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Tell me again that tubeless is stupid

Old 05-12-24, 10:48 AM
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Tell me again that tubeless is stupid

Yesterday I rode a gravel race. It was going according to plan: in the first few miles I fell in with a good group of riders, we worked together well and made good time, and I was having one of my best races in memory. At mile 85, the rider behind me said, "Uh oh, looks like you've got a puncture!" A moment later I felt sealant hitting my leg. Over the next couple miles, the tire got softer and softer until I started feeling rim strikes on the sharp rocks. I unzipped my top tube bag, got out my Dynaplug tool, and quickly pulled over as the other three riders continued up the road. A quick spin of the wheel revealed a patch that was wet with sealant, but I couldn't find the hole (damn I hate needing reading glasses!); I gave the tire a shot of CO2, started riding again, and managed to catch a couple of riders from my group before the finish line. Tire held up to the finish line at 101 miles, and I finished well under my goal time. Overall a great day.

According to Strava, I spent 2:35 dealing with the puncture. Sure, it would've been better if the sealant had plugged the hole without so much air loss, but it was still much faster than if I'd been running tubes and had to replace one on the roadside.

This morning I washed my bike and found at least two punctures, which means that the sealant did work well enough to plug one of them; in other words, if I'd been running tubes, I would've had to stop TWICE for replacements.

Just offering this as a counterpoint to the posters who always chime in to claim (usually with ZERO experience) that tubeless sucks, isn't worth it, etc. Everyone has different riding conditions, road surfaces, goals and priorities, etc. Just because it's wrong for you doesn't mean it's a just plain wrong.
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Old 05-12-24, 11:08 AM
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This story is proof that tubeless IS stupid. If you had been riding Gatorskins with tubes, slime and Mr. Tuffy liners you would have outsprinted the field and won the race. Learn from your mistakes, pal.
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Old 05-12-24, 11:09 AM
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Impressive race story and result. Congratulations! Your management of your food and fluid intake and effort level was clearly nearly ideal.

And tubeless for the win! (So to speak.)
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Old 05-12-24, 11:12 AM
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Counterpoint - you probably got the flat due to improper chain wax regimen.
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Old 05-12-24, 11:43 AM
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Be honest, you took along your lucky rabbits foot, a blend of essential oils, & a colorful gem that represents your months horoscope...

Nice ride!
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Old 05-12-24, 12:22 PM
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Sealant works in inner tubes, too.
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Old 05-12-24, 12:32 PM
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Tubeless is stupid. You're welcome.
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Old 05-12-24, 12:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Congratulations! Your management of your food and fluid intake and effort level was clearly nearly ideal.
???
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Old 05-12-24, 12:37 PM
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Did/does the sealant cause a reaction to your skin? If it hits clothing, is it hard to get the stains out?
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Old 05-12-24, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
According to Strava, I spent 2:35 dealing with the puncture. Sure, it would've been better if the sealant had plugged the hole without so much air loss, but it was still much faster than if I'd been running tubes and had to replace one on the roadside.
With a little practice you could probably get your tube swap time down to 2:35.

That being said, I prefer tubeless on gravel also.
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Old 05-12-24, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Fredo76
Sealant works in inner tubes, too.
Not as well.

Originally Posted by seypat
Did/does the sealant cause a reaction to your skin? If it hits clothing, is it hard to get the stains out?
No to both.

Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
With a little practice you could probably get your tube swap time down to 2:35..
Doubtful.
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Old 05-12-24, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote

Doubtful.
The last one I did was 4 minutes of stoppage. Inflation done with a mini pump and I wasn't even trying to rush.
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Old 05-12-24, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
The last one I did was 4 minutes of stoppage. Inflation done with a mini pump and I wasn't even trying to rush.
Doubtful
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Old 05-12-24, 02:30 PM
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Looks like ya had a good plan tubeless or not. Being prepared and familiar with your equipment given the conditions is Number One Admirable.

Great Race!
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Old 05-12-24, 02:33 PM
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Not doubtful at all, it is a reality as I have done a rear tube change in 3 minutes flat. Yes, my buddy timed me. I wasn't rushing, but simply knew what I was doing as I have changed thousands of tubes working in a bike shop for 40 years. The local bike shops had an annual competition at the big race downtown and some of those guys could change out a set of tubes seriously fast.
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Old 05-12-24, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero
Not doubtful at all, it is a reality as I have done a rear tube change in 3 minutes flat. Yes, my buddy timed me. I wasn't rushing, but simply knew what I was doing as I have changed thousands of tubes working in a bike shop for 40 years. The local bike shops had an annual competition at the big race downtown and some of those guys could change out a set of tubes seriously fast.
I'll quote the last paragraph of my opening post:

