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Tubeless Lessons Learned

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Tubeless Lessons Learned

Old 10-28-20, 07:29 PM
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rsbob 
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Tubeless Lessons Learned

Have been riding on tubeless road bike tires for four months and they have really given me a false sense of new gained strength since they roll so easily. (Conti GranPrix 500TL). Thanks to another member here, he advised me to get tire bacons in case I had a puncture the sealant couldnít handle and a spare tube, just in case.. The bacon arrived yesterday so I stuffed them into my saddle bag confident I was good to go.

On todayís ride, I was twelve miles out and spotted glass shards on the shoulder and quickly swerved to avoid. After about 45 seconds it became very apparent I didnít successfully avoid one of them, after hearing a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh with each front tire rotation. The air was coming out so fast and loudly I knew the sealant didnít have a chance, but I have bacon!

Got off the bike and saw sealant coming out of the boundary between the tread and sidewall. In other words a sidewall puncture. Drat! So off came the tire, with no more effort than a clincher, but what a sticky mess. Removed the tubeless valve stem which luckily came out very easily. Swept the tire for glass and it was clean but goopy. Placed a folded dollar bill at the cut, inserted the tube and then fought to get the tire reseated. I was warned it could be tough and it was. Got out my two CO2 tubes and inflator head and screwed the first tube to the head, and rather than waiting for me to pull back the activating lever, CO2 came spraying out. The trigger was stuck in the open position. So I quickly tried to get it on the valve stem but it wouldnít seat. Hmmm. I had the other tube so placed the inflator head on the valve stem (which has previously worked flawlessly for 10 years) and then screwed on the tube and it put a little air in the tube but most sprayed most around the stem. The inflatorís rubber gasket had to be shot. I got barely enough air in the tube that it would not deform to the rim, so I knew it was rideable. Because I couldnít get enough air into the tube the tire didnít completely seat, so the ride home was rather wobbly. When I got home, I checked the air pressure I managed to get in, 20lbs. I was amazed it could roll on so little air with out riding on the rim or the tire unseating. Climbing hills on the way home felt like my first day out this season. The bike is a Bianchi Infinito CV endurance bike.

Now for the lessons:
1. Test and make sure any inflator is completely functional at the beginning of the season
2. Always carry a tube
3. CARRY A MINI-PUMP just in case you have issues with your inflator (Had one for my mountain bike, but it was at home)
4. Carry a patch kit for the tube in case you flat again
5. Have a ready supply of CO2 cartridges in case you blow through a couple
or carry a full sized frame pump.
6. Carry a mobile phone just in case.

what did I miss?

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Last edited by rsbob; 10-28-20 at 07:34 PM.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
what did I miss?
A AAA card, they will drive you home.

Have the Uber app on your smart phone.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:35 PM
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Umm, wait, so you didn't even try using your new tire plugs?

And are you actually recommending a mini-pump and a full sized frame pump? (#3 and #6 )

Do you realize that with one good pump on the bike, you don't need the CO2 inflator and cartridges?

By the way, none of what you wrote qualifies as "tubeless lessons learned." Nothing you wrote is tubeless-specific. (That would be the tire plugs that you didn't use.)

Edit: I see you edited your recommendation on the full-size frame pump. But to reiterate: one decent pump is all you need to inflate a tire. Or some CO2.

Last edited by Koyote; 10-28-20 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by GlennR View Post
A AAA card, they will drive you home.

Have the Uber app on your smart phone.
Thanks Glen, good to know about AAA.

Have the Uber app, but it didnít cross my mind. Good tips.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:44 PM
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Since the Long Island Railroad runs east/west along the south shore and north shore, I keep a LIRR bike permit in my saddle bag.

So far i've only had 1 breakdown that I could not ride home from and I was only 1 mile from home.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:45 PM
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pack a can of GUP, plug kit, mini morph pump.

or carry a spare bicycle.
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Old 10-28-20, 07:49 PM
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The last time my bicycle & I couldn't foot it back with assistance was when I phoned for someone to shuttle my broken self to the ER & SAG the bicycle back so I could later repair it.

Hit & runs ftl.
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Old 10-28-20, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Troul View Post
The last time my bicycle & I couldn't foot it back with assistance was when I phoned for someone to shuttle my broken self to the ER & SAG the bicycle back so I could later repair it.

Hit & runs ftl.

oh ouch! Glad you are back it.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:01 AM
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I doubt there are any issues running a tubeless with a tube for a couple of hundred miles, until I can get a replacement tire.
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Old 10-29-20, 12:54 AM
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The single most often unrealized item every took kit needs, especially if running tubeless, is something to clean your hands with. Wipes of some sort are strongly recommended.
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Old 10-29-20, 01:08 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
The single most often unrealized item every took kit needs, especially if running tubeless, is something to clean your hands with. Wipes of some sort are strongly recommended.
I carry two pair of latex gloves. Good for chain issues as well.

