Author Topic: Tyres and Tribulations  (Read 964 times)

Lonerider

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Tyres and Tribulations
« on: February 21, 2022, 07:45:13 PM »
Less than 10 months after buying my Mercury I'm in a quandary about tyres.

My original thought was to buy a bike fitted with tubeless tyres. I have them on my other bike. However, after discussion with SJS I decided on Schwalbe G-One Allround with tubes filled with sealant. This autumn and winter has seen a number of punctures and all have failed to self-seal therefore requiring wheel removal and tube replacement. I have found removing and refitting the tyres very difficult and onerous. Something I could do without in the rain.

I have read a lot about the pros and cons of tubeless. One of the main 'cons' is that they are difficult to remove and refit if tyre damage is too bad for the sealant to cope and a tube has to be fitted. Well to be honest, I can't see anything more difficult than removing/refitting my existing tyres in cold weather. The beads are solid. Due to being tubeless ready? I am loathed to use levers to get them back on but have not been able fit the tyres without one.

If I had been riding my other bike it would have been a case of remove the thorn, spin the wheel then ride on. To date, no doubt now cursed, I have never had to remove a tubeless tyre so don't know how bad they are to remove/refit should a tube be necessary. Worse than a Schwalbe? Also, I carry plugs and an applicator. Again, never required.

So. Tubeless or tubes? Not that simple I'm sure as puncture protection is a factor. My experience, limited, of Schwalbe is not good. More punctures in ten months than in three years on my other bike. Puncture resistance of my Schwalbe tyres seems to be inferior to previous experience of WTB tyres and Specialized Armadillo.

Options seem to be:

A. Go tubeless and run the risk of struggling to fit a tube if necessary.
B. Try different Schwalbe tyres, more puncture resistant, and struggle to replace a tube if necessary.
C. Use tyres, with tubes, that are easier to fit on the rims should tube replacement be required. I've seen some tyres, mainly on road bikes, that can be removed and fitted by hand.

One thing I do know. Using sealant in a tube is a waste of time and money. Won't be doing that again!

What to do?

Best

Ray


PH

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2022, 08:39:04 PM »
What are the rims? The fitting issue might be either. pr both, tyre and rim.
I like Schwalbe Supreme and Schwalbe Almotion, I'd been running one as a summer tyre and the other for the mucky months, but there's very little difference, so as they wear I might revise that.  Puncture protection is good for such light tyres, there is of course a huge dollop of luck, but anecdotally I average a puncture every 4,500 miles (Yes I am sad enough to record them).
My E-bike came with G-One Allround, not impressed, I changed the rear after four punctures in less than 2,000 miles, OK that's mostly urban riding and might just be a dollop of bad luck, but touch wood I haven't had one since (Though I changed it for a heavy tyre I'm not recommending for your use)

I don't know anything about tubeless, that's unlikely to change, I have a fair bit of interchangeability between bikes, I don't want to confuse it (Or myself) Then I might like it too much and need to change all the wheels...

Lonerider

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2022, 09:21:48 PM »
PH - thank you for your response.

Never thought about the rims! The rims are DT Swiss R460db at the rear and R460 at the front. Reading further suggests that the rims have a hooked interface and are tubeless compatible. Perhaps that has a bearing on the problems experienced. I'm not in a position to have new non-TLE ready rims made so, as both the tyres and the rims are designed to run tubeless, tubeless might be my best option.

No doubt the tyres will need to be replaced as sealant will automatically be expelled through holes from previous punctures.

Thanks again,

Ray




Moronic

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2022, 11:13:19 PM »
Hi Ray,

What size tyres are you running?

If it's any help, I'm running 650b x 50mm G-One Speeds tubeless on my Mercury and I'm delighted with the results. I've had one serious puncture, repaired in a minute or so with a Dynaplug. I've had one slow puncture that I didn't pick up and that fully deflated and unseated the tyre overnight. That arose because I had let the sealant dry out. I replaced the sealant, had a shop reflate the tyre, and have not even needed to plug the hole: the sealant alone did the job.

I have bought a light compressor and Presta valve inflation head so that I can unseat and reseat the tyres every few months to top up the sealant. With the compressor, this is a five minute job.

I think it's unlikely one of my high volume tyres would deflate fast enough on the road to unseat before I repaired it. In case that happens, I carry a tube on significant rides.

