Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Tubeless on road bikes??

Notices
Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Tubeless on road bikes??

Old 08-08-23, 12:36 PM
  #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: NYC
Posts: 148

Bikes: Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc, Canyon Spectral

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 75 Post(s)
Liked 24 Times in 18 Posts
Tubeless on road bikes??

I have a Canyon Ultimate and I'm considering going tubeless. I have all the tools required and some stans on hand (for my mountain bike). MY rims (DT Swiss P 1800 Spline db) are tubeless ready as are my tires (Continental 5000s). I just need to buy the Stans tubeless stems.

I'm tired of fixing flats. Today I was going to go for a ride, all kitted out. And my front tire has a puncture. And my spare has a pinhole leak. And by luck I'm out of patches.

What are the disadvantages of tubeless on a road bike?
lyle.coop is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 12:44 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
WhyFi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: TC, MN
Posts: 39,520

Bikes: R3 Disc, Haanjo

Mentioned: 354 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20810 Post(s)
Liked 9,456 Times in 4,672 Posts
Stan's has mixed reviews at road bike tire pressures, to put it kindly. I recommend using something with clogging particulate, like Orange Seal.

If you're primarily subject to smaller punctures, tubeless will probably be great for you. If you regularly get large gashes, tubeless isn't going to help with that, and it'll be a more messy roadside fix.

Main drawbacks of tubeless would be the learning curve in getting them mounted and seated. The newest rims and tires will often pop on with some swift strokes of a decent floor pump. Some rim/tire combinations will require a blast from an air compressor; lubricating the beads can help in either instance.
WhyFi is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 12:46 PM
  #3  
Should Be More Popular
 
datlas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Malvern, PA (20 miles West of Philly)
Posts: 43,159

Bikes: 1986 Alpine (steel road bike), 2009 Ti Habenero, 2013 Specialized Roubaix

Mentioned: 560 Post(s)
Tagged: 2 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22686 Post(s)
Liked 9,018 Times in 4,199 Posts
Lots of threads here that have thrashed this out to death.

Bottom line is it's a viable option, but a personal decision. Certainly can cut down on flats but increases the hassle/faff factor with setup and sealant maintenance.

Your choice.
__________________
Originally Posted by rjones28
Addiction is all about class.
datlas is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 12:52 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Troul's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Mich
Posts: 7,485

Bikes: RSO E-tire dropper fixie brifter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 3,051 Times in 1,951 Posts
bead seating can be an issue. Sealant choice for the purpose & conditions should be looked into. Adding a plug kit along with the patches are recommended.
Upfront cost can shy folks away, but that usually if a whole new wheel set is needed to support the change.

my personal take on the amount of sealant; use more than the recommended min/average amount.
__________________
-Oh Hey!
Troul is offline  
Likes For Troul:
Old 08-08-23, 12:58 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Denver area (Ken Caryl Valley)
Posts: 1,803

Bikes: 2022 Moots RCS, 2014 BMC SLR01 DA Mech, 2020 Santa Cruz Stigmata, Ibis Ripmo, Trek Top Fuel, Specialized Levo SL, Norco Bigfoot VLT

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 464 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 118 Posts
I'd use Orange Seal first and Stan's second but Stan's works okay. I jsyt think Orange Seal regular works better on road bikes. Tubeless- no point going tubeless if you're running traditional high PSI like 80-100. The pressure is too high and sealant does not seal well at such high pressure. Plus, you are losing all the benefit of lower PSI like better traction and comfort.

You will have to refresh the sealant every 2-3 months. You will have to carry a sealing kit and/or a light tube. I have been road tubeless since last year though I did try it a few years ago. I have had no issues and far prefer the ride of 30/32 tires at 55-63 PSI (I'm 175 lbs and rims are 25mm wide internal) that my 25s and 28s at 75-90 PSI. Speed is no different. I would not ride tube-type wheels again unless on just one ride as a backup bike.
Chandne is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 01:06 PM
  #6  
Full Member
 
mattcalifornia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Ellay
Posts: 340

Bikes: 2002 Eddy Merckx Team SC Resto-Mod; 2019 Ibis Hakka MX; 2017 Spot Brand Ajax Belt Drive

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 169 Post(s)
Liked 192 Times in 121 Posts
I've been running tubeless Contis on my road bike for the past 3 years with MucOff sealant. It's worked extremely well for me, and I've had no problem seating the beads on my rims (HED Belgium+ alloy).

