Author Topic: To go tubeless or stay tubed.  (Read 5384 times)

To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« on: January 11, 2021, 01:26:28 pm »
Looking for some advice and suggestions here. About 5 years ago, I bought a Shand Stoater that was fitted with tubeless rims (Stans no tubes) but with normal tyres - 35mm Continental Cyclocross. Seemed like an odd choice but they ride well and cope with my mixture of mostly road riding with a bit of off road here and there. Only issue is they seem prone to punctures - well more so than the Schwalbe Marathons I have on another bike.

Anyway, it’s time to replace them so my question is, is it worth the hassle or should  I stick with tubed tyres such as the Marathons? Supplementary question: I see that Shand now fit the Stoater with Schwalbe G-One Allround tubeless tyres, the tread on these looks very similar to the Conti Cyclocross I have now so would these be a good tyre dip into the world of tubeless?

Thanks for any help.
I am often asked, what does YOAV stand for? It stands for Yoav On A Velo

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2021, 01:37:49 pm »
Brucey will be along in a minute to offer up the Luddite view, but here's my view:

If its a late april to october bike, then maybe no.  If it is not used regularly (ie. at least fortnightly) then maybe no.  If you are technically useless and not prepared to learn then definitely no.

Everything else, yes.


Advantages:

You can run them at lower pressures than you can tubed without risk of snake bite. Very useful if you need more grip or want a plush ride.
You still have to do maintenance on them (pumping tyres more regularly than tubed, topping up sealant) but this is generally done at a time and place of your choosing and not in the pissing rain at the side of a road, in the dark, in december, when it is freezing, and you are cold and tired and just want to get home.
The racier tubeless tyres are starting to give tubulars a run for their money in terms of ride feel.
Blowouts highly unlikely.

In 5.5 years of using them in all conditions I have only twice had to stop and put a tube in (ie. exactly what I would have had to do with EVERY puncture on a tubed tyre) They aren't infallible. You can still get sidewall cuts, gashes etc that would see off any tyre.  You can get punctures that are too big for the sealant to deal with, but dynoplugs will, in most case, sort these.  What you won't have to do is stop everytime you get a puncture, change the tube, pump it up, carefully examine the tyre for the perpetrator, and then stop a few miles up the road when it punctures again.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2021, 01:39:04 pm »
I would not go back to tubed tyres but there is a learning curve.
The G-one is what I use on my audax bike and they roll nicely.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2021, 01:49:55 pm »

Anyway, it’s time to replace them so my question is, is it worth the hassle or should  I stick with tubed tyres such as the Marathons? Supplementary question: I see that Shand now fit the Stoater with Schwalbe G-One Allround tubeless tyres, the tread on these looks very similar to the Conti Cyclocross I have now so would these be a good tyre dip into the world of tubeless?

I have a pair of G-One allround, but with tubes, I was really impressed with how fast they roll. I used them on an off road bike packing tour in Germany. I don't know how the tubeless version compares to the non tubeless version.

I'm still umming and ahring about tubeless. In many respects it feels like it could be a *LOT* of faff at 3am on a mountain side in the rain. On the other hand, it could prevent me from having to swap a tube on a mountain side at 3am in the rain... But my usecase is not that of a typical cyclist.

I think it may also depend a lot on where you cycle. I had 10 flats in 600km cycling through Northern Germany, Denmark and Sweden, yet average about 1 every 8000km or so cycling in .NL/.BE/.DE (Western)/.CH. And that's with the broken glass that is a substantial component of fietspad surfacing. This is using Conti GP5K tyres (GP4kii for the scandi trip).

I do use the conti's off road, but that's cos I'm an idiot...

