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Tubeless on road bikes??

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Tubeless on road bikes??

Old 01-22-24, 11:16 AM
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I used to get about a puncture every 500 miles on average or about every other week. I live in a forested area so that often means changing a tire in a cloud of mosquitos. While I'm fast and have the whole thing done from start to finish in less than 5 minutes, that's an intensely unpleasant 5 minutes.

I was one of the first to go tubeless using the same methodology with tubeless tubulars back in around 2010. I went from 1 flat every 500 miles to not one flat per year. In the last 4 years I haven't had one. When I changed out the tires last time, my rear tire had 4 punctures that had sealed.

I use about one Dynaplug about every other year. Most of the time I don't even notice I had a puncture unless I feel a little sealant on my leg.

Overall, tubeless is about the same work because you have to change or recharge sealant periodically and sometimes you need to clean dried sealant out of your tires. But none of that has to be done at the side of the road and all of it can be done at a time and place of your choosing.

So overall, I'd characterize it as a huge win for me - less flats (like none) and better ride quality.


Originally Posted by bruce19
4 years on 3 road bikes and zero flats.
I quit keeping track but I think I'm in the same ballpark.
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Old 01-22-24, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
I've had 0 flat in my last two seasons (over 15 000kms) and I had the pleasure (bad karma for me, I know) of watching my non-tubeless friends change their tubes a lot during that timeframe. It's a no brainer for me .
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
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Old 01-22-24, 03:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
If you love tubes so be it! Too bad you need to resort to ridiculous exaggerations to justify your love.
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Old 01-22-24, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
Pretty ridiculous exaggeration. In 12 years of riding tubeless the most I've ever had to do is install a plug, which was in the tire in far less than a minute and I've only had to do that twice in about the 4 years or about 19,000 miles. Annoying? Hardly - I didn't even have to get off the bike. That would have been about 30 or so tube changes for me had I been riding tubes. In all that time, I have never had a tire bead pop off.

I don't care if anyone wants to ride tubes or tubeless. I know what I want to do. But what really is not useful, helpful or honest is wild exaggeration like this,

Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
If you love tubes so be it! Too bad you need to resort to ridiculous exaggerations to justify your love.
Agree completely.
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Old 01-22-24, 03:38 PM
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Easy enough to carry a tube even when riding tubeless if you are worried about flat complications.
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Old 01-22-24, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
Twice (both on my road bike) I have had tubeless tires get sidewall gashes that were too big for the sealant to handle on it's own. Both times, I booted the tire, installed a tube, and finished my ride. It's exactly the same as I would have done with a tubed tire.

Zero is the number of times I've gotten a flat tire due to a puncture though the tread - road, gravel, or MTB. Recently, on my gravel bike, I rolled through a patch of goatheads, and about a dozen of them stuck into my tires (front and rear). I stopped and pulled them out, and continued on my way. If I was running tubed tires, my ride would likely have ended with call of shame, since I rarely carry more than 1 tube.
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Old 01-22-24, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Zero is the number of times I've gotten a flat tire due to a puncture though the tread - road, gravel, or MTB. Recently, on my gravel bike, I rolled through a patch of goatheads, and about a dozen of them stuck into my tires (front and rear). I stopped and pulled them out, and continued on my way. If I was running tubed tires, my ride would likely have ended with call of shame, since I rarely carry more than 1 tube.
I recently finished a ride and found an old nail in my tire - it was buried right up to the head. I figured it was there when I started to hear a 'tick-tick-tick' sound with each tire rotation. When I got home, I pulled out the nail (about 1.5" long) with a needle-nose pliers, jammed in a plug, and that was that. Still riding the tire. That sure beat trying to replace a punctured tube on the roadside in 40-degree temps.

But yeah, tubeless really sucks.
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Old 01-22-24, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride.
I did recently watch a friend change his tube. I was wishing he'd been running tubeless, as then we wouldn't have had to stop at all.

Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike
Oh, the horror! I'll take a one-minute wipe-down at ride's end (in the comfort of my garage) over changing a tube out on some road or trail any day of the week.

Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
none of them had to install an annoying plug
You're annoyed by a cheap and simple device that allows you to get riding sooner and with less fuss? Weird.

Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge.
And this is the line that convinces me that you simply don't understand how tubeless even works.
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Old 01-22-24, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
I've had 0 flat in my last two seasons (over 15 000kms) and I had the pleasure (bad karma for me, I know) of watching my non-tubeless friends change their tubes a lot during that timeframe. It's a no brainer for me .
Nice try.. I checked. You're not the OP, Mr Big Tubeless
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Old 01-22-24, 08:34 PM
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the thrill of changing a tube in a high crime rate area, & or on a very busy shoulder with vehicles zipping by is all the more reason to stay with tubes. Converting to anything else is not being a true cyclists. Purist down to the last tube!


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Old 01-22-24, 09:41 PM
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This thread is like watching a debate of which religion is best. Argument, counter-argument, logic, ill-logic. Let’s just call it a draw. We all have our preference and no party is going to convince the other they are right.
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Old 01-22-24, 10:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
This thread is like watching a debate of which religion is best. Argument, counter-argument, logic, ill-logic. Let’s just call it a draw. We all have our preference and no party is going to convince the other they are right.
I concur that we all have our preferences and I also agree there will be no convincing the holdouts. But there is a so called winner, as the market has decided that the present and foreseeable future is in tubeless. Sure in low end of the sport tubes will be common but in the performance sector tubeless is the preferred choice because it works.
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Old 01-22-24, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged
I concur that we all have our preferences and I also agree there will be no convincing the holdouts. But there is a so called winner, as the market has decided that the present and foreseeable future is in tubeless. Sure in low end of the sport tubes will be common but in the performance sector tubeless is the preferred choice because it works.
Having ridden with tubes for decades and changed more flats than I can count, and four years on tubeless (1 year mtb and 3 road) with one flat total), I have to concur. And I rode fewer miles per year with tubes than I do now.
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Old 01-23-24, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
I will be very presumptuous and pretend you asked me that. I ride in a club group of 50-70 miles every weekend (I do about the same again on my own) and the composition varies a bit but we avoid gathering more than 6 in a group for driver annoyance reasons. Most of us run tubeless now and I’d say we’ve had 3 TL punctures/incidents in 5 years which have stopped a ride for more than 2 minutes. 2 of those were bad enough to require a call home, one was a cracked rim which might have survived a tube but he didn’t know the cause or try that) so when it does go wrong it can be bad. Probably a similar number that have stopped it for less than that actually. And I was one of them most recently when I hit a hole so hard it unseated the tyre and I had to resort to borrowing a tube. But it’s much more rare, like by at least a factor of 10. The plugs aren’t annoying, fhey’re a miracle. And the sealant rubs off easily if you do get some on the frame.

And I have less landfill. I know you can kind of upcycle tubes but it’s not ideal.

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Old 01-23-24, 01:26 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob
This thread is like watching a debate of which religion is best. Argument, counter-argument, logic, ill-logic. Let’s just call it a draw. We all have our preference and no party is going to convince the other they are right.
You know what the significant difference is on the two sides of the fence though? Those advocating tubeless have used tubes
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Old 01-23-24, 07:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Turnin_Wrenches
There are success stories, and I'm glad to know that tubeless is working for you. No flats over the course of 15,000km is a beautiful thing!

