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Tubeless road - it actually works

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    You might need another layer of rim tape.

    I found the best way to seat tricky tubeless tyres is to remove the valve core and get air in fast at high pressure. A garage air line and suitable adaptor is one option...

    I did try removing the valve core. After the blast it stays hard for a second or so around the valve before deflating rapidly.

    Eamonnator had loads of trouble and his mechanic identified the rim tape as the problem.

    I sort of presume that the rim tape is there to prevent air leakage.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 14,983 ✭✭✭✭tuxy


    I sort of presume that the rim tape is there to prevent air leakage.

    It looks like the rim you have has spoke holes so then the rim tape would be very important.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 844 ✭✭✭H.E. Pennypacker



    I sort of presume that the rim tape is there to prevent air leakage.


    Apart from leakage prevention it provides a 'foothold' for the tyre during the sealing stage so an extra layer can make all the difference. The lack of a standard is a big issue here and is probably why people have such mixed results with tubeless.


  • Registered Users Posts: 454 ✭✭MediaMan


    See attached image guys showing the rim tape on the Carbonal wheel.

    You see the valve hole but also where tape has gone black where spokes are. The tape came with the wheel so I am not sure what exactly is under it.

    I suppose the question is is the tape a major factor in preventing air escape and if so are the areas where is has gone black likely to be a source of escape ?

    If so, I'm wondering too did the sealant from the previous tyre play a part in preventing air escape.

    If the tape is not a major factor then I reckon I am looking at the tyre seating but this never had me completely stuck before.

    I guess there are two possible issues. One being that the tyre bead is too loose a fit on the rim tape for the air blast to push it out onto the hooks. The other being that there's air escaping through those dodgy looking areas near the spokes. It doesn't look like enough air would get out through those to stop the tyre seating if everything else was ok, but who knows.

    I suggest it's well worth trying gorilla tape on top of the existing tape, one round of it, slightly overlapping itself, but don't do the overlap at the valve hole, where there will likely already be rim tape overlap. And lots of suds on the tyre beads. The extra tape will give a better seal for the bead and should also take the chance of leaks through the spoke holes out of the picture. And make sure that the valve is well seated through the hole in the tape.

    You can always take the gorilla tape off, if it doesn't solve the problem.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    MediaMan wrote: »
    I guess there are two possible issues. One being that the tyre bead is too loose a fit on the rim tape for the air blast to push it out onto the hooks. The other being that there's air escaping through those dodgy looking areas near the spokes. It doesn't look like enough air would get out through those to stop the tyre seating if everything else was ok, but who knows.

    I suggest it's well worth trying gorilla tape on top of the existing tape, one round of it, slightly overlapping itself, but don't do the overlap at the valve hole, where there will likely already be rim tape overlap. And lots of suds on the tyre beads. The extra tape will give a better seal for the bead and should also take the chance of leaks through the spoke holes out of the picture. And make sure that the valve is well seated through the hole in the tape.

    You can always take the gorilla tape off, if it doesn't solve the problem.

    Thanks for this. Went to Aldi looking for Gorilla tape. They were out of it so tried with a layer of Work Force grey tape but it didn't work although decompression seemed a little slower after blasts. Notice when putting it on that there were air bubbles under a small section of the original tape so took everything off. You can see small bits of light through some of the spoke holes so there is definitely scope for air to escape there. Then put 2 layers of the grey tape on but same story. The tape is wide and you are tearing it as you go, so it is hard to get uniform width.

    For now put a tube in, the good news is that it is no harder fitting a tube in the Pro Ones than any other tire. Should get a feel for how it rides tomorrow.

    Will put an order in with Mantel for Schwalbe tubeless tape, not sure on width but will try the 21mm. Will also buy Schwalbe Easy Fit as a convenient way of sudding the tire bead and as I like to always have a spare tire will buy a Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL too.

