Tubeless for road / light off road - anyone bothered?

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Hypothtically speaking, had you just impulse-bought a long-desired "gravel" bike and it had the option of tubeless, would you take it or stick with the supplied tubes?

I've done my homework and am aware of the benefits on paper, however I'm not sure if they warrant the additional mess and hassle. Added to that I don't have (nor do I wish to incur the cost of buying) a dedicated pump to blow the tyres onto the rims if there are sealing issues, and have my reservations about the environmental credentials of the tubeless sealant.

Is anyone running tubeless? If so what do you reckon - worthy of the hype?
 

screenman

Legendary Member
I do not think it is hype, but it seems you have made up your mind, have you thought about solid inserts?
 
OP
wafter

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
I do not think it is hype, but it seems you have made up your mind, have you thought about solid inserts?
I've not made up my mind - just not convinced that the benefits outweight the associated hassle.. if your experiences suggest tubeless is worth it my mind remains open to persuasion :smile:

I'd not considered solid inserts tbh as for the time being I'd be happy just running the tyres as they come with tubes, providing I don't encounter any particular issues with punctures. I'm pretty new to riding trails etc and wondering if 1500 glorious puncture-free miles on the road bike has spoilt me :tongue:
 

the_mikey

Legendary Member
I've been sitting on the fence when it comes to tubeless, some of it is resistance to spending money on new stuff when my existing stuff isn't worn out, but also it's me being aware that in ordinary circumstances it takes me about 4 months to get anything done, so even if I commit to tubeless now, I won't get it installed and done until I've got a weekend fully to myself to do it in, and then it's hoping that it's not a wet and rainy day to embark upon the potentially messy learning curve, the mess really precludes doing it on the sofa whilst watching TV, so it's another barrier to getting anything done, also add in the potential need to spend time checking, cleaning and topping up sealant, that sounds a bit of a show stopper too, it's not that I don't want to , it's just I don't see it happening this year..:surrender:
 
Last edited:

Pale Rider

Legendary Member
The usual reply to threads about tubeless is there are lots of threads about tubeless.

But if we went down that route, there would be no new threads.

Tubeless has worked well on my medium pressure podgy tyred ebike.

@Sea of vapours has a reliable roadie set up running higher pressures than me.

Your gravel bike will be somewhere in between those two.

I think the benefits are well worth having.

Before tubeless I was getting regular ride stopping punctures.

None since, and I can't beat the feeling of smugness when during a pre-ride inspection I see traces of sealant on the tread.
 
I've just converted my bike to tubeless because I wanted some fatter tires and it seemed an ideal time to convert given I was already changing the tires.

I already have a nice track pump from Lyzne, so was reluctant to buy a new pump, so instead I bought a Schwalbe tire booster, which I can prime from my track pump, then it releases a slug of air into the tire and pop's it nicely onto the bead. It was only 40 euros so cheaper than a new dedicated pump. Topeak amongst others also make one and there are other homemade solutions, but I really didn't want to mess with them.

Sealant wise, I've gone for Caffee Latex, which despite it's name, uses synthetic polymers and no ammonia, so it's supposedly more environmentally friendly. I also poured it into the valve after the tire was seated, so no mess at all, I'll just pour another 60ml in there in another three months to top it up.

All in all, no great problems and no mess. I'm not sure if it was really worth it, but I'll have to see long term how it goes.
 

Milkfloat

An Peanut
Location
Midlands
I would not buy a new bike/wheelset that is not tubeless compatible. I run it on 4 of my bikes and have been fine. I have occasionally had to use a 'worm' to plug a hole, but have always been back on the road within a couple of minutes. So a big thumbs up from me.
 

Ian H

I am an ancient randonneur, & I stop often for tea
Location
East Devon
My Hallett came 'tubeless-ready'. After the long ride I took the plunge and removed the tubes. I'd already had a couple of punctures, one of which needed a patch inside the tyre. I bought a shock inflator which is permanently attached to an old track pump, and Orange Endurance sealant.

The rims are Velo Orange 650B, the tyres Panaracer Gravelking 38mm (the file-tread kind). They're very light tyres & roll extremely well. Until a few days ago I'd had no detectable punctures, despite riding some rough-stuff tracks. The rear tyre is pretty shredded now and I've had two punctures, one of which wouldn't seal above 20psi. So I've used a Stan's dart (the tyre isn't really worth it, but I wanted to test the system) and it's holding pressure fine.

I put the tyres on dry and inflated to seat them, then deflated and put the sealant in through the valves. So minimal mess.

It's still early days, and I'm not in any hurry to swap any of the narrower tyred bikes to tubeless. But it does seem to work fine.512096
 
Last edited:
OP
wafter

wafter

Über Member
Location
Oxford
Thanks guys - really appreciate the feedback :smile:

What hassle?
Immediately, sourcing the additional bits necessary (along with the associated cost), more long-term the mess of handling the sealant, staying on top of keeping it fresh and possibly enduring the seating issues that have been associated with the format.

