Road tubeless experiences

For me, the jury is out on road tubeless. The higher air pressure and lower air volume means it doesn’t work as well for road tyres as it does with mtb ones, and I still have some concerns about being stranded in the event of a catastrophic failure. Recent threads on a few forums about certain tyres coming off certain tubeless wheels also make me wonder if safety standards are quite where they should be.

It’s an appealing concept, and I’m sure works well for most users, but I suspect I’ll be sticking with clinchers on road for the moment.

After buying my new steed this year (BMC Time Machine) I finally got around to ordering my second/race wheelset for it. I wound up going tubeless since they were out of the tubulars. This will be the first set I’ve ever owned or used after riding for…many years.
I’m having my team mechanic install and prep them for me, which takes the headache away, but I’ve never actually lived with them. Anyone have any tips for me? I’m sure there’s a long forum post about them somewhere, but I’m just looking for a few quick anecdotes and tips from people who use them regularly.
Keep in mind the set will only be raced, and I have another set of clinchers, so the whole ‘hassle to replace’ thing is irrelevant in a race situation.
Cheers!
PS-I will post a pic of the finished product this week when they are all done.

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Make sure your sealant hasn’t evaporated

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I saw that, but it said 2019 on the search bar so I assumed that was a dead topic. Go ahead and merge if it’s still active and you think it’s best :slight_smile:

For races, get a dynoplug or similar.

Check pressure more often before going for a ride, because they can leak a bit when new.

Other than that, just ride!

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Chill out then, that’s ^^^^ the only real thing that is any worse than tubs/tubes. Once they are holding air there isn’t much for you to do just top up the air every so often like a tub/tube. Every so often depending on your storage conditions you’ll have to remove the valve core and top up the sealant (somewhere between 4 months and a year) but during that time you might have had 3 or 4 race ending p’tures with tubs/tube so in comparison it nothing.

You might want to buy some sort of tyre plug (worm) for a road side repair in the rare event a hole doesn’t seal but your mechanic will probably take care of that rare event too.

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I will have a second set of wheels for a race, but some fondos don’t have support vehicles, so I might need to meddle with a flat. I’m going to be running some Specialized Turbo race tires. Any good plugs for a tire like that? I’ve never used them (but I have seen several videos about how cool they are).

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I just use a heap £3 tubeless repair kit (I’ve only actually used it once in about 5 years). With my cheap one its just a case of pushing a worm in with the tool, pumping the tyre up and trimming it with a blade. I also fixed a mates tubeless disc with one pre race and it was good for a 20mins 10. Its quite quick but some of the dearer tools look neat :+1:

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You’d learn a lot installing them yourself. You can read the tips in many topics on the forum.

If you flat during a road race with no sag support and you don’t have a clue as how to plug a tire, it’s going to suck. It really helps to practice it if you can.

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What second wheelset did you pick? I have a BMC Time Machine as well and only have the clinchers that came with it. On other bikes, I run tubeless set ups and was a bit hesitant to return to clinchers as I have had great success not flatting on tubeless. I am now more comfortable setting up and maintaining tubeless than I am changing out tubes.

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The wheels that came with it were 50-60, so I went with Vision Metron 81s front and rear. I wanted a pure aero set so I could mix and match according to terrain and conditions. We also have a 1 mile flat sprint TT race nearby that they would be perfect for. But I love the ones that came with it. I will post a pic as soon as they are ready!

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Here they are on the bike. :grin:

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Dumb question, but what do I do if I get a flat while riding? Let’s assume it’s small and doesn’t require a plug. Will the tire go flat and all I need to do is pump it up, or will it stay inflated thanks to the sealant? Basically, should I carry a C02 because any flat will need to be filled up, or does the sealant prevent flats full-stop (unless it’s a major slice)? Thanks!

You probably won’t even know you got a puncture

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It really just depends. You may not notice. Or, it may squirt all over and you end up at 30psi by the time it seals. Or, it doesn’t seal and you need to plug it.

If you get a squirter, I’d pull over immediately and put my finger on the hole. Then I’d rotate it to the bottom and then modulate the air with my finger and try to get it to seal. Definitely don’t let all your air and sealant just leak all over the road. If it doesn’t seal, plug it. On my gravel bike, I’ve been able to plug leaks and not lose all my air and sealant.

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  1. once a week or so, open and close your valves. If you’re riding them week in week out, no need to worry as you’d be doing this to top up tyre pressure, but if you leave it a few weeks you might need pliers to open the valves next time. How much of an issue this will be depends on the valves and sealant you use and how long they’ve been in use, but a simple regular job.
  2. at the same time, check to loosen and tighten the lock nut on the tubeless valve. It only needs to be finger tight to keep the seal. If the valve has seized on and you get a major flat, you won’t even get as far as seeing if you can get the tyre off at the roadside to put a tube in. Unless you have pliers in your kit…

Good luck with them!

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If its tiny you’ll not notice it. You’ll lose circa 5-10psi and it’ll seal you won’t have to do anything. Even a larger hole that seals won’t really be noticed apart from the line of sealant spray on the ground/ seat tube :joy:

Very occasionally a hole will be on the side of the tyre and you may need to dismount and put the wheel on its side to get the sealant to it.

The one exemption to the above is the Finishline never dry out formula, that should be avoided. It cant seal anything properly and the tyre will gradually deflate :-1:. As said avoid that :+1:

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Just got back from my first ride on the wheels/tires. Performed marvelously. We even hit some gravel sections.
I don’t plan on using them all the time, but the mechanic said to just put some air in them regularly, which will take care of the opening and closing the valves. Thanks for all the help!

And some of the gravel…

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Maybe some can enlightened me here. So I had to replace my tire due to a cut on the sidewall. I did lose some sealant before it sealed. I had to hold tire on its side after using a CO2 cartridge. Upon removal when I got back home the only visible liquid in the tire remaining looked like water. It is Stan’s sealant. Did I loose the sealant and liquid was condensation from the CO2? Does the color leave first trying to seal a bigger hole? I did do a long 7 hour ride in the rain a week before. But there is no way rain got inside the tire. I am having trouble figuring out what happened.

Thanks

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