    So with 2 different tubeless tires, new rim tape and an easy sud maker will hopefully get lucky next attempt. And if this doesn't work will be looking around for help from someone with a good head and set of eyes on them.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Actually if trying a different tire am wondering about

    https://www.mantel.com/ie/vittoria-corsa-speed-g-tlr-tyre

    vs

    https://www.mantel.com/ie/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl

    Anyone any experience of the Vittoria TLR ? Get the impression it may wear quickly and there will be more life in the continental


  • Registered Users Posts: 197 ✭✭Corker1


    Actually if trying a different tire am wondering about

    https://www.mantel.com/ie/vittoria-corsa-speed-g-tlr-tyre

    vs

    https://www.mantel.com/ie/continental-grand-prix-5000-tl

    Anyone any experience of the Vittoria TLR ? Get the impression it may wear quickly and there will be more life in the continental




    I have not had any experience with the Vittorias but I switched to 25mm Continental 5000 TLRs in the Spring. Can't say I am a huge fan of them. On my first outing on them the rear tyre locked up viciously twice in quick succession on a damp road going downhill. I managed to keep upright but slid sideways into a wall speedway style and broke a collarbone. Can't say I've had great confidence in them since. Also they were a nightmare to fit on Easton EA 90 rims. I have been using road tubeless for 4 years and these were the most stubborn to get on. A clubmate had a similar experience. On the plus side, once the wrestling match was finished they seated and sealed quickly and easily using a track pump.
    In terms of riding performance they feel a bit 'dead' and lack zip. I think the ride is a bit harsher than my previous Schwalbe pro 1s. In their favour I have about 3k kms up on them now and no punctures yet - touch wood. Also they hold air quite well. A little top up needed once a week! The wear indicators show that I should get a fair bit of use out of them yet. Though once they are ready to be swapped out, the Schwalbes will be going straight back on again!


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Anyone know if a 55mm tubeless valve is long enough for a 50mm rim ?

    There needs to be room for the lock ring and a pump head to get a good hold of it...

    Also anyone buy longer tubeless valves recently and have good recommendations ?

    Only the lifeline universal seems to come up for longer stems


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Thanks for this. Went to Aldi looking for Gorilla tape. They were out of it so tried with a layer of Work Force grey tape but it didn't work although decompression seemed a little slower after blasts. Notice when putting it on that there were air bubbles under a small section of the original tape so took everything off. You can see small bits of light through some of the spoke holes so there is definitely scope for air to escape there. Then put 2 layers of the grey tape on but same story. The tape is wide and you are tearing it as you go, so it is hard to get uniform width.

    For now put a tube in, the good news is that it is no harder fitting a tube in the Pro Ones than any other tire. Should get a feel for how it rides tomorrow.

    Will put an order in with Mantel for Schwalbe tubeless tape, not sure on width but will try the 21mm. Will also buy Schwalbe Easy Fit as a convenient way of sudding the tire bead and as I like to always have a spare tire will buy a Continental Grand Prix 5000 TL too.

    So with 2 different tubeless tires, new rim tape and an easy sud maker will hopefully get lucky next attempt. And if this doesn't work will be looking around for help from someone with a good head and set of eyes on them.


    Stuff came and had another go last night/this morning. Finally got it inflated. Process was

    - Remove duct tape. Tedious and a lot of elbow grease. Hard sponge dipped in boiled water was the trick to removal as it broke a lot when peeling. Whatever about Gorilla tape would never go near duct tape again for this, don't think its even airtight.

    - Put one layer of rim tape on and sudded tire with Easy fit. Deflated fully over a few seconds. Each attempt was the same.

    - Tried the new Vittoria Corsa, it deflated instantaneously. Decided it wasn't a faulty tire and went back to the Pro One

    - Put on a second layer of rim tape and used a pliers to tighten the valve lock ring (risk of damage to carbon). Was now deflating slowly. Could hear air hissing out and discovered than when I loosened the valve lock ring it came out quicker and when I tightened it slower.

    This enabled me to conclude that the valve was the problem. The seal may have become less effective over time or the lock ring loosened but with sealant in, it didn't matter so much. Anyway its up now with sealant in, will get a better idea of extent of leakage over next few days


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Vittoria Corsa is very light for a tubless tire.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,790 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    fat bloke wrote: »
    That's the thing though innit. After 12 months of elemental exposure, how easy will it be to loosen that nut in fading light up the Sally gap :(
    In that regard its no different to any other screw head or adjuster on the bike, you need to check every now and then that they still move. I don't do it myself but a quick check every time you pump up the tyre wouldn't go astray



    Well, apart from the fading light bit, it happened today. The final solution being a €70 taxi home :(

    When I did get home, it took a good 20 minutes, a selection of pliers and vice grips and ultimately destruction of the valve to the get the mother****in Constantineopling b@starding thing out :mad:

    Tempted now to go back to bloody tubes as normal altogether. Especially since I've had two mavic TL tyres in a row bubbling up on me in the space of 6 months riding on top of this.

