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Earlier in the year I decided I wanted to replace the wheels on one of the bikes, I am a big fan of Hope hubs (I am the one that actually likes the sound of the free hub).

I priced up the hubs, rims and spokes and the price started spiralling up, so I settled on a factory set of Hope 20FivePro 4's, they appeared to fit the bill and came under my custom build budget, they also came as Tubeless ready if I fancied the dabble....

When it came time to actually fit the new seasons kit to the bike, I was relishing the idea of fitting the new wheels, and then I ground to a halt, my normal tyres of choice (non tubeless) Conti GatorSkin Hardshells would not fit, even after leaving out in the sun, pre fitting to another wheelset, they simply would not fit!

It gave me the kick to actually try tubeless, I settled on Schwalbe Pro-One…

They fitted quite easily and tyre seating was straight forward (I used a Co2 canister), removed the valve core and added 20ml of Stans, pumped it all up to 80psi and everything was good, my world was in sync…

Everything was good for 900 miles, I did Barry’s Bristol Ball Buster 200k, a long weekend around Snowdonia, and I was starting to get a good feeling about tubeless…

After getting back from Snowdonia I noted that the tyre pressure had dropped to less than 40psi, on pumping the tyre up ALL of the Stans vomited from a puncture in the tyre (at about 75psi), time to try a plug, it took 2 plugs and the tyre was deformed after the repair, I decided I could not trust it, so tried fitting a new spare Schwalbe Pro One (I would normally expect at least a year and 6000+ miles for a tyre, 900 miles hurt)

No matter what I tried I could NOT get the tyre to seat, I ended up replacing the rim tape, this appeared to solve the problem, new rim tape was not compressed into the well of the wheel and as such the tyre bead had an easier ramp to the sidewall….perhaps I should try wider Rim Tape? The internal dimension of the rim is 21mm and I used 21mm rim tape, that does not allow for the tape to seat into the internal channel completely?

Now 600 miles later, I clipped a stone on my lunchtime ride today, more of a pinger than a slicer…

It appears to have caused a puncture on the tyre shoulder (between the tread and side wall), Stans did not seal it and the tyre went down, I would normally avoid Co2 and Stans, but as time was limited I used Co2 to inflate, The tyre went up and stayed up, no signs of leak, I assumed that Stans was in the wrong place at the wrong time, 10  miles later and the tyre was low pressure again, I re-inflated, 5 miles later low pressure again, I re-inflated with hand pump….

When I got home I left the bike outside, and hour later tyre was still up and firm…There was no sign of where the puncture was, I pumped it up to 80psi and all was still good, the whilst doing something else, a hissing was heard, and a small fountain of Stans started spraying for a pin size hole, wiping it with a cloth and the leak stopped……I let the tyre down, removed the valve core and added another 20ml of Stans, pumped tyre up, rotated it and let the leaks seal…

So am I just being unlucky and I should persevere, I have a set of Hutchinson Fusion 5’s to try, just in case its the Pro Ones, they are racing tyres, and I am not a racer!

Should I just abandon and get the rims replaced so I can use my tyre of choice (Conti Gatorskin Hardshells)

Or am I doing something fundamentally wrong? I suspect wider rim tape as mentioned earlier would solve my tyre change seating issue, but has nothing to do with punctures…

And please don’t tell me Tubeless shouldn’t puncture, it is an unfortunate side effect of pneumatic tyres, even Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres puncture (I have had two punctures in 10 years on them)

 

 

 

23 comments

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kevvjj [285 posts] 6 months ago
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Can I ask what tyre size you are running? I run 25mm Pro Ones on Ultegra rims (tubeless) and find 60psi is more than enough pressure - any higher and the bike rides like a it's on solid tyres. I am 75kg and the bike is 8kg. I ask this because I don't believe that sealants like Stans are designed to work under high pressures (typically 30 psi or less in a MTB tyre where the system was first developed). Under high pressures I believe the sealant does not have time to fill the hole and simply spurts out (as you have experienced). Don't forget that for larger holes you can patch the tyre from the inside rather than use plugs - gon't throw that 900 mile tyre away just yet.

I think you have been unlucky but the Pro Ones really aren't an everyday tyre, their soft compound and lightweight mean they will be more puncture prone than your gatorskins.

As for not being able to seat the new tyre, did you thoroughly clean the inside of the of the rim to remove any dried sealant? Did you use soapy water on the bead of the tyre? I find doing both of these makes a big difference.

