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I'm Still Not Confident In My Tubeless Skills


Razors Edge
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Was working on the Diverge Saturday as SPRING IS SPRUNG!!!  Anyway, decided it was a good idea to top off the Stans sealant, so I did that.  Put a small bottle of each in the tires, and re-inflated. A tiny bit still leaked out one bead, but the tired stayed solid over night, and in the AM yesterday, I dropped the pressure a bunch and did an easy ride with no issues.

Anyway, it all seems to work, but it still so odd to me that it does work. :dontknow:

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I've changed more than my share of flats on the side of the road.  Yes, a couple were due to small wires / staples and tubeless may have helped, but many have been gashes. 

It's never fun having to have to do a roadside repair, I would not be help if I were also covered in sealant as I was trying to jam a tube into that mess.

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3 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

I've changed more than my share of flats on the side of the road.  Yes, a couple were due to small wires / staples and tubeless may have helped, but many have been gashes. 

It's never fun having to have to do a roadside repair, I would not be help if I were also covered in sealant as I was trying to jam a tube into that mess.

Yeah - that may be annoying! According to @ChrisL, it's not gonna happen :)  These things should seal any of those baby holes, and the gashes are - hopefully - RARE.

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11 minutes ago, dinneR said:

Did you break the bead to add sealant or put it in through the valve? A small amount of sealant leaking out is not a big deal. That's just the sealant filling in gaps. 

I went through the valve.  Seems easiest on these "skinnier" tires once the bead is generally set.  I see the add straight through the side, and that seems like just one more risk to fire up the air compressor.  I liked being able to just use my regular pump to inflate the tires (which I couldn't do prior to getting the bead set the first time).

I still had a couple of these, so the valve was an easy way to do it.

st0072.jpg

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11 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Yeah - that may be annoying! According to @ChrisL, it's not gonna happen :)  These things should seal any of those baby holes, and the gashes are - hopefully - RARE.

I think it’s one of those things where the sealant will prevent most punctures but when one does happen it’s gonna be a messy PITA.   I have heard of some people putting gloves in their tool bag.  

Do you guys carry tire plugs as well?  They can seal up some of the larger holes but not a gash.

Since I got a tire booster setting the bead is considerably easier.  I could never do it with a floor pump. 

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18 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I went through the valve.  Seems easiest on these "skinnier" tires once the bead is generally set.  I see the add straight through the side, and that seems like just one more risk to fire up the air compressor.  I liked being able to just use my regular pump to inflate the tires (which I couldn't do prior to getting the bead set the first time).

I still had a couple of these, so the valve was an easy way to do it.

st0072.jpg

That's the best way to do it. I bet you're golden. Small leaks or bubbling happens. Ride it and see what happens.

 

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12 minutes ago, dinneR said:

That's the best way to do it. I bet you're golden. Small leaks or bubbling happens. Ride it and see what happens.

 

That's the plan.  It held for 6+ months since I set them up the first time last year, so I am hoping that trend continues.  I was worried about pulling out the valve core and the tire deflating and breaking the bead, but it seemed to hold pretty snug, and only had those little leaks/bubbles.  Still inflated this morning as well.

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28 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

That's the plan.  It held for 6+ months since I set them up the first time last year, so I am hoping that trend continues.  I was worried about pulling out the valve core and the tire deflating and breaking the bead, but it seemed to hold pretty snug, and only had those little leaks/bubbles.  Still inflated this morning as well.

When I do this, I bleed all the air out first with the core in so there isn’t a mad rush of air out.  I also do it while the bike is on the stand so there is no weight on the tire.  

The one time I broke the bead trying to refresh sealant the bike was on the ground and I let it all rush out when removing  the valve core.

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5 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I think I need a new pump, yes?

Yes and no.  Probably just easier to have a shop install them the first time or use a friends compressor.  My limited experience is that once they're seated in the beads, you don't need anything special to keep going.  When they wear out, and you still like them, maybe buy one of those blaster pumps, or go back to the shop/friend.  In NYC, extra stuff isn't a top priority!

