New bike is coming with Tubeless - any tips on what I need to know/purchase to maintain them?

daniel_b
daniel_b Posts: 11,768

Afternoon,


my partners Liv gravel bike is ready for collection, devote 2 or 0, I forget which, but anyway, the shop have kindly set it up for tubeless at no additional cost, so we thought we may as well try it.

It will be the very first tubeless bike ever to cross our threshold.


Some assumptions I have made are:


Adding air to them is exactly the same as a normal tubed tyre?

Do they have some kind of special valve, as of course there is no tube and valve combination, so how does that work?


Would she be advised to run them at lower pressures?


Is it advisable to rotate the wheels if it is not being ridden regularly to stop the sealant gathering at the bottom and solidifying?


Do I need to buy more sealant to keep it topped up, and are there any recommended brands?

Are refilling methods all the same?


If a fairy visit or hole occurs, I presume it may just automatically seal, but if not, is she best to get off, lift the bike, and spin the wheel vigorously to try and get it to seal?

If a hole is too big to seal, is the only option putting a replacement tube in?


Use wise (If it makes any difference), she will be using it for family rides, gravel rides, light touring, CX racing, winter riding.


Any advice gratefully received :-)


Thanks

Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
Scott CR1 SL 12
Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
Scott Foil 18

Comments

  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708

    Q: Adding air to them is exactly the same as a normal tubed tyre?

    A: Yes, assuming they stay on the rim. If the bead comes away from the rim, they need a good blast of air. A decent floor pump is usually enough, but a compressor or other rapid inflator can be needed for problematic combinations.

    Q: Do they have some kind of special valve, as of course there is no tube and valve combination, so how does that work?

    A: Yes, there's a valve which screws together through the rim and is open to the inside of the tyre. It's a similar idea to the valves on car wheels.

    Q: Would she be advised to run them at lower pressures?

    A: One of the advantages of tubeless is that you can run them at lower pressures without worrying as much about pinch flats, but you don't have to. Just check if there's a max pressure for the tyre/rim combination.

    Q: Is it advisable to rotate the wheels if it is not being ridden regularly to stop the sealant gathering at the bottom and solidifying?

    A: Yes. Be aware that you'll eventually want to replace the sealant, probably after 1-2 years, which will involve getting the tyre off and pulling out the dried ball of latex. Then you'll need to reseat the bead, which as mentioned above can be a pain.

    Q: Do I need to buy more sealant to keep it topped up, and are there any recommended brands?

    A: Yes, but which brand to use depends on what's already in there. You probably want to stick to the same brand, or at least the same type (latex based or not etc)

    Q: Are refilling methods all the same?

    A: Some can go through the valve by removing the valve core and using an injector, that's the quickest way. Personally I prefer to unhook one side of the bead and pour it in as you don't risk the sealant blocking up the valve as much, but then you again get into the potential problem of reseating the bead, so doing it via the valve can be easier, quicker and less messy.

    Q: If a fairy visit or hole occurs, I presume it may just automatically seal, but if not, is she best to get off, lift the bike, and spin the wheel vigorously to try and get it to seal?

    A: If you know where the fairy has struck, get the puncture to the bottom of the wheel and shake, get gravity to help get the sealant there.

    Q: If a hole is too big to seal, is the only option putting a replacement tube in?

    A: Nope. As long as the hole isn't enormous and you still have some sealant left, you can use a tyre plug. The tube should be a last resort. However, if the bead comes unseated out on a ride then the tube is pretty much the only option as you have basically no chance of getting it seated with a mini-pump.

  • dj58
    dj58 Posts: 2,221
    edited April 10

    Afternoon,

    I have no experience with tubless, however from reading numerous post on hear I have learned:

    The valve is much like a presta valve with the core being removeable to assist the topping up of the sealant.

    Yes experiment with lower prressures as this is suppose to be the advantage of a tubeless set up.

    Rotating them my help though the sealant will eventually need topping up/replacing.

    If the puncture does not self seal as she rides I doubt lifting and spinning willl make much difference.

    Tyre worns/plugs are the go to solution. Fitting a tube may or may not be success and a pain in the arras due to the tight fit of the bead/rim interface and getting it to reseat successfully. Some Sages say once fitted they should be left in situ until it is time to replace.

    Use wise would depend on tyre size and tread pattern as to whether they will be suitable for all those activities.

  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,195

    One other thing to note is that as it's a Giant, if it's got carbon wheels they will likely be hookless. There is a lot of stuff on the internet about that ATM, but to save you wading through it is means;

    1. Do not exceed 73psi (which will likely be an outrageously high pressure for gravel tyres anyway)

    2. Check the tyres you buy are hookless compatible. More are than aren't these days with some notable exceptions like Pirelli

    3. Do not understand any circumstances Google "Thomas de Gendt UAE tour blowout." And if you do and it worries you buy 28mm tyres or wider...

    If it is alloy wheels none of the above applies.


    My own experience of tubeless is very positive, but in general I would say they only really "come alive" on wider tyres at lower pressure, if you run 25mm at 80psi or above not worth bothering with.

