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Tubeless or not?

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Tubeless or not?

Old 04-13-20, 07:56 AM
  #1  
dmanders
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Tubeless or not?

I'm an old racer who is going to fitting out a new frame. My question is whether I should go tubeless or not?

I took the plunge and went to clinchers six years ago and appreciate their convenience but I do miss the ride of sew-ups. I don't race anymore but do ride fast, for my age.

I am thinking Zipp 303s for the wheel set.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-13-20, 08:07 AM
  #2  
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Do you get a lot of flats?
Do you ride a lot of miles (100+ per week?)
Are you mechanically inclined, and willing to take on the responsibilities of maintaining tubeless tires?

If it's a yes to all of the above then sure. If the first one is a no, then supple tires and latex tubes will probably serve you just fine.

Source: 45,000+ miles of tubeless use
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Old 04-13-20, 08:18 AM
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So you're just after the ride quality? What tires/tubes are you currently using? Going to a more supple combination might be the easiest way to get what you're looking for (or close enough), if that's the main thing that you're looking for.

I'm a big proponent of tubeless, but recognize that it's not for everybody. For me, the primary appeal of tubeless is that of flat protection and ride quality is a really nice bonus. There's no free lunch, though - it's a trade-off of work. Mounting and seating tires can sometimes be difficult (though, after a few years of practice, it's become trivial) and sealant means that there's more cleanup involved when you replace tires. In exchange, it's exceptionally rare that I'll have to address a flat on the side of the road.

If that sounds like a fair trade-off, are you willing to learn a new skill set, going through a potentially frustrating learning curve? Are you willing to add sealant level checks, every 6-8 weeks, to your maintenance regimen? If so, yeah, I'd strongly consider making the jump. If not, stick with tubes.
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Old 04-13-20, 09:58 AM
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Old 04-13-20, 10:12 AM
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One vote for tubeless is more trouble and mess than it's worth.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:36 AM
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Love my tubeless setup. Been riding with tubeless for over 10+ years now and would never go back to tubes. The convenience, for me, just makes sense and works.

My suggestion? Give it a go for a season and see what works for you.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
One vote for tubeless is more trouble and mess than it's worth.
+1. What he said.

I have Reynolds 62/58 aero wheels and they are fully tubeless capable. I use tubes in them. Works out great for the kind of riding I do which is as fast and as hard as I can go training. They have been completely problem free.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
One vote for tubeless is more trouble and mess than it's worth.
Originally Posted by mantis View Post
+1. What he said.
Would either of you mind elaborating? Did you find the installation process to be too much of a chore? Or maybe the ride quality wasn't what you expected? Flat protection not what was promised?
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Old 04-13-20, 10:58 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
One vote for tubeless is more trouble and mess than it's worth.
How many miles per year, and how many flats do you get annually?
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Old 04-13-20, 11:12 AM
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Iím not head over heels with my tubeless yet but itís slowly growing on me. I had a heck of a time mounting my tires, Rolf Echelon wheels with Vittoria Rubino Pro 25c tires, and almost threw in the towel based on that alone. It took two tire levers and darn never every ounce of energy I had to get the tires on the wheels. Seating the tires went fairly well with some soapy water and a compressor, easiest part of the whole ordeal. Had what I would consider a difficult time getting the sealant to all the little crevices, apparently the tires I bought are a little porous as it took several rides for the. To finally seal up to where theyíre only losing 5 psi over 3-4 days where it was 30-50 overnight before. Yes I triple checked the valves were tight and not leaking there, the muc-off sealant has uv dye in it and I can see all the little pin holes where the sealant filled in all along the sidewalls.

Ride quality is no better/no worse than before. I canít go lower than 87 psi on the tires and I was running 90/100 with tubes so there isnít much wiggle room there. I ride around 3,000 miles a year outdoors and maybe get 1-2 flats a year so given my particular set of circumstances I donít think Iíll continue to run tubeless tires once itís time to replace them. My opinion might change as I get more mileage on the setup since I only have around 200 miles on them so far.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Would either of you mind elaborating? Did you find the installation process to be too much of a chore? Or maybe the ride quality wasn't what you expected? Flat protection not what was promised?
The extra cost, maintenance, and worst of all, the mess.

https://tkacz.pro/why-i-stopped-usin...-why-it-sucks/

Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
How many miles per year, and how many flats do you get annually?
Aprox, 3000. Average 1 flat per year? Some years none, others maybe 2.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:15 AM
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Iíll say this: if youíre considering tubeless purely for the purported performance benefits, donít do it. Itís not worth it. Itís also probably not worth it if you are someone who likes to run very high pressures (above 75psi) regardless of tire size.

Now if you want to get rid of pinch flats or pinprick flats, thatís a good reason to go TL but some may disagree.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post

Aprox, 3000. Average 1 flat per year? Some years none, others maybe 2.
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend it for you.

