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Tuebeless vs TPU tubes

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Tuebeless vs TPU tubes

Old 01-16-23, 04:41 PM
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CrowSeph
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Tuebeless vs TPU tubes

Okay guys i was wondering about those two things...

I'm running tubeless on my mtb since 2 years and they are awsome except that the rear require the foam insert (i have an hardtail).
Without the foam insert i ruined the rim , i hit a rock that slashed my tyre and then another rock a few seconds later , ruining the rim...

I'm a bit in fear to swith tubeless on my roadbike since this experience on my mtb.
Are they really worth on a roadbike?

Let's make this tread more complicated:

GP-5000 340 g (700x28) + 50g Seleant = 390x2= 830g (not mentioned the tyre foam insert weight...)
Continental Grand Prix black (inner tube version) 250g (700x28) + 36g TPU inner tube = 286gx2 = 572g
Continental GP black 250g+142 lightweight inner tubes butyl = 784g
Gp black 250g+latex inner tubes = 670g

TPU seems better in almost every data (rolling resistance etc) compared to the classical inner tubes or tubeless setup.
And efficent against punctures but not safe as tuebeless.

In case of a fast tyre deflation, are the TPU/Lattex better protecting the rim?

(ps. on a famous yt channel they claimed that those advanced inner tubes can save near 11w per tyre... sounds almost sci-fi)

Last edited by CrowSeph; 01-16-23 at 04:52 PM.
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Old 01-16-23, 07:53 PM
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I don't see it worth while on narrower high pressure stuff but I don't get many flats. I think tubeless is fine and certainly inserts are the way to go for tubeless but I don't see it being a huge upgrade for my road stuff probably at the wider mark say 35+ I would more consider it especially on a regular rider but for skinnier road stuff I just don't. Go TPU if you want but standard Butyl tubes have done me well for years and are cheaper and less sad when I pop one which for me luckily is rare.
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Old 01-16-23, 08:11 PM
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All of my wheel sets are tubeless ready so I don't have a reason not to go tubeless other than being old and set in my ways, so I still run tubed. Plenty of people have gone tubeless and haven't looked back, so it's not some mystery of biking that people are learning about for the first time. Given your experience, I understand being hesitant, but how many times are you going to encounter a similar situation to your MTB incident? I can't imagine many. I think the question is do you want to deal with cleaning sealant off your wheels every time you change tires and if you feel confident that the sealant is going to work if you have an issue given the roads you ride.
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Old 01-16-23, 09:19 PM
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I don't see how a tube is going to make any difference compared to tubeless when it comes to protecting the rim, only inserts are going to do that. If you hit the rim you hit the rim. My road bike's aluminum front wheel has a nice ding it from a pothole and was tubed. My hardtail mtn bike has a nice ding in both wheels from a hidden rock and it was tubeless. The only difference is the road bike with a tube blew immediately while I kept riding the mtn bike. My road bike is now tubeless and I have a set of inserts for the mtn bike but don't have them installed yet. vittoria makes inserts for road bikes.
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Old 01-17-23, 10:26 AM
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I guess it depends on how bad your roads are... I was a TPU fan until I started flatting with all the winter debris on the road. Now I'm a tubeless convert and won't go back (never say never, though!).
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Old 01-17-23, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild
I guess it depends on how bad your roads are... I was a TPU fan until I started flatting with all the winter debris on the road. Now I'm a tubeless convert and won't go back (never say never, though!).
I had 10 punctures in 2022, one was at over 40mph on a descent. None of them resulted in an air loss of more than a few PSI

I’ll never go back
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Old 01-17-23, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
I don't see it worth while on narrower high pressure stuff but I don't get many flats. I think tubeless is fine and certainly inserts are the way to go for tubeless but I don't see it being a huge upgrade for my road stuff probably at the wider mark say 35+ I would more consider it especially on a regular rider but for skinnier road stuff I just don't. Go TPU if you want but standard Butyl tubes have done me well for years and are cheaper and less sad when I pop one which for me luckily is rare.
Same sentiment here. I abandoned tubeless on narrow (25 mm) road tires, but still use them on my 32 mm and larger tires.
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Old 01-17-23, 08:20 PM
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I run both TPU and tubeless, and have been running road tubeless continuously since ‘14, 23mm and 25mm rubber. It’s the best…if the tire/wheel combo match up well and make installation/removal easy.

