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Are tubeless tyres worth the fuss?

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Are tubeless tyres worth the fuss?

Old 01-13-19, 06:02 PM
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RicePudding
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Are tubeless tyres worth the fuss?

So I'm fairly new to tubeless tyres, my Giant Toughroad SLR GX 1 came equipped with 700 x 40 tubeless tyres, one of the things that I was really intrigued to try out when I first looked at it.

However, my time with these tyres hasn't been very smooth since getting them. I use my bike for both commuting to work and weekend off road rides and now my rear tyre is pretty much ruined.

The first unrepairable puncture I had was caused by a piece of glass on a commute to work. Today I had a large nail go straight through them. This second puncture has been a pain to fix and I'm now waiting on new tyres to replace them.

I know tubeless has its advantages: lower pressures, reduced rolling resistance, immunity from micro punctures. But I'm now considering if the old fashioned way is the better way to go.

I currently have some 38mm Hutchinson Overide on order but I'm now considering switching them for some 45mm Borough Armadillos and going back to tubes.

Anyone else have many problems with tubeless or have I just walked under too many ladders recently?

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Old 01-13-19, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by RicePudding View Post
So I'm fairly new to tubeless tyres, my Giant Toughroad SLR GX 1 came equipped with 700 x 40 tubeless tyres, one of the things that I was really intrigued to try out when I first looked at it.

However, my time with these tyres hasn't been very smooth since getting them. I use my bike for both commuting to work and weekend off road rides and now my rear tyre is pretty much ruined.

The first unrepairable puncture I had was caused by a piece of glass on a commute to work. Today I had a large nail go straight through them. This second puncture has been a pain to fix and I'm now waiting on new tyres to replace them.

I know tubeless has its advantages: lower pressures, reduced rolling resistance, immunity from micro punctures. But I'm now considering if the old fashioned way is the better way to go.

I currently have some 38mm Hutchinson Overide on order but I'm now considering switching them for some 45mm Borough Armadillos and going back to tubes.

Anyone else have many problems with tubeless or have I just walked under too many ladders recently?

No problems with tubeless here and that puncture can be fixed with a Megaplug or a few genuine innovations strips.

Dynaplug® Online Store | Dynaplug® Megapill - Tubeless Bicycle Tire Repair Kit
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Old 01-13-19, 06:47 PM
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IMHO, tubeless is a personal thing. It has advantages for some people. When I bought my most recent bike, it was tubeless ready. I really considered going tubeless because it's the latest & greatest thing. I weighed my options, did a few hours of ready, and decided tubeless wasn't for me. The self healing concept is an advantage for people who ride in places that cause regular flats. As you pointed out, the lower pressure is also an advantage for some people, but not me. For some people, replacing sealant every several months is a small price to pay for no flats. For those of us who don't have flats, it becomes a hassle.

FWIW, another option for people who experience regular flats is to get a tube with a removable valve core & ad some slime. After 2+ years, when the slime dries out, just replace the tube without any mess.
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Old 01-13-19, 07:57 PM
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It really didn't work for me. Had them for about a month, just never seals quite well. So it always becomes flat. Since then, I have never used it. But this probably just happened to me, haha.
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Old 01-13-19, 08:03 PM
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I think it depends where you ride. Some claim to have ridden thousands of miles without a flat running tubes. Myself I can't ride 10 miles without a flat between goatheads/stickers and crap on the road. I tried running tubes when I first got back into biking as I was hesitant to go tubless but after getting a flat on three consecutive rides I went for it. Now I don't even think about flats. So for my riding, a combination of road and dirt trails, it was definitely worth going tubless.
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Old 01-13-19, 08:17 PM
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depends on your riding conditions. I had 20 pinch flats the year before I went tubeless, so for me it has definitely been worth it.

I find tubeless really easy to deal with, not sure what fuss would be involved
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Old 01-13-19, 08:18 PM
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Trails/gravel definitely tubeless. Road is good if you can find good treads in the category you want. The ability to run sealant is so much better.
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Old 01-13-19, 08:24 PM
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In 4 years of riding gravel i have yet to get a flat with tubes. I run more psi than most though because 1- I am not a feather weight and 2- I don't like the sluggish feel of low psi.

there is just no discernable disadvantage for me.
I've also been told I ride on baby gravel here, but I've ridden gravel in many of the counties here(all contract for their own gravel) and many of the surrounding states without issue.

perhaps its luck, perhaps its picking my line better than others. Who knows.
to try tubeless I would want/need a new wheelset too since mine isnt a tubeless rim and that just isn't appealing.

