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Tubeless in the pro ranks

DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,588
edited June 2018 in Pro race
Anyone know if any pros are using tubeless tyres routinely yet ?

They are meant to have proven advantages in terms of rolling resistance and while you maybe can't roll on a flat like you can with a tub shouldn't they self seal most flats anyway (or are the advantages in rolling resistance measured without sealant ?).
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  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,537
    I think the benefits in rolling resistance are when compared to a clincher and tube - not when comparing to a tub.

    Plus a clincher wheel will be heavier than a tubeless wheel.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,651 Lives Here
    Too heavy.
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,588
    Most tests show the best clinchers with latex tubes have superior rolling resistance to the best tubulars, tubeless are better still so there are definitely advantages there.

    Are they heavier - a tubeless rim is heavier than a tubular rim but shouldn't the tyre be a little bit lighter seeing as it doesn't have a tube ? Modern thinking is that a bit of weight at the rim isn't so much more signficant than a little weight anywhere else anyway so I don't think that's it.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,588
    Having googled it I think you are probably right Rick - it's weight isn't it - I knew the sprint rim was a bit lighter but didn't realise tubs were lighter tyres too - I suppose the tubeless has to have a strong bead to create a seal with the rim. Apparently the advantages in rolling resistance of tubeless are debatable too now - this is what happens when you spend a couple of years off the bike ! I'm still never buying tubs again - think I'll go for carbon clinchers - but makes sense why the pros use them.
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  • frisbeefrisbee Posts: 691
    Having googled it I think you are probably right Rick - it's weight isn't it - I knew the sprint rim was a bit lighter but didn't realise tubs were lighter tyres too - I suppose the tubeless has to have a strong bead to create a seal with the rim. Apparently the advantages in rolling resistance of tubeless are debatable too now - this is what happens when you spend a couple of years off the bike ! I'm still never buying tubs again - think I'll go for carbon clinchers - but makes sense why the pros use them.

    Rolling resistance trumps a bit of extra weight in a time trial. Its unlikely you can buy a tubeless disk wheel though!
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,651 Lives Here
    Yes some rumours the odd TT specialist has ridden clinchers with supposed lower rolling resistance.

    Think Ullrich did that a few times.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,573
    As much as I like Tubeless tyres, if I had a dude in a car with a bunch of wheels behind me I'd probably not bother either...

    That said, I ve become totally convinced that UK roads are simply not made for road bikes any more so I'd advise people to buy a "gravel" bike. More sensible wide and tubeless tyres, wheels and riding position all round. Plus hopefully someone will put a sensible sodding gearset on one (say...46/32) so that hills are fun for normal people!!

    If you are part of the 0.00001%* of UK cyclists that race, then maybe buy a race bike but if not? Save it for the countries where they make roads properly

    (rant over, I confess I ve been looking for an excuse to get that off my chest for a few days now)

    *statistics may be totally made up
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
    - @ddraver
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,588
    It's a collective action problem though - if we all ride heavy steel gravel bikes with 35mm tyres it's fine - it's when someone turns up on a carbon race bike for a group ride the problems would start. I do agree though I do a fair bit on a Croix de Fer with Hyper Voyager tyres - you don't go as far in the same time but it does make a nice change from the race bike.
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  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,060
    I'm a normal person and hills are just fine on a 50/34 with a 32/11, only the very steepest ones are hard. A 46/32 is mountain bike territory!

    Definitely hear the wide tyres and decent clearance (plus preferably some sort of forgiving or vibration damping design). But if you like going fast it's important to have a decently aggressive position.

    Personally I ride a steel Condor Fratello with 25 or 28mm tyres for everything, I would have got the disc version had it existed when I bought it, its steel so good and rugged, and with decent wheels it's only a couple of kilos heavier than most people's carbon bikes. Plus you can get a pretty low position.

    Croix de fer is definitely on the list for a tourer but it would be totally outclassed on any normal group ride - specially with 35mm tyres.
  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,134
    bobmcstuff wrote:
    I'm a normal person and hills are just fine on a 50/34 with a 32/11, only the very steepest ones are hard. A 46/32 is mountain bike territory!

