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Tubeless

Old 07-03-23, 04:15 AM
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Tubeless

I understand that Tubeless is the way to go for some. Has anyone used them? They seem more expensive and a big pain. Any feedback?
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Old 07-03-23, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid
I understand that Tubeless is the way to go for some. Has anyone used them? They seem more expensive and a big pain. Any feedback?
Iíve been a convert for about 6 years now. They are definitely more maintenance intensive than clinchers but for me, they have been trouble free. Iíve not had any issues with mounting, set up and getting them to seal, and so far not once have I had a puncture that couldnít be sealed. Since I have quite a few bikes in my stable, I only use tubeless on two of the three that are part of my current daily rotation. Everything else gets clinchers. In addition to the puncture sealing benefits, I also appreciate the comfort I get running air pressures lower than anything I can run my non-tubeless bikes. Once I wear out my current gravel bike 35mm Clement clincher tires, Iíll be converting to tubeless and upsizing to 42/45. Iím putting more miles on it 50/50 split as a city all-around bike, so probably by this fall/winter, maybe even end of summer. Living in and riding in Bahrain, the sealant is working in a severe duty environment and definitely takes more time to regularly check on the sealant condition a/o replace with fresh sealant.
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Old 07-03-23, 10:15 AM
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If I lived in goathead country, I'd absolutely switch. As it is, I only get a couple of flats per year, and they are easily managed.
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Old 07-03-23, 10:16 AM
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I run tubeless on my commuter, The Breezer Doppler Cafe with 650b wheels, and have been tubeless on a variety of other bikes for 10 years; currently I have 4 bikes (but 5 wheelsets) running tubeless, all road variants.

In general, tubeless is great, but it’s not without its particular demands, and is therefore not the obvious choice for commuting.

For those willing to gear up, be involved with their bike, and put in extra time, go for it. The ride quality of tubeless is superlative, and the additional flat protection is great.

If you have to rely on your commuter to be ready to go all the time, I’d stick with tubes. I’d definitely switch to TPU tubes if you’re not using them, specifically Aerothan. They’re the perfect commuter option, offering performance, durability/puncture resistance and reliability.

But back to tubeless, it’s easy to see it being a lot of extra work for no real benefit, so should be considered carefully.
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Old 07-03-23, 10:38 AM
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IMO, tubeless makes a ton of sense for a commuter bike. The sealant will quickly resolve most small punctures that would normally have you delayed with replacing the tube. You might not even know they happened. That said, always carry plugs, a tube, and boot material to handle larger issues, if they arise. Keep in mind that those larger issues would happen with a tubed tire, too.
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Old 07-03-23, 10:40 AM
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This has been covered a few times over the years on BF and there has been some very interesting open minded discussions. Try the search feature and become enlightened on the pro’s and con’s of tubeless.
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Old 07-05-23, 09:54 AM
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Itís not weird or special anymore like it was 10 or 15 years ago. Every bike shop that has mountain and gravel bikes, also has tools and sealant and so on. If you buy a new mountain or gravel bike, chances are you are ready to go. Commuter bikes, probably not. They like to sell those with marathons or equivalent which are not tubeless tires. If you are not set up for it to begin with, itís probably not worth changing over

Iíve been running tubeless for a few years now.

The failures Iíve had on the road were down to lack of fresh sealant. I now carry sealant and my valve caps are one Schrader adapter, one Presta core remover.

Iíve picked up a screw and not realized it for days thinking it was a rock stuck in the tread.

Iíve only tried a plug once and it was kind of a fiasco. I probably didnít need to. When I pushed it through, it sealed up again with just sealant.

When I looked for anecdotes of failure they were similar. Most failures are small and solved with a dose of sealant, a plug at worst. Anything that requires a tube also requires a tire boot or even wheel replacement.

