Tubeless Convert! | Why Alex Will Never Use Inner Tubes On His Road Bike Again

Tubeless Convert! | Why Alex Will Never Use Inner Tubes On His Road Bike Again

Tubeless tyre technology has developed significantly in recent years and is now Alex’s preferred choice for his road bike. Tubeless tyres are more puncture resistant, can be run at lower pressures for increased comfort and have reduced rolling resistance compared to typical clincher and tubed setups. How much faster are they though? Alex set about finding out with some GCN science!

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50 Comments

  1. Velo Ciraptor on July 29, 2022 at 12:28 am

    Seems not much tubeless helped in Paris – Roubaix. Does teams use wrong sealant, or Vittoria foam or some other could help a little? Looks like biggest technical problem so many punctures and nobody researches that?



  2. Olivier Magere on July 29, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Apart from all the issues raised, there are 19 tubeless road tyres listed on chainreaction, fewer if you exclude the gravel ones and they’re all £40+ each. Expensive lack of choice.



  3. Steven Choi on July 29, 2022 at 12:29 am

    Between using milky white sticky sealant and inner tube… between mopping the wet floor and dry inner tube… between a 6-month diaper change and once a year … between a possible natural dry-up sealant sitting at home and a made in China ‘Conti Race inner tube,… between most of all a clean place and a dripping sealant here or there after that … I go for an inner tube.



  4. Jose Soriano on July 29, 2022 at 12:30 am

    I’ll give it a shot. Never used tubeless on road. What I can say as a bike mechanic is that mucoff sealant is garbage. Tested myself off-road and didn’t seal, tested on road with clients, same story. Stan’s is the way to go. Thank you for the video



  5. Tomer Ben David on July 29, 2022 at 12:30 am

    I walk tubeless 🕺



  6. Matt Matthews on July 29, 2022 at 12:33 am

    Don’t know why one would have to go tubeless to go down to 60psi on a 28mm tire. I do it all the time with latex and butyl tubes (actually 55F 60R). I live someplace with a major narcissism issue (the States) so there’s glass all over the place and I’m often getting slashes and gashes that’re way too big for goo to address. Because I love GP5K’s it’s tubes & boots for me.



  7. Imperial Knight on July 29, 2022 at 12:33 am

    it’s all fun and games until you get a puncture, or it’s time to replace your worn tyres. for regular Joe, TPU inner tubes are really the best balance



  8. David Malek on July 29, 2022 at 12:33 am

    Everyone knows: latex inner tubes are the best. Why did you run your experiement on slow, heavy butyl tubes??



  9. Phonamana on July 29, 2022 at 12:34 am

    Alex says he has cold hands but, watch the video closely. When the music is playing it seems he is always wearing gloves when he’s riding but, when he takes off and stops on his bike, he’s not wearing gloves. The magic of video! If he didn’t say he had cold hands, I may not have noticed. LOL

    I wish Latex tubes were tested in the video too because GCN has suggested they are faster. I’ve never seen the Latex tubes before so, I don’t know but, I am curious about them.

    After watching the video, I will stick to tubed tires but, maybe later try tubeless tire.



  10. Marc Besancenot on July 29, 2022 at 12:34 am

    Tubeless is fine … until you have a flat, when you have to fix it, the sealant is digusting product, dirty hands, very slow to fix because if you want to do it the right way, you have to clean the wheel and the tire before putting a tube to fix it… love tubeless for my gravel and mtb… never again on my road bike.



  11. Marc Besancenot on July 29, 2022 at 12:36 am

    and no latex tube ? this is very biased comparison , very disappointed GCN



  12. spishco on July 29, 2022 at 12:38 am

    I ride tubeless ready wheels with tubes. Why? Sealant. F*ck sealant!