    MTB gearing tends to be closer to 20in than 30in, some will use a 32t chainring but will generally have a larger cassette 42t or so.
  • ddraverddraver Posts: 19,573
    My mate has a Mason Definition. It looks awesome and he hasnt seen any significant decrease in speed. In fact, when you get into the lanes he's significantly faster because he doesnt have to worry about potholes, gravel, puddles, slippery bits, small furry animals etc...
    We're in danger of confusing passion with incompetence
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  • roger_merrimanroger_merriman Posts: 6,134
    ddraver wrote:
    My mate has a Mason Definition. It looks awesome and he hasnt seen any significant decrease in speed. In fact, when you get into the lanes he's significantly faster because he doesnt have to worry about potholes, gravel, puddles, slippery bits, small furry animals etc...

    My Norco Search seems to be as fast if not faster than the various road bikes I had both geared and otherwise at least according to Strava, and yes it seems far better planted to the road and less troubled by less than perfect surfaces.
  • AndymaxyAndymaxy Posts: 197
    singleton wrote:
    I think the benefits in rolling resistance are when compared to a clincher and tube - not when comparing to a tub.

    Plus a clincher wheel will be heavier than a tubeless wheel.

    No, tubular has worst rolling resistance.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,320
    Andymaxy wrote:
    singleton wrote:
    I think the benefits in rolling resistance are when compared to a clincher and tube - not when comparing to a tub.

    Plus a clincher wheel will be heavier than a tubeless wheel.

    No, tubular has worst rolling resistance.


    But clinchers give away c100g per wheel at the rim that’s noticeable even to me when either accelerating or decelerating. On the other hand for an event like a tt where that’s not usually as important it may even be an advantage.
  • josamejosame Posts: 1,001
    ddraver wrote:
    That said, I ve become totally convinced that UK roads are simply not made for road bikes any more so I'd advise people to buy a "gravel" bike. More sensible wide and tubeless tyres, wheels and riding position all round. Plus hopefully someone will put a sensible sodding gearset on one (say...46/32) so that hills are fun for normal people!!

    Well er thanks for that, I kind of enjoyed my mid week road bike rides in the UK but now I see where I went wrong I won't bother in future 'UK roads are simply not made for road bikes', what all of them? or just the few that you have struggled over, why not chuck in a blanket statement and we'll be happy realizing that's now covered and no more road bikes in the UK :roll:
    'Do not compare your bike to others, for always there will be greater and lesser bikes'
  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    Given how many times we have seen punctures almost ruin a race result, even as recently as G in the Dauphine, you would have thought tubeless would be becoming more popular.

    The rims might be a bit heavier than tubeless equivalent, but lots of pros are putting weights on the bike to reach 6.8kg anyway, might as well make it functional weight in the form of sealant!

    And no, extra rotating weight doesn't make a difference vs static weight.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    josame wrote:
    ddraver wrote:
    That said, I ve become totally convinced that UK roads are simply not made for road bikes any more so I'd advise people to buy a "gravel" bike. More sensible wide and tubeless tyres, wheels and riding position all round. Plus hopefully someone will put a sensible sodding gearset on one (say...46/32) so that hills are fun for normal people!!

    Well er thanks for that, I kind of enjoyed my mid week road bike rides in the UK but now I see where I went wrong I won't bother in future 'UK roads are simply not made for road bikes', what all of them? or just the few that you have struggled over, why not chuck in a blanket statement and we'll be happy realizing that's now covered and no more road bikes in the UK :roll:

    I think the reference was to the road surface rather than the hills. Partly in response to the poor surfaces there's been a definite move to wider tyres, wider rims and lower pressures. 23mm used to be the norm and we even used 19mm for TTs! It's now 25mm and even 28mm. Wider tyres roll better and maybe lower pressures too though there's always a weight penalty to pay.
  • rick_chaseyrick_chasey Posts: 46,651 Lives Here
    joey54321 wrote:
    Given how many times we have seen punctures almost ruin a race result, even as recently as G in the Dauphine, you would have thought tubeless would be becoming more popular.

    The rims might be a bit heavier than tubeless equivalent, but lots of pros are putting weights on the bike to reach 6.8kg anyway, might as well make it functional weight in the form of sealant!

    And no, extra rotating weight doesn't make a difference vs static weight.

    How many riders puncture at important moments, vs how many riders don't.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    joey54321 wrote:
    Given how many times we have seen punctures almost ruin a race result, even as recently as G in the Dauphine, you would have thought tubeless would be becoming more popular.

    The rims might be a bit heavier than tubeless equivalent, but lots of pros are putting weights on the bike to reach 6.8kg anyway, might as well make it functional weight in the form of sealant!

    And no, extra rotating weight doesn't make a difference vs static weight.

    How many riders puncture at important moments, vs how many riders don't.