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Old 07-05-23, 11:44 AM
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I have mainly had issues with the valves. they always come loose and that causes some fun issues. so now I double nut them. but the front wheel of our tandem and I thought it was low on muc-off but nope it came out when I took the valve out so I hope its a leaking valve. but yesterday morning I added air to the front and the back has been good for several weeks. the bike sat on 100 degree pavement for several ours. we to ride and the front was really low so I feel it hop on and found the back was really low. it was like huh? when I tried refilling the the back the valve was leaking. but I think it was the core. it was fine for weeks.
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Old 07-28-23, 12:07 PM
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I'm a little confused about the benefits. Where would be better to have tubeless vs not?
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Old 07-28-23, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dithifer
I'm a little confused about the benefits. Where would be better to have tubeless vs not?
Tubeless tires have liquid sealant inside. If you get a small puncture, the sealant plugs the hole as the tire spins while riding. In many cases, you may not even be aware that the puncture happened.

Tubeless tires have been the standard for mountain bikes for quite a while, and have recently become the most frequently used setup for professional road racing. Some folks still prefer to use tires with inner tubes. Others have realized the benefits of tubeless tires. Personally, all of my most frequently used bikes are set up tubeless (road, gravel, and MTB).
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Old 07-28-23, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid
I understand that Tubeless is the way to go for some. Has anyone used them? They seem more expensive and a big pain. Any feedback?
Yes. I have used tubeless bicycle tires. I have been riding tubeless tires on my favourite road bike for 12 years. At the time I started out, road tubeless was in its infancy. It had only been a couple of years since Shimano and Hutchinsen had teamed up to develop the tires and wheesl to make this possible. Shimano had produced rims and wheels that didn't have holes in the rim bed allowing a very good seal for the tubeless tire to hold air. Sealant was used to prevent air loss in the event of a puncture, but wasn't necessarily needed to maintain air pressure. Can you imagine if modern car tires would need regular injection of sealant? Tubeless bike tires have improved immensely over the last few years. My experience with my Campagnolo Shamal 2Wayfit wheels that I have been using for the last 12 years are a good example. When I bought them, Hutchinson Fusion2 tires were pretty much the only tire you could buy. Today?
Something I would like to add: In 1972 I bought a 1969 Peugeot 204. It was equipped with Michelin X radial tires. Those tires were tube type. The transition from one type of tire technology to another may take awhile but if the new stuff is better, the transition will happen
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Old 07-31-23, 11:43 PM
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Setup: brand new tubeless wheels come pre-taped (replace the tubeless tape if buying used wheels), fit a tubeless tyre, fill with 90-100ml of sealant. Done.

Maintenance: take the tyre off, wipe off the sealant with a rag, inspect the tubeless tape, put the tyre back on and refill with fresh sealant, once every 6 months. Done

How complicated does that sound as opposed to tubed?
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Old 08-01-23, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Schlafen
Setup: brand new tubeless wheels come pre-taped (replace the tubeless tape if buying used wheels), fit a tubeless tyre, fill with 90-100ml of sealant. Done.

Maintenance: take the tyre off, wipe off the sealant with a rag, inspect the tubeless tape, put the tyre back on and refill with fresh sealant, once every 6 months. Done

How complicated does that sound as opposed to tubed?
life is not always that easy. all my valves have come loose. I have to had to double nut them to keep them tight. if they leak it can become an issue to get. them to stop leaking. then all he valve clog up sometimes really fast causing leaking. but it was a learning curve and I have pretty reliable tires.
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Old 08-01-23, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Schlafen
Setup: brand new tubeless wheels come pre-taped (replace the tubeless tape if buying used wheels), fit a tubeless tyre, fill with 90-100ml of sealant. Done.

Maintenance: take the tyre off, wipe off the sealant with a rag, inspect the tubeless tape, put the tyre back on and refill with fresh sealant, once every 6 months. Done

How complicated does that sound as opposed to tubed?
You even take it one step farther than I do. I just add sealant every six months and only clean the system when the tire is worn.
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Old 08-01-23, 07:39 PM
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To me it seems like you're just trading one set of issues for another. Do what makes sense for you.

I ride tubes, and after a series of flats (my tires are finally getting a bit worn), I finally put a tire liner in my rear tire; so far, so good. Yes, it's heavier; I'll build stronger legs.
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Old 08-02-23, 12:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
You even take it one step farther than I do. I just add sealant every six months and only clean the system when the tire is worn.
That's actually by the book.
Personally, I replace the tyres on my commuter every spring as they don't last longer than 1 year and put about 120ml of sealant in each new tyre. I only take the tyre off if I have to, or if the sealant dries up, which has never happened to me.