  13. TechTraction on July 29, 2022 at 12:39 am

    There seem to be countless videos on YT about the improved comfort and "speed" of tubeless tires (this video was yet another one). There are also countless videos about "converting" to tubeless. What I haven’t seen much of are videos about routine tubeless maintenance and what it is REALLY like to change a flat on the road. I probably need to do more research on this last point. I am not against tubeless but I am VERY much concerned about how to quickly and easily handle a flat on the road. The comments below only add to that concern. So, what’s it REALLY like when you get a flat on the road with a tubeless tire?



  14. Triple Blue on July 29, 2022 at 12:39 am

    utter balls GCN just spews whatever the manufacturers want them to spew – nice Pirelli advert though strange as I thought all the post-2012 sheep just gp5000 blah blah gp5000 blah blah. This, as is very common on GCN is simply an advert in disguise!



  15. obtugtxivtub on July 29, 2022 at 12:41 am

    I saw my fellow cyclist’s video of the front rider puncture and spraying white stuff out. Luckily he was about 2 bikes distance or he would have had sticky stuff all over him.



  16. Garrett Smith on July 29, 2022 at 12:44 am

    3w difference come on a different tire and or tire pressure will make more of a difference without all the mess and cost.



  17. Leenks Barrow on July 29, 2022 at 12:45 am

    You must use tybe tires, but u install this on tubeless



  18. Wheelers At Large on July 29, 2022 at 12:45 am

    Why 95psi? Even at 110kg I’ve never run 28mm tyres and tubes at more than 70psi



  19. TheWoogeroo on July 29, 2022 at 12:46 am

    All this talk of "run at much lower pressure" seems like nonsense to me, and sounds like lots of you could just have been running at lower pressure with tubes all along.

    Go look at both the Silca tyre pressure calculator or the SRAM tyre pressure calculator. For me they only suggest a 2psi difference in pressure when I changed from butyl tube to tubeless options. And the Silca site actually classes latex tubes / tubeless as a single option as there’s no difference.

    Pinch punctures are just a complete non-issue on road in my experience, theres nothing stopping people running lower pressures with tubes right now.

    For mtb it’s a thing, and that’s why they moved to tubeless ages ago – but the pressures involved are wildly different.



  20. Nigel Grinter on July 29, 2022 at 12:47 am

    Are those times the average of several runs? If not, I seriously doubt the differences are significant (ever hear of "experimental error"?) Even if they are significant, who cares apart from an out-and-out racer? The comfort issue? That is obviously subjective. I run 28 mm Gatorskins at 70-75 psi and have no comfort issues. Lastly, it has been suggested elsewhere (Waynos Fotos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZIGPeF3kZw) that tubular tires with sealant might be the best of all possible worlds since, in addition to the alleged benefits of tubeless, you add the ability to ride on a flat tire.



  21. georgegarnerable on July 29, 2022 at 12:48 am

    Sorry what control measures where used for this experiment? Looks like zero to me.



  22. Benoit Arteau on July 29, 2022 at 12:48 am

    We need more than the time on each run. We need time, avg speed and avg power.



  23. Nicholas Smith on July 29, 2022 at 12:50 am

    #askgnctech Hi Oli and Alex, I have a set of Zipp 303S wheels running Continental GP5000 TR tubeless but find that after 3 days, my tyres are down to about 10 psi. I pump them up, go out on a ride and yet again 3 days later, tyres are down to about 10 psi again. Is this normal or do I have a leak somewhere? Thanks in advance



  24. Emil Persson on July 29, 2022 at 12:54 am

    No i don’t think they are rubbish you british boy



  25. Keith Jenkins on July 29, 2022 at 12:56 am

    Idiot idea by the marketing department to sell more rims and tyres, been running clinchers for years and maybe a puncture a year, repaired by the roadside in 10 mins. On a par with push fit BB’s. Don’t be conned, what’s next power steering!



