Bontrager RXL TLR Wheels Road tubeless (6)

Road Tubeless is an interesting topic, because it came on the scene very fast in 2010, and many thought it would become the next big advance in road bikes through 2011 and 2012.  However, as we venture into model year 2015, it still has not taken off in a significant way, with modest or underwhelming offerings from a handful of suppliers that may or may not work together.

So, what’s the hold up?

Well, to put the whole situation into perspective, we need to look at the evolution of mountain bike tubeless tires.

Lets step back to 1999, when the first standardized mountain bike tubeless system, UST, was launched by Mavic. Established over 16 years ago yet really only becoming popular in the last half decade, mountain bike tubeless also took a while to catch on, even though there are arguably a lot more benefits to tubeless tires off road than on. But, despite nearly universal agreement that mountain bikes perform better with tubeless tires, there is still not an agreement what the interface between tire and rim should look like…

UST

There are essentially three different interfaces on the market today, and only one of them is truly standardized: UST. UST is a standard that defines the bead and rim shapes, and it must be validated by a labratory before it can be labeled as such. This posed problems because UST’s standard does not allow for tape or sealant to be used, instead relying on the rim and tire construction to create a fully closed system. Sealant can be used, but the system must be airtight without it. That meant a solid rim bed (heavier, harder to manufacturer) and an airtight tire carcass with precise bead dimensions (also heavier, and also harder to manufacturer).

The UST system is defined by ETRTO, the European Tire and Rim Technical Organization, who creates standards for of all kinds of rims and tires for cars, motorcycles, tractors, bicycles and more.

Many people see the term ETRTO and think it is a measurement, since it is mostly listed as “ETRTO 559″ when talking about tire or rim sizes. They do specify the bead seat diameters that we commonly know such as 559 (26″), 584 (27.5″) and 622 (29” or 700c), but the organization does a lot more than that. In the case of tubeless, they created a standard that defines a rim valley’s depth-to-width ratio, bead seat diameter, tire bead shape and size, etc. Since they are a standards organization like ISO, there is absolutely no requirement to comply with their standards. That is, until a legal body adopts their standards as the standard to measure against for law, and that is what the EN regulatory body has recently done. That means any wheel on a complete bike that’s sold into the European Union must meet ETRTO standards. Standalone wheels and rims are a separate story, and how strictly this is enforced is up for debate, but those are the rules. And that explains why huge companies like Cannondale will only spec ETRTO-compliant rims on their bike. It’s also why SRAM’s Rise/Roam wheels are all ETRTO compliant, because their volume sales are all as OE parts on complete bikes, and Europe’s a huge market. Keep in mind, the ETRTO and EN law has no basis or requirement in the U.S., but many U.S. companies maintain compliance so their goods can be sold into the massive European market without having to create country-specific specs. ‘Tis a global economy, after all.

stans_notubes_ztr_crest_rim_cross_section

Outside of UST are the other two “systems”. We’ll call one of them “NoTubes”, not because they defined a standard, but Stan’s was essentially the pioneer of this method, and it is arguably the most common. With the NoTubes method, the tire was left alone, and the bead seats and valley of the rim were raised up to compensate for any air loss during inflation between the bead and the rim, and then “stretched” the tire into place to hold the seal (this is the tell-tale “ping” of setting up NoTubes-style rims). It required tape to seal the rim’s spoke holes, and non-UST tires need sealant to make them nonporous. Because of this non-standard change, and the ability to use non-tubeless tires, most rims that fall into the NoTubes category are not ETRTO compliant.

wtb_tcs_overview

The other system we will call “TCS”, mostly because WTB created a system for their own tires and rims that does not fall squarely into either camp. WTB wanted a simple tubeless system using tape and sealant, which avoided expensive tire and rim constructions, yet wanted to be ETRTO compliant.  WTB’s TCS can best be explained as similar to UST, except needing tape and sealant, and not using Mavic’s proprietary rim shape. Systems following the NoTubes method typically change the rim, and leave the tire alone, whereas systems following the TCS method typically create a tubeless-style bead, and leave the rim shape to be ETRTO compliant, so these two systems are mutually exclusive.  If you’ve ever tried to mount a TCS tire to a Stan’s rim (which WTB strictly warns against), you know that it does not work. And if you go the other way, and mount a normal tire to a TCS rim, you will probably have a hard time getting it to inflate, short of using a very large, powerful air compressor.