I don’t run wheel liners, nor do I see a prevailing need, preferring instead to plug or install a tube should the need arise, which it rarely does. Most punctures seal almost immediately and without stopping or need to top up pressure. Rarely, a tire will need to be rotated to place the puncture on the road so the sealant can do its job, and/or pressure needs added.

TPU tubes are very good as well, like 90% of the ride quality of tubeless, and 50% of the flat protection. That is, TPU— well, I’m referring to Schwalbe Aerothan— are quite puncture resistant in the first place, but also tend to resist catastrophic air loss since the material is highly tear resistant. It’s puncture-able, but won’t pop. Therefore, even puncturing on a fast descent most likely won’t result in sudden air loss. Also, Aerothan TPU tubes permanently patch with self-adhesive patches; I use Lezyne.

Of my fleet, I maintain 4 road tubeless bikes (23 and 25c) and one TPU gravel bike with 700x35c rubber. I’d have run the gravel bike tubed, and indeed tried, but the Rene Herse extralight casing tires would not reliably seal, not with the recommended Panaracer Sealsmart sealant, so I got frustrated and abandonded the effort…without regret, because the Herse Bon Jons ride very nearly as nicely with TPU as they did tubeless.
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Old 01-18-23, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes
I don't see it worth while on narrower high pressure stuff but I don't get many flats. I think tubeless is fine and certainly inserts are the way to go for tubeless but I don't see it being a huge upgrade for my road stuff probably at the wider mark say 35+ I would more consider it especially on a regular rider but for skinnier road stuff I just don't. Go TPU if you want but standard Butyl tubes have done me well for years and are cheaper and less sad when I pop one which for me luckily is rare.
^^^This.^^^ I get less than one flat per year in my 3000-3500 miles per year of riding with butyl tubes.

I remember a club ride I was on where I was forced to hit a pothole with both tires because swerving out would have meant death by car. The rider behind me also hit that pothole with both his tires and he was running tubeless. Guess who had two flats, two destroyed tires and had to call Uber? Not I.
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Old 01-18-23, 04:10 PM
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I did an entire season last year on 28mm GP 5000 S TR's set up tubeless and didn't have a single flat. I was also on group rides where other riders flatted and I didn't - usually from running over glass or nails, etc rather than hitting potholes. I suspect my tubeless tires sealed up a number of small punctures without me even realizing it.

More to the point of this thread, tubeless isn't really a weight weenie solution. As the OP has discovered, if you're after the lightest setup TPU tubes in a standard clincher will always be lighter than tubeless. I assume a TPU tube in a standard clincher is more prone to punctures, but I'm not sure there's any way to definitively measure this. I would likely run a tubed setup at a slightly higher pressure to reduce the risk of pinch flatting on a pothole.

The benefits for tubeless road for me are puncture protection, and the ability to run tires at slightly lower pressures than I would with tubes which makes my ride more comfortable. I'm willing to live with the extra 100g of weight (or whatever it works out to) and hassle of setting up tubeless in return. I run 28mm at 60psi. If I were running tubes I'd probably go a little higher, like 70psi.
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Old 01-18-23, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CrowSeph
Okay guys i was wondering about those two things...

I'm running tubeless on my mtb since 2 years and they are awsome except that the rear require the foam insert (i have an hardtail).
Without the foam insert i ruined the rim , i hit a rock that slashed my tyre and then another rock a few seconds later , ruining the rim...

I'm a bit in fear to swith tubeless on my roadbike since this experience on my mtb.
Are they really worth on a roadbike?

Let's make this tread more complicated:

GP-5000 340 g (700x28) + 50g Seleant = 390x2= 830g (not mentioned the tyre foam insert weight...)
Continental Grand Prix black (inner tube version) 250g (700x28) + 36g TPU inner tube = 286gx2 = 572g
Continental GP black 250g+142 lightweight inner tubes butyl = 784g
Gp black 250g+latex inner tubes = 670g
Just to poke at this a bit.

GP 5000 S TR 28mm is specified as 280g. BRR measured it at 260g.
https://www.bicyclerollingresistance...-tr-comparison

280g+50g = 330/ea or 660g for the pair, or less if BRR's weights are accurate. Tubeless isn't a weight savings, but it's also not much of a weight penalty.

