Tubeless Road Tires – One More Try

| September 22, 2018 6:59 pm
Tubeless Road Tires - One More Try

History of Experiment with  Tubeless Road Tires

I have written a couple posts about using tuebeless road tires. This first post discussed with the pros and cons of tubeless road tires vs tubed clincher tires vs. tubular tires.  In this second post I discussed my tests with the Schwalbe One tubeless tire, which was much better than my experience with the Hutchinson tubeless road tires.  At that time I had tested about 6 tubeless tires, from two brands, on two different wheel sets for well over a year.  It has been a costly experiment that has been quite frustrating so in 2016 I wrote this third post how I have given up on using tubeless road tires.

Why Trying Tubeless Once Again?

While the Schwalbe One tubeless tires proved to be much easier to deal with than the Hutchinson, both tubeless tires suffer from several issues, requiring much more effort the deal with than typical clinchers, despite having flats to deal with.  In my prior attempts I found tubeless tires very hard to install and seat.  I even took one Hutchinson tubeless tire which I could not get to seat to a bike shop and they could not get it seated either.  It was so hard to get on, I just disposed of the tire since I was not going to try to put a tube in it.

I was also concerned about getting a cut that would not seal and not being able to remove the tire and reinstall with a tube inside, like I can easily do with a regular clincher or my tubeless gravel bike and mountain bike tires.  I felt more comfortable being far away, outside of cell phone coverage, to replace a tube than dealing with a tubeless tire should I get a cut that will not seal. I can change a tube in 5 minute but dealing with tubeless tire may take 30-60 minutes and even then I am not sure I could be successful to get a tube inside and the tire back on the rim.  At least with a tubular tire that does not seal, you can ride on them flat, maybe to get into cell phone coverage.

A New Scwable Pro One Tire to Try

I had been reading about the Schwalbe Pro One tire (as opposed to the Schwalbe One tire I tried before).  This one was billed as “TL Easy”, suppose to be easier to mount and seat.  Our area is prone to a lot of goat heads recently so I put my tubular wheels on my bike but my wife is getting a lot of flats.  So I decided to give the Scwable Pro One tire a try and ordered two from merlincycles.com, for a cost of about $45 each.  More expensive than the Continental 4000 IIs tires I use but still reasonable.  US prices are quite a bit higher.

I bought once again the plastic tubeless liners that sells for their tubeless road wheels, which is much easier to use than tubeless tape.  I installed those on a pair of tubeless ready Bontrager RXL wheels, then I went to install the Scwable Pro One tubeless tires.  Although much more difficult to install than regular clinchers, they were far easier to get on the wheel than all the other tubeless tires I had tried, including the Swable One.  Before I put any sealant in the tire, I used my compressor to inflate them.  They instantly seated.  Wow, what a change.  They seem to be holding air without sealant so I am confident that once I add sealant they will hold air completely.  I still don’t think I could get them off on the road and put a tube inside, but I now carry a tubeless tire plug, because I use tubeless on my gravel bike and mountain bike, and sometimes tubular on my road bike.  I bought this kit on Amazon.  A bit pricey but small and easy to carry.  If I get a cut or hole that does not seal, you insert the plug and most likely it will then seal.

Still Use Clincher

Note all my road wheels are tubeless ready and when I am riding in a remote area, I still will use a clincher tire because I carry two tubes and a boot.  I have never had a situation where that did not get me home.  But I am putting the tubeless road tires on my wife’s bike and see how it gos.  So far it looks far more promising because it took only about 30 minutes to convert the two wheels to tubeless, not the hour plus before and lots of bruised knuckles.

How About Tubeless on my Gravel Bike and Mountain Bike?

I use In case you are wondering, for sometime I have only use tubeless on both my gravel bike and my mountain bike.   These tires are wider than road tires and much easier to get on and off the rim.  I feel I could easily put a tube inside if I need to, although with sealant it would be messy.  I have yet to have any leak that did not seal, despite riding on rough terrain.  If I do get a leak that doesn’t seal I would try the plug first, and then if that doesn’t work, I would put in a tube.

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