Went tubeless on my road bike
Last Post 09/17/2019 06:35 PM by 79 pmooney. 26 Replies.
Author Messages
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/17/2019 04:19 PM
Been fighting a rash of flats....had ~8 since July 5. Coincided with a change of tires. Put on Vittoria Speed G tires and the flats began. Most on the rear, 2 in the front.

On the last one on the rear, I noticed that the trad had already starting to delaminates from the casing. Some flats were known causes (small staple caused 2, rock in tread caused another, etc) others wer a complete mystery.

Finally said “screw it’ and went tubeless. Wheels (Reynolds Strike) were tubeless ready. Order the new Conti GP5000 tubeless. Ordered from Chain Reaction in UK. Placed the order at 12:00 on Tuesday and had them in Thursday by 4:00. Did I mention this was from the UK?!?!?

Shop had them ready for me Friday and I took them out this AM for 80 miles. Was a little concerned as they seemed to lose a fair amount of air after I had gotten them on the bike yesterday....like 15psi in less than a couple hours.

Tires were 28’s and I inflated them to 65psi front / 70 rear. Had been running ~77psi on 25’s. Wheels felt awesome rolling out...comfortable but rolling fast. I was jacked.

But my fears were realized pretty early...by mile 35, tires were getting soft. Crap...we had a pee break and I grabbed my CO2 and threw some air in. Still had pressure in the cartridge so kept it for later.

Sure enough, around mile 55 or so, they were getting soft again. We had stopped for a drink break so I jammed some more air in from the CO2.

For now, they seem to have stabilized....pressure held the rest of the ride and into the afternoon. Sometimes it takes a while for the sealant to completely coat and soak into the casing, so hoping that is the case here.

Doing another 75 tomorrow, so we’ll see how it goes....the guy who owns the shop that converted the wheels will be on the ride so I am obviously gonna be giving him massive schitt all ride if they leak.

Initial reaction is positive, assuming they stop leaking air. Running much lower psi and the 5000’s are some fast tires.

Feel free to ask any questions if you are considering the change.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Dale

Posts:1189

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08/17/2019 06:10 PM
Zero question but want a follow up report at 500 and at 2,000 miles

Bummed it didn't work out to ride this week. I ended up going from South Bend to Fox Lake, down to Somonauk then up to Oconomowoc, WI An absurd amount of driving last week... 1700 miles
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/17/2019 07:52 PM
Yeah, sorry we couldn’t work it out. Next time for sure...I swear!!!

Checked the tires a few times this afternoon and they are holding steady. Fingers crossed!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
6ix

Posts:287

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08/18/2019 09:47 AM
After a series of flats earlier this year and trashing my Ksyrium SLR's in a crash, I bit the bullet and purchased a set of Ksyrium Elite UST wheels that use their tubeless tire system. Tires were already mounted right out of the box so all I had to do was inject the sealant (also included along with syringe.)

I've been BLOWN AWAY!!! I pump them up to about 75-80psi (158lbs rider weight) and they are so, so smooth. I don't even want to go back to my aero wheels that are standard clinchers because of the harsh ride. And no leaks or flats yet.

I'm maybe a convert. I'll return with my conclusion after my first flat when I have to pull the tires off. That may not be fun.

Bottom line is that Mavic really did their homework.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/18/2019 04:28 PM
Tires seem to be holding air now....front was pretty low this AM (~25psi) while the rear was still at 65. But everything held just fine on my ride today.

Topped them off at 65 frt / 70 rear. When I got done (50 miles), the front was down to 60 and the rear to 69.

Tires felt a little soft perhaps...need to figure out the right PSI still. Will try 70/75 on my next ride.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
6ix

Posts:287

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08/18/2019 04:37 PM
Yeah, that pressure seems quite a bit too low. Don't you weigh around 150 or so? I'd suggest going to 75psi. Start high and then dial it back from there.
eurochien

Posts:64

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08/18/2019 07:29 PM
Cosmic, do you have sealant in your tires?
Also, even tough this might not apply to road tubeless, more to mtb, but there's a "sweet spot" of psi under which you do not want to go. Case in point for me a few years ago I was either underinflating or slowly leaking air in my front tire on a regular basis and under 20 psi, taking downhill drops sent me over the bars a bunch of times because of the tire "burping" (all the air leaves the tube at once - you're pretty much on the rim). Now I run both wheels at 25 psi and I haven't had any "burping" issues.
6ix

Posts:287

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08/18/2019 07:33 PM
Eurochien, speaking of mountain. I have a 29'er Scale Carbon and recently installed some S-Works tubeless tires which, I think, are 2.1 or maybe even 1.95". I mainly ride on groomed, packed dirt trails or crushed stone bike paths. I've been running them at 35-40psi. For a 158 lbs rider, think that's too high? I've gone lower but always feel like it's too bouncy when I do.
eurochien

