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Tubeless vs tubular tires

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    Tubeless vs tubular tires

    I had my first flat on my commute today (on my ebike). I've had many flats on my road bike before, but this one actually threw me for a spin (pun intended). I think I hit some glass in the road and it created a hole in my tubeless MTB tires too big for the sealant to fix. In other words, I was stranded. Luckily a coworker drove me to the LBS. I was able to get home with a shoe-string patch repair. I've been meaning to buy some semi-slick road tires for my ebike. It is a 2013 Trek Marlin with 29 inch wheels. Well, I just ordered a couple 29 inch semi slick tires on amazon and a few new tubes to go with them. I also ordered tire liners. The tires I ordered are the WTB comp city tires. After all that, I am wondering what thoughts are on tubeless vs tubular tires for city commuting. I've always used tubular for commuting myself and the feeling of getting stranded if a tubeless puncture is too big to seal is not one that I want to ever experience again. At least with tubular I know that any flat can be fixed with a spare tube. However, tubeless tires are not as prone to the tire rolling off the rim in the event of a blow-out. That would not be good going 30mph on the street...

    #2
    Don't forget about pinch flats. You can get pinch flats with a tube, but not with tubeless setups.

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      #3
      I am a total noob, but everything I have read says to go tubeless and use Stan's sealents and put more in every 2 to 7 months. 5 stars on amazon with 450 reviews. I just bought the delux 500 and I'm hoping those convert to tubeless. Anyone know if they do?

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        #4
        I used to have a terrible problem getting flats. I made the following adjustments, and I haven't had any flats since:

        (1) I became very diligent in looking in the road for debris (this can only be done up to about 35 mph),
        (2) I use a lot of green slime,
        (3) I use old tubes (with a slit in them and the valve cut out) as additional tire liners,
        (4) I use 2-3 Mr. Tuffy tire liners in each tire,
        (5) I made an extreme tire liner out of a motorcycle tire (this is completely bombproof), and
        (6) I switched from a standard frame to a midtail frame which served to move my weight forward.

        My tires are very heavy, but it doesn't matter because I have a motor.

        You can also use your used tires (with the sidewalls cut off) as an additional tire liner. I have actually taken the time to cut off and smooth down all of the knobbies.
        Last edited by commuter ebikes; 04-07-2017, 11:56 PM.

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          #5
          I run tubeless on my fatbikes with thin 120 tires. Ride a lot of road shoulders with debris, no flat in 1000+ miles. Well, some, but sealed and not noticed until I changed tires. I don't use more than 10psi, though, and I suspect that helps a lot. Chunks of glass and such simply can't make much pressure against a soft tire and don't seem to damage it.

          I carry one spare tube in case I get a big hole.
          Fabrication is fun! Build something today. Show someone. Let them help. Inspire and share. Spread the desire.

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            #6
            Thanks for all the input. Now I'm considering returning the tires I just got and going tubeless...the ones I just got have a metal bead, so I doubt they would run tubeless. My stock MTB tires are 29x2.2 and since I'm using this for commuting I've had a hard time finding tubeless 29 tires for the road. Lots of 700c tires out there, but the width is just not quite right. The WTB city tires I just got seem like the best street tires for my bike, but I'll need to run tubes. Maybe I'll just hand on to these for the next year or so and see how it goes. However, I just spent $100 on these new wheels and tubes. I could use that money to go tubeless. Hmmm any recommendations for a tubeless tire that would fit a 29er for commuting? I've checked the forums, but havn't found an answer to this question. Again, I know I can run 700c, but the width is the issue.

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              #7
              Schwalbe makes a lot of slick 29/700c in 2.0-2.35" sizes, some with extra flat protection.

              Big Apples are great tires.
              https://www.biketiresdirect.com/prod...ance-line-tire

              https://www.schwalbetires.com/node/5255
              https://www.schwalbetires.com/bike_t...big_apple_plus

              FYI, tubular tires are a specific type of bike tire where the tube and tire are one unit and are glued onto the rim, you're talking about clincher tires that are set up either tubed or tubeless.

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