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Ready to give-up on tubeless road tires

Old 10-19-20, 01:23 PM
  #1  
yannisg
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Ready to give-up on tubeless road tires

Recently, I was on a Brevet and I got a front wheel flat. The sealant did not seal the puncture that must had been small because I couldn't detect it. When installing the inner tube I noticed the sealant had a yellowish colour instead of white so it must have deteriorated otherwise it should have sealed the small puncture.
It was cold and dark.

I've been using tubeless road tires since 2011 to reduce flats for the following 2 reasons.
One reason is when I race I do not have support to replace a wheel if I get a flat, and the other
on brevets so I don't have to deal with flats on a cold or rainy night.

However, I have found the following drawbacks using them.

1. The sealant leaves a "gummy" residue on the tires and rims which is difficult to remove.
2. I have had rims corrode from the sealant-alloy combination so much that had to be replaced.
3. This residue accumulates so you have to clean the tires and rims at least once a year.
4. After you clean the tires and rims they are difficult to seal again even with a compressor. So I sometimes end up replacing the tire even though it's not worn.
5. If you get a flat, and for some reason it does not seal itself, and you have to install an inner tube it's a mess.
6. When you have to install an inner tube on the road you need a small pliers to loosen the valve ring.

I would rather have a heavier puncture resistance tire than deal with above drawbacks.
Opinions pls
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Old 10-19-20, 01:40 PM
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I have had the no sealing problem and it was solved by adding sealant. I think the sealant was about gone though.

My understanding is the issue with eating rims has been addressed for the most part. I 'm a relative newbie with tubeless, but I have been using it for 4-5 years and have had no such problems

I would never clean it up unless it was stringy and interfering with sealing. Never seen that though, usually it dries on the tire
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Old 10-19-20, 01:47 PM
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Orange seal seems to be a big mess. Also, I just had an aluminum (I think) nipple break on an ibis mtn rim. I wonder if it could be sealant-related? It looked corroded, which is a bit odd since I never took that bike anywhere wet. (The wheel is only about 2 years old and underused).
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Old 10-19-20, 01:47 PM
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Like 95% of issues with tubeless... user error. You let the sealant dry up. This is not the fault of any equipment or manufacturer. This is the responsibility of the end user. I've done it. We've all done it.
The cleaning the tires/rims thing, that I cannot relate to. Having any tire last a full year is something I've had happen all of once. What's to clean? It never got a large puncture, so I did nothing but add sealant to that tire between mounting and unmounting.

The checklist of drawbacks are all things that I have never encountered, and I have tubeless tires fitted to all bikes, in sizes from 23mm to 43mm wide. The most important rule of tubeless: if it's not at MTB running @ 20psi, don't use Stan's.
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Old 10-19-20, 02:05 PM
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Is there any real advantage to using tubeless for road riding?
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Old 10-19-20, 04:45 PM
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I am not ready to use tubeless on higher pressure tires. On my 38s, I had a series of small holes that were leaking when the sealant ran out, but now that I put sealant in the tire holds air for weeks. Using Stans
Because there was residual sealant, the small holes didn't affect a single ride of less than a few hours, but the tire would go flat overnight.
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Old 10-20-20, 07:46 AM
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Is there any real advantage to using tubeless for road riding?
I guess that depends on how much you like flat tires. I’ve had to use two Dynaplugs in 2020, both in the same 700x28. I have had numerous “sprayers,” but no other flats or uses of a tube. So 7,000 miles and two times having to “fix” on the side of the road.

If you frequently suffer flats from small punctures, there is absolutely an advantage.
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Old 10-20-20, 08:09 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Like 95% of issues with tubeless... user error. You let the sealant dry up. This is not the fault of any equipment or manufacturer. This is the responsibility of the end user. I've done it. We've all done it.
The cleaning the tires/rims thing, that I cannot relate to. Having any tire last a full year is something I've had happen all of once. What's to clean? It never got a large puncture, so I did nothing but add sealant to that tire between mounting and unmounting.