As for your non-tubeless friends who had to fix flats while you watched, I assume all of them were able to change the tube and continue the ride. Additionally, none of them had sealant spray all over their bike, none of them had to install an annoying plug, and none of then had to attempt to reseat a tire with a hand pump or CO2 cartridge. They simply changed their tube, inflated the tire and went on with their day. That too is a beautiful thing I love tubes!!!!!
You forgot to mention that we all lost 15 minutes of our lives by stopping on the side of the road
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Old 01-23-24, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
You forgot to mention that we all lost 15 minutes of our lives by stopping on the side of the road
To be fair, some of the most entertaining conversations I’ve had on rides have been in those 15 minutes.
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Old 01-23-24, 07:56 AM
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I'm unlikely to go tubeless, if only because I have a fleet of bikes with perfectly serviceable non-tubeless-compatible wheels. Balancing the cost of a couple or a bunch of pairs of new wheels against fixing the occasional flat with a tube (with 38-mm-wide tires on my most-used bike, a rare occurrence), I'll put up with what I have.

That said, the discussions that are the most entertaining on this subject are between the hooked-rim and hookless-rim tubeless proponents.

For example, a few of the latter have hotly maintained that the manufacturers of hookless rims use that design to save the consumer the agony of pedaling around with the additional weight of hooks - four in all, per bike! - which seemed a little fishy.

Then I read an article on hookless-versus-hooked technology that included a droll comment from the DT company that obliquely explained the motivation behind other manufacturers' embracing hookless (hookless carbon rims are easier and thus cheaper to produce):

' However, for road wheels, DT is committed to hooked rims. “For us, a more intensive manufacturing process is not an obstacle and within the R&D of new high-end wheels we have proven in measurements that there are no performance disadvantages in aerodynamics and rolling resistance,” says Eggert. '
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Old 01-23-24, 08:34 AM
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Originally Posted by choddo
To be fair, some of the most entertaining conversations I’ve had on rides have been in those 15 minutes.
Mine was watching a guy putting a 5$ bill between his tube and tire so it would protect the tube...

He must have been an engineer because it took forever to return on the g*d damn road. I remember he was analyzing what had happened and marking the puncture spot with a small crayon he had in his pocket so he could know where to put his 5$ bill.
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Old 01-23-24, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
He must have been an engineer because it took forever to return on the g*d damn road. I remember he was analyzing what had happened and marking the puncture spot with a small crayon he had in his pocket so he could know where to put his 5$ bill.
Was that $5 folded in half first, or used single-thickness? Would using a $10 have cut the return trip's time in half maybe? Nobody'd brought a $50 for 'just in case' need?
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Old 01-23-24, 08:47 AM
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Single thickness. Found it weird since it's kind of long and wide for a small puncture.

He was asking us to hold the bill while he was putting the tube in and inflating it...

A souvenir to forget. He obviously knew not what he did.
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Old 01-23-24, 09:05 AM
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My main road bike is now tubeless, no issues. With the higher pressure of road tubes, I think having good sealant and good tires are key. I'm running Stan's race sealant and GP5000 TRs on it and it's been trouble free. I've had a few self-sealing punctures, but have never had to dart my road tires.

It took me awhile to make the switch to road tubeless, but now I wish I did it sooner. I've been tubeless for years on my mountain bikes and later, gravel. I've had to plug those tires in the past, but it's obviously a much different tire usage.
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Old 01-23-24, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
Single thickness. Found it weird since it's kind of long and wide for a small puncture.

He was asking us to hold the bill while he was putting the tube in and inflating it...

A souvenir to forget. He obviously knew not what he did.
Aside from gel wrappers, £5 notes have become the goto “big hole in the tyre” tube reinforcement here ever since the Bank of England switched to plastic notes. Which are strange things but seem near indestructible.
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Old 01-23-24, 01:37 PM
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Same thing on our end! Polymer is nice.
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Old 01-23-24, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by eduskator
You forgot to mention that we all lost 15 minutes of our lives by stopping on the side of the road
15 minutes is quite a leisurely repair pace. I had my roadside repair time down to 4 minutes. I had to be quick, because the group would never stop for me, so I had to chase after the repair.

I flatted near the bottom of Old La Honda, but the group just rolled by. I fixed the puncture and chased hard, catching back up to the group before they reached the summit. They were surprised.
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