Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

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Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:50 pm

I have been reading about tubeless tyres, but mostly for MTBs. I know some of you use tubeless on your road bikes and I would appreciate any advice or information you can provide.

Is it essential to use a tyre specifically designed for tubeless use (like Hutchison), or can a standard clincher like a Conti GP4000S be used?

What tape do you recommend to seal the rim and how many layers?

Do you use a special valve stem or just a valve stem cut from an old tube?

Do you recommend a sealant, and if so what brand and type?

Any idea if the tubeless system will be compatible with Shimano Ultegra rims?

Emma
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by BNA » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:22 am

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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby Nobody » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:22 am

TLL is the only one on this board that uses tubeless AFAIK. I think he uses them with Shimano rims too. Maybe PM him or he could be along later.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:01 am

Yeah think it is just me... :roll:
You must use Tubeless specific tyres...no exceptions for road bikes.But ANY rim can be used tubeless.
I use Stans sealant tape 21mm wide yellow stuff...bit of a knack to get it on.I only use one layer,but it is very light so I am sure 2 would not be a problem.
I also use a stans valve...they seal the best.But some tubeless specific rims have designated valves (like shimano).
I run 30 mls of Stans No Tube Sealant in each tyre.


For ultegra rims ... get one roll of tape / 2 valves / small bottle of sealant / 2 CO2 canisters for the fitting unless the shop does it for you...and 2 tyres.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:01 am

Thanks for the info TLL,

Thought you were probably the only tubeless road user here, but didn't want to 'single' you out :) ...

I think I recall you mentioning that you use Hutchison tubless tyres, so I guess they are an ok choice?

Are there any issues when topping up the tyre with air from time to time using the hand or track pump. Does the valve get blocked by the sealant?

I was planning to initially inflate using my air compressor which is quite a high volume type. Is that a hopeless expectation? (am trying to avoid the CO2 requirement)

Do you have to replace the tubeless tape and valve when replacing a tubeless tyre?

I run 120psi at the moment (conti GP4000S), what pressure do you use with the tubeless system?

And finally, what downsides if any, are there to using tubeless? (other than the additional initial fitting tasks)

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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:02 pm

CoffsGal wrote:Thanks for the info TLL,

Thought you were probably the only tubeless road user here, but didn't want to 'single' you out :) ...

I think I recall you mentioning that you use Hutchison tubless tyres, so I guess they are an ok choice?

Are there any issues when topping up the tyre with air from time to time using the hand or track pump. Does the valve get blocked by the sealant?

I was planning to initially inflate using my air compressor which is quite a high volume type. Is that a hopeless expectation? (am trying to avoid the CO2 requirement)

Do you have to replace the tubeless tape and valve when replacing a tubeless tyre?

I run 120psi at the moment (conti GP4000S), what pressure do you use with the tubeless system?

And finally, what downsides if any, are there to using tubeless? (other than the additional initial fitting tasks)

Emma


You can single me out :D ...I use Hutchison because they seem good,there are two or 3 different brands around now..I also noticed Francais de Jeux ran a wider Hutchison tubless at Paris Roubaix.I don't and have had very bad luck with normal Hutchison road tires but these are a different kettle of fish.

No issues with repumping...vavle never gets blocked,you may lose a tiny bit of fluid each time but it is a tiny amount...just don't let the tyres sit around long enough that they go flat or let oall the air out of them as they will pop off the bead.

On the compressor...if you had tubeless specific rims I would say no problem...if not it is not the strength of your compressor but the amount you can get in very quickily...hence a quick release CO2 can works very well.I use dish washing liquid and soap up both sides of the tyre very very well before the initial inflate...same as you would do with a car or motorbike tubeless.

No you dont have to replace the valve or tape...but check the tape hasn't sunk into the valve holes too much.1 roll (about $25) will do 5 rims.

I am around 100 kgs and I run the max pressure which is 120psi...have a friend in Oz who was a lot lighter than me...around the 70kg if not lighter,he was running 90psi.The improvement in snap / rolling and handling is pretty noticeable.

