Tyres - tubeless or not?

Brick  Oct 28th 2006 at 22:48
Dear All,

Just completed my first season of tri and looking to take it a stage further next year with some longer distance triathlons such as Bala next June.

Just wondered wht tyres most triathletes use.

Are tubeless tyres better?

I\'ve had punctures (Blackpool Tri) and I just wanted to know what the thought was on which type of tyre is firstly, quicker, but is also easier to change/repair or be less likely to get a puncture.

Not bothered about cost.


10 replies
Oziem  Oct 30th 2006 at 10:59
I use tubes, havent had any issues. Never had a puncture in a race, and if i did i would just drop out. Changing a tube on a training ride is easy but I\'ve never used tubeless, dunno how easy that is.
"Must tri harder"
Brick  Oct 30th 2006 at 13:17
Which tubes do you reccomend?

I\'m not that uptodate on the prices of tyres and would welcome any advice about much to spend and what is classed as a cheap tyre in terms of cost.

I always believe, you get what you pay for - in most cases!
Chig  Oct 30th 2006 at 16:12
I use Planet X Jet Pro clinchers. they\'re a cross between convential clinchers and tubulars, in that they fit clincher rims, but have no inner tube. They are highly puncture resistant (I also did Blackpool!) and can be inflated to a ridiculous 160Psi. They also come with some gunk which further helps puncture resistance.
The down-side is that they\'re £30 each (more expensive versions are available!!), and if it does puncture (generally only when a side wall rips apparently) you need to carry a spare tyre rather than just a tube. THey\'re also a real bugger to fit - I was advised of very sore hands and lots of swearing after they arrived in the post.
Mine survived Blackpool and, more impressively, Lanzarote, but the gunk blocked the valve on the front tyre, meaning I couldn\'t keep the pressure high enough, and it eventually blew as I careered into one of Lancashire ubiquitous deep potholes.
The back tyre, which I hav a habit of puncturing at a lightweight 13 stone, is still going strong.
Sorry to go on, hope this helps!
Brick  Oct 30th 2006 at 21:19
Yeah, thanks for that. There were 18 punctures at Blackpool out of 130 odd racers! Luckily, I did mine in front of transition, so a short walk.

So, are \'clinchers\' just tubeless but with a different name?

Chig  Nov 10th 2006 at 23:13
Sorry for the delay Brick - could probably have run round quicker as i see you\'re also in God\'s own county.

Clinchers are the standard tyres that fit into the rim, nearly all therefore have inner tubes to stop the air leaking out. Tubulars don\'t have inner tubes - thus tubeless, and have to be glued onto a special type of rim. The ones I\'ve mentioned are a cross between the two, sort of tubeless tyres for convential rims.

Hope that makes sense - if not, phone Tri UK and they\'ll explain

Happy shopping
SteveB  Nov 12th 2006 at 19:57
Hello fellow Lancastrians!

Although I live way down in Dorset, I\'m still a lancy lad at heart!

Have looked through BTA rules and regs and I\'m trying to find out if you get a puncture and you have back up, can you change the wheel over?
At my first tri earlier this year I arranged for the wife to be half way on bike course just in case. It was only a short one! Don\'t know if I would have been disqualified for that?
kittoph  Nov 13th 2006 at 18:04
tubulars - glue onto the rim. advantages: lighter than equivalent clincher; take higher pressure and therefore allegedly less rolling resistance than a clincher; will get you round if you do get a puncture as the object that caused the flat will generally stay in the carcass - air will escape slowly; diadvantages: you will need to carry a spare tyre in case you do flat; you will not get the super high pressure in the tyre with a mini pump (or CO2 cartridge)... - bloody hard to fix if you get a flat - you will need to sort out your stiching skills can\'t fix on the road.

clinchers - pressure got with an inner tube; slight weight penalty over a tub; will blow (i.e. catastrophic loss of air pressure if you puncture); relatively lower pressure and therefore increased rolling resistance (not really convinced by this arguement); you can fix relatively quickly at the side of the road if you do flat; need to carry spare tube only....Mini pump can get sufficient pressure if you are determined and have enough patience, CO2 cartridges provide a quick alternative. Always someone in the group with a spare in an emergency.....

Tubular Clinchers - a hybrid - I have used TUFO and the planet X for racing and training, nice riding tyres but if you get a puncture you will end up throwing the tyre out (at <>30 notes per tyre gets a bit expensive. Gunk only works to fill the flat, it is not permanent and you cannot inflate to the same pressure as without a flat; superglue and the other means of repair do not work. TUFO - bad problems on UK roads with flats.....

Guest  Dec 29th 2006 at 00:09
I\'m using clinchers (american term ?) and have settled on the Vittoria Diamante Pro-Light. 220 TPI, and 160 PSI. also, lightweight @ ~170g (it all helps !)

RichG  Dec 29th 2006 at 01:01
From my 20 odd years in the saddle (I know, I know..... I look too young) I would absolutely say that clinchers and inner tubes are completely fine to use. Tubeless tyres may indeed give you some small advantage, but unless you have a back up car following you around everyday with a change of wheels for when you puncture, like a Tour De France Pro, then why not use them? But mortals should keep to the convenience of normal clinchers.

If you are the kind of person that will spend wads of cash on changing your bottle cage bolts to super light weight titanium to loose 0.00586 of a gram, then maybe tubeles is for you.

One note of caution if you do use them though, punctures can be a lot more severe than with clinchers, and if not fitted properly there is always the potential for the bloody thing to come off the rim - remember Beloki\'s crash coming down a mountain in the Tour De France when Lance Amrstrong did some impromptu cyclo cross through a field? OUCH!!
SteveB  Jan 11th 2007 at 20:54
I find that clinchers with CO2 cartridges the best to use for a quick change when puncturing. I just keep a small plastic tyre removing tool in a saddle bag with a couple of cartridges, the CO2 pump and a spare tube. Sad but true I find it helps to practice removing tyres/tubes and putting them back on again!! This I have to do regular at the moment as my wheels need drying out after every ride!
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