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Tubeless Update

Old 05-30-22, 06:49 AM
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Tubeless Update

In recent and not so recent threads on tubeless tires I have said that I have had zero flats on my tubeless setup on my MTB vs about 1 per week or so if riding daily on thorny trails before switching to a Stans No Tubes setup. Well today was the first time I had to walk part of the way home with a flat or almost flat. I was maybe 1/8 mile from home when I got off and started walking because it was almost , but not quite on the rim. I had recently rinsed out and added new sealant. at home I roaated the wheel so the hole was at the bottom and sealant bubbled out leaving a half teaspoon sized puddle before stopping. The pressure was near zero. I let it sit a while and pumped it up to 25 pounds and left it with the hole at the bottom. It doesn't seem to be leaking fluid or getting flat at a rate that is noticeable over a half hour by pinching with thumb and forefinger. So maybe it healed up. Not sure how much sealant was lost before I got home, but if it holds air til then I will probably just add some and ride tomorrow.

The tire is worn enough that I may just replace it if it needs to be patched. It is a judgement call.

I count it as a flat, but I probably could have ridden the 1/8 mile home before I would have actually been on the rim and it may have fully stopped leaking by then. I certainly could have topped it up with a few strokes of the pump and it did stop leaking pretty much as soon as I was home. So I don't think I'd have been stranded even if I was miles from home unless I didn't have a pump.

Bottom line I am still a big booster of tubeless at least in this application.
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Old 05-30-22, 10:30 AM
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I got a leak like that in one of my 29x3 in. mtb tires. The tire was practically new. The sealant wouldn't quite seal the leak. I ended up taking the tire off, cleaning the inside of the tire, and putting a patch on the inside of the tire. A replacement tire would've been close to $100, so I really didn't want to have to replace the tire.
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Old 05-30-22, 10:46 AM
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Road tubeless fail 5 miles into my ride yesterday. Then in the evening I discovered my hot water heater leaking from the bottom. If I canít get it replaced by Saturday my tour next week is off.


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Old 05-30-22, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If I canít get it replaced by Saturday my tour next week is off.
Your tire or your hot water heater ? Beware, things always break in 3's.
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Old 05-30-22, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
Your tire or your hot water heater ? Beware, things always break in 3's.
The water heater. Donít want to go away and come back nearly two weeks later to no hot water. I run tubes on my touring bike.
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Old 05-30-22, 06:44 PM
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I can recommend Stan's Darts or just the standard tubeless plugs to help plug holes that are slightly larger than sealant can seal by itself. Of course, big gashes or gaping holes mean it's new tire time.
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Old 05-30-22, 06:57 PM
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I had a hot water heater that had a slow drip for months before I finally got around to replacing it. But that meant often shutting off the water to make sure that if it became a much faster leak, that there was a finite volume. Floor drain was only a few feet away.

Good luck with your heater and your pending trip.
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Old 05-30-22, 07:45 PM
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This may be a stupid question (as this is in the touring sub-forum), but do people do extended tours with tubeless? (I would be afraid, but maybe my fear is not warranted?)
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Old 05-30-22, 08:25 PM
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I just completed 3+ weeks Gibraltar to Andorra tour with Panaracer Gravel King 38mm slicks sealed with Silca sealant. Did hundreds of km of gravel. Had one substantial leak near the end which would weep but essentially slowed the leak to insignificant. Plugged with Dynaplug and it’s still in the tire, problem solved. Using tubeless for tour means I can ride a supple lighter weight tire which is much more pleasant to ride especially for those off days when unloaded just exploring a new place. There is no real downside for running tubeless.
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Old 05-30-22, 08:26 PM
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This may be a stupid question, but how old is your water heater, and is it electric?
in my experience, the electric ones generally last a good ten + years.
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Old 05-30-22, 08:37 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The water heater. Donít want to go away and come back nearly two weeks later to no hot water. I run tubes on my touring bike.
Do you live alone so you can turn off the water to the tank if you don't get it done? If not, get it done ASAP. I left the house one evening to get a pizza and when I came home my hot water tank sounded angry and was getting ready to let go. I turned off the cold water supply to it and fortunately I was able to get a plumber in the next day (Saturday) and get it replaced.
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Old 05-30-22, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Road tubeless fail 5 miles into my ride yesterday. Then in the evening I discovered my hot water heater leaking from the bottom. If I canít get it replaced by Saturday my tour next week is off.