This is where the lack of standardization creates confusion, especially now that most companies simply bill their products as “Tubeless Ready”. Let’s take Bontrager’s TLR system for example. Depending on who you talk to, and how you measure it, it could fall into either the NoTubes or TCS camp. Virtually none of the “tubeless ready” tires out there declare which design they used, which can actually create dangerous situations if you combine a tire with a thicker tubeless bead with a rim using a higher-than-ETRTO bead seat. For instance, the new SRAM mountain wheels are billed as tubeless ready but are based on ETRTO standards, so you’d want a tire with a thicker bead (like a WTB TCS tire, or even a UST tire) than than what you’d want to run on a NoTubes style rim.

It can also create potentially dangerous situations if the rim and tire interface allows for the tire bead to slip out of place, burping air or even coming off at the worst possible time.

Hutchinson fusion 3 tubeless 25 road (2)

AREN’T WE TALKING ABOUT “ROAD” TUBELESS HERE?

So, that’s a lot of talk about mountain bike tires in an article about road tubeless, but it highlights some of the concerns that have prevented Road Tubeless from taking over: Confusion, weight and safety. After all, do we really want a standard if it means things will be heavier and more difficult to manufacture?

Here’s where we are today:

In 2006, Hutchinson and Shimano launched a campaign to standardize the road tubeless area, but it didn’t take off because of the increased weight of the system. Almost exactly like UST, it dictated specific rim profiles with a non-pierced bed. That meant more weight and difficult manufacturing. For the tire, it meant a specific bead shape and size and an impermeable casing. This meant extra material, which committed two mortal sins of road tires: added weight and decreased compliance.

This led to a big of stagnation on the idea, until, just like mountain bikes, the smaller innovators saved the weight by moving over to a tape and sealant system, allowing the continued use of the lighter non-tubeless tires.

Following almost exactly the same path as mountain, the next step was for NoTubes to introduce a road tubeless rim with the Alpha 340, which worked with normal tubeless tires, tape and sealant. These rims have been slowly adopted into the road world, but likely because of the deeper attraction to carbon wheel systems, the individual rims have not created the splash on the market that the Arch did for mountain bikes. Only recently have major brands like Reynolds started offering tubeless ready carbon fiber rims.

But those systems rely on tires that aren’t necessarily optimized for their rims, and since not everyone’s licensing the NoTubes design from Stan’s, tire manufacturers have little incentive to change their molds to fit one particular shape of rim until they know which particular rim profile will become the next “standard.”

And as mentioned above, the lack of a standard can create a dangerous situation for the tire and rim interface. On mountain bikes running about 25-35psi, the risks are fairly small. On road bikes however, at 90+ psi, these problems are uncovered much quicker, and with potentially worse results.

Fortunately, we might be slowly moving to a tubeless ready standard we can rely on. Check back next week for Part 2 where we’ll hear from various manufacturers as they answer our questions on industry-wide standards, compatibility and future plans.

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craigsj
craigsj
7 years ago

“Following almost exactly the same path as mountain, the next step was for NoTubes to introduce a road tubeless rim with the Alpha 340, which worked with normal tires…”

No, it did not.

The reason why road tubeless isn’t popular is because it doesn’t solve a problem that needs solving and it prevents the use of tires that cyclists want to use.

I can’t wait for the propaganda portion in Part 2…

McClain
McClain
7 years ago

Informative and clear… Thanks!

mateo
mateo
7 years ago

woah woah woah. You cannot use normal road tires with Stan’s road rims. Per Stan’s – “Only Road Tubeless tires are strong enough for tubeless use on ZTR Alpha road rims. Tube type road tires can be used only with a tube.”