Posts:64

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08/18/2019 11:12 PM
6... I'm about 10 lbs heavier than you (not even including all the mtb gear with a Camelbak that weighs like a dead mule), 2.2 Kenda Nevegal 29 tires on a Yeti ASR and l ride Colorado front range trails, which are pretty rough - that' what I like anyway. Lower psi (like 25) for me really helps with traction on the uphill and on the downhill to actually not bounce around all over the place from one rock to another. If you're not riding technical trails you can probably get by with higher psi for better rolling resistance. My daughter rides with me and she's probably a buck-20, I run 20 psi on her tubeless hardtail. Oh and in my earlier post I said the air leaves the tube... no, it leaves the tire, obviously in a tubeless setup there's no tube.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/18/2019 11:21 PM
Yeah, running sealant...not certain what brand though. LBS set ‘em up for me.

I hear ya on the burping....read a horror story of a guy who hit something on a high speed descent, both tires burped and he woke up in the ER. Kinda made me rethink whether I wanted to do it, but took the plunge anyway.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
longslowdistance

Posts:1857

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08/18/2019 11:27 PM
Without a doubt, tubeless was a great leap forward for mtb, and is definitely worth the added hassle.
For road, the overall benefit has been less clear.
There are reports on line, and some quasi scientific testing by the retrogrouch jan heine that are not supportive of road tubeless. So thanks CK for adding your experience in favor. If your flat problem goes away, even better.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/19/2019 09:06 AM
Up until this year, road tubeless had some significant challenges associated with it...namely the lack of decent tires and also a lack of a tubelss "standard". While the issue of a standard is yet to be resolved, the tire option issue is quickly being eradicated.

Mavic introduced their Road UST standard a year or two ago and a european committee on standards has adopted it as the standard moving forward. However, there is a LOT of pushback form other suppliers about this choice. But as 6ix notes, the UST option is quite good...however, the tire choice challenge remains for UST rims.

Tire options have seen two significant developments in the last year or so...the Vittoria Corsa Speed TL and the just-released Conti 5000 TL. Both tires were the first TL tires to scoree a lower rolling resistance than the best tubed-tire / latex tube combos. The Schwalbe Pro One TL has also seen very good marks...those three tires are probably the top 3 picks right now for TL. The Vittorias however are fairly fragile (but very light and very fast) and the consistencyn in the Schwalbe seems to be all over the board. Some report great performacne, others are saying they are prone to punctures.

The Conti 5000's seem to be garnering the most consistent / positive reviews....and the data is pretty clear that they are indeed a great tire.

https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-2018

Even if you aren't riding TL, you should use the above website when evaluating your tire choices....life is too short to ride crappy and slow tires!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/19/2019 09:14 AM
An example of my last comment above....it takes near twice the power to ride a Conti Gator Hardshell tire vs. a new Conti 5000. Losing 20w to a tire choice is borderline criminal!!

When compared to the fastest rolling tires, you'll be losing quite a lot of power with the Gator Hardshells. When we compare the Hardshell to the brand new Grand Prix 5000 (read review), rolling resistance is close to double of the Grand Prix 5000. For a set of tires, 20+ watts of power is lost in the tires (at 18 mph / 29 km/h, 85 kg total weight.) when compared to the fast Grand Prix 5000.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2592

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08/19/2019 10:36 AM
Posted By Cosmic Kid on 08/19/2019 09:06 AM
....life is too short to ride crappy and slow tires!!


Life is too short to spend time along road fixing tires...fixed it for you. It remains my only metric. Rolling resistance just makes for better training. I can't remember the last time I found myself stopped along road.
Orange Crush

Posts:2592

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08/19/2019 10:54 AM
When tubeless becomes fool proof and effortless which it as yet does not sound to be I will use it.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/19/2019 11:08 AM
Posted By Orange Crush on 08/19/2019 10:54 AM
When tubeless becomes fool proof and effortless which it as yet does not sound to be I will use it.


I think it is pretty damn close right now....I don't see road tubeless as being significantly different than cross or MTB tubeless in terms of set-up / execution. The biggest thing holding it back, IMO, is still tire selection. Not a lot of choices out there (good or bad). one other important point....for MTB / cross, you can use pretty much any tire and use it tubeless with the proper set-up. This is NOT the case for road. You absolutely MUST use a tubeless specific road tire...the pressures are so much higher than other applications that using non-tubeless specific tires carries a significant safety issue with it.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Orange Crush

Posts:2592

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08/19/2019 02:29 PM
Still a few years out methinks.
Dale

Posts:1189

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08/19/2019 02:55 PM
I'll switch over in a few years when the reliability is totally dialed in and been out long enough where I can buy some slightly used snazzy wheels from someone mezmorized by the latest and greatest who's offloading them cheap to buy something even newer.