Downsides.... they are a race tyre and wear out like a race tyre,not fast but quicker than a training tyre.The whole set up is heavier..ie Light race tyre and tube can be around 250grams...tubeless Hutchison is 290gr plus valve 15-20gr and 30 ml sealant.If you do get a serious slash in the tyre it is a bit of a mess to put a tube in....I would think (I have never had a puncture that didn't seal and one was a big cut).



Quick guide to intial fitting.

-Remove old rim tape (if wheel needs rim tape...Kysrium's etc make life easy).
-Clean Rim well.
-Put rim in mag trainer / wheel stand / upside down frame to help with tape fitting.
-(with Stans 21mm yellow tape) ... start a spoke hole or two away from vavle hole...as you fit the tape stretch it onto the rim,dont worry too much about pushing it down,just run it right around the rim as smoothly and as centered as possible.You will see what I mean with stretching it pretty quickily.Maybee do 30cm to get the hang of it the first time and then start again.Make sure the tape dosen't go into the trye bead wells.All sounds complicated but it isn't.Have the wheel on a stand helps.
-Drill or pierce a small hole for the valve...push tubeless vavle thru and tighten....the vavle may need tightening a couple of times as it settles in.
-Fit one side of tyre then soap up both sides very well.
-Fit 80% of the other side of tyre... (while still in stand!)...with just a small amount of tyre still to go on pour in 30-40ml of sealant.Not needed but you might as well have puncture protection.Finish fitting the tyre.
-Make sure it is sitting well all around the rim and hit it hard with CO2 can or strong compressor.If using CO2 after initial inflation drain out 80% of air (just enough it doesn't come back off the bead) and refill with air.
-Recheck vavle tightness.Dont over tighten...the vavle on my Kysrium is a bit wobbly but has never leaked.Check it is sitting smoothly all round the rim...clean off soap and go.
-Run less pressure than normal.70-80% of normal pressures...but experiment.
-Race Very Hard!.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Wed Apr 15, 2009 8:13 pm

Thanks so much for your advice TLL, that is excellent information and a great tutorial.

I weighed a brand new 'Conti GP4000S' and a 'Conti Race 28' tube and it came to 330g, so the weight difference between my current setup and tubeless wont be significant, maybe 10g or 20g, and that's not taking into consideration the existing rim tape which will be dispensed with.

I am 69kg so will try the suggested 90psi range. My bike (Spec Roubaix) already soaks up the road imperfections excellently, so I expect the ride will be even smoother on the rough sections too due to the lower pressure. I am also looking forward to the lower rolling resistance. I am not nearly as strong as many of the club riders and any advantage will be welcome, and on every revolution too.

Now what to do with the 10 tubes I just bought!!!...

Emma
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby MichaelB » Thu Apr 16, 2009 9:02 am

CoffsGal wrote:...
Now what to do with the 10 tubes I just bought!!!...

Emma


Emuchisit ???? I'll have them ....
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby drubie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:09 pm

Can someone explain in simple english for this simpleton why you'd bother with tubeless?

Still have to carry a spare tube.
Extra hassles with sealant.
Extra hassles when mounting the tyre.
Tyres more expensive.
Needs fancy new rims or funky rim tape + new valve stem.
No lighter than tube+clincher, potentially rolls worse to due unevenly distributed sealant.
Pressure requirements that are lower are only suitable for mountain bikes.

The only thing I've found is "no more pinch flats" - I get one of these a year compared to 20 glass shard flats.

Is this a solution in search of a problem?

So, I'd go to all this extra expense and trouble to get one less flat tyre a year? If I wanted trouble but better performance, surely a set of singles would fit that niche.

What am I missing here?
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby sogood » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:49 pm

drubie wrote:Can someone explain in simple english for this simpleton why you'd bother with tubeless

To me, the biggest benefit will be the far lower chance of getting a flat. And I understand that has benefitted 2Long given his puncture rate. Otherwise the lower rolling resistance/handling can benefit racers.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby trailgumby » Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:58 pm

drubie wrote:What am I missing here?


A tube. DUH!

:wink:
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:23 pm

drubie wrote:Can someone explain in simple english for this simpleton why you'd bother with tubeless?