The checklist of drawbacks are all things that I have never encountered, and I have tubeless tires fitted to all bikes, in sizes from 23mm to 43mm wide. The most important rule of tubeless: if it's not at MTB running @ 20psi, don't use Stan's.
Yep, exactly my thoughts.

OP when was the last time you checked your sealant prior to this incident and what type of sealant are you using?

As far as cleaning a tire, there is no need to rub out all traces of dried sealant. Just get a rag and run the tire through your hand to clean off the beads and do a quick wipe inside. That's all you need to do.
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Old 10-20-20, 08:55 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by njkayaker View Post
Is there any real advantage to using tubeless for road riding?
I have never used tubeless, so I am only relaying what I have heard.

In areas with a lot of thorns, it can reportedly reduce flats. For example a friend of mine did the Southern Tier on a van supported trip with conventional tubes, used a skinny tire road bike and in the southwest there were a lot of thorns. He had days with multiple flats, one day had seven flats. But I have heard from others in similar situations that flats were greatly reduced with tubeless.

I average one flat a year, I have no interest in going tubeless, especially when I maintain several bikes. I would rather repair one flat per year than maintain a tubeless fleet.

On a trip in West Texas, I accidentally rode from the pavement into the campsite and had not considered where I was, see photo. And I had tubes, not tubeless. Fortunately, I did not flat. And then spent about 10 minutes removing the thorns from my tires before I carried my bike to the pavement to avoid rolling over more thorns. This is probably a good place to run tubeless based on what I have heard from others.

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Old 10-20-20, 09:05 AM
  #10  
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Tubeless riders are still in the small minority on the brevets I ride. I don't get enough flats and have too many wheelsets to make it worth the extra effort and expense.

I thought this was funny from Grant Petersen in the Rivendell email a few weeks ago:
I just learned about DynaPlugs the other day and I'll pick up a set of those. I'm not as wary of tubeless as I used to be, but it does seem like it solves some problems only to create others. The net problems solved is zero, they're just a different set of problems.
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Old 10-20-20, 09:51 AM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by yannisg View Post
Recently, I was on a Brevet and I got a front wheel flat. The sealant did not seal the puncture that must had been small because I couldn't detect it. When installing the inner tube I noticed the sealant had a yellowish colour instead of white so it must have deteriorated otherwise it should have sealed the small puncture.
It was cold and dark.

I've been using tubeless road tires since 2011 to reduce flats for the following 2 reasons.
One reason is when I race I do not have support to replace a wheel if I get a flat, and the other
on brevets so I don't have to deal with flats on a cold or rainy night.

However, I have found the following drawbacks using them.

1. The sealant leaves a "gummy" residue on the tires and rims which is difficult to remove.
2. I have had rims corrode from the sealant-alloy combination so much that had to be replaced.
3. This residue accumulates so you have to clean the tires and rims at least once a year.
4. After you clean the tires and rims they are difficult to seal again even with a compressor. So I sometimes end up replacing the tire even though it's not worn.
5. If you get a flat, and for some reason it does not seal itself, and you have to install an inner tube it's a mess.
6. When you have to install an inner tube on the road you need a small pliers to loosen the valve ring.

I would rather have a heavier puncture resistance tire than deal with above drawbacks.
Opinions pls
So after a long period of use, you decided tubeless is more trouble and mess than it's worth. Sounds fair to me. The whole idea of me, my bike, my shop, or anywhere else getting sprayed down with sealant is reason enough for me not to run tubeless. And the extra maintenance required doesn't help. But I understand others like them. It's good to have choices.

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Like 95% of issues with tubeless... user error. You let the sealant dry up. This is not the fault of any equipment or manufacturer. This is the responsibility of the end user. I've done it. We've all done it.
The cleaning the tires/rims thing, that I cannot relate to. Having any tire last a full year is something I've had happen all of once. What's to clean? It never got a large puncture, so I did nothing but add sealant to that tire between mounting and unmounting.

