Search the forum using the power of Google

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 61 total)
  • Road bike – tubeless or tubes?
  • ibnchris
    Full Member

    Is it time to go tubeless on the road bike?

    I’ll always be running at least 28mm I expect. On Hope 20Five wheelset.

    What are the reasons not to?

    wheelie
    Full Member

    None if you use the right tyres and the right sealant with the right rim.
    I’ve been road tubeless for 6 years or more and sealant has always fixed holes (2). I’ve had success with Orangeseal and oringeseal enduro and Stans and Stans Race. Don’t bother with Mucoff. The only stuff worth buying off them is cleaner and that’s probably rebadged.
    I’ve been using IRC RBCC which grip well and seemingly last for ever. There are now more good tubeless road tyres but I have not tried them. I’m in my 70’s and run a bike with a triple and rim brakes (17 years old) and it is the best thing I did along with 160 mm. cranks and Swisstop Blue brake pads!

    wheelie
    Full Member

    If you are a serial sidewall slasher I would not bother!

    w00dster
    Full Member

    Hmmm, long time roadie here…I’ve been tubeless for years but it’s not without its problems. I’ve had a small number of flats that would not seal. It’s then a faff (and a mess) to sort out on the road.
    But I’m still tubeless. I’m not fully convinced, but staying tubeless for now.
    The main benefit is the comfort and smoothness of the lower pressure. I run Challenge Strada Bianchi and they’re a very good tyre.

    judetheobscure
    Free Member

    I still prefer running tubular tyres personally, for both commuting, sporting rides and racing. Honestly the number of punctures I get riding on tubs compared to either tubes or tubeless is night and day differene. In 8000km of commuting one year I counted three punctures. Yes OK so one of those I could not fix with a tubeless sealant (I run my tubs with sealant as well) and so I had to get the train home but still, three in 8000km is pretty good going.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’m with woodster on this.

    Got a Scott Addict in June 2020, done 3000 miles on its stock Durano tyres with tubes and no punctures through 2 winters now. Genuinely can’t remember my last road puncture, but I’m a chunky lad and don’t ride superlight tyres

    Latest road bike was meant to have tubes, but unexpectedly was delivered with a tubeless set up. 1000 winter miles so far and no problems, but as woodster says, based on my gravel bike experience, if and when there is a problem it will be a bugger to sort out.

    Jamz
    Full Member

    Never tried tubeless because I’ve never had a problem with punctures. Takes all of 3 mins to change a tube at the road side on the very rare occasion I do puncture, and can swap tyres just as easily. It’s simplier, faster, cheaper and lighter, what’s not to like? Just don’t ride in the gutter.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    Tubeless for me. Faster rolling and lower pressures for comfort.

    Aidy
    Free Member

    Tubeless for me too. Only downside I can think of is that some tyre rim combinations are almost impossible to do by the side of the road if you need to get a tube in.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Faster rolling and lower pressures for comfort

    Is it?

    Tubeless tyres tend to have thicker sidewalls which means more friction losses, pair a tubed tyre with a latex innertube and I doubt the rolling resistance is measurably higher than a tubeless tyre.

    As for lower pressure, I run GP5000s at the same pressure (60 psi) tubed and tubeless.

    cakeandcheese
    Full Member

    I find the rim bed quite difficult on the hope wheels. Even with a tubeless blaster tank thing I struggle to get a seal sometimes. It’s been a while since I looked but I seem to remember that they have a very deep central channel which the tyre struggles to pop over. This is using gravel kings which have been fine on other wheels.

    Other road rims – especially my un-drilled LB ones – are simple and easy to set up and have been trouble free. I like tubeless, particularly for pinch flat protection, as I run pretty low pressures (50psi, 28mm gp5000tl, 76kg).

    In defence of the hope wheels, the RS4 hubs are amazing. Zero drag, robust, and a lovely (and un-hopey) quiet tick to the freewheel. Much better than my experience with DT 240s.

    Daffy
    Full Member

    I’ve been running road tubeless since before it was really a thing (2014). I’ve had 2 punctures (that I know of) in almost 8 years and over 40k km. I’ve had two that didn’t seal. The first I fixed with superglue at work, then rode home. The second I fixed at the roadside with an anchovie. Both repairs lasted the life of the tyre and both were fixed without removing the wheel.