Road tubeless is most definitely a faff. I have stuck with it but I'm not convinced that it is worth it on a road bike. Simply using MTB technology on a road bike was never going to work. I think we need 'road' sealants to cope with the higher pressures for starters.

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nadsta [182 posts] 6 months ago
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I had terrible luck with Pro Ones despite positive reviews here. I had both tyres booted within 500 km, and I generally puncture once or twice a year MAX (annually 10k km) including daily London commutes. 

My kit kit ended up covered in sealant, LBS's didn't  want to frig with tubeless and i stopped trusting the tyres on long rides. The sealant would  pressure despite briefly  (25mm @ 70 psi) then blow a few kms down the road. Ride feel improvements were minimal compared to aggro given I rarely punctured anyway. Went back to tubes & vittoria corsa's 

i may may have been running too high a pressure for MTB sealant but otherwise front felt flat when out of the saddle. 

Since then this sealant has been released-supposed to be good

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/pumps-puncture-repair/orange-seal-t...

 

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john.berry [28 posts] 6 months ago
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kevvjj wrote:

Can I ask what tyre size you are running?

They are 23 mm

kevvjj wrote:

 60psi is more than enough pressure - any higher and the bike rides like a it's on solid tyres. I am 75kg and the bike is 8kg. I ask this because I don't believe that sealants like Stans are designed to work under high pressures (typically 30 psi or less in a MTB tyre where the system was first developed).

I think I will start trying to run them at lower pressure, And I will swap the Pro Ones for teh Hutchinson Fusion 5's

kevvjj wrote:

Don't forget that for larger holes you can patch the tyre from the inside rather than use plugs - gon't throw that 900 mile tyre away just yet.

Tyre not thrown, and I have just bought a tubeless tyre patch kit to fix it  1

kevvjj wrote:

As for not being able to seat the new tyre, did you thoroughly clean the inside of the of the rim to remove any dried sealant? Did you use soapy water on the bead of the tyre? I find doing both of these makes a big difference.

Yep all signs of old sealant removed, soap and water on bead, I tried everything...But I guess I will find out again soon...as I think the small shoulder pinhole is not holding up, so will need patching  2

Based on your input I will continue, but adjust my approach a little..

 

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john.berry [28 posts] 6 months ago
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nadsta wrote:

http://www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/pumps-puncture-repair/orange-seal-t...

If the words are fact, that sealant looks good, certainly I think my main issue is sealant not standing up to pressure...

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iso2000 [82 posts] 6 months ago
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Interesting read. I bought a pair of Hunt wheels last year with Pro-Ones already fitted as tubeless. I never got round to using them and put S-One (now G-One speed) tyres for the winter, again tubeless. I have been really happy with these, maybe it is the wheels but they seem to be so much faster than the old GP4s I was using with the old wheels.

I have been thinking of trying the Pro-Ones but your post has persuaded me not to bother and I'll stick to the S-One. Any offers for a pair of unused Pro-Ones?

 

 

 

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CXR94Di2 [1854 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

I have Several Schwalbe tyre sets.  I use pro ones(28mm) for sportives with around 90-95psi.  Firstly I noticed you put in 20mil of sealant,  I alway put in 60-75mil minimum.  Nothing is perfect but I find the tubeless system extremely good.  

Fitting method for me- Stans rim tape-correct width, everything must be thoroughly cleaned with degreaser/alochol before tape applied.

Fit tyre almost fully, pour in 60-75mil stans sealant(shake bottle before pouring), rotate fluid to other side and fit remaining tyre bead.  

Inflate with tyre compressor until tyre pops into place, must making pop sound.  I then press wheel against ground around its full circle, rotate in all directions by hand. 

Job done in 99% of occasions, but if it still leaks, deflate tyre, apply soapy water around bead section re inflate.

Worst puncture I've had was on my mountain bike where 10mm wide flint tore a big gash in tyre, it lost 90% of pressure and was nearly flat, made for slow riding, but it got me home.  This unfortunatley had to go onto inner tube(with sealant inside)

I also use Continental tubulars and use stans sealant in them also.

 

 

 

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pablo [198 posts] 6 months ago
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Was listening to a podcast think it was cycling tips and their tech editor wasn't convinced by tubeless on anything under 25mm and even then 28mm and above seemed to be his preference because of fitting and being able to run lower pressures which is the whole point. I've got 2 sets of compatible wheels and will give a whirl on the next set of tyres i buy. I'd love to get 6000 miles out of mine generally less than 4k rotating gp4000's front to back and I normally loose one with a major split or bulge.

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LastBoyScout [329 posts] 6 months ago
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I've got a set of Campag Bullet wheels that are supposed to be tubeless ready, but currently fitted with normal tyres and tubes.

