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A tubeless story and lesson learnt

Hi, I thought I'd share some recent experience with the tubeless setup on my Giant TCR Advanced 1. I fitted a pair of 700 x 25c Hutchinson Fusion 5 Storm 11's about 9 months ago using Hutchinson Protect Air sealant and have done around 2000 miles on them. Aside from needing a top up with air once a week I've been pretty happy with them. A couple of weeks ago whilst riding I heard a short blast of air escape from the rear and then stop and I continued my ride with no further problems. When I got home I noticed a 4-5 mm slice on the top of the tyre which had obviously sealed up and the pressure had dropped from around 85 down to 45psi.



Pumped the tyre back up to 85psi and left it a couple of days with no further loss of pressure. On my next ride same thing happened again and as there was no further signs of a fresh puncture I assume the sealant had dislodged around the original puncture and then re-sealed again.

Decided I'd had enough of this so took tyre off, thoroughly cleaned all old sealant out, much of which had dried out, and put a patch on the inside of the tyre. Refitted the tyre with fresh Hutchinson Protect Air sealant but it took a couple of goes to get seated properly and lost some sealant in the process. As I'd used up all the Protect Air I had no option but to top up with some of my sons Stans No Tubes. About a week after, and having done just over 100 miles, I'd had no further issues and the tyre seemed to be holding pressure well. However, I started to notice wet patches around the wall of the tyre and in some areas white solution collecting on the outside of the tyre which can only be sealant.

This morning I noticed two blisters on the tyre, one of which was bulging out and by the looks of it not far off bursting!



As I've never had any issues before with sealant leaking through a tyre or tyre blistering I can only assume this is a result of mixing the Hutchinsons and Stans sealants together or Stans sealant and Hutchinson tyres are not a good combination, I suspect its the former but lesson learnt!
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Posts

  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,458
    Had similar with Hutchinson and had them replaced under warranty by supplier.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,198
    edited 13 May
    Same with Stans and Vittoria.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • whyamiherewhyamihere Posts: 7,324
    It might just be the picture, but the tyre looks pretty damn worn in that first image.
  • It might just be the picture, but the tyre looks pretty damn worn in that first image.

    Yes the picture is a bit out of focus which doesn't help but there is still some of the orginal tread pattern present so they are worn to a degree as expected after 2000 miles but these tyres should be good for over 3000 according to Hutchinson although this will depend on road conditions of course.
  • s_j_pwmbs_j_pwmb Posts: 75
    I had a very similar experience with Pirelli Cinturato tyres. It seems that the tubeless tyres have an inner airtight carcass with a hard wearing tread strip with attaches at the sidewalls leaving a void under the tread section. When you have a large puncture sealant and air can make its way into the void which results in the tread section blistering where it is thinnest at the point it meets the sidewall.



  • flycop2000flycop2000 Posts: 55
    I have this problem on my Fusion tyres, are they still safe to use or is there a risk of tyre failure?
  • brundonbianchibrundonbianchi Posts: 254
    A true tubeless tyre has a butyl rubber layer around the inner circumference, a bit like a permanent inner tube. This prevents bleeding. However it does degrade if the more aggressive sealants are used. Then you get the blistering and bleeding problems. I tend not to use a tubeless set up on my road bikes, as they have proven to be a right royal pain in the posterior. I still use tubeless on my off roaders, as that works very well I.M.O. When I was using tubeless on my road bikes, I used Stans Race sealant ( black bottle, red cap ) as this has double the concentration of sealant crystals than the lower spec / cheaper version, and it did work as well as could reasonably be expected.
  • brundonbianchibrundonbianchi Posts: 254

    I have this problem on my Fusion tyres, are they still safe to use or is there a risk of tyre failure?

    They could disintegrate under hard use, probably not if you don’t push it too much. I would replace them though if I were you.
  • flycop2000flycop2000 Posts: 55
    I never new there was a difference in tyre sealants? I thought they were all pretty much the same?
    I have been using Stans sealant with the black coloured top.
    I will bin the tyre, not worth the risk for the sake of getting a few more miles out the tyre. B)
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,935
    My god, yet another reason for not going tubeless. I’ve never been convinced up til now, and then I read about this tyre failure which many seem to have suffered. It just doesn’t add up to being worth the effort when I see the number and variety of potential problems that occur with tubeless setups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know of people who swear by tubeless on road bikes, but I also know of mates who have suffered issues by the roadside that have ruined their ride.

    For the couple of punctures I suffer a year I’ll happily bang a new tube in within 5 mins and be on my way again. For me they just aren’t solving a problem, just creating more problems....