    I (currently) run 32mm GP5000 TLs at 48/53 front to rear on 22mm ID rims at 71kg. It works for me.

    I can, with effort, get the tyre bead off at the roadside with a pair of tyre levers.

    I’ve just changed a tyre of the above spec after ~8000km without a puncture…it was down to the canvas.

    anagallis_arvensis
    Full Member

    I run tubeless on my winter bike, I still get the odd puncture that needs a anchovy, been at it 3 winters now. Jury still out. It is good but it’s also much more phaff setting up and a quick tube change is easy enough with normal tyres…

    ransos
    Free Member

    Been running tubeless for six years now and am very happy with it. I ride mostly on narrow lanes which present a higher puncture risk. I’ve had very few problems and have never had to fix a puncture at the roadside.

    judetheobscure
    Free Member

    Tubeless tyres tend to have thicker sidewalls which means more friction losses, pair a tubed tyre with a latex innertube and I doubt the rolling resistance is measurably higher than a tubeless tyre.

    Well that’ll be something that’s easy to establish; someone somewhere will have the data on it! I have always assumed that tubeless would always roll quicker than anything with a tube in, perhaps even than tubulars, but I don’t know that for a fact.

    I do know from experience that latext inner tubes in clinchers are a bloody nightmare for punctures and very easy to damage when installing them. But this is also odd as most high quality tubulars use latext tubes, which is why they roll faster than traditional butyl/clincher set ups. It must be the construction of the tubular tyre that reduces punctures.

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    Faster rolling and lower pressures for comfort

    Is it?

    What’s faster, tubes or tubeless? The answer remains the same: it depends

    whatgoesup
    Full Member

    Tubeless here – 2 punctures that needed a tube in 3 yrs riding – ever so slightly better than tubes which was one a year.

    Tubeless does ride a bit nicer, but within then realms of “nice tyres vs ok tyres” type choices.

    Overall I’m staying tubeless but wouldn’t be trying to sell it to others. Unlike then mountain bike where I’m a bit evangelical about it.

    MrSalmon
    Free Member

    I’ve been tubeless for a few years, and I haven’t yet had to put a tube in. I have had a few that looked like they wouldn’t seal but did eventually. At the moment though I’m on 38mm tyres so the low pressure helps with that.
    OTOH, I never really had a big problem with punctures with tubes. I switched because I upgraded my Aksiums to a pair of Kysrium UST that cam with a pair of 25mm tubeless tyres and I thought I’d give a it a go. There was a big increase in ride quality, but of course there are a few factors in that, and I’d probably been running higher pressures than I needed to with tubes.
    I’m sold on it though and I don’t see me going back to tubes.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Hmmm, long time roadie here…I’ve been tubeless for years but it’s not without its problems. I’ve had a small number of flats that would not seal. It’s then a faff (and a mess) to sort out on the road.
    But I’m still tubeless. I’m not fully convinced, but staying tubeless for now.
    The main benefit is the comfort and smoothness of the lower pressure. I run Challenge Strada Bianchi and they’re a very good tyre.

    Out of interest, what proportion of your flats have been on the front Vs the rear?

    I have a pet theory that tubeless on the front is less likely to pick up a cut (weight distribution tending to be more rearward) and that the comfort and ride benefits of TL on the front trade-off proportionately; run something slightly tougher and tubed on the rear where a flat is fixed with fresh tube and an unsealable cut from flint or glass is more likely as more rider weight goes through that tyre…

    Tubeless tyres tend to have thicker sidewalls which means more friction losses, pair a tubed tyre with a latex innertube and I doubt the rolling resistance is measurably higher than a tubeless tyre.

    Hysteresis, there is friction in all the materials being deformed at the tyre’s contact patch, there might be a thicker wall in a TL tyre, but once you add a tube to any tyre that becomes part of the system and also subject to deformation and friction, so probably about equivalent. Good old talc betwixt tyre and tube might help with reducing that but all the materials in a single laminate is probably going to behave better, and an increased internal volume (relative to the exterior) means the pressure can be run proportionately lower. Same loads over a larger volume of air, thus those minor deflections you need to achieve a smoother ride over imperfect surfaces are easier to achieve, latex tubes are generally thinner and more ductile than butyl, but also more delicate, arguably not the best use of the material Vs a sealant?