The checklist of drawbacks are all things that I have never encountered, and I have tubeless tires fitted to all bikes, in sizes from 23mm to 43mm wide. The most important rule of tubeless: if it's not at MTB running @ 20psi, don't use Stan's.
Signing up for more maintenance and mess just so you might not have to change a tube, yes, user error!
Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
Yep, exactly my thoughts.

OP when was the last time you checked your sealant prior to this incident and what type of sealant are you using?

As far as cleaning a tire, there is no need to rub out all traces of dried sealant. Just get a rag and run the tire through your hand to clean off the beads and do a quick wipe inside. That's all you need to do.
So old dried up sealant keeps building up, getting heavier and clunkier as you go?
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Old 10-20-20, 12:04 PM
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I checked the sealant level 2 days before the Brevet, and added about 50ml per tire (700X24) of Stan's sealant.
However, during the cleaning of the rim

I discovered the cause of the "flat". There was a corrosion hole on the rim bed next to the valve hole.
Apparently, the sealant was plugging the hole until it got too big.
This new Ultegra rim was installed on the wheel in 2016. The alloy is black coated not like the original that was silver. The black coated alloy was suppose to resist corrosion!
Apart from Stan's corrosive nature I have found it seals holes much better than other sealants that I've used (Bontrader, Caffelatex)

Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Like 95% of issues with tubeless... user error. You let the sealant dry up. This is not the fault of any equipment or manufacturer. This is the responsibility of the end user. I've done it. We've all done it.

Every year I remove the tires, clean rim and tires. Install the tires, and add new sealant.
Frequently I check the sealant level, and add if necessary. I spin the wheel if they have been idle for a while.
There doesn't seems to me to be much operator error in the above procedures.
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Old 10-20-20, 12:21 PM
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If you are waiting one year to refresh your sealant, then that is one of the issues. Are you saying that corrosion happened within the course of a year? (ie. you did not notice it when you did your yearly maintenance).
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Old 10-20-20, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
So old dried up sealant keeps building up, getting heavier and clunkier as you go?
No wiping it down on the inside will leave a film.
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Old 10-20-20, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by jadocs View Post
If you are waiting one year to refresh your sealant, then that is one of the issues. Are you saying that corrosion happened within the course of a year? (ie. you did not notice it when you did your yearly maintenance).
You are suppose to keep adding sealant if necessary, and once a year clean everything up, and add new sealant. There is a problem of removing the tire from the rim, and re-sealing it so sealant is added through a removable core valve. You don't want to break the tire to rim seal. Sometimes it just won't seal again even using a compressor, and you have replace the tire even though it is not worn.

During the yearly clean there was slight corrosion, but no indication of a potential hole.
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Old 10-20-20, 02:42 PM
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This article confirms my worst suspicions, not only about Continental sidewalls, but tubeless as well. I sure don't wanna be "that guy being airlifted out", helicopter rides in France sound VERY expensive, though perhaps scenic. I'm not ready to spend more money just to have something like this happen, though admittedly it could have happened on a regular clincher tire just as easily.

https://www.velonews.com/gear/techni...-the-pyrenees/
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Old 10-20-20, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
This article confirms my worst suspicions, not only about Continental sidewalls, but tubeless as well. I sure don't wanna be "that guy being airlifted out", helicopter rides in France sound VERY expensive, though perhaps scenic. I'm not ready to spend more money just to have something like this happen, though admittedly it could have happened on a regular clincher tire just as easily.

https://www.velonews.com/gear/techni...-the-pyrenees/
This was the response...reading on it sounds like a probable wheel rim issue.

Dear Tom,
I think tubeless is a red herring here. I believe what happened to you could have also happened with a lightweight clincher tire with an inner tube. It sounds like the rim’s bead hooks cut enough of the threads in your tire casing that it blew.
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Old 10-20-20, 02:51 PM
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Does it really matter though, when you're sprawled out on the asphalt? I guess I am not much of an "early adopter".