Secondly, on SRAM’s new MTB wheels. They are UST dimensions, but not necessarily sealed, so not “true” UST.

james
james
7 years ago

I’ve been using Hutchinson Sectors on Mavic K10 Ksyrium wheels with Stans tape for 6-months now. I really think it is an awesome set up. The tires feel fast and handle rough roads.
I’ve tried the same on H Plus Son Archtype rims with good results.
I also mounted the tires on Pacenti SL23 rims and the tire was too big to fit under a Whiskey or Enve road bike fork. Those are wide rims.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

I’m using Schwalbe tubeless with Enve Smart 3.4s with Bontrager rim strips. No problem. Tubes (deleted).

Veganpotter
Veganpotter
7 years ago

I’ve used regular road tires on the Stan’s rims. A real pain to get on and get the hop out but they eventually made it on. They were so tight I bet I could have run them tubeless…and no, the bead never really got more loose

Carl
Carl
7 years ago

For me, a joe-average kinda guy, who rides about 4000 miles a year, the hassles just aren’t worth it. I ride good tires (GP4000s) and don’t have any problems. I can’t tell you how many guys I’ve ridden with who have gotten flats and I find the roadside hassle (and mess) a joke. A true “standard” would be welcome.

p.s. – I work in a shop and our rule of thumb is… if the tire and rim aren’t a match, you’re welcome to try it yourself. For liability reasons, and to avoid hassles, we aren’t interested.

Daryl
Daryl
7 years ago

I am running two road tubeless setups. I have enve XC which are tubeless rims running Secteur 28mms with Stans Rim tape and Stans sealant. The Enve XCs do the nice ping when you inflate them. I have put 2,000 miles on those with no issues. I run 80 psi and have had no flats and runs very efficiently. I also converted Enve 3.4 smart road disc rims to tubeless. I also ran Stans sealant and tape but they don’t make the same ping when you inflate them which is likely because of a different bead interface. I have run about 1,000 miles on them and had no issues.

Tubes really do suck and once you go to road tubeless you will never go back. Just wish there were more rim options that were truly designed to be road tubeless.

In all scenarios make sure you only use true tubeless tires which have a stronger bead to prevent popping the tires off the wheel.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

I’ve always kept up with the latest tech, but last fall for a final post-season ride, I took stock of my situation and realized I was up to my eyeballs in a heap of incompatible obsolete non-standard “standard” parts and frames and couldn’t get a single complete bike together. My only two working bikes that have always just worked and never needed parts that couldn’t be found anywhere, in minutes, were an old fat chance mtb and an old merlin road bike, both from the early 90s, when the biggest “standards” incompatibility was over a .2mm difference in bb spindle taper between Campy and Shimano. I went with Campy, and you know what? 15 years later, this bikes ride smooth and solid. So I sold off all my new useless disposable-after-a-season junk, quick tuned up the ooold race bikes, and am happy to wait for today’s bike manufacturers to figure out how to do as good a job as they once did before I buy anything new again. You want retrogrouches? Because this is how they are made.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

Explaining road tubeless with the history of mountain bike tubeless is really numb. The path is not the same, at all. Mountain tubeless went to a tape and sealant system for the non-UST tires and tubeless rims, offering much greater confusion, much greater safety concerns initially. Anyone dabbling in mountain tubeless at it’s inception should remember this. For road, non tubeless tires don’t work. And that is the most important point. Mountain tubeless went a completely different direction because it could. There was little confusion with road tubeless, if one had been paying attention. There were a handful of tires, and a handful of compatible wheels. The selection has grown, but there was little confusion as to what worked. There was little concern whether or not it was safe because the offerings were very reliable, albeit a bit heavy(40g oh dear). It was quite simple. Tubeless road tires worked with tubeless road rims. The Stan’s road rims didn’t take off because they suck. They cracked, they are flexy, not available in carbon, and didn’t offer anything that Shimano, American Classic, Fulcrum didn’t already offer. It is important to note that the rim shelf and bead on the Stan’s road rim is shaped to accept road tubeless tires, just like the compatible road wheels and rims before them. So again, there really isn’t any confusion. Road tubeless tires work with road tubeless rims. To say that there was “confusion” and “concern about safety” shows that you were not paying attention to road tubeless. Sure, it added weight, but the benefit of road tubeless has ALWAYS been increased compliance. And as someone has mentioned above, you cannot use non tubeless road tires. Also, there has never been a “lack of a standard.” There has always been a standard. This article is so erroneous it needs to be removed or completely re-written by someone that has knowledge of the history of road tubeless.

