Some people seem to have an impression of infallibility when it comes to tubeless bike tyres. I guess it makes sense having seen some of the marketing hype. Unfortunately some of that marketing hype makes other cynical types call it all hype and set their stall out at the other extreme. But in some ways I think that’s just indicative of the days that we’re living in today. The extremes taking entrenched positions and backing up their own views with a narrow slice of internet ‘evidence’. Enough of the philosophy though, let’s get back to bikes! I like to give an even and reliable account, so here’s an update of my recent tubeless tyre experiences.
When I was out riding in the lakes back in August I had a puncture in my rear tyre. I was running tubeless at the time and initially it seemed to have sealed and in fact at the time I wasn’t sure if I’d heard air escaping or whether I’d had a leaf caught in my frame, brakes or otherwise. It was only a couple of hours and several hills later, that I had a complete deflation and was certain of what I’d heard earlier on.
So, as I would have done had I been running tubes, I fitted a spare tube and carried on my ride. Anyway, since then I have been riding around with a tube in my rear tyre. Today I had a moment to remove the tube, refit the tyre and refill the sealant, so I did. It pumped up fine, leaked a bit of sealant, sealed, pumped up some more, leaked a little less, sealed again and pumped up to final running pressure.
I then went out for a ride. During the ride I had another moment of pressure loss, just a small amount, enough to hear but not to make it feel soft when riding. I then stopped and topped up the air and now it seems to be well and truly sealed. Some holes are a bit more awkward than others and this one has indeed taken a bit of fiddling about with. Maybe I should get one of these repair kits – https://amzn.to/30Uc619 – it’s a smaller version of what they use to repair car tyres.
So while I was tending to my rear tyre I decided to top up the sealant in my road bike’s front tyre and both of my mountain bike’s tyres. That was nice and easy, no issues there. Then I went around the family bikes in the garage and discovered that my eldest daughter’s rear tyre was flat. It’s not tubeless and had been victim to a thorn. So I did a tube swap on her bike and patched the old tube. Then as I always do, I pumped up the repaired tube and left it hanging in the garage overnight to check that my repair was good.
So I guess the moral of my story this week is that tubes or tubeless, you can get punctures either way. As I began with – nothing is infallible. As for me I still prefer tubeless though! 🙂