Tubeless - it's the way forward

After a series of punctures the cause of which was hard to pin down I've decided to go tubeless.

The rims on the bike are tubeless ready and while there was plenty of life left in the tyres, I'd lost confidence in the front so decided to buy a new pair of Schwalbe Moto Xs.

The job was done by the manager of my local bike shop, who prefers to do a conversion using new tyres.

He puts a wrap of gorilla tape over the high pressure tape, and, from experience, uses a shandy of sealants.

A small amount of runny Stan's goes in first which helps seal the tyre on the rim.

For puncture protection he uses some thicker stuff sold to the trade by Madison which is specced as 'enduro'.

Valves are presta removable core from Raleigh Special Products, no better than any other but they are all black which is unusual for a tyre valve.

I was charged £90 for the job, not bad given the tyres would have cost me best part of £50 and a tubeless kit another £25 or so.

And I wouldn't have had the benefits of using an experienced installer.

I'm told the tyres mounted on the rim with a satisfying pop.

The front went down a bit overnight, but after spinning the wheel a bit more it's stayed up over a second night.

I refitted the wheels a short while ago, and was so excited I went for a short test ride, even though it was dark and drizzly.

My idea was to spin the bike up to speed to make sure the sealant was properly flung where it's meant to go.

All good so far, I'm tempted to say the bike accelerated a bit quicker, but it was on the flat with no wind.

I'm told some people reckon a tubeless tyre is a bit more flexible - no tube to deform - which can help rolling resistance.

That may be a load of tosh, but the main benefit should be no more punctures, or more correctly, the next puncture I get should seal itself.

A gash or big hole in the tyre would be a catastrophic failure, but I've never had one of those in 10,000 miles, and I shall still carry a spare tube, pump, and patches.

The title of this thread should perhaps be a question, but early indications are tubeless is the way forward, at least for my bike and riding.

I shall finish with a not particularly illustrative pic of the bike in the dark.

P1000506.JPG
 

NorthernDave

Never used Über Member
I'll be interested to see how you get one - I've just bought a Giant Contend SL1 Disc, which is "tubeless ready".
The bike shop said they can set it up as tubeless at the 6-week service if I want, but I'm in two minds at the moment...
 
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Ajax Bay

Veteran
Location
East Devon
Are you going to practise taking off the tyre, inserting a tube (or more sealant if you carry it) and refitting the tyre, so that you know you can do it by the side of a road? Part of the 'way forward'?
 
OP
Pale Rider

Pale Rider

Guru
I'll be interested to see how you get one - I've just bought a Giant Contend SL1 Disc, which is "tubeless ready".
The bike shop said they can set it up as tubeless at the 6-week service if I want, but I'm in two minds at the moment...
You might appreciae the weight reduction in the wheels/tyres, assuming that's what you get.

My 650b X 2.4" tubes are a fair lump of butyl.

Your tubes will be lighter, but then you probably need less sealant to do the tubeless job.

My balloon tyres are a different kettle of fish to your roadie ones, but if you do go tubeless it's worth experimenting with lower pressures.

You might be pleasantly surprised by the extra comfort, and how well the bike rolls particularly over lumps and bumps.

Are you going to practise taking off the tyre, inserting a tube (or more sealant if you carry it) and refitting the tyre, so that you know you can do it by the side of a road? Part of the 'way forward'?
No tube fitting practice needed, I've had plenty of that recently - regrettably.

As I said, if I manage to put a gash in the tyre I will be walking, but short of bodging a tyre boot, I would be anyway even with a tube.

A hole too big for the sealant to deal with is more likely, in which case I will suffer what will be the messy job of fitting a tube.

The latest sealant is supposed to seal bigger holes than earlier preparations.

Given that I've never had a puncture the sealant wouldn't deal with, I'm reasonably confident I won't need to resort to fitting a tube.
 

Jody

Veteran
No tube fitting practice needed, I've had plenty of that recently - regrettably.

As I said, if I manage to put a gash in the tyre I will be walking, but short of bodging a tyre boot, I would be anyway even with a tube..
Slime type sealant makes a mess when you need to do something like that but Stans or the more liquidy sealants are a bit easier. Tip it out, wipe inside of the tire on grass and fit your tyre. Job done.

As you say it would only be doing the same given an inner tube suffering a puncture so its no different.

P.S funky looking bike you have there.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
Given that I've never had a puncture the sealant wouldn't deal with, I'm reasonably confident I won't need to resort to fitting a tube.
Do you not get punctures where the sharp object remains in the tyre, enough to hold the hole open while the sealant sprays out? Might be another fun consequence of the local arrowhead flints.
 