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Old 10-29-20, 03:25 AM
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Thanks for sharing your experience. I have 2 or 3 bikes that CAN run tubeless but this has convinced me NOT to do so. I am no pro so I see no advantage to having tubless tires over quality tires with latex tubes. I have used sealant in latex tubes and my tubular equipped bikes and HATE the mess it can cause. I cannot even imagine dealing with it in the case of changing the tire.
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Old 10-29-20, 05:38 AM
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Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
Have been riding on tubeless road bike tires for four months and they have really given me a false sense of new gained strength since they roll so easily. (Conti GranPrix 500TL). Thanks to another member here, he advised me to get tire bacons in case I had a puncture the sealant couldnít handle and a spare tube, just in case.. The bacon arrived yesterday so I stuffed them into my saddle bag confident I was good to go.

On todayís ride, I was twelve miles out and spotted glass shards on the shoulder and quickly swerved to avoid. After about 45 seconds it became very apparent I didnít successfully avoid one of them, after hearing a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh with each front tire rotation. The air was coming out so fast and loudly I knew the sealant didnít have a chance, but I have bacon!

Got off the bike and saw sealant coming out of the boundary between the tread and sidewall. In other words a sidewall puncture. Drat! So off came the tire, with no more effort than a clincher, but what a sticky mess. Removed the tubeless valve stem which luckily came out very easily. Swept the tire for glass and it was clean but goopy. Placed a folded dollar bill at the cut, inserted the tube and then fought to get the tire reseated. I was warned it could be tough and it was. Got out my two CO2 tubes and inflator head and screwed the first tube to the head, and rather than waiting for me to pull back the activating lever, CO2 came spraying out. The trigger was stuck in the open position. So I quickly tried to get it on the valve stem but it wouldnít seat. Hmmm. I had the other tube so placed the inflator head on the valve stem (which has previously worked flawlessly for 10 years) and then screwed on the tube and it put a little air in the tube but most sprayed most around the stem. The inflatorís rubber gasket had to be shot. I got barely enough air in the tube that it would not deform to the rim, so I knew it was rideable. Because I couldnít get enough air into the tube the tire didnít completely seat, so the ride home was rather wobbly. When I got home, I checked the air pressure I managed to get in, 20lbs. I was amazed it could roll on so little air with out riding on the rim or the tire unseating. Climbing hills on the way home felt like my first day out this season. The bike is a Bianchi Infinito CV endurance bike.

Now for the lessons:
1. Test and make sure any inflator is completely functional at the beginning of the season
2. Always carry a tube
3. CARRY A MINI-PUMP just in case you have issues with your inflator (Had one for my mountain bike, but it was at home)
4. Carry a patch kit for the tube in case you flat again
5. Have a ready supply of CO2 cartridges in case you blow through a couple
or carry a full sized frame pump.
6. Carry a mobile phone just in case.

what did I miss?

Yes, not much to this sad tale unique to tubeless, other than the mess. Seems weird not to have tried the bacon.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have 2 or 3 bikes that CAN run tubeless but this has convinced me NOT to do so. I am no pro so I see no advantage to having tubless tires over quality tires with latex tubes. I have used sealant in latex tubes and my tubular equipped bikes and HATE the mess it can cause. I cannot even imagine dealing with it in the case of changing the tire.
Tubeless advantages:
1) Can run lower psi for better traction and comfort, with no risk of pinch flats. (Most useful on gravel bikes and MTB’s.)
2) Most reasonable-sized punctures will seal up - often before you even realize there is a puncture. This means less down-time on the roadside.
3) Large tire cuts that won’t seal up are dealt with in exactly the same manner as if you were running a tubed clincher. (And changing a tubed clincher will get your hands dirty, too. Especially the rear.)

And don’t forget that the OP could have tried using his tire plugs, or one or two other tricks that help deal with larger cuts… But inexplicably he chose not to. His experience could have been much easier.

So, run tubes if you wish. But you should have accurate information about your decision.

Last edited by Koyote; 10-29-20 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:02 AM
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I only carry a cell phone. No tube, no inflator, no pump, no patch kit, no plug kit and no tire levers. I’m sure I’ll eventually need to make the call of shame, but so far so good in over 17,000 miles.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I only carry a cell phone. No tube, no inflator, no pump, no patch kit, no plug kit and no tire levers. Iím sure Iíll eventually need to make the call of shame, but so far so good in over 17,000 miles.
I carry the supplies to deal with a cut that won't seal, but have never had such an issue so far on my two tubeless bikes -- probably around 12,000 miles, some of it on very nasty gravel and singletrack.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:21 AM
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I have nothing to add except that I love your bike.
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Old 10-29-20, 06:37 AM
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Originally Posted by MattTheHat View Post
I only carry a cell phone. No tube, no inflator, no pump, no patch kit, no plug kit and no tire levers. Iím sure Iíll eventually need to make the call of shame, but so far so good in over 17,000 miles.
I should like to call on you and borrow your rabbit's foot....... and while I am not a gambler I would run to a cassino to try my luck.

