Tubeless Road Tires


Must say the tubeless tires I went with after reading your thread have been great on my Shamal wheels which have rims desigined for them. According to Zinn on Velonews the tubeless specific rims have an extra little ridge at the end of the tire hooks deigned to match a little flat in the tire. I only got a seal on 1 of the 3 non-tubeless rims I tried to convert.

Have you used Stan’s rims? I heard they are tough to get the tires on. But it was no picnic getting them on the Shamals either.

This topic was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by mootsman.

This topic was modified 7 years, 1 month ago by mootsman.

20 Replies

David, October 8, 2013 at 3:10 pm

I use Stan’s Alpha 340 rims. It isn’t too hard get the tires on using Hutchinson Fusion 3. Make sure you have the tire down in the drop channel and finish at the valve stem so it doesn’t take up room.

Since “not to hard” has some judgement call. I don’t usually use tire levers when installing tires. However, when installing new Fusion 3 on the 340s I had to use tire levers.
I like Park Tool’s TL-4 levers better than the normal plastic levers.


Iceman, October 8, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I had two sets of wheels built with Stans Rims and my own choice of hubs. I put regular “J” bend spokes on them to avoid any problems on multi-day rides like RAGBRAI (just try finding Campy asymetric spokes in rural Iowa).

The first set of Stan’s Alpha 340’s were easy for mounting tires and I used them with both the Hutchinson Fusion 2’s (now discontinued) and 3’s. One of the rims cracked – Stans got a bad batch from the manufacturer the first year – and the replacement has been fine. You should also know that Stans is planning to beef up the 340’s just a little.

The second set of Stan’s were Alpha 400’s. Just a little heavier than the 340’s but you’ll never know it and they are double walled so as to stand up to road use and cyclocross use, etc. My favorites.

Stans says that eyelets are not necessary on the 340 and 400 rims but if you are heavier (200+), have them built with eyelets and make sure they use loctite or spoketight or something similar to keep the nipples from loosening. I have used the Hutchinson Secteurs (28mm) for the 400’s and rougher riding as I like the wider tire for that – but make sure they will clear your brakes and your fork if you envision using them on your road bike (hint – an Easton EC 90 or EC70 will not allow you to use the Hutchinson Secteurs; they hit on the top of the fork).

The poster above – David – is right. None of the Hutchinson tubeless clinchers were hard for me to mount on the Stans rims and I’ve converted a bunch of “regular clincher” wheels for friends – used to ride some converted Mavic CXP33’s and some Mavic Open Pros.

David is especially correct about moving the tire into the “drop channel” when mounting tubeless clincher tires on either the Stans Alpha 340’s and 400’s. Stans has a video on its website about that – it’s worth watching.

When I mount a tubeless clincher on a Stan’s rim (which does not require a rim strip but DOES require a double wrap of Stans yellow mylar tape in place of regular rim tape), it is easier to use a compressor. I have a cheap $50 compressor in my garage to air my car tires so, when you first mount them, use the compressor (often times a floor pump works as well) to “set the edges” of the tire on the rim. Then let the air out but keep the tires on the rims and install the Stans (or other brand of your choice) of sealant. I prefer the Stans – it seals nearly everything and it cleans with water.

I always use a valve with a removable core – just use the $4 core remover tool Stans sells and remove the core, put in 2 oz of sealant, then put the core back in and inflate the tire – the floor pump works easily after the edges have been set. The little 2 oz Stans bottles are perfect.

I would also recommend putting one extra valve core and maybe on extra valve in your saddle bag in case you break a valve or its core when inflating. And I’d recommend a $2 presta/schroeder adapter for your bag as well. I keep mine handy because my compressor (for my cars) has a Schroeder head and the adapter lets me inflate the Presta.

Of course, I keep a tube and CO2 in my saddle bag. Used in tube in almost 3 years with tubeless – glass put a 1/2 long cut in my tire which nothing would seal but I threw a tube and continued my ride with no problems.


mootsman, October 9, 2013 at 7:41 am

Thanks David and Iceman,

I’ll try the Park Tool levers.

I’ve been using Stan’s core remover and sealant injector on my Shamals and they work fine. The 1 cut type flat I got did spray sealant all over the place. The time putting in the tube was mostly about cleaning up the sealant.

Good to know that Stan’s rims pose no issue getting tires on them. I’m going with the 400s for better durability. I’ve watched Stan’s video and as long as I coat the tire side surface of the rim with soapy water (like the video shows) it seals the bead just fine with a floor pump. Although if compressors are that reasonable I may get one.

Thanks again guys….


Iceman, October 9, 2013 at 8:14 am

Mootsman, I know the soapy water helps mount the tire (if they are stubborