What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

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PH
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby PH » 9 Aug 2017, 9:59pm

landsurfer wrote:
Bez wrote:[

landsurfer wrote:So if you get a puncture when out for a ride how do you fix it


You don't, it fixes itself,


How ... thats the point i don't get .... How .....


This is pretty objective re pros and cons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nit55MSaFJ4

And this ought to convince anyone on the puncture thing
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOi4czjB1No

landsurfer
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby landsurfer » 9 Aug 2017, 10:13pm

You fill them full of sealant..... :roll:

How much does that weigh .... more than an inner tube ..... ?

So we now have special wheels, special rim tapes, special tyres, filled with special sealant and a special inflating device .....

Really ....... Emperors New Clothes ....

This is marketing gibberish .... Just a personal thought ..... :)

And breathe ..... :mrgreen:
Last edited by landsurfer on 9 Aug 2017, 11:01pm, edited 2 times in total.
The Road Goes On Forever

mark a.
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby mark a. » 9 Aug 2017, 10:17pm

Jesus Christ, calm down landsurfer. No need to be so hysterical and vindictive about it all.

MikeDee
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What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby MikeDee » 9 Aug 2017, 11:52pm

I was on a tour last week. One rider had tubeless with sealant and got a flat. The sealant didn't work. He chose to sag out the rest of the ride that day instead of taking off the tire (which is difficult), cleaning up the messy sealant, removing the valve stem, and remounting the tire with a tube. Not worth the hassle, in my opinion. This is why road tubeless has not replaced tubes; dubious other advantages aside. Mavic just came out with a new road tubeless system where it's easy to mount/dismount the tire. Still, it uses proprietary Mavic tires and if you use sealant, you are still faced with a mess if it doesn't seal. Anything other than a thorn prick, due to high pressure, the sealant just sprays out, unlike low pressure mountain bike tires.

But, sealant is also a pain on my mountain bike. The tires are also hard to mount and dismount, they are more expensive, and the sealant dries out in a couple of months. Just keeping injecting sealant is not a good option either because your tires will gain a lot of weight with the dried sealant and from dried puddles or "Stanimals" that throw the wheel out of balance. Tires need to be removed and the dried sealant removed, which has is not that easy. If I weren't getting so many thorn punctures, I'd go back to conventional tires and tubes.
Last edited by MikeDee on 9 Aug 2017, 11:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

Brucey
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby Brucey » 10 Aug 2017, 7:58am

It is worth mentioning that some of the claimed benefits of tubeless systems are not guaranteed unless you use particular combinations of parts. Mavic's expansion of the UST system into road tyres may be adopted by ISO as a proper standard and maybe that will bring a degree of sanity to the whole business; as it is at present there are tyres and rims that just won't work at all together and others where it will look like it is going to work but actually it won't, not reliably.

There have been quite a few reported instances where a road tubeless tyre has blown off a rim unexpectedly; it is easy to assume that the tyre was oversize or the rim undersize, but there is more to it than that. Fundamentally a tubed tyre is partially retained by the hook bead on the rim. However in a tubeless setup the bead isn't pushed into the hook by air pressure unless the seal is at the very lip of the tyre, i.e. against the well of the rim. If instead the seal is made at the lip of the rim , you can have full tyre pressure all round the bead edge of the tyre and thus it isn't being pushed into the hook bead any more. This can cause tyres to move around and/or blow off the rim at lower pressures than they should.

Remember that there will always be some kind of a seal at the lip of the rim, and all it has to be is slightly better than the seal at the lip of the tyre, and air pressure will gradually impose itself in the wrong place.

So far it looks like the new road UST standard uses a heavier bead in the tyre that doesn't really need a hook to hold it on, even at higher pressures. The bead also fits into the rim better. Only time will tell if this approach will really take off or not; if it fails I worry for Mavic's future, since they have clearly invested a lot of time and effort into it and all their new wheels and rims will be offered in UST, many (I think) in UST only.