Sign me,
Ten cents on the dollar Dale
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/20/2019 08:20 AM
Adjusted the pressure this AM to 70 frt / 75 rear.....just about perfect. Wheels just sing along the roads at speed. Amazing ride.

May drop a few psi out of the rear still....maybe 72/73. We'll see.
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/21/2019 09:28 AM
Ran even 70 on both wheels today...sublime.

Have to pump up before very ride, but no different than using latex tubes....
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Funk

Posts:48

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08/23/2019 07:27 PM
I've been running road tubeless for 5 years or so. 98% positive all the way around, but the 2% is a bitch. When you cut the tire beyond what the sealant will seal, it's not great. This has happened to me twice in 5 years and both times I was calling for a ride. I run Campy/Fulcrum wheels which are two-way fits so they are made for tubeless - no conversion or tape required. I have had the best luck w/ Schwalbe Pro One's as far as the ride goes. I used to ride Hutchinson Fusions back in the day when your options were extremely limited. The Specialized Turbos are supposed to be nice, but they are expensive.

The "throw a tube in if you get a flat" argument is sketchy at best. For starters, getting those tires on/off on the side of the road is a challenge. Secondly, the mess associated with sealant all over everything makes it damn near impossible. One suggestion to those of you riding tubeless now is to carry one of those plug systems. There are multiple systems out there . . I think mine is a dynaplug or something like that. I had a buddy cut a tire and had sealant shooting all over. We waited for the air to leak out, inserted the plug, threw some air in it and limped home. They are a decent solution to get you home, but that's about it.

Lastly, I've had the best luck with Orange Seal - Endurance for sealant. The "endurance" version is supposed to last longer without drying out. It seems to be true so far. I used to have to add juice by the 4th of July, but so much anymore.

CK - I know you don't have other tubeless tires to compare them to, but do you like the Conti 5000's? I was thinking of giving them a shot.


longslowdistance

Posts:1857

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08/23/2019 08:09 PM
Great post thanks. One bit of wisdom from the motorcycle side, where road tubeless (at far lower pressures than bicycles) has long long been firmly established and preferred: tread punctures are handled easy peasy, but sidewall cut, no, you are screwed. Fortunately that's rare on a moto. Fragile bicycle tires are more vulnerable to these cuts, depending on where you ride. Gravel road guy here, still with tubes, but watching closely.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/24/2019 07:34 AM
Funk, I LOVE the Conti 5000’s....super comfortable and a fast ride. There is a certain road feel/buzz to a fast tire that I can’t describe, but these definitely have it. I routinely find myself coasting on wheels much longer than anyone else, just buzzing along. Can’t speak to their durability yet, though...

I w@s tempted to go with the Schwalbe’s, but reviews seemed inconsistent...some love ‘em, some complained about durability. Sounds your experience has been positive, though...
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
Funk

Posts:48

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08/24/2019 08:05 AM
The Schwalbe's are decent. Again, they are a noticeable upgrade from the Hutchinson Fusions of years past. I kept re-upping on them because they are affordable and honestly the roads are so lousy around here (Michigan) that I seem to cut one every few months. My buddy swears by the Specialized, but he works at a shop and gets them at a sizable discount. I just ordered a set of 5000's per your review. Thanks.
Cosmic Kid

Posts:2837

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08/24/2019 03:30 PM
Make sure to follow-up and let us know how you like them once you get them on!!
Just say "NO!" to WCP!!!!
eurochien

Posts:64

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09/17/2019 05:48 PM
https://www.velonews.com/2019/09/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-a-tubeless-tire-blowout-in-the-pyrenees_500757
79pmooney

Posts:2167

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09/17/2019 06:35 PM
Posted By Franck A. on 09/17/2019 05:48 PM
https://www.velonews.com/2019/09/bikes-and-tech/technical-faq-a-tubeless-tire-blowout-in-the-pyrenees_500757

Saw that.  That one is on the rim manufacturers.  To be sending out rims with edges that can cut tires, especially on race bikes where tire casings are minimal, bikes are regularly ridden out of saddle and are cornered hard?  Is this a plan to reduce their market?

Leonard Zinn makes an interesting point,  Aluminum rims are drwn through a die that is milled.  Milling cutters cannot do sharp edges parallel to the shank because they spin.  So no aluminum rim will ever have a sharp edge.  But CF rims are molded using two piece molds.  The rim beads are the logical place for the pieces to mate.  This means flashing - thin, brittle and potentially both very sharp and jagged.  Perfect for sawing tire casings.

Lesson?  Check those beads and be prepared to sand.

Tubulars keep getting closer and closer to re-entering my life.

Ben


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