Originally Posted by fooferdoggie
life is not always that easy. all my valves have come loose. I have to had to double nut them to keep them tight. if they leak it can become an issue to get. them to stop leaking. then all he valve clog up sometimes really fast causing leaking. but it was a learning curve and I have pretty reliable tires.
It's been pretty easy for me, like absolutely nothing to complain about, not a single puncture requiring my attention in the last 3 years or so. I read about these horror stories all the time, seen some videos with tyres exploding off the rims and people making videos about how evil tubeless is, and I just can't compute, genuinely don't undestand how people can mess up a simple process. If you want a job done well, it seems that, in the last few years at least, you have to do it yourself, so I build my own wheels with the components that I want to use. My commuter is still on the original tubeless valves and cores which I used when I built the wheels in 2021.
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Old 08-02-23, 12:24 PM
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I posted this over in the gravel forum. I run tubeless on both my Tesch S-22 with Boyds Altamont rims and Continental 5000 S TR tires and my Ritchey Breakaway has a set of Fulcrum Zero Nites running Continental 5000TR tires, both converted with Boyds rim tape. I live and ride in Bahrain currently and the heat here seems to dry out the sealant much faster than back in Texas. I guess you can consider this environment severe duty. I initially started with Orange Endurance sealant in Texas but when that ran out I switched over to the sealant from Boyds. For me, taking care of my tires is just another part of bike maintenance. I have no problem taking everything apart, cleaning it, then reinstalling with fresh sealant. Since going to tubeless, this is just a part of my preventive maintenance for the wheels. In Texas I’d this a couple times during the summer for each wheelset. The old sealant typically had some that had congealed but was mainly intact, just less of it due to leaks that had been sealed over the last month or so.

Now that I am in Bahrain, and after my first summer here, I noticed that the Boyds seemed to have a lot more congealed sealant and it was congealing in the span of about a month or so. So, I end up taking the tires off, removing the congealed sealant which is very easy to do, rinsing everything down and reinstalling with fresh sealant. Taking my time, total time for me for a pair of wheels is about 45 minutes, start to finish. For this most recent time, I switched back over to Orange to see if it can take the heat any better than Boyd’s.

With either sealant, it has never been a chore for me to remove the old sealant but maybe that is because it is not sitting in there for more than 4-6 months, now about 2 months. It comes right out with either my bare hand or a common kitchen sponge. If you are worried that removing the sealant will affect any previously sealed punctures, don’t be. Odds are that sealant that is sealing the punctures has solidified and won’t be removed when you remove any old sealant from inside. And even if it were to somehow remove the sealant plugging the hole, as soon as you inflated you tire, the sealant would immediately do its job again. I’ve never had this problem. In any kind of environment don’t expect to convert to tubeless and think you will have years of maintenance free wheels. If that is your expectation, stick to tubes.

Converting tubeless back to tubes is easy and requires removing the valve and a rinsing of the tire to remove the old sealant and wiping down with alcohol if you want get as much of the old sealant off as possible. I did just this with one of my bikes back in Texas. Since it wasn’t getting ridden but every 6 months or so, I converted back to tubes and have had no issues.

Edit: After swapping back to Orange, it is holding up better than the Boyd’s. I just opened everything back up and there is very little congealed sealant and still a nice amount of liquid sealant. I just put it all back together and topped up with some fresh sealant.

I also just converted my BMC over to tubeless and will see how better they do dealing with all the debris on the roads here in Bahrain. I’ve flatted twice in the last month but not once on my Tesch in over 8 months.


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Old 08-05-23, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dithifer
I'm a little confused about the benefits. Where would be better to have tubeless vs not?
I have one set of road tubeless wheels that I've had great results with, and run tubeless on my fatbike.

I wouldn't go out and replace a perfectly good set of wheels and tires just to go tubeless. If I was replacing stuff anyway, I would get tubeless.
Tubeless isn't really more expensive than equivalent quality tires and rims intended for tubes.