Oh come on Drubie...most of us don't really think you are a simpleton... :)

Still have to carry a spare tube.

I carry two now so that will be a reduction of one.

Extra hassles with sealant.
Extra hassles when mounting the tyre.

Yes but to a non simpleton it won't be difficult.

Tyres more expensive.

I will be able to use the race prizemoney I collect due to my tubeless tyres to pay for them.

Needs fancy new rims or funky rim tape + new valve stem.

The standard rims are fine apparently and the tape and valve are not expensive, and who doesn't like a bit of funky tape action...

No lighter than tube+clincher, potentially rolls worse to due unevenly distributed sealant.

And only 10g heavier than what I use now. Rolls better by all acounts. Uneven sealant distribution apparently isn't a problem.

Pressure requirements that are lower are only suitable for mountain bikes.

The tubeless allow a lower pressure giving a smoother ride whilst reducing rolling resistance.

The only thing I've found is "no more pinch flats" - I get one of these a year compared to 20 glass shard flats.

AFAIK the sealant will protect from all sources of punctures except a huge cut...holes up to about 6mm, not just pinch flats. So that in my mind is a very good motivation by itself. We do have a lot punctures caused by broken glass on the road verge and cycle tracks here. See this video for examples of puncture resistance...or this one

So, I'd go to all this extra expense and trouble to get one less flat tyre a year? If I wanted trouble but better performance, surely a set of singles would fit that niche.

Although singles do roll well, they don't offer the puncture resistance and would not be readily fixed on the side of the road, due to needing a few hours to allow the glue to set whenever they are changed. (have never changed one myself but that is what I have read)

Some folk like yourself will decide the pros don't outweigh the cons with the tubeless system...it is an individual preference just like so many other choices in cycling...carbon or steel or alu...mtb or road...this LBS or that LBS...Shimano or SRAM or Campy. We all decide what is best for us as far as value for money and our individual riding requirements or situation.

The other disadvantage of tubeless is that I probably wont be carrying a spare tube to lend you when you get a flat... :wink:

Emma
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby drubie » Fri Apr 17, 2009 3:47 pm

CoffsGal wrote:ASFIK the sealant will protect from all sources of punctures except a huge cut...holes up to about 6mm, not just pinch flats. So that in my mind is a very good motivation by itself. We do have a lot punctures caused by broken glass on the road verge and cycle tracks here. See this video for examples of puncture resistance...or this one

Although singles do roll well, they don't offer the puncture resistance and would not be readily fixed on the side of the road, due to needing a few hours to allow the glue to set whenever they are changed. (have never changed on myself but that is what I read)

The other disadvantage of tubeless is that I probably wont be carrying a spare tube to lend you when you get a flat... :wink:

Emma


Singles aren't that bad to change - there are a few die hards in my bunch that carry a pre-glued one (so the glue is tacky, not wet) in their back jersey pocket. You just rip the flat one off and push the new one on, pump it up and ride away - have to be a bit careful in the corners and the 160psi they can take is a little unrealistic with a frame mounted pump though :lol:

I thought the jury was still out on the efficacy of the sealant in the tubeless tyres vs. bottle throwing morons of doom who roam Australia decorating the roadside with noisy, pretty, smashy stuff, but I'll take your word for it. If somebody can show that they reduced their glass flats over a year by 50% I'd definitely convert to tubeless despite the other hassles.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Apr 17, 2009 4:59 pm