    PP
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,458

    My god, yet another reason for not going tubeless. I’ve never been convinced up til now, and then I read about this tyre failure which many seem to have suffered. It just doesn’t add up to being worth the effort when I see the number and variety of potential problems that occur with tubeless setups.

    Don’t get me wrong, I know of people who swear by tubeless on road bikes, but I also know of mates who have suffered issues by the roadside that have ruined their ride.

    For the couple of punctures I suffer a year I’ll happily bang a new tube in within 5 mins and be on my way again. For me they just aren’t solving a problem, just creating more problems....

    PP

    Each to their own but there's tendency for people to come onto comment forums like this only when somethings gone wrong. Many (most) of the tubeless disaster stories I read on here are from people who don't know what they're doing. That could be a fault of the industry I suppose but the information is out there for anyone wanting to look.
    Problems mounting tyres?
    Buy some VAR levers and learn good technique.

    Sealant didn't fix puncture?
    Use a plug(s). Plugs are quicker than fixing a puncture in a traditional set up. Don't mess about trying to fit a tube, it's the wrong solution.

    I took my tyre of to check the sealant and it's dried out and now I can't get the tyre to seal?
    Sealant goes off eventually and leaves a mess inside the tyre. It's not a problem, it weighs a few grammes and presents zero issues. Top it up every few months if you want to but it's not necessary. Tubeless tyres are fit and leave on, only take them off when they're ready for the bin.

    My Hutchinson Fusion tyre has bubbles in it
    A known issue with some batches. I got mine swapped under warranty free of charge.

    That's about it. The vast majority of tubeless converts have zero issues or if they do they deal with them pretty easily. The same is true of electronic shifting. Most people I know who use it tell me how reliable it is and yet if I went by what I read on this forum it's likely to fail, run out of battery, be expensive to fix yada yada yada.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,935
    I get that, but I have experience with mates who have suffered roadside failures which have taken significantly longer to fix than a traditional tubed setup. On 3 occasions in the last year or so.

    Sealant sprayed all over themselves, their bike and others following directly behind, worms not sealing, unable to get the tyre to reseat, unable to get the tyre off/ on, etc etc.

    Add that to others unable to get valves to seal, rims to seal and generally struggling to set them up in the first place and yes, you are completely right, it is incompetence or lack of knowledge on the part of the user. BUT, it’s this over-complication and numerous special techniques required and potential pitfalls that means for an average, none mechanically minded cyclist, they simply are so much more likely to have problems than with a clincher and a tube.

    The theory is all great and I agree that when they work I’m sure they are just fine. When the industry gets its act together, has a design standard for rims and tyre beads that means they all work together, sealant made to work at road pressures and that is not affected by CO2, etc etc, I may give them a try.

    But when you add it all up, unless you suffer a lot of punctures I just can’t see the benefit.

    PP
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,458
    I think you're right that a bit of mechanical nouse is needed. It used to be that most cyclists had this. Maybe now not so much? I don't know.
  • davidofdavidof Posts: 2,216
    Another problem with Hutchinsons seem to be splitting on the seams. This tire had about 1200km on it



    It takes me about 2 minutes to swap an inner tube whereas as the above poster says tubeless can be a PITA to setup and run.
  • pilot_petepilot_pete Posts: 1,935
    Yes, true. I grew up as a kid with nothing. Father out of work and 3 sisters at home. Building bikes from scrap yard parts was the order of the day for lots of lads around where I grew up. Fathers who had a car did their own maintenance because they couldn’t afford garage prices. You learnt how to de-coke cylinder heads by the age of 10!

    This meant that keeping your bike working became second nature. You never fitted ‘new’ parts, just stripped, cleaned, regreased and refitted old. You botched things like cotter pins to use again, when in reality new ones should have been fitted. You learnt how to do everything, often without the right tools.

    BUT, cycling is booming currently, which is a fantastic thing. So sure, the vast majority of those taking it up have no mechanical knowledge - they have grown up during a time when cars have become ever more complex and even the simplest of jobs like a service are never conducted at home - you always take the car to a garage! Why wouldn’t you take a bike to a bike mechanic?

    In reality that is no bad thing of itself and helps economic spend. Even though I can now easily afford to pay a bike mechanic I rarely utilise one as I actually enjoy building and maintaining my own bikes, even as that technology has moved on from the tech of my ‘dump bikes’. For me, the home maintenance and associated gathering of knowledge is part of my cycling experience. For others it simply isn’t. They have no interest. They just want to ride the thing, not have to fix it! I get that though and completely understand it.

    Even amongst all my cycling buddies, I’d say it is a 50/50 split between those that do everything and those that do very, very little of their own maintenance. And many of them are of my generation, most from the club scene, but some always hated doing maintenance (you can tell!) and as soon as they were able to afford to, simply stopped doing it and took it to the bike shop.

