Help me decide if I should go tubeless

So my current bike is a Tarmac SL5 (56 frame) and I currently have some mavic cosmic elite wheels (ust) with gp 4000s2. I generally ride 5 times a week. 3 on the dumb trainer indoors and two 2-3 hour rides outdoors. Most of my races are Crits. The roads in my local area (uk) are ok but not great, however with the gp4000’s i only had 2 flats last year. Obviously as I get only a couple of flats throughout the season, I’m not really going to benefit from the puncture resistance a great deal. Would the comfort and lower rolling resistance be worth the changeover to tubeless?

No, use latex tubes and you’ll get the comfort and rolling resistance benefits without the hassle of tubeless.

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Even one flat is too many :grin:

Do you know what caused the flats? If pinch flats, tubeless will basically eliminate those - unless you hit something really hard sufficient to make a hole in the tire.

The nice thing about tubeless is you can lower the pressure and get grip and comfort benefits and not have to worry (much) about pinch flats.

If it’s from a nail or glass puncturing the tire, tubeless may help, but it depends on how big the hole/gash in the tire is.

The “hassle” factor of tubeless is very much dependent on your tire/rim combo. And it diminishes over time as you get more used to setting it up.

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Is there any particular latex tubes that you recommend?

Even the pros are going tubeless so for them to do it there must be a significant gain over tubulars, however if you want to see some specs on tubes tho’ have a look at this: https://www.aero-coach.co.uk/inner-tube-rolling-resistance

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I order the vittoria ones on amazon over here (US)

Also this site is great for comparisons: https://www.bicyclerollingresistance.com/road-bike-reviews/compare/continental-grand-prix-5000-2018-vs-continental-grand-prix-5000-latex-tube-vs-continental-grand-prix-5000-tl-2018

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I believe a mixture of the tires being super old as I bought the bike second hand and, it was the sidewall I imagine it was glass/something sharp that caused the flats. As a noob with tubeless I’m not sure which tires combine and fit well the the cosmic elites.

I agree with SeanH.

My experience with road tubeless was a complete hassle. I’d go with latex tubes. I’ve run both Vittoria and Michelin with no problems.

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How many km’s do you generally get out of them? I hear they are quite but not the longest lasting.

I ride probably 6-8,000 miles a year and maybe get a flat or two. If i don’t then eventually the tube may give out at the valve stem but I’d say you’d get a year out of them.

And in my anecdotal experience it was hassle free. All depends on your equipment.

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I’ve switched to tubeless on road and CX and love them. There’s a small learning curve if you want to set them up yourself the first time, but once they are installed and ready they are great and super comfortable. I have GP5000 TL’s on my road bike for road racing and crits.

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We aren’t going to agree on this but I have to point out to the undecided folks that it’s not just the setup. It’s when you get a puncture, sealant may spray all over you and your bike and be a pain to clean up (also permanently stained a pair of my socks). And you still need to carry a tube just in case. Changing a tube is super easy and quick and when you’re only getting 1-2 punctures a year I just don’t think tubeless is worth it.

Now if you’re racing for money or get flats way more often then it’s probably worth it.

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What tyre width would I need to go for to run the lower tyres pressures that make tubeless worthwhile? My gp4000 are 25mm, but im not actually sure how much width I have to play with. Would using the indoor trainer be difficult with tubeless?

I would heartily recommend if you use a wheel on trainer you have a separate wheel with a proper indoor trainer tyre on it, I turned a rubino pro to dust in a couple of months on my trainer before I realised I needed a trainer specific tyre :laughing:

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To be fair that is one of the things on my list to buy. Just waiting for these gp4000’s to finally give up. They’ve had around 1.5 seasons in them and a whole off season on the trainer and they’re still doing all right. :thinking:

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Whether you go tubeless or not, get the GP5000. They are awesome tires. They definitely feel faster to me than the GP4000.

Tubeless will always have it’s teething pains until you learn the ins and outs and all the little tricks. I learned those on my gravel and mtb bike so when I installed the GP5000TLs on my road bike and filled with sealant it was a piece of cake. 2000 miles later I haven’t had a flat yet or, at least one I’ve noticed.

I cannot go up a size in tires (current on 25mm) because of clearance so this whole, go tubeless and run a lower pressure doesn’t work out for me. I’m running 80/85psi on the GP5000TL which is about what I ran on the GP4000. I can seem to run 70/75psi but it feels too close to the limit for my weight.

All my flats in the last two years have been goathead pin hole flats so the tubeless seal-sealing should work perfect for me on the next flat. I may have already got one and didn’t even notice.

Is it a big deal to change a couple of flats per year? Obviously not.

My advice is that if you don’t have prior tubeless experience then just run tubes. It’s an easy choice since you don’t get a lot of flats. If you have a tubeless itch to scratch then go for it.

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Yeah - me neither. It’s probably trial and error to find a combination that works for you.

I ran Spesh turbo tubeless last year it was great. Highly recommend tubeless.

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