Notices
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Tubeless Question

Old 11-06-23, 05:24 AM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 125 Posts
Tubeless Question

Iíve had tubeless tires on a gravel bikes over the years, Iíve also used tubes.

One question - at the same relatively low psi, does tubeless have more shock absorption over bumpy gravel?

Iíve had a Salsa Fargo since April and left it set up with tubes in 2.2Ē Sparwood tires. On the mixed surfaces where I ride I use 25-30 psi and itís been great. Only reason I would consider tubeless is if the shock absorption would be like 25%+ better. My mixed surfaces are pretty easy going (champagne gravel trails and roads, roads with some small washboard sections; non technical single track; wood chips, wooden boardwalks; grass; paved paths and roads).

Iíve had tubeless 700-40 and 650-47. My current set up of tubes in 2.2Ē tires is way more comfortable over the bumpiest terrain where I ride.
Noonievut is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 09:05 AM
  #2  
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 3,481

Bikes: Trek FX 2, Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD4, Santa Cruz Stigmata GRX

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1832 Post(s)
Liked 1,372 Times in 957 Posts
Originally Posted by Noonievut
... set up with tubes in 2.2Ē Sparwood tires. On the mixed surfaces where I ride I use 25-30 psi and itís been great. Only reason I would consider tubeless is if the shock absorption would be like 25%+ better. ...

Iíve had tubeless 700-40 and 650-47. My current set up of tubes in 2.2Ē tires is way more comfortable over the bumpiest terrain where I ride.
Setting aside issues of fit and/or adjustment, I doubt that anyone can achieve a 25% improvement in any measurable metric by merely replacing a single component on a bicycle.

Your 2.2" tires are wider and more voluminous, and thus can be run at a lower pressure, than your 700x40c and 650x47c tires, so of course are more comfortable. If the 2.2" tires are tubeless ready, running them tubeless would slightly increase their internal volumes and slightly improve their suppleness and rolling resistance, but nowhere near a 25% improvement.
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Likes For SoSmellyAir:
Old 11-06-23, 11:12 AM
  #3  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by Noonievut
One question - at the same relatively low psi, does tubeless have more shock absorption over bumpy gravel?
Minimally so, to a degree that would be extremely difficult to determine in a double-blind test. With the same (tubeless capable) tires running the same pressure, the tubed setup will have slightly less air volume due to the tube itself taking up some space, and the effective sidewall thickness of the tube combined with the tire will be larger than of just the tire alone, so it will be a little be more efficient at transferring energy to the rim.

The difference gets even smaller if you are comparing tubeless tires with tires that are not tubeless-ready, since the former will have more robust construction -- precisely to make up for the lack of support from the tube.

The smaller the tire, the larger this effect will be, on a percentage basis -- a tube inside a 25mm tire takes up a greater percentage of the volume than one inside a 45mm tire -- but I doubt very many people could tell the difference with either. I have Continental GP5Ks on two bikes, one tubed and one tubeless -- and I honestly forget which is which, sometimes.
TC1 is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 12:23 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 125 Posts
Thanks for the responses (so far). As I suspected, minimal improvement for me so Iíll stick with tubes. If I ever use this rig for bikepacking and/or gnarlier surfaces, then Iíll consider tubeless.
Noonievut is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 12:50 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,811
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1223 Post(s)
Liked 735 Times in 549 Posts
I recently went tubeless with 2,4" tires on my MTB. I was surprised that the difference was very noticeable. I had assumed it wouldn't be unless I were to lower the pressure, but it was even at the same pressure,

I suspect how much so may depend to a large extent on the tire in question. The stiffer the sidewall the less noticeable the difference.

FWIW, that was over a very rough surface.
staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 11-06-23, 12:59 PM
  #6  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I recently went tubeless with 2,4" tires on my MTB. I was surprised that the difference was very noticeable. I had assumed it wouldn't be unless I were to lower the pressure, but it was even at the same pressure,

I suspect how much so may depend to a large extent on the tire in question. The stiffer the sidewall the less noticeable the difference.

FWIW, that was over a very rough surface.
Iíve done a lot of mountain biking and to me tubeless was a no-brainer. The switch, when I did it, was a very positive difference.
Noonievut is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 03:12 PM
  #7  
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 3,481

Bikes: Trek FX 2, Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD4, Santa Cruz Stigmata GRX

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1832 Post(s)
Liked 1,372 Times in 957 Posts
Originally Posted by Noonievut
Iíve done a lot of mountain biking and to me tubeless was a no-brainer. The switch, when I did it, was a very positive difference.
Then why not just also run the Sparwood tubeless?
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 08:44 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
Then why not just also run the Sparwood tubeless?
Terrain

Mtb on very technical trails where low pressure gives traction on slick tree roots, rocks, dicey corners. Same pressure with tubes meant pinch flats. So I would have to run higher pressure to avoid pinch flats, and that meant a rougher ride and less traction and confidence.

Sparwood on the Salsa - Champagne gravel and non technical Ďdirtí and Iíve been running 25-30psi (with tubes) and itís been good.
Noonievut is offline  
Old 11-06-23, 10:19 PM
  #9  
Method to My Madness
 
Join Date: Nov 2020
Location: Orange County, California
Posts: 3,481

Bikes: Trek FX 2, Cannondale Synapse, Cannondale CAAD4, Santa Cruz Stigmata GRX

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1832 Post(s)
Liked 1,372 Times in 957 Posts
Originally Posted by Noonievut
Terrain

Mtb on very technical trails where low pressure gives traction on slick tree roots, rocks, dicey corners. Same pressure with tubes meant pinch flats. So I would have to run higher pressure to avoid pinch flats, and that meant a rougher ride and less traction and confidence.