J

--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2021, 09:42:20 pm »
Tubeless. HF sums it up perfectly. There is a safety gain and they (the ones I use anyway) ride really nicely.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2021, 11:04:01 pm »
I can recommend Mavic UST both tyres and rims. Work well together but Mavic tyres also seem to work well on non Mavic rims in my experience
It is what it is. It's not what it's not, so it must be what it is.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 11:08:02 pm »
From my own experience of tubeless G-One Allrounds I think it would be optimistic to suggest that they would be equally puncture resistant to tubed Marathons, especially when taken off road. After 500km of use I found 15 punctures to the rear tyre that had self sealed before the 16th that hadn't ???  I'm pretty certain that none of the 15 "micro" punctures would have penetrated an innertube but it does tend to indicate that they're relatively light duty tyres.
Most of the stuff I say is true because I saw it in a dream and I don't have the presence of mind to make up lies when I'm asleep.   Bryan Andreas

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2021, 06:27:54 am »
In September I did a hard, hilly 400km DIY.  At 11pm I still had 80km to go.  I was going up a steep hill, in the dark as it was starting to get cold.  I felt a puncture in my rear wheel.  I really did not want to stop.  Two seconds later, it resealed. 

I've used tubeless since 2015.  I've needed to stop and put a tube in just twice in 30-40,000 km.  Both would have been avoidable with a bit of thought and care. 


Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2021, 07:03:14 am »
Would anyone like to offer an opinion as to whether they may be a problem with tubeless tyres rolling off when subjected to severe lateral forces. I'm talking tricycles. Only reason to change would be the potential ride quality improvement of running lower pressure.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2021, 08:02:26 am »
Would anyone like to offer an opinion as to whether they may be a problem with tubeless tyres rolling off when subjected to severe lateral forces. I'm talking tricycles. Only reason to change would be the potential ride quality improvement of running lower pressure.

That’s a good question! I think with the right rims you’d probably be fine. However, they do present different failure modes to tubes in a tricycle I think - I presume a flat tubed tyre will roll off during a corner? A tubeless tyre on a decent rim would be more secure in that circumstance, though you’d still shift it eventually of course. The failure I’d think about is if the combination of rim allowed the tyre bead to move in the seat and hence unseal under high lateral load. This is more likely if the tyre is newly installed and the sealant hasn’t set n any micro gaps or if the sealant is allowed to run dry. On a bicycle if you let this happen it eventually goes flat slowly, but tends to be undramatic (I descended Greenhow Hill with a very flat rear as consequence of being lazy once and the tyre stayed on the rim, although it was quite squirmy!)

So, if it was me, I’d make sure I was using rims that have good retention (Kinlin 22t, 26t or 31t work well) and give myself a couple of days occasionally spinning the wheel after installation - or just ride easy for a couple of days.

I don’t know how much lateral force you actually build up on a trike either? Bike wheels are especially strong laterally, so if anyone knows I’d be interested to find out?

Mike

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2021, 09:24:48 am »
I have been thinking about this possibility for a couple of years. I think tubeless would work well on a trike, given how tight most tubeless tyres are and the preference for wide rims. I would stick with beaded rims and slightly higher pressures (not cyclocross low) though.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #11 on: January 13, 2021, 09:33:35 am »
I have been thinking about this possibility for a couple of years. I think tubeless would work well on a trike, given how tight most tubeless tyres are and the preference for wide rims. I would stick with beaded rims and slightly higher pressures (not cyclocross low) though.

I have a set of 28mm Conti GP5000 tubeless on a pair of 23mm internal rims (light bicycle AR56) that I think would meet this criteria.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #12 on: January 13, 2021, 10:01:04 am »
just to inject a little sanity here; the combination of stans rims and UST tyres may not be an optimal one;



but then there is no guarantee that tyres and rims will work together as advertised.  There never has been, and the required tolerances for tubeless are considerably higher than for other tyres.  This was highlighted for me shortly after the announcement of the 'new tubeless tyre standard' (to widespread fanfares and jubilation): I helped someone fit a tubeless tyre to a tubeless rim, and basically it didn't ****in' work.  The tyre was too loose on the rim, so wouldn't seat unless a booster bottle was used, and then wouldn't stay seated for long enough to get the valve core in.   Now I am a pretty persistent kind of a chap but I do tend to lose patience with obvious rubbish and after about fifteen goes I was all for packing it in. However my chum (somehow) found the motivation to carry on and by some miracle attempt number twenty-something was successful.

