Road Tubeless

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  • Road Tubeless
  • Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    So, who’s running road tubeless? Is it worth it? Nicer ride and no punctures? Any recommendations for tyres? – not that there are many to choose from.

    cheers.

    bluebird
    Member

    Out of interest, what’s the advantage on road? Are they lighter?

    Premier Icon beej
    Subscriber

    I’ve got some wheels – Easton EA90 RTs (cheap from CRC), just waiting for the new Schwalbe One 25mm to come out. 23s are around but I figure 25s run tubeless at lower pressure might be different enough to feel.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    I imagine it works out the same. Ie heavier tyres and sealant = normal tyres and a tube.

    But you run lower pressures without pinch punctures so a smoother ride/ better grip and hopefully no punctures. All a bit like tubeless mtb. That the theory anyway, so looking for real world experience.

    bluebird
    Member

    Won’t lower pressure mean more drag? I run tubeless on my mountain bike – supple, grippy tyres at the expenses of a touch more drag seems like a reasonable compromise. Adding drag on road seems at odds with the pursuit of efficiency. Wouldn’t a carbon seat post or descent saddle be better way to achieve comfort?

    Premier Icon ron burgundy
    Subscriber

    Been running road tubeless for the last 18 months and love it. No punctures, can run lower pressure and still feel faster and more comfy. Highly recommend them. I am running EA90 RT’s and Hutchinson Fusion 3 tyres.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Won’t lower pressure mean more drag?

    Wouldn’t have thought so. Roads are far from smooth so more tyre deformation over all the little tarmac lumps should give a faster ride…..I hope!

    LenBuch
    Member

    Lower pressure (to a point) lowers rolling resistance – just like mtb tubeless.
    Must admit though – ran road tubeless for a season year before last and must say didn’t notice any difference. But it was a faff.
    However, now using tubed 25mm Ultremos with lower pressure and the ride is sweet (95psi rear and 85 front)
    23mm Hutchinson Atom tubeless come in quite narrow – more like a 21 and anything wider is heavy.
    Conclusion – I’ll stick with the Ultremos for now – just to add (fingers crossed) not a single puncture last summer season with 4000 miles done.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    hmmm, that’s 1 either way so far

    Premier Icon STL
    Subscriber

    Running Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tubeless on Dura Ace rims. Very nice ride, running a little lower pressure than traditional tyres. Only had one puncture with the messy roads after all the snow we’ve had this winter (US). Super easy to reinflate using CO2 with the sealant in there, much less hassle than changing a tube, when I’m riding at 20F it’s a real advantage.
    Wish they made 650c tubeless for my older bike!
    Will try the Schwalbe Ones in 25c when available.
    Did not get along with the Hutchinson Fusion 3 tubeless, had 2 sets of tyres replaced (without hassle) under warranty as they started splitting along the rim, they didn’t ride as nicely either. Not sure why I had these problems with the Fusions.
    STL

    mtbmatt
    Member

    I’m using it and love it.
    I noticed a bit difference in ride quality, its more like riding tubulars than tubes.

    At the moment I only have a set of race wheels, with Schwalbe Ultremo tubeless at 23c. I’m waiting for the fatter 28c to come out then I can use it on my training bike too.

    I didn’t find it a faff at all. The tyre went on easily enough, add a bit of sealant and it went up straight away with a track pump.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    Thanks – sounds good.

    SkillWill
    Member

    Does this require specific wheels (rims) or can I just buy the tyres and sealant?

    Mavic Ksyrium Elites

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    hmmm don’t know about conversions.

    There are lots of rims and wheelsets stating tubeless ready. 2 layers of tubeless rim tape, unless theres a sealed spoke bed and valve needed. I’d be concerned about ‘ghetto’ techniques on a road wheel, so going to do this properly with the right rims and tyres.

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Fulcrum Racing 1 tubeless and Fusion 3 tyres here for a couple of years. Lower pressures (10psi ish) = faster and comfier (though faster is subjective). No punctures either. No lighter though. Would recommend.

