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How High Maintenance are Tubeless Tires Anyway?

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How High Maintenance are Tubeless Tires Anyway?

Old 09-21-21, 01:15 PM
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PeteHski
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
I am also investigating tubeless and have seen the youtube videos of trying to seat the tire with/without compressor. But what about the other question - can you re-seat the tubeless tire out in the field without the possibility of needing a compressor? Or does adding a tube remove that issue?
IME tubeless tyres don't unseat when you get a flat unless you try to ride with the flat. At the weekend I ran over a sharp piece of metal in the road on a high speed descent and it put a large hole straight through my rear tyre. It was way too big for the sealant to deal with, but it didn't go flat instantly. Instead it made a loud squealing noise like when you release air from a party balloon and there was comfortably enough time to:-

1. Stop by the roadside
2. Locate the hole (easy enough with fluorescent pink Muc-off sealant oozing out!)
3. Put my thumb over the hole to temporarily seal it
4. Take out my Dynaplug Racer repair tool with my other hand (always keep this to hand in a jersey pocket)
5. Fire in a Dynaplug (actually needed 2 in this case to fill the extra large hole)
6. Spin the wheel by hand to encourage sealant to seal the plug
7. Top up lost air pressure (It had lost about half its pressure by that point)

Then just ride on as if nothing happened. Total stop time, around 2 minutes (most of that time pumping the tyre back up to pressure)

This is about as bad as it gets too. In fact it's the first time I've had to actually stop on the road in 2 years of using tubeless road tyres. The only reason I know exactly what to do in this scenario is from over 15 years of mtb tubeless experience. Even then it's a pretty rare occurrence and I have never ever had to resort to fitting a tube in all these years. But I do carry one on long rides just in case.

But be warned! Some other people just seem to get into all sorts of **** trying to deal with tubeless flats!

Last edited by PeteHski; 09-21-21 at 01:18 PM.
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Old 09-21-21, 03:08 PM
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When my friend switched to tubeless I was highly skeptical at first. Because I read on these forums that tubeless are painful junk. But gradually he learned how to handle the new technology and practically stopped getting flats. Before tubeless he would get a few flats every months. With tubeless all small punctures would heal themselves. The rare large ones can be fixed with bacon tool or even better the Dynaplug system.

Looking at his success I also got a new bike with tubeless tires. Hutchinson Sector 32 rear, Conti GP 5k front. After more than 5k km I haven't had a single accident of a flat interrupting my ride. Whatever punctures I get would heal themselves. Usually I notice them after the ride by white spots on tires and sometimes white remnants of dried sealant on frame.

We both use Orange sealant since it is supposed to be better than Stan for plugging punctures. Maintenance is not that hard - mount tire, add sealant, seat the tire by CO2, pump to max pressure, rotate in all directions and orientations to distribute the sealant. After that add sealant every 3 - 6 months depending on weather temperatures and how many punctures have happened during that time.
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Old 09-21-21, 03:16 PM
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They are horrible. I spend hours putting new sealant in every week. Not to mention that if I have a flat or when a tire wears out I will have to get schmutz on my hands, so I sit by the side of the road or in my garage with the door open and cry until a boy scout happens to walk by and change my tire for me...

And worst of all is when I don't even know that I had a puncture and I get home and there is this dried rubbery crap on my frame and I have to take the rear wheel off to get in there with a cloth and wipe it off. And then I need to throw my riding gear in the wash because it has this water soluble stuff on it... It would have been so much better to just put a tube in there on the side of the road than to ride all the way home only to discover that I was riding on 75 PSI instead of 100!!! That is what happens to me most often and I am getting tired of it. I wouldn't buy it if I were you!