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I had tubeless but once I had a roadside flat and had to throw a tube in (and yes it was messy but I always keep latex gloves with my roadside repair kit), when going back to tubeless I could never get it to seal on the bead as well again, and would always leak down to about 75psi, and pumping up every single day before heading to work was a pain in the ass so I threw the tube back in.  When my front tire was worn out and needed to be replaced it was the same pita, so I now have tubes in my tubeless tires

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18 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I am still pondering if I will switch to tubeless and why and why not.  No tubeless tires just yet, but tubeless ready wheels.  I think I need a new pump, yes?

...Specialized has sort of inadvertently blown the whistle on road tires and sealant, when they announced their new super insta-seal sealant.

RapidAir Tire Sealant

RapidAir Tire Sealant

$10

Our new RapidAir Tire Sealant was custom-designed in tandem with our new RapidAir tires and Roval wheels to be the fastest tire setup out there.

Through development, we learned that high-pressure, 24-30mm tires require a totally different formula to seal punctures. Our new exclusive mixture not only immediately seals punctures up to 3mm across a large range of temperatures, but unlike other sealants, RapidAir sealant will also keep its seal when you reinflate back to normal riding pressure.

  • Seals instantly with minimal pressure lost.
  • Compatible with CO2.
  • Performs in a wide temperature range (-20° – 70°C).
  • Creates the strongest plug after sealing.
  • No damage to bike parts.
  • Recommended sealant amount per tire: Tire size 24-26mm - 40ml 28-30mm - 50ml For Maximum performance, use 60ml for any 24-30mm

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/rapidair-tire-sealant/p/174150?searchText=54120-2100&color=277540-174150

All my personal experience with tubeless is on MTB's, back some years ago, riding lower pressures and trying to avoid pinch flatting.  For which it works relatively well.  On the road bikes I ride now, I'm routinely riding at 120-130 psi.  So it's never made much sense to me, because it doesn't always work unless you deflate to a lower pressure and let it set up in the hole.  Much work for not much gain.

The above could all be more Specialized marketing hype, but it confirms my own opinions. Thus I find it valid.

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26 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

On the road bikes I ride now, I'm routinely riding at 120-130 psi. 

That's the most insane psi I've seen in years.  Drop those 40psi and you'll be happier (or at least less grumpy :) ).

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47 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

I am still pondering if I will switch to tubeless and why and why not.  No tubeless tires just yet, but tubeless ready wheels.  I think I need a new pump, yes?

For road riding in conditions where you don’t flat often I’d say stick with tubes.  Set up can be a PITA but worth it if you are in a flat prone area.  My road bike is still tubed, the Ritchey & Anthem go in the dirt so tubeless.  

As @Razors Edge noted you don’t need a special pump once the bead is set.  To reseat the bead after replacing a tire or sealant many people including me need something that gets a lot of air in there quickly.  I got a Shwalbe Tire Booster and it works well.  https://www.universalcycles.com/shopping/product_details.php?id=90584&attribute=220891&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIxuv77dnX9gIV9j6tBh3DRQ7xEAQYBiABEgKolvD_BwE

Before that I just had a shop do it.

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

That's the most insane psi I've seen in years.  Drop those 40psi and you'll be happier (or at least less grumpy :) ).

You haven’t ridden narrow tires & rims.  Many of the older rims are like 17mm and we ran 19 -21 mm tires at really high pressure.  I’m sure Page still is.  

Modern standards are different but it was really common back in the day to ride super narrow tires at really high PSI.

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2 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

You haven’t ridden narrow tires & rims.  Many of the older rims are like 17mm and we ran 19 -21 mm tires at really high pressure.  I’m sure Page still is.  

Modern standards are different but it was really common back in the day to ride super narrow tires at really high PSI.

Oh, yeah, I remember the narrow sizes, I just can imagine wanting those narrow sizes on a bike anymore, and I wonder how he even finds that size for sale???  23 seems like the low end of the spectrum anymore, but maybe tubular are still running super narrow options?  Still thinking that 22 or 23 sizes are the narrowest these days, and 25 or 28 the norm for a road bike.  Add in the "wider is faster and more comfortable" movement, and 130+ just seems a tough pill to swallow. 

