Road Tubeless Tyres – Are They Worth It?

Road tubeless tyres offer increased puncture resistance and allow you to run lower pressures. But are they worth it? Simon Richardson finds out.
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Tubeless tyres have been around for ages and it’s safe to say that they near-dominate the MTB market. But, on the road it’s a different story; they’re just not very widely used and they’re yet to make an impact in the pro peloton.

We got hold of a set of tubeless tyres and wheels to see what they’re like. From weight, to tyre pressure and ride quality, Simon Richardson put them through their paces. What did he think? Watch the video and find out!

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Comments

Richard's World Traveller says:

What are you storing in your pants, your spare tire, bike pump, or microphone?

Zippy an Pappy says:

Wow I just realized how old I am because that’s not the tubeless that I ran on haha !

Triple Ace says:

By the way which one will last longer tubeless or tubulars if the riding is on gravel areas ?

David Turpin says:

Don’t know if this has been discussed, but Schwalbe recommends 30 ml sealant for a Schwalbe One tire. So subtract 29 grams from your scale.

bansheemopar says:

You could have saved another 50gr if you have used a light innertube.

Cerulean1015AOL says:

Can you make a video on puncture proof, airless tires like Tannus Tires?

Dr Deepak Rao says:

What would your opinion be now, with the new Schwalbe Pro Ones?

Patrick Hover says:

Every tire will feel different

John Bicycle says:

Do any of the pro peloton teams use this tubeless setup?

timtak1 says:

Most people i have heard and myself prefer the feel of tubeless even at higher pressures than clinchers indeed it is precisely the feel that is usually cited for the preference.

The downside is that if you get a bigger puncture that cannot be stopped by sealant e.g. in the side wall, then tyre replacement is more difficult and the spare more bulky than tube replacement.

But sealant is surprisingly good especially if augmented with flakes of nylon string, or glitter etc. Google homebrew sealant.

TheJeremyevans says:

beautiful place tintern. used to use tyre weld (for cars) on my tubs. used to use tubs for time trialling and inner tubes for road racing. can’t cycle anymore, but still love the sport

Deckard Shaw says:

schwalbe one is heavy and oooooold. try the pro ones and do the test again.

Willy Hsu says:

Can GCN get hands on some airless tires and test them ? thanks !

chemic10010 says:

Would love to see a Tannus tire review.

sanshinron says:

WIth tubeless you can remove rim tape as well, so that’s a few grams off.

sarvagya angre says:

we can just fit tannus solid tires

Thomas Linddal says:

maybe its time to revisit road tubeless? wider rims, better tires since this video.

Marcos Krucken Pereira says:

Can you make a review about the Tannus solid tires? You should also compare how each tire deforms under cyclist weight with a progressive scale of pression. I heard that lower pression allowed on tubeless gives more grip in dirt, rocky, gravel tracks, at least for mtb, but that should be valid for cyclocross also and for cubbles, like those on Paris – Roubaix.

giovanni spinotti says:

mmm. i still can’t understand how a tubeless weights more than a tubular. isnt it that any tire can be rode tubeless?

John says:

Giant Gavia tubeless tires on my Giant rims install with bare hands, and can be removed with a flimsy plastic lever. They are a huge improvement over the original Hutchinson tubeless tires that were miserable to put on and take off. They are very supple and light! I recommend them to anyone.

Omar Poya says:

If you’re a weight worrier take into account that you wont need to stuff a saddle bag with inner tubes and hand pumps or CO2 cartridges with tubeless.

jimhize says:

The new Schwalbe Pro One claims to be 70g lighter than the ‘One’ used here. So the weights could be pretty much equal if this is true.

wayne proud says:

I really don’t see the benefit, you have all the problems of a clincher and not all the benefits of a tub. You can run sealant in tubs and clinchers so why run them?

Joseph Lester says:

Very unusual you would say ride feel in hindered. No friction between tyre and tube should mean better ride (This is why they are considered to roll faster by as much as 20%). Even if the sidewall is stiffer, and it shouldn’t need to be only need a rubberised section on the bead and a specific bead shape to make them tubeless. Anyway I agree they are a pain to get on and add weight at the rim. Generally not worth it unless your running 28 or 30mm tyres and rolling on really slow roads or gravel

chuckching says:

… 3:09 why (face palm)

(look at the gears)

Jun Louis Casiano says:

red colored tires are the best… it give you additional speed, stamina, and most importantly….good looks.
with red you cant be wrong. ^_^

Aran Grover says:

95 psi? I run 120 always!