Regarding punctures, many tubeless users report that if they run lightweight tyres in grotty (winter) conditions that they have 'clearly avoided lots of punctures'. Other report that they assume (since their tyres need to be pumped up at odd times) that they must have had a puncture and it sealed itself. Well I think in many cases it is just as likely that the air leaked out through the sidewall or where the tyre wasn't sealed onto the rim properly. Also, why on earth would you want to be running (expensive, flimsy) summer tyres on your winter bike? -they are still going to wear out quickly and be vulnerable to carcass damage, and that is if they have the right kind of tread pattern and rubber compound for use in those conditions. Finally some tubeless users seem to think that since their tyres have not completely deflated, that they must be safe to ride on, but this simply isn't true; it doesn't matter what tyres you have, if you don't inspect them, you won't see damage that will likely be your undoing, tubeless or not. When you do inspect them, you should be pulling flints out whichever type of tyre you have, because carcass damage will result with or without an actual puncture.

So where does that leave the prospective road tubeless user? Some folk seem to get on OK with it, but I don't know anyone who has used tubeless who didn't spend a lot of time, money and (often messy, frustrating) effort to get it to work. Cynically, I have suggested that this time and effort would typically have fixed many punctures by the roadside; several year's worth in fact. The main benefit appears to be that you get to faff more often with your tyres (pumping them up where they have leaked etc) and for a longer time net (fitting them in the first place, filling them with sealant, faffing with the valves etc) but that you (largely, if it all works as advertised) get to choose when this happens, rather than have to fix punctures by the roadside.

However if it doesn't work as advertised, you need to be able to remove the tyre (usually not easy), try not to make a mess with all the sticky crap inside the tyre, remove the valve from the rim (which usually requires pliers BTW) and then fit a tube. The chances of this being as quick as with a standard tyre are nil. The chances of it holding air are also not that great; the tyre is more likely to nip the tube (it was tight, remember?) and the tyre may be chocca with little flints and so forth already (that you will never find because of all the sticky crap), just waiting to have a go at the tube...

The undecided buyer might well wonder if there isn't any harm in buying a tubeless compatible wheelset, even if they don't intend to run tubeless. Well, if all the manufacturers act in unison, you perhaps won't have any choice in the matter. And even if you don't want to use tubeless tyres, tubeless rims can mean that each and every tyre (tubeless or not) is a complete pain in backside to fit onto the rims, like the worst combination you ever had before, that you said you wouldn't ever use again... Maybe the UST rims will be better in this respect... but I'm not holding my breath.

I think it is quite telling that the manufacturers have been selling bikes with 'tubeless compatible wheels' and sometimes tyres too, but most usually the tyres are installed with, er, tubes when they leave the factory. I think that this is probably because it just takes too long to fit and seal tubeless tyres, and even if you managed it in the factory, it might need to be re-done in the bike shop before the bike is sold. Well, if that is the case, why the heck would you want to use something like that?

By contrast tubeless car tyres are pretty good; the fact that you need special equipment to deal with them isn't a big deal because you can carry a spare wheel in car. Bicycles are different to that.....

If you want your tyres to resist punctures via the use of sealant, you can run tubes with sealant in. I don't see that there is a huge difference there TBH, and at least the messy gloop is more or less contained.

So overall I am not yet convinced by tubeless (in fact I'm not even convinced on my MTB come to that; e.g. if you are getting pinch flats then you are also trashing your tyres and rims in all likelihood...) but I await developments with interest. Who knows, if all rims and tyres are made to a (more closely toleranced) tubeless standard, maybe we won't get some tyres that are impossible to fit onto some rims, as we do at present occasionally.

cheers
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amediasatex
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby amediasatex » 10 Aug 2017, 11:06am

No good if you get a cut rather than a pinhole puncture.


Same issue with a tubed tyre though, if you get that kind of puncture (rare) then yes you put a tube in, the point being that it IS rare, and for the 99% of the time you're riding without a tube you get the benefits of tubeless

So if you get a puncture when out for a ride how do you fix it


For most normal punctures* the sealant seals it before you notice, for bigger holes** it will often seal with a bit of sloshing around and then you just re-inflate (with a normal pump) and carry on.

For punctures that won't easily seal*** you use a tubeless tyre plug (AKA worm), this is done in-situ without removing the tyre and takes less time than patching a tube, you then re-inflate (with a normal pump) and carry on.

If it's a proper massive carcass tear**** then you boot it and bung a tube in.

The thing you have to remember is that even if you do have to put a tube in, that's no worse than what you'd have to do with a tubed tyre, but it is/might be better for the rest of the time, and it's also a rare occurrence.

