Road tubeless experiences

16 years of riding tubeless on my MTB. No way I would ever go back to tubes. However, I had some horrible experiences with road tubeless. Made me go back to tubes for training. For racing I stick with tubeless and now I’m positively surprised:

  • Hunt 30 Aero (20.5mm internal)
  • GP5000 TL 28mm (recent batch)

Mounting: fairly easy, with some technique, but not too bad

And more important, when standing roadside with a flat, dismounting: this is super, super, super easy. I’ve already had to cut tires to get them off this rim but the 5000 was really easy.

The tire comes out at 29mm width. Probably stretches out a further mm or so.

I think this qualifies as a tubeless experience.

I was on a group ride on Saturday and hit a gigantic pothole. It sounded like it broke my bike or wheel but everything was ok.

Had this been a tube, it would have certainly been a pinch flat. With tubeless (GP5000TL), it didn’t even burp air.

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5000s are reportedly narrower than 4000s, so you’ll probably be fine

No personal experience (I run TL on my MTB but latex tubes on road) but on various group rides I’ve seen tubeless guys self seal small punctures where tubes had to stop and fix their flats. I’ve also seen guys with tubes boot and ride a cut tire while tubeless guys couldn’t even get their tire unseated to install a tube.

Not sold on road tubeless, or getting a face full of sealant when riding behind someone who is (personal experience)

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A month back I had the worst high speed pothole hit I’ve ever experienced - horrific sounding crash/bang and bars tilted with the force of it - no pinch flat on my clincher GP5000s running Schwalbe Aerothan tubes. :man_shrugging:

Different strokes for different folks, innit.

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I just shared a big experience post on my experience with the Enve Foundations wheels and tires in a tubeless set up. The second half is all my experience with tubeless, the headaches, etc. But it ends on a high note. Link below for the full post.

My biggest take away was that not all sealant is created equal. I had a terrible experience with Muckoff sealant, but OrangeSeal has been a total game changer for me and so far has been flawless. Wouldn’t use any other sealant now, and wouldn’t recommend Muckoff sealant. It seems to only work up to 40 psi, so probs alright for mountain bike but not for road. I’d go so far as to say my experience with OrangeSeal has totally changed me to a road tubeless believer now.

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I’ve a similar story with FinishLine. Its marketed as never hardening. That’s a big problem IME as it never hardens in a p’ture hole either. Your tyre continues to bleed air and when you hit a small bump like a cat eye the whole tyre will unseat. I almost gave up on tubeless until I realised it was the sealant that was duff. I had no problems in the 1000s of miles before and touch wood, none in the 10,000s of miles after :confused:

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I put glitter in my sealant specifically for this outcome :joy:.

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True, some wheel/tube combos don’t behave well.

New Bontrager wheelsets paired with GP5000’s seem to behave great.

I have thousands of miles on my tubeless road setup and haven’t had a single flat. I am able to run lower pressures resulting in improved comfort. I can remove or install the GP5000’s with a single tire lever with minimal more effort vs a clincher. I have never had to attempt a roadside repair but I’m confident I easily could.

I now have tubeless on my road, MTB and gravel bikes. I’m 100% sold. Won’t go back to clincher.

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I’ve been an early adopter of tubeless going back to around 2006 with the original Dura Ace tubeless wheels using Hutchinson tires. Been sold on tubeless since. During that time I’ve picked up a later pair of D/A tubeless wheels as well as two pair of carbon wheels, one set from Nox and the other from Light Bike of China. Schwalbe Pro One’s are my current tire of choice as they are fairly durable and just stupid fast. Having sealant has kept me going more times than I can count and in some cases sealed before I ever knew I had a puncture. Roadside repairs have not been too bad either but consider that any flat that requires an actual repair would have left a tube for dead as well.

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Just sliced a GP5K sidewall at the far corner of my regular ride…glitter would have made it more of a show as ~30ml of sealant shot out of my 28c tire instantly.

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I have been asked to sit on the back of the group twice coming home on group rides where Ive picked up a puncture that wont fully seal. Mind you thats twice in about 5 years, 3-4 rides each week

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Been tubeless for about a year, I’m riding 28C tires at about 80 - 85 PSI.

Both times I punctured, the punctures wouldn’t seal. The first puncture was rather large and I just had a new tire put on.

The second puncture - I got it a week after I got a new tire. It was a rather small puncture dead center in the tread of my rear wheel. For some reason, the sealant was not making it to the hole. I could clearly see there was sealant in the tire after we managed to put a tube in.

What sealant are you using? There’s quite a variety in terms of performance.

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The first puncture it was Stans (IIRC).

Second one, I have no clue what the bike shop used. It was a pink color when I looked.

Do you not have a plug kit? One good thing about tubeless is that you can plug a simple hole in 30 seconds.

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That was the one day when I didn’t bring my plug kit (figures). It was a short / fast group ride and only 20 miles so I left my tube top bag home that day and my plug was in that bag.
The puncture was really small, I wonder if a plug would have even gone it. But I’m really confused why the sealant wouldn’t seal that.

Get the Dynaplug Racer - mount it on your water bottle cage and its just there instantly when you need it. You don’t even have to dig around in your pocket or a bag.

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Question for dynaplug users. I have the micro one, which come was a razor blade for removing the excess plug. I see many other dynaplugs without the razor. Do folks leave the plug extending out of the tire full length without cutting it? Does the extra ever cause problems?

I have a dynaplug racer. Do they sell the mount separately?