Callum
Callum
7 years ago

Dingo,
Are you using the plastic molded bontrager strip? That reduces the space between the hook and the rim? Because aren’t those smart wheels hookless? Just seems like a weird way to go about it.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

Yes, it is the symmetrical molded strip. The Smart rims are not hookless. The tubeless rim bead fits tight(too tight), but works beautifully. Tape alone would not do it. I have been using road tubeless since 2008. I despise tubes. Personally, I have had tremendous luck with road tubeless resulting in a dramatic decrease in flats and increased ride quality. Having Orange Seal come along dramatically increased flat resistance. I have gotten one flat since 2008 that could not be sealed. It was a big hole. With the new light weight tires, I can see no drawbacks.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

Tim, a couple of points.
One, you are wrong about using normal tires with Stan’s rims. Per Stan’s site I quote “Please note, unlike with mountain bike conversions, specific Road Tubeless tires are required for conversion. They have been designed with a folding tire bead that will not stretch and cause catastrophic blowouts. Road Tubeless tires must be used and we have partnered with Hutchinson to provide three excellent options.”
The same is true for Road Tubeless wheels, from my understanding. One cannot use normal tires with Road Tubeless wheels. I am not sure how you can stand by that. This fact flies directly in the face of your mountain tubeless analogy. The two are not at all the same. Because of the need to use Road Tubeless tires, there is no confusion as to what can or cannot be used. “Can my GP4000 tires be used tubeless?” The answer is not…”gee, I don’t know, I am confused…” No, the answer is…”no.” In the mountain bike world the answer was…”gee, I don’t know…let me see if this tire blows off in the middle of a group ride.”
Two: I am trying hard to understand how you can say there is no standard. Shimano and Hutchinson collaborated to come up with Road Tubeless and Stan’s partnered with Hutchinson on their rim shape. Road Tubeless rims are designed to work with Road Tubeless tires because of the bead shape. Explain to me how there is no standard if all of these companies are working together to make their products work correctly, reliably. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but Shimano, Notubes, DT Swiss, Specialized, Bontrager and Fulcrum’s rim bead shelf and bead hook look remarkably similar in order to fit Road Tubeless tire beads. With those choices, there seems to be a “standard” shape.

meanie
meanie
7 years ago

Thats a huge wall of text on history of mtn tubeless, while still not offering a good set of reasons why anyone would want tubeless at all. I have heard some ok points on why its something mountain bikes would appreciate. Other than SHINY! the road discussion falls flat.

Peter R
7 years ago

I’ve been running the Easton EA90 tubeless wheels for about 15 months now. Schwalbe and Bontrager tubeless tires. Zero problems, zero flats. The only issue I had was the rear schwalbe tire wore so thin that sealant was spraying out during the last 5 miles of a ride. As the PSI got down to around 35-40PSI, it stopped spraying though the casing. I had enough pressure to get home no issues. If this had been a tubed tire, I think that the tube would have punctured because the tire was so thing. Basically my fault for riding the tire too long.
I’d still prefer to race tubular, but for everyday riding, I’m a tubeless convert.

Daryl
Daryl
7 years ago

Dingo I am running the exact same setup as you which is Enve Ses 3.4 road disc wheels. I double wrapped Stans tape and put Stans sealant and it works perfectly. All road tubeless setups require that you immediately take the wheels for a spin for 10-20 miles to get the sealant evenly distributed. After about a week of adding air and riding the wheels they are good to go for a long time. I had the same experience with my tubeless Enve XCs.