I'll have tubes around for some bikes for a long time. I don't really plan on swapping my commuter in the near future - none of my wheels are really compatible. If they were, or if I were replacing wheels on that bike, I would.
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Old 08-06-23, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Schlafen
Setup: brand new tubeless wheels come pre-taped (replace the tubeless tape if buying used wheels), fit a tubeless tyre, fill with 90-100ml of sealant. Done.

Maintenance: take the tyre off, wipe off the sealant with a rag, inspect the tubeless tape, put the tyre back on and refill with fresh sealant, once every 6 months. Done

How complicated does that sound as opposed to tubed?
For various reasons, some people donít do anything with their tires nearly as frequently as every six months, so your routine represents a big addition of work.

This thread has got me considering it, though. All of my rims are old, though, so I may not be ready.
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Old 08-15-23, 06:28 AM
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I tried tubeless on one of my bikes but decided that, of the advantages, all I really wanted was the additional flat protection of sealant. I opted to use Flat Attack sealant in the tubes instead. There are advantages to tubeless, most of which arose from competition; lose the weight of the tube, eliminate the possibility of pinch flats for instance. Neither of those meant anything to me. Mounting and sealing them is a pain and friends have had problems with refreshing the sealant and ended up with congealed sealant in the tire throwing the wheel out of balance. It was easier to get the flat protection I wanted by adding sealant to the tubes. Flat Attack brand is warranted to remain viable for five years so it doesn't need periodic refreshment. It's not aggressive enough for tubeless mounting but seals more than 90% of punctures. I've had four flats on the road since using it 6 years ago and ride more than 5K miles per year. The flats I've had were catastrophic such as a 4D framing nail through the tread and sidewall or a piece of glass leaving an inch and a half gash in the tread. The rest have been minor punctures which sealed after adding some air and riding. After changing one tube and tire I counted 13 punctures which had sealed while I was riding. I think it adds a lot of mileage to the tires.
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Old 08-15-23, 07:10 AM
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the problem with most sealants in a tube is the really only work under lower pressure. or if you can find what caused the puncture. often I had to take the tube out and feel the tube from the inside to find it.
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Old 08-16-23, 04:12 AM
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Originally Posted by irwin7638
I tried tubeless on one of my bikes but decided that, of the advantages, all I really wanted was the additional flat protection of sealant. I opted to use Flat Attack sealant in the tubes instead. There are advantages to tubeless, most of which arose from competition; lose the weight of the tube, eliminate the possibility of pinch flats for instance. Neither of those meant anything to me. Mounting and sealing them is a pain and friends have had problems with refreshing the sealant and ended up with congealed sealant in the tire throwing the wheel out of balance. It was easier to get the flat protection I wanted by adding sealant to the tubes. Flat Attack brand is warranted to remain viable for five years so it doesn't need periodic refreshment. It's not aggressive enough for tubeless mounting but seals more than 90% of punctures. I've had four flats on the road since using it 6 years ago and ride more than 5K miles per year. The flats I've had were catastrophic such as a 4D framing nail through the tread and sidewall or a piece of glass leaving an inch and a half gash in the tread. The rest have been minor punctures which sealed after adding some air and riding. After changing one tube and tire I counted 13 punctures which had sealed while I was riding. I think it adds a lot of mileage to the tires.

Sealant in tubes is messier than sealant in tyre.
I've only heard about GP5000's being a pain to mount, there's a plethora of tubeless tyres available at this point.
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Old 08-20-23, 10:59 AM
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The fist time I tried sealant in a tube it worked fine with no drama. This was in a 2" tire at about 3 bar with a goathead. The second time, it was a snake bite flat, and the hole was too big for the sealant to work. But the cleanup only required a couple of paper towels. I really don't get worrying about cleanup of sealant, unless you are unfortunate to have a latex allergy
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Old 08-20-23, 11:16 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
If I lived in goathead country, I'd absolutely switch. As it is, I only get a couple of flats per year, and they are easily managed.
Yes I live in goathead country too, i have thin liners between the tire andy tube on two of my bikes, i have not had a flat since Covid I think, actually I cant remember when i had my last flat, on my two other newer bikes for weekend fun rides i have tubeless and they are great since i can ride them with 35 or 45 psi tire pressure for some very cushy comfy run longer rides
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