His ass, not mine, though :)

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14 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

Oh, yeah, I remember the narrow sizes, I just can imagine wanting those narrow sizes on a bike anymore, and I wonder how he even finds that size for sale???  23 seems like the low end of the spectrum anymore, but maybe tubular are still running super narrow options?  Still thinking that 22 or 23 sizes are the narrowest these days, and 25 or 28 the norm for a road bike.  Add in the "wider is faster and more comfortable" movement, and 130+ just seems a tough pill to swallow. 

His ass, not mine, though :)

He’s riding steel with 32 -  36 spoked wheels too.  I rode them for years, put thousands of miles on that set up racing & training m and it was fine.  

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2 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

He’s riding steel with 32 -  36 spoked wheels too.  I rode them for years, put thousands of miles on that set up racing & training m and it was fine.  

I have a wheel set with lots of spokes :)  It accepts 23s and 25s, so you can have the durability of those bulletproof wheels and the comfort of a lower PSI tire :happyanim:  Maybe the steel is so mellow, he needs a jar or two from the wheels to keep him focused?

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4 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I have a wheel set with lots of spokes :)  It accepts 23s and 25s, so you can have the durability of those bulletproof wheels and the comfort of a lower PSI tire :happyanim:  Maybe the steel is so mellow, he needs a jar or two from the wheels to keep him focused?

If you have never ridden steel you just don’t know what you are missing.  I found that every bike since my Gazelle (Reynolds 531) I compared to my Gazelle.  Eventually I just went back to steel.  The ride is really hard to describe and maybe not for everyone but I prefer the ride feel to anything else.  

The higher spoke lower tension wheels also lessen the sting which also enhances ride quality making 21 mm tires at 120 psi not the jackhammer ride you may think. 

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2 hours ago, Randomguy said:

I agree with RE, do you square off rear tires on your first ride?  Doesn't if feel like you are riding on concrete?

...I ride generally on either Vittoria Rubino Pro's or Conti GP 4000/5000 tyres, nominally  sized at 700 X 25. 

In my conditions (pretty good asphalt pavement) and at my size and weight, max inflation pressure on these tyres gives me a drop that seems to be about right for rolling resistance vs road bounce. I realize there are lesser riders out there, puny men, whose comfort level with manly inflation pressures is less than mine.  I sympathize with your plight, but I'm certainly not going to take your advice on how hard I should pump my bicycle tyres.

That's about all I have to say on this.  Technically, it's all about the drop, and what pressure gives you that ideal amount to combine minimal rolling resistance with a decent contact patch. I have actually ridden tubulars pumped somewhat higher than 130, but I don't ride tubulars any more.  The reason I don't ride tubular tyres any more is the same reason I don't ride road tubeless. Too much trouble for whatever minimal gain is achieved.  I honestly don't flat that often.  I try to steer around the obvious broken glass.

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2 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

 Add in the "wider is faster and more comfortable" movement, and 130+ just seems a tough pill to swallow. 

His ass, not mine, though :)

...you ride on a plastic bike, which is laterally stiff but vertically compliant, presumably so you can go faster on it.  But you underinflate your tyres so you can be comfortable going slower because of the increase in rolling resistance.  This makes sense to me, because it's you. :flirtyeyess:

The "wider is faster and more comfortable" movement is based , AFAIK, on one guy's opinion, that took off like a jumbo jet on the internet.  The people over on the other bicycle forum that must not be named here are always going on about it.  It's balderdash, applied to the different real world conditions people ride, as a general rule.

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2 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

...you ride on a plastic bike, which is laterally stiff but vertically compliant, presumably so you can go faster on it.  But you underinflate your tyres so you can be comfortable going slower because of the increase in rolling resistance.  This makes sense to me, because it's you. :flirtyeyess:

I have 3 bikes - two are CF, one is steel.

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5 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

I have 3 bikes - two are CF, one is steel.

...tells me nothing.  What sort of "steel" ? There are steel bikes with OS tube sets that are completely different in ride and stiffness from your average '80s road bike. This one is fast as hell, but not especially comfortable. I still didn't put wider tyres on it than 25's. Whoever built that radially spoked front wheel for it didn't do me any favors.

