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50+ Thoughts on going tubeless.

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50+ Thoughts on going tubeless.

Old 05-28-21, 05:42 PM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
I will explain some more.

When doing this, you get small punctures which seal with sealant. When you do have a large puncture and need a puncture repair, you take the tube out and inflate it to see where the leak is. The tube stretches, and the small holes which have sealed with sealant leak. So instead of patching one just puncture, I have patched several of the larger punctures. I have left the very small ones to seal again with sealant.

I replaced a tire recently and used the same tube. It took several days to stop leaking. Whenever I have that tube out again, I plan to patch the larger holes.
Well that sounds like a lot more hassle to me than running a tubeless tyre with sealant. I presume your rims are not tubeless compatible so this is your only way of using sealant right?
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Old 05-29-21, 12:05 AM
  #77  
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[QUOTE=cj3209;22066955]PROS: peace of mind (I've been tubeless since last year on three bikes and no flats yet)

CONS: mounting the tires onto the rims is a serious PITA.

I agree. For me, the cons out weigh the pros most definitely.
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Old 05-29-21, 04:06 AM
  #78  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Well that sounds like a lot more hassle to me than running a tubeless tyre with sealant. I presume your rims are not tubeless compatible so this is your only way of using sealant right?
The rims are probably not a problem. But I have not run tubeless tires.

A major concern is getting the bead to seal. I would need a compressor and reasonable size air tank to seal the bead. By running tubes I don't need these. Then what if you have a flat tire when out on the road. It is not realistic to carry a compressor and air tank.

My tires are also not tubeless. I have not looked to see if tubeless tires are available here, because of the air tank and compressor issue.

I also like the idea of the sealant being contained in the tube, instead of making a mess.
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Old 05-29-21, 04:16 AM
  #79  
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In the interest of full disclosure, I had another flat tire today. I have been saying I get a puncture too large for the sealant to seal, approximately once a year. Just now I have had two in less than two weeks.

It is not because of the tire or tube or sealant. However, the tire is the minimum thickness necessary to do the job. I might get slightly less punctures with thicker tires.

The cause is where I ride. A lot of people here are getting scared of a certain virus. In an effort to continue exercising, I go where other cyclists don't go, where you see few people. Some of these tracks have things to puncture tires.
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Old 05-29-21, 04:30 AM
  #80  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
The rims are probably not a problem. But I have not run tubeless tires.

A major concern is getting the bead to seal. I would need a compressor and reasonable size air tank to seal the bead. By running tubes I don't need these. Then what if you have a flat tire when out on the road. It is not realistic to carry a compressor and air tank.

My tires are also not tubeless. I have not looked to see if tubeless tires are available here, because of the air tank and compressor issue.

I also like the idea of the sealant being contained in the tube, instead of making a mess.
Sealing the tyre bead can be a problem, but solved easily with a boost track pump (one-off purchase that will last for decades). You certainly don't need a compressor. Actually many rim/tyre combos will seal okay with a regular track pump, but certainly not guaranteed.

Out on the road, I have never had to re-seat a tubeless tyre (that's in 15+ years use). IME they always remain seated when you puncture and you just plug the hole from the outside with a simple tubeless repair tool, pump up the tyre and go. Worst case back-up if the tyre bead does come off, or you can't plug the hole, is a spare tube.
Sealant could be a bit messy I suppose, but I've never personally experienced it. Rain and mud is also messy and I have experienced that many times!
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Old 05-29-21, 04:42 AM
  #81  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
I don't have scientific proof, but my gut feeling is, there would be a small number of punctures that would seal in a tire and tube, but not in a tubeless tire. This is because the sealant would collect in the space between the tire and tube, forming the seal.

So sealant in a tube probably provides slightly better flat prevention.

Add to this, little mess normally, as the sealant is contained in the tube, and the ability to change the tire, while reusing the tube with sealant in it, instead of needing new sealant.
Your gut feeling doesn't appear to align with your real world experiences. I also ride on very crappy debris strewn roads and off-road trails full of sharp vegetation and yet rarely get punctures when running tubeless. It's the main reason I switched many years ago.
The tubeless tech is also getting better all the time. Tyres are becoming more puncture resilient while still providing competitive performance. Sealants are also improving, as are tubeless rims. Like in pretty much all other forms of transport, tubeless tyres appear to be the inevitable end game. Tubeless tyres are now pretty much the default in the mtb world and are now well on their way to taking over on the road.
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Old 05-29-21, 10:17 AM
  #82  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Tubeless tyres are now pretty much the default in the mtb world and are now well on their way to taking over on the road.
Thanks in no small part to the pressure being applied to the industry by "Big Sealant".
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Old 05-29-21, 10:48 AM
  #83  
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I am an old guy very, very new to biking. Just bought a hybrid and learned how to change a tubed tire. My buddy talked me into buying a used 2016 Trek Domane with tubeless tires. I bought it from a private seller. The tires were flat. They are Presta valves. I had my buddy fill the tires and they seated fine. But there was no indication of any sealant. And I hadn't even heard of sealant until today. At first I thought sealant was used to fix a flat, but now it seems it should be in the tire from the beginning. The tire size is 700 x 25. Any suggestions for type and amount of sealant and how to easily insert it?

