5 best reasons to use tubeless tires

Tubeless tire setups have some very clear advantages over tubed setups

Tires
Dynaplug MTB Tubeless Tire Repair Kit Gash Puncture

There are now many tubeless repair kits in the market that are easy to use.

One of the greatest advances in the last few years is the migration of mountain bikes toward tubeless tires. Are there any proven advantages to this setup over the traditional inner tube systems?

Reasons to go tubeless:

1. Tubeless is lighter. 200 grams per bike lighter equates to 600 gram difference since it is rotating weight.

2. Tubeless tires get less punctures. The sealant repairs most trail punctures.

3. Tubeless results in less snakebite punctures.

4. Tubeless results in more grip since one can run lower pressures.

5. Tubeless tires give more compliance and a smoother ride.

Agree or disagree? Any that we missed?

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • jjj says:

    The weight savings thing is bollocks. A sensible amount of fluid will weigh more, 250ml is 400g or something like that, and its all at the outer edge so increase the rotational slightly.
    Also on non bikepark rides you’ll carry at least one tube as a backup anyway.

    But the punctures are a whole lot less. Rolling resistance im still not convinced is better, especially with lower pressures.

    It is an improvement over tubes but theres a lot of promo hype too.

    • Phil Jones says:

      250ml of sealant weighs about 255 grams (weigh it if you don’t believe me)… Futhermore sealant doesn’t effectively increase rotational weight because it’s free to move within the tire (unlike a tube) so creates negligible rotational inertia. The improvement in rolling resistance is documented literally by anyone who has ever ridden it, and in every lab that has ever done a rolling resistance test.

  • luke says:

    “1. Tubeless is lighter. 200 grams per bike lighter equates to 600 gram difference since it is rotating weight.” – sure. All the while average 29″ tube weights less than 200g and tubeless tire has to be thicker and sealant adds to total weight (and results in wheel balance issues). Having used tubeless for one season I can’t confirm all the remaining 4 benefits either. Possibly I did not care much for a difference much to forget all the tubeless setup issues that convinced to go back to messless setup.

  • Joe says:

    Weight: I use just under one of those Notubes cups of sealant per tire. I’m guessing (since it’s slightly less dense than water) that runs about 80-100 grams per tire. jjj, you use over 8 ounces per tire? Seriously?
    Punctures: I haven’t had a puncture or snakebite, running here in Utah (including the desert where cacti grow) in ten years.
    Pressures: I run as low as 15 PSI front on 2.6″ tires with that 3 ounces or so of sealant. Not sure what a tube would weigh for those tires. About 20 PSI rear with no issues.
    The whole “rotating weight argument is nonsense, except in getting the tire up to speed. Once it’s up to speed, a kilogram is a kilogram when you’re dragging it up 3000 feet.

  • Midgemagnet says:

    I get a lighter setup with Conti RaceSport flavour tyres and a latex inner tube (c. 130 g). The rolling resistance is about the same as tubeless, I don’t have to carry a spare tube, they’ve got good thorn and pinch-flat resistance, and – more importantly for me – I can fix any tyre disaster on the trail by packing a puncture repair kit, a bit of old tube and a bit of old sidewall (for patching sidewall blowouts), and a spare valve cut off an old tube.

    If I went tubeless I’d have to run heavier Conti ProTection carcasses as the RaceSport sidewalls tend to ooze sealant. I’d be tempted by tubeless if a lived in cactus country, but I don’t, so I don’t. Latex tubes have their own issues (daily inflation required, needs dusting with talc, fussy about certain rim tapes), but on balance that suits me much better than the pros and cons of a tubeless setup.

  • TimB says:

    Huh? is this a joke? Tubeless has been around since 2000 when the first UST tyres actually hit the market. Notubes, introduced their first tubeless bodge in 2001 and it worked! I’ve been using tubeless exclusively since 2000, yip 17 years and its never been a problem. Why the need for an article on going tubeless??!! Do people still need convincing? This is not as ground breaking as convincing the church that the earth isn’t flat….

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