I have put 1,000 miles and have had no issues since the first couple of days of riding.

Robo
Robo
7 years ago

I’ve been running road tubeless for two or three years now, with absolutely no confusion. It’s clear in just about every article online that you MUST use tubeless ready tires. I don’t give a damn if there’s confusion within the industry about what “road tubeless” actually means. If a major tire manufacturer is going to sell a tire labeled as tubeless, you have to assume that they’ve taken the potential liability into account. I’ve used Bontrager road tubeless tires on Shimano rims. I’ve used Vittoria CX tubeless on Stans and Pacentti SL23 rims. I’ve used Hutchinson road tubeless tires on both Shimano and Stans, and soon to be Pacentti. I’ve helped a friend set up Hutchinson road tubeless on Bontrager rims (with strips). And now I’m testing Schwalbe One road tubeless on some Chinese manufactured OEM carbon rims (my teammates raced them all of 2014). I’ve used both Stan’s and OrangeSeal sealant, and am indifferent. My overall results have been nothing short of flawless. Yes, initial set up can be challenging. But if someone says road tubeless setup is a pain, they’ve obviously never tried gluing tubular tires. But it’s completely worth it because the reward is that flats are almost entirely eliminated. It is possible to have a catastrophic tear/puncture, but you can insert a tube. You can’t do that if you cut/tear your tubular. I do find them to be more compliant, but that benefit is nowhere as significant as in the mountain bike tubeless systems. So for the average weekend warrior amateur racer, I find road tubeless to be safe, reliable, and better performing than tubed tires, and more practical than tubular.

joenomad
joenomad
7 years ago

Awhile back I attempted to convert my Mavic wheels to road tubeless. There were a bunch of articles on the success, but I was not able to get the Hutchinson tubeless to properly seat. When I upgraded my wheels on my current road bike, I went the route with Hed Belgium Plus and and had Prowheelbuilder set them up for tubeless. I had to research and ultimately follow Hutchinson’s process to get the tires to bead set. You do hear a valid pop and once they do, the wheels are air tight. I added sealant and been running this setup problem free for a few months now.

Robert W
Robert W
7 years ago

Why road tubeless didn’t take off – increased weight, increased rolling resistance, increased installation difficulty, and there’s no point in lowering tire pressure to a degree that would threaten pinch flats with a tube because you’re risking rim damage as it bottoms out.

Solution if you want a smoother ride: Bump up your tire size 2mm and lower the pressure.

pile-on
pile-on
7 years ago

My 2 cents–since moving to wider rims (Archetypes) and using 25, 27, & 29mm tires I find I’m perfectly happy on my ‘retro’ clincher setup. Its pretty wonderful to be able to run 80 psi and not have as much of a threat of pinch-flats, especially this time of year with so much debris on the roads. I’m just not intrigued by road tubeless, though I do love tubeless on my MTB.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

The beginning of the article also says road tubeless came on fast in 2010. That isn’t true either. Road Tubeless was introduced in 2006. The Dura-Ace 7850SLs were out in 2007-8 with the accompanied Hutchinson Road Tubeless tires. I guess at the time I could have gotten confused with the one tire being offered, but somehow I didn’t. As of 2012, the Corima, Dura-Ace and Ultegra, and Fulcrum 2-way fit were really the only wheels available. In the past couple of years, choices have really grown. Really, the choices started arriving in 2012 and 2013 when Schwalbe, Bontrager, Hutchinson, Maxxis(2014?) and Specialized started offering tires and American Classic, DT Swiss, Syncros, Pacenti, Hed and others started offering tubeless wheels and rims. I am not sure if that is a sign of growing popularity or what, but Giant, Trek, and Scott(Syncros) offer bikes stock with tubeless options. If anything, Road Tubeless really got going the past two years and was incredibly slow from 2006 to 2012. I was scouring the tire companies often looking for new tires to try and I tried them all as they were introduced, on 7850-SLs. My opinion is that the stagnation was due to initial lack of choice and roadies’ resistance to change. If someone could compile a list of products and when they were introduced, we would certainly see a ramping up in choices and not a plateau, especially since 2008. So if anything, it goes like this…Road Tubeless was introduced in 2006…remained stagnant until 2012-2013 and then exploded with options. This whole article is BS. Just BS.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

