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Gravel wheels with TPU tubes

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Gravel wheels with TPU tubes

Old 09-13-23, 01:01 PM
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Gravel wheels with TPU tubes

I'm just converting all my wheels to TPU tubes but I've held off on my gravel bike for now. My question is for those that are running TPU tubes on their gravel wheels instead of going tubeless. Have you had any issues with running lower pressures with the TPU tubes when offroading? I'll be running mostly 700x40's but have been experimenting with 32's for a road/gravel compromise. And what is the lowest pressure that you found that you could get away without the risk of getting pinch flat?
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Old 09-14-23, 02:55 AM
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I’ve been riding Aerothan TPU for a couple of years, but I’ve never plumbed the bottom limits of rideable tire pressure, nor do I know how I’d even determine the point of “no possible pinch flat risk” if I had. I don’t know what you’re really after, but Schwalbe do claim Aerothan offers the same resistance to pinch flats in both sharp- and blunt-edged guillotine drop tests as tubeless, so there’s that.
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Old 09-14-23, 08:50 AM
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Been riding both tubeless and TPU , each on their own wheelset. I air them about equally usually around 27-28 front and 32-34 rear. ALU wheels with 40 & 42mm tires.
Continental SPeed (lite, thin, low knobs). Where I ride is mostly what I call MTB-Lite , mostly woods trails with small rock gardens and the predominant trees are Eucalyptus & Live Oak.
Eucalyptus especially have prominent crowns of surface roots, and the Live Oaks have very heavily barbed leaves. I've not ever had any issues with either TPU or tubeless and they work fine thru very rough, sharp gravel sections. Deep Sand (which there are long sections of here) is always a challenge to keep momentum, but doable when I'm 'On' it.
About 70% dirt/gravel/mtb , 30% tarmac, mostly rough. I'm 145 lbs these days...
Ride on
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Old 09-14-23, 10:15 AM
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I've switched from butyl to TPU in 26, 28, 30, 44 and 54 mm tyres across a range of surfaces from tarmac to, as nicely put above, MTB-lite. Pressures from the online calculator (others available) of my preferred tyre brand. I've been very happy so far with a noticeable improvement in bike 'feel' over butyl tubes. I've not felt the need to go tubeless.
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Old 09-25-23, 08:07 PM
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I just put TPU tubes in my bike for the first time, so it is interesting to see comments on them. I bought Pirelli brand tubes and they were pricey compared to the standard tubes I was using so I hope they last a long time....
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Old 09-26-23, 02:07 AM
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I ran TPU tubes (Ridenow) on my gravel bike with 31mm true width tires at 65psi (recommended for my total system weight) and it was lovely until I hit a chunky rocky downhill section and pinch flatted the front. To be fair I think I would have pinched with butyl on that section as well.

Not really relevant but I've gone down that section twice more since but on 38-40mm tires at 45psi (back to butyl now since I don't have any more gravel TPU tubes) and it was fine. I have full confidence doing the same on those 40mm tires once my new TPU tubes come in.

Overall do I run different pressures with TPU vs. butyl vs. tubeless? No I use the pressure that's recommended for my tire width and weight regardless of tube type or tubeless. Pinches are rare and I feel like if I pinch with a tube I'm probably hitting it hard enough to burp or damage my rim with tubeless (but I could be wrong). I run tubes because I sometimes swap tires out of boredom, and tubes make it easier and cleaner.
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