Cabot Steward says:

tubeless have less rotating mass

Gara Von Hoiwkenzoiber says:

Lighter and less rolling resistance!*

*heavier and runs lower psi afterwards
lol :v

Iam Streets says:

can you make a review about Tannus tyres vs tubeless

Maxwell Speedwell says:

This is why I still use silk tubulars.
Just 220 gm.  Still nothing better.

neil mason says:

Can you give me a example of the endurance bikes as I am at 56 years old looking for a more comfortable bike

MacDaddy1660B says:

Simon, I question your method for weighing the tubeless tire, valve stem, and sealant assembly. Stan’s NoTubes Sealant is at least 30% water by weight. A significant portion of this weight will disappear shortly after the sealant is deposited into the tire and the tire inflated. I would like to see your experiment repeated as follows:

1) Assemble wheel, tape, valve stem, and tire, inject sealant and weigh the assembly immediately after the sealing procedure is complete.

2) Re-weigh the wheel assembly 24 hours later. This will give you the final weight of the wheel assembly.

3) Subtract the second measurement from the first. This will be the weight lost due to evaporation of the sealant solution.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I think this experiment could have been done a little bit more carefully. Thanks for your consideration!

Also, as a general addition to the discussion, in a place like the Southwestern USA where goathead seeds are a real problem, going tubeless saves a rider a lot of weight. The common solution to goathead punctures is to use tire strips, thorn resistant tubes, sealant in the tubes, or any combination of the three. Obviously, there is a huge weight penalty here, and using tubeless tires shaves a lot of weight off the tires. Plus, the ride on a tubeless tire is a huge improvement over a tire with a strip or thorn resistant tube in it. To be fair, the benefits of tubeless tires in areas where punctures are a problem was discussed, but not in the context that it has a dual benefit of increased puncture resistance in addition to weight saving benefits.

kdubphoto says:

You forgot to add the weight of the rim tape, which is around 18-20 grams extra

Deckard Shaw says:

Cycling is a very conservative sport. Tubeless is a logic step forward. The schwalbe pro ones are nice, a bit of a bitch to fit, 1 or 2 extra layers of rimtape help a lot.

John Bicycle says:

Good video. Is it time for an update as the technology has moved on a bit?

Cycgnr says:

@global cycling network Can you do a quick vid of a long term tubeless review? I tried to adopt it, but have constantly failed on road. As soon as the smallest of punctures seems to seal up ok, it opens up again as soon as the tyre deforms, reinflation just seems to blow more sealant out of the tyre. Grrrr.

1111pyramids1111 says:

Is there a weight saving advantage in using Tubeless tires  versus clinchers?  I guess it all depends if we must use this sealant liquid or not on the tubeless /.. I believe tire tubes weigh about 65 to 80 grams for a 23-25mm.

shonanmike says:

Tubeless. Non-solution for a non-problem.

Tan Chuan Fu says:

30ml per tire of sealant is good enough

Andrew E says:

Ah, but what if running tubeless means you only need to carry one spare inner on long rides? That makes up for the weight penalty, surely?

twolate2l00k says:

why do you cycle on the wrong side of the road?

Mike Battista says:

I recently switched my cross bike to tubeless.  While I mostly road and trail ride with it, I live in WV and the roads and our paved bike path are horrible.  I have found it to be very comfortable and just as fast, and while never flatting in four years with tubes I hit something on a paved trail that cut a hole in the tire and the bonus became apparent.  Never even got off the bike it sealed an almost 1/4″ cut on the road face while I was still riding lost 10psi and hasn’t lost pressure since. Setup as follows:
Bontrager Dual Wall TLR Rims
Bontrager CX3 33c Cross tires
Stan’s sealant
Bontrager MTB(wide not thin road tape) Rim Tape
Stans Tubeless Rim Strip( I have valves just lazy)

Alex Paulsen says:

Call me old fashioned, but I’m still using tubulars, and I only own one pair of wheels…

Stephane Kuziora says:

Ok soo with the tubless tire the total weight was higher… However the total required air pressure was much lower.. 20 psi less… Depending on how much how much air that is, the total weight might be less now?

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