Tubeless Tyres

Posted by Sam on 7th Jun 2021

Tubeless Tyres

Tubeless tyres can be a rubberised nightmare. Some-kind of sealant serpent sucking the joy from weekend rambles. Like anything in life there's good and bad, pro's and con's I thought it would fitting to share some.


Sure this bit can be hassle - You have to make sure that the rim tape is the right size and stuck down nice and snug. Then the actual fitting of a tyre. Often super tight or a little loose, this is because there is no one standard that rim and tyre manufacturers adhere to. Then a special pump or booster kit is often needed to inject a mass amount of air to seat the tyre. Possibly a loud unnerving cracking/bang like noise to follow. Once this is done administer a healthy dose of tyre milk.

I've setup my fair share of tubeless wheel sets and my advice is take them to your LBS - Grief in the workshop, glorious on the gravel!

Out and about:

If sealant doesn't suffice and a handy Dynaplug can't cork a hole, most likely the tyre is done for and the steps taken to get home in-time for cake and tea could be messy and laborious. Because the tyre with added sealant makes such a tight fit to the rim it can be difficult to brake that seal. Sealant leaking, mixing and mutating with mud or wet leafs could alleviate grip, making it harder to take off. Tyre levers, leatherman! Forage the tyre to find any other foreign object that might pierce the tube - boot the gash in the tyre with something, energy bar wrapper or sock, fit tube etc..... you know the rest.

That being Said: 

To be fair the above seldom happens, most of time people that are running tubeless are looking for that suitably supple road feel and better puncture protection which rings true especially off the road, best carry a spare tube anyway. Lovely lower pressures that create a cosmically comfy ride will, in turn, be less likely to pick up punctures or spit sealant out at you and co-riders.

I'm sure that most avid cyclists will carry spares like tubes, sealant, tyre boots and levers, most would say it's madness not to on two plus day excursions.

Tubeless is great for riders and rigs looking for that touring, bike packing or gravel grinding adventure and the choice of fantastically wide tyres is ever growing, allowing for new, different and exotic tread pattens with extra protective tyre casings creeping in.

End of the day:

Tubeless is alive and sealing, with loads of companies bringing out 'tubeless ready' rims/wheel sets. Despite what I've said I still surmise that tubeless works well. As always there is a ton of info online about the pro's and con's, so really this is my experience and opinion. Tubeless is an extra safeguard against possibly the most debilitating problem with the beloved bicycle - FLATS!