Any Point Me Going Tubeless

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
Witterings
Posts: 363
Joined: 8 Jun 2018, 10:17am
Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Witterings » 18 Sep 2018, 11:12pm

I'm riding a mix of 70% road and the rest fairly compact gravel over fairly flat non technical areas, because the emphasis is more more on the road I tend to run my tyres at reasonably high pressure and as such have never suffered pinch flats .... yet .... We do though get a lot of thorns round here, I switched to puncture protected tyres which has made a huge difference.

If I'm not running them at lower pressures is there any real advantage of me going tubeless and if I did how do you cope with multiple thorns in the tyre ... if the sealant's doing it job you may accumulate several in there before you've even realised you've got one?

I'm riding a 29er at the moment but literally picking up a gravel bike in the next couple of days.

rmurphy195
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Location: South Birmingham

Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby rmurphy195 » 19 Sep 2018, 5:39pm

You'd best consider the practicalities of tubless - special rims perhaps, and maybe some interesting techniques for blowing up the tyres - I've heard that like car tyres they need an initial blast of air to get the tyres to seal against the rim. maybe someone who uses them can expand on this.

Not sure what happens if the tyre is damaged - would you need to carry a tube with you just in case you do have a puncture?

Personally I wouldn't bother
Brompton, Condor Heritage, creaky joints and thinning white (formerly grey) hair
""You know you're getting old when it's easier to ride a bike than to get on and off it" - quote from observant jogger !

Witterings
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Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Witterings » 19 Sep 2018, 7:11pm

rmurphy195 wrote:You'd best consider the practicalities of tubless - special rims perhaps, and maybe some interesting techniques for blowing up the tyres - I've heard that like car tyres they need an initial blast of air to get the tyres to seal against the rim. maybe someone who uses them can expand on this.

Not sure what happens if the tyre is damaged - would you need to carry a tube with you just in case you do have a puncture?

Personally I wouldn't bother


I've certainly seen some comments about blowing them up initially but do have a compressor so that shouldn't be a problem.

I get the impression it's a bit of a pain to set them up originally but that's a one off ..... I think though from what I've seen the real benefit is being able to run lower pressure for better grip especially when it gets muddy / slippery so if that's not the sort of riding I'm doing question if there are other benefits.

flat tyre
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby flat tyre » 19 Sep 2018, 7:59pm

I used tubeless tyres on 2 of my road bikes for about 18 months and did about 6,000 miles on them.
I summary I would say that the technology works well and the number of stops I had to make due to punctures reduced to almost zero, which was a big improvement over my tubed tyres, so a good result. The sealant worked with quite large punctures, e.g. glass and in one case a side wall split.
However there are some disadvantages in my view. The tyres are a bit fiddly to fit, in my case I used C02 bulbs to give an initial blast to get the tyre seated on the rim. Luckily I didn't need to play around with rim tape as the wheels I have are sealed rims and tubeless ready. In the case of big punctures, in most cases the sealant worked, but I found that a more permanent repair was necessary to stop the sealed hole opening up again, i.e. take the tyre off when at home and put a patch on the inside of the tyre, a process involving removing and reseating the tyre, then refilling with sealant. Once or twice I used a tyre worm to repair the hole if the sealant wouldn't do the job, but I didn't have great success with these and in my view they are only useful as a temporary repair to get you home. The main problem I found was that there are not many tubeless tyres to choose from and almost all of then are fairly lightweight and pricey. As I mostly cycle on the flinty, mud covered lanes of Hampshire I was getting a very low mileage from the tyre before I could not effectively repair them any more, so I was spending a fortune on tyres.
I've now taken them off and going to take my chances again this winter with tubed tyres.

hemo
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby hemo » 19 Sep 2018, 8:10pm

I set up my Arkose as TL to rid my self of pinch flats. Arkose came with TL ready rims but not TL tyres so will buy TL ready tyres when replacement is needed, current tyres leech through walls a little so looses pressure when left standing after a few days. Choice of sealant after looking at reviews and searching was Effetto caffelatex which is easy and clean to use and rubs off easily like Copydex.

Priming the rim & tyre seat made sealing the rim perfect for initial seating then added sealant via the valve, I used an Arshot primed to 100psi to seat the tyre first (pop,pop), then released one side at a time to prime with the latex and used the Airshot to seat again.

I do take a tube as an emegency back up.

hemo
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby hemo » 19 Sep 2018, 8:12pm

Co2 is not recommended as a air source with sealants due to sealant reaction.

flat tyre
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby flat tyre » 19 Sep 2018, 8:18pm

The Cycle Clinic has some useful technical advice re tubeless tyres - https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/pages/tech-page

busb
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby busb » 25 Sep 2018, 6:33pm

My Giant Defy came set up tubeless 18 months ago - had a few unexplained reductions in pressure but never by much. I was so impressed by this, I converted my hybrid to tubeless which entailed buying new wheels (built up for me). TBH, it was a real baptism of hell-fire setting them up. You are supposed to be able to inflate & seal the beads before adding sealant - like hell! My track pump proved useless so bought an Airshot cylinder. Once set up, again no punctures. I have picked out small sharp objects without deflation.
I carry an innertube, puncture repair kit & importantly - a tyre bead jack otherwise getting the tyre back on would be virtually impossible with just levers. If you want to carry C02 canisters for emergency use, re-inflate with air ASAP for the reasons mentioned.
As for the "feel", I like tubeless & they can be run at lower pressures without risk of pinch-flats. Although many disagree, tubeless are the future but you do need to match tyres to rims more carefully than with tubed. My view is the technology is still improving, mainly regarding getting the damn tyres on.
Continental reckon tubeless for road use is pointless, other manufacturers disagree. I would guess that Continental are hedging their bets though. The current disincentive to convert existing wheels is cost for non-compatible rim replacement. One more point - remember to have the valves uppermost for adding or releasing air should you go with tubeless.

atlas_shrugged
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby atlas_shrugged » 26 Sep 2018, 8:26am

My very limited experience was via a mate running tubeless. He was running tubeless which was working well until ...