Though to be fair to tubeless, that gash seems to have cut enough of the carcass to destroy the tire. So it's not really a tubeless fail but rather a tire fail.
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Old 05-31-22, 04:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Chuck M View Post
Do you live alone so you can turn off the water to the tank if you don't get it done? If not, get it done ASAP. I left the house one evening to get a pizza and when I came home my hot water tank sounded angry and was getting ready to let go. I turned off the cold water supply to it and fortunately I was able to get a plumber in the next day (Saturday) and get it replaced.
Yes. Itís off. Heated water on the stove so I could shave yesterday. Needed it badly.
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Old 05-31-22, 04:17 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Yes. Itís off. Heated water on the stove so I could shave yesterday. Needed it badly.
Exposed the casing. It was odd. I could feel a bumping so I stopped. Found the cut. It was still holding air. A few seconds later it deflated as I was still holding the rear wheel off the ground. Messy tube insertion and limped home.
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Old 05-31-22, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
This may be a stupid question (as this is in the touring sub-forum), but do people do extended tours with tubeless? (I would be afraid, but maybe my fear is not warranted?)
Why afraid? It is easy enough to switch to a tube mid trip if it came to that. I have not yet toured tubeless, but my experience with tubeless on my MTB makes me think that I'd opt for tubeless without hesitation if I were setting up a new set of touing wheels with fat-ish tires. I haven't had any experience with tubeless on skinny tires so I won't comment on them.

I went from a flat a week to months and months without a flat when I went to tubeless. I went to a Stans No Tube setup with wheels, tires, and selant all from the same vendor, but I don't think there is anything special about it.

I had a few worries none of which actually proved to be issues including:
Messy - I found the sealant rinses off with plain water.
Hard to seat - Mine pop right on even with a hand pump, but wost case you could put in a tube.
Hard to mount or dismount - Nope, can be done hands only on mine.
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Old 05-31-22, 06:28 AM
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I just returned from 2 weeks in Scotland. My first extended tour on tubeless. One puncture at the end of the tour on a downhill in the rain. I watched my front tire starting to spit sealant and decided I would plug it at the bottom of the hill but it sealed itself before I got there so I just continued and it held just fine for the rest of the tour and onwards
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Old 05-31-22, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Atlas Shrugged View Post
Using tubeless for tour means I can ride a supple lighter weight tire which is much more pleasant to ride especially for those off days when unloaded just exploring a new place. There is no real downside for running tubeless.
That is a big plus IMO. A more supple tire is a joy to ride on. A lighter tire weight is a big plus as well but the supple feel is what I actually notice in a tire. Some don't mind, but a thick stiff sidewall (even more so with a heavy duty tube) suck much of the joy out of the ride. A heavy belt doesn't help either, but I suspect the sidewall is where most of the problem with supple ride is.

The tube effectively acts to stiffen the sidewall, but IME light latex ones aren't so bad and TPU ones are reportedly even better. The problem is you still need a tire with thorn protection in thorn country where with tubeless the sealant takes care of that with no tube.
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Old 05-31-22, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I had a few worries none of which actually proved to be issues including:
Messy - I found the sealant rinses off with plain water.
Hard to seat - Mine pop right on even with a hand pump, but wost case you could put in a tube.
Hard to mount or dismount - Nope, can be done hands only on mine.
I suspect that old dried up sealant is harder to deal with, and I very strongly suspect that seating and mounting issues are very rim\tire combo specific.

