Considering Going Back To Tubeless (Road)

Rarely unless I hear something on the road, or overnight I’ve lost air.

Here is a fun one…

Looking at my psi data from ride, was carrying that passenger for 20+ miles.

Another tubeless miracle!

Didn’t lose enough air on the road to notice it…


I’ve never had anything like that in my life. Maybe a tack once when I was a kid. Most of the time I’ve no idea what causes my punctures.

I’m tubeless on two sets of wheels with my new roadie.

Still butyl tubes on my tourer.

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I’ve got more nail than screw pics LOL, and more goat head & tiny needle (from radial tires) pics than nail/screw pics.

Older post, 20 “tubeless miracle” punctures that didn’t stop me over 2000 miles…

EVERYONE around here on tubes gets flats. Not uncommon to get 2 flats in one ride, not saying its common, just saying it happens and I see it on Strava every 3-5 months or so.

Almost everyone I know rides outside and not much on the trainer, all 365 days of the year. Some Zwift/Rouvy/TR/MyWoosh rides in the feed, but not many.

Small price to pay for generally great weather and cycling friendly roads.

Tubeless you (usually) keep on trucking.


Just contemplating the move to Tubeless. Could you expand on why 700x25c is a no?

I’m thinking of making the change on wheels with 18mm internal (old, but as new as i have got), which should be OK for 28c, but the limiting factor will be the frame (Focus Izalco Max 2016).

It’s not a “no”, but you need to manage expectations. The pressure in a 25C tire is too high for many sealants, so it often doesn’t work. Some people swear it works, others don’t. YMMV.

With a 25mm tire, you may have trouble plugging it with a bacon strip. I’ve seen them blow out. On 25mm, tubeless is probably getting you home at 60psi unless it’s a tiny pin prick hole. I’d definitely carry some advanced plug system like a Dynaplug.

That said, I’ve been riding 25mm GP5000 TLs for 5 years for now with Orange Seal and haven’t had a single flat. Maybe I’ve just been extremely lucky. I haven’t even had a squirter. I did notice that when I was on tubes, almost every flat I would get would be a tiny pin prick slow leaker. I can’t remember the last time I encountered a big nail or something.

To the OP, don’t be shy with the sealant. You read things like 30ml or you read about people trying to save weight. I’m convinced that the more top up / sealant drying cycles you go through, the more flat resistance you achieve over time. Eventually you have a nice layer of dried latex in there that tiny thorns won’t even bother. On a new tire, I’ll shake up Orange Seal and then inject 90ml. When you can’t hear sealant sloshing around (shake test near your ear), put 60ml in. I do this like once a month.

OP, could also go for a thicker tire like the GP5000 All Season TR to avoid more flats or some other more robust tire.

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In the early days of my tubeless journey, for example this one after running over a chunk of metal at speed (down an overpass) that nicely sliced the tread:

that was on 25c tires, and I rode home at around 30psi. Think of 25c road tubeless at 30psi as “run flat” capability :wink: without Vittoria AirLiner inserts. So if you are a bigger rider like me, keep it chill and slow roll it back home.

With narrow tires and a large enough puncture, you certainly don’t want to get obsessed with 80psi.

You might increase pressure with a better sealant, say the Orange Seal regular or the Silca stuff (but can’t inject Silca via valve).

I’m running my 32c tires around 60psi so less of an issue, and depending on specifics (sealant, tire, puncture) you might get away with little to no less of pressure like the one I posted about earlier:

Continental recommends “cleaning” the inside of the TR tire with sealant and using a brush to cover the inside fully. I’ve never needed to do that with a GP5000 S but there you go. And I’ve actually had really good luck with the Bontrager sealant.

Yes, I think a lot of brands recommend something similar. My experience is it’s absolutely necessary with true hand made tires (e.g. Challenge) but with anything else, you can get away with the process I outlined.

Also I should say I realized since posting that there is both a TL and TR GP5k. Presumably getting the TL would negate any sealant seeping issues?

Silca is good at this although the initial pour in the side method is annoying.