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Old 01-13-19, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RicePudding View Post
So I'm fairly new to tubeless tyres, my Giant Toughroad SLR GX 1 came equipped with 700 x 40 tubeless tyres, one of the things that I was really intrigued to try out when I first looked at it.

However, my time with these tyres hasn't been very smooth since getting them. I use my bike for both commuting to work and weekend off road rides and now my rear tyre is pretty much ruined.

The first unrepairable puncture I had was caused by a piece of glass on a commute to work. Today I had a large nail go straight through them. This second puncture has been a pain to fix and I'm now waiting on new tyres to replace them.

I know tubeless has its advantages: lower pressures, reduced rolling resistance, immunity from micro punctures. But I'm now considering if the old fashioned way is the better way to go.

I currently have some 38mm Hutchinson Overide on order but I'm now considering switching them for some 45mm Borough Armadillos and going back to tubes.

Anyone else have many problems with tubeless or have I just walked under too many ladders recently?
Well a nail that large will likely ruin any tire and possibly your rim.

Thinner supple racing tires and the like are ill suited to urban-warfare streets. If you wanted to stay tubeless, I'd point you at something like a Specialized Sawtooth, that is heavy but very thick in the tread (hence its weight at 600+gram) and whether run tubeless or tubed would be less prone to damage....and at $40USD a tire far less of a 4-letter-word-fest if they get KIA by urban debris.


Run what ya want.

Last edited by Marcus_Ti; 01-13-19 at 09:57 PM.
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Old 01-13-19, 10:38 PM
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+1 on plugs.

Also +1 on where and how ya ride determining whether tubeless is reasonable.

I run over thousands of thorns a month that would have me patching a tube if I wasn't tubeless, been lucking out in the nail and glass categories, however
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Old 01-13-19, 11:30 PM
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For my modern mountain bike, I went tubeless to run lower pressure and help with punctures. My gravel bike see 90% pavement and even though it has tubeless ready rims, I use tubes due to the cleanliness. I also don't want to have to worry about adding sealant every 6 months to more than 1 bike.
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Old 01-13-19, 11:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot View Post
How many hours of riding is 4 years?

Not snarking, genuinely curious. Guy I ride with said he'll have gone six years without a flat next month - turns out that's 2,510 hours of riding and 42,651 miles.

Meanwhile I probably averaged one flat every 50 hours until I went tubeless
ha, funny you ask as i thought about this when typing put thst earlier post and just went with 4 years since its for sure been that long.
no idea how many hours though. Definitely not 2500!
I dont break up miles on my gps for road, gravel, mtb, casual friend time, etc. Total guess is 400 hours on gravel?

put in hours, it's pretty low looking.
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Old 01-14-19, 12:12 AM
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If you get a lot of flats-- whether snakebite or puncture-- tubeless is absolutely worth it. If you go years without a flat (or years worth of miles) just stick to tubes.
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Old 01-14-19, 09:47 AM
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With tubes, I very rarely have a flat. When they come, it's due to road debris and it would destroy either type of tire. (Not many pin ******.) I've never had a flat on gravel with either type tire -- even at DK with 50/55 psi in 38mm tubed tires. With tubeless, I've never had a flat anywhere but I haven't ridden nearly as many miles with tubeless. I like both systems. But tubeless requires monthly fluid checking / maintenance. If I only rode one set of wheels/tires, I might be more inclined to ride tubeless. Since I switch wheels/tires on a regular basis, tubes are better for me. With a tubed tire, you just check the pressures and go. With a tubeless that's been off the bike, you've got to check / top up the fluid, too.

For me, there isn't much difference in performance between the two types. Since tubeless requires more maintenance, I almost always ride tubed.
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Old 01-14-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
If you get a lot of flats-- whether snakebite or puncture-- tubeless is absolutely worth it. If you go years without a flat (or years worth of miles) just stick to tubes.
True.