Well done.

Thing I like per tube-ass the most.. the tire going down w a slowish leak. Usually I can get home and deal w it. Easy repair tire on the rim too...
or on road side.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:14 AM
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If has tire remains seated, I don't see any reason not to try a plug before making the jump to putting in a tube (unless the cut is so big that it requires a boot). Just because the cut was bordering the sidewall doesn't mean that it won't seal - put in a plug, give it a little more air and let the wheel spin in an orientation that ensures that some sealant is reaching the puncture.

And yes - a minipump is a good idea. More often than not, tubeless punctures are a non-event. Sometimes, they spit and splatter a little before self-sealing - minipumps are great for topping-off situations like this.

Also, what sealant were you using and when was the last time you checked it? If it was four months ago, when the tires were set up, that's too long.

Originally Posted by rsbob View Post
I doubt there are any issues running a tubeless with a tube for a couple of hundred miles, until I can get a replacement tire.
How big is this puncture? If the puncture site would bulge with a tube in place, yeah - you'll want toss the tire. Otherwise, I'd just patch it internally.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:16 AM
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......Tubes for the Win!!!!!!
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Old 10-29-20, 07:21 AM
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20+ on my local city bike trail would mean said rider SHOULD have funeral already paid for.

I generally do not run seal-NOTS. I run good rubber that'll remain seated... give it a quick CO2 shot after usually finding the opening.. and stick
the waaoormmm in. Top her off and I go.

THING is.. this 'tube-ass COMPATIBLE bull.. is just that. Junk like the Panti-Racer Gravel Dawg will leave one high and dry... bead will be off and your done riding. Just.. run good rubber.. cost effective vs time wasted w Gravel Dawg types.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by daviddavieboy View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience. I have 2 or 3 bikes that CAN run tubeless but this has convinced me NOT to do so. I am no pro so I see no advantage to having tubless tires over quality tires with latex tubes. I have used sealant in latex tubes and my tubular equipped bikes and HATE the mess it can cause. I cannot even imagine dealing with it in the case of changing the tire.
The primary benefit is not having to address the vast majority of punctures on the side of the road. If punctures are rare for you, for whatever reason (low mileage, pristine roads, etc), or if the cuts that you routinely get are too large for a good sealant (<1/4") then no - probably no advantage in going tubeless. The other stuff - RR, slightly lower pressure, etc - is icing on the cake.

....but I don't think that there was ever any thought in your mind of actually going tubeless - I think you were probably just capitalizing on an opportunity to kvetch about these newfangled doodads.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Aladin View Post
20+ on my local city bike trail would mean said rider SHOULD have funeral already paid for.

I generally do not run seal-NOTS. I run good rubber that'll remain seated... give it a quick CO2 shot after usually finding the opening.. and stick
the waaoormmm in. Top her off and I go.

THING is.. this 'tube-ass COMPATIBLE bull.. is just that. Junk like the Panti-Racer Gravel Dawg will leave one high and dry... bead will be off and your done riding. Just.. run good rubber.. cost effective vs time wasted w Gravel Dawg types.
I've read this a few times and can't make heads or tails of it, but you seem happy, so kudos!
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Old 10-29-20, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
The primary benefit is not having to address the vast majority of punctures on the side of the road. If punctures are rare for you, for whatever reason (low mileage, pristine roads, etc), or if the cuts that you routinely get are too large for a good sealant (<1/4") then no - probably no advantage in going tubeless. The other stuff - RR, slightly lower pressure, etc - is icing on the cake.

....but I don't think that there was ever any thought in your mind of actually going tubeless - I think you were probably just capitalizing on an opportunity to kvetch about these newfangled doodads.


This.

Some of these recent threads about tubeless tires and electronic drivetrains are curious. There are people who clearly don't understand how they work, but are still stridently opposed to them.

I'm still wondering why rsbob made a point to mention his new "tire bacon" kit (twice, I believe) but didn't bother using it. I also wonder if he knows that (1) sealant has to be refreshed or topped up now and then, and (2) to help a puncture seal up (without using a plug) it would help to rotate the tire so that the puncture is at the bottom, so more sealant will get to the puncture.

As with any equipment issue, a little knowledge goes a long way.

Last edited by Koyote; 10-29-20 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 10-29-20, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Aladin View Post
I should like to call on you and borrow your rabbit's foot....... and while I am not a gambler I would run to a cassino to try my luck.

Well done.

Thing I like per tube-ass the most.. the tire going down w a slowish leak. Usually I can get home and deal w it. Easy repair tire on the rim too...
or on road side.
I’ve sprung dozens of leaks but they always seem to seal. Thanks, Orange Seal. I did have to limp home pretty carefully once when I was using Stan’s.

In all fairness, I’m usually not more than 20 miles from home and my support team is just a phone call away. If I were any further away or touring or something, I’d certainly carry everything mentioned and more.
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