You fill them full of sealant..... :roll:


not 'fill' but there is some sealant in there

How much does that weigh .... more than an inner tube ..... ?


no, much less, 60ml for up to ~2.2 MTB tyre, so that or less for road.

Really ....... Emperors New Clothes ....

This is marketing gibberish .... Just a personal thought ..... :)

And breathe ..... :mrgreen:


Anyway, you don't have to do it, tubes aren't going anywhere, if you don't want any of the tubeless benefits or don;t think they will benefit you then it has literally no impact on you, but don't begrudge other people for taking advantage of them.

There are lots of 'questionable' technologies and things out there that have been pushed on the public, but that doesn't mean that they're all bogus, some have real benefits for a lot of people.

I've been fully tubeless for MTB and offroad for over a decade, wouldn't go back if you paid me, still not bothered on the road bikes though, due to a combination of being happy with the tyres and wheels that I have, and not really getting that many punctures anyway.

I think Brucey highlights the main road tubeless issue at the moment, which is lack of standardisation and variable tolerances. If everything was standardised and tolerances were good enough to mean that all combinations worked acceptably it'd be different, but there's too much variation at the moment. Doesn't mean it doesn't work, just that a the moment you are a little limited as you have to find (trial and error) a combo that does work for you, or go the safe option and go for an all matching 'system' and resulting lack of options/freedom.

On the MTB side things have got better on the standardisation front, I mean it's still not there fully but many more combinations are likely to work and it's pretty mainstream, certainly nearly everyone racing will be tubeless, and a lot of recreational riders swapped several years ago.

* I don't know how many times this has happened really as I don't notice when riding, I do notice the myriad of 'things' poking through the inside of my tyres that would have caused a puncture with a tube when I do eventually take them off though.
** maybe 3 or 4 times a year?
*** once or twice a year?
**** once every 2-3 years or so

^ that's all based on me riding my MTB every weekend, sometimes midweek too, and normally a full winter and summer season of racing.

MikeDee
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby MikeDee » 10 Aug 2017, 3:59pm

Bez wrote:
landsurfer wrote:cannot be blown up at the road side … whats the point of them


Never needing to be blown up at the roadside ;)

landsurfer wrote:So if you get a puncture when out for a ride how do you fix it


You don't, it fixes itself, unless it's so bad that it rips the actual tyre carcass open, in which case…

landsurfer wrote:Please don't say put a tube in


…you'd have had the same problem with tubes anyway, so, yeah, you could boot the tyre and bung a tube in. But, y'know: how often do you rip a carcass? I've had it less than once a decade, including off-road.


I think you are overstating how well sealant works in a road tire at high pressure. It all too often doesn't and the sealant just sprays out without sealing. Anything larger than a thorn puncture I'd say forget it.

mattsccm
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby mattsccm » 10 Aug 2017, 6:13pm

The idea that specialist kit is needed is misleading. Mine go up with a track pump.
Never ever slashed a tyre in 40 years of serious, ie thousands of miles a year, cycling. If its that bad you flash a tube as you would in the normal way.
Fail to see the anti reasons. No different to integrated gear levers/brakes, multiple rear sprockets or freewheels.
I don't use them on all bikes, tubs on 2, conventional tyres on 5 and tubeless on 2.
They fulfill my needs for those bikes.

flat tyre
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby flat tyre » 10 Aug 2017, 7:22pm

I've used tubeless on my two "bad weather" road bikes for the last 9 months or so. Good result as far as I'm concerned with no stops beside the road in pouring rain to sort out punctures, which for me was a drastic improvement over the tubed tyres. Fortunately I already had 2 sets of "tubeless ready" wheels so no additional sealing tape was required. Also, I agree with the above post that no specialist equipment is required, they usually go up with a track pump, but if not a CO2 cartridge does the trick, when getting the tyre to pop into the clincher.

Brucey
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby Brucey » 10 Aug 2017, 9:41pm

there are a few other wrinkles to all this as well, for example

- not all sealants go into the tube via the valve hole as well as one another
- not all sealants work as well as one another
- not all sealants carry on working for the same length of time as one another
- not all sealants are equal when it comes to their potential (not) to react with other materials.