Would like to try them as tubeless, but the cost of the tyres is putting me off at the moment.

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sergius [470 posts] 6 months ago
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Everytime I think about it I get put of by the apparent faff of it  2

As mentioned above, it's £100ish to see whether it works well for you or not.  I managed to go two years without a puncture using tubes, before a rash of 5 punctures in as many months.

 

One thing that definately puts me off is the whole CO2 canister thing.  I refuse to go out with something that is a one-shot chance of a repair.  If a mini-pump isn't usable to fix at the side of the road (obv you could just fit a tube with one, but that's kind of against the point), then I can't see it ever being mainstream.

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TypeVertigo [421 posts] 6 months ago
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sergius wrote:

Everytime I think about it I get put of by the apparent faff of it  2

As mentioned above, it's £100ish to see whether it works well for you or not.  I managed to go two years without a puncture using tubes, before a rash of 5 punctures in as many months.

 

One thing that definately puts me off is the whole CO2 canister thing.  I refuse to go out with something that is a one-shot chance of a repair.  If a mini-pump isn't usable to fix at the side of the road (obv you could just fit a tube with one, but that's kind of against the point), then I can't see it ever being mainstream.

My thoughts exactly...and to think I'm supposedly a prime candidate for tubeless, what with me running 28 and 32 mm tires on my TCX.

I have never given it a proper go, but I really want to believe in the technology. Whether or not the belief is warranted I'm just not 100% sure yet. Fortunately for me, road tubeless isn't very tempting yet, as local bike shops here hardly carry any compatible tires.

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. . [190 posts] 6 months ago
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I put S-Ones on for the winter, my first go at tubeless.  Very happy with the comfort, grip and puncture resistance.  But after only 1400 miles, the rear was worn down to the casing. 

I'd like to keep using tubeless, but they need to last longer than that

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frankierae [16 posts] 6 months ago
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Just wanted to say thanks to the OP and the helpful replies on this thread. Great to hear your experience in detail.

I, like so many others, wonder if I'm missing a trick by not running tubeless. Especially as the bike journos seem to peddle them quite hard. But I keep hearing stories similar to this that make me think it's a bit too much faff to be worth it.

Until then it's GP4000S with quality tubes FTW!

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MonkeyPuzzle [32 posts] 6 months ago
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I think the wear problem is more of a Schwalbe issue than a tubeless one.

 

I'd say that 20ml of sealant does seem on the low side and I'd agree with the poster above recommending 60ml as a minimum. Re CO2 and re-inflating tubeless at the roadside, I've never bothered and just carry a spare tube. That goes for my mountain bike as well, where I can easily reseat the bead with a decent hand pump (remove the valve core) - tuebless tyres run just as well as a standard clincher until you can get somewhere where you can be arsed with seating and sealant and all that jazz.

 

Tubeless still worth it for the grip and the ride.

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. . [190 posts] 6 months ago
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MonkeyPuzzle wrote:

I think the wear problem is more of a Schwalbe issue than a tubeless one.

You are probably right.  Any recommendations for alternatives in the 28-30mm range?

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peted76 [792 posts] 6 months ago
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Sealant - you're doing it wrong, however it's not your fault.

Finding the right sealant has taken me from Stans, to Conti Revo and only in Bontrager's TLR have I found a friend, albeit a friend who needs a bloody good shake every now and again. 

1) Some of the sealants on the market are just repurposed MTB sealants, totally unsuitable for road (too thick to go through the valve or too thin to seal at higher road pressures). 

2) Shake the bottle, then shake it again, then shake it again... lots - before it goes anywhere near your tyres. There will be 'particles' which might get 'stuck' at the bottom of the bottle - these particles are the important bits which react/clog up your puncture - with a greater % of them left in the bottle your holes won't seal and you'll end up with a plastic film of fluid all over your bike/clothes/people riding behind you.

3) You can use 20ml and get away with it, but I personally have found that as it does dry up a little, I can't quite trust 20ml as being enough so I add 40ml and this has been enough.

4) Instead of the usual repair kit, I carry a small bottle of sealant (see the bontrager bottles above) half filled and one or two air cannisters depending on the length and dependancy of the ride (although I should just carry a pump and do away with the co2) I don't bother with a tube any more, or tyre levers, or a patch kit, all of it is surplus to me personally, with the right tubeless set up (rim tape, sealant) in place I've so far not been in a position where I've had a hole not seal or cannot get to somewhere on a reduced psi.

