What Does "Tubeless Ready" Mean?

Lovacott

Über Member
My new Boardman SLR 8.9 is advertised as "tubeless ready" and I want to go tubeless.

I've read enough on here to convince me that tubeless is the better option for me on the road bike.

I understand that "tubeless ready" refers to the wheels but does it also apply to the factory fitted tyres?

My tyres are Vittoria Zaffiro Pro IV, 25x700.
 

SheilaH

Guru
Usually not.

Tubeless ready refers to rims. I doubt the tyres are tubeless. You'll need valves, tape (get TESA tape off ebay rather than expensive tubeless tape) sealant, a dish of soapy water, and possibly an Airshot type device depending on tyre/rim interface and your skill. There is a learning curve, so be prepared to make mistakes.
 

Juliansou

Active Member
Location
Essex
Yep - as above. I’ve been looking into changing tyres on my road/gravel bike but you must buy tubeless specific tyres ( I believe you can get away with it at a push with a mtb due to lower pressures/lower speeds?). They tend to be more expensive so I’m waiting until my current tyres need replacing. I don’t believe it is quite the panacea it’s promoted as being & the sealant requires replacing periodically. I’m running slime inner tubes & fairly robust tyres without any p******es so far!
 

PaulSB

Legendary Member
All as above. I'm a convert and run tubeless on my winter and summer bikes. My older bikes which are used far less are still tubed as I don't feel the investment on those is worthwhile.

Fitting? I have mine done at the LBS, a much simpler option than DIY.

The only issue I've encountered, and this is on both bikes, is the valves can gum up if not used regularly. I believe conventional wisdom is to store the bike with valves at the top of the wheel. I disagree with this as I think it has the potential for sealant to run down the tyre wall in to the valve.

My solution to this problem is to store with the valves at the bottom so the sealant drains away from the valve. I've noticed the problem is worse in winter and think this is due to using the bike less. In summer I ride 3/4 times a week. I check pressure before every ride meaning the valve is released and air blown in/out frequently. In winter while I try to ride three times a week weather can prevent this.

I'd recommend getting a plug kit and carrying it on rides in case you're unfortunate enough to suffer major damage to the tyre.
 

Oldhippy

Über Member
Why is tubeless better? Not something I would ever consider on my tourer but surely puncture means your buggered and can't just quickly switch an inner tube and be on your way.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
I've ridden all my life with either tubular or tubed tyres. For me now it is not worth the expense or learning curve to switch to tubeless.
My thoughts are that you need to be very proficient at removing/fitting tyres and repairing punctures with tubed tyres first. For tubeless you need all these skills plus more.
In practice, I rarely get more than one or two punctures a year and I can live with that.
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Yep - as above. I’ve been looking into changing tyres on my road/gravel bike but you must buy tubeless specific tyres ( I believe you can get away with it at a push with a mtb due to lower pressures/lower speeds?). They tend to be more expensive so I’m waiting until my current tyres need replacing. I don’t believe it is quite the panacea it’s promoted as being & the sealant requires replacing periodically. I’m running slime inner tubes & fairly robust tyres without any p******es so far!
I put slime in my MTB tubes about four weeks back. No punctures or issues so far and I haven't had to add air to either tube since.

I had one snakebite puncture on the MTB about six months ago (hit a flat stone doing about 25mph) and the rest have been slows caused by thorns. Since putting in the slime, nothing.

My main concern with the road bike is the snakebite puncture which I believe "going tubeless" negates.

Having said all that, my road bike tyres are so hard that they might as well be solids.
 

Ming the Merciless

There is no mercy
Location
Inside my skull
Why is tubeless better? Not something I would ever consider on my tourer but surely puncture means your buggered and can't just quickly switch an inner tube and be on your way.
99% of those punctures you get with tubed, will be automatically sealed with a tubeless setup. For those 1% that don’t , you put a plug in, without needing to even take tyre off wheel.

Tubeless is a way of getting fast rolling road tyres with puncture protection far higher than you’d get with tubes. For touring I’d stick with tubes and more robust tyres providing the puncture protection.
 

SheilaH

Guru
Why is tubeless better? Not something I would ever consider on my tourer but surely puncture means your buggered and can't just quickly switch an inner tube and be on your way.
No. A puncture means the sealant seals it and you probably wont even notice, let alone have to stop. If the hole is too large for the sealant to cope with (as has happened to me twice in about 6 years) you have two options, use a plug, or change put a tube in. The difference between doing this on a tubeless vs tubed tyre is that the tubeless tyre might be a tighter fit than normal clinchers (but this depends on your tyre/rim combo, just as it does with clinchers) you have to remove the valve (so don't keep tightening it) and there might be a bit of sealant left in the tyre than you must carefully pour out.

It really is no biggie. The people who make the most noise about it are the drama queens who don't actually use tubeless tyres.
 

Gunk

Veteran
Location
Oxford
I was an early adopter on my MTB and have been running 26” tubeless on Mavic Crossmax SLR rims for a long time without any issues. However on road bikes I still use a clincher and a traditional tube
 
OP
Lovacott

Lovacott

Über Member
Why is tubeless better? Not something I would ever consider on my tourer but surely puncture means your buggered and can't just quickly switch an inner tube and be on your way.
It's a balance of probabilities. A total failure in a tubeless would be painful to rectify roadside but it would be far less frequent than the regular punctures experienced on a tubed tyre.

On the MTB, I prefer tubes because the tyres are a breeze to get off and on and the tubes are cheap and simple to replace. I carry two spare tubes in my saddle bag.

But for road bikes, I've read enough to convince me that tubeless = less pain long term.
 

pawl

Legendary Member
I've ridden all my life with either tubular or tubed tyres. For me now it is not worth the expense or learning curve to switch to tubeless.
My thoughts are that you need to be very proficient at removing/fitting tyres and repairing punctures with tubed tyres first. For tubeless you need all these skills plus more.
In practice, I rarely get more than one or two punctures a year and I can live with that.


With you on that.Can’t remember when I last had a puncture I use Michelin Endurance in various forms
 
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