    You do need specific tubeless rims though. You don’t want a blow out or a tyre rolling off the rim at road speeds.

    traildog
    Member

    I have some wheels and tyres setup to try but haven’t yet got round to using them. I love tubeless on the mountain bike so very keen to try them out. One thing was that they were a real pain to get on, nowhere nearly as easy as a mountain bike. I cannot imagine putting a tube in if I got a puncture on the roadside!

    The lack of removable valve core on the Shimano wheels is also a bit of a pain.

    I am also a bit scared of conversions as they are running much higher pressures. I know a few people who tried with Mavic’s and all have said it’s not worth the hassle.

    bluebird
    Member

    Is there any science to back up lower pressures and decreased rolling resistance on the road? I get it off road where it’s really lumpy and bumpy, but even poor tarmac is relatively smooth to a 700cc wheel. (After all we’ve been sold 29″ wheels as they skip over the top of everything)

    Everything I’ve read in the past talks about optimum pressure being around 100-120psi, which is hardly a soft compliant tyre.

    (I’m not trolling or doubting just want to get more info.)

    whatnobeer
    Member

    Is there any science to back up lower pressures and decreased rolling resistance on the road? I get it off road where it’s really lumpy and bumpy, but even poor tarmac is relatively smooth to a 700cc wheel. (After all we’ve been sold 29″ wheels as they skip over the top of everything)

    Everything I’ve read in the past talks about optimum pressure being around 100-120psi, which is hardly a soft compliant tyre.

    There is but I don’t have time to find the articles. A little less pressure means the tyre deforms over small bumps more easily so you go faster. Pressure should also be dependent on weight. Someone will be laong soon to post the (Michelin?) graph showing we’re all using too much PSIs.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    I’m using 28mm tubeless at about 85psi (I’m 90kg or so)

    Changed to new wider rims at the same time and also went up from 25mm tyres so can’t tell you what made the difference but they’re nice to ride on

    Premier Icon D0NK
    Subscriber

    Is there any science to back up lower pressures and decreased rolling resistance on the road?

    schwalbe broke out the lab coats and did some proper science a while back, sure sky et al have been doing more, dunno if they release their info tho. Even smooth roads aren’t perfect and most roads are not very smooth at all.

    traildog
    Member

    I certainly find that a lower pressure helps when running tubes. If I am running over 100psi then the ride quality is very poor and the bike skips around on the road.
    The quality of a road tyre also makes a big difference for a similar reason.

    There is also a factor of friction between the tube and tyre which is supposed to have an affect on the ride. Cannot comment more until I get round to trying them though.

    To be honest, I never really hear that 100-120psi other than on internet forums. The tyres I have suggest less.

    Shred
    Member

    There is data, but don’t have it to hand.

    On a 23 or 25mm tyre, there is not much space for deflection, so unless you are running on a track or perfectly smooth concrete, lower pressures will be better. Harder does feel faster because you are skipping over all the small bumps, which will be slower.

    If you live some where with perfect roads, then keep the pressures high, but real world UK riding will benefit from lower pressures.

    asterix
    Member

    whatnobeer – wrote:
    Fulcrum Racing 1 tubeless and Fusion 3 tyres here for a couple of years. Lower pressures (10psi ish) = faster and comfier (though faster is subjective). No punctures either. No lighter though. Would recommend.

    You do need specific tubeless rims though. You don’t want a blow out or a tyre rolling off the rim at road speeds.

    I just bought some Fulcrum 1 two ways – what do you put in them as the sealant? is there a recommended kit or something? cheers:-)

    bluebird
    Member

    I’ve just found that chart and read a bit about 15% tyre drop being the optimal. At first I though I’d better get home and let some pressure out of my tyres 😳

    Then I found this:

    http://www.dorkypantsr.us/bike-tire-pressure-calculator.html

    Apparently my rear tyres isn’t high enough (and isn’t rated to the recommended pressure) and my front is too low.

    #confused

    running 25mm Fusion3s at the moment. Been on tubeless for maybe two years now. Won’t be going back to tubes.

    theflatboy
    Member

    Ok, so I’m 77kg and running 25mm GP4000s tubed on 23mm wide rims. What tyre pressure should I be going for? I’ve got a 92 mile ride in the morning so will adjust accordingly tonight!