Now you might put this down to being 'just one of those things' but it happened that both the tyre and the rim were from the same manufacturer and furthermore that manufacturer has taken a leading role in the development of the new standard.  So if they can't make it work reliably with their own stuff then I'd say the chances of random combinations of various people's rubbish working consistently as advertised  are not that good. Put it this way I'm not holding my breath any more than most tubeless tyres actually achieve their raison d'etre which is to hold air. Some folk with long memories may remember it being a PITA with some tubs because they had flimsy latex tubes inside them which leaked air and you had to pump them up every time you rode the bike; its deja vu all over again in C21 with tubeless tyres.... ::-)

IME tubeless tyres need to be a tight fit on the rim otherwise they are liable to be a problem when being fitted because they won't stay seated. However if they 'fit well' in this regard they  are invariably more difficult to unseat too when this is required. Some folk have given up with tubeless rims because (regardless of the type of tyre fitted to them) they feel that they would be unable to get the tyre off at the roadside.

Above you will see a version of one of the choice phrases that is trotted out by tubeless advocates which is generally along the lines of   "I've only had to put a tube a few times and it was no bother because it is exactly what I'd have done with a tubed tyre anyway".

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what we scientists call "a lie".

When you get to the point you need to put a tube in a tubeless tyre you have of course already exhausted the gamut of possibilities involving sealant, daft things you are meant to stick in the hole etc. Then you need to break the seal of the tyre bead, which shouldn't be easy because of the tight fit but is also hindered by any dried sealant there might be under the bead.  When you finally get the tyre bead off the rim you may wish you hadn't, because the liquid sealant in the tyre will start puking out everywhere even if it hasn't done so already.  Sealant is intended to stick to surfaces and unfortunately most forms of clothing represent an ideal substrate. Many type of clothing are instantly ruined by contact with sealant. Now the tubeless valve stem has to come out of the rim. You will need pliers for this since the cretins that design this rubbish have not thought it through far enough.   A (hopefully brief) 'slime wrestling' bout will then ensue as you try and get the tube into the tyre, only the tyre and the rim are not designed to accommodate a tube, leave alone one which is now covered in slimy crap.  And the tyre will be tight going on again too, even if you don't pinch the tube against those often pointlessly, er, pointy lips inside the rim.

The whole performance has then to be repeated when you get home and do a 'proper repair', assuming that the tyre isn't going straight in the bin.

Needless to say this does not in any way resemble what happens when a puncture occurs with tubed tyres on appropriate rims, (provided you have not accidentally ended up with a bad pairing of tyre and rim that is tighter than it should be).

FWIW there are benefits to tubeless eg

1) if you think you might have a high speed blowout, the tyre staying on the rim better (because it is tighter) is a bit safer and
2) if for some reason you are determined to use tyres (eg all year round) which have all the structural integrity of a lightly reinforced condom, then it is possible you may spend less time (net) by the roadside fixing punctures.

But you would need to have a lot of punctures to make the latter thing true, assuming that you are remotely competent at whacking a new tube in; this ought to take about a couple of minutes if you are in a hurry, and about twice as long if you check the tyre for sharps like you should do.

FWIW I may regret saying this but I have not had a puncture through the tread for about two years, during which time I have done enough miles across several bikes to have  worn tyres out, suffered carcass failures and goodness knows what else. I use the lightest and fastest tyres you can buy when the situation merits it (which is not often), but guess I have done most miles on training tyres which are typically 50-100g heavier than really lightweight tyres. And I do check them for flints fairly regularly.  So if you are happy to use tyres like that then tubeless is perhaps  "a solution looking for a problem".