  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,999
    edited April 10

    Hopefully the tyres they have setup tubeless are ones she is happy with in terms of performance and width.

    Valves will have rubber grommet at base, sealing rim hole.

    Inflate while valve is near 12 o' clock and has been in that position for a short while, to minimise loss of sealant and potential of sealant setting within the valve stopper (probably Presta).

    Over time, sealant will clump into latex animals and will need top-up.

    I've yet to try tubeless, but my impression is, you can lower the pressure compared to tubes by ~20%+.

    Just bare in mind that lower pressure gives more comfort, more chance of sealant working, but increased tyre wear. ;)

    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • davebradswmb
    davebradswmb Posts: 485

    I bought myself a Schwalbe tyre booster to help me get the tyres to seat, significantly cheaper than investing in a special pump if you already have a decent pump. I couldn't get my 32mm tyres to seat with a standard floor pump on its own.


  • whyamihere
    whyamihere Posts: 7,708

    It's worth nothing that the Schwalbe one appears to be a rebranded Airshot, which is slightly cheaper: https://www.merlincycles.com/airshot-tubeless-tyre-inflator-229416.html

    I've got an Airshot and they do work well.

  • trevor.hall12
    trevor.hall12 Posts: 451

    Get a repair kit ,and an injector kit for changing and topping up sealant as there's no need to remove the tyre just the valve core

    Milkit do a great kit

  • oxoman
    oxoman Posts: 295

    As above with added caveat get a Co2 inflator for if it unseats off the rim. Always carry 2 cartridges in case the first fails and always inflate with valve at the top and sealant at the bottom as it can freeze the sealant when inflating the tyre. Been using for 8yrs or so and only had 1 ride spoilt and to be honest a tube wouldn't have made it rideable because of the tyre damage. Worth getting decent tyre levers that are made to assist with tubeless tyres. Currently run road, mtb and cx / gravel bikes tubeless. Don't over inflate as it make it uncomfortable. You may need to top up sealant every 6 months depending on use. Other than that it's ride the bike and pretty much forget about the P fairy.

    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • As above, the main thing is to top up sealant every 4-6 months (it will definitely dry out as I learned from experience!) and take some spare tubes or plugs for any holes that are too large to seal themselves.

    To be honest I ditched them after having two tires gashed and not being able to seal. I couldn't be bothered with the faff of plugs and I figured if I am always going to be carrying spare inner tubes anyway, I may as well stick with them as standard. I do understand the advantages of TL though and why lots of people use them.

  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 7,207

    Dynaplug works really well and is super easy to use for those holes a bit too big to seal on their own. They take up almost no space:

    You need to top up the air more frequently than with tubes.

    A sealant injector makes topping up easy:


    Most sealants are just a liquid so pass through the valve easily, however some, such as Stans Race sealant has crystals in it that can make injecting through the valve a messy experience! However the crystals will seal larger holes than sealants without.

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768
    edited April 11

    Wowsas, thankyou all, that is a wealth of awesome info - thankyou so much.

    Literally just back 20 minutes ago from collecting the bike, my pedals, and the wahoo turbo, which luckily came in this morning.

    I'll need to go back through this thread as there is a lot of info to digest, and options to assess, and extract/note down the relevant info :-)


    To answer a few questions - it's fairly basic wheels I think, and I distinctly recall the lbs saying they could either set it up with tubes OR tubeless, so I presume that means they must not be hookless rims, and are in fact hooked (or maybe just normal) rims, if that is a term....


    They didn't volunteer any info about the type of sealant, so I'll need to ask them that at a later date, and as I was in a bit of rush I didn't hang around to chat too much.


    She's pleased with it anyway, which is the main thing, and I didn't get in trouble for adding a turbo trainer to the order either which is also a brucey bonus.


    I'll try and post a picture of it at some point, though it's not that interesting to look at between you and me 🤫

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • N0bodyOfTheGoat
    N0bodyOfTheGoat Posts: 5,999

    Compulsory first ride after dinner, if it's dry and mildish where you are too! 😃

    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768

    Ah she was out depping at a band rehearsal last night, and today she's taking my daughter into London to see a show - tomorrow is looking viable though :-)

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768

    Here it is:


    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768

    Saddle height not yet set!

    Oh and it does have a decent glitter flip thing going on.

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • molteni_man
    molteni_man Posts: 446

    Exactly the same bike and same colour that my wife has Dan!

    Bought it from the Giant / Liv store near us in Southampton about 2 years ago ( who are great!)

    She has been really pleased with it - super comfy and being a Liv fits her brilliantly. Your wife will enjoy hers!

    The tubeless set up has been faultless. I’ve topped up the sealant every six months and no issues. I use through the valve method to avoid unseating a tyre which is well set up.

    My only issue with tubeless on my own gravel bike has been when I unhooked the bead to top up and finding it difficult to get a perfect seal again hence using the valve method.

    I carry a v small bottle of sealant on rides just in case and carry a small piece of wire to unblock the nozzle as it has tendency to block up. I also carry a tube for an emergency, but haven’t had to use so far thankfully!

    Enjoy!