    Me no happy.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Doesn't sound good alright and have to admit I don't check the ring myself but this is certainly a reminder.

    What caused the puncture in the first place and what stopped the sealing process ?

    I assume you were trying to take off the tire and put a tube in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,790 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    Dunno what caused it but when I reinflated at the roadside it just "shished" air and sealant out the hole. - Intention was to stick a tube in.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    fat bloke wrote: »
    Dunno what caused it but when I reinflated at the roadside it just "shished" air and sealant out the hole. - Intention was to stick a tube in.

    Would a tire worm have worked ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,790 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    Decision made. GP4000's mounted. Tubes inserted. Blisters bandaged.

    We'll see how we go. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,790 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    Would a tire worm have worked ?

    I don't know. - It's actually linked to the tyre bubbling problem that I had, and which I alluded to in another thread.

    https://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=109177758

    I thought the first tyre was an anomaly but a second one did the exact same thing, but only on the rear, strangely. I think what was happening was that the bubbles were bursting, leaving a small hole, which was then sealed by the sealant. I noticed a patch of sealant on the tyre last night, pumped the tyre up and it held its pressure til this morning when I went out for a spin.

    Now, I don't know it it's the same place in the tyre that ultimately punctured. It didn't lose air gradually, and I had nearly 70k done - Firhouse, Blesso, Hollywood, Laragh. Then just beyond Anamoe, on the way to Roundwood I lost all pressure, and when I lashed in a C02 canister it just came straight out the same perforation.

    In typical Murphy's Law fashion, I'd say I was literally at the farthest point of the spin from home where it happened. Fcukin broke my heart to ring for a taxi while looking at a pocketful of tubes, the same ones I've been lugging around, stuffed into my jersey pockets, for the last 9 months!!!!:rolleyes:


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Unfortunate but it sounds like the source of the problem wasn't the tubeless setup in particular but the fact that the tire had bubbles. This would be a problem in any setup. From the other thread it sounds like this could be a current issue with Mavic in the way GP4000S tires had weak sidewalls. Not everyone is affected but many were.

    Take for me is to stay clear of Mavic for now. There is an element of luck in tubeless. A lot seems to come down to the rim/tyre combination and if you happen to have chosen a good match, the experience is likely to be far better.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,790 ✭✭✭fat bloke


    Well, I figured the whole point of matching mavic wheels with mavic tyres would be the ideal setup. In many ways it works brilliantly. Tyres easy to mount and remove. OK the initial setup and adding of sealant etc is an extra faff, but once I got it done I rode up hill and down dale from November to yesterday and was delighted with the setup, except for this odd bubbling issue.

    But no one complains about tyres and wheels until you get hit with a road-side issue and that's when the system is tested - can I fix this and get home. The answer yesterday was no, despite having tubes and pumps and canisters. So that has to be a big black mark in the copybook for me. In 20 years cycling it's my first taxi home.

    On the plus side, the front is the same one since November and is still in remarkably good condition. It didn't suffer from any bubbling and all I ever had to do with it was top up the air pressure before every spin. That's about 5k km on the road in total and 2-3 roller sessions a week November to March/April.

    So yeah, like I said, when it was working it was great but leaving me stranded like that is going to take a while to forgive. I'm sure I'll come back to tubeless again but for the moment I'll retreat to my tubed household setup - I've drawers full of tubes and presses full of tyres so I may as well be using them! :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 844 ✭✭✭H.E. Pennypacker


    You should have been on the right track with the Mavic rims and tyres as they're supposed to be well matched in terms of mounting etc.

    Its a shame that you ended up stranded and I can fully understand why you're going back to tubes for a while.

    I'd make the following suggestions if you do ever decide to go back.

    1. bring tyre worms. Two can be used in combination for bigger holes. A tiny tube of superglue can be used to help if the worm is slightly too small for the hole.
    2. bring a pump and don't use CO2 unless the tyre has become unseated. The fast inflation to full pressure will increase the chances of the sealed hole opening up again. With a pump, you can inflate to a reasonable pressure and get going again. Even 20 to 30 psi will be fine for getting home unless you're on 23s. There are also reports of CO2 reacting with some sealants and making them ineffective (Stans in particular).

    I'm no expert (the above is taken from Malcolm Borg's blog). I've had no issues with tubeless so far and have switched all my bikes over. That said, I haven't had a full failure yet and as you say, that's the real test. I'm using IRC Formula Pro Fusions X Guards on my commuter and find that they roll really well and have been bulletproof up to this (famous last words...)


