Tubeless tyre practicalities

Dwn

Senior Member
I’m looking for some advice from those of you who run tubeless tyres.

I’ve started to use one of my road bikes as a gravel bike. The wheels (Fulcrum Racing 6) and tyres Vittoria Terreno Dry) are tubeless ready, but I’ve been running them with an inner tube. I’ve been reluctant to go tubeless but it’s either that or change the wheels. I got a puncture last week, and ended up walking home - the tyres are a nightmare to get back on to the wheels and a wet pathside isn’t the place to be doing it. Tubeless is the least expensive option, but it does throw up some questions:

1. What do you carry in your tyre repair kit? I currently carry a spare tube, a pump, tyre levers and patches but I get the impression that tubeless requires a few extra things.

2. Burping - this doesn’t sound like a good thing. Does it happen often?

3. Seating. I read something saying that it can be difficult to reseat tyres when making roadside repairs - has this been your experience.

Thanks

PS - I’ve had a lot of experience changing tyres but tubeless ready wheels (in my limited experience) are rather more difficult than clinchers
 

vickster

Legendary Member
 
Well if you can't get the tyres off the rims now and you're going to change to tubeless with those tyres then that simplifies your repair kit since you won't be using anything involving taking the tyre off. So out goes the last resort inner tube and the tyre boot, as well as the tyre levers. That leaves you carrying a pump and 'worms' and the pointy tools to push them into a hole which won't seal. You can throw in Super Glue to help the worms work, but it's not really necessary. Some people carry a small bottle of sealant.

Burping: I've never known mine to, but that's at 28mm tubeless road pressures of 50-70psi.

Seating by the roadside isn't going to be a problem if you can't get them off in the first place.

All that said, after a little over 50,000km of tubeless riding, I've yet to use any of this stuff by the roadside (though I do carry a tube and boot, plus worms and pointy tool, just in case, and I can get the tyres off).
 
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Ridgeway

Über Member
For my TL kit i carry:

Worm set and tool (Maxalami)
Controllable Co2 device (Lezyne control drive)
2 x Co2 cartridges
Mini pump
50ml sealant

There's no way i'll be taking a TL tyre off roadside, totally defeats the point of running TL. So far ALL my punctures have sealed with sealant and earlier this year i ran the tyre right through the rubber and into the inner casing, as such it was like have several punctures in the same place. A bit of sealant and some Co2 and it was ready to go (just be mindful that many sealants don't like Co2).

And as mentioned above just avoid removing a TL tyre roadside, many are hard enough to fit at home.
 

Lee_M

Guru
Nothing like having to be rescued by your 80 year old mother when your tubeless tyres get a split that won't seal and you can't get the valve off to add an inner tube.

Yep that was me, two more problematic punctures and I reverted to tubes, not had a problem since.

YMMV
 
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Well if you can't get the tyres off the rims now and you're going to change to tubeless with those tyres then that simplifies your repair kit since you won't be using anything involving taking the tyre off. So out goes the last resort inner tube and the tyre boot, as well as the tyre levers. That leaves you carrying a pump and 'worms' and the pointy tools to push them into a hole which won't seal. You can throw in Super Glue to help the worms work, but it's not really necessary. Some people carry a small bottle of sealant.

Burping: I've never know mine to, but that's at 28mm tubeless road pressures of 50-70psi.

Seating by the roadside isn't going to be a problem if you can't get them off in the first place.

All that said, after a little over 50,000km of tubeless riding, I've yet to use any of this stuff by the roadside (though I do carry a tube and boot, plus worms and pointy tool, just in case, and I can get the tyres off).
What he said ^^^^^

Just for the record, my experience of tubeless has been limited but unsatisfactory (failing to hold pressure over time and gummed valves) but your issue with impossible tyres is increasingly common with current 'tubeless ready' rims and tyres. I used to pride myself on being able to remove and refit even 700x23 clincher tyres purely by hand, but with modern rims and tyres I find it is even a struggle to fit 32mm tyres with tyre levers because they are so damn tight!
 
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Pale Rider

Legendary Member
Removing the tubeless valve for the last resort option of fitting a tube is a consideration.

My worm kit has a small blade which I reckon would slice the valve off from the inside, or at least compromise its integrity enough to yank it out, all assuming I couldn't undo the metal collar.

That would mean a new valve if reverting to tubeless, but periodic replacement of tubeless valves is good practice anyway.

