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Ready to give-up on tubeless road tires

Old 11-15-20, 01:37 PM
  #51  
unterhausen
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We do two wraps for road and one for MTB, but I see nothing wrong with 2 for MTB. Get the right width Stans, there are 10 different widths.
There are shortages of some widths right now. You can always cut it down after installation if that's needed
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Old 11-15-20, 10:53 PM
  #52  
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Mine is too narrow, but it was all the shop had.

Fortunately, this is isn't my main ride.

All of this because a $0.20 spoke nipple broke.
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Old 11-15-20, 11:43 PM
  #53  
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Tubed brevet flats off the top of my head, since 2009...
  • 4 flats on a single 600k in Kentucky. One a sharp stone, one a pinch flat from a stupidly huge pavement transition, one piece of glass, another from that same piece of glass I failed to remove.
  • Flat on the Cascades 1200 around dusk on day 2. Sharp stone I think.
  • 1am flat from a railroad track sharp bit, on an Oregon Randonneurs 600k. Annoyingly close to my overnight hotel.
  • Another night-time flat on a Seattle 1000k. Stone or glass, not sure which.
  • Another flat, different night, on that same 1000k. Pinch flat on a lip. In the rain. Ug.
  • Glass on a 200k in Indiana.
  • Two flats on a Willamette Randonneurs brevet, not sure if it was a 200k or 300k. Sharp things.
  • Another Kentucky flat, in the cold rain (it was always stupidly cold and rainy on Kentucky 400ks). Another sharp thing.
  • Oddly enough, I don't recall any flats during my SR series in west Texas.
  • Also oddly, no flats on 3 PBPs, one SBS 1200, and one Tennessee 1500k. Weird.
That's not counting flats on permanents and JRA. I've become very good at calmly and quickly fixing flats on the road. It's not a skill I care to exercise, but it's there if I need to call.

So I am giving road tubeless a try for my brevet bike. My version of road tubeless is 35mm at 45psi, thus far with Gravelking slicks. It's definitely more fiddly at home than tubed, and there's a learning curve. My front wheel set up beautifully and has held firm for about a month, even though I had no idea what I was doing. The rear has been a problem, pretty much a month of taping failures. I've done two 200k perms, and both found me topping off repeatedly and riding at 20psi much of the day. Annoying AF. My latest setup was done using Gorilla tape, 2 wraps, using the tube method to press it into place. A week in, and it's looking good.

The ride, I absolutely love. I'm going to give it a year, likely with nothing longer than a 600k, then make a decision. Time will tell.

I have nothing but a floor pump, and I've been able to seat on every attempt. New and used tires. Not saying easy, but I've gotten it done.
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Old 11-16-20, 01:04 AM
  #54  
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Thanks for the report. I should build a bike that takes 35mm tires. I think my current bike would be a little too tight.
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Old 11-23-20, 04:20 PM
  #55  
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Yesterday my rear wheel suffered a glass puncture just before sunrise. As "inconvenient" and unwelcome as this was, it only presented about a 10 minute delay. I pulled over, assessed the damage, prepared a plug, removed the piece of glass, inserted plug, inflated tire with CO2, waited a few minutes to make sure the tire was holding air and then I was off.

As I was repairing the tire I thought of this thread and was so happy that I didn't have a tube to change. Tubeless tires don't eliminate puntures or flat tires, but they do make for easier and faster repairs (most of the time).
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Old 11-23-20, 05:50 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Yesterday my rear wheel suffered a glass puncture just before sunrise. As "inconvenient" and unwelcome as this was, it only presented about a 10 minute delay. I pulled over, assessed the damage, prepared a plug, removed the piece of glass, inserted plug, inflated tire with CO2, waited a few minutes to make sure the tire was holding air and then I was off.
I think you can change a tube in less than 10 minutes.
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Old 11-23-20, 07:39 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
I think you can change a tube in less than 10 minutes.
In the dark?
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Old 11-23-20, 08:08 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
In the dark?
Sure. You're riding with a front light, yes?
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Old 11-23-20, 09:06 PM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Sure. You're riding with a front light, yes?
OK, fair enough. So are you advocating tubes over tubeless or just playing devil's advocate? While it's certainly possible to change a tube in 10 minutes I would much rather deal with a tubeless repair. I don't have to remove the wheel, I don't have to remove the tire, and I don't have to put it all back together again.
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Old 11-23-20, 09:14 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
OK, fair enough. So are you advocating tubes over tubeless or just playing devil's advocate.
...
Originally Posted by cycletography
Tubeless tires don't eliminate puntures or flat tires, but they do make for easier and faster repairs (most of the time).
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Old 11-24-20, 06:53 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
In the dark?
The headlight that straps around my head resides in my handlebar bag in case I have a problem at night. That however does require that I remove my helmet, so putting that light on and shedding helmet, and later putting everything back does add a couple minutes. So, call it 12 instead of 10 minutes.
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Old 11-25-20, 04:12 PM
  #62  
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Last night I had to change my rear tire, which I expected to be quick and easy. The Maxxis Tread Lite tires that I've been using on my Surly Ogre have been seating without issues on the first attempt. However, last night was a pretty long wrestling match that went nowhere for about 90 minutes. I wasn't sure if the issue was the pump, the tire, the valve or the rim tape. After determining there were no issue with the pump I checked the tire. No issues there either. Then I kept going back and forth checking the rim tape and the valve. I never found a problem, but I did end up removing and reinstalling the valve stem just to be safe. After about 6 attempts to seat the tire it finally popped into place. I never found the source of the problem. Likely user error, but I was doing it the same as I always do.