I've been sitting on the fence when it comes to tubeless, some of it is resistance to spending money on new stuff when my existing stuff isn't worn out, but also it's me being aware that in ordinary circumstances it takes me about 4 months to get anything done, so even if I commit to tubeless now, I won't get it installed and done until I've got a weekend fully to myself to do it in, and then it's hoping that it's not a wet and rainy day to embark upon the potentially messy learning curve, the mess really precludes doing it on the sofa whilst watching TV, so it's another barrier to getting anything done, also add in the potential need to spend time checking, cleaning and topping up sealant, that sounds a bit of a show stopper too, it's not that I don't want to , it's just I don't see it happening this year..:surrender:
lol - your mindset sounds very, very familiar and I agree completely with your reservations!

The usual reply to threads about tubeless is there are lots of threads about tubeless.

But if we went down that route, there would be no new threads.

Tubeless has worked well on my medium pressure podgy tyred ebike.

@Sea of vapours has a reliable roadie set up running higher pressures than me.

Your gravel bike will be somewhere in between those two.

I think the benefits are well worth having.

Before tubeless I was getting regular ride stopping punctures.

None since, and I can't beat the feeling of smugness when during a pre-ride inspection I see traces of sealant on the tread.
Thanks - just the sort of feedback I'm looking for :smile:

I've just converted my bike to tubeless because I wanted some fatter tires and it seemed an ideal time to convert given I was already changing the tires.

I already have a nice track pump from Lyzne, so was reluctant to buy a new pump, so instead I bought a Schwalbe tire booster, which I can prime from my track pump, then it releases a slug of air into the tire and pop's it nicely onto the bead. It was only 40 euros so cheaper than a new dedicated pump. Topeak amongst others also make one and there are other homemade solutions, but I really didn't want to mess with them.

Sealant wise, I've gone for Caffee Latex, which despite it's name, uses synthetic polymers and no ammonia, so it's supposedly more environmentally friendly. I also poured it into the valve after the tire was seated, so no mess at all, I'll just pour another 60ml in there in another three months to top it up.

All in all, no great problems and no mess. I'm not sure if it was really worth it, but I'll have to see long term how it goes.
Ta for another informative post!

To be honest I could probably do with a decent track pump so I guess if not too much more I could probably justify the additional cost of a tubeless-friendly model on top of a more basic example.

I'll look into the sealent you're using as it seems difficult to find much in the way of environmental credentials for any of them..

I'll be interested to hear how you get on long term :smile:

I would not buy a new bike/wheelset that is not tubeless compatible. I run it on 4 of my bikes and have been fine. I have occasionally had to use a 'worm' to plug a hole, but have always been back on the road within a couple of minutes. So a big thumbs up from me.
Thanks - I appreciate the forward compatability / the option being there; just not sure if I want to take the leap just yet. Sounds like you've had a positive experience and appreciate you sharing it!

My Hallett came 'tubeless-ready'. After the long ride I took the plunge and removed the tubes. I'd already had a couple of punctures, one of which needed a patch inside the tyre. I bought a shock inflator which is permanently attached to an old track pump, and Orange Endurance sealant.

The rims are Velo Orange 650B, the tyres Panaracer Gravelking 38mm (the file-tread kind). They're very light tyres & roll extremely well. Until a few days ago I'd had no detectable punctures, despite riding some rough-stuff tracks. The rear tyre is pretty shredded now and I've had two punctures, one of which would seal above 20psi. So I've used a Stan's dart (the tyre isn't really worth it, but I wanted to test the system) and it's holding pressure fine.

I put the tyres on dry and inflated to seat them, then deflated and put the sealant in through the valves. So minimal mess.

It's still early days, and I'm not in any hurry to swap any of the narrower tyred bikes to tubeless. But it does seem to work fine.View attachment 512096
Cheers - so fair to say you don't regret making the switch? Seems like it's proven itself to an extent from your experiences :smile:


I think for now I'm going to run the bike as it is / see how it goes and limit the tubeless conversion to a costing exercise currently. If I find myself plagued by punctures I'll certainly give it some more serious consideration :smile:
 

YukonBoy

The Monch
Location
Inside my skull
Thanks guys - really appreciate the feedback :smile:


Immediately, sourcing the additional bits necessary (along with the associated cost), more long-term the mess of handling the sealant, staying on top of keeping it fresh and possibly enduring the seating issues that have been associated with the format.
You don’t handle the sealant you just pour it in or inject through valve. You top up roughly once every three months in summer less in winter. If you follow recommendations then seating is rarely an issue. The wider the tyre the easier it is. You fix rare punctures without removing wheel from bike.

This is far less hassle than fixing tubes, nipping tubes when you put them, less hassle than patching, finding you missed a thorn in the tyre etc.
 
Top Bottom