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Olas Nah

Help me understand Tubeless tires

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So my new bike is a Giant Defy 1 Adv...running Giant P-R2 Disc wheelset with tubeless 700x32 tires. 

I'm curious about a few things.... 

As a road cyclist who might do one race a year and mostly fast group rides or event rides the remainder of time,....

--is a 32mm tire ideal? or is this on the 'wide side' of tires and might be better to get something slimmer? (The tires look huge to me, since I used to run 23mm Clinchers... )

--How often do you maintain this 'sealant'....

--Do the tires wear out faster because they are tubeless and effectively running at lower pressure? 

--Talk to me about tire pressures for tubeless tires. I've seen some stuff about keeping these around 75-90 psi but 75 seems pretty low when I've inflated them to that. 

--I would also expect big tires like this to be a significant aero deficiency...talk to me about this as well. 
 

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51 minutes ago, Olas Nah said:

As a road cyclist

I'd put tubes in those tires and call it a day.  Well, maybe put on some 28s with tubes and call it a day.

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A little more on wider tires is here.

I tend to think the 28 is the sweet spot for road riding nowadays, but I am on 25s.  I run my GP4000 IIs (700x25 with tubes) at 80-90 psi where 90 psi is the MAX I ever put in them, and over a few days, the rear pressure will drop to 80 and I will top it up, but I will often let the front drop into the 70s.  Considering tubeless ought to allow LOWER pressures at the same size, then for a 32, I would expect 75 psi to be easily in the sweet spot (if not towards the high end). Obviously, rider weight plays a part too, so an onlline psi calculators might help you fine tune your optimal pressure, but I would say "don't be afraid of the low pressures" since they really aren't that low of pressures :D

 

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3 hours ago, Olas Nah said:

So my new bike is a Giant Defy 1 Adv...running Giant P-R2 Disc wheelset with tubeless 700x32 tires. 

I'm curious about a few things.... 

As a road cyclist who might do one race a year and mostly fast group rides or event rides the remainder of time,....

--is a 32mm tire ideal? or is this on the 'wide side' of tires and might be better to get something slimmer? (The tires look huge to me, since I used to run 23mm Clinchers... )

--How often do you maintain this 'sealant'....

--Do the tires wear out faster because they are tubeless and effectively running at lower pressure? 

--Talk to me about tire pressures for tubeless tires. I've seen some stuff about keeping these around 75-90 psi but 75 seems pretty low when I've inflated them to that. 

--I would also expect big tires like this to be a significant aero deficiency...talk to me about this as well. 
 

A 32 seems on the wide side if you are strictly riding the road but hey if they are on there go with it and see what you think.  

Giant is specing their higher end bikes tubeless ready and set them up on purchase. Assuming they did the same for you. My Anthem came tubeless and the cores are removable so I bought a sealant injector, core remover and sealant and added more sealant after 6 months.  You can add fresh sealant a few times but at some point you need to pull the tire off and clean the dry funk out.

I ride tubeless off road so tire wear hasn’t been an issue yet. Great question but I don’t know...

Running  super low PSI could lead to burping the tire but again I’m off road so really don’t know what a good psi is for road use in your tires.  I have played around with PSI and have gone to the high teens on my tires (Max is 45 psi) and felt the tire squirm but didn’t burp.  Short answer is I dunno..

Aero schmero...  😊

Hope that helps...

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12 hours ago, Razors Edge said:

I'd put tubes in those tires and call it a day.  Well, maybe put on some 28s with tubes and call it a day.

This!  Give the Tire Gods their due and do not eff around. :D

 

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4 hours ago, RalphWaldoMooseworth said:

This!  Give the Tire Gods their due and do not eff around. :D

 

Once tubeless is set up it really isn’t a big deal.  On my first MTB I had the shop do it as I don’t have a compressor to set the bead. The shop then set it up on my Anthem on purchase.  Most of the horror stories are mounting them but once on there they are low maintenance.

I have finished rides on at least 3 occurrences where I found a little wet spot on the tire where the sealant sealed a puncture.  The system works for sure.