    It’s all marginal gains territory, but then isn’t that the point?

    TiRed
    Full Member

    I have a pet theory that tubeless on the front is less likely to pick up a cut

    Wasn’t my experience with Schwalbe Ones, where a front cut didn’t seal and I had to put a tube in. By contrast the Corsa Speeds tended to fail at the rear when they went and again a tube was needed in a 900mm rim. But no sane person would run those here. My god they were fast!!! But the time needed to put a tube in if one failed would lose all the gains. And that’s on a 12hr TT 😂

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I wouldn’t run 55psi (at nearly 90kg) in 28s with a tube. The fact I am more confident going lower also reduces RR on rough roads which is most of them.

    For the record I’ve had this bike with road tubeless on for 14 months and I’ve had two punctures that I know about. One one the front sealed straight away, the other on the back sealed and then re-opened several times, making me think it was more punctures but it wasn’t. Happened a couple of times on a ride then I remembered I had anchovies which got me home, and I patched it on the inside with a normal puncture kit. It was fine; the tyre is nearly worn out now.

    kerley
    Free Member

    What are the reasons not to?

    If you get next to no punctures running tubes then I wouldn’t bother.
    If you get quite a few punctures running tubes then I would bother as worth the hassle.

    tonyg2003
    Full Member

    For me … it depends. Riding higher volume tyres 32C and above at 40-50psi then it’s a yes for me but below 30c it’s a no. In our road riding group the only riders that I’ve seen have to make the call home to be picked up are tubeless riders. I saw 3 last year. 28c /25c tyres, cuts that wouldn’t seal with a plug (usually in the pissing rain) and people unable to get the tyres off / no tube. I see that tubeless has its place but it’s MTB/gravel for me.

    claudie
    Full Member

    I’ve been on tubeless for about 15k miles. As said previously, the combination of rim tyre, rim, and sealant is critical. Started on roval wheels and if the tyre lost pressure the bead would drop of the rim, now on mavic which are excellent and don’t need taping which gets rid of another problem. Sealant is stans race at set up and then top up with stans regular when needed. Tried Hutchinson and Goodyear but settled on 5000s which are excelllent. Used anchovies 3 times with no problems and they have stayed in for the life of the tyre. I think 28 mm is the minimum, tried hutchinson 25s in the beginning without much joy. Also use crank brothers speedier tyre lever which is really good and ride with co2 just in case tyre needs to be reseated on the ride, but never used it. Wouldn’t go back, lower pressures, puncture resistance, fast tyres.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    People make mistakes with road tubeless. My mate did it then put 120psi in his (30c!) tyres like he always did and then got all complainey when they didn’t seal.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    If you get next to no punctures running tubes then I wouldn’t bother.
    If you get quite a few punctures running tubes then I would bother as worth the hassle.

    I’d agree with this.

    I’ve gone tubeless on 28mm tyres and it feels brilliant and has shrugged off what would have been a guaranteed double flat with tubes (hitting a chunky square edged pothole at full speed), but I’ll always have that anxiety of getting a flat and having a ‘mare trying to change to a tube.

    This thread has reminded me to refresh my sealant.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Mixed success on mine. 28c Schwalbe Pro One on Prime tubeless rims.
    Not sure if its the tyres or bad luck or what but on both occasions I’ve put new tyres on, the rear has ended up with cuts in it very quickly and within a few hundred miles I’ve ended up having to put a tube in it. The front works with no problems at all.

    Last time, the sealant fixed the rear puncture and I pumped it up but it had obviously lost enough sealant to only partially work. A day or so later I put a worm into it and then 2 days after that it just deflated on a fast descent – thankfully the tyre stayed on the rim and I could bring it to a controlled stop.

    It’s had a tube in it ever since.

    I suspect 28c is about the smallest tyre size that tubeless will realistically and reliably do. I will give it another go next time I put new tyres on, maybe as @claudie suggests with some of the thicker Stans Race at set up and the regular Stans after that.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I use Stan’s race sealant too btw, I was advised to.