For me it was simple...2007 I won the black cat awards...30 plus punctures in 6 or 7 months.3 in races in very quick succession helped push the change...cost me $12-13 a race..so everyone I had a puncture in was a waste of money and more importantly time.
So I went tubeless...on the same rims everyone else rides.Since then I have not had one puncture that didn't fix itself.
The lower pressure was a huge benifit....I ran 140psi + on my race tyres....more chance of a blow out...which I had several times mid corner when so called top of the line tyres came off the rim.Now I run 120psi rear and 110psi front...on super strong tyres,no more chance of tyres blowing off.
Getting used to the set up was a pain...something I hope to lessen for everyone else...but I converted my rear CXP33 wheel from tubed to tubeless in less than 10 minutes a couple of weeks ago...some people here wouldn't be able to do a puncture in that time :D ...and as so many people use Kysriums or similar now it is done in half the time.
Uneven sealant?....30mls...is not much more than a good spit...and at velocity I would think it is perfectly distributed around the tyre with centrifugal force...except where it has repair a hole you don't even know you had.
Rolling resistance is lower than tubular.Handling is amazing because of lower pressures.When riding in big mountains on clinchers you must be aware that long descents on maximum inflated tyres is rather dangerous..because as rims heat up pressure increases...big problem in Euro cyclosportives...well problem solved.

But like I say for me it was pure and simple puncture resistance...and with the state of some of the roads I race on now I wouldn't be without it!.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:18 pm

drubie wrote:
CoffsGal wrote:ASFIK the sealant will protect from all sources of punctures except a huge cut...holes up to about 6mm, not just pinch flats. So that in my mind is a very good motivation by itself. We do have a lot punctures caused by broken glass on the road verge and cycle tracks here. See this video for examples of puncture resistance...or this one

Although singles do roll well, they don't offer the puncture resistance and would not be readily fixed on the side of the road, due to needing a few hours to allow the glue to set whenever they are changed. (have never changed on myself but that is what I read)

The other disadvantage of tubeless is that I probably wont be carrying a spare tube to lend you when you get a flat... :wink:

Emma


Singles aren't that bad to change - there are a few die hards in my bunch that carry a pre-glued one (so the glue is tacky, not wet) in their back jersey pocket. You just rip the flat one off and push the new one on, pump it up and ride away - have to be a bit careful in the corners and the 160psi they can take is a little unrealistic with a frame mounted pump though :lol:

I thought the jury was still out on the efficacy of the sealant in the tubeless tyres vs. bottle throwing morons of doom who roam Australia decorating the roadside with noisy, pretty, smashy stuff, but I'll take your word for it. If somebody can show that they reduced their glass flats over a year by 50% I'd definitely convert to tubeless despite the other hassles.


Drubes,

Did you check out the videos I linked to...I would think that holes made by glass shards would seal quite well in view of the demonstration in the video.

All my tubeless knowledge is purely theotretical, but that combined with the knowledge of people who have actually used the system have convinced me to give it a go. I will report back once I have had some practical experience.

Emma
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Apr 17, 2009 5:41 pm

Emma just remember to get Stans Yellow tape... not the reinforced Nylon tape which is used on MTB rims under the rubber strip (which is the same as you get from Bunnings)... half the guys in shops probably won't know what you are talking about either.The nylon tape is useless for road tubeless.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:02 pm

toolonglegs wrote:Emma just remember to get Stans Yellow tape... not the reinforced Nylon tape which is used on MTB rims under the rubber strip (which is the same as you get from Bunnings)... half the guys in shops probably won't know what you are talking about either.The nylon tape is useless for road tubeless.

Since starting this thread, I have been searching online for Stans products without a lot of success. Quite a few Aussie shops sell the sealant, but I didn't find any who have the tape.

This kit from NoTubes.com seems to be the best location to get the lot...US$150
Two Hutchinson Fusion 2 road tubeless tires
Two 44mm tubeless road valve stem
Two 2oz Tire Sealant bottles
One NoTubes 21mm yellow spoke tape

Any suggestions?

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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:55 pm

Stan's video of fitting a tubless road tyre using his system...

Here is an extract from the road tyre mounting instruction page on NoTubes.com

The lower pressures give you a much smoother ride adding suspension to your road bike
Once you're tubeless tires roll 12% easier
Puncture resistance, NoTubes sealant will seal most punctures
Lower pressures will stop many of the small cuts you get due to the high pressure making the tire not conform and roll over sharp objects
For city riding over glass you can run 70 psi and have fewer cuts
Lower pressures will make tires last much longer
Better air retention. After a few days of riding NoTubes sealant will make your road tires hold air pressure with little air loss. This means you may not need to check your pressures as often saving you time.
When riding tubeless you will not need to worry as much about pinch flatting
There is very little risk with this system. If you do not like riding tubeless you can leave in the yellow spoke tape, wash the sealant out with cold water and use the new tubeless tires with your tubes
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:00 pm

Seems like a pretty good price to me...depends how much shipping costs?.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby CoffsGal » Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:13 pm

The NoTubes.com website shows US$48 for postage which sounds a bit dear to me...