EDIT: I suppose you need to add in the extra weight for the valve stems on the tubeless setup, since valves are part of the tube weights? My valve stems weigh 15g ea.
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Old 01-18-23, 04:40 PM
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Having just got my first road bike, can someone please explain what TPU tubes are?

Are they different (or better) than the butyl tubes we ran in mountain bikes before the tubeless invasion?
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Old 01-18-23, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Caliwild
I guess it depends on how bad your roads are... I was a TPU fan until I started flatting with all the winter debris on the road. Now I'm a tubeless convert and won't go back (never say never, though!).
100% agreed
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Old 01-18-23, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Ynotnow
Having just got my first road bike, can someone please explain what TPU tubes are?

Are they different (or better) than the butyl tubes we ran in mountain bikes before the tubeless invasion?
TPU is shorthand for thermoplastic polyurethane, and yes, they’re both different and better than butyl in every way, except cost. TPU is lighter, packs smaller, is better rolling, recyclable, more puncture resistant, more cut resistant, and less likey to suddenly deflate than butyl, though they are ~3x the cost of butyl tubes.
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Old 01-18-23, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Champy
100% agreed
2 of my friends tried tubeless but switched back to tube……TPU tubes. Here in the SGV area of SoCal there are plenty of potholes and road debris.

Here are a few of the flats we recently got on our group rides where the tires got damage. I don’t think the tubeless tires would have held air for these flats.



I patched this but took my chances without using a boot. Something gashed my GP5000 tire.

My friend rode into a crack on the bike path. He was in a tight group and unfortunately bent his rim and gashed the new GP5000 tire.

Here’s the crack that damaged the rim and tire. He actually double-flatted, got a flat on the front and rear wheels.

This is what the recent rains did to one of the streets where the Montrose peleton of 40-100 riders pass every Saturday morning. I ride with the group and yelled out before we got here there were major potholes ahead.

Something punctured my relatively new GP5000.

Not a bike tire, but this is a screw I picked up on my run flat Continental car tire on the way home from a road trip. I don’t like run flat tires! They are non repairable and need to be replaced! The roads near me are full of debris and tire damaging surfaces.
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Old 01-19-23, 06:44 AM
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Originally Posted by momoman
2 of my friends tried tubeless but switched back to tube……TPU tubes. Here in the SGV area of SoCal there are plenty of potholes and road debris.

Here are a few of the flats we recently got on our group rides where the tires got damage. I don’t think the tubeless tires would have held air for these flats.



I patched this but took my chances without using a boot. Something gashed my GP5000 tire.
To be fair, this tire looks like it already had dry rot before the incident. That crack may have happened without something actually cutting into it.
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Old 01-19-23, 07:01 AM
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Originally Posted by momoman

Here’s the crack that damaged the rim and tire. He actually double-flatted, got a flat on the front and rear wheels.

This is what the recent rains did to one of the streets where the Montrose peleton of 40-100 riders pass every Saturday morning. I ride with the group and yelled out before we got here there were major potholes ahead.

Something punctured my relatively new GP5000.
That tire is squaring off pretty early if that is sorta new...

Those roads are like most "surfaces" here. I'm waiting to see how much worse the roads will be after the salty winter season is done. Ice pushups are a pretty big (ignored) problem here & it can create some crude speed bumps that'll quickly turn to a dredge hole spanning across a whole lane.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
That tire is squaring off pretty early if that is sorta new...

Those roads are like most "surfaces" here. I'm waiting to see how much worse the roads will be after the salty winter season is done. Ice pushups are a pretty big (ignored) problem here & it can create some crude speed bumps that'll quickly turn to a dredge hole spanning across a whole lane.
My mistake. That was a 28mm GP5000 I traded my 25’s for with a friend.
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Old 01-19-23, 08:59 AM
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My order of 20 Ridenow TPU tubes arrived yesterday. It was $142.56 for 20 tubes and 2 patch kits so about $7/tube. It arrived in 8 days with free shipping from a seller on Aliexpress. My friends want to try them so I ordered for them.

3 tubes and a Park GP-2 patch kit (which supposedly works according to a poster in another TPU thread on this forum) weigh the same as the butyl tube I carry in my saddle bag.