I can see this person suing over this. And the courts can apportion out the blame then. But until that day, no thanks!
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Old 10-24-20, 08:13 PM
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Keep adding sealant and start afresh every year? That sounds like more trouble than inner tubes. One advantage of tubeless sounds like (and I haven't tried tubeless yet) you can better predict when you'll need to do maintenance. So far, I'm still OK replacing a tube on the side of the road, so I think I'll keep doing that every few months.
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Old 10-26-20, 05:25 AM
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I'm in my 9th year of randonneuring and have had had exactly ONE puncture in all the brevets I have entered. It prompted me to give tubeless a try for about half a year, but then I went back to tubes.

I calculated the average time between punctures on my Babyshoe Pass with Schwalbe tubes at 14 months, with the longest puncture-free streak extending to 22 months. If I lived in goat head country in the US Southeast this may be different but tubeless is basically a solution to a problem I don't have. The single puncture in a brevet was an outlier (and I finished anyway).

Running tubeless created more problems for me than it solved. For example, when you do puncture, plan B is usually to install a tube but that requires removal of the tubeless valve, which in my case couldn't have been done without a pair of pliers, which I don't normally carry. Topping up sealant through the valve, without removing the valve core, turned out to be a very bad idea, clogging the valve and slowing down air flow when pumping up the tires. Regular sealant top-ups would almost certainly cost me more time overall than the occasional tube swap after a puncture.
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Old 11-02-20, 03:40 PM
  #21  
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Further to my previous posts on this topic.
I removed my rear wheel to clean the tubeless tire and rim.
I found that this rim showed sign of corrosion specially near the valve hole where a "glob" of sealant had accumulated.
It hadn't progressed so far as the front rim to become a hole, lose air and cause a flat, but eventually it would.
You can see others spots where the corrosion has started.
I sent photos of the corrosion hole on the front rim to Stan's, and there response was that the sealant is not corrosive, and its a rim problem.
When I told them that using a different sealant on Shimano rims there is no signs of corrosion I got no response from them.
When I showed the rim to the Shimano rep his response was that the sealant is corrosive.

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Old 11-02-20, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
This is probably a good place to run tubeless based on what I have heard from others.
I once had an MTB tire (25 psi) like that with about a dozen of the "goatheads" stuck in all at the same time, staggered around the whole circumference of the tire. I simply rotated each puncture to the bottom (6 o'clock), let gravity pull the sealant down for a few seconds, then pulled out the goathead and let it seal up. Worked for all 12 punctures. Yet I'm still leery about going tubeless on the road bike, due to not trusting the sealant in a higher psi environment, and/or getting sealant on the tire bead and causing a leak, but that's what the spare tube could be for, if absolutely needed. I really need to pull the trigger and go full tubeless. Too many minor leaks on the road bike, probably from the lawnmowers casting the goatheads all over the bike path.
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Old 11-03-20, 08:24 AM
  #23  
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I'm trying to decide if 32mm is big enough that I would feel comfortable running it tubeless. Like I said above (only poorly) I run 38mm tubeless without issue. Jan Heine says that 60psi is the safe limit for tubeless, and that makes sense to me. That's pretty close to the pressure I run my tires. I would probably be happier with some margin though. I run the 38mm tires at about 40psi.
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Old 11-03-20, 09:44 AM
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That's it. I am back to inner tubes, and just cancelled my latest order of Stan's sealant.
IMO, the disadvantages of tubeless road tires outweigh the benefits. I'll keeping tubeless tires on my mountain bikes where there do not seem to be many issues.
I had been fighting this change for a while, and kept giving them another try.
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Old 11-03-20, 09:49 PM
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How about using sealant in the tubes? Does that work?

I need to ride with my psi higher than 60 so I won’t be experimenting with tubeless on the road bike.
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