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The end of my Tubeless experiment

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The end of my Tubeless experiment

Old 03-21-21, 01:39 PM
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DowneasTTer
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The end of my Tubeless experiment

In the fall of 18 I decided to move away from tubes and go tubeless.see Time to upgrade our 2015 Giant Fastroad CoMax 1's At the time it seemed like a great idea. In my 70's I found I didn't have the hand strength to change out tubes in the field anymore. So the idea of just riding on with a little less tire pressure until I was in my shop to change out the tire seem like a solution. Well after 3 years of dealing with adding air every few days, changing out Stans each season, having a sidewall blow-out due to damage from glass on a rail trail, finding few shops in my travels that either carried supplies and replacement of the tires when they wear I found for me anyway tubeless is not ready for "Prime Time". Too bad because the pros were great. However, the cons won out. Today I changed out the tires on our travel bikes, the Giant Fastroad Comax 1's. I replaced the SCHWALBE PRO ONE's for SCHWALBE G ONE tubed tires. These bikes currently are live off the back of our motorhome during our travels while the Canyon stay protected at home.

Meanwhile I have been running tubed tires on our Canyon Roadlite 9 Ltds for the past 2 years without even so much as a flat. I purchased replacement tubeless tires for them to upgrade since the Reynolds CF rims are tubeless ready. But love the 30mm G One speeds they were delivered with I have stayed with them during replacement times.

I wonder if any one else found that adding tubeless to your bike wasn't worth the trouble at this time? One of the biggest problems was the total cost for running tubeless. Tire makers make up the cost saving for buying tubes fast... A ny of the tubeless tires I used cost quite a bit more than the cost of a high quality tubed tire plus the tube. Then you need to factor in the associated costs of tubeless, the Stans fluid, the injector for the fluid, some sort of compressor to mount the tire as well as carrying a type of tire plug kit for repairs on the trail.
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Old 03-21-21, 06:26 PM
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My dad tried the tubeless thing and also decided that he didn't think it was worth the effort. He lives in the desert southwest (goathead country!) and the widely reported ability for a small leak to seal itself was appealing. His experience was somewhat similar to yours. It was messy, it required more maintenance than he anticipated, and the costs were actually somewhat high (special tubeless ready tires, sealant, etc.). He also cut a sidewall on a tire way out from town and had to boot it and put a tube in it anyway. I think that was one of the last straws for him. He said that was a very messy and unpleasant job. If he just had a tube in it, it'd be a quicker and easier deal.

I've not tried it myself, and don't really have any plans to. I ride fairly wide tires (a few bikes have 35-38mm tires, but my daily rider has 54s), so my risk of pinch flatting is pretty low. I definitely run my tires at a lower pressure than some would and I'm not in it for speed. So the benefits of a tubeless setup do not really factor in for me. I'm careful where I ride, most of my tires have some type of puncture protection, and I'm not riding in time critical situations (such as commuting) where I absolutely cannot suffer the downtime of a flat anyway.

I actually look for tires that are NOT tubeless ready. Tubeless ready tires usually fit to the rim VERY tightly -- they have to by their nature. I have a few pairs of standard Continental tires (not tubeless ready) and they practically mount and dismount themselves. The fit to the wheel is much easier. You may have already found this -- tires not designed to support tubeless systems are usually a bit "bigger" in the bead area, offering a much easier installation and removal experience.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
adding air every few days
That sounds like an issue with the seal. I check each tire with my finger before every ride, but probably only have to add air about once a week. (I average around 20 miles per ride x 5 days a week this time of year.) That's about the same as it was when I ran tubes.


Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
changing out Stans each season
I guess that part needs more context. How many miles does that represent? I get about 4000 miles on a tire, which is a little under a year's worth of riding. So other than when I install the new ones, I only need to add sealant about one time.

Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
having a sidewall blow-out due to damage from glass on a rail trail
Sidewall can be damaged on any type of tire - tubed or tubeless.
And I carry a tube in my repair kit just in case I have a situation that the sealant can't handle. Thankfully I haven't ever had to use it, but it's an option.

Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
finding few shops in my travels that either carried supplies and replacement of the tires when they wear
I keep new tires on hand so I'm not put in a situation where I have to go out and buy something immediately. That allows me to buy online when necessary. I've found two tires I really like: Specialize Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss and Hutchinson Override, both in 38mm. I can get either of them for about $50.


Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
Then you need to factor in the associated costs of tubeless, the Stans fluid, the injector for the fluid, some sort of compressor to mount the tire as well as carrying a type of tire plug kit for repairs on the trail.
That's a fair point to some degree, although a lot of that is a one-time purchase. And you should be carrying a repair kit for tubed tires, also. I already had a compressor, so that definitely helped. But if you've been running tubeless for several years, I'm guessing you've already made that purchase? Sealant is not very expensive - less than the new tubes it saves you from needing to buy. In my estimation, the cost difference is fairly minimal... but then, I did already have an air compressor.

I wouldn't try to talk anyone into or out of tubeless tires. You've tried them and decided you didn't like them. But I know I find them more comfortable than tubed tires, and on at least one occasion they've prevented me from having to change a tube mid-ride. Nothing's perfect, but I'm definitely in the tubeless camp.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 03-22-21 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:41 AM
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I have come to a similar conclusion. It would be nearly impossible to seal the bead om my 4 inch wide rims, so I run tubeless sealant in tubes. There are benefits. For example, the other day I rode through a lot of seeds with spikes on them. I finished up with about 100 in each tire. When pulling them out, sealant came out several of the holes in each tire. When I got home, I checked the pressure. The tires had lost no more than 2 psi. They still don't leak a couple of weeks later.

The problem occurs when getting a larger hole. For example, I had a 3 inch nail in a tire. It went in the bottom of the tube and out the side. When trying to patch such holes, some tubeless sealant comes out the holes, and makes it so patches wont stick. So you can go through the frustrating experience of patching each hole several times until you get a patch that sticks, or buy a new tube and sealant every time you get a large hole. Which is an option, as I might only get a large hole around once a year, but I often get small holes.

Next time I get a puncture, I am planning to experiment with another idea. I haven't done it yet so I can't say how well it will work, but If it works well I plan to share my idea.
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Old 03-22-21, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by AU Tiger View Post
I wouldn't try to talk anyone into or out of tubeless tires. You've tried them and decided you didn't like them. But I know I find them more comfortable than tubed tires, and on at least one occasion they've prevented me from having to change a tube mid-ride. Nothing's perfect, but I'm definitely in the tubeless camp.
If you read my post you will notice I stated "for me", I certainly didn't intend to put anyone off trying tubeless tire systems. Obviously they are the wave of the future as many new higher end bikes come with them as OEM, Glad you found they work for you.
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Old 03-22-21, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
I certainly didn't intend to put anyone off trying tubeless tire systems.
No worries - you didn't come across that way at all.
Like so many other things about biking, it's nice that we have a variety of options so we all can find what works best for us.
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