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Tubeless... Is that all?

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Tubeless... Is that all?

Old 01-19-21, 02:56 PM
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Redbullet
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Tubeless... Is that all?

I switched to Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ 2.0 - tubeless tires on carbon road bike, after years of riding with Continental GP 4000/5000 clinchers. All 23 mm wide, on the same wheels.
After around 15 rides, I can say that I felt no difference in performance. The tubeless generate a different noise, which I like very much - sort of mild rustling that reverberates in the carbon frame, somehow similar with the old (steel) road bikes with tubulars on thin aluminum rims.

But… is that all?
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Old 01-19-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
But… is that all?
The obvious benefit, and the reason that most move to tubeless, is the reduced likelihood and frequency of flats.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:10 PM
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Narrow tires....
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Old 01-19-21, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The obvious benefit, and the reason that most move to tubeless, is the reduced likelihood and frequency of flats.
Also running lower pressure without risking pinch flats, which can make a noticeable difference in comfort and even speed if the ride surface is rough.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The obvious benefit, and the reason that most move to tubeless, is the reduced likelihood and frequency of flats.
Yes, indeed, I red a lot about this.
But with 2 flats in 35000 km on clinchers, I did not take that into account. It was more about to see a marginal improvement in performance. Not that I need that improvement for practical reasons, it was more about playing with my toy...
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Old 01-19-21, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Also running lower pressure without risking pinch flats, which can make a noticeable difference in comfort and even speed if the ride surface is rough.
Sure, but that's like a secondary or tertiary bonus to me. Flats are far and away the main draw.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Yes, indeed, I red a lot about this.
But with 2 flats in 35000 km on clinchers, I did not take that into account. It was more about to see a marginal improvement in performance. Not that I need that improvement for practical reasons, it was more about playing with my toy...
I'm a huge proponent of tubeless, but even I wouldn't have moved to tubeless if I got flats once every ~10,000 miles.

How are you determining whether or not you're seeing a marginal gain in performance?
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Old 01-19-21, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
Sure, but that's like a secondary or tertiary bonus to me. Flats are far and away the main draw.
Not for me. My flats with tubed clinchers have been 50/50 pinch and puncture (maybe the gauge on my pump is inaccurate or the recommended pressure charts are too aggressive at lower system weight), and on harsher frames running low pressure is, like I said, noticeable (running 10 psi lower than recommended tubed pressure is a state change from harsh to cloud-like for me).

This effect should be even more pronounced on a narrow tire like a 23mm, but only if OP actually takes advantage of it.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by surak View Post
Also running lower pressure without risking pinch flats
That is very logical, but I always thought that it is only in theory.
I think that in real life, a 80 kg guy on a bike with 23 mm clinchers at 8 bar should take such a hard hit for getting a pinch, that his front wheel should be irremediable tacoed.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:30 PM
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Who told you or where did you read that there would be a performance gain going tubeless on road bike? If someone told you that or if you read it somewhere....they are wrong.