Robert,
Those issues have been addressed. The tires are lighter and Schwalbe recorded a lower rolling resistance in their tubeless tire than their tubular. In fact, Cancellara was using them because of this. I frequently run 65psi and never had an issue with rim damage in thousands of miles. It makes the bike so much more comfortable.

Daryl
Daryl
7 years ago

Robert W,

Sorry you are dead wrong here. You have decreased rolling resistance because at lower pressure you get less deflection off of the thousands of bumps along the way as the tire soaks up the bumps and keeps on rolling. You also have less friction generated between the tube and tire rubbing against each other.

bikermark
bikermark
7 years ago

Looking forward to the next installment.

I think most people commenting here are over qualified to answer the question why or why not regarding road tubeless. Start with the simplest explanation: most people ride what comes as OEM on the bike they purchased. If the bike companies aren’t willing to risk road tubeless as OEM spec, then it’s going to be a lot harder for the standard to propagate.

We weren’t given a choice on integrated shifting vs. downtube shifters, or 8 vs 9 vs 10 vs 11 speed, threaded vs PF30, and so on.

Then once you get to the middle level and upper level road bikes, the manufacturers don’t spec spendy wheels anyway because they want to hold down the MSRP and figure serious riders will ditch the OEM wheels anyway.

Back to the middle and lower end of the market: consumers are looking at price and weight. You’ve got a tough row to hoe to convince a bike manufacture to spec road tubeless when it is going to add weight and cost. The only way they will do that is if they are spec’ing their own equipment, as is the case with Specialized, Giant, and Trek.

Mat
Mat
7 years ago

I ran tubless on Campy Euros Wheels, worked great until…
I got a tire cut (1/2″ glass cut on tread) that sealant would not seal, so I tried to boot and throw in a tube.
Epic hassle and total mess that ultimately didn’t work. I was stuck so I had to call for a pick-up,
fortunately I was relatively close to home. On a Mtb tubeless it’s still a little messy if you get a sidewall cut etc. and have to boot and tube, but there is enough surface area and lower pressure allows for the emergency repair. Not so on the road bike… I guess you could run road tubeless w/o sealant until you get a flat, then tube it.

Kyle
Kyle
7 years ago

Tubeless since 2010, riding an average of 3k miles per year…I’ve had one flat tire in that time period, and still managed to get home by stopping to pump up every 5 miles.

It’s a no brainer for me as I don’t like flat tires.

@dingo – Thanks for the info on your setup. I’ve been looking at the deep carbon tubeless options from Easton and Reynolds but kind of holding out for a proper Enve tubeless.

Kyle
Kyle
7 years ago

Oh, and I highly recommend the Schwalbe One Tubeless. Much better comfort, ease of fit, and so far, durability, over the Hutchinson offerings.

UnfilteredDregs
UnfilteredDregs
7 years ago

@meanie…Road discussion falls flat? Ironic considering how many roadies I pass changing their tubes while I roll along. Essentially tubeless, and the right sealant will handle nearly 99% of what causes garden variety flats. I have been riding tubeless for over 600 miles now, I’d say I’ve experienced close to 20 punctures that would have required a stop and tube change, not the case running tubeless & sealant. At worst I stop and add a few psi.

UnfilteredDregs
UnfilteredDregs
7 years ago

Dingo has it right, Tim , industry experience or not, and that is an empty quantity, you need to get up to snuff on road tubeless. Tubeless Ready road rims from the established manufacturers and tubeless tires from the likes of Hutch and Schwalbe, work like a charm.

