Road tubeless experiences

Installed the airliners and tubeless last weekend - they seemed to go on fine with the normal track pump, but went with a blast of the compressor just to be sure. Rear seemed to seal fully second short spin (4km), front took Sunday’s race - both still holding air now.

We have riders here in Sweden now, running tubeless on the new Shimano wheels without sealant…

Anyone else heard of this monstrosity? :smiley:

Holds air apparently, and when they get a puncture, they wanna put in a tube without the slime…

There were some pro teams talking about this, or using a very minimal amount of sealant, over the last year or two.

To me if you are going to go tubeless, then the sealant is going to reduce the need to put in a tube in the first place.

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I think when EF were testing what turned out to be the airliner, they were painting on the sealant iirc. There was a Life in Peloton/ Mitch Docker podcast where he spoke to mechanics about it.

It makes no sense in an amateur context to me though, as you say, more likely to need a tube without sealant!

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Tubeless without sealant? Yes, for about 10 minutes during install :rofl:

if the bead sets, no need to use the compressor.

Quick update on Vittoria Corsa N.EXT TLR… Put these on 30 days ago, 28c front and 32c rear. Gave up some aero gains to make these more of a fast training tire. Installed with Air-Liners for some upcoming mountain rides.

Big staple in the tire last week:

Removed staple, spun tire so the hole was pointed down, waited 30 seconds, added 5psi, cleaned a little Orange Seal off my mat, and fixed before a long ride on Sunday.

These tires are supple and roll fast. Really good road feel. Paid something like $55 a tire.

Really really happy with them so far.


I’ll chime in since no one else has.

Got them a few months ago and they’re fantastic. They use mostly standard components. Basic spokes and nipples.

They also roll really nicely. I don’t have any scientific data, but I’ve been on some spirited group rides where I feel that it’s easier to push the pace.

They came with everything needed (pre-taped, tubeless valves etc).

Lastly, they set up tubeless with no fuss with Goodyear Eagle F1s in 28. The seated with a floor pump and no sealant!

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Pretty great example of the benefits of tubeless.

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Road tubeless, road tubes and road tubular all have their pros and cons. I’ve used them all and while tubulars were my favorite I have returned to tubes. At lower pressures for the gravel bike stuff it’s a no brainer. But, at 75Kg, I’m not convinced the sealant or perhaps the system is there yet for road applications with 28c tires. Each puncture seemed to seal somewhere around 50psi which is plenty to get you home. But, if descending fast or cornering fast say in a race, middle of the pack, 50psi for me the tire deforms way way too much. It tracks straight and probably close to un-seating.

To be fair tubes blow so the argument is weak. But, the one time it happened on a descent it was insidious. The pressure dropped slow enough I didn’t notice until entering a corner way too fast for the psi. I don’t freak out much but, this spooked me pretty bad as a friend died on the same descent (different situation).

Also, riding behind someone while spewing sealant isn’t cool but, guys seem to carry on as if no one cares. Please either get away from people or stop and deal with it. If it’s a non-competitive group everyone will stop. If it’s competitive be safe. Be considerate.

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I’ve moved from 28 to 30 and 32s this season. With the 32s, I now run them at 50 psi on Enve 4.5s. Along with lower rolling resistance of the bigger tire at lower pressure, perhaps another argument is ease of tubeless set up.

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The 4.5’s are wide for sure. My wheels are a little narrow for 32’s. Perhaps 30’s…

I’ve had mixed experiences and I’m 90+kg. Sometimes I’ll be riding and feel like the tire is low, or deforming in a hard corner, and then look at my Garmin (TyreWiz psi meters) and its the same psi as when I left the garage :rofl: I’m usually running a 26c or 28c in the front, and 28c or 32c rear. Hooked rims and tires with recommended pressures in the 70-85psi range. When I get a puncture that seals quickly, I only lose about 5psi, but I’ve had some larger punctures that dropped pressure down to say 40psi. Its pretty obvious when you drop too much pressure. And if I’m in a group and don’t notice sealant spraying, and somebody tells me, I pull over and stop out of both courtesy and to help the sealant do its job.

anyways, after running tubeless on Enve 5.6 (19mm internal), Roval Terra (25mm internal), and Roval Rapide (21mm internal), my conclusion for road tubeless is now:

  • hooked rims to run higher pressures and safety
  • 19-21mm internal width
  • Air-Liner insert for safety because my scariest flats on descents were with tubes and rapid pressure loss

FWIW, lately in this area, a lot of people have gone wide internal (25mm) and hookless, and perhaps not too surprising there has been too many ride ending tire blow offs. A couple people I know went down on descents. Scary. You couldn’t pay me enough money to ride hookless and 25mm internal as a road tubeless setup.