    Duggan
    Full Member

    I tried tubeless on road but have gone back to tubes, just find it so much easier. I only get a couple of punctures a year and I know I can just quickly change at the roadside anytime. I really just like things as simple as possible on the road bike.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Mixed success on mine. 28c Schwalbe Pro One on Prime tubeless rims.

    That’s my set-up too.

    Worried now 😀

    Haze
    Full Member

    IRC RBCC which grip well and seemingly last for ever

    Excellent tyres, mine also lasted ages, actually on GP5000S TL just now but will probably pick up another pair of the IRC for next winter…

    andrewreay
    Full Member

    This is a brilliant thread as there are so many variables and so many little gems to consider. For example, using CO2 to pop the bead – hadn’t ever thought of that. Doh.

    I’ve had the misfortune of two recent punctures on the road bike, both pot-hole related, and both resulting in snakebites. But for all that, a quick change roadside was no biggie.

    I’m running a maximum of 25mm tyres on my bike, and have non-TLC wheels, so having read this I’m not inclined to ever make the change now.

    On all my MTBs I do run tubeless, and have ridden throughout this winter without a problem. That was until last Tuesday, where the front tyre came off the rim on a descent. Thankfully I had a tube with me, but it was a messy faff to fit trailside.

    All told though, I reckon it was well worth all those months of puncture free riding at low pressure through thorny fields and trails this winter.

    So TL on the MTB and tubes on the road for me.

    fossy
    Full Member

    Tubes for road, just don’t get enough punctures to consider tubeless. Even commuting, that was just a choice of Schwalbe Durano Plus which stopped glass.

    Duggan
    Full Member

    Slightly off-topic but I punctured a few weeks ago and opened the tool bottle I’d been carrying around on the bike with my multiool and tubes in to discover… it was completely empty.

    Literally been carrying around an empty tool bottle since the day I bought it about 10 months ago.

    Haze
    Full Member

    I ride them for lower pressure and comfort, puncture protection is an added benefit

    Jamz
    Full Member

    Well that’ll be something that’s easy to establish; someone somewhere will have the data on it! I have always assumed that tubeless would always roll quicker than anything with a tube in, perhaps even than tubulars, but I don’t know that for a fact.

    GP5000 is marginally faster with a latex tube than tubeless:

    Aerocoach

    Spec Turbo Cotton (clincher) is faster still, and is probably the lightest tyre I would use for general summer riding. So I would say that the fastest wheel tyre combo for general use would be the Turbo Cotton clincher on some Roval Rapide CLX wheels, which incidentally are not tubeless compatible.

    monkeyboyjc
    Full Member

    Went tubeless at the weekend on my road wheels – but I am running big ol’ 38c gravelkings. I took off my 28mm Vitoria’s to give it a go with a bit more comfort as I’ve a 4day road ride later in the year. Front went on and up no probs, rear took a few goes, even then it went down again over night and I had to redo the whole thing on Sunday am which was a ball ache.

    Anyway bigger tyre/lower pressure so yes slower and marginally more comfortable. Prob lost any aero advantages on 50mm deep rims, but I’ll keep them on for now. Unsure if I’d go back to 28c and tubes for a while as I’ve always been pro comfort rather than out and out speed.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    This is a brilliant thread as there are so many variables and so many little gems to consider. For example, using CO2 to pop the bead – hadn’t ever thought of that. Doh.

    Check the sealant if you’re doing that. Some really don’t like CO2. Not sure if the rapid inflation freezes the sealant and makes it useless or if it’s some kind of chemical thing – check the sealant pack, some specifically say “do not use with CO2”.

    molgrips
    Full Member

    I took off my 28mm Vitoria’s to give it a go with a bit more comfort

    Pff, you want an armchair to go with those giant tyres? Pipe and slippers?

    Haze
    Full Member

    If using CO2 do it before adding the sealant, so pop them onto the bead then remove the valve…add sealant, refit the valve and inflate normally.

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 61 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Search the forum using the power of Google

Thanks for popping by - why not stay a while?IT'S FREE

Sign up as a Singletrack Member and you can leave comments on stories, use the classified ads, and post in our forums, do quizzes and more.

Join us, join in, it’s free, and fun.