Originally Posted by Koyote
Everyone has different riding conditions, road surfaces, goals and priorities, etc. Just because it's wrong for you doesn't mean it's a just plain wrong.
If I'm doing a 100+ mile gravel race, the last thing I want to do is put in a tube. Tubeless handles most small punctures pretty well, as in my example from yesterday. But if I get a bad puncture at mile 15 in a 108-mile race (which happened to me a couple months back) and I fix it with a tube, I'm now much more vulnerable to punctures for another 93 miles, as I've got none of the benefits of tubeless. I'd MUCH rather find the puncture, plug it if necessary, air up a bit, and get moving again.
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Old 05-12-24, 04:07 PM
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It is no surprise that the immediate direction of this thread has taken, but I am pretty sure you were expecting that right from the start. Once the brief learning curve is mastered, there is no question that tubeless is the way to go for most sporting cyclists. There are times when changing a tube is no big deal, and there are others when it is a total PIA. After tens of thousands of miles ridden tubeless, I have only once needed to tube a tire, and that was after a catastrophic cut where the tire was effectively destroyed. Being able to always ride a supple performance tire is a benefit which cannot be stressed enough, life is just to short to ride Gaterskins, Marathons or the like garden hoses, been there done that.

My goto tubeless appreciation stories are usually based when doing my bi-annual long-distance tours and the weather is at its worst, either cold and rainy or crazy hot (not sure what is worse), and I see the telltale sealant residue on the bike post-ride. Knowing I avoided a flat repair on a loaded bike makes me smile.

That said, for those who like tubes, enjoy, but don't knock it unless you tried it.
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Old 05-12-24, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
There are times when changing a tube is no big deal, and there are others when it is a total PIA.
In all fairness, there are times when tubeless is no big deal, and others when it is a total PIA.
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Old 05-12-24, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
In all fairness, there are times when tubeless is no big deal, and others when it is a total PIA.
The big difference is the timing for the PIA. Tubeless is usually in the comfort of one’s home, that said the tech has advanced significantly over the past couple of years.
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Old 05-12-24, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
The big difference is the timing for the PIA. Tubeless is usually in the comfort of one’s home ...
Sometimes, sometimes not. I've found both can let you down at the most inconvenient time.
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Old 05-12-24, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe
In all fairness, there are times when tubeless is no big deal, and others when it is a total PIA.
Like when you get a puncture on the road that won’t hold air at an acceptable pressure and your tire won’t play nice with a tube.
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Old 05-12-24, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Like when you get a puncture on the road that won’t hold air at an acceptable pressure and your tire won’t play nice with a tube.
Perhaps one could construct a scenario where that would occur however the confluence of factors causing this to happen would be very rare. A testament to the viability of current tubeless setups is effectively every category of performance cycling has switched to tubeless.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 05-12-24 at 08:00 PM.
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Old 05-12-24, 07:11 PM
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Tubeless is great! If it’s spewing enough that it’s spraying my legs and doesn’t stop quickly, I stop and DynaPlug it right away. Easier to find the hole when there is still pressure, and often there is plenty of air left to complete the ride without bothering to add any more. And don’t want to risk popping the beads off the rim.
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Old 05-12-24, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
A testament to the viability of current tubeless setups is effectively every category of performance cycling has switched to pool noodles.
fify ;-)
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Old 05-12-24, 11:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Yesterday I rode a gravel race. It was going according to plan: in the first few miles I fell in with a good group of riders, we worked together well and made good time, and I was having one of my best races in memory. At mile 85, the rider behind me said, "Uh oh, looks like you've got a puncture!" A moment later I felt sealant hitting my leg. Over the next couple miles, the tire got softer and softer until I started feeling rim strikes on the sharp rocks. I unzipped my top tube bag, got out my Dynaplug tool, and quickly pulled over as the other three riders continued up the road. A quick spin of the wheel revealed a patch that was wet with sealant, but I couldn't find the hole (damn I hate needing reading glasses!);
Get some sunglasses with cheaters in them! Although I have some nice progressive lens sunglasses, my spares are various colors of safety glasses I like with cheaters in them. I see recently that some of the modestly priced cycling glasses can be gotten with cheaters too.

I gave the tire a shot of CO2, started riding again, and managed to catch a couple of riders from my group before the finish line. Tire held up to the finish line at 101 miles, and I finished well under my goal time. Overall a great day.

According to Strava, I spent 2:35 dealing with the puncture. Sure, it would've been better if the sealant had plugged the hole without so much air loss, but it was still much faster than if I'd been running tubes and had to replace one on the roadside.

This morning I washed my bike and found at least two punctures, which means that the sealant did work well enough to plug one of them; in other words, if I'd been running tubes, I would've had to stop TWICE for replacements.

Just offering this as a counterpoint to the posters who always chime in to claim (usually with ZERO experience) that tubeless sucks, isn't worth it, etc. Everyone has different riding conditions, road surfaces, goals and priorities, etc. Just because it's wrong for you doesn't mean it's a just plain wrong.
I don't happen to have tubeless on my skinny tire road bike and there's certainly disagreement whether it's worthwhile on <30mm tires. But, I don't think the idea of tubeless on gavel-sized tires and wider is even a subject of debate. I can't remember when I've read or heard anyone say that tubeless "sucks" on those type of tires.
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