 

 

 

Specialized Elite (Silver) 008.JPG

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4 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

But you underinflate your tyres so you can be comfortable going slower because of the increase in rolling resistance. 

You're one CF bike you like comes with under-inflated and wide tires:

However, it also came with a set of handbuilt wheels built with 650b Velocity Blunt SS aluminum rims and Chris King hubs wrapped with 42 mm-wide Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass clinchers. 

Keep in mind, too, that your "comfort vs rolling resistance" issue has pretty much been solved in the favor of both (comfort and less resistance) but wider tires.  By a fanatic of your caliber too - Jan Heine (owner of Rene Herse) - and you should spend some time talking with him about just how wrong those skinny tires - on any material bike - truly are. :)

He's your kind of guy, and here's some of what he says:

 

Good question! What we know is that up to 25 mm, tires get faster as they get wider. So 19 mm is probably the slowest you can ride. Beyond 25 mm, you reach a big plateau, where tire performance doesn’t change – at least on smooth paved roads and at moderately high speeds. We don’t yet know where the plateau ends – 54 mm tires are as fast as 25 mm tires. On rough roads, they are faster, on a super-smooth wooden track, they may be a bit slower…
For pro racers, it makes sense to use 25 mm tires for most races. The roads are smooth, they are lightweight, and they use tubulars anyhow. A wider tires won’t be much slower, but it’ll be a little heavier, and even if the difference is mostly psychologic, it can make a difference. And if you lose 5 seconds up the 20-minute climb a big mountain pass, that can make the difference between getting dropped or staying with the bunch. For the rest of us, those five seconds aren’t that important compared to improved comfort and better grip, plus the ability to go on rough roads. Even races sometimes go over rougher roads, so it’ll be interesting to see how the pro’s tire choice evolves. I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon would ride 28 or even 30 mm tires, especially if their sponsors are starting to push wider tires on road bikes.
For the cobblestone races like Paris-Roubaix, they already are using much wider tires. There, it seems that the pros are limited by the bikes and tires they can get. Wider certainly makes sense there: Global Cycling Network tested a mountain bike against a cross bike and a racing bike on a sector of pavés, and found that the mountain bike was fastest, despite the rider not being able to put out as much power – all due to the wider tires. Now imagine if the rider had put out their max power on a frame with better performance and had been riding supple tires designed for speed – the difference would have been even greater.

Dude loves steel, touring, gravel, and certainly - wider tires :D

Outback_cover.jpg

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18 minutes ago, Page Turner said:

...you ride on a plastic bike, which is laterally stiff but vertically compliant, presumably so you can go faster on it.  But you underinflate your tyres so you can be comfortable going slower because of the increase in rolling resistance.  This makes sense to me, because it's you. :flirtyeyess:

The "wider is faster and more comfortable" movement is based , AFAIK, on one guy's opinion, that took off like a jumbo jet on the internet.  The people over on the other bicycle forum that must not be named here are always going on about it.  It's balderdash, applied to the different real world conditions people ride, as a general rule.

 

2 minutes ago, Razors Edge said:

You're one CF bike you like comes with under-inflated and wide tires:

However, it also came with a set of handbuilt wheels built with 650b Velocity Blunt SS aluminum rims and Chris King hubs wrapped with 42 mm-wide Rene Herse Babyshoe Pass clinchers. 

Keep in mind, too, that your "comfort vs rolling resistance" issue has pretty much been solved in the favor of both (comfort and less resistance) but wider tires.  By a fanatic of your caliber too - Jan Heine (owner of Rene Herse) - and you should spend some time talking with him about just how wrong those skinny tires - on any material bike - truly are. :)

He's your kind of guy, and here's some of what he says:

 