... we had the mis-fortune to drive past farmers/showmen leaving Cereals18 where we encountered the worst driving I have ever experienced. Towing trailers and driving Chelsea tractors they managed to force my mate onto the verge and over his handlebars, his only other choice was death by trailer. After this his tyres would not hold air and needed pumping up every 10 miles or so.

Scunnered
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Scunnered » 26 Sep 2018, 8:30am

There is a steep learning curve to start with, see https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=120560&p=1215152#p1215152
However, once set up they are relatively trouble free. It's coming up to hedge trimming season so I have mine on now.

Witterings
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Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Witterings » 26 Sep 2018, 8:47am

Scunnered wrote:It's coming up to hedge trimming season so I have mine on now.


Must admit this is what made me change my tyres last year as had 6 consecutive punctures each time I went out so bought some puncture resistant and haven't had any in months ..... although putting that in writing is always tempting fate :shock:

If my puncture resistant tyres are working and as I always mix between 70% road and 30% fairly compact gravel ... I tend to focus the pressures on the higher side which negates one of the main benefits of tubeless so with the added simplicity of tubed I still think I'm better off staying with my current set up I guess unless I missing some other benefits????

slowster
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby slowster » 26 Sep 2018, 9:12am

busb wrote: One more point - remember to have the valves uppermost for adding or releasing air should you go with tubeless.

I thought that was only specifically recommended for CO2 use, i.e. to minimise any damage to the sealant from the very low temperature of the gas as it expands and comes into contact with sealant, i.e. most of the sealant will be at the bottom of the tyre, furthest away from the valve and the CO2 before it warms and is diluted by the air already in the tube.

I've read that it's advisable to store the bike with the valves in the lowest position, so that the valves are upright and any sealant in them will drain down into the tube. I don't know how much of a problem sealant in valves entering pump heads and pressure gauges is, but there is at least one (very expensive) pressure gauge with a removable filter to prevent it being damaged by sealant (https://singletrackworld.com/2018/08/pressure-gauge-group-test-the-evt-bleedin-gauge/).

If the valve has some sealant inside it, and the valve is released to let air out, would not the rapid movement of air being expelled from the tube be very similar to the escape of air through a puncture, and so result in the shear forces on the sealant which will cause it to solidify in the valve?

Witterings
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Location: Chichester, West Sussex

Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Witterings » 26 Sep 2018, 10:31am

Witterings wrote:
Scunnered wrote:It's coming up to hedge trimming season so I have mine on now.


Must admit this is what made me change my tyres earlier in the year as had 6 consecutive punctures each time I went out so bought some puncture resistant and haven't had any in months ..... although putting that in writing is always tempting fate :shock:

If my puncture resistant tyres are working and as I always mix between 70% road and 30% fairly compact gravel ... I tend to focus the pressures on the higher side which negates one of the main benefits of tubeless so with the added simplicity of tubed I still think I'm better off staying with my current set up I guess unless I missing some other benefits????

Brucey
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Brucey » 26 Sep 2018, 11:52am

there is a 'tubeless for dummies' thread on YACF that is worth a read. It goes on for many pages though, which either means that there are a lot of dummies or tubeless is nowhere near as straightforward as it could be.

There are numerous potential pitfalls to tubeless which

a) perhaps won't matter to you because they won't happen with your setup or
b) perhaps won't matter to you because they are fairly easily overcome

but there remains a significant number of people who have gone to the bother of setting up their bike for tubeless, run it, and then encountered fairly intractable problems of one kind or another and have become completely disenchanted with the idea.

If you do use tubeless one of the appeals of the system is to folk who struggle with ordinary tyres, to get them on and off the rim and fix punctures. Well you won't need to do this as often (if the tubeless system works as advertised, sealing small punctures which you might get from thorns or flints) but when you do (a significant fraction of punctures are bigger gashes that won't seal and need tube/booting for example), the chances are that the whole process will be somewhat worse than normal; tubeless tyres are designed to be a tight fit on the rims, and the rims have lips in the well to retain the tyre bead. When you do get the tyre off there is a mess of sealant to contend with.

BTW some (a few) sealants are resistant to the effects of CO2. Others are not, and the slight acidifying effect of the CO2 causes them to solidify prematurely.

Also, if you want to be prepared to fix a puncture using a tube, one thing you should carry is some kind of small tool (e.g. pliers) that can be used to unscrew the valve locknut when there is no pressure in the tyre ( the air pressure inside the tyre pushes against the valve stem; a locknut that is merely finger tight when the tyre is inflated becomes much more difficult to remove once the tyre is flat).

There are quite a few myths (on both sides of the argument) about tubeless tyres. I would say that they are of primary benefit for those who

1) *must use* fairly flimsy tyres for some reason and/or
2) are plagued by numerous 'nuisance punctures' (i.e. those arising from thorns and flints) as a consequence.

As to the OPs question, there is definitely one point to changing to tubeless; you will get to find out if tubeless really suits you or not.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scunnered
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Re: Any Point Me Going Tubeless

Postby Scunnered » 26 Sep 2018, 1:39pm

Regarding the use of CO2:
CO2 inflator can be used just to get the tyre beads seated upon the rim. Then deflate, remove valve core, add sealant, replace value core and finally re-inflate with a regular pump.