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58 minutes ago, ChrisL said:

Once tubeless is set up it really isn’t a big deal.  On my first MTB I had the shop do it as I don’t have a compressor to set the bead. The shop then set it up on my Anthem on purchase.  Most of the horror stories are mounting them but once on there they are low maintenance.

I have finished rides on at least 3 occurrences where I found a little wet spot on the tire where the sealant sealed a puncture.  The system works for sure.

Heine talks a bit more about road tubeless and tire pressures in another post.

I think the main issue with road tubeless is that it is relatively "new" to most roadies, and, like with MTB 15-20 years ago, it will just take a little time to take hold.

This is a funny photo:

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I have tubeless on my fat bike, and CX bike. I will never run tubeless on my road bike. My friend had nothing but trouble sealing punctures at that high of pressure, >90 psi. It works very well on my fat bike at 4-9 psi, & my CX which I run around 40-60 psi. 

My LBS told me the tires need to be removed annually to clean out the old dried up sealant. I didn't do this...yet. I just added some more thru the valve stem w/ the syringe thingie (which works very well). Also need to replace the gorilla tape...I use gorilla tape. This is also what the LBS's use. There are different brands of sealant, some better for hot some better for cold. Not sure the differences in replacement time. But if you spin the wheel and do not hear sloshing around, then the sealant is dried up.

If, you get a puncture on a tubeless tire and it will not reseal, you'll need to put a tube in. My aforementioned friend (and us) could not remove the tire from the rim. Tubeless beads hold like a mofo. Very difficult to remove. Was for us anyway. And sealant is sticky which adds to the holding on effect.

Tire wear? IDK. Lower pressure would probably wear it quicker. It is true that you can run lower pressures with tubeless though, not sure why other than more comfort. I don't know anyone personally now that uses tubeless on road bike so I don't know what pressures are ran. Far as size goes, I run 25mm wide continental gatorskins w/ tubes. Love them. 110 psi rear, 100 psi front. It seems the roadies I ride with typically run 25-28's. I would imagine if racing, tire pressures would need/want to be higher than 75 psi. I wouldn't want a soft tire on a crit.

IMO (and I don't race), I would run 25-28 clinchers w/ tubes. Hope this was somewhat helpful :)

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1 hour ago, bikeman564™ said:

I have tubeless on my fat bike, and CX bike. I will never run tubeless on my road bike. My friend had nothing but trouble sealing punctures at that high of pressure, >90 psi. It works very well on my fat bike at 4-9 psi, & my CX which I run around 40-60 psi. 

Nice write up.

I know I have also read some Lennard Zinn stuff on Velonews, so I popped over there to see what I might find, and the CURRENT tech talk is about road tubeless. :D  I'm like this guy - " I hate opinions based on limited data." - but I do feel like we just aren't there yet on tubeless vs standard clinchers.  IOW, tubes & clinchers are SO SIMPLE (and tried & true), that it still seems like we are complicating our lives trying to get to some 1% improvement.  It's how I feel about tubulars as well (although there are tried & true but simply fussy in my mind).

Dear Lennard,
I’ve been riding road tubeless for a little over two years and absolutely love the lack of flats. The downside I’ve seen at least once and maybe twice is sudden and immediate loss of air pressure when the tire burped after hitting an object in the road at high speed.

The first occurrence was downhill in a straight line at I’m guessing around 35mph; both front and rear tires went flat instantly. Thankfully, I stayed upright and made a safe stop.

This last week I awoke in a helicopter ride to a hospital. Nobody was around when I crashed, and I have no memory of the crash. Only worrisome part is the front tire was flat with no punctures.

I may be adding two and two and getting five, but I am concerned that a less than desirable part of road tubeless is the sudden loss of air with a burp.

I was using Hed Ardennes wheels with 25mm Continental GP5000 TL in the last occurrence. The first burp with no crash was with 25mm Specialized tubeless.

Now I’m wondering if the rim tape failed or if this was a self-inflicted wound. After the tire was removed, it is obvious the tape needs replacing — it was pulled out of place in some areas. I assumed (I hate that word) this was from the tire losing air and the bead unlocking.

