#10. New Technology. I’m not saying new technology is always better. But tube tires are ancient technology developed in the 1800s. The auto industry successfully re-engineered the tube tire in the 1950’s and found an alternative method to eliminate the tube without sacrificing functionality. So why has it taking the cycling industry so long to adapt the tubeless tire?
- Related post Road Bikes = Innovation Constipation.
#9. No Tubes. Of course the most obvious reason for tubeless tires is that tubes are no longer needed and have been replaced with sealant that is more effective, lighter, environmentally friendly, and reliable.
#8. Less waste. Tubes can’t be patched forever and sooner or later will outlive their useful life and end up in the landfill. Going tubeless means fewer tubes will make it to the landfill.
#7. Can Still Use Existing Tubes. Going tubeless doesn’t mean you have to trash your tubes. While tubeless tires are very reliable, most cyclists still carry a tube as a last resort if sealant and plugs can’t repair a puncture.
#6 No More Pinch Flats. Without tubes, pinch flats are eliminated. Pinch flats happen when a tube is pinched between the tire and rim causing a puncture that looks like a snake bite with two holes side by side on the tube. Without a tube, pinch flats can’t happen.
- Related post How I Eliminated Flat Tires Forever! Part 4.
#5. More Comfort. Without the chance of a pinch flats, tires can be run at much lower tire pressures giving a more comfortable ride.
- Related post Reduce Tire Pressure.
#4. More Traction. When needed, tire pressure can be reduced to give the sides of the tires more bite to improve traction.
#3. Less Weight. In the world of cycling lighter is always perceived as better. Removing the tube and replacing it with sealant makes wheels lighter and reduces rotational weight.
#2. Better Performance. In general, tube tires have a higher rolling resistance than tubeless. After replacing my tube tires with tubeless tires, I’ve gained a noticeable improvement in performance. In my case it was about a 10% improvement.
- Related post The Most Cost Effective Upgrade for Your Bike.
#1. Fewer flats. The biggest reason for going tubeless is that they are self repairing. While fixing a flat quickly and effectively is a highly coveted skill, it can’t compete with tires that can repair punctures themselves on the fly before a flat happens. You won’t get less punctures with tubeless tires, but you will get less flats. In most cases, I don’t even know I’ve had a puncture until the end of the ride when I find dried sealant that has been sprayed on the back of my seat post from the sealant repairing a puncture.
- Related post Ignorance is Bliss.