  26. 맹찰쇠 Meng Charsway on July 29, 2022 at 12:58 am

    I don’t ride tubeless, but having been around teammates and friends who do for years I can say that tubeless certainly seems like more trouble than it is worth. Punctures for me, are rare on my clinchers, and I don’t have to worry about the difficulties of tubeless set up and maintenance. Maybe if the roads are really bad or filled with glass where you ride it could make more sense… maybe.



  27. Andrew Crookes on July 29, 2022 at 12:59 am

    Tannus armour and tubes .
    Perfect combination for my gravel bike and never had a puncture in the years I’ve used them .



  28. Kenneth Cruz on July 29, 2022 at 12:59 am

    Alex is probably the best presenter at GCN right now.



  29. Andrew Mackenzie on July 29, 2022 at 12:59 am

    Love tubeless once they’re working. Hate the set up.



  30. CJ W on July 29, 2022 at 1:00 am

    I’m looking forward to the comments here. I’m 55 and 15 stone, I must be running lead inner tubes.



  31. Petinka on July 29, 2022 at 1:01 am

    And how about latex tube Alex?



  32. GCN Tech on July 29, 2022 at 1:01 am

    Do you ride tubeless tyres? Let us know in the comments!



  33. pamo on July 29, 2022 at 1:01 am

    New to road just walked back home, 2 punctures



  34. Garrett Smith on July 29, 2022 at 1:03 am

    Tubless for the Mnt Bike & Tubes for the Road Bike



  35. childofeternity on July 29, 2022 at 1:04 am

    I’ve just gone tubeless purely for comfort, really (some of the roads I ride on are just bone-shakingly terrible (can’t imagine it’s good for the bike either). Just bought a road bike (came with 28mm) after using a hybrid (front suspension/ 38mm marathon’s) and it was just terrible. Put some Conti 4 seasons 32mm on it, which was better, but still terrible! So I bit the bullet and went tubeless with some 36mm WTB’s (come out at 37mm @ 50psi). Only had one ride so far, but the difference is stark. So much more comfortable.



  36. Christophe L on July 29, 2022 at 1:04 am

    Tubes are a hassle and I’m glad they’re going away!



  37. Bait on July 29, 2022 at 1:06 am

    Tubeless just seems like more work.



  38. Duston Morris on July 29, 2022 at 1:07 am

    Just purchased a Bontrager ProV3 wheelset and the shop set them up as tubeless, when in fact that is not what I wanted. They didn’t ask before setting up. 🙁 These wheels can run tubes or tubeless. I have the same wheel set on another bike running tubes with no problems. I was going to try the tubeless set up, but based on the many comments, I can already tell I’m not going to be a fan of tubeless. I don’t want a side of the road sticky shit show, nor do I want that sticky sealant all over my $8,000+ bike and $100+ kits. SO…I have two questions and need some advice.

    1. When trying to air the tires up (in the tubeless configuration) I notice that when I reach about 50-60psi, they won’t hold more pressure. They almost seem to leak air as I try to increase pressure. Is this normal??

    2. How do I convert this new wheel set back to a tube configuration without getting sticky sealant all over me, my bike, and my new wheels?

    Thanks for reading and thanks for your advice. Be safe and have fun out there!



  39. Sam Powers on July 29, 2022 at 1:07 am

    inner tubes and peak down



  40. bludog on July 29, 2022 at 1:08 am

    Recently bought Pirelli’s tubeless…Love ’em



  41. Darryl Edwards on July 29, 2022 at 1:10 am

    Load of rubbish



  42. Eddie on July 29, 2022 at 1:11 am

    New Ebike. Tubeless ready..removed tubes used sealant. Had a puncture.Would not seal.Tried removing tyre to fit a tube to get home. A nightmare .Ended up getting a friend to get home. Had to take wheel to a bike shop. They used a plank of wood, hitting between the rim and sidewall. How are you supposed to do that in a remote location? Not impressed with tubeless