We never reused them on cars if changing a tyre, or on rare occasions, patching it.
 
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You won't get a ready or clear answer. Best to try it out and see for yourself. Watch videos as tubeless is a separate eco-system in a way. Tubeless ready tyres are also tighter to fit to maintain the seal. You also need to top up the sealant etc. Different brands have a different requirements

I decided to have a go and one month into it.
 
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OP
Dwn

Dwn

Senior Member
What he said ^^^^^

Just for the record, my experience of tubeless has been limited but unsatisfactory (failing to hold pressure over time and gummed valves) but your issue with impossible tyres is increasingly common with current 'tubeless ready' rims and tyres. I used to pride myself on being able to remove and refit even 700x23 clincher tyres purely by hand, but with modern rims and tyres I find it is even a struggle to fit 32mm tyres with tyre levers because they are so damn tight!
[/QUOTE

I’ve got a set of Aksiums on my other bike and they are an absolute doddle to fit almost anything to. I didn’t worry about punctures when I’m using that bike, since I know that it’s the work of a few minutes to fit a new tube. Even with my Brompton and Marathon Plus tyres I could change the tube without too much fuss, but the Fulcrums and their predecessor wheels fitted to this particular bike were both tubeless ready and both very difficult.
 
Had my first tubeless puncture a couple of weeks ago. After a few goes it resealed itself and survived a few rides. Yesterday the Dent cobbles did for the sealant and pumping it up only lasted a few miles as I limped home. The sealant catherine wheel made a case for mudguards. It clearly needs a worm so had a go this morning. Locating the leak was easy but lining the tool with the hole precisely was slightly difficult. The worm went in ok but seems to be slowly coming out! If it doesn’t hold I’ll consider superglue or a bigger worm. A learning experience.
 
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PaulSB

Legendary Member
My experience of running tubes in tubeless is grim. I've been on a number of rides where people doing this have punctured. Fixing these is a nightmare.

A couple of weeks ago three of us, all very experienced cyclists, took 45 minutes to change a tube in a tubeless tyre.

It's only going to get worse as more and more people find themselves riding tubeless ready with tubes.
 
OP
Dwn

Dwn

Senior Member
Maybe it will get better as people gain experience, it really is not that difficult.
Unless experience involves the development of bionic thumbs, I can’t see how it will get better.

Today I changed the tyres on two of my bikes. The first set went on to the wheels without the use of tyre levers and took just a few minutes - the wheels were standard clinchers.

The other set took almost an hour, strong tyre levers, a pinch flat, and much frustration. Those wheels were tubeless ready and the tyres were 38mm - I can’t get anything less than 35mm on those particular wheels, no matter what I do. It’s that difficulty of fitting that is making me (reluctantly) move to tubeless on that particular set of wheels.
 

Mo1959

Legendary Member
Maybe it will get better as people gain experience, it really is not that difficult.
Unless experience involves the development of bionic thumbs, I can’t see how it will get better.
My experience too. My Ribble came with Mavic Ksyriums and Mavics own tubeless ready tyre fitted. I wanted my usual Rubino Pros on instead and was beat to even get a tyre lever in they were so tight. I actually cut the tyre off! I took the other wheel over to the bike shop and they swapped the other one as I couldn’t face any more faff. They must have better tools and stronger hands and managed it. Not a hope in hell of repairing at the roadside. Why does the bike industry seem to be presuming we all like them and producing more and more. Soon be hard to find normal wheels and clincher tyres. :sad:
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
Maybe it will get better as people gain experience, it really is not that difficult.
I really cannot see how. Last week three of us took 45 minutes to change one tube. Getting the tyre on was the issue. This is three very experienced cyclists with probably 100+ years of riding between us and each can thumb roll a standard tyre on and change a tube in perhaps 10 minutes.

I had to put a tube in four miles from home one wet, cold, raining winter day. Failed miserably, got covered in a slimy mixture of dirt, sealant and talc. Walked home carrying the bike.

I have tubeless on my two main bikes. I'm a convert. Carrying a good quality plug/worm kit is essential.

Personally I think running tubes in tubeless is foolhardy. I acknowledge "tubeless ready" is creating a big and probably increasing problem.

@Dwn I had lots of problems with valves until my LBS helped settle this with some from Schwalbe. Before fitting an Allen key is used through the base of the valve to tighten the valve core in place. This alleviates the issue I had of valve cores constantly loosening and unscrewing.
 
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