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,484 ✭✭✭manafana


    Question, i had misfortune to whack something and my wheels gone out of true, its now not taking air, assume this is because its not true and once its true again it will be air tight? Running mavic on mavic


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    Sounds very plausible alright, check rim for actual dents

    Looks to me like you have to tru the wheel anyway so wait and see. Worse case you're talking tubes


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,235 ✭✭✭✭Cee-Jay-Cee


    Shouldn’t the title of this thread be changed to

    Tubeless Road - It sometimes works.

    I have yet again been toying with the idea of changing my winter/wet bike to tubeless (the wheels are tubeless ready Fulcrum Racing 5 DB’s) and so I keep revisiting this thread but again end up thinking it’s considerably more hassle and expense than it’s worth.

    I have a spare set of wheels which I may set up as tubeless to try it out but I’m not convinced they’ll be any better than regular tyres and latex tubes which is what I use on my three road bikes with zero issues.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    They come into their own in races where you will hit the odd pothole and can't move out of the way of hedge trimmings. They are also a slightly faster setup.

    I wouldn't be inclined to bother specifically for training on your own in winter or relaxed group rides.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    I'm probably going to order a new set of Hunt wheels today - they offer to fit Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres for 99£ extra - is it worth it? A lot of the hassle seems to be around fitting the tyres but if they come fitted. I'd probably have to buy new tyres in any case as I'll keep my old wheels as a winter set


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,561 ✭✭✭harringtonp


    I'm probably going to order a new set of Hunt wheels today - they offer to fit Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres for 99£ extra - is it worth it? A lot of the hassle seems to be around fitting the tyres but if they come fitted. I'd probably have to buy new tyres in any case as I'll keep my old wheels as a winter set

    I'd say yes. You be hard pushed to get the Pro Ones for much less than 80 euro. They will also presumably supply valves, tubeless tape and sealant for the 99. I ran a Pro One fine with a tube while waiting for new tape to come.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    It seems to include everything. If I was going clincher I'd be spending 60-80 on a new set of tyres anyway so thought that might be worth a try to go tubeless if they will install them for me


  • Registered Users Posts: 454 ✭✭MediaMan


    It seems to include everything. If I was going clincher I'd be spending 60-80 on a new set of tyres anyway so thought that might be worth a try to go tubeless if they will install them for me


    If I charged myself time and materials for installing my Pro One's I reckon it would have cost me at least 1000 euro! :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    Just got my first tubeless wheels delivered with tyres already installed thankfully. I've been through this thread but had two quick questions -

    What sealant should I buy and how often (days/km) should I top this up? Bike is used once a week normally, rarely more than twice for 80/90km a time.

    What should I take with me on a ride? Usually I take two tubes, a pump and a multitool, would I get away with one tube but do I need some sort of tubeless repair kit? I see the stories of how wrong things can go if the puncture doesn't seal and you need to get a tyre off.

    Any other newbie tips most welcomed too!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,263 ✭✭✭youtheman


    Some tips:

    1. the tubeless tyre is a much tighter fit, consequently it is much harder to get on off (in my experience anyway). I found the Schwalbe almost impossible to get on/off, but I now have the new Continental tubeless tyres and with a bit of practice I can now get them on an off (I now carry 5 tyre levers, 3 standard and two 'special').
    2. the sealant works by making its way to where there is a big pressure drop (i.e. hole). So it will also try make its way to the valve as you pump your tyre. So eventually it will harden under you valve stem o-ring and may make it hard to seal. So every now and then you should remove the valve core and clean off the hard sealant underneath.
    3. What do you carry.?. You have 2 options : Carry nothing except the cost of a taxi home (with a very low percentage risk you'll need it), or carry a spare tube and tyre levers, but only if you are confident you can get the tyre on/off on the roadside.
    4. Not sure how often to top up or replace the sealant. Maybe top it up every few months. But if you top up too much you'll end up with too much sealant, and you may find that your wheel is out of balance at high revs.
    5. Stans is good sealant. I also bough some sealant at Halfords, looks and smells exactly like Stans, and does the same job (nearly said it taste the same as well !).


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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,190 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep


    Thanks - would feel odd going out with no spare tube, but at the same time I don't want to practice taking on and off the tyre at home given it is on the wheel now and that seems to be one of the main difficulties people have. But then I know I'd never get it fixed on the side of a road either.


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