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My Sunday Tubeless Lesson

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My Sunday Tubeless Lesson

Old 11-02-20, 05:35 PM
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aggiegrads
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My Sunday Tubeless Lesson

I was on a ride to Universal cycles (35 mile round trip) to ironically, pick up a fresh bottle of Orange Seal Endurance among other things. I was riding my gravel bike with 2.1" Schwalbe Thunder Burts and a handlebar bag to bring everything home.

A fellow cyclist rode up next to me, and as we were chatting, I was not looking at the pavement. I ran over a 10p duplex head nail. The puncture was dead center of the tread and was large enough to flat the tire before the sealant could do its job. Out came the hand pump to inflate the tire with the sealant pool at the bottom of the tire. The puncture seemed to hold air, but I could hear air leaking from the valve (which was very near the puncture). I pumped up again, and while the puncture appeared to hold, the valve was still leaking.

OK, off comes the tire, because now I am afraid that the nail has punctured the rim. Now I see that there is an exit wound in the side wall, about 10mm from the bead, very near the valve. It was not the valve leaking, but the sidewall. My next action was to do the tubeless dance to try and get the sealant to slosh over the sidewall puncture. No luck. Out comes the Dynaplug, which I have never used before. I pumped up a bit, unscrewed it the Dynaplug, found the hole with the brass tip, and then pushed a little bit. Next came one of the most satisfying sounds I have ever heard. sssssssssssssssstthp! The plug sealed the hole nearly instantly. I topped up with the hand pump, and rode the next 20 miles without incident. As of today, no additional air has been lost.

Especially when I am out of cell service, I feel like what I carry is overkill - pump, tube, patch kit, dynaplugs, boot, and spare valve. But in running two years of tubeless, I have never had to put in a tube, and only used a plug for the first time yesterday. All of my other punctures have sealed up with just sealant. A little bit of knowledge, maintenance and preparedness goes a long way.
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Old 11-02-20, 06:20 PM
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Elvo
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Same here - I question why I carry a tube - I've given away more tubes on rides than I have used as tubeless backup.
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Old 11-02-20, 06:45 PM
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Thats very encouraging. I'm waffling back and forth if tubeless is worth it. Learned my lesson this summer. If it ain't broke dont fix it, tubes work pretty well. I'm running conti terra speed 700x40 tubeless. I rode them on a mini tour over the summer of mosty pavement with some gravel. About 10 or so miles from home I blew out my back tire on a gravel rd. Pretty big hole, to the point that it was spitting sealant on me while riding. Sealant didn't help. I had forgot my plugs so off came the tire. Booted and it and added a tube as the dark clouds rolled in. Did some research and found that stans sealant is not always the best for larger holes so I switched to stans race sealant and plugged it. No issues since then. Stans race sealant seems like where its at.
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Old 11-02-20, 07:08 PM
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aggiegrads
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Originally Posted by Chris! View Post
Thats very encouraging. I'm waffling back and forth if tubeless is worth it. Learned my lesson this summer. If it ain't broke dont fix it, tubes work pretty well. I'm running conti terra speed 700x40 tubeless. I rode them on a mini tour over the summer of mosty pavement with some gravel. About 10 or so miles from home I blew out my back tire on a gravel rd. Pretty big hole, to the point that it was spitting sealant on me while riding. Sealant didn't help. I had forgot my plugs so off came the tire. Booted and it and added a tube as the dark clouds rolled in. Did some research and found that stans sealant is not always the best for larger holes so I switched to stans race sealant and plugged it. No issues since then. Stans race sealant seems like where its at.
If I didn't already have Dynaplugs, I would probably try Stan's darts. They look very promising.
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Old 11-02-20, 08:34 PM
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I could look it up but off hand doesn't the stans "react" with stans sealant. Not sure what that means for function. I used the blackburn plugger with the included strips. I was a little hesitant to spend too much on plugs since I'm not 100% in on tubeless.
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Old 11-02-20, 08:46 PM
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Thanks for posting this. I am right in the midst of being mired in a miasma of misery and self-doubt regarding tubeless, between the pain of mounting the tires, preventing leaks around the valves, replenishing the sealant (orange seal seems to enjoy forming blobs of semi-solid spew almost overnight), and finding spontaneously deflated tires on bikes in the garage, pumping up the tires, and wondering if they will have air in them 4 hours into the ride, I sometimes wonder if it is worth the trouble. I am not aware of ever having a puncture, which might mean it works, or it might be an elaborate and tedious solution to a non-existent problem (we don't have goatheads here).
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Old 11-02-20, 09:03 PM
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I plugged a sidewall rip with a Stans dart on my first long tubeless ride. It got me home but leaked too much. I decided to remove the plug and patch on the inside. I assumed there would be some kind of evidence of a reaction between the stan's sealant and the plug, but didn't see anything.

