Are you ready to join the tubeless revolution? Tubeless tyres are the new go-to for fast, comfy fun on the bike, whether you ride road, MTB or gravel. Not sure what the fuss is about? Find out all you need to know about tubeless tyres with PRO BIKE TOOL’s quick guide!
What is a tubeless tyre?
Bicycle tyres fall into two main types, tubular and clincher. Tubeless tyres fall within the ‘clincher’ category. Typical ‘tubed’ clincher tyres are a semi-circular shape and contain a removable inner tube. Air pressure inside the tube secures the tyre ‘bead’ to the wheel rim.
The tubeless clincher has the same shape as its tubed cousin, and is also held onto the rim of the wheel with air pressure. However – you guessed it – there is no inner tube inside. In the absence of an inner tube, air is held inside the tyre by liquid sealant.
Why go tubeless?
The main benefit of tubeless tyres is their ability to resist punctures – that’s why MTB riders love them! The sealant inside a tubeless tyre acts as a ‘bung’ that seals any small holes made in the rubber, meaning you don’t lose air and get a flat like you would do in a traditional ‘tubed’ clincher.
However a tubeless set-up is totally puncture-proof – a large hole or gash is unlikely to be sealed by sealant as the particles that make up the gloopy liquid are too small to plug the gap. But there’s good news!
You can also use a traditional tube inside the tyre if you need to solve a puncture. Or even better than that, PRO BIKE TOOL’s tubeless repair kits give you a much faster fix (see more on this below...)!
Clincher tyres with tubes need to be run at high air pressure to prevent the ‘pinch-flats’ caused by hard compressions when you ride over a large stone or pothole.
With a tubeless set-up, there is no inner tube to ‘pinch’ and so you can run pressure as low as around 50psi on a road tyre or 10psi on a mountain bike tyre. The result of running lower pressures? More comfort, more grip, more fun!
Low tyre pressure minimises bumping on the road surface – meaning you
‘glide’ rather than bounce, and gain more momentum.
Before you go tubeless, there’s some things to consider. Here are the key factors to think about before you make the change:
Rims / Wheels:
Some wheels may not be instantly ready for a tubeless set-up and will require a conversion. Many wheels that are currently under production are tubeless-ready however.
Preparing a tyre to run tubeless is relatively straightforward – you just need to use rim tape to cover the spoke holes in the rim. We recommend you use two layers of tubeless-specific rim tape for this to totally minimise the risk of leakage.
Considerations - Tools
Tubeless Tyre Repair Kits
If you do get a puncture that can’t be repaired by sealant, rather than inserting a tube, you can use our Tubeless Repair Kit to plug the hole! The kit comprises a rubberised piece of rope and a needle – you simply use the thin needle to ‘ram’ the rope in the hole and create a plug. It’s fast, failsafe, and mess-free.