It would be interesting to know what type of wheels, tires, and tire pressures were being used in situations where blow-offs occured.

Enve has made things very clear for users of their wheels, which are all hookless, in terms of what pressures to run and what tires have been approved. Enve tests well outside of these parameters so has a built in margin of safety. Stay within their recommended parameters and you are not going to have a blow-off. In the past it did limit significantly the tire choices for road, but as newer tires were released the list of approved tires has grown substantially. The introduction of the GP5000 S TR in a wide range of sizes has simplified things for me.

On the new SES 3.4 and 4.5s, a 95kg riding has a recommended pressure of 64psi on a 28mm and 57 psi on 32mm. On those wheels and those pressures the tires won’t feel squirmy and won’t blow off. Running an insert remains an option for a little added protection but will slightly increase the volume of the tire, so something to think about if your clearances are tight.

Granted, Enve are pricey and not for everyone, but they have done their homework with wide hookless technology and no one should be afraid to be riding on them within the approved parameters.


The one person that I personally know, she got hurt on Enve 3.4 hookless and claims everything was in spec.

Specialized/Roval have done their homework too, and also pricey. Enve was pretty clear on hookless road - manufacturing efficiency. The issue IMHO is that wheel technology can likely be far more precise in tolerances than the tire companies. Hooked offer both safety margin, and wider pressure range.

On the Rapide, for a 95kg rider, the recommended starting pressure for tubeless tires ranges from 102psi (27mm tire width as measured) down to 73psi (35mm measured tire width). I can run tubes up to 130psi (not that I have access to a veto track lol), and tubeless up to 110psi. For myself, the sweet spot for local roads ‘feels like’ 70-85psi on the 26-32c tires I normally run. I’ve done extensive riding on the Roval Terra all-road, which is similar to Enve’s 3.4, and for road after a lot of miles, I’m not sold on going that wide, and for reasons cited above 100% not running hookless rims on road.

I’m not here to debunk your experiences, but for data’s sake I will add a counterpoint. I personally have run hookless (Zipp) for 3 years without any kind of blow off or failure across numerous tyre brands (I’ll admit even some out of official certification), and have several friends that have been running hookless for that period too without issue. One of these friends had a spoke pull through a rim, but I think that’s a separate issue, and didn’t cause a deflation anyway.

Just to even things out!

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That’s why I went for the airliners - as well as ride home capability they’re supposed to keep the tyre seated. Haven’t had the experience yet (but did have a ride ending/ DNF blow out in RVV with tubes!).

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No. I have seen and heard it happen though. Rare…

To be clear I haven’t run hookless, and personally believe the one person I know (Linda) had overinflated her tires. She had a good bike shop install them so I doubt the bead wasn’t set when she left the shop. The other stories are second hand, from a buddy that races and manages a bike shop - younger guy that won’t give up rim brakes or latex/Tubolito. Our Wed night ride leader confirmed the stories. Honestly I think people with blow offs on road tubeless are running too high psi or didn’t pay attention to the bead seating when installing.

In any case the Silca calculator routinely gives me mid 80s for some of the road surfaces I ride on. I run a few psi lower. I’ve played around with tire pressure and prefer pressures that would NOT be supported by hookless. Like I said, Enve was crystal clear that hookless for road was not about safety, it was to reduce manufacturing costs and increase their efficiency. Loved my SES 5.6 disc wheels, but wanted something with even better crosswind stability that was hooked so I ended up with Roval Rapide CLX and these are a notch above the 5.6 in crosswinds. Plus I can run tubes or high pressure tubeless. Win win win.

Wouldn’t the airliner prevent blowoff?

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Just adding my experience after 10 months running GP5000 S TR on hookless wheels that are 25 wide internal:

I love them and I haven’t had any flats, trouble with setup (swapping gravel tires in for events), or burping. I did get an email about updated lower max pressure but I generally run these at 40 psi because it feels great. The new recommended max is 65 and the only time mine would be anywhere near that high is when I first mount them. I’ve done mountain descents in groups over 40mph and feel super confident on them. I realize that’s not crazy fast but I’m newer and really tall so that feels so fast.

Wheels are Hunt X-Wide Carbon Gravel 35


Has throwing in a tube after tape installation and leaving pumped up over a day or two to seat the tape been mentioned?