I am currently pondering a new wheelset and I might try tubeless again. My fallback plan is that if/when I get pissed off with it (again) I may just grind the extra lips off the inside of the rims. We shall see.

cheers


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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #13 on: January 13, 2021, 10:12:11 am »
I've got to the point now, 5.5 years in to using tubeless, employing 3 different wheelsets, and 6 different types/brands of tyre, that I just consider Brucey as a sort of gaslighting windbag

Talk about not holding air   ;)

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #14 on: January 13, 2021, 10:28:50 am »
I've got to the point now, 5.5 years in to using tubeless, employing 3 different wheelsets, and 6 different types/brands of tyre, that I just consider Brucey as a sort of gaslighting windbag

Talk about not holding air   ;)

Kool-Aid tastes nice does it...?

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #15 on: January 13, 2021, 10:43:18 am »
In this instance, you are the purveyor of Kool Aid. 

God knows how we ever managed to install a tubeless tyre. Nor how all of the tyres we have installed have performed brilliantly. Nor how we even managed to remove a tubeless tyre because oh my god sealant.

I think your difficulties carrying out what are very simple mechanical procedures  probably tell us something about the esteem in which we should hold you.


Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #16 on: January 13, 2021, 10:45:19 am »
We are signed up for a supported long-distance bike ride down the length of South America.
It's organised by an outfit called tda global:
https://tdaglobalcycling.com/

The route contains a mix of reasonable roads and rougher unsurfaced roads.
We have bought Shand Stoaters which are all-purpose bikes, gravel bikes as they are called these days.
These are tubeless.

They send out a bulletin every few weeks on various topics.

On the subject of tyres, somewhat surprisingly advised going with tubes, because they they found that people didnt have the capability to reliably re-seat tubeless on-the-road.

I expect I will go with the existing tubeless setup, but carry tubes for the rare case where I can't get things to seal.

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #17 on: January 13, 2021, 10:45:53 am »
A good combination (IME) has been Hutchinson "tubeless ready" and both Velocity and Pacenti tubeless rims.  The bead seating is very positive.

Regarding one of Brucey's many points, seating initially can indeed be a pain. I've never managed it without at least a booster pump. Usually I bung a tube in, pump it up to 120-140psi and get the bead seated that way, and leave it for a couple of days in the warm. I'll then pop one bead off - the other stays locked - and remove the tube before (again, probably using a booster) reseating the popped bead. After that the beads stay locked, so putting in sealant and valve core is no problem.

In use, where I've removed a tyre at a later date, I've sometimes ('cos I'm a wuss( had to resort to mechanical means to get the bead to unseat.

Like ANY tyre and rim combination, some work better than others.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #18 on: January 13, 2021, 10:49:34 am »
On the subject of tyres, somewhat surprisingly advised going with tubes, because they they found that people didnt have the capability to reliably re-seat tubeless on-the-road.

I expect I will go with the existing tubeless setup, but carry tubes for the rare case where I can't get things to seal.

I'd need to use a CO2 shot to reseat a tubeless roadside I think, and that's often contra-indicated with sealant - the sharp drop in temperature can apparently "set" it. No idea how true that is of course as I've never experimented to find out. Perhaps other hear can comment more authoratively.
We are making a New World (Paul Nash, 1918)

Pedal Castro

  • so talented I can run with scissors - ouch!
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Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #19 on: January 13, 2021, 10:50:26 am »
I agree with Brucey, tubeless not worth the risk for my riding. I got as far a mounting Schwalbe Pro Ones on my tubeless rims and thought this is not worth the effort so didn't bother even putting the gunk in just removed the valves and put in some proper tubes.

My last puncture was a 12mm sidewall gash 80k into a 200. A plastic fiver boot and new tube was a lot easier than it would have been if the tyre had been full of sealant surely?

Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #20 on: January 13, 2021, 10:50:56 am »
I think that the video and details in this discussion are interesting from a trike-rider's perspective.

fboab

  • It's a fecking serious business, riding a bike
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #21 on: January 13, 2021, 10:54:47 am »
I think if I were setting it up myself, I wouldn't bother. I think I'm too heavy and I don't get that many punctures.