ColinJ

It's a puzzle ...
Do you not get punctures where the sharp object remains in the tyre, enough to hold the hole open while the sealant sprays out? Might be another fun consequence of the local arrowhead flints.
It didn't seem to be a problem in Cycling Weekly's impressive tubeless tyre test! :okay:

PS Don't try and smash bottles like that ... The test cyclist was lucky not to cut his hands to pieces or get glass shrapnel in his eyes! (It would have been a lot easier and safer just to lob the bottle up in the air and let it smash some distance in front of him.)
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
It didn't seem to be a problem in Cycling Weekly's impressive tubeless tyre test! :okay:

PS Don't try and smash bottles like that ... The test cyclist was lucky not to cut his hands to pieces or get glass shrapnel in his eyes! (It would have been a lot easier and safer just to lob the bottle up in the air and let it smash some distance in front of him.)
Where's the impressive one? ;) Nails, pins and glass are all usually smooth and simple sharps.
 
OP
Pale Rider

Pale Rider

Guru
Do you not get punctures where the sharp object remains in the tyre, enough to hold the hole open while the sealant sprays out? Might be another fun consequence of the local arrowhead flints.
The general advice is to pull out the sharp if you can see it, then spin the tyre if it doesn't seal immediately.

The guy who did the installation is a keen mountain biker.

He went tubeless years ago, had a seal squirting failure and went back to tubes.

He returned to tubeless a couple of years ago.

Since then he's had several punctures which it's obvious the sealant has sealed, and he's had no failures.

The thinking being the latest sealants are better than what was first made available.
 

Bodhbh

Guru
I was charged £90 for the job, not bad given the tyres would have cost me best part of £50 and a tubeless kit another £25 or so.

And I wouldn't have had the benefits of using an experienced installer.
That is probably wise and a good deal if you've not set up a tubeless system before. As a newbie who first started messing about with tubeless setups about 18mth ago, they can work great first time, or you can waste a weekends riding fecking about with it. The latter is obviously less likely as you gain experience setting them up and getting all your ducks lined up first (i.e. a compressor or but I can understand a bad initial experience it can put some off altogether. Simple things like taping up the rim needs a knack and good pre-cleaning and tape, then I found leaking around the value still seems to be fairly common. On-line advice can be confusing, as everyone seems to have their favourite tapes, sealants and ghetto fixes. I after setting up half a dozen pairs of tyres I seem to be getting there...

Regarding running Super Motos tubeless I'm pretty sure they're faster, lighter and give a better ride than with tubes in. Then again it may be Princess and the Pea stuff (surely saving 150g or whatever per tyre is noticable? I couldn't comment on rolling resistance).

No tube fitting practice needed, I've had plenty of that recently - regrettably.
I found with tubeless tyres the bead hooks in the rim very securely and can be a pain to remove in the field, although yet to be caught out altogether.

Nice bike btw but quite a tank...
 

mustang1

Guru
Location
London, UK
I'd be interested to know your review after 3, 6, 12 months. One of my bikes is tubeless but I don't ride it much (but not because it's tubeless).
 
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I'm about to make the switch for my new Surly Straggler build as I happened to fancy new wheels, my pre-existing heavy duty sputnik rims are overkill for the commute, which is what I'll be using the bike for most. I doubt there is much in the way of weight saving with the switch from tubes to tubeless, instead of tubes, you've got 50-120 ml of sealant sloshing around in the tyre, most tubes are in the sub 100g mark, so switching might actually give you a weight penalty. The puncture protection, improved rolling resistance, lower minimum pressures and increased comfort seem to be the main draws.

I just need to get done building up my new tubeless ready wheelset before I dive in. Getting set up has a learning curve, and may different kit and it's certainly a bit more complex than slapping a tube in a tyre.
 
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jiberjaber

Über Member
Location
Essex
You might appreciae the weight reduction in the wheels/tyres, assuming that's what you get.

My 650b X 2.4" tubes are a fair lump of butyl.

...............

As I said, if I manage to put a gash in the tyre I will be walking, but short of bodging a tyre boot, I would be anyway even with a tube.

A hole too big for the sealant to deal with is more likely, in which case I will suffer what will be the messy job of fitting a tube.

The latest sealant is supposed to seal bigger holes than earlier preparations.

Given that I've never had a puncture the sealant wouldn't deal with, I'm reasonably confident I won't need to resort to fitting a tube.
I've had a couple of large ones and a lot of small ones. I even had one where the flint when through the tyre and was found inside when I investigated!

You might want to purchase some additional insurance, tyre worms. They can be used to make a large hole smaller and are sticky rubber 'worms' supplied with a rasp and braddle to insert them. Sometimes they come with a little knife to cut the end off. I've been tubeless for about 10,000km and only had to use worms once on the same tyre.

Here is an example: https://www.evanscycles.com/weldtite-tubeless-patch-kit-00103371

Also note some sealants can react with CO2 when used to inflate tyres.
 
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