For alloy rims HED Ardennes and Ardennes+, or Belgium C2, are an absolute charm for road tubeless for instance.

Do better research.

Clive de Sousa
7 years ago

I concur with Dingo. One flat since 2009 and would not think about using tubes

UnfilteredDregs
UnfilteredDregs
7 years ago

@Robert W, you’re putting out wrong information. If anything road tubeless overall has demonstrated less rolling resistance and better ride quality while eliminating pinch flats. Your claim about pressure so low that it risks rim damage is ridiculous. I’ve run 70psi front & 85psi rear on 28mm tires with zero issues for thousands of miles now. I weigh 200# and ride on rough, crap for roads, offroad as well. No rim damage to speak of. Regarding difficulty of installation, if 15 minutes and a compressor is all it takes for me to install new tires…then your definition of difficult is sorely out of whack.

Alex
Alex
7 years ago

@Dingo – I’ve run many tubed tires on my Stan’s Alpha 340 wheels. These include Michelin Pros3, Lithion 2, Conti GP4000S. I also currently run tubed tires on my Ritchey Zeta II tubeless tire without any issue. So, yes, tubed tires do work on tubeless rims. The reason they work is because the tube pressure keeps the bead in place. Are they harder to mount then on a non-tubeless rim? Yes, but once you get the on there is no problem.

Sam
Sam
7 years ago

I’m constantly amazed by people who talk about the risks of road tubeless being greater than the risks of mtb tubeless, at pressures around 90psi, or folks who review road tubeless tires at that sort of pressure and then complain the tires don’t ride well. Well, it’s because you over-inflated them.

Drop the pressures where they belong (depending on tires/rims, this could be as much as 70 or as little as 50psi) and everything gets better.

Dingo
Dingo
7 years ago

Alex, of course they work. I never said they would not work. The hypothetical question I posed was…“Can my GP4000 tires be used tubeless?” No, they will not. Will they work with a tube in Road Tubeless wheels? Yes, they will…just like the Fulcrums, DT Swiss, Shimano, etc.

PROEDGEBIKER.COM
7 years ago

Love UST

Daniel
Daniel
7 years ago

I had bought a pair of Shimano Ultegra wheels and after using regular tubulars and not being overly thrilled with using tubes again (went tubeless on my mtn bikes 7 yrs ago) I mounted Hutchinson Fusion 3’s. I have had zero issues and they roll fast and are pretty damn plush. I have nothing but good things to say about them.

John
John
7 years ago

@bikermark

Trek is stocking most nice road bikes as well as many hybrids with TLR rims. It’s OEM, but we still do fewer than 6 conversions in a year at a fairly high volume shop that drank the Kool Aid on tubeless a long time ago.

David
David
7 years ago

@Dingo
Schwalbe have produced a tyre with OK rolling resistance, which means there is less of a penalty than in the past. But still over 10% higher than a really good race tyre. And heavier than a good tyre with a latex tube. A deviation from the norm would need to offer a performance improvement to be worth the hassle. If they offered a benefit there would be a lot more chatter about them from the performance oriented set and thus more widespread interest.

a
a
7 years ago

Im surprised theres no mention of the hookless tubeless wheels.
Much simpler, stronger design.

I run only hookless on both my MTB and road bikes and it works well for me. Tire and wheel selection on the road is pretty bad (basically only light-bicycle will provide me with a carbon hookless rim that is of correct dimensions my road bike !!) but the setup is nice.

No gluing, can use a tube if you ever do flat (i flat the MTB from time to time when the sidewall ruptures – i have never ever flat’d the road bike on tubeless. not even once! – and i ride it about 15h per week since 2 years now..).

Not only that but I run the road bike at quite low pressure (40psi, 33c tire, 74kg rider) which is oh my so comfy compared to anything else.