You will see a gain on a mountain bike in the performance category Being that the tires and tubes are larger you will have a decrease in wheel weight and when going over uneven terrain, where the tire gets deformed a lot, the there isn't a friction fight between the tube and the tire.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
I think that in real life, a 80 kg guy on a bike with 23 mm clinchers at 8 bar should take such a hard hit for getting a pinch, that his front wheel should be irremediable tacoed.
In real life, I would recommend that an 80kg guy get bigger tires.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:38 PM
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I'm 185lbs (84kg) and recently went from 23mm clinchers @ 105psi (7.2 bar) to 25mm tubeless @ 90 psi (6.2 bar). I'm thoroughly enjoying the comfort and the extra grip.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:41 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
In real life, I would recommend that an 80kg guy get bigger tires.
I take it only as a joke
I am below 80kg now, but I was 86 when I started with 23 mm Continental GP 4000 clinchers. I sometimes rode below 8 bar (too lazy to inflate the tires every week). Some sharp edges potholes in the road while braking on fast descents gave me physical discomfort, but yet... I felt they were not even close to produce a pinch.
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Old 01-19-21, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
How are you determining whether or not you're seeing a marginal gain in performance?
That is not an accurate calculation. But I ride around 75% on the same road and distance, during the same time slot (+/- 30 min - as I have job time limitation). 2-3 rides are not relevant, but as their number increase, the avg speed on Strava begins to be relevant.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
That is not an accurate calculation. But I ride around 75% on the same road and distance, during the same time slot (+/- 30 min - as I have job time limitation). 2-3 rides are not relevant, but as their number increase, the avg speed on Strava begins to be relevant.
So you're basing this solely on Strava average speed over a given course rather than power meter data coupled with virtual elevation or anything like that? You're not going to be able to tease signal out of that kind of noise.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:14 PM
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Based on the data available on bicyclerollingresistance.com, the difference between a 23mm at higher pressure and a 25mm at a lower pressure is just a few watts, if any difference at all. Pump up those 25s to the same pressure as your 23s, and you'll get some difference, but still probably not enough to notice a performance improvement in Strava data when there are a ton of other factors that can also affect the results (wind, traffic, human performance variations...). The reality is - for most users - the big advantage of tubeless is not in decreased rolling resistance, but in a more enjoyable ride due to increased comfort and flat protection.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
So you're basing this solely on Strava average speed over a given course rather than power meter data coupled with virtual elevation or anything like that? You're not going to be able to tease signal out of that kind of noise.
Yes. Garmin connect says the same. I agree that speed comparison from one ride to another says nothing. But in a long run, I think that similar speed trends over a larger number of rides with the same setup and in 2 applications, says that nothing visible changed.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Yes. Garmin connect says the same. I agree that speed comparison from one ride to another says nothing. But in a long run, I think that similar speed trends over a larger number of rides with the same setup and in 2 applications, says that nothing visible changed.
Any typical road ride has way too many variable factors to be able to make an accurate judgement about a possible improvement in a few watts from different tires.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
The reality is - for most users - the big advantage of tubeless is not in decreased rolling resistance, but in a more enjoyable ride due to increased comfort and flat protection.
Yes, that seems to be the point. Especially that I am now playing with what are considered to be the fastest tubeless tires.
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Old 01-19-21, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Yes. Garmin connect says the same. I agree that speed comparison from one ride to another says nothing. But in a long run, I think that similar speed trends over a larger number of rides with the same setup and in 2 applications, says that nothing visible changed.
In a long run, you're going to have varying levels of fitness, varying levels of effort, differences in conditions, etc, etc. Also, it's not like you were going from crap tires to the best - the GP5ks are very fast rolling tires. If you want to measure the rolling resistance differences between these tires, average speed and seat of your pants aren't adequate tools.
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Old 01-19-21, 05:50 PM
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Between the GP5000 with tube that you used to ride and the Vittoria Corsa Speed G+ 2.0 - tubeless you now ride, there isn't much difference in watts saved by rolling resistance to get you that 80 km but maybe just less than a minute quicker. And there are other variables that might take that time and more back from one ride to the next if you aren't assessing or controlling all the other factors.

Ride some 150 km rides and you'll see more benefits.

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Old 01-19-21, 06:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F View Post
I'm 185lbs (84kg) and recently went from 23mm clinchers @ 105psi (7.2 bar) to 25mm tubeless @ 90 psi (6.2 bar). I'm thoroughly enjoying the comfort and the extra grip.
I'm surprised you notice any difference. What you have done is the same as dropping your 23mm pressure from 105 to 100.
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Old 01-19-21, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
I'm surprised you notice any difference. What you have done is the same as dropping your 23mm pressure from 105 to 100.
I do notice a difference. It's not OMG!!! dramatic, but there is some extra smoothness and sure-footedness going on...at least in my brain
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Old 01-20-21, 12:23 PM
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I get very few flats, but those I get can be a dangerous pinch flat on a fast descent. For that reason, I decided to try tubeless ready wheels that require no rim tape (Fulcrum racing 3 disc) and 28mm Michelin tubeless ready tires. Weighing no more than 140 lbs and usually less, I've run as low as 70 psi in front and 75 in the rear. The ride improvement is quite noticeable and I can't feel any loss due to rolling friction. I matched my highest ever descent speed of 54 mph recently and it didn't take as much tail wind to get there, so I think the new disc bike is rolling well. I previously used 25mm Michelin power endurance tires, with 80 in front and 85 at the rear, on a rim brake frame with Campy Zonda wheels.

If you switch to tubeless without using a larger tire at lower pressure, you're not likely to notice any difference. Many people use them just to cut down on flats from goat heads or other minor sized punctures. I haven't had a puncture in the last 11,000 miles, just two pinch flats. The chances of getting a pinch flat from running over a stray rock are lower with tubeless.

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Old 01-20-21, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Redbullet View Post
Yes. Garmin connect says the same. I agree that speed comparison from one ride to another says nothing. But in a long run, I think that similar speed trends over a larger number of rides with the same setup and in 2 applications, says that nothing visible changed.
Average speed is a terrible metric for this application. I can ride the same route with the same power (using a power meter) and have a big difference in average speed. Perceived effort has a wide range for error.
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