    My wife started cycling a few years ago now, and together with a bunch of other new to cycling ‘ladies that lunch’ friends took on several coast to coast rides. They did no training, had no fitness and I had visions of it being a disaster that would put them off for life.

    I insisted that they all at least learnt how to repair punctures and made sure they carried the right spares amongst the group. We did a couple of basic maintenance sessions on our front lawn where I got them all removing a wheel, tyre and tube then putting it all back together. They actually really enjoyed it!

    They encountered several issues during their 4 day exploits, mainly about navigating and having to wait for ‘Shiela’ (name changed for GDPR reasons!) who walked up every hill, which on a coast to coast across the Pennines represents a lot of walking! But they had only a couple of flats and spent an hour or so changing tubes but succeeded!

    So, a huge thread creep, but I agree, maintenance skills on the whole are few and far between amongst the new breed of cyclist, but we need to encourage them nonetheless and help them with the basics.

    Tubeless may have meant they had an hour or so extra drinking time in the hotel bar each evening, we will never know. But what I do know, is a tubeless failure roadside would have meant my evening was ruined as they called the 4th emergency bike service hotline.....:-))
  • Ped29Ped29 Posts: 3
    I very much agree with pilot_pete on this, tubeless for the road i think is just not necessary its a solution to a problem that doesn't really exist, how hard is it to replace a tube on the roadside (providing you have the necessary skills of course!) and lets be honest how many punctures do you actually get while out riding??? Having said that my wifes latest road bike has tubeless tyres - not looking forward to having to do the maintenance etc on them! I'll probably convert them to standard tyres & tubes when the time comes.
  • StillGoingStillGoing Posts: 5,198
    Not had a problem since going tubeless getting on for two years now. Yes, some tyres are best on certain rims for ease of fitting, but I've not had to resort to levers yet, even with Conti GP5000s. If I've had a puncture, I don't know about it and the sealant has obviously done its job. If I get a puncture that sealant can't handle, I'll use a tyre worm. The main bike and the TT bike run tubeless and I'll not go back to running tubes.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 234
    A solution to a problem that doesn't exist? A bit like disc brakes then!
  • DeVlaeminckDeVlaeminck Posts: 5,840
    Now that is a thread creep! I've noticed a bit of a kick back against discs - the industry seems still to be going that route but on a couple of Facebook cycling groups I'm in
    a small majority still favour rim calipers for a race / road bike.
    AFC Mercia women - sign for us
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,458
    yellowv2 said:

    A solution to a problem that doesn't exist? A bit like disc brakes then!

    Not so much. It's an attempt at a solution to a problem that does exist, namely puncturing. Clearly people have different experiences with the success of otherwise of tubeless and for those not enamoured with the technology they are free to run traditional tubes and tyres on the same rims or switch to standard clincher wheels if they so wish.
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,662 Lives Here
    yellowv2 said:

    A solution to a problem that doesn't exist? A bit like disc brakes then!

    A problem that doesn't exist?
  • yellowv2yellowv2 Posts: 234
    Sorry I should have quoted Ped29 above. I am an advocate of tubeless!
  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 22,662 Lives Here
    yellowv2 said:

    Sorry I should have quoted Ped29 above. I am an advocate of tubeless!

    Ah, yes I see what you mean. I've gone tubeless now and while the front tyre has been fine the rear has been awkward and I've already had to use a couple of worms. I don't think this is the fault of tubeless in principle, more a matter of poor choice of tyres, learning techniques and dumb luck.
    I also like disc brakes
  • def_defyrdef_defyr Posts: 71
    The problem is that some of these "solutions" are clearly technically superior but lack of industry standards tilts the balance toward "overly fussy." I personally would love to do away with inner tubes; ridiculous that bicycles still have them after all these years. Disc brakes work x times better than rim brakes, especially in the wet, but I'm going through the steep learning curve of disc brake setup right now. I haven't yet gone to remote shifting but from a convenience/accuracy POV certainly beats stretchy cables.

    Not sure about stuff like through axles or press fit bbs -- those might be more along the lines of "this is cheaper to make but we can sell it as better."