Mike
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Old 05-29-21, 01:48 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by IcySwan1 View Post
I am an old guy very, very new to biking. Just bought a hybrid and learned how to change a tubed tire. My buddy talked me into buying a used 2016 Trek Domane with tubeless tires. I bought it from a private seller. The tires were flat. They are Presta valves. I had my buddy fill the tires and they seated fine. But there was no indication of any sealant. And I hadn't even heard of sealant until today. At first I thought sealant was used to fix a flat, but now it seems it should be in the tire from the beginning. The tire size is 700 x 25. Any suggestions for type and amount of sealant and how to easily insert it?

Mike
Stans is a popular sealant. Orange and Muc-off are other brands. You should only need about 40 ml per tyre. Easiest way to fill is to use removable valve cores and then just syringe it in through the open valve stem, re-fit the valve core, pump the tyre up, spin the wheel to spread the sealant around the tyre and ride. There are loads of online videos demonstrating the process. Sealant dries out eventually, so best to top it up every 6 months and maybe remove the tyre once a season to scrape out old sealant (if you can be bothered). My tyres are normally worn out by then anyway.
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Old 05-29-21, 03:20 PM
  #85  
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Today, I was getting ready to ride and spotted a cinder stuck in my front tire. I gingerly picked it out and there was a nice orange-filled small slit under the cinder. I thought, "Nice!" A quick look around the tire and found another similar orange spot.

Our roads still have cinders in places left over from winter so I assume that these are recent. Who knows? Regardless, the sealant did it's job.
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Old 05-29-21, 08:55 PM
  #86  
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PeterH, thanks for tips. I bought Stans and the Parks core tool. It worked great on the rear wheel, but the tool did not catch on the front valve. Any other tricks?

Mike
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Old 05-30-21, 05:39 AM
  #87  
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Originally Posted by IcySwan1 View Post
PeterH, thanks for tips. I bought Stans and the Parks core tool. It worked great on the rear wheel, but the tool did not catch on the front valve. Any other tricks?

Mike
needle nosed pliers perhaps?
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Old 05-30-21, 09:09 AM
  #88  
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The vast majority of people who criticize tubeless tires as too hard to mount, the chore of adding sealant, and other things they imagine as difficult or not worth it, have never owned or ridden on tubeless tires. I find them, and the different set of tasks associated with them to be no more difficult than using tubes. plus, with tubeless, I have not had a flat in 3 years since switching over. But, to each their own.... This debate is not much different than arguing about rim vs disc brakes.
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Old 05-30-21, 09:51 PM
  #89  
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Of my four bikes, only the newest, a road bike, is tubeless. It's my randonneuring bike, and is tubeless to reduce the likelihood of flats on brevets. Initially i was using gravel king slicks, and had poor results. Several 200k events were marred by slow leaks requiring constant topping off. I tried Stand and Orange. Then I switched to GP 5000s at 38mm, and have had zero issues. I've done about a half dozen 200ks, a 300k, and a 400k. Flawless. I've been trying different pressures; currently running 65/80 psi. I use a 20 year old floor pump for seating tires.

My commuter, mtb, and recumbent are tubed. I tried a ghetto tubeless setup on the commuter but they didn't seal, so it's back to tubes. I may build up a set of tubeless wheels for it some day.

I'll eventually convert the MTB, but it's really just an occasional toy. Rarely am i more than a few miles from home or my car on the mtb.

The recumbent, my former brevet bike, doesn't get miles these days. Not only is it tubed, it has limited tire clearance, and rim brakes. It could go back into service. I'm quite adept at fixing flat tires roadside at 1am far from home, but that's not my favorite activity. My next bent will be tubeless, have room for 38mm tires, and have disc brakes.
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Old 05-30-21, 11:43 PM
  #90  
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What is best for each person depends on their situation. For example:

I am running 4 inch (100 mm) wide tires on 4 inch wide rims on my fat bike. Sealing the bead would be a serious challenge. So I don't plan to go tubeless with it.