Good question! What we know is that up to 25 mm, tires get faster as they get wider. So 19 mm is probably the slowest you can ride. Beyond 25 mm, you reach a big plateau, where tire performance doesn’t change – at least on smooth paved roads and at moderately high speeds. We don’t yet know where the plateau ends – 54 mm tires are as fast as 25 mm tires. On rough roads, they are faster, on a super-smooth wooden track, they may be a bit slower…
For pro racers, it makes sense to use 25 mm tires for most races. The roads are smooth, they are lightweight, and they use tubulars anyhow. A wider tires won’t be much slower, but it’ll be a little heavier, and even if the difference is mostly psychologic, it can make a difference. And if you lose 5 seconds up the 20-minute climb a big mountain pass, that can make the difference between getting dropped or staying with the bunch. For the rest of us, those five seconds aren’t that important compared to improved comfort and better grip, plus the ability to go on rough roads. Even races sometimes go over rougher roads, so it’ll be interesting to see how the pro’s tire choice evolves. I wouldn’t be surprised if they soon would ride 28 or even 30 mm tires, especially if their sponsors are starting to push wider tires on road bikes.
For the cobblestone races like Paris-Roubaix, they already are using much wider tires. There, it seems that the pros are limited by the bikes and tires they can get. Wider certainly makes sense there: Global Cycling Network tested a mountain bike against a cross bike and a racing bike on a sector of pavés, and found that the mountain bike was fastest, despite the rider not being able to put out as much power – all due to the wider tires. Now imagine if the rider had put out their max power on a frame with better performance and had been riding supple tires designed for speed – the difference would have been even greater.

Dude loves steel, touring, gravel, and certainly - wider tires :D

Outback_cover.jpg

...everything in that quote references differing conditions. I don't ride cobblestones, except in Old Sacramento for about 50 feet.  This whole wider is faster insanity is based on a profound misunderstanding of what the guy is saying.  Lighter tyre and wheel  is faster. Probably CF plastic rims are faster.  Wider tyres are only faster if you're talking about dirt, gravel, rough roads, people who don't really understand what's going on with this cycling meme.

The fact that I showed a picture of that plastic bike with 650b's doesn't mean it's my "preference". Only an example of a product that is being marketed with more variability in optional choices because it's somewhat custom fabricated.

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https://bikepacking.com/news/rene-herse-tire-pressure-calculator/

https://www.renehersecycles.com/tire-pressure-calculator/

The days when we pumped up our tires to the maximum pressure – hoping to optimize performance – are long over.

Today we know that the best tire pressure depends on your tire size, your weight (and that of your bike), and your riding style and preferences. Lower pressures optimize comfort and tire grip. They also result in fewer flat tires: A soft tire often rolls over debris that would puncture a tire inflated to high pressure.

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26 minutes ago, dinneR said:

https://bikepacking.com/news/rene-herse-tire-pressure-calculator/

https://www.renehersecycles.com/tire-pressure-calculator/

The days when we pumped up our tires to the maximum pressure – hoping to optimize performance – are long over.

Today we know that the best tire pressure depends on your tire size, your weight (and that of your bike), and your riding style and preferences. Lower pressures optimize comfort and tire grip. They also result in fewer flat tires: A soft tire often rolls over debris that would puncture a tire inflated to high pressure.

...another classic example of fallacy presented as fact.  A softer tyre as often picks up more crap like glass and small wire sheds from automotive radials, than "rolls over it".  This topic is just loaded up with opinions masquerading as some sort of "standard" for tyre inflation with regard to performance.  

The only stuff I've ever read that was convincing was done long ago, with regard to pressure and "tire drop", which is a made up term referencing contact patch, and how it affects rolling resistance.  And it was done so long ago that it is of questionable value given today's bicycle tyres, which are much more technologically advanced.

I've done my own side by side comparisons, same bike, same wheels, different size of the same tyre (25 vs 28 Rubino Pro).  I know what happened, because I was the test motor. I rarely flat these days, but anything that makes the tyre "stickier" (like rain or wet roads,  or softer inflation pressures), has a tendency to bring them on.

 

But yeah, the best tyre pressure does depend on your weight, tyre size, and your conditions and preferences.  It's hard to argue with that.  A guy my size, riding 700 X 25's, on an older steel road bike like this Colnago, on what is 95% of the time smooth asphalt, does pretty good at 120-130 psi. I can certainly lower the pressure, if I want more work input to produce the same speed. I just rode this one a quick 20 miles down the river and back  through town today. 130 psi all the way.

 

DSCF5903.thumb.JPG.b31a8213d6bce28bf826f7382614c7a4.JPG

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