Anyway, after getting the tire seated (without any sealant) I deflated and re-inflated it a few times to make sure the bead was securely in place. I then added sealant and spent about an hour periodically spinning the tire to get the sealant into all the nooks and crannies. Once complete I left the tire to sit for several hours to make sure it was holding pressure. This morning the tire was still holding pressure so I went for a ride and all was well.

Despite the initial issues last night and the frustration that went along with it I still would not go back to tubed tires. While there's no avoiding a problem tire evey once in a while, the process of mounting a new tubeless tire is usually problem free. I'll gladly continue to deal with the occasional "trouble maker" for the overall benefit and convenience of a tubeless setup.
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Old 11-25-20, 07:23 PM
  #63  
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I finally got mine set up. After I double-taped it, the tire would not seat. Finally, I soaped everything, and it popped into place and held air for 72 hours with no sealant, so I added sealant and declared victory. My hands still hurt from mounting it.
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Old 11-25-20, 11:57 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
Last night I had to change my rear tire, which I expected to be quick and easy. The Maxxis Tread Lite tires that I've been using on my Surly Ogre have been seating without issues on the first attempt. However, last night was a pretty long wrestling match that went nowhere for about 90 minutes. I wasn't sure if the issue was the pump, the tire, the valve or the rim tape. After determining there were no issue with the pump I checked the tire. No issues there either. Then I kept going back and forth checking the rim tape and the valve. I never found a problem, but I did end up removing and reinstalling the valve stem just to be safe. After about 6 attempts to seat the tire it finally popped into place.
So, in 4 months, you've:

1. Replaced your rear tire 3 times, one of which took 6 attempts and 90+ minutes to install.
2. Had 3 flats that required a plug which, in the best case, took 10 minutes to fix.
3. Had 2 flats where fluid was spraying all over you and the bike.

This is why many cyclists have given up on road tubular tubeless.

Last edited by tomato coupe; 11-26-20 at 11:11 AM. Reason: Auto-correct error.
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Old 11-26-20, 01:46 AM
  #65  
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I would say he's having a lot of bad luck with tires that has very little to do with running tubeless. I'm curious how many long distance riders are running tubeless, I'm pretty sure I don't know any. Which might mean there aren't many or it might mean they aren't having problems.
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Old 11-26-20, 07:16 AM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
...
This is why many cyclists have given up on road tubular.
Just a quick clarification, tubular tires are also known as sewups, they are very different from the tubeless tires being discussed.
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Old 11-26-20, 11:14 AM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Just a quick clarification, tubular tires are also known as sewups, they are very different from the tubeless tires being discussed.
Sorry, I didn't notice notice the auto-correct error. I meant tubeless.
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Old 11-26-20, 11:29 AM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I would say he's having a lot of bad luck with tires that has very little to do with running tubeless. I'm curious how many long distance riders are running tubeless, I'm pretty sure I don't know any. Which might mean there aren't many or it might mean they aren't having problems.
Anyone can have a string of bad luck. With tubed tires, a string of bad luck usually means you just replace a bunch of tubes. With tubeless tires, a string of bad luck can mean dealing with sealant messiness, tire-seating problems, ruined tires, etc. That's the most often cited reason I've heard from people who have abandoned road tubeless, i.e. the downside of tubeless is greater than the downside of tubes.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:36 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
So, in 4 months, you've:

1. Replaced your rear tire 3 times, one of which took 6 attempts and 90+ minutes to install.
2. Had 3 flats that required a plug which, in the best case, took 10 minutes to fix.
3. Had 2 flats where fluid was spraying all over you and the bike.