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768
    edited April 14

    Great to hear @molteni_man, and that it's been a good buy :-)


    I think she will be taking it for it's first ride today, family commitments meant time slipped away yesterday.


    I've fitted pedals, and bottle cages, garmin out front mount, and have also fitted the Ortlieb quick rack, which I would say on the whole seems excellent - sadly one key bolt was missing, and not your average size, so have messaged both Tredz and Ortlieb to see if they are able to send me the one bolt - meant to be using it on Saturday!

    I don't even think there is an easy way I can bodge it annoyingly, don't want to go the cable tie route.

    If not, I'll have to carry luggage for the both of us


    One thing I have struggled with, is the light mount for the Ravemen PR1200 - the bars go oval very quickly, and as it stands I can't mount the light and have it clear the Garmin - I'm going to try and fashion some innertube and electrical tape to see if I can make it 'round' where I want to fix the mount, but not sure how successful that will be, bit of a pita really.

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • super_davo
    super_davo Posts: 1,195

    Can you mount the Raveman on a Garmin mount with a Go Pro style mount at the bottom?

    That's what I do on my commuter bike with similarly little space - a Moon rather than a Raveman but most lights can change the mounts. If the Raveman can't, plenty out there that can

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768
    edited April 15

    Thanks @super_davo alas the 1200 and that range (I have 1600s) are all designed to be mounted in that orientation, as the lens has a filter on it to help not blind anyone.

    As it is her winter bike, I'd like her to have a really capable light on there, and it also doubles up as a power bank should she need to charge her phone if she was stranded by a mechanical somewhere.


    I have also bought a single CR1000, which a kind soul on here I believe posted about, which is the same make, and it was a fairly simple task (by design) to unscrew the lens cap, and switch the lens found 180 degrees, which I have done, so it can go upside down.

    I have a couple of other out front light mounts, that have the go pro attachment underneath, and bought a handful of those mounts so we can use them on road rides that might just need a bit of lighting.



    I have used some left over bits of rubber I had knocking about as potentially useful material, and have managed to wodge this inside the round clamp to seeming fill the gap top and bottom caused by the ovally bar, so will see how that fares over the next few months, and if it will stay put - if not, may need to rethink, or hem it in by fitting a bell!


    Frustratingly the Ortlieb quick rack was missing one key bolt, an odd size that I have none of, M3 X 25mm, and although I mailed both Tredz and Ortlieb, neither have replied - as I need it working for Saturday, I've ordered a set from Amazon that purports to be stainless, and comes in a multitude of sizes and lengths, plus bolts and washers, so should be useful for years to come.


    As I also had to pop the bike back to the LBS (They suggested I do so) to get the mounts tapped out due to excess paint, I've also bought a tap and die set, as I suspect it will be the same deal when it comes to the ones inside the arches for the mudguards.



    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768

    Ortlieb sent me the replacement bolt, rocked up today in the post - very impressed, will drop them a note of appreciation.

    Rack now fitted, no chance I'll get any guards on it, so she's just going to have to hope it's dry 🤣

    Need to show up the ortlieb panniers, and adjust the positioning - it's the old school type of connection, not the snazzy new ones they use.

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768
    edited May 18

    Evening all, my partner really likes the new bike, and as mentioned (and recommended) we plumped for the tubeless setup.


    She had ridden it a couple of times, including the 80km trip to Salisbury, but the other day when I had a day off and we were planning to ride to a cafe, I went to extract it from the garage, and noticed the rear tyre was very soft.


    As we were tight for time, and she has yet to sell the old bike, she took that instead, but a few days later I stuck some air in the soft rear tyre (I think it was down to around 15psi) and pumped it up to 50psi.

    I haven't checked the pressure since, but it still feels the same some time afterwards.


    I spun the wheel around, and can see no evident sealant around the surface of the tyre that might suggest there was a hole that has since been plugged - any ideas?

    Could it have been around the rim, ie where the tyre wall is presumably meant to seal with the inner rim?

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18
  • oxoman
    oxoman Posts: 295

    They can lose air through the tyre sidewalls as some can be slightly porous. Other reasons maybe around the rim, slightly soapy water run around the edges of the rim should show that up. Sealed up puncture, tbh you'd normally see residue from that. My normal go to and check first is the valve core, if the sealant gets on the valve rubber and is subjected to Co2 it freeze drys onto the little Oring and can cause a slight leak. I normally carry a spare valve core and valve tool just in case.

    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • Dorset_Boy
    Dorset_Boy Posts: 7,207

    Tubeless loses pressure faster than tubed, so need pumping up every 2 or 3 days as opposed to every 7-14 days as with tubed.

  • daniel_b
    daniel_b Posts: 11,768
    edited May 19

    Thanks both, I didn't realise about the pressure loss, but the rear was WAY down as opposed to even the front, so not a 'normal' occurrence.

    As it's a new bike with factory tyres, these are also identical.

    No Co2 has been used, but I'll have a closer look around the edge of the rim, and see how it is holding up in the coming days.

    Felt F70 05 (Turbo)
    Marin Palisades Trail 91 and 06
    Scott CR1 SL 12
    Cannondale Synapse Adventure 15 & 16 Di2
    Scott Foil 18