Very happy with the tubeless as arrived on my latest bike. If/when it needs maintenance, the LBS will get some business out of me. This is true for pretty much every aspect of it, from Tyres to Tape.
TSS is not Total Sex Score, Chris!

Feanor

  • It's mostly downhill from here.
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2021, 10:56:07 am »
Out of interest, what 'activates' the sealant to 'set' in a puncture?

It can't be exposure to air: the tyre is full of air!

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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2021, 10:56:56 am »
We are signed up for a supported long-distance bike ride down the length of South America.
It's organised by an outfit called tda global:
https://tdaglobalcycling.com/

The route contains a mix of reasonable roads and rougher unsurfaced roads.
We have bought Shand Stoaters which are all-purpose bikes, gravel bikes as they are called these days.
These are tubeless.

They send out a bulletin every few weeks on various topics.

On the subject of tyres, somewhat surprisingly advised going with tubes, because they they found that people didnt have the capability to reliably re-seat tubeless on-the-road.

I expect I will go with the existing tubeless setup, but carry tubes for the rare case where I can't get things to seal.

I'm not sure in which circumstance, on the roadside, you would try to reseat a tubeless tyre. If I needed to reseat one it would imply total deflation, which would call for a tube to go in. That tube could stay in forever, without a problem.   I just always carry a tube, just as I would with a clincher.  The maintenance work can then take place at a time and place of my choosing when I have the requisite tools. Equally, I don't carry sealant with me.

A good combination (IME) has been Hutchinson "tubeless ready" and both Velocity and Pacenti tubeless rims.  The bead seating is very positive.

Regarding one of Brucey's many points, seating initially can indeed be a pain. I've never managed it without at least a booster pump. Usually I bung a tube in, pump it up to 120-140psi and get the bead seated that way, and leave it for a couple of days in the warm. I'll then pop one bead off - the other stays locked - and remove the tube before (again, probably using a booster) reseating the popped bead. After that the beads stay locked, so putting in sealant and valve core is no problem.

In use, where I've removed a tyre at a later date, I've sometimes ('cos I'm a wuss( had to resort to mechanical means to get the bead to unseat.

Like ANY tyre and rim combination, some work better than others.

I've installed countlesss tubeless tyres for myself and friends, and I think I have perfected my routiine. I have a booster, which I always use now, even though I have many times installed with just a track pump. Difficulties have arisen only when I have missed out a step...and usually the step is wiping the beads with soapy water. I have never needed to mount the tyre with a tube overnight, although once I had some narrow hutchinsons on a really narrow non-tubeless rim, that were a bugger to fit in around the valve grommit. I don't know about wider tyres as I max out at 32mm, but my erstwhile riding partner also seems to manage to mount his 45mm tyres with no issues.


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  • Mediocre polyglot.Scoutmaster and nudist
Re: To go tubeless or stay tubed.
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2021, 11:01:40 am »
I agree with Brucey, tubeless not worth the risk for my riding. I got as far a mounting Schwalbe Pro Ones on my tubeless rims and thought this is not worth the effort so didn't bother even putting the gunk in just removed the valves and put in some proper tubes.

My last puncture was a 12mm sidewall gash 80k into a 200. A plastic fiver boot and new tube was a lot easier than it would have been if the tyre had been full of sealant surely?

Not really...the sealant would come out. There might be a little left, but it isn't a huge problem.

See my first post for benefits. There are reasons not to use tubeless. I don't use them for either of my may-october bikes. I could, but the likehood of punctures is slim, and the likelihood of punctures in unfavorable conditions is even slimmer. The downside of using them on these bikes would be the months of non-use. The tyre would deflate, and there is a likelihood of the sealant dripping out.   As I said earlier I think tubeless is not ideal for bikes that are not used much, as regular inflation is part of the maintenance needs.