By the way, what size is this bike and do you have contact info for the seller?
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Old 09-21-21, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
I am disappointed with the tubeless setup I had done recently, yet I'm determined to make them work. Had the LBS build me a wheelset with tubeless rims and install tubeless tires. They've set them up twice now and they will not hold air more than a few minutes at a time after the tires came "unstuck" from the rims from the weight of the bike pressing down on the flat tires as the bike leaned against a wall in the garage. I'm so frustrated about it that I'm just not riding it. Eventually I'll quit being stubborn, but I just can't deal with them right now. I've spent too much time pumping them up in my garage over and over when I wanted to go riding on the weekends. They either won't "stick" at all, or do for a short while but then go flat in the ten minutes it takes me to run inside to put on my bike shorts, fill a water bottle, and put on my shoes. Everyone says, "they aren't supposed to come off the rim, even when low on air" but they do.
Some tires work better with certain rims. Sounds to me like they didnít size the tire to the rim. I would buy new tires, have them installed there, as well as the sealant, and have them hold onto the bike for a few days to make sure it is seated correctly. Have never had your issue.
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Old 09-21-21, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
I am also investigating tubeless and have seen the youtube videos of trying to seat the tire with/without compressor. But what about the other question - can you re-seat the tubeless tire out in the field without the possibility of needing a compressor? Or does adding a tube remove that issue?
the one time I had a bad sidewall puncture, I did have to remove the tubeless tire, valve stem and insert a tube and boot for the cut. For me, it was no more difficult than any tubed road side flat other than getting sealant on my hands which some grass took care of. The tire with tube seated fine.
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Old 09-21-21, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
Seems like if I get a flat on the road it WOULD be a pretty big deal to me. Trying to remove a presta stem AND putting a tube in a tire not meant for it AND trying to get a tubeless tire to go back on.
Or you can get a 3" nail in your tubeless tire and not flat and ride another 5 miles to make it home... This got lodged into my tire on Saturday and I did not flat. The sealant ensured the seal and it allowed me to ride home where I could deal with it later in a nice dry garage versus in the downpour on the side of the road.

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Old 09-21-21, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by LifeNovice1 View Post
You are right. I don't know. Getting a tubeless tire SOUNDS like it's harder to get the bead right without a compressor. You need a lot more pressure to get bead to seat right, sounds like you need a compressor not just a hand pump but again maybe I'm making to big a deal out of it. Sounds like flats are a lot less frequent so maybe I'll give it a try. I can always go back
I have been running the Pirelli tires and I can seat them on my wheels with a regular pump without issues. Some rims\tire combo's are more of a struggle than others, but once you find what works, tubeless setup is a piece of cake. I recently replace my tires on my Domane with the Pirelli P Race TLR in 30mm and I was able to remove the old tire, clean the wheel to remove any old dried sealant, mount the new tires for both wheels in less than 25 mins. It just super simple.
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Old 09-21-21, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
I am also investigating tubeless and have seen the youtube videos of trying to seat the tire with/without compressor. But what about the other question - can you re-seat the tubeless tire out in the field without the possibility of needing a compressor? Or does adding a tube remove that issue?
If you are in the field and have to add a tube, a CO2 cartridge will seat the tire.
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Old 09-21-21, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by veloz View Post
Tubeless is pretty easy if you donít swap tires a lot. Remove the valve core and check the sealant level (dipstick an old spoke) every 6 months. Add some if under 4-5mm.
Every 2 or 3 months for desert locales.
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Old 09-22-21, 03:53 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by jaxgtr View Post
If you are in the field and have to add a tube, a CO2 cartridge will seat the tire.
If you have to add a tube, seating is no different to a non-tubeless tyre. It's trying to seat them tubeless that can potentially be a problem. I wonder if CO2 would work in that scenario? Not something I've ever had to face.
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Old 09-22-21, 03:56 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
the one time I had a bad sidewall puncture, I did have to remove the tubeless tire, valve stem and insert a tube and boot for the cut. For me, it was no more difficult than any tubed road side flat other than getting sealant on my hands which some grass took care of. The tire with tube seated fine.
I just carry a pair of disposable gloves and a small re-sealable plastic bag alongside my spare tube.
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Old 09-22-21, 04:37 AM
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Or go with a tube. Get a nail that makes not one but two holes in the tube. Then spend time pulling the wheel and changing the tube. Canít wait to wear out this set of tube tires and go tubeless.

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Old 09-22-21, 07:22 AM
  #38  
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I switched to tubeless to enjoy the big improvement in ride that I get from riding 28mm michelin tires with a pressure in the 60's, as recommended by the pressure calculator at zipp.com. Before tubeless, I had no punctures in 10,000 miles, but I did have two pinch flats from hitting rocks that are common on mountain road sides. I also figured out that my old pump gauge was reading high by about 8 psi,so the 80psi I was using in my 25mm tires was really only 72, which contributed to the tubed pinch flats.