I’m laughing at myself; I hate opinions based on limited data. But I’m probably going back to tubed tires for the road. However, I just remembered a friend crashing and breaking a shoulder some years ago on the cool down lap of a crit; his front tire went flat.

Lennard's response here.

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So the jist I'm getting here is... 

Get some clinchers and just live with tubes? 

I don't particularly have to worry about flats, I mostly ride on a park road where there's little need to ride on the shoulder...in many years of riding I've only had a flat on that road once, whereas on regular roads I'd get a flat every few months from something. 

So... 32mm is a bit on the wide side... seems a bit odd to sell a bike with that. I know the industry is probably oriented towards selling comfort, even amongst road bikers. 

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3 hours ago, Olas Nah said:

So the jist I'm getting here is... 

Get some clinchers and just live with tubes? 

I don't particularly have to worry about flats, I mostly ride on a park road where there's little need to ride on the shoulder...in many years of riding I've only had a flat on that road once, whereas on regular roads I'd get a flat every few months from something. 

So... 32mm is a bit on the wide side... seems a bit odd to sell a bike with that. I know the industry is probably oriented towards selling comfort, even amongst road bikers. 

They Defy is a performance comfort bike and higher volume tires do make the bike more cushy.  

Given your situation & riding goals, 25’s with tubes should be fine.  

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13 hours ago, Olas Nah said:

32mm is a bit on the wide side

For general purpose riding, I think 32 mm is the perfect size tire. There's nothing wrong with narrower tires until you encounter unusual road conditions. I have narrower tires by default on the road bike. For my needs, I wouldn't mess with tubeless but I'm pretty straight forward with riding.

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8 hours ago, donkpow said:

For general purpose riding, I think 32 mm is the perfect size tire. There's nothing wrong with narrower tires until you encounter unusual road conditions. I have narrower tires by default on the road bike. For my needs, I wouldn't mess with tubeless but I'm pretty straight forward with riding.

My cross bike has 32’s and the tread pattern does roll pretty well on asphalt.  But I notice I have a hard time exceeding 18 MPH on asphalt with favorable conditions where as I can roll along in the low 20’s on my road bike. I’m sure the tread doesn’t help but I feel that the added volume doesn’t help either.  I think this is Olas’ motivation behind narrower tires.

But I do like the ride the 32’s offer and my aluminum crosser is comfy on the road. The added volume of the tires I do believe really help the overall ride and would agree if speed isn’t your overall goal 32’s do ride nice.

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I like bigger tires and I like tubeless. Better comfort and traction, but it's a personal choice. I never understood roadies running 23c tires at 120. 

Tubeless is pretty simple. Tape it, add sealant, inflate. Add new sealant every 6 months. I clean my tires once a year. The benefits are fewer flats, no pinch flats, and improved traction. They also reduce rolling resistance. 

I think 32c tires set up tubleless would be pretty sweet. 28C tires are pretty nice too. I can't imagine I would ever go back to 25 or 23. 

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15 hours ago, ChrisL said:

My cross bike has 32’s and the tread pattern does roll pretty well on asphalt.  But I notice I have a hard time exceeding 18 MPH on asphalt with favorable conditions where as I can roll along in the low 20’s on my road bike. I’m sure the tread doesn’t help but I feel that the added volume doesn’t help either.  I think this is Olas’ motivation behind narrower tires.

But I do like the ride the 32’s offer and my aluminum crosser is comfy on the road. The added volume of the tires I do believe really help the overall ride and would agree if speed isn’t your overall goal 32’s do ride nice.

If speed is the primary element of performance that you are looking for, go for that. It's only when the change messes up something else that you have doubt. Switching the tires over to something else is going to change handling. Maybe better, maybe worse. Tubeless road is probably more versatile than tubed tires. I've never owned them. What I always say on topics like this is to pick the gear for the course. It's too easy to just see something sexy in a magazine and buy it.  Not that the "Big Z" is going that route, just sayin'. IOW, if your riding environment or style can benefit from a gear choice, then do it. If you are just buying shit because all the cool kids are, stay at the back where you belong.

Now racing is a different matter, IMO. A positive result even in a subjective analysis is going to give some payoff.

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