Triathlon. tubed or tubeless

Hi, I’m putting the finishing touches on my TT re-build and will plan to use it for triathlons not TT’s. I’m trying to work out the best option. you can see my bike in the below pics (the shot of me riding is REALLY old) but I’m not sure whether tubed or tubeless is the way to go. I’m concerned about easy changes if I get stuck. Thanks.



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See my response in the IM thread (tubeless)…but holy hell, please tell us you have tilted your arms up form the “Jan Ullrich” position!! :scream::scream::scream:


I’m with tubeless all the way.
If you are doing longer distance triathlon the added comfort of the lower pressure is well worth it.
I think people run too high a pressure tubeless, hence issues sealing. I run 70-72psi in my 28’s and they are faster and more comfortable than when I had tubed 25’s at 100psi.
You can also play with the sealant types. There are types that have larger bits in it that will seal up to 8mm holes, but you have to put that into the tyre before popping the tyre onto the bead as it won’t squirt through the valve.
Once you have done tubeless properly you will never go back.

I would run tubeless but my longest TT was only 30miles and the longest my tubeless disc wheel has saw in training is 70 odd miles.

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I just went back to latex tubes with the TT bike. I still roll tubeless on the road bike but, after a year+ IDK. Just not convinced road tubeless is all that. To be clear, tubeless has does a great job sealing little goat heads etc…but, this obsession with all things low psi I just don’t get. Yeah it is a slightly better ride at lower pressure but, not night and day and certainly nothing to write home about performance wise as far as I can measure/see. I run about 80-85 for the system weight on 25’s. Any less and the tire starts to squirm and track straight cornering. Not cool. And the same tires running tubes I’m around 95f/100r. Feels the same. Performs the same as far as I can tell.

Mountain bike? Gravel bike? Hell yes. Road…50/50.


Triathlete here with a couple of IMs and a good number of half-distance.

I never get tired from nerding out around tech stuff that objectively can represent non-effort related speed (legal ones, surely :rofl:)

Trying to outline it simply: forget butyl and tubolitos

Options for racing are: latex or tubeless

I would say that the current trend is pointing for tubeless everywhere specially when one considers the new hookless standard.

So tubeless would be my choice without a blink for 90% of the cases.

However, I am on the other 10% because I change wheels and tyres very often and a látex tube is by far easier for me to install.

About how latex compares with tubeless concerning the majority of performance vectors I would say they are close enough to be almost equivalent. Theoretically tubeless is better for puncture resistance but punctures are not the only problems they have.

With latex tubes, my puncturing episodes are reduced to one every 5000km or so and always a pinch flat caused by a pot hole or similar.

In terms of performance I’m not sure on good tarmac (which triathlons normally are) there’s much to choose between a fast latex tubed setup and a fast tubeless setup.

But for triathlon I’d say tubeless is the better option because of puncture resilience - small cuts should seal, cuts which won’t seal should be pluggable without taking the wheel off, and anything so bad that you’re taking the wheel off and resorting to more extreme options like patches and putting a tube in is going to be just as bad with a tubed setup anyway.

The proviso being that this assumes you have or will build up experience of using tubeless for regular riding. I.e. you’ve found a rim-tyre combo that works well and enables you to get the tyre off and on again by the side of the road if the worst does happen. You know how to get a tyre seated properly. You keep the sealant topped up. You know how to use plugs. I’d say if you don’t know or haven’t learned how to do all those things yourself (getting the LBS to do them doesn’t count!) then you’d be better off racing with tubes as if you do have a problem you’ve got a better chance of being able to fix it or find somebody who can.

Racine 70.3 would like a word. :woozy_face::woozy_face::woozy_face:


It seems like the equation here is:

How often do you get flats?

How confident are you in repairing a tubless flat.


How confident are you in replacing a tube.

I can see it both ways. With tubeless you potentially won’t even notice pin-prick flats and you won’t lose one second of time.

With experience, you could potentially lose very little time repairing a tubeless tire with a Stan’s Dart or a Dynaplug and a CO2 cart. All this takes experience to get it down to F1 pitstop speeds.

Or with tubeless a repair could turn into a 15 minute nightmare during your race.

With tubes, you can easily swap in a new tube in 2-3 minutes. Maybe 1-2 if you are good.

I’ve been riding GP5000TLs for 3 years now with not a single flat - knock on wood.


You could also do clinchers tubed with Orange Seal, same effect as tubeless, but not the BS of mounting tubeless. Or, you could go tubular with Orange Seal and get a very fast, fabulous ride. Carry the Orange Seal and hit the tire quick if there is a puncture. Much faster than changing a tire on course. Regarding tubulars, it’s really not very difficult to glue and mount tires. I ride them about 60% of the time including training. No punctures in two years between my Zipps or my climbing wheels. Just sayin’…

Any Welsh tri would disagree but all teeth have fallen out through the jolting

Thanks for the advice guys. I’m considering pulling the trigger on these babies… AERO ELITE from 1417g - Zed Bike Wheels
50 or 60mm

Nice wheels :+1: I’d go for the 60s for TTs/Tri’s

Using the high chair as a bike table. :clap::clap: pro dad move right there

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old carpet, and underlay, baby highchair and knackered old fan. Now lets blow it all on some nice carbon fibre that’ll save me 30s. but most importantly look cool :sunglasses:

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