Stick with tubeless?

Slipperdiff

Regular
Location
Reading
I have just acquired a nice Trek Madone 6.5 which has upgraded Aura 5 TLR aero wheels with 26mm tubeless tyres. I’ve not ridden tubeless before and so I’m not sure whether to give them a go, pick up some sealant and a high pressure pump and ride some miles on them, or swap for tubed tyres which I’ve always used. The bike has been sitting for a while and one of the valves is gummed up, so I think I’ll need to take the tyres off anyway to clean everything up.

I know tubeless may generate fewer flats but they look trickier and messier to fit and maintain.

What is your advice?
 

lane

Über Member
Experience with tubeless can vary massively depending on tyres and rims? What tyres does the bike have?. I think if you are interested enough in the process of tubeless to put a bit of time and effort in give it a go esp cially as you already have the tyres. I have GP5000 and can easily inflate them with a track pump and even with a full size hand pump and also fit them easily without levers. They stay inflated. It might be as easy as that for you - but you won't know until you try. If they don't work you don't need to swap tyres just put tubes in the ones you have providing they are not too hard to get on and off.
 
OP
Slipperdiff

Slipperdiff

Regular
Location
Reading
Experience with tubeless can vary massively depending on tyres and rims? What tyres does the bike have?
It has 26mm Bontrager R3 Hard-Case Lite TLR tubeless tyres (well, slicks really). They're in lightly used condition - the central moulding mark is still visible.
 

I like Skol

Hold my beer and watch this....
Changed my sons mtb from tubeless to traditional inner tubes. Reasons were random losses of tyre pressure when stored and gumming of valves that made topping up the pressure problematic. No such issues since going back to the 'old fashioned ' system.
 
OP
Slipperdiff

Slipperdiff

Regular
Location
Reading
Changed my sons mtb from tubeless to traditional inner tubes. Reasons were random losses of tyre pressure when stored and gumming of valves that made topping up the pressure problematic. No such issues since going back to the 'old fashioned ' system.
Sort of what I'm thinking, I've already got to deal with the gummed up valve and I realise I rarely pick up punctures these days with modern protection-banded tyres (that's jinxed me!).
 
My buddy Alex invested in some tubeless tires. He told me just the other day he's had 5 flats in the last couple of months. Not even close with the clinchers he used to ride.

The title of his Strava ride is "Not a good day, another flat". Comment on his ride reads, "sorry you had another flat".

I rode an MTB with a dude who was rolling on tubeless. He was preaching to me the benefits. One he said was less flats, then he flatted 2 minutes later. Made a mess trying to get the tire off and on.

I'm old school and not buying it yet. :biggrin:

Alex and THE wheels.


DSCN0252.JPG
 
Last edited:

Zipp2001

Well-Known Member
I know I'm going to jinx myself but been riding trails for 6 years with no flats (old school, tubes). On my road bikes I average less than one flat a year over the last ten years (old school again). So I'll stay old school and stick with tubes.
 

SkipdiverJohn

Über Member
Location
London
Cars = large air volume tyres with relatively small rim sealing circumference. Easy to seal bead & inflate from flat using compressor. Very rarely go flat, and no field repair needed because a spare wheel can be carried. No sealant required to work effectively. Large positive benefit to tubeless.

Bikes = small air volume tyres with large rim sealing circumference. More difficult to seal & inflate using hand tools. Puncture more frequently than cars and need to be field-repairable. Sealant required to be effective which can leak and cause valve problems. Benefits very questionable.

Personally, I'll be giving tubeless a miss and sticking with high puncture resistance tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon. I carry a puncture kit and hand pump, but don't expect to need it very often.
 
Last edited:
I changed back to tubes as I found I got more punctures sith tubeless. I can also fix a tube with a blindfold on. Fixing tubeless is a whole new ball game. Its why tubeless riders still carry tubes.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
I've been riding tubeless GP5000 on carbon wheels with no issues for 6 months. I've several friends with
similar experience.

Yes they lose air over a few days but that is easily corrected with a standard track pump. I've always checked tyre pressures before starting a ride so this is no additional hassle. Surely everyone does this anyway? Regular inflation negates the gummy valve issue.

I carry two tubes and have done all my life.

I think the whole debate is a matter of personal preference and experience. I've always ridden Gatorskins and still do on my other two bikes. My LBS once persuaded me to try Schwalbe Marathon, I'd gone seven years without a puncture. The Marathons punctured three times in ten days. Junk in my experience.
 

screenman

Legendary Member
Cars = large air volume tyres with relatively small rim sealing circumference. Easy to seal bead & inflate from flat using compressor. Very rarely go flat, and no field repair needed because a spare wheel can be carried. No sealant required to work effectively. Large positive benefit to tubeless.

Bikes = small air volume tyres with large rim sealing circumference. More difficult to seal & inflate using hand tools. Puncture more frequently than cars and need to be field-repairable. Sealant required to be effective which can leak and cause valve problems. Benefits very questionable.

Personally, I'll be giving tubeless a miss and sticking with high puncture resistance tyres such as Schwalbe Marathon. I carry a puncture kit and hand pump, but don't expect to need it very often.
Most new cars I fix do not have a spare wheel and rely on a sealant to fix a puncture.
 

Milkfloat

Veteran
Location
Midlands
Plenty of people for years have been more than happy with tubeless, including myself. However, like clipless pedals, STI shifters and disc brakes, some people just don’t like them of cannot get on with them. I would say that now you are setup, give it ago and see how you get on. You never know, you might actually like it.
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
As an aside on this topic. My LBS persuaded me to invest in quality carbon wheels and tubeless GP5000. Previously the freewheel down the hill in to my village was 22mph, it is now 26. The bike is 1.5kg lighter.

I have dropped my weight by 2.5kg meaning I'm pushing 4kg less. The end result is astonishing and I'm very happy with the combined investment in carbon wheels and tubeless tyres.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
I know I'm going to jinx myself but been riding trails for 6 years with no flats (old school, tubes). On my road bikes I average less than one flat a year over the last ten years (old school again). So I'll stay old school and stick with tubes.
9 years since a flat here ;) Had some close ones, but a combination of careful tyre selection, slime (on my commuter when I worked) and regular inspection of the tyres has kept the fairy at bay for nearly a decade ;)
 

CXRAndy

Guru
Location
Lincs
I find its the resistance to rapid deflation the best feature. I've had two occasions where a rapid deflate could of ended up with a major crash. One time I descended a mountain with speeds over 40mph and lots of bends. The tyre got a cut but held nearly full pressure until I realised the situation. The second time I again was on a fast descent and hit a big pothole which punctured the front tyre at the rim bead, the tyre went down quickly but not instantly and I was able to control the bike and come to a stop.
 
Top Bottom