If you're running much narrower tyres things may not be so clear cut, as the Dynaplug only works while a tyre is partially inflated and has enough resistance that you can force the plug in. That may be why Thorn recommended tubes. Interesting to hear of your disappointing results with those.



mickeg

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2022, 02:49:31 AM »
I have never run tubeless and have no plans to do so.  On a different forum about a year and a half ago there was a long thread on running tubeless tires for randonneuring (or audax), thus on pavement (tarmac) and narrower tires.  That might provide some insight.
https://www.bikeforums.net/long-distance-competition-ultracycling-randonneuring-endurance-cycling/1215675-ready-give-up-tubeless-road-tires.html

Although I have not used tubeless, I have tried to stay current on the latest, and there is a big difference in tubeless and tube type rims.  When I look at rim cross sections, the tubeless type rims clearly have a different shape to hold on to the bead tighter.  The following cross sections are from Velocity rims:

I am using Dyad 700c rims on my light touring bike, note the cross section shape, this is a tube type rim:
https://www.velocityusa.com/product/rims/dyad-622

The A23 is a tubeless type rim of similar dimensions, note the shelf that the bead sits on in the cross section, you can easily imagine that the bead on that rim is not going to want to come off very easy.
https://www.velocityusa.com/product/rims/a23-622

You may need different tools than plain tire levers for tubeless.

That said, I know some people that have tubeless on wider mountain bike tires, and they love them.

I regularly ride about a half dozen bikes each year, and if you have to maintain your sealant every year or maybe a few times a year, and then multiply that by a half dozen bikes, suddenly my sticking to inner tubes makes a lot of sense.  I average one puncture a year, and I am quite sure I spend less time each year fixing a flat than I would maintaining sealant on a dozen wheels.

Moronic

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2022, 04:59:00 AM »
Yes mickeg even at 5 min per tyre three times a year that's three hours a year maintaining sealant for your 12 wheels.

I've realised from reading Ray's post more carefully that he also runs a bike on tubeless tyres. Apologies Ray if I've told you stuff you already know.

JohnR

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2022, 06:56:11 AM »
My Mercury came with G-One Speed tubeless and I had 1500 trouble-free miles until winter approached and I swapped the tyres for Panaracer GravelKing SKs (more grip) which, despite getting an air tank, I could not get to seat tubeless inspite of being suitable tyres. After removing the G-Ones I cleaned then and checked for punctures. IIRC there was one on the front and more than 10 on the rear - perhaps the greater loading made it easier for sharp objects to penetrate. I also noticed that there was very little wet sealant remaining in the rear tyre. I had one puncture in the Gravelkings soon after fitting and then had no more punctures until I did the next tyre change.

My recent bike build is running with tubeless GravelKings which seated with no problems on the rims I have on that bike. I've never worried about damaging tyre beads when fitting them. My bigger worry is refitting a tyre as tubeless in the middle of nowhere if there's major damage which needed a tyre boot but the solution is to carry an inner tube and use that until somewhere with a good pump can be reached.

PH

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2022, 10:08:01 AM »
Never thought about the rims! The rims are DT Swiss R460db at the rear and R460 at the front. Reading further suggests that the rims have a hooked interface and are tubeless compatible. Perhaps that has a bearing on the problems experienced.
It's outside my experience, but everything I've read suggests tyres are likely to be harder to fit/remove from tubeless rims regardless of whether you're using a tube or not.
Even without the experience, I'd be inclined to think if they're intended to be tubeless and you're happy with the technology that's probably the way to run them.

Lonerider

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2022, 10:55:48 AM »
Morning all - well it was at the time of writing.

Thank you all for the insightful comments. Much appreciated.

Moronic - the tyres are 700c x 38mm. The largest I could get away with, whilst retaining mudguards, is 40mm. I too carry a Dynaplug. Tubeless on my gravel bike has never let me down. Apology not necessary. All comments welcome.

Mickeg - thank you for the link and comment about different tools/levers.

JohnR - reassuring about tubeless. I will look at GravelKings. They were a contender for my gravel bike (650b) but I went for WTB Byways. Not too sure but I don't think WTB are available in the size I would need on the Mercury. I always carry tubes and a boot on my gravel bike just in case.

PH - your comment about fitting any tyre to a tubeless rim ring true with my recent experience.

So. The options seem to be; new rims to facilitate tyres with tubes or go tubeless. As Worzel Gummidge used to say "Time to put my thinking head on".