 

I run 25mm schwalble pro-ones, and I've been through about eight of them and swapped back to conti 4000II's inbetween - the Pro-Ones are a very 'plush ride' but being softer than most, they are not a tyre or a commuter tyre. I had an issue with one not lasting a while ago, contacted them directly, returned it to where I brought it and they replaced FOC., bit of a faff but sorted by the UK schwable team with grace.

 

FYI I can run upto 4mm  wider tape in comparison to my 'internal width' rim. It's been a learnnig curve, but I'm very happy with tubeless now.

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peted76 [792 posts] 6 months ago
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As an alternative to Schwable, see IRC tubeless tyres - they are supposed to be very good - https://thecycleclinic.co.uk/ Malcolm is the importer, give him a call he'll help you out.

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MonkeyPuzzle [32 posts] 6 months ago
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. . wrote:
MonkeyPuzzle wrote:

I think the wear problem is more of a Schwalbe issue than a tubeless one.

You are probably right.  Any recommendations for alternatives in the 28-30mm range?

I still use Schwalbe (G-Ones), because I love how supple and grippy they are, but in the knowledge that's at the expense of some longevity.

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StewartM [11 posts] 6 months ago
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+1 here on the sealant importance. My first foray into tubeless was the Huchinson Fusions that my wheels came fitted with. Convenience and timing constraints led me to Orange Seal for the first go.

I immediately noticed the different feel, so have been commented to making an honest go of it.

The Huchinsons lasted a poor 4000km, but that coincided with the launch of the Pro Ones, so I grabbed those. Loved them straight off the bat.

My small initial bottle of Orange Seal ran out, so I ended up with a bottle of Stan's. And that's when my tubeless experience went from great to questionable. Cut after cut, sealant piss after sealant piss.

Lots of patching, lots of tyre off, tyre on faf. Every time I put decent pressure in the tyres, I'd suffer a mid ride spurt. I had a sense that the Schwalbe was on the poor side for longevity, but I liked the feel and convenience. And to be frank, I loved helping riding mates change their tubes by the side of the road as a quaint way of keeping the skill going and feeling smug. The Schwalbe pair were relatively new, so I persisted with them. If I want going to replace the tyres, I decided I was going to swap the sealant.

Figuring this was the last roll of the dice for tubeless, I went back to the shop and bought a big bottle of Orange Seal, as it had never met me down.

And you know what? No problem since. All those pesky little cuts that Stan's didn't seal have sealed, and I've gone a few weeks and about 400km without any further issues.

Based on this, I'd say the right sealant is more important to your tubeless experience than the tyre itself.

IMO, Orange Seal for the win.

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hsiaolc [367 posts] 6 months ago
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I use Schwalbe Pro S Ones.   I did use Pro Ones and never had any problem. 

Never used Stans so can't comment on them but I have used both Schwalbe sealant and the Orange Seal. 

Currently I am using the Orange. 

For 2 years now I have not had an puncture (well I am sure I have but fixed by sealant) and I am extremely happy with them for my commute purposes around London. 

Both I always add over 60-80ml of sealant to each tyre. 

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jterrier [141 posts] 6 months ago
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There seems to be a few issues with schwalbe tires seating onto hope rims. Schwalbe and other brands seem to go best onto stans rims; if you have to really inflate them and they dont seat with a very loud bang, then they might not be on properly.

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mattydubster [80 posts] 6 months ago
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I have been a real fan of tubeless and definitely think they have a fantastic future in our sport.  I tend to do more gravel specific riding these days and I spent the whole winter on X-Ones.  I rode through everything, and I mean absolutely everything, and at one point I thought I'd inspect my tyres.  I pulled out SEVEN thorns!  The stan's had obviously sealed them all as they happened and when I pulled them out the Stan's sealed them again.  So that's seven times that I've managed to avoid being on the side of the road/trail fixing a puncture - to me that means a great deal.  So persist with it!

 

For the record, I have always questioned the viscocity of Stan's and I would definitely go with the 'shake the bottle like mad for ages' thing to ensure that you're using it properly.  I am currently waiting for some Specialized Sawtooth 42c tyres and some Orange seal to see how I fair with them throughout the summer...

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AT80 [2 posts] 6 months ago
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John, how have you found the wheelset (minus the tyre issues)? Considering getting a set for myself and haven't seen any proper reviews on them.

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riotgibbon [231 posts] 6 months ago
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http://www.acycles.co.uk/zefal-tubeless-repair-kit-10369.html

 

don't use the weldtite pipecleaner style repair kits, they just make the holes bigger ...