Sparwood on the Salsa - Champagne gravel and non technical Ďdirtí and Iíve been running 25-30psi (with tubes) and itís been good.
I worded my last question using too few words and quoted only what you said (immediately before) about MTB, so you misunderstood me.

To clarify my question: Since you are already familiar with tubeless on both gravel and MTB, and the Teravail Sparwood tires on your Salsa Fargo are tubeless ready (but currently setup with tubes), why not just setup these same tires tubeless on your Salsa Fargo, even though any improvement would be slight (<< 25%)?
SoSmellyAir is offline  
Old 11-07-23, 04:29 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 941
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 283 Post(s)
Liked 249 Times in 125 Posts
Originally Posted by SoSmellyAir
I worded my last question using too few words and quoted only what you said (immediately before) about MTB, so you misunderstood me.

To clarify my question: Since you are already familiar with tubeless on both gravel and MTB, and the Teravail Sparwood tires on your Salsa Fargo are tubeless ready (but currently setup with tubes), why not just setup these same tires tubeless on your Salsa Fargo, even though any improvement would be slight (<< 25%)?
No problem. Iíve been considering it, but the possible hassle of setting them up tubeless is whatís holding me back. If the advantages are very minor then I wouldnít bother, but if Iím missing something then I may give it a try.
Noonievut is offline  
Old 11-07-23, 06:14 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,811
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1223 Post(s)
Liked 735 Times in 549 Posts
Originally Posted by Noonievut
No problem. I’ve been considering it, but the possible hassle of setting them up tubeless is what’s holding me back. If the advantages are very minor then I wouldn’t bother, but if I’m missing something then I may give it a try.
I do the switch because it means no or at least way fewer flats in my usage, but I also want the lighter weight and effectively more supple sidewall. Being able to run a bit lower pressure in conditions where I would otherwise get pinch flats is also a big plus.

All that said I did find the ride noticeably better at the same pressure on a loop that I ride often enough to really notice. First ride after the switch I wasn't looking for a difference, but a bit into the ride it was obvious. It is singletrack with tons of roots and the difference was significant enough to be very noticeable. Also I get by not carrying any spare tubes or patches for my daily rides, just a tiny bacon strip kit and mini pump. For a few years of riding I have had one flat that I could plug, and even that was slow enough that I could make it home first. Actually I probably wouldn't have needed to plug it if I had kept up on maintaining the sealant which it turned out was low.

For my use it is well worth the swap for any of several different reasons. I am riding a MTB though, but I'd not hesitate to use it on gravel.

The one caveate I'd have is that I have bikes that I seldom ride and maintaining sealant on bikes that sit unridden for long periods may be more trouble than it is worth. Running tubes in those bikes probably makes sense. For my daily ride it is a no brainer.
staehpj1 is offline  
Likes For staehpj1:
Old 11-17-23, 12:02 AM
  #12  
Advanced Slacker
 
Kapusta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Posts: 6,175

Bikes: Soma Fog Cutter, Surly Wednesday, Canfielld Tilt

Mentioned: 26 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2745 Post(s)
Liked 2,508 Times in 1,419 Posts
In my experience running the same tires both tubless and with tubes, I donít really notice a difference. Maybe if I could ride them immediately back to back on identical wheelsets I could, but not riding them a day or two apart.
Kapusta is offline  
Old 11-17-23, 12:32 AM
  #13  
TC1
Full Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2023
Location: Illinois
Posts: 372
Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 275 Post(s)
Liked 115 Times in 74 Posts
Originally Posted by staehpj1
I also want the lighter weight
Is your tubeless setup actually lighter, or do you just assume it is? Most of them are not.

To take one example with which I am familiar, the weight of a tubed Continental GP5K, plus tube, is basically identical to a tubeless Continental GP5K of the same size, plus valve, and 2 oz of sealant. (There's some variation in tube weights, but this relationship holds for a standard Continental Race tube. )

TANSTAAFL, and tubeless tires are heavier than their tubed counterparts, exactly because they need to be, to withstand the forces and maintain pressure.
TC1 is offline  
Likes For TC1:
Old 11-18-23, 12:21 AM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 799

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 301 Post(s)
Liked 658 Times in 322 Posts
The main advantage for me is puncture protection, especially on rougher/sharper gravel.

A number of times I've finished a route and spotted a couple of drops of sealant on the frame or a small bit that's seeped out on the tyre. On a tubed setup that would have been a flat and a roadside repair, but these all sealed up with minimal pressure loss and me not even knowing during the ride. That's just the ones I've noticed too.


Originally Posted by TC1
Is your tubeless setup actually lighter, or do you just assume it is? Most of them are not.
I've often wondered if many tubeless setups are actually lighter like is sometimes claimed by advertising and reviews. I doubt my tubeless setup is lighter (using the same tyres).

Probably within a small handful of grams in either direction. Minus tube, but add valve stem and a healthy dose of sealant.
tempocyclist is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.