Last edited by momoman; 01-19-23 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:24 AM
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If you slam into a pothole hard enough to damage your rim, or ride over screws and nails on a road bike with 28mm or narrower tires you're probably going to get a flat tire.
I don't think this is really a tube vs tubeless or TPU vs butyl situation.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by momoman
2 of my friends tried tubeless but switched back to tube……TPU tubes. Here in the SGV area of SoCal there are plenty of potholes and road debris.

Here are a few of the flats we recently got on our group rides where the tires got damage. I don’t think the tubeless tires would have held air for these flats.



I patched this but took my chances without using a boot. Something gashed my GP5000 tire.

My friend rode into a crack on the bike path. He was in a tight group and unfortunately bent his rim and gashed the new GP5000 tire.

Here’s the crack that damaged the rim and tire. He actually double-flatted, got a flat on the front and rear wheels.

This is what the recent rains did to one of the streets where the Montrose peleton of 40-100 riders pass every Saturday morning. I ride with the group and yelled out before we got here there were major potholes ahead.

Something punctured my relatively new GP5000.

Not a bike tire, but this is a screw I picked up on my run flat Continental car tire on the way home from a road trip. I don’t like run flat tires! They are non repairable and need to be replaced! The roads near me are full of debris and tire damaging surfaces.


I have some roads and paved trails that look like that in places. I ride on the smooth parts and avoid the cracks and potholes. You should too.

I don't remember flatting at all last year. I just use butyl in 25mm GP5000's. The tubed version.

TPU, Butyl, Latex, Tubeless.... It's all about what the individual prefers. The things that annoy or appeal one person about them might not be the things that annoy or attract the other.
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Old 01-19-23, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by momoman



This is what the recent rains did to one of the streets where the Montrose peleton of 40-100 riders pass every Saturday morning. I ride with the group and yelled out before we got here there were major potholes ahead.
I'm not trying to be snarky, but it's funny to me that in Southern California this is novel enough to stop and photograph. This level of pavement condition is fairly common in other parts of the country, especially in the rust belt.

Yes, hitting the pothole or getting caught in the crack at speed would definitely cause flats and/or crashes. I'm not sure the type of tubes/tubeless really matters in this situation.
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Old 01-19-23, 01:11 PM
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I occasionally stop and take pictures to post in Strava so my followers who ride the same streets have some warning of possible hazards. There was a cyclist in a fast peloton that hit a pothole a few hundred feet from my picture above 5-6 yrs ago and died from his head injury. He was experienced and rode with the fastest of the 3 Montrose groups with 40-100 in each peloton.

Back to the topic, I do have tubeless tires and rims but I haven’t tried them yet. I may not since the TPU tubes weigh 36g and I can carry 2-3 of them, some Park GP-2 patches and a micro pump, CO2 cartridge, and dollar bill tire boots. That should get me home even with multiple flats.
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Old 01-19-23, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by momoman
I occasionally stop and take pictures to post in Strava so my followers who ride the same streets have some warning of possible hazards. There was a cyclist in a fast peloton that hit a pothole a few hundred feet from my picture above 5-6 yrs ago and died from his head injury. He was experienced and rode with the fastest of the 3 Montrose groups with 40-100 in each peloton.
Sorry to hear that - and I'm definitely not suggesting that experienced cyclists are immune to hitting potholes or that you need to somehow justify your photo. I'm merely saying that we have lots of potholes around here, and my experience in SoCal is that most of the roads are pretty great, so I can see why seeing a road like this would be unusual.
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Old 01-19-23, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by momoman
I occasionally stop and take pictures to post in Strava so my followers who ride the same streets have some warning of possible hazards. There was a cyclist in a fast peloton that hit a pothole a few hundred feet from my picture above 5-6 yrs ago and died from his head injury. He was experienced and rode with the fastest of the 3 Montrose groups with 40-100 in each peloton.

Back to the topic, I do have tubeless tires and rims but I haven’t tried them yet. I may not since the TPU tubes weigh 36g and I can carry 2-3 of them, some Park GP-2 patches and a micro pump, CO2 cartridge, and dollar bill tire boots. That should get me home even with multiple flats.
I may not ride in your area, but thanks for doing what you do to help others!

When I ride in my local area & come across fresh smooth pavement, I get suspicious real quick..... like "will a sinkhole develop right beneath me?"
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