EDIT: But yeah, there are already a bunch of threads about this. Do a search.
mattcalifornia is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 01:24 PM
  #7  
Over the hill
 
urbanknight's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 24,399

Bikes: Giant Defy, Giant Revolt

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1006 Post(s)
Liked 1,226 Times in 702 Posts
Since you mentioned that your current tires are tubeless ready, and that they have had multiple flats in the past, I want to caution you that old stretched out tires with holes in them are even harder to set up than new tires. As a matter of fact, I gave up and bought a new set of tires after making several attempts.
__________________
It's like riding a bicycle
urbanknight is online now  
Likes For urbanknight:
Old 08-08-23, 01:56 PM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 6,817
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1124 Post(s)
Liked 1,217 Times in 773 Posts
Just as a routine matter, always have more than one spare tube on hand. Tough reason to miss a ride. Better yet, another set of wheels, cassette and tires. I won't comment on tubeless. I won't go that way because in our garage we have 4 road bikes and I don't want to remember and perform the periodic refreshing of the sealant. Plus we're happy with how the tubed tires work and have very, very few flats. No reason other than that.

Last edited by Camilo; 08-08-23 at 02:00 PM.
Camilo is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 02:07 PM
  #9  
Newbie
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Not my bag
summithockeyc20 is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 04:37 PM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
tempocyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Australia
Posts: 828

Bikes: 2002 Trek 5200 (US POSTAL), 2020 Canyon Aeroad SL

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 317 Post(s)
Liked 685 Times in 330 Posts
I'm still not 100% sold on road tubeless, even though I do run tubeless on one of my road bikes. For lower-pressure wider tyre applications (eg: gravel and offroad) it's great.

On the road, get the widest tyres you can so you can run lower pressure, 28-30mm. If you're a "23mm and 100psi" kind of guy, forget about it.
tempocyclist is offline  
Old 08-08-23, 04:52 PM
  #11  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,121

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5039 Post(s)
Liked 8,273 Times in 3,908 Posts
I've been using tubeless tires on my road bike for a couple of years. The only issues I've had were sidewall slashes that would have wrecked a tubed tire just as badly. While there was definitely a learning curve to working with the tubeless system, it's not really a big deal. Even though my road bike is limited to <28mm tires due to clearance under the rear brake, I'm pretty happy with the feel of 25-26mm tires at 75-80psi compared with 23mm at 100+.
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:
Old 08-08-23, 06:03 PM
  #12  
Super-duper Genius
 
Broctoon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Muskrat Springs, Utah
Posts: 1,713
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 768 Post(s)
Liked 984 Times in 508 Posts
I've switched to tubeless tires on most of my bikes and my wife's, for the same reason as the OP. I got tired of fixing little punctures. I've found some combinations of tire and rim are kind of a hassle to set up, but the benefit is totally worth it. Just this morning, I went to check out the bikes and make sure they were ready for a ride my wife and I had planned. Her front tire had two goat heads in it from her last ride. I pulled out one, and there was no leaking. It was too small to puncture all the way through. Pulled out the other, and it immediately began to leak. Rats! Hold on, though... give the wheel a spin, wait a few seconds, and check again. Fixed! Our ride was not delayed.

I put a little bit less pressure in my tubeless tires than I would in the same size with a tube.

I've had very good luck with Orange Seal. Stan's original formula seems to work okay too. I tried some Stan's Race and did not like it. It has a really coarse grit in it, like sand. The Orange Seal just has little flecks, almost looks like glitter.
Broctoon is offline  
Likes For Broctoon:
Old 08-08-23, 06:51 PM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 1,682
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1256 Post(s)
Liked 1,344 Times in 687 Posts
Converted all of our bikes to tubeless without regret. That said I gave up 23mm 120 psi years ago and never looked back.

Even my long distance adventure touring bike converted 3 years ago with no issues.

The best part of running tubeless is you can run a high performance supple tire and get the puncture resistance of a garden hose gaterskin or marathon tire.