I (and most people) tend to get puncture flats in the rear (because - physics). I do like to change my front tires around. tubeless has a bigger advantage in the rear as it is more vulnerable. So, I use a tube with one front wheel. I use a 28 or 32 in the summer (which is better off tubed) and maybe a 50mm in the winter (or whatever I'm in the mood for).



Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
depends on your riding conditions. I had 20 pinch flats the year before I went tubeless, so for me it has definitely been worth it.


Good point. It was pretty rare for me to get a puncture flat – most of mine were pinch flats (riding road tires on aggressive terrain). Tubeless has eliminated that problem.
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Old 01-14-19, 11:11 AM
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I've been wondering the exact same recently, had 6 punctures in 6 rides last Feb / March when some hedges had been cut near me and friends had loads as well so we all switched to puncture protected tyres which pretty much stopped it but I know I could probably run something a lot lighter / nicer feel to it if I went tubless especially as all ours have been thorns.

FlasBazbo .... you've just answered one query I had about the frequency of maintenance .... how easy is it to top up the fluid if it needs it on both Presta and Schrader.

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Old 01-14-19, 11:51 AM
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I use a luer lock syringe without the needle to refill my tubeless tires. Perfect size for presta once you take out the valve core. Probably work for Schrader too. It makes it really easy.
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Old 01-14-19, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
I've been wondering the exact same recently, had 6 punctures in 6 rides last Feb / March when some hedges had been cut near me and friends had loads as well so we all switched to puncture protected tyres which pretty much stopped it but I know I could probably run something a lot lighter / nicer feel to it if I went tubless especially as all ours have been thorns.

FlasBazbo .... you've just answered one query I had about the frequency of maintenance .... how easy is it to top up the fluid if it needs it on both Presta and Schrader.
I don't know about Schrader. For Presta, you deflate the tire with the valve at the top, lest you get sprayed with sealant. You remove the valve core, turn the valve to the bottom, and use a dipstick to check the depth of the liquid sealant. If the sealant is low, you pump in a little to top it up. Replace the valve core and re-inflate the tire. Occasionally, you may want to completely unseat the tire and inspect the interior to see how much glop has congealed -- and maybe to clean it out. Over time, a significant amount of weight will solidify inside the tire. (Tubeless are never lighter than the equivalent tubed setup, and they gain weight over time.)
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Old 01-15-19, 10:38 AM
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Me? No.
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Old 01-15-19, 03:06 PM
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I only just got into tubeless a couple months ago. I'm sold.
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Old 01-15-19, 04:32 PM
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in the right environment yes. I wouldn't use them on a road bike around here, I don't get flats often enough. For sharp gravel yes, it's worth it unless a person likes changing tubes all the time.
Crushed limestone gravel I wouldn't bother with tubeless.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I use a luer lock syringe without the needle to refill my tubeless tires. Perfect size for presta once you take out the valve core. Probably work for Schrader too. It makes it really easy.
Hmmmm "syringe"

If tubeless is so great, why can't we just dart a normal syringe through the rubber and inject sealant and then pull it out?

wouldn't the hole seal?
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Old 01-15-19, 05:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Hmmmm "syringe"

If tubeless is so great, why can't we just dart a normal syringe through the rubber and inject sealant and then pull it out?
Because the sealant contains particles that are too big to pass through the needle.

I'm puzzled by the fuss. It takes mere minutes to add sealant to both tires on a bike through the valve..

If you want to use a "syringe" to do it, Stan's sells one.

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Old 01-15-19, 05:30 PM
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No, @unterhausen is dead-on about luer locks. I have a luer lock capped 1oz poly bottle in my saddle bag with my "emergency" sealant, for those times I forget to refresh-- which I do. The luer tip fits perfectly into a presta valve.



For normal sealant procedure, I use one of the injectors from TruckerCo, which has a luer lock tip, and a presta-specific tube. The Stan's one is better than nothing. Barely.
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Old 01-15-19, 05:32 PM
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For me the short answer is "yes" tubeless is worth the hassle. But, let me state why. I'm 70 years old with heart issues. I just don't have the strength to take a tire off and put back on in the field anymore (I do blame part of this on today's aero rims and very tight tire beads). So for me to simply insert a plug and replace the tire back in my shop with a better tool selection is a plus. If I were younger I would rethink the issue. Back "in the day" I could change out a tube in very short time...But today I'd rather save my energy to pedal not replacing tubes.
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