Have found the Aussie dealer for NoTubes products...Will call them next week...

Dirt Works Australia
23 Chicago Avenue
Blacktown NSW 2148
Phone: 61 0 2 96 79 8400
http://www.dirtworks.com.au
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby drubie » Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:47 am

CoffsGal wrote:Drubes,

Did you check out the videos I linked to...I would think that holes made by glass shards would seal quite well in view of the demonstration in the video.

All my tubeless knowledge is purely theotretical, but that combined with the knowledge of people who have actually used the system have convinced me to give it a go. I will report back once I have had some practical experience.

Emma


Coffsgal - with the greatest respect - you first. But don't go deliberately riding through glass puddles just for our edification please.

I know TLL swears by them, but I've had "good" and "bad" years for punctures that Ive blamed on tyres but can simply be ascribed to bad luck.

As for the idea that saving money while racing by changing your tyre system, my limited experience suggests that something more expensive is about to break :mrgreen:
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby Kalgrm » Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:08 am

Drubie,

It won't be "Emma first". Tubeless systems are well established and proven to work well. It's only price and conservatism on the part of most road cyclists preventing tubeless tyres being the norm these days (as it already is amongst serious MTB riders).

Good luck with getting a decent price Emma.

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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby herzog » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:43 am

drubie wrote:Can someone explain in simple english for this simpleton why you'd bother with tubeless?


The only thing I've found is "no more pinch flats" - I get one of these a year compared to 20 glass shard flats.

Is this a solution in search of a problem?

So, I'd go to all this extra expense and trouble to get one less flat tyre a year? If I wanted trouble but better performance, surely a set of singles would fit that niche.

What am I missing here?


The puncture resistance is against all flats, not just pinch flats. Typically on a good tubeless setup you will be down to 1-2% of the number of flats you experience in a tubed config. As others said check out the videos, such as those at no-flats.com

That alone makes it worthwhile. Then you get the lower rolling resistance and that clinches the deal.

Since I converted my bikes to tubeless I have had Zero flats. Zero.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby herzog » Sun Apr 19, 2009 4:42 pm

toolonglegs wrote: 2 CO2 canisters for the fitting unless the shop does it for you...and 2 tyres.


I'd actually avoid the CO2 option. CO2 goes into the tyre really cold and can harden the sealant, making it less effective.

The Stans guys recommend against it, but say if you absolutely must, position the wheel with the valve at the top, leave it for a few seconds to let the sealant drop to the bottom, then blast your C02.

That way you're not firing it straight at the sealant.

In my experience, a large floor pump will do the job, with a little massaging of the tyre and rim.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby toolonglegs » Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:42 am

herzog wrote:
toolonglegs wrote: 2 CO2 canisters for the fitting unless the shop does it for you...and 2 tyres.


I'd actually avoid the CO2 option. CO2 goes into the tyre really cold and can harden the sealant, making it less effective.

The Stans guys recommend against it, but say if you absolutely must, position the wheel with the valve at the top, leave it for a few seconds to let the sealant drop to the bottom, then blast your C02.

That way you're not firing it straight at the sealant.

In my experience, a large floor pump will do the job, with a little massaging of the tyre and rim.



Is this with mtb tyre or road?.MTB I have no probs...tubeless specific road rims are apparently a lot easier than non specific tubeless road rims.
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Re: Tubeless tyre system for road bikes

Postby Thoglette » Mon Apr 20, 2009 10:31 pm

herzog wrote:The puncture resistance is against all flats, not just pinch flats.


Why so? it makes no sense what so ever at first glance.

Is there any source of reliable info (not someone selling tubless systems)

I'm still trying to work out why anyone would bother when there's such a huge selection of tubular and clincher tyres available.
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