Another mountain bike has narrow rims. The width of the rim is not much more than 20 mm. I may go tubeless on that bike in the future.

So we can discuss the pros and cons, but different setups are better for different people in different situations.
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Old 05-31-21, 03:30 AM
  #91  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
What is best for each person depends on their situation. For example:

I am running 4 inch (100 mm) wide tires on 4 inch wide rims on my fat bike. Sealing the bead would be a serious challenge. So I don't plan to go tubeless with it.

Another mountain bike has narrow rims. The width of the rim is not much more than 20 mm. I may go tubeless on that bike in the future.

So we can discuss the pros and cons, but different setups are better for different people in different situations.
I donít know about 4 inch tyres, but I find it much easier to seat tubeless tyres on my mtb vs road bike. Iím running 2.4 inch mtb tyres and 32 mm road. So IME narrower rims/tyres donít inherently make it easier to mount tubeless.

it actually appears to be more of a particular rim/tyre combination that matters, rather than width. Some combinations are easy, some very difficult. Reviews of the Pirelli tyres Iím running on my road bike suggested they would be difficult to seal and they were right! It took me half a dozen blasts with a boost pump to get them seated and sealed. The Maxxis tyres Iím running on my MTB sealed first time with an ordinary track pump.

Last edited by PeteHski; 05-31-21 at 03:34 AM.
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Old 05-31-21, 05:19 AM
  #92  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I donít know about 4 inch tyres, but I find it much easier to seat tubeless tyres on my mtb vs road bike. Iím running 2.4 inch mtb tyres and 32 mm road. So IME narrower rims/tyres donít inherently make it easier to mount tubeless.

it actually appears to be more of a particular rim/tyre combination that matters, rather than width. Some combinations are easy, some very difficult. Reviews of the Pirelli tyres Iím running on my road bike suggested they would be difficult to seal and they were right! It took me half a dozen blasts with a boost pump to get them seated and sealed. The Maxxis tyres Iím running on my MTB sealed first time with an ordinary track pump.
With my mountain bike with narrow rims, the bead naturally sits near the edge of the rim. It would not take a huge blast of air to get the bead to seal.

With the 4 inch fat bike tires on 4 inch rims, the bead does not naturally sit near the edge of the rim, and because of the volume of air the tires hold. It would take a huge volume of air to get the bead to seal. A lot of newer fat bikes have narrower rims while still running 4 inch tires, like 80 mm, or even 70 mm. The bead would naturally sit closer to the edge of the rim. But because of the volume of air they hold, it would still take a large volume of air to get them to seal.
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Old 05-31-21, 05:53 AM
  #93  
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Another thing to consider is the cost. If I was to get tubeless tires for my fat bike where I am now, it would cost significantly more. I could replace non-tubeless tires and tubes more often while spending less. It would probably be cheaper to put a new tube in, every time I have a flat tire, than to buy tubeless tires. Of course, patching tubes is way cheaper. Why spend more money? This may not be true for all tire sizes in all parts of the world.
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Old 05-31-21, 06:09 AM
  #94  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
With the 4 inch fat bike tires on 4 inch rims, the bead does not naturally sit near the edge of the rim,
In my experience with getting tubeless tires to seal this seems to be one of the biggest reasons for failure, on any width tire. Even if the tires are a bit too loose (not sealing against the rim tape), if you can get the beads to the edge of the rim they will still seal.

One trick I found for impossible to seat tires is to make an explicit effort to get the bead to the rim by "kneading". Take the completely dry rim/tire combo in your hands off the floor, put thumbs on the tread and sides of index fingers on the sidewalls, and "pinch" the thumb/index finger of one hand to "grab" the tire and pull it out more toward the rim on one side. If you do this every couple inches alternating hands while rotating tire and circle around the whole tire maybe 2-3 times it will have the effect of getting the bead closer to the rim. Then with the tire still off the ground, fill it with air. With this technique I have had 100% success, even on combos the LBS could not get to mount with their large bag of tricks.
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Old 05-31-21, 07:48 AM
  #95  
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Originally Posted by oldwinger14 View Post
The vast majority of people who criticize tubeless tires as too hard to mount, the chore of adding sealant, and other things they imagine as difficult or not worth it, have never owned or ridden on tubeless tires. I find them, and the different set of tasks associated with them to be no more difficult than using tubes. plus, with tubeless, I have not had a flat in 3 years since switching over. But, to each their own.... This debate is not much different than arguing about rim vs disc brakes.