I've hit a rock big enough to bend my rim a little, but with tubeless I don't get a pinch flat or lose any air.

I don't have to use rim tape with my Fulcrum racing 3 wheels. I use orange seal endurance sealant. I carry a tube and two CO2 cartridges so I can add some air if needed or inflate my spare tube. I don't carry any plugs or bacon strips. I do have nitrile gloves and a stem removal tool in my repair kit that fits into a plastic sandwich bag. I like to put that in a jersey pocket rather than use a seat bag.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
If you have to add a tube, seating is no different to a non-tubeless tyre. It's trying to seat them tubeless that can potentially be a problem. I wonder if CO2 would work in that scenario? Not something I've ever had to face.
Just wondering about the second scenario. Why would you ever need to seat a tubeless in the field? The only thing that comes to mind is not carrying a spare tube if you get a massive hole which a plug and sealant wonít take care of,. But then patching on the inside of the tire along the road is problematic getting a patch to stick without thoroughly cleaning that area. As one other poster very delicately put, Only a moron would ride tubeless without a spare tube, or something to that effect. Delicate or indelecate, he is right and you should never be in that position unless I canít thing of a scenario, which is possible.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:50 AM
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I'm slow to adopt new technology, but once I bit the bullet and put tubeless tires on my mountain bike and one of my singlespeeds, I'll never buy another bike or wheelset that requires tubes. Initially mounting one set of tires was a little tricky, but that was so long ago I've all but forgotten about it. And even though I carry all the stuff to repair a tubeless puncture, I've never had one that didn't seal itself, usually without me even knowing it was there. When I think about all the patch kits, pinched tubes, and invisible thorns I've dealt with over the decades, tubeless seems utterly effortless by comparison. Literally, you tape the rim, push in a valve, pour in some goop, inflate the tire, and then never think about your tires again until you need to add air or more goop. Heck, the improved ride quality is worth it all by itself.
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Old 09-22-21, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Why would you ever need to seat a tubeless in the field? The only thing that comes to mind is not carrying a spare tube if you get a massive hole which a plug and sealant wonít take care of,. But then patching on the inside of the tire along the road is problematic getting a patch to stick without thoroughly cleaning that area.
In the unlikely event that you have to re-seat a tire in the field, a CO2 inflator often does the trick. And I've found that Park adhesive boots stick to even a sealant-treated tire. You just have to wipe the area dry with a rag first.


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Old 09-22-21, 11:42 AM
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Tubeless tires haven't given me any issues since sometime around 2015 when all of the rim and tire manufacturers starting figuring it out. Set up became quick and easy, and my slow leaks were a thing of the past. It's 100% the way to go in my opinion.
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Old 09-22-21, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Just wondering about the second scenario. Why would you ever need to seat a tubeless in the field? The only thing that comes to mind is not carrying a spare tube if you get a massive hole which a plug and sealant wonít take care of,. But then patching on the inside of the tire along the road is problematic getting a patch to stick without thoroughly cleaning that area. As one other poster very delicately put, Only a moron would ride tubeless without a spare tube, or something to that effect. Delicate or indelecate, he is right and you should never be in that position unless I canít thing of a scenario, which is possible.
Actually the scenario I was thinking about was where you could easily use a Dynaplug to seal the hole, but the tyre had unseated making it very unlikely to re-seat tubeless using just a mini-pump. So then you would have the extra hassle of fitting a tube just so you could re-seat the tyre. So I was wondering if CO2 would avoid this by re-seating the tyre tubeless.

In reality Iíve never had a tubeless tyre actually unseat out on the road or trail. So Iíve never had any trouble adding air after a tubeless repair.
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Old 09-22-21, 06:47 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Actually the scenario I was thinking about was where you could easily use a Dynaplug to seal the hole, but the tyre had unseated making it very unlikely to re-seat tubeless using just a mini-pump. So then you would have the extra hassle of fitting a tube just so you could re-seat the tyre. So I was wondering if CO2 would avoid this by re-seating the tyre tubeless.