Last edited by Atlas Shrugged; 08-08-23 at 06:55 PM.
Atlas Shrugged is offline  
Likes For Atlas Shrugged:
Old 08-08-23, 07:37 PM
  #14  
Senior Member
 
PeteHski's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2021
Posts: 8,646
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4505 Post(s)
Liked 4,995 Times in 3,087 Posts
It sounds like you have experience with tubeless mtb. In which case I would just go right ahead. I run my Canyon Endurace on tubeless 30 mm GP5000S TR tyres at 60-65 psi and haven’t had a single flat in 18 months and two sets of tyres. I use Muc-Off sealant. Stans is a bit too thin for my liking. I also carry a Dynaplug Racer kit for plugging large holes.
PeteHski is offline  
Likes For PeteHski:
Old 08-08-23, 11:10 PM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,748
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 330 Post(s)
Liked 211 Times in 134 Posts
Dynaplugs. Bacon strips are fine for the low pressure mtn bikes but I carry dynaplugs for the road bike. Seen several post about the bacon strips blowing out at higher pressures.
Canker is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 09:53 AM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Denver area (Ken Caryl Valley)
Posts: 1,803

Bikes: 2022 Moots RCS, 2014 BMC SLR01 DA Mech, 2020 Santa Cruz Stigmata, Ibis Ripmo, Trek Top Fuel, Specialized Levo SL, Norco Bigfoot VLT

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 464 Post(s)
Liked 182 Times in 118 Posts
Dynaplugs I have been carrying for year for the MTB and gravel but need to for the road bike now...the road ones are smaller but may be the same as the gravel ones I have. I'd only run tubeless if running 28s minimum. The fatter the better since the PSI is lower and sealant works better at lower PSI. I think 55-65 is the max. That's the PSI I run 30/32 tires on. I don't use skinnier tires but if I ran 25s for example, I would just use tubes.
Chandne is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 10:31 AM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 925
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 449 Post(s)
Liked 1,059 Times in 446 Posts
I love tubeless on my gravel bike and 100% recommend it for wider/lower pressure tires. For road I've had bad experiences with tubeless, with side cuts that wouldn't seal and even blowing up a carbon wheel trying to bead a tubeless tire. Since then I've been leaning towards using sturdier clincher road tires paired with lightweight TPU tubes + using glueless patches in case of punctures. Still not impervious, but I can pack several lightweight TPU tubes in my saddles and glueless patches with barely any weight penalty and repairs can be done quickly.

Though depending on your situation and road conditions, road tubeless might be a better solution.
jonathanf2 is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 11:51 AM
  #18  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Westchester, NY
Posts: 497

Bikes: Scott Foil RC, Specialized Aethos

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 257 Post(s)
Liked 149 Times in 100 Posts
Originally Posted by lyle.coop
I have a Canyon Ultimate and I'm considering going tubeless. I have all the tools required and some stans on hand (for my mountain bike). MY rims (DT Swiss P 1800 Spline db) are tubeless ready as are my tires (Continental 5000s). I just need to buy the Stans tubeless stems.

I'm tired of fixing flats. Today I was going to go for a ride, all kitted out. And my front tire has a puncture. And my spare has a pinhole leak. And by luck I'm out of patches.

What are the disadvantages of tubeless on a road bike?
I wouldn't do it with anything less than a 28c tire

Pros: softer more complaint ride, no pinch flats, puncture protection to a certain degree, good rolling resistance
Cons: Finicky messy setup, replacing sealant every 3-4 months, more expensive, when you do puncture and can't get it to seal it's messy and you will need to carry around a repair kit.

IMO if you are riding at least a 28c on a 21mm internal or greater and want something that is better on broken pavement or light gravel, and you don't have to worry as much about flatting than yeah tubeless can be great however I still have to carry a repair kit and even a spare TPU tube for my tubeless setup bike. Put it this way, when tubeless works it's awesome and you can't imagine a better system but when you can't get a puncture to seal, or a tire to hold air, or a tire to seat right and you have sealant everywhere it's terrible and costly
Jrasero is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 12:50 PM
  #19  
Junior Member
 
DirePenguin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Central PA, USA
Posts: 140

Bikes: 2014 Trek 8.3 DS, 2022 Trek Domane SL5

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
Liked 35 Times in 26 Posts
I wouldn’t have gone road tubeless had my ‘22 Domane SL5 not come already set up with them. But, the performance over the last ~18 months has been great with only a minimum of maintenance.

It helps that my Domane runs on 32mm tires at 60psi. I’ve found some sealant (Stan’s) on my frame a few times but never noticed those punctures while riding.

I did get one puncture that required a “bacon strip” patch; but I got a couple hundred more miles on it.

Then, this weekend, I hit something that rIpped three closely spaced holes right down to the cords. The sealant did stop the air loss enough to get home but continued leaking in the basement.