The second puncture that didn't seal itself was in the shoulder; I plugged it on the road and again got home. This one leaked for a few days, but now it's holding firm.

I'll still carry a tube. On long rides I'll probably even carry a tire. Stuff happens.
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Old 11-02-20, 11:06 PM
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I literally do not know how many times sealant has saved my tire.
Before going tubless, I was getting puncture flats on almost every outing (MTB).
After going tubeless; not a one, but I still carry a spare. Mom/wife/buddy cannot pick me up where I ride
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Old 11-03-20, 12:46 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks for posting this. I am right in the midst of being mired in a miasma of misery and self-doubt regarding tubeless, between the pain of mounting the tires, preventing leaks around the valves, replenishing the sealant (orange seal seems to enjoy forming blobs of semi-solid spew almost overnight), and finding spontaneously deflated tires on bikes in the garage, pumping up the tires, and wondering if they will have air in them 4 hours into the ride, I sometimes wonder if it is worth the trouble. I am not aware of ever having a puncture, which might mean it works, or it might be an elaborate and tedious solution to a non-existent problem (we don't have goatheads here).
I used tubeless for about three years but they DO get leaks that cannot be sealed without the sealing plugs and even then such leaks are generally so large that they break the tire cord and so you have to be extremely careful to get home ASAP. Usually the tires flatted like this will get you home but they are throw-aways. Also, tubeless tires and tubeless rims are now getting so hard to mount that it is an impossible task to put a tube in as an emergency repair without flatting the tube in the process.

So I finally returned to clincher tires on clincher rims with the wonderful feeling of changing a tube in 3 minutes. Plus, no nasty goo. No removing the tire occasionally to wash the old goo out and install new goo. And NO getting that goo all over your hands trying to repair a good plug on the road. I LOVE clincher tires and now I know why.
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Old 11-03-20, 12:50 PM
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some people complain that tubeless is not worth it because when they have an actual flat, it's a huge PITA to repair. what they don't acknowledge is that in the time that they rode flat-free, the tubeless tire and sealant probably saved them from dozens of small punctures that would have stopped a ride over and over.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by RiceAWay View Post
Also, tubeless tires and tubeless rims are now getting so hard to mount that it is an impossible task to put a tube in as an emergency repair without flatting the tube in the process.
That's the opposite of my experience - they keep getting easier to mount. I obviously haven't tried every combo, but I've used several different makes/models of tire and four or five different wheelsets, and I still haven't met a combo that couldn't go on with bare hands.
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Old 11-03-20, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Thanks for posting this. I am right in the midst of being mired in a miasma of misery and self-doubt regarding tubeless, between the pain of mounting the tires, preventing leaks around the valves, replenishing the sealant (orange seal seems to enjoy forming blobs of semi-solid spew almost overnight), and finding spontaneously deflated tires on bikes in the garage, pumping up the tires, and wondering if they will have air in them 4 hours into the ride, I sometimes wonder if it is worth the trouble. I am not aware of ever having a puncture, which might mean it works, or it might be an elaborate and tedious solution to a non-existent problem (we don't have goatheads here).
I'll probably converted my commuter bike to tubeless soon. My mountain bike and road bike already are. The mountain bike was getting flats every ride from goatheads, it was hopeless. The road bike was primarily for ride quality, latex tubes seemed like an equal hassle. The commuter bike seemed reasonably safe, but alas the goatheads are starting to find their way on the path...
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Old 11-03-20, 04:59 PM
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I'll probably converted my commuter bike to tubeless soon. My mountain bike and road bike already are. The mountain bike was getting flats every ride from goatheads, it was hopeless. The road bike was primarily for ride quality, latex tubes seemed like an equal hassle. The commuter bike seemed reasonably safe, but alas the goatheads are starting to find their way on the path...

Goatheads are a reason I would imagine tubeless being worth it. Where I live and ride there and the type of riding I do tubeless is not turning out to be worth it. I do mostly rd riding or dirt rd riding when I can. I have been feeling riding terrain and region among other factors should determine if tubeless is worth it.
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