Its six months now since I went over to tubeless tyres in an effort to stem the stream of punctures I seem to suffer on Hampshire’s lanes. In that time I have had mixed experiences, I have studied endless videos on how to repair tubeless on the road and read how easy it is but that is not my experience. I thought I would share my thoughts of what has worked for me to date.
For the record I do all my bike maintenance and repairs, build my own wheels and feel I have a good understanding of what the average cyclist can cope with by way of a roadside repair.
The first thing to understand is that there is a world of difference in running MTB at 50psi and road tyres at 100psi. The latex solution that will self seal small holes in road tyres ( I was using Stans ) seems to be OK to about 60psi on the front tyre and about 45psi in the rear tyre with more weight and while this will get you home it’s not much good 10 miles into a 100 mile ride or if the hole will not seal
I tried one of the tubeless repair kits in the comfort of my garage. These consist of :
• Sandpaper Rasp
• Needle Tools
• High tech string to block the puncture
• Small Knife.
Not the easiest to use and it seems scary to be enlarging the hole to take the string but I persevered, the tyre bead became detached from the retaining groove in the rim and that is where the problems really start, trying to get a seal on the road is very difficult, I tried two CO2 canisters without success and finally needed the compressor and soapy water to inflate and seal the tyre, at 50psi the repair held, I returned about 2hrs later and added air up to 95psi and the following morning the repair string had moved under the higher pressure and the tyre was flat.
The tubeless tyres I have used to date, Shwalbe One Micro Skin and Hutchinson Intensive2 both seem to have a harder wearing surface tread that seems more resilient to Hampshire’s lanes and I will continue to use them as overall the puncture count has been massively reduced. I have also just read that “Mariposa” tyre sealant will hold at a higher pressure than “Stans” but I have yet to test this theory.
Back to repairs and a split tyre I repaired using superglue on each side of the split and a patch on the inside stuck with flexible superglue. The repair is holding after 1 month despite warnings that the tyre fluid may affect the adhesive.
From my experiences the sensible repair technique on the road is still to put a tube in and sort the tubeless repair out in the comfort of the workshop when you get home, the higher pressures required and inability to reseal the tyre easily on the road make it a non starter for me.
I am still an advocate of tubeless but until there is an easier on road repair I do not see it as an attractive option for the majority of the road bike community.