    Shred
    Member

    I’m running Fulcrum 1 2-ways with Bontrager R3 TLR 23mm tyres (I have a cervelo RS so the 25s don’t fit).

    The only thing needed is the supplied tubeless valve and some sealant. I use stans.

    Turnerfan1
    Member

    Been using fusion 3’s (23mm) for a few months tubeless.
    Dropped my pressure to 100psi from 115/110.
    Very smooth ride and they seem to feel quite sprightly, not much drag.
    Fairly impressed but not shouting too much about puncture resistance as rarely get them on a tubed road tyre anyhow!
    Thanx,
    Max

    orangeboy
    Member

    Stans alpha rims and Spesh roubiax tyres for me at the moment
    Not conviced by it yet ride seems harsher than with tubes and I was not getting any flats before anyway

    But
    I did use my tubed tyres at about 80 psi and doing to same with the tubless
    And no it does not roll slow because of the low pressure but I’m only 57kg

    an interesting topic this one because I have been considering it but the arguments dont stack up.

    Predominantly the argument is a ride quality one, but the reality is that modern clincher tyres are pretty good now and the tubeless tyres have more material in them (being the same weight as a clincher and tube). I have heard some mention a slight increase in ride quality but it doesnt seem to be a world apart from a good quality clincher.

    Personally i am looking a solely riding tubular tyres as I have had 2 punctures in the last year and a half (riding approx 4 x a week) which was as a result of a worn out tyre. No one would argue that tubular tyres arent the best quality ride, but are more hassle. There seem to be enough get around though for worst case senario’s for it to be an ok solution…..

    Premier Icon zilog6128
    Subscriber

    I’ve been using Ultremo ZX tubeless since last summer and I really rate them! No perceptible difference in ride quality, but I went from 25mm normal ZX to 23mm tubeless (at lower pressure) so that’s perhaps to be expected.

    No punctures or other issues, and they went up a doddle with just a track pump (easier than any MTB tubeless I’ve ever done). I’m using Kysrium Elite wheels which aren’t actually tubeless rims but they don’t have any spoke holes on the inside (so I didn’t need any tape or anything) and I haven’t had any problems with them.

    mtbmatt
    Member

    There seem to be enough get around though for worst case senario’s for it to be an ok solution…..

    Really? Like carrying a spare tyre?!
    I’ve never seen one of those “foam & air” cans actually work.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    Predominantly the argument is a ride quality one

    puncture resistance for me

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Setup a pair of Stans Alpha 400’s with Schwalbe Ultremo ZX Tubeless tyres yesterday for a customer, my first experience of road tubeless (I’ve been running MTB tubeless for over 10 years though so have a lot of experience of it).

    Can only say how impressed I was how easy it was to install and setup, and how little faff was required at all compared to many MTB tubeless incarnations! VERY tempted by it myself now on my road bike, except for the cost of new wheels involved…

    Premier Icon STL
    Subscriber

    Puncture resistance is a big deal to me too – temperatures here in winter are cold, less messing with replacing a tube, just hit the tyre with the CO2 and let the sealant do the rest (I’m using orange seal as Shimano don’t want you using stans with their tubeless rims). I had a nasty chunk out of the back tyre and it sealed no big deal. Nice not really having to worry about dealing with flats as a girl that rides through not the best areas to get to the nice hills around here!

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Then I found this:

    http://www.dorkypantsr.us/bike-tire-pressure-calculator.html

    I must try that sometime, it reckons 58/93 psi in the 25c tyres on my winter bike, I’m fairly sure that’ll feel like I’ve got a flat, and definitely not be faster.

    Fusions (tubed) have a recommended pressure of 115psi on the sidewalls, I tend to stick with 100.

    Premier Icon Yak
    Subscriber

    cheers all – great advice and mostly positive experiences.

    STL – v good point about not having to stop for minutes fixing punctures in awkward spots. This is actually for Mrs Yak’s bike so the same benefit of avoiding time spent roadside fixing punctures applies, and is probably a higher priority for her than the ride benefits.