Another, cheaper, hooked rim that works well for me on road tubeless is the pacenti sl23 rim. Needs taping and sealant of course.

oldmanridley
oldmanridley
7 years ago

So I converted. Read all the threads and decided to try it. Mounted up Schwalbe One Road Tubeless to Mavic Ksyrium Elites. The air compressor was necessary to get the initial inflation completed with the valve stem removed. After the bead was set, replaced the stem and floor pump did the job.
(My shop (wisely) said don’t do it. What if you roll a front bead when cornering? Face plant or worse. I understand their position. They shouldn’t advise clientele and assume some level of risk for their advice. I soldiered on like most shop clientele…..)
I ran the Schwalbe set up for 5 months (July-Nov) at 90psi for my 200# of spandex restrained goodness. Missour-ah doesn’t have the roughest roads in the US but the road feel on my Noah is significantly better and the cornering grip is outstanding.
Tim, is my gangsta set-up risky? Do I really run a risk of rolling the bead on the front? I’m a bit of a gear nerd so I’d like some perspective.

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

Going back to the mountain bike side of the article, the bit about WTB and their TCS system confused me. That is the first time I had heard that you shouldn’t run a TCS tyre on a non TCS rim. I have had very good experience running WTB TCS tyres on Stans rims. They go up very easy with a track pump. There is no information that I could find on WTB website about this either.
Then going the other way that you would have a hard time inflating an non TCS tyre on a TCS rim. A lot of Santa Cruz bike come with TCS rims and Maxxis tubeless ready tyres and again they convert well.

Matt Kyte
Matt Kyte
7 years ago

I’ve been running road tubeless for a couple of years now. I have Hutchinson Intensive on DT Swiss Tricon (a true Road Tubeless rim) and Hutchinson Sector 28 on Pacenti SL23 (a ‘tubeless-ready’ rim) with Stans tape. The Sector/Pacenti combo is superb.

mateo
mateo
7 years ago

@Alex – You may be getting away with standard road tires on Stan’s rims, but you’re doing so at your own risk. Neither Stan’s nor any tire company would recommend this setup.

Klarf
Klarf
7 years ago

“Only recently have major brands like Reynolds started offering tubeless ready carbon fiber rims”
Yes, but Dt product Carbon tubeless wheels and rim since 2015.
I like tubeless with my aluminium wheels (ztr alpha and shimano dura ace c24 9000), but with carbon rims… Only tubular, never a clincher, too dangerous in France alpe’s.

DJ
DJ
7 years ago

I tried to convert some American Classic 350 road wheels without success, never could get them to seal up and the tires, Hutchinson Intensive, were a total PITA to install. Then I got a DuraAce front wheel (tubeless ready) with a Hutchinson Atom already installed. I really loved how it gripped the asphalt and gave more comfort. When I tried to install a H/Intensive I discovered both tires I had, both still new, had deep cracks next to the bead almost the whole circumference.

thesteve4761
thesteve4761
7 years ago

It hasn’t taken off because the tires are too expensive……

Robert W
Robert W
7 years ago

@ David: Thanks for clearing that up. The stiffness required for tubeless increases rolling resistance. I’m running 70psi in my 27mm clinchers with latex tubes. No need for tubeless.

Robert W
Robert W
7 years ago

@UnfilteredDregs: You wouldn’t pinch flat on a tubed tire at those pressures, either. You’re chasing your tail, buddy. Rolling resistance tests continue to show that tubeless is not an advantage…and just because you use it doesn’t mean you have to defend it contra the facts.

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

Good article I am looking forward to part 2! Having converted over in 2012 to road tubeless, I fell in love with the ride, the lack of flats (not 1 in 3 years running tubeless!) and its worth noting that I only use these for training (solves the Carbon race wheel issue = Ride Tubular for racing!!!). I have had great success with mounting Bontrager R3’s on Mavic Ksyrium Elites (sealed rim bed) with sealant. So in my experience running a TLR tire on a non-tubeless style rim I have found great success, Tim you might want to add that as a 4th type of road tubeless setup) or is the Mavic rim actually ETRTO but Mavic didn’t tell anyone?