This is why many cyclists have given up on road tubular tubeless.
You certainly can make it sound bad if you want to. Your info is correct, and I'm not disputing the content of what you've posted. However, you've provided no context for your remarks.

1. All but 1 of those punctures would have happened to any tire (tubed or tubeless). A thick-walled, tubed tire may have avoided one small puncture (of which I was totally unaware until I got home).
2. The 2 punctures which had sealant spraying on me and the bike are part of (not in addition to) the 3 punctures to which you refer in point #2.
3. The first 3 tires that had to be replaced seemed prone to puncture. I'm not sure their durability (or lack thereof) is representative of the frequency of punctures I will incur over the long-term with different tires. Anecdotally speaking, I've suffered fewer punctures as well as a lower frequency of punctures since changing tires.
4. Those punctures happened over the course of 6,600 miles.

You can look at my recent experience with tubeless as "glass half empty" by pointing to the problems I've incurred. I've shared those experiences openly and honestly, so I'm definitely not trying to candy-coat tubeless tires. However, I choose to look at the same information and come away with a "glass half full" perspective. Assuming I'm correct about my first point, I wouldn't have saved much (if any) time, effort or hassle with a tubed setup. In fact, probably the opposite... so I'll take tubeless.

There's no right or wrong, so whatever anyone chooses is fine. I'm just sharing my experience in response ot the OP since I empathize with his situation.
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Old 11-26-20, 12:46 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Cycletography View Post
There's no right or wrong, so whatever anyone chooses is fine. I'm just sharing my experience in response ot the OP since I empathize with his situation.
I agree, there's no right or wrong. I'm just pointing out that many cyclists cite similar experiences as the reason they no longer use road tubeless.
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Old 11-26-20, 02:34 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
i.e. the downside of tubeless is greater than the downside of tubes.
I was riding with a guy on the last 200k of the season who got a puncture on his tubeless setup, and it took him over an hour to get going again. Maybe closer to 90 minutes. I talked to him at the end of the ride, and he said it was the only flat he's gotten all year so he's still sold on tubeless. He also rides a lot of gravel where the case for tubeless is quite a bit more compelling.
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Old 11-28-20, 10:54 AM
  #72  
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Yesterday I was participating in a group paceline ride and one of the riders (who uses tubed tires) got a pinch flat after running over a branch. The repair for the pich flat wasn't a big deal. IMO it took longer than it would have with a tubeless setup, but that's somewhat irrelevant. If he would have had tubeless tires he probably wouldn't have gotten a flat at all.

In the specific case of pich flats, can we at least agree that tubeless is the better option?
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Old 11-29-20, 04:02 PM
  #73  
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I tried tubeless several years ago on both mountain and road bikes and had a local shop do the work. I wanted to like it but there was just too much hassle involved for me, so after a year of trying I went back to tubes. Because of the experience I never tried to convert my Brevet bike. Since then I have seen several instances of riders with tubeless systems sitting on the side of the road trying to resolve their problem. Given the relatively small percentage of tubeless riders at Brevets it seems that they may be over-represented in the problems department. It's bad enough to have to change a flat in the dark and rain on a gravel shoulder of the road but trying to seat a tire and sealant in that circumstance may well be impossible! I personally would never consider it again!
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Old 11-29-20, 04:58 PM
  #74  
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Comparing legacy tubeless systems and current tire/rims is night and day. My tubeless wheels mount and dismount as quickly as regular clinchers, I have no idea what someone would be doing on the side of the road for 90 minutes? When I rarely get a puncture that does not seal I plug it with a Dynaplug and hit it with CO2 away I go. If I would need to instal a tube remove the tire as normal install tube and away you go. What is all this fuss about?
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Old 11-30-20, 06:25 PM
  #75  
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This thread is bringing back memories of last year's 400k. I had a miserable ride, couldn't eat after 200k, and took forever. There were a couple of much faster guys that only caught me at the last control after one of them took over an hour fixing his tubeless tire. Hadn't seen them all day. Not sure why he didn't put a tube in it.
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