In reality Iíve never had a tubeless tyre actually unseat out on the road or trail. So Iíve never had any trouble adding air after a tubeless repair.
Reality is overrated. Besides a good portion of the population lives in an alternate one anyway (you can take that anyway you want). I have never had a tubeless unseat either, whether MTB or road tire, so couldnít say whether CO2 would work either (thanks for the nothing reply to your question). If it did unseat and CO2 cannot do it, then itís back to the tube, call of shame, AAA Roadside Assistance ride home, or Uber. Pride would make me go for the tube first. If it ever happens please update what you did - current reality please.
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Old 09-22-21, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Actually the scenario I was thinking about was where you could easily use a Dynaplug to seal the hole, but the tyre had unseated making it very unlikely to re-seat tubeless using just a mini-pump. So then you would have the extra hassle of fitting a tube just so you could re-seat the tyre. So I was wondering if CO2 would avoid this by re-seating the tyre tubeless.
I've had one tire/rim combo that would unseat at very low pressure (like, under 10psi or so). If that experience in anything to go by, tires that unseat at low pressure are pretty easy to seat, so I would expect that a shot of CO2 would do it. Before you get to that point, though, I would try to get a thumb on the puncture, in an effort to maintain some pressure, while prepping a plug/bacon strip to shove in to it.
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Old 09-22-21, 10:08 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Actually the scenario I was thinking about was where you could easily use a Dynaplug to seal the hole, but the tyre had unseated making it very unlikely to re-seat tubeless using just a mini-pump. So then you would have the extra hassle of fitting a tube just so you could re-seat the tyre. So I was wondering if CO2 would avoid this by re-seating the tyre tubeless.

In reality Iíve never had a tubeless tyre actually unseat out on the road or trail. So Iíve never had any trouble adding air after a tubeless repair.
In the use of Dynaplugs, you wind up leaving the metal tip inside the tire? Interesting. There's enough gook inside so that it does not roll or rattle around like those balls in cans of spray paint. Or it remains attached to the other side of that sticky plug material.
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Old 09-22-21, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by kahn View Post
There's enough gook inside so that it does not roll or rattle around like those balls in cans of spray paint. Or it remains attached to the other side of that sticky plug material.
It remains attached.

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Old 09-23-21, 02:43 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Reality is overrated. Besides a good portion of the population lives in an alternate one anyway (you can take that anyway you want). I have never had a tubeless unseat either, whether MTB or road tire, so couldnít say whether CO2 would work either (thanks for the nothing reply to your question). If it did unseat and CO2 cannot do it, then itís back to the tube, call of shame, AAA Roadside Assistance ride home, or Uber. Pride would make me go for the tube first. If it ever happens please update what you did - current reality please.
Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
I've had one tire/rim combo that would unseat at very low pressure (like, under 10psi or so). If that experience in anything to go by, tires that unseat at low pressure are pretty easy to seat, so I would expect that a shot of CO2 would do it. Before you get to that point, though, I would try to get a thumb on the puncture, in an effort to maintain some pressure, while prepping a plug/bacon strip to shove in to it.
The Pirelli tyres I'm using at the moment, along with Giant SLR rims don't unseat even when totally flat - they need a good solid push with my thumb to unseat - so it's not a problem I would ever be likely to face. At least not with this tyre/rim combo. I was just curious.
I used to carry CO2 when mountain biking, but haven't bothered for years. But I did just upgrade my mini-pump to a Silca Tattico for road use, which makes light work of reaching my normal running pressures (70 psi).
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Old 09-23-21, 11:22 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Just wondering about the second scenario. Why would you ever need to seat a tubeless in the field?
Plenty of tubeless tire/rim combos will unseat on their own if the pressure gets too low. My bikes vary from my fat tire bike that can require a foot on the tire to unseat the bead to my gravel bike where one of the rims will start unseating before the tire is even fully deflated. Yes all are tubeless rims and tubeless tires. Even a good combo could get unseated if you can't immediately stop and ride on the deflated tire for a bit.

and for anyone who hasn't done it before, putting a tube in a tubeless tire is a disgusting mess on the roadside!
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Old 09-23-21, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliper View Post

and for anyone who hasn't done it before, putting a tube in a tubeless tire is a disgusting mess on the roadside!
I did not ask but expected as much. You've got all that sticky stuff to deal with. I can imagine the tube gets enmeshed in the stick!!!
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