Some sealants are pretty nasty and will corrode aluminium rims if they get a chance to.

cheers
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flat tyre
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby flat tyre » 10 Aug 2017, 10:02pm

I've not had to use the valve hole to get sealant into the tyre. I just lever the tyre off the rim on one side for a short section and then tip sealant in through the gap.
Re sealant reacting with other substances, I've had a problem with sealant reacting with CO2, I use Hutchinson sealant and it goes thin and watery if exposed to CO2, so I only use CO2 for emergency top ups on the road or for the initial seating if required, then refill with air as soon as possible.

mattsccm
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby mattsccm » 10 Aug 2017, 10:30pm

Bruceys list above is valid but is like saying not all mechs work with all levers. True but not the point. Use the correct kit and it works. Don't and it doesn't. Wouldn't dream of ghetto methods on the road with higher pressures and speeds.
Isn't it really just a bit of tech that suits some peoples needs? No different to a bike mechanic. Now who in the world wants one? Do it yourself surely :wink:

Brucey
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby Brucey » 10 Aug 2017, 11:02pm

mattsccm wrote:Bruceys list above is valid but is like saying not all mechs work with all levers. True but not the point. Use the correct kit and it works...


well sort of; a lot of the manufacturers have been finding out as they go along too. Quite a few products have had to be changed (either in their nature or in their recommended usage) because of various problems, and I think it ain't all finished changing yet, either.

cheers
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amediasatex
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby amediasatex » 11 Aug 2017, 9:27am

- not all sealants go into the tube via the valve hole as well as one another


In the last 10+ years of tubelessing I've only ever put sealant in through the vale once, not only was it a massive faff and slower, but it then gummed the valve! Now I just pour it into the tyre before mounting the last few inches of bead.

- not all sealants work as well as one another


'aint that the truth! It seems to be dependant on the tyres and to some degree weather, I find some work better in the cold, and some in the warm, it's one of those annoying trial and error processes to find out what works for you.

- not all sealants carry on working for the same length of time as one another


As with above, this seems to be temp related too, and I think how porous the tyre is plays a part too. I've had some dry out in ~6 weeks, others that are still liquid a year later. The ones that dried out quickly were mostly light weight thinner carcass 'Tubeless Ready' tyres that need a fair bit of sealant to deal with their otherwise not airtight carcass. The ones that didn;t dry out were either UST tyres or heavier duty TR carcass tyres.

- not all sealants are equal when it comes to their potential (not) to react with other materials.


I think most of the off the shelf ones marketed for bike use are pretty safe for use in bike tyres with Aluminium rims these days (it wasn't always so), anything really volatile would have been weedeled out of the market years ago. In terms of reacting with 'other' things outside of the tyres I don't know much about that so would welcome examples or info, however this probably then falls under the same guidelines as other oils and barke/DOT fluid ie: don't get it where it shouldn't go. I've not come across any issues with Carbon rims yet either but I guess it's possible there is potential for a reaction there with the resin or finish?

Some sealants are pretty nasty and will corrode aluminium rims if they get a chance to.


Yes I've heard this too, and seen a couple of threads online about it, but I've yet to see a single case 'in real life' so to speak, and I don't know anyone who's seen it first hand either. Do you think it's a very particular set of conditions that cause it? or particular sealant with particular grade Alu or surface (or lack of) treatments?

and I think it ain't all finished changing yet, either.


I agree, and I'm hopeful that some of that change might actually be towards a more standardised approach, it may be wishful thinking but standardisation and quality control in manufacturing tolerances would go a long way to 'fixing' the remaining niggles with tubeless. Right now I think it's i the 'good enough' area for competent users who want to make use of tubeless, but it's nowhere near the level for reliability, ease of use or compatibility needed for general adoption of being the norm like on motor vehicles.

I don't necessarily think it should be the norm though, but it would be good if it was just another option as easy to use as tubed tyres, choice is good :-)

PH
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Re: What is the point of Tubeless tyres ?

Postby PH » 11 Aug 2017, 10:19am

I've found this an interesting thread,, thanks to those contributing. Going back to the original question - What's the point of tubeless? All the arguments against seem to be with how well the components work and the lack of standardisation, while the arguments for are those extolled by the suppliers and that with the right components the cons can be overcome. Is that a fair summary? I haven't seen much against the idea of it if it could be made to work reliably, so taking that out of the equation maybe we should ask - if the components work what's he point of tubeless?
I expect by the time I need another set of wheels the components will have overcome the obstacles, but one never knows.