I do 12k miles annually, and get 12-14 per year with tubed tires. Last year on tubeless, I didn't have 1.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
The extra cost, maintenance, and worst of all, the mess.

https://tkacz.pro/why-i-stopped-usin...-why-it-sucks/
That's your blog?
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Old 04-13-20, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by smashndash View Post
Itís also probably not worth it if you are someone who likes to run very high pressures (above 75psi) regardless of tire size.
FWIW, I had no problems with OS at ~100 psi; sealed some nasty punctures.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
That's your blog?
No, I don't have one. But he did a good job of summing up my feelings on the matter of road tubeless. Other's mileage may vary.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:47 AM
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This is my one year experience with Mavic Kysirium USTs. Easy to set up...easy to pump up...lighter, faster and smoother. I have to do nothing with them but keep air topped up and ride. This video convinced me to give them a try. I was very skeptical so I just bought a rear wheel. They come with tires. I was so impressed that they now sit on my Guru steel and my CAAD 12. Never going back to clinchers.

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Old 04-13-20, 11:51 AM
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I agree with everyone above. I went tubeless because I live in an area with a stupid amount of goat heads that would result in multiple flats a month. When I bought a bike that could clear 28c tires, I tried out tubeless and haven't had a ride stopping puncture in over a year. I ride a decent amount (about 150 miles a week) and so the extra time and effort that tubeless takes in setup and maintenance is offset in the time I save in fixing roadside punctures.
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Old 04-13-20, 11:53 AM
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I will possibly post an independent thread about this overall experience when I reach its conclusion, but I'm about to go tubeless for an unexpected reason.

Recently I acquired a new Canyon Ultimate that came with Mavic Cosmic Pro UST wheels. These are designed to be tubeless, of course, but they came with tubes in them and I thought I'd make that decision later. But for some reason the front tire went flat right at the beginning (I only went up and down my street once to check my fit) and I found it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to mount the (Yksion) tire with a new tube. I mean, I struggled for hours and rubbed the skin off of both thumbs.

Particularly in the current situation (not riding in groups, no Uber to call), that meant that I wasn't going to go out riding on those wheels, with no hope of fixing a flat.

Then it dawned on me that the problem was the tube. I took the tube out and indeed, the tires mount pretty easily. Not super-easy, but with a tire lever, no big deal.

So unless I choose to sell these wheels, it looks like I'm going tubeless. Wish me luck.

One thought though. People say that when you go tubeless and run into trouble on the road, that you can always put a tube in. uh uh. Not with this wheel/tire combination. No way.

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Old 04-13-20, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by AlmostTrick View Post
No, I don't have one. But he did a good job of summing up my feelings on the matter of road tubeless. Other's mileage may vary.
So your experience was similar?
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Old 04-13-20, 12:03 PM
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I've thought about it but I decided the number of flats I get didn't warrant it. I also would probably not be disciplined about checking sealant regularly.
Lastly, I've had two side wall blowouts and I don't think Tubeless would have helped me. Probably would have just spewed sealant everywhere.

Discovered this one yesterday after returning from a 40 mile ride. Tube protruding more than a quarter inch out of the tire. Quite surprised it didn't give out. This is a Specialized tire that came with the bike. Has less than 700 miles on it.

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Old 04-13-20, 12:20 PM
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Sheesh, that's a nasty one.
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Old 04-13-20, 12:40 PM
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Tubeless

I went tubeless in 2015, used to have a lot of punctures. Incidentally my first ride on tubeless I hit a pothole and put a snake bite in the actual tire, but since then Iíve never had a flat.
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Old 04-13-20, 12:58 PM
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I ride two bikes and both are tubeless now. But . . . I never got many flats and I still don't. The ride is pretty much the same as before -- as are the pressures. But tubeless tires require more maintenance and they are messier to maintain than tubed. And if one of my bikes sat idle for weeks at a time, tubeless sealant has a tendency to pool and dry as a lump inside the tire. Tubeless setups don't have a great shelf life. They are designed to be ridden on a consistent basis.

If I had it to do over again? I wouldn't spend the money it takes to make the switch. Why don't I go back to tubes now? I'm waiting for my tubeless tires to wear out. And/or my sealant to run out. The performance differences between tubed and tubeless are too small for me to perceive. In the absence of having a lot of flats with tubed, neither is so much better than the other that it's worth spending money to make the change. I suspect I will eventually go back to tubed tires, across the board.
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Old 04-13-20, 01:28 PM
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Tubeless is fantastic. I held out until the tech caught up to the hype, and couldn't be happier.

I run 25c GP5KTL's at 66F/72R psi on pavement/light gravel and 76F/82R psi if I know for certain that I'll be hitting gravel at speed (152 pound rider). They roll smooth and fast on any surface, but really come into their own on rough chipseal. No flats in 5 months of use, and the only thing I added to my saddle bag was a Dynaplug kit. Still carry a tube and whatnot for something catastrophic.
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