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Tubes versus Tubeless

Old 08-06-17, 06:50 AM
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wthensler 
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Tubes versus Tubeless

Apologies if this has been covered in a separate thread, but yesterday the dealer found cracks in my original Bontrager rims (Trek Domane) and I ordered a nice set of carbon fiber replacements. He asked me whether I intended to go tubeless, and all I could do is give him a deer in the headlights stare; I know nothing about them.

Should I consider going tubeless? I ride strictly roads (25mm), typically 100-200 miles per week, and go through rear tires every 1,000 miles. I generally like higher pressures and run about 100 psi.

Any thoughts or experience?
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Old 08-06-17, 07:26 AM
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How often do you get puncture flats? How often do you get pinch flats?

If your answer to both of those questions is "never," then tubeless won't get you much. Yes, tubeless tires are generally more comfortable-- but IMO flatproofing is their #1 feature.
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Old 08-06-17, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
How often do you get puncture flats? How often do you get pinch flats?

If your answer to both of those questions is "never," then tubeless won't get you much. Yes, tubeless tires are generally more comfortable-- but IMO flatproofing is their #1 feature.
Totally agree. For me it comes down to flats versus the comfort stuff.

What I've found is if I rode out west on a regular basis I'd definitely go tubeless as you'd probably be riding more to the right of the white line in shoulders....where you pick up a lot more wires from tires and other stuff (goat heads, rocks, etc.) which cause more flats. I've experimented with tires that supposedly suppress getting flats (like Gatorskins) but I still got steel wires puncturing tubes riding out West.

Riding back east I've found I'm riding on the white line or just left of it and the roads are a lot cleaner. I can go thousands of miles without flats riding in NC. I assume your roads in Florida are similar. Tubes are cleaner than tubeless and easily replaced when needed.

I use slightly wider rims (23 mm's) with 25 mm tires so I've already negated some of the comfort advantages that tubeless provides. You might check to see if that is an option on the wheels you've ordered??

With tubeless you can run a little lower air pressure which provides a little more cushy overall ride.
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Old 08-06-17, 09:23 AM
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Tubeless has it's advantages and it's disadvantages. Some of the advantages of tubeless are less applicable to high pressure road bike sizes. When a high pressure tubeless tire has a small leak, the latex will fill the leak. However, the tire typically losses a significant amount of air pressure before the leak is filled by the latex. Most leaks still need some roadside attention. Larger leaks cannot always be remedied by the latex fluid and removing a tubeless tire and installing a tire boot and a tube is a bigger task with tubeless tires and rims than simply changing a conventional tube tire.

Also, matching a tubeless tire to a tubeless rim is not always straightforward. Universal standards between tire manufacturers and rim manufacturers are not universally accepted.

I have tubeless on a Cyclocross bike using Velocity A23 rims and 700x30 Schwalbe S One tires at 60-80 psi. This has worked flawlessly in every possible way.

I have tubeless on a gravel bike using OEM rims and Clement tubeless tires at 30-60 psi. This has worked flawlessly in every possible way.

However, I can't install the Schwalbe tires on the OEM rims, they aren't compatible.

Tubeless is a definite necessity on gravel since tires can be run at low pressures without risk of pinch-flat. Tubeless tires on road bikes don't provide the same benefit.
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Old 08-06-17, 01:42 PM
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