  43. Enigma on July 29, 2022 at 1:11 am

    I bought a Giant Defy Adv Pro 2. I bought because I thought the 32mm tubeless tyres would be interesting to try. I’ve tried them at pressure from 50 to 70 psi. I can’t tell the difference and the tyres give a wooden ride feel. I feel almost defrauded. I’m also nervous to ride the thing because several local riders have reported tubeless punctures they have not been able to fix at the roadside. That’s a deal breaker for me. Anyone want the bike, few miles, excellent condition. And all the tubeless kit you could want…



  44. Dig and Nick on July 29, 2022 at 1:13 am

    I tried tubeless on my MTB last year and it made a right mess. I’m by no means daft when it comes to this sort of thing. But despite cleaning the rim with meths, lining the tape up exactly to an OCD level, adding the goop etc. Somehow the sealant still found a small path of least resistance and came out of a spoke hole. The capillary action also meant somehow it crept under the lacquer of the front rim and made a bit of a mess. Once the leak had eventually healed itself after blowing up to about 50psi and turning the rim around slowly, I felt no immediate benefit when riding other than anxiety of it leaking.

    Added to that was a road cyclist travelling down a bad road near me who burped his 23c tyre and couldn’t get it to seal at all as it had grit and mud all over the rim. I offered to lend him my woosher back home but he managed. He said to me never bother with this s*it again and wish he’d left his tubes in.

    Call it sad, but to me there’s nothing more satisfying than mending a puncture at your own leisure in front of the TV at home, finding the thorn in the tyre and wiggling it out. I just carry a spare tube, patches and decent pump.

    Interesting my partner’s MTB tyre had about 3 thorns sticking in that somehow hadn’t punctured the tube.

    I’ve just bought some marathon for my touring bike.



  45. Josemaria Domingo on July 29, 2022 at 1:16 am

    I often swap my tires with my gravel bike ( from slick to knobbly and vice versa) and its very expensive to replace sealant everytime. Also to get close to the comfort of a tubeless, I run low pressures since most of my tries are 32c and above and haven’t got a puncture ever since. And if I do, ill just swap it out with an inner tube



  46. Michael Borowski on July 29, 2022 at 1:19 am

    I’M SOOOO SICK OF FLATS! I ride everyday to work 10.5 miles there and back and my 700C get 1-2 flats a week and my back tire is a pain in the ass to take off and put on. I’m done. I have new tires, new tubes, protective inserts, and waiting for my new rim tape in the mail (thanks Amazon for 2 day delivery turning into a month). STILL 2 days after changing everything I have a flat. But this time it’s from inside the rim. I checked the tape and it’s fine, the spokes aren’t sharp either. I’M GOING TUBELESS THIS WEEKEND. I can never win with these tubes. I have 7 tubes waiting to get patched because I will need them in another 2 days if I’m lucky. My fat bike never gets flats, but I’m waiting 2 months for spokes to come in the mail. That’s another story..



  47. stuntedmonk on July 29, 2022 at 1:19 am

    In his summary there’s negligible advantage, yet a lot more hassle for tubeless. I didn’t realise but my BMC cause with tubeless, I’ll run them and once they’re done go back to tube. I mean look at all this maintenance and as for faster, wasn’t it by 7 seconds? I’m no Olympian…



  48. Samuel Sloth on July 29, 2022 at 1:22 am

    Omg 2 to 3 watts lemme just spend $80 a tire. Or I could just pedal a little harder.



  49. Richard Wilson on July 29, 2022 at 1:22 am

    The correct test would be to send the rider out without telling them which tyres they are using. But hey- this is GCN.



  50. Zoltan Varga on July 29, 2022 at 1:27 am

    Sorry to say, but scientifically these results are not relevant. 1 measurement with each setup is not an acceptable comparison. We do not even know the average powers for each run, but even if they are the same or very close, that can be achieved in different ways (e.g. it would be important to know how much time was spent out of the saddle in each run). So while tubeless may really be faster, this test certainly does not prove it.