But freely admit this is just from reading with interest peoples experiences over the years, not personal experience.

That's great that your setup was so easy to do stuff with.
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Old 05-31-22, 07:20 AM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I suspect that old dried up sealant is harder to deal with, and I very strongly suspect that seating and mounting issues are very rim\tire combo specific.
Since you brought it up, dried up sealant...

I recently pulled the tires off of my MTB to check on that. On one tire I rinsed out the old glop. On the other I removed most but not all of the adhered latex (I didn't get it completely clean). It was enough that I figure I got a good feel for the process and the options for handling it. I even weighed the tire before and after the removal of the adhered latex. I don't have the numbers handy, but my impressions are that for most people it wouldn't be a huge deal to just ignore the problem entirely unless they run the same tires for a very long time adding sealant many times over at least several years. Even in that case just pulling the tire and rinsing out the glop and maybe doing a quick scrape of the thick muck. This was on tires that had been on for some years and had sealant added quite a few of times. I suspect that a really active rider would have replaced the tires due to wear before they ever had as much build up. The tire that I just rinsed out seemed just fine to me and I suspect that most tourists would find that level of effort plenty adequate and not even bothering with that would be okay.

The one I scraped out was fairly clean. If I had wanted to I could have gotten all of the adhered latex out. I decided against making the effort, but it really wasn't all that hard to do. If it were a racing tire and I were a road racer counting grams then yes, but in that case I'd probably never have had a tire long enogh to get that much build up or if I did it wouldn't be used race day.


Edit:
Oh, and yes on seating and mounting issues being very rim\tire combo specific. I am sure that is the case. Mine are a fortunate combo that works easily. I think some may well be much worse in that regard. That may require using a tube at some point for some if seating is too tough and a tubeless specific pump solution isn't carried (apparently some have chambers for popping beads on). I think it weighs about a pound, but if really worried someone could carry the Airshot bead seater along with their pump.
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Old 05-31-22, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark View Post
This may be a stupid question (as this is in the touring sub-forum), but do people do extended tours with tubeless? (I would be afraid, but maybe my fear is not warranted?)
There is more info on tubeless for long distance riders on the randonneuring forum, thread is a year and a half old, some like it and some don't, thread at:
https://www.bikeforums.net/long-dist...oad-tires.html
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Old 05-31-22, 08:32 AM
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Thanks stae, always good to store away peoples real life experience, as I'm sure one day I'll try tubeless.
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Old 05-31-22, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I haven't had any experience with tubeless on skinny tires so I won't comment on them.
Four times I have had to put tubed in road tubeless tires. Only once did it work without problems. The other 3 times I got bulges at the valve stem area of the tire. Made for annoying (and slow) rides home. Fortunately, none of them were all that long.
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Old 05-31-22, 04:09 PM
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Going tubeless is great, until it isn't.. In my case it was the tire that was the problem. A leak developed on the sidewall where there was a mark left by the tire mold. ( I don't know what to call these things.) For a while I fixed them by holding the wheel so it was horizontal and letting letting the sealant run to that spot and seal it.. After I did this a couple of times, I just scraped out the sealant an put in a tube. I remember reading that after two years or so , many tubeless tires leak .


Another thing about tubeless tires is that if you are not going to be riding for a couple of weeks, the sealant will pool in one place inside the tire, and might leak along the rim.
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Old 05-31-22, 06:35 PM
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I am not riding my tubeless road bike often right now. I periodically spin the wheels. Had the tires remounted with new sealant maybe 2 months ago. Messy operation putting in a tube. Rinsed off the rim with an entire 25 Oz water bottle.
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Old 05-31-22, 09:50 PM
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i also haven't tried tubeless yet although i've researched it carefully. several of my friends have tried with varying success. another possible downside i've heard can happen : once you've converted to tubeless if you ever need to remove the tire - sometimes it won't re-mount and seal well enough to use again and you'll need to buy a new tire to get a good seal.
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