Road Tubeless

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  • Road Tubeless
  • cynic-al

    4+ years here, quite a convert.

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


    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

    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.


    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
    “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.

    Premier Icon mboy

    Couldn’t wait any longer, ordered myself some Hope Mono Aero Stan’s Alpha 400 wheels today. Just over 1500g the pair, and will be pairing them with Schwalbe Tubeless tyres as soon as available.

    Will let you all know how it’s going when I’ve got some miles under them.

    Premier Icon Onzadog

    Well, this morning, I had my first ride out n my Hutchinson Sector 28s which replaced my previous Conti Gatorskins 28s.

    Certainly felt more comfortable with better grip. I think they might even have felt faster, they certainly didn’t feel any slower.

    I’m running them on a Stans Arch rim that they’re not supposed to work with so I’ll probably explode in a huge fireball in the next few days.


    However for the current cost premium of a dedicated tubeless set of road wheels, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere and get clinchers.

    I cant remember the exact figure but the Fulcrum Racing 1 Two Way Fit wheels are only about £50 more expensive than the standard clinchers. Tyre’s are in the same ball park pricewise, so not too much of a premium.

    Premier Icon Yak

    As above. Currently awaiting a new set of tubeless wheels for Mrs Y. At the time of choosing rims the wheelbuilder had a choice of 3 tubeless ready rims, with a variety of prices, some of which were not much more than other clincher rims.

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