Author Topic: Tubeless tires -enligthen me.  (Read 3040 times)

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Offline hikerjer

Tubeless tires -enligthen me.
« on: February 04, 2021, 11:18:38 pm »
So, although I've been riding for decades on regular tires with tubes, I've heard enough about tubelss tires to make me want to know about them. At this point, I don't know much. So what's the difference between regular tires and tubless? How are they different besides the obvious? Advantages and disavantages.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2021, 11:19:01 am by hikerjer »

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2021, 04:18:14 pm »
https://www.renehersecycles.com/tubeless-faq/
This may be more than  you asked for. The simple generalized answer is: fewer flats as long as it is maintained well; lower psi which is more comfortable.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2021, 12:54:10 pm »
From everything I have been reading on this the the other active post concerning tubeless tires, I would have some real concerns about using them on a tour in remote places since it seems that you need a compressor in many cases to set the bead. We are often out on gravel trails 20 miles to the nearest town. Cannot imaging pushing a loaded bike 20 miles to get a flat repaired.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline RonK

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2021, 04:17:04 pm »
I have toured into quite remote places on tubeless tyres and have no concerns at all.
Some tyre/rim combinations may require a compressor for the initial mount, but the set I'm using can be mounted using an ordinary floor pump.
But that is irrelevant anyway. In the unlikely event that I get a puncture, the sealant in the tyre will stop any air escaping in moments. A larger penetration may require the use of a plug. None of this involves dismounting/remounting the tyre.
If there is a very large penetration that cannot be sealed or plugged then I would simply install the lightweight tube I carry for just such an eventuality.
However I've now been riding tubeless for five years and I'm yet to have a puncture of any kind.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2021, 09:08:14 am »
Thanks RonK, I need to educate myself in this area. I am prepping our Longhaul Disc Truckers for a TransAM tour in the coming year(s) and should consider them possibly. I recently built new wheels for my Litespeed and the new rims have a tubeless option, maybe I will convert them as a test.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline RonK

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2021, 04:35:47 pm »
It's certainly worth trying, particularly if you are likely to be riding through an area where thorns are prevalent.
It may take a little practice to master the art of mounting the tyres without getting into a mess of sealant, otherwise it not much different to mounting and running tubed tyres. If you do make a mess, the sealant washes away with water. You do need to top up the sealant every six months but that is easy to do.
I don't expect to dismount my tyres until they are worn out.
Cycle touring blog and tour journals: whispering wheels...

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2021, 04:43:23 pm »
I toured with tubular tires at one point and that was a pain. Had to hitch hike 50 miles in Maine after running through 4 spares with a sidewall blowout from a manufacturer's defect in a batch of Hutchinsons I had bought. Had one start to roll of the rim on a fast downhill as well. Was in a hurry and had not let the glue set up.

Tubeless seems to be a bit of a challenge but probably worth the effort of mastering.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline misterflask

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2021, 08:51:40 am »
I made the jump to tubeless on one wheel of my road bike to see what the noise is about.  Where I'm currently at: If I were a bike racer and someone else was maintaining my bike, I would definitely go tubeless.  Otherwise I think the decision is all in a grey area.

I'm in the process of converting my mountain bike to tubeless, and I think that a few other bikes and wheels will end up tubeless, but going tubeless on the touring bike is way down the list.

Upside-
-I think there's a pretty good chance that you could ride an extended tour without a flat with tubeless. 

Downside-
-If some mishap flatted a tire, there's about a nil chance you'll be able to reseat and reinflate without a compressor.  The most common solution is to insert a tube until the wheel can be set up in a shop again.
-Unless you have crazy-strong thumbs, you will probably not be able to unmount / mount a tubeless tire without tire levers. The tubeless beads are super-tight.  And supposedly tire levers run the risk of damaging the critical bead seal.  OTOH, there's no tube to pinch.
-My current experience is that my tubeless tire leaks down faster than the similar tube setup.  Small sample size, though. YMMV.
-There's so much ambiguity about sealant life.  Hard to know when you should update your sealant.  When you do there's a fair chance your tire will unseat and you'll need a compressor to reseat.

My experience on the TA: I rode Marathon Plus which are really draggy but pretty bulletproof.  I had one goathead thorn flat near Pueblo, but I think that occurred when I pulled off the road to talk to a bike shop about my cracked frame.  I replaced a rear tire, but if I'd swapped front-to-back the tires would have easily made the trip.

To clarify HikeBikeCook's post, I believe his experience was with 'sew-up' tubulars which would be a third little-used option beyond tubed and tubeless.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2021, 09:06:07 am »
You are correct Misterflask, I was referring to sew-ups which were the standard for "racing" bikes in the 1970's. I was riding a Raleigh Competition Mark II at the time and those were the stock tires.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline misterflask

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2021, 09:55:40 am »
Oh gosh, the reminisce.  I had a Raleigh International in that era.  It was an odd bird of a bike with racing components on a touring geometry frame.  And it also came with tubulars.  I toured on it, but not before replacing the wheels.  I conjured up a 32 tooth freewheel, but that was still a tough go over the Smokies with the 52-42 crank.  Even in the era of compact cranks, the experience has left me with a thing for triples.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2021, 10:45:04 am »
I gave the Raleigh away during a move back in 2007 when I had to jettison a lot of stuff. I did get the Brooks B-17 saddle off of it and that is on my Long Haul Disc Trucker. I cannot remember now, but I thought I had a triple on it. I bought it when my Peugeot U08 was stolen, and that had an "alpine hill climb" ring on it. I did my first Boston to NY AIDS ride on the Raleigh in 1997, 275 miles in three days through the hills in Connecticut. The next year I bought my Litespeed Classic with an Ultegra Triple. Still ride that one.

Paid $105 for the Peugeot around 1968, paid $282 for the Raleigh around 1972 and paid around $3,500 for the Litespeed in 1998, $1,250 for My Scott Scale in 2015, and round $1,400 for my Long Haul Disc Trucker (we bought a pair) in 2018.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline wildtoad

Re: Tubeless tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #11 on: February 25, 2021, 12:47:02 pm »
Good discussion all, thanks for the perspectives.
I think tubeless will eventually hold a lot of promise for touring. It's not there yet across the board for everyone (but great for some), but improving.  It think it helps that the big tire manufacturers are now putting a good amount of resources/development into the roadie/racing tubeless market. That will likely lead to more improvements for both road and, by extension, road touring tubeless....mainly re standards and compatibility, and just better products.

For road touring, my benchmarks for going tubeless:
1.  Tire/rim combo w/ hassle free installation, including seating the tire w/ regular pump. Not interested in tire/rim combos that require a compressor to seat. I know of anecdotes that go both ways...seat tire w/ compressor and all is good going forward, seat tire w/ compressor and constant trips to bike shop to reseat.  Blah.  For touring it's gotta be easy install/reinstall.

2.  Tubeless rim that is not outwardly hostile to installing a tube in case of severe sidewall damage. Some first hand anecdotal experience w/ this on 29er rims. It can be a bear to put tubes on certain tubeless rims out there. You might never have to do it, but if you do it will already be a less than fabulous situation. Why fight it.  There are already plenty of tubeless rims out there that work fine w/ tubes.

3.  Good variety of sealants that are appropriate for wider variety of pressures, etc.  Not all lower pressure mtb stuff.  This has already improved quite a bit, but can add to the learning curve for some folks who don't want to spend time geeking out on reading bike product review sites!

I do plan on trying out road tubeless for the first time this year.  I am fortunate to have 2 wheelsets for my roadie, one fully tubeless ready.  The other traditional clincher/tube.  So if that trial run goes well, I expect I will transition the touring bike to tubeless for 2022.  My rims are already good to go on that front.

C

Offline canalligators

Re: Tubesl tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2021, 09:48:36 am »
Oh gosh, the reminisce.  I had a Raleigh International in that era.

I still have my International.  I turned it into a lightweight city bike, i.e. a high performance Sports.  Love riding it.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Tubeless tires -enligthen me.
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2021, 02:26:06 pm »
Raleigh was initially surprised at how popular the International was. No surprise really: Reynolds 531, great components (Campy I think).
I'm heading out for a ride now on an updated 1978 Super Course. Rides as nice as my Waterford, but don't tell Richard Schwinn I said that.