Thanks again

Best

Ray




mickeg

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2022, 12:57:49 PM »
One more option to keep you rolling when you get a puncture that won't seal.  All I know is what I have seen here, I know nothing else.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66KPtappr-c

And here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAmApY12lOA

So, since those things sit in the low spot on the rim where you need to get your bead when you remove tires, for sure special tools will be needed.  Sounds like a fix you want to only do at home.

steve216c

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2022, 02:52:45 PM »
Hi Lonerider,

There are differences between individual models that tyre manufactures make. From personal experience, the Schwalbe Marathon Plus models I have on various family bikes do what they promise on puncture resistance and for which I am grateful NOT to have been caught out in the cold on a rainy day having to fix a flat while running late for an important meeting.

Saying that, a Schwalbe Marathon Plus checks all the boxes on puncture resistance, but does not roll as well as e.g. Schwalbe's Big Apple or Cityline tyres in the same size. For me, as a 20 mile a day commuter, the priority to me is reliability and puncture proof ability over a slightly sportier or slightly more comfortable ride of the other two- which might shave a couple of minutes of from my commute- but are more likely to cost me 20 minutes or more if I ride over something sharp. When the bikes I have with the latter mentioned tyres require new rubber, I will almost certainly get Marathon Plus tyres just to save me the likely bother of getting a puncture.

I have tried adding self sealant to non Marathon tyres but found they the sealant seems to make the bike roll less well too, and where the Marathon Plus offers me the best compromise for my circumstances. The other downside of sealant I have experienced is that sealant has caused 'slow' punctures by not letting the valve close fully. I generally choose car-valve tubes (so I can pump at petrol stations if I want) which may be more susceptible to sealant stopping the valve close correctly over alternative valve options.

Good luck at finding the right tyre for you. Wishing you a long and flat free experience  ;D

It really depends on you and your riding style. If speed is your thing, then puncture resistant tyres are not going to be your first choice. If you are happy to trade
If only my bike shed were bigger on the inside...

Lonerider

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2022, 04:46:43 PM »
Hi Steve - thank you for your comments.

My riding requirements are similar to yours. Not interested in speed. I count the smiles not the miles! Functionality and reliability are my key requirements. As I get older hassle free is good. I'll take a look at the Marathon Plus option.

Something was bugging me about my most recent 'puncture' so I went bin diving to recover the tube for further investigation. Interesting! Before fitting the new tube I had thoroughly inspected the tyre carcass and the rim tape. No obvious signs of a problem. Hence my unease about things. With the benefit of a comfortable sofa and a good cup of coffee I looked at the tube again. The leak was on the inside of the tube and could not have resulted from something sharp on the road. Having eliminated problems with rim tape and spokes I looked really closely at the tube. There seemed to be a lack of rubber on the seam of the tube where the leak occurred. As I run the tyres at the pressures recommended by Thorn, I should not have fallen foul on friction and movement between tube and tyre. It looks as though the tube failed. It was a Schwalbe Extralight. The replacement is an Air Plus hopefully that will be more robust.

The position of the leak also offers an explanation as to why the sealant did not work. The damage, albeit small, was linear not something like a thorn puncture. That combined with centrifugal force 'throwing' the sealant to the outer edge of the tube resulted in a failure to seal. Lessons learnt!
I've posted a couple of images.

Happy cycling.

Ray


KDean

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2022, 09:56:41 AM »
I've seen some chap running   a Ryde Andra 30  rim tubeless apparently successfully .Has anyone else tried it ? I've written to  Ryde  for there thoughts .

Moronic

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2022, 09:57:30 AM »
Really interesting result, Ray. Thanks for posting as it mitigates somewhat the anecdotal failures of the tube plus sealant solution.

Nevertheless from your post it doesn't account for most of those failures.

I'd have thought a 700c x 38 tyre would be on the border of being pluggable tubeless, so I would see that as a sound option to explore.

OTOH my riding is mainly on cycle paths and gravel roads and tracks, where puncturing debris is less prevalent than on tarmac roads shared with motor vehilces. And I have still had a couple of deflating punctures in less than a couple of thousand miles (albeit well serviced sealant would have auto-repaired the second). So I can see why a move to a more resistant tyre tread might be prudent for your use envelope.

PH

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Re: Tyres and Tribulations
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2022, 05:30:53 PM »
My riding requirements are similar to yours. Not interested in speed. I count the smiles not the miles! Functionality and reliability are my key requirements. As I get older hassle free is good. I'll take a look at the Marathon Plus option.
Ray
Well, Marathon Plus get a few mentions on here. IMO they're the surest way to take the smiles out of my riding.  They're great in the scenario where a puncture is a disaster, but as soon as you mitigate that, I don't understand why anyone would take a three grand bike and dilute it's attributes.