if tubeless tires had been invented first there would have been zero reason to invent tubes.
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Old 05-31-21, 09:30 AM
  #96  
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Originally Posted by Cpn_Dunsel View Post
if tubeless tires had been invented first there would have been zero reason to invent tubes.
Bingo!!!
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Old 05-31-21, 10:03 AM
  #97  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
I've done a number of ghetto conversions for my son's and my CX bikes. It's a great way to deal with goat heads and it allows you to run lower pressures. With a good tubeless ready tire and a good tape job, it works fine. I wouldn't try ghetto tubeless for the road, though. But if you have tubeless ready rims and tires, go for it.
Man, absolutely nothing personal against Caloso, but that phrase "Ghetto Tubeless," used a lot these days, really irks me. Doesn't it bother anybody else?
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Old 05-31-21, 02:05 PM
  #98  
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Originally Posted by alo View Post
With my mountain bike with narrow rims, the bead naturally sits near the edge of the rim. It would not take a huge blast of air to get the bead to seal.

With the 4 inch fat bike tires on 4 inch rims, the bead does not naturally sit near the edge of the rim, and because of the volume of air the tires hold. It would take a huge volume of air to get the bead to seal. A lot of newer fat bikes have narrower rims while still running 4 inch tires, like 80 mm, or even 70 mm. The bead would naturally sit closer to the edge of the rim. But because of the volume of air they hold, it would still take a large volume of air to get them to seal.
I see your point. A bit of a niche case for sure. I don't think I would bother attempting tubeless either with that kind of setup.
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Old 05-31-21, 04:03 PM
  #99  
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Originally Posted by oldwinger14 View Post
The vast majority of people who criticize tubeless tires as too hard to mount, the chore of adding sealant, and other things they imagine as difficult or not worth it, have never owned or ridden on tubeless tires.
Most of the cyclists I know who dislike tubeless tires actually do have quite a bit of experience with them.
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Old 05-31-21, 05:13 PM
  #100  
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After a big ride today and being in a state of zombie fatigue from the heat I have just read every post in this thread.

One thing I didn't read about I will now venture.

All of our bikes are tubeless now, except for my primary daily commuter.

The reasons I run innertubes on this bike (it does have tubeless rims/tires even) are:

1- if I do get a flat I can change the innertube in less than 5 minutes and there will not be a mess,
2 - I do not have to add air to the tires as often (because more tubeless tires not all though, lose air pressure faster than innertubes, and I'm talking about days and weeks),
3 - high performance is not at a premium for my commuting style
4 - Running an innertube spares me the quarterly chore of refreshing the sealant. For the commute I need to hop on and go.

THe commute bike is am exception. I mostly mountain bike, and tubeless is superior for mountain bikes. It's also great to have tubeless on wider road/gravel/cross tires I think. ​​​​​

At the moment I do not have a road bike. If I were to get one I would ride 28mm tubeless tires and rims. I used to ride the road a lot with tubes before modern tubeless became available.

I resent the extra cost including the major investment in tubeless rim wheel builds and the valve stems.

​​​​​​Not all valve stems are equal. Obviously they must be long enough. Beyond that though there is the shape of the rim bed to contend with. Over time I have become comfortable with that issue. Could say more but...

Next the sealant itself is a barrel of monkeys. If a bike tire sits unused the sealant pools, congeals, and hardens, creating an unevenly weighted wheel, which is unacceptable. Tubeless bikes need to be ridden. Some sealants are better than others at resisting drying out - it could be a case of you get what you pay for - but I'm not buying it.

When changing tires it is not unusual to find that the rim and the tire bead have been fused together with the sealant and that it is very difficult to separate them. This can be terrible. For instance, I try not to ever change a tire immediately before an event the next day because it could take more time than I have available.

There are certain techniques, which are covered on other threads.

But for this thread I will add that once a tubeless tire is off the rim dried sealant will be left on the beads of the rim and tire. This residue can cause the next tubeless tire installation to leak some air until the sealant forms another complete seal. The prophylactic remedy is to clean the rim and tire bead of the dried sealant residual deposits. This cleaning process is a pain in the ass.

To summarize the situation, tubeless is the way to go for me, but it requires a lot of experience and patience and money. Haha it's a rabbit-hole hoosegow.




​​​​​
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