    I’ll be keen to go tubeless when the time arises for new wheels too as I thought the difference on a mountain bike was night and day. I don’t expect the same marked difference on the road, but a nicer and faster ride over rough roads plus no/reduced punctures sounds great to me.

    MTB Rob
    Member

    Been using Stan 4000 and Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tubeless again, really like them, I did have a big flint go through the rear tyre, (riding on a MOD track that normally closed and a lot of crap on the track from the rain) it did put a hole in the tyre but it went down SLOW enough to come to a safe stop and not bugger the rim up.

    Pressure wise, I run them about 95psi front 100 psi at the rear, (I run normal tyre and tubes only 5 to 10 psi higher)
    Lower pressure is also good for CORNERING! 😈

    Tyre pressure also depends on the tyre and how it is made, side wall thickness etc, so you need to test/tyre a few diff pressures, but the tyre should NOT be rock hard.
    I also look at it, if tyres are meant to be rock hard for best grip/speed the be made of something else and be solid! They meant to deform

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Lower pressure is also good for CORNERING

    To a point.

    Premier Icon sturmeyarcher
    Subscriber

    They’re great. 3 years no problems, all the benefits as stated.

    cynic-al
    Member

    4+ years here, quite a convert.

    I ride fairly soft tyres – 90/80 psi, I’m 80kg.

    mrblobby
    Member

    I must try that sometime, it reckons 58/93 psi in the 25c tyres on my winter bike, I’m fairly sure that’ll feel like I’ve got a flat, and definitely not be faster.

    Trying lower pressures at the moment (currently at 80/95 on 23c tubed, though that site reckons I need a bit less up front and a bit more out back) and it is noticeably different, not as harsh and local training loop are certainly no slower. Need to pop the powertap on at some point and do some proper tests. Want to try 25c too.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    Mmm, I changed to 25c when I wore out my tyres on the winter bike, not noticed any difference frankly, comfort, speed, grip or otherwise!

    I got a bit habituated to 12 psi on the mountain bike, but it wasn’t sustainable..
    New Moda road bike in a month’s time will be tubeless. The American Classic wheels that we do are fairly wide, so 23s come up looking like 25s. The only size to roll on is 28 though, so I’m still waiting.

    drfish
    Member

    I’ve been out of cycling for 6-7 years and have come back feeling a bit confused about tubeless. Having done a bit of web searching, I have come to some conclusions about this.
    The issues of resistance to forward motion related to wheels are rotational mass – the lower- the better the acceleration for any given force/torque
    Rolling resistance
    Aerodynamics
    “Gravitational resistance” – ie, mass of the wheel as a whole up a hill.

    Other attributes include puncture resistance, comfort (annular pneumatic suspension in other words) and friction in providing centripetal force in cornering.

    I have not seen a convincing argument supporting tubeless compared to clincher/tube relating to weight.

    Rolling resistance is a very small part of overall resistance especially above 20kph, where aerodynamics come to the fore. Then , the biggest aerodynamic issue by far is the position of the rider on the bike as opposed to the profile of the wheel.

    Indeed Sir Chrs Hoy recommends attention to proper positioning on the bike to extract greatest power for minimum loss on the bike ahead of new carbon wheels. Wise words.

    Rolling resistance is largely caused by deformation of the tyre. A wider tyre reduces rolling resistance compared to narrower tyre for the same pressure, but at higher speeds this could be at the expense of aerodynamics unless married to a particular rim design.
    It is said by some (see earlier posts) that a lower PSI will reduce rolling resistance and this may the case on rough tracks and lower speeds as seen in MTB, but on tarmac this is less likely to be the case. I believe some are confusing tubeless rolling resistance being lower, with a wider tyre size, which does in fact reduce rolling resistance.

    Tubeless has the advantage of reduced snakebites or pinch flats and as this is the case, a lower pressure provides a more comfortable ride as the annular pneumatic suspension is more compliant, but for the same width of tyre, one with a higher pressure on tarmac will have a lower rolling resistance.

    Check out Scwalbe’s tech info on their website for reference on this.

    So my opinion on this, is that tubeless would be great for training and long sportives. It certainly is the standard in MTB. However for the current cost premium of a dedicated tubeless set of road wheels, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere and get clinchers.

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