TL isn’t a thing, it’s no longer produced, the old model.

How did you look at the psi data?

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@mountainrunner turned me on to the SRAM TyreWiz things

and the data gets recorded on my Garmin and written into the fit file.

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Late response, just saw this.

There is the plain old GP 5000 clincher. It’s not tubeless compatible. Set it up tubeless and hopefully it explodes in your garage rather than on the road.

There’s the GP 5000 TL. Came out about the same time as the old clincher. It’s not compatible with hookless rims.

The GP 5000 S TR is compatible with hookless, recently released, claimed to be a bit lower rolling resistance but I think the change is not material.

I have the AS TR and it doesn’t weep sealant, but it’s also a thicker casing. IDK how the S TR does on this score. My understanding was that the TL was designed to be airtight without sealant? It’s been a while. In general, some seeping is ignorable, it should stop soon enough (a few days at most?).

The video you linked is 12 years old. Do they still recommend that?

I’ve gone from AS TR to S TR. No difference, when first installing both hold air for a bit without sealant. Then add sealant and they do a great job holding air.

Until 2 weeks ago I was having a very good experience with tubeless having run Vittoria Rubino 28s on DT Swiss ER1600s for the past 2+ years and having them definitely save my ass on a few occasions. I then had to replace one which was sheer hell - the replacement (a 25mm Rubino as that’s what came on the bike so had it to hand) was extremely difficult to get on to the rim and resisted all attempts at seating. As a result I’m now the owner of a Tyre Glider, a pair of those tyre tong things and an Airshot. The first two are very useful in fitting/removing the tyre and the Airshot got it seated instantly so I’m now equipped.
Dealing with it on the side of the road would be another matter though - I’ve never had occasion to try the plugs, but on balance, I’d have to say I’m happy and will stick with it. Just the ability to run lower pressures on some of the road surfaces around here is a godsend

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Back to the original question. I went tubeless (28mm) because I lost like 6 latex tubes to flats from broken glass, and I couldn’t find a lot of the holes. I tried out Vittoria Corsa Pros. Nice looking cotton sidewall, supposed to be very supple, a bit delicate but I’m a light rider.

I’ve now had two sidewall cuts that wouldn’t hold air even after multiple Dynaplugs. So, I’m thinking that sidewall cut is generally a lost cause unless you want to patch the tire from the interior - you can use standard patches, I believe. Does this correspond to anyone’s experience?

I’ve had one flat on the tread that required a plug to seal, and one flat that sealed itself. At least, those are the flats that I’ve noticed, generally from sealant getting sprayed around. Sealant is a bit annoying go get off the paintwork, btw.

The sidewall cuts would have defeated a tubed system. So, at 28mm and pressure in the mid 70s (recommended by the Silca calculator, the tires measure 27mm on my older rims), I honestly can’t say I’m amazed with tubeless. But I’m not really dying to spend $90 on latex tubes, either. I dunno man, maybe my luck has been absolutely rotten. In the first couple pandemic years, I had nowhere near that many flats, but I was riding solo.

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I don’t think they recommend brushing on sealant any more. There’s a more recent video on their UK site that skips that step. Their installation instructions recommend checking their “video center” but there’s not a good US link so I ended up at the old video. :person_shrugging:t2:

Sometimes you can get it to seal, but it also depends on sealant and air pressure.

My comment was specifically in regards to a screw that made at least 5 punctures in the sidewall.

Around here, Vittoria Corsa Pros with cotton sidewall are notorious for being a very supple tire that punctures too easily. A lot of people end up switching to Continental GP 5000 S TR, or AS TR, or Pirelli P Zero Race.

What I’ve found is that running a wider tire - 32 - makes it less prone to ride-ending punctures. That has been true for both tubes and tubeless.

Outside of screws or nails, if you avoid “race day” tires like the cotton Vittoria Corsa Pros, then I’ve found that tubeless tires will generally seal (Orange Seal regular) and you keep riding. The exceptions are very large holes, and sidewall tears.

Hope that helps.