    It's always quoted that the pros prefer the way tubes deflate when punctured (less quickly than clinchers) but I suspect there's a lot of hanging on to tradition in the pro ranks.
  • joe_totale-2joe_totale-2 Posts: 899
    Haven't some pro teams used tubeless for particular races like Paris-Roubaix in the past?
  • hypsterhypster Posts: 1,188
    I thought part of the argument that pros use tubs is that because they are stuck to the rim they are safer when they do get a puncture and don't come off the rim like clinchers. Obviously there have been cases in extremely hot weather when tubs do detach but that's fairly rare I would think.
  • Vino'sGhostVino'sGhost Posts: 4,320
    inseine wrote:
    joey54321 wrote:
    Given how many times we have seen punctures almost ruin a race result, even as recently as G in the Dauphine, you would have thought tubeless would be becoming more popular.

    The rims might be a bit heavier than tubeless equivalent, but lots of pros are putting weights on the bike to reach 6.8kg anyway, might as well make it functional weight in the form of sealant!

    And no, extra rotating weight doesn't make a difference vs static weight.

    How many riders puncture at important moments, vs how many riders don't.

    It's always quoted that the pros prefer the way tubes deflate when punctured (less quickly than clinchers) but I suspect there's a lot of hanging on to tradition in the pro ranks.

    yep def hanging on to tradition, and bikes and cars :lol::lol::lol:
  • r0bhr0bh Posts: 1,407
    hypster wrote:
    I thought part of the argument that pros use tubs is that because they are stuck to the rim they are safer when they do get a puncture and don't come off the rim like clinchers. Obviously there have been cases in extremely hot weather when tubs do detach but that's fairly rare I would think.

    Exactly, you can ride on a flat tub for a bit, can't do this on a clincher.

    Main selling point of tubeless IMHO is the ability to run them at lower pressures, so great for gravel (I got my first ever tubeless wheels for this years Dirty Reiver gravel ride) but for road riding the benefits don't seem at all obvious to me.
  • r0bhr0bh Posts: 1,407
    Cycling Weekly must be mining this forum for article ideas!

    http://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/produ ... res-361961
  • ShutupJensShutupJens Posts: 1,373
    joey54321 wrote:

    And no, extra rotating weight doesn't make a difference vs static weight.

    Can anyone expand on this? Thought it did make a difference when it comes to accelerating, especially on climbs
  • m.r.m.m.r.m. Posts: 1,644
    Maybe maintaining tubular is more convenient for pro mechanics when having to maintain 18-36 bikes at a time? I don't know, just guessing. Could be easier to setup in advance perhaps.
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  • ryan_w-2ryan_w-2 Posts: 1,160
    Tubeless are heavier and have a higher rolling resistance compared to top line clinchers with latex tubes.
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  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,588
    Ryan_W wrote:
    Tubeless are heavier and have a higher rolling resistance compared to top line clinchers with latex tubes.


    From what I've read they are very slightly heavier but have slightly better rolling resistance - you can also use a more fragile tyre because the sealant will give some security against small punctures.

    I think the conclusion is this - amateurs stopped using tubs to a large degree because tubs are a pain in the censored and expensive unless you know how to sew them up - and having tried on several occasions it isn't a simple thing to do. Once clinchers rolled as well or better than tubs most people made the switch.

    Pros never stopped using tubs as the advantages of lighter rims and being able to ride on a flat appealed and the cost/aggro of tubulars is small beer to a pro team and why give up the weight advantage of a tub ?

    Tubeless then appeared and have slight advantages over clinchers (maybe) in rolling resistance and punctures, slight disadvantage in weight and initial fitting - but doesn't really impact on the reasons why pros use tubs - weight and rolling on a flat.
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  • joey54321joey54321 Posts: 1,297
    But weight is frequently no longer a different and rolling on a flat is unnecessary if you don't get a flat in the first place. So, is it that the pros don't believe the tubeless sealant will work in enough cases to offset the fact you can't roll along the times the sealant fails.
  • inseineinseine Posts: 5,609
    joey54321 wrote:
    But weight is frequently no longer a different and rolling on a flat is unnecessary if you don't get a flat in the first place. So, is it that the pros don't believe the tubeless sealant will work in enough cases to offset the fact you can't roll along the times the sealant fails.
    Isn't this another 'innovation' that Aqua Blue are experimenting with? All the trouble changing disc wheels after a puncture and not been able to use the neutral wheels even if they're discs 'cos they're running huge range cassettes means trying to not have a puncture in the first place is a good idea;
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