    For the longest time, bicycle maintenance was pretty much uniform...I think the only recent development was threadless headsets, right? Otherwise all you needed was a dozen tools and you could do just about anything on any bike. Once you start mixing standards you have to commit to a full mechanics' bench worth of specialized tools that you might only need for a certain part on a certain bike. Not worth it for me.
  • shortfallshortfall Posts: 2,458
    Tubeless doesn't require any special tools with the exception maybe of some VAR levers which are pretty cheap, and a co2 inflation kit which are also buttons off ebay. Some people manage without either. Mechanical groupsets and rim brakes are still widely available although admittedly less so as manufacturers try and move us towards discs. Press fit bottom brackets (according to Hambini at any rate) are a good solution that is thwarted in practice by poor frame tolerances leading to misalignment and premature wear.
    tldr: you can still get by as a home mechanic without splurging a packet on proprietary tools although a good bearing press might be a good investment if you're going to do your own bottom bracket bearings.
  • thecycleclinicthecycleclinic Posts: 337
    edited 6 August
    This thread highlights an issue with can happen with tubeless ready tyres. Tyres with lining avoid this. However i have used hutchinson tyres and found them to be fine. I have seen that balloon issue on vittoria tyres as well, new ones.

    Such issues are annoying but this are all thread failures rather than casing failures.
    www.thecycleclinic.co.uk
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 473
    edited 6 August
    I didn't think 'oh my god, look at that' just interested in the thread. I'm not a 'tubeless hater' and don't imagine many people will 'hate' with regards to the subject of sealant instead of innertubes.

    I do understand tubeless technology and am weighing up the pros and cons of tubeless or innertubes and have made a decision after reading this thread, amongst others, doing lots of research and seeing first hand how my Buddies tubeless tyres perform.

    After correlating all this information together to form my own opinion on the subject, I decided that there has been nothing wrong with innertubes for the last 100 years or so and prefer them so will stick with them.

    How do you form your opinions, any differently than any person or were you born with this awesome knowledge?

    Have I dismissed this new technology because of ignorance? Am I ignorant and the opinion I have formed still ignorance masquerading as knowledge? How full or empty is my glass?

    Your sweeping, generalised statements are idiotic thecycleclinic!

    Sorry to be blunt but it had to be said.

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,088
    Reaper I disagree on your comments against cycleclinic. I like a lot of cyclists got a new road bike a few years ago that was supplied set up as tubeless by the manufacturer and aside from a tyre written off had no problems. Please not tyre would have been written off regardless if it had a tube or not. I currently run both road bikes tubeless and 2 MTB,s tubeless and not a ghetto or tubeless compatable fix either. Only my CX bike isnt as i run it with tubes due to tyre size. I wasn't influenced it's just an adoption of what was supplìed and I've adapted accordingly. Cycleclinic has a tech page helping people through any pitfalls of tubeless that people come across. He doesn't have to do this but has done so to assist others with his experience. Personally tubeless works for me, but i dont preach to anyone of the either merits. I do preach about going prepared whatever way you go. The amount of people who go out without the means to repair a flat is staggering at times.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • junglist_mattyjunglist_matty Posts: 1,697
    The problem isn't with tubeless vs non tubeless, it's a lack of understanding or ignorance.... The OP fitted a lightweight, soft compound racing tyre (i.e. high grip but easily worn out) which failed around the point one could expect such a tyre to last.

    I ran race tyres (GP4000s non tubeless) for years and found they needed changing every 1500-2500 miles (the rear was changed at the lower end of that range). I switched to using 'GP 4 seasons' about 3 years ago and guess what, they last longer because they're a harder compound. Pp
  • reaperactualreaperactual Posts: 473
    edited 6 August
    oxoman said:

    Reaper I disagree on your comments against cycleclinic. I like a lot of cyclists got a new road bike a few years ago that was supplied set up as tubeless by the manufacturer and aside from a tyre written off had no problems. Please not tyre would have been written off regardless if it had a tube or not. I currently run both road bikes tubeless and 2 MTB,s tubeless and not a ghetto or tubeless compatable fix either. Only my CX bike isnt as i run it with tubes due to tyre size. I wasn't influenced it's just an adoption of what was supplìed and I've adapted accordingly. Cycleclinic has a tech page helping people through any pitfalls of tubeless that people come across. He doesn't have to do this but has done so to assist others with his experience. Personally tubeless works for me, but i dont preach to anyone of the either merits. I do preach about going prepared whatever way you go. The amount of people who go out without the means to repair a flat is staggering at times.

    Oxomam, thank you for your comment. Were all entitled to our opinions and I embrace everyone's view point.

    Without hearing and learning from others about their personal knowledge and experiences I wouldn't have been able to make an informed decision of my own.

    Innertubes work for me and tubeless doesn't, for now! I am pointing out I don't hate or am a hater of anything to do with bikes, at most my emotion on these subjects are 'blah' but doesn't mean deciding one thing over another is due to ignorance or hating the option not choosen.

    thecycleclinic post is narrow minded and with badly chosen words has prompted me to express my opinion that, I personally, made an informed choice as I usually do and I don't assume others who made their tubeless or not choices are ignorant.

    I doubt reading this thread is going to be the sum amount of information that anyone will base a decision on.
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