells) I got flats all the time-- to the tune of one flat roughly every 200 miles. Big cushy Compass tires would not do well here. They would quite likely get shredded here... or maybe they wouldn't. How would my tires fare in the Badger State? Absolutely no idea. I'm not going to claim that what works in California works perfectly well everywhere else, or vice versa. I ride where I ride, and with the three choices being 1) armored tires, 2) embracing the zen of roadside flat repair, or 3) tubeless, it's option 3 all the way, every day.

I don't go off of short, drum-roller tests performed for the sake of an internet graph (or better, to push sales of <insert product here>. I like my evidence empirical. Not all tires are created equal, and that applies to those with tubes just as much as to those without. Are tubeless tires a perfect solution? Man, they're not even a perfect solution for me. They're generally expensive, and sizes/options are often limited. But for me, riding where I ride, they're better than tubes. How much better? Incomparably better. I have 2-3 flatting instances per year. I ride 10,000 miles a year. If tribulus terrestris was eradicated tomorrow, would I go back to tubes? Well, I pulled a pushpin out of my back tire yesterday. So no.
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Old 06-25-20, 11:41 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Look: they ran tubes inside of tires specifically designed to be run without tubes, and considered that a test of tubed vs. tubeless. That's insane. It's not so hard to find a tire that comes in both versions, and test those. The differences will likely be small-- but virtually always in favor of the one without a tube.
Again, if you have a link to a better test please share it (keeping in mind that drum tests are meaningless.) Otherwise I will stop responding to your baseless claims. You seem confused about tubed versus tubeless tire construction. Comparing a tubeless tire with/without a tube is actually a worse case for tubes. Tubeless tires have extra rubber to help them be airtight (you know, like what a tube does) which is why they're heavier. If they'd compared a tube-tire with a tube against a tubeless tire setup tubeless, the results would be more in favor of tubes. It cannot be the other way around.

Finally, who says you can't use tubes in a tubeless tire...?

I'm not going to argue with you on flats. In fact, I said earlier: "The puncture argument makes sense. If I lived somewhere with goathead thorns or other similar hazards I would surely be using tubeless." I will add to that last sentence: despite the setup hassles and slight increase in rolling resistance.

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Old 06-25-20, 12:25 PM
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I applaud your creative quote-cropping. My baseless claims you say? Here's a counter-question for you: how many miles do you think you've ridden on tubeless tires? Just ballpark it. I said it before and I'll say it again-- 40,000 plus a bit.

I'm gonna assume your number is at or around zero, after this rambling nonsense:

"You seem confused about tubed versus tubeless tire construction. Comparing a tubeless tire with/without a tube is actually a worse case for tubes. Tubeless tires have extra rubber to help them be airtight (you know, like what a tube does) which is why they're heavier. If they'd compared a tube-tire with a tube against a tubeless tire setup tubeless, the results would be more in favor of tubes. It cannot be the other way around."

If you have no personal, practical experience with tubeless tires, you're out of your depth, and have no business in this thread.
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Old 06-25-20, 12:48 PM
  #24  
FastJake
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I applaud your creative quote-cropping. My baseless claims you say? Here's a counter-question for you: how many miles do you think you've ridden on tubeless tires? Just ballpark it. I said it before and I'll say it again-- 40,000 plus a bit.

If you have no personal, practical experience with tubeless tires, you're out of your depth, and have no business in this thread.
So we agree that you have no credible evidence that tubeless tires are faster than tubed.

You're correct. I've ridden zero miles on tubeless bicycle tires. Since I don't suffer frequent flats, I have no reason to (but if I did, I would try tubeless). Unless there is some advantage I am missing. And you're correct again, this thread has turned into a waste of my time. I'm out.
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Old 06-25-20, 12:59 PM
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I'm pretty confident you an I don't agree on anything. Because you have presented your own baseless opinion as if it is sufficient counterpoint against my 40k miles of experience. Are tubeless tires faster? Over what distance/timeframe? Over 100m? <shrug> Over the course of a year? A lot faster for me, because I don't spend much time dealing with tires during rides.

I'd also like to point out that in no post have I ever said that I chose tubeless tires because they're faster. Ever. If they are, that's great. I've never even asserted that tubeless tires are better all the time. But what you're doing is going down to the dog track and screaming that horse racing is better.
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