I replaced the Bontrager R3 tire with the same type and had minimal problems mounting it and setting the bead with my floor pump. I also have a “down the valve” sealant injector to minimize mess.
DirePenguin is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 04:35 PM
  #20  
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 8,660

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4760 Post(s)
Liked 1,539 Times in 1,008 Posts
Tubeless makes sense for you, especially if you can't leave the house without there already being 2 flats.
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 04:39 PM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Missoula, Montana
Posts: 694

Bikes: Trek Domane SL5, Trek Checkpoint SL5, Cannndale Trail SE 4, Specialized Langster

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 162 Post(s)
Liked 134 Times in 72 Posts
I bought a 2022 Checkpoint last year. The specs said tubeless ready. I assumed that the bike came with tubes, but I discover later in the summer that the wheels were set up tubeless, so I decided to stick with the tubeless. After some hassling around letting the air out and re-inflating just to see what happened, and with adding some Orange Sealant at the end of the season, I feel I know what needs to be done and how to do it. I haven't had any flats yet. But then again, on my 2019 Domane I run Conti 4000 four season tires with tubes and I haven't had any flats with those tires for four years. The tubeless are really no hassle at all. Replenishing the sealant at the end of the summer takes just a few minutes and is easy. I do carry spare tube just in case, but I'm careful how I ride and I never in forty-five years of riding have gotten a slash or big cut in any tire I rode, and this includes mtn bike tires as well. I don't expect to get any flats.
jackb is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 04:43 PM
  #22  
Habitual User
 
Eric F's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Location: Altadena, CA
Posts: 8,121

Bikes: 2023 Niner RLT 9 RDO, 2018 Trek Procaliber 9.9 RSL, 2018 Storck Fascenario.3 Platinum, 2003 Time VX Special Pro, 2001 Colnago VIP, 1999 Trek 9900 singlespeed, 1977 Nishiki ONP

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5039 Post(s)
Liked 8,273 Times in 3,908 Posts
Originally Posted by Jrasero
I wouldn't do it with anything less than a 28c tire
Why?
__________________
"Swedish fish. They're protein shaped." - livedarklions
Eric F is offline  
Likes For Eric F:
Old 08-09-23, 05:11 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richfield, WI
Posts: 723

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7 Disc, Cannondale F29

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 186 Posts
Having gone tubeless a few years ago, I can see why some people don't like it... although I'm totally sold on it. I had tire punctures two weekends in a row last month on very long rides and I didn't have to do anything to fix the punctures other than make sure the thing that made the puncture (a staple in one case) wasn't still in the tire.

The one disadvantage of going tubeless is the learning curve. I just recently learned that you periodically have to check your tires to make sure the sealant is still "fresh" in the tires. I.e., I pulled off one of my tires expecting to find a pool of white tire sealant and all I found was a watery substance and most of the sealant's rubbery goop had dried onto the inside of the tire. Had I flatted I gotten a puncture, it's unlikely the hole would've been sealed.

The second disadvantage of going tubeless is that it sure can be messy. If I ever had a flat on the road that the tubeless setup couldn't fix, I'd call for a ride home rather than deal with mess of putting in a tube on a wheel that is full of gooey, sticky sealant.

All in all, going tubeless requires more maintenance while you're at home to ensure your tires ready for the next ride and if you do that, your tires should save you from having to do maintenance on the side of the road (for most punctures) which you'd have to do with a tube.
PoorInRichfield is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 05:23 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Richfield, WI
Posts: 723

Bikes: Trek Domane SL7 Disc, Cannondale F29

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Liked 325 Times in 186 Posts
Originally Posted by DirePenguin
I also have a “down the valve” sealant injector to minimize mess.
I purchased one as well for putting sealant in and taking it out*. However, the latter proved to be problematic as the sealant in the tire occasionally forms little balls of rubber in the tire that like to clog the syringe hose. I have since resorted to breaking the bead on the tire and either pouring the sealant in or dumping it out that way, avoiding the need for a syringe / injector at all.

* I remove the sealant from my wheel sets in the Fall as the wheels just sit for months on end during the Winter or remain stationary on my smart trainer and I don't want the sealant to dry into a pool in one spot in the wheels. I guess this is another disadvantage of going tubeless... you don't have to remove the tubes on wheelsets that see little or no use.
PoorInRichfield is offline  
Old 08-09-23, 06:35 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
bruce19's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Lebanon (Liberty Hill), CT
Posts: 8,525

Bikes: CAAD 12, MASI Gran Criterium S, Colnago World Cup CX & Guru steel

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1770 Post(s)
Liked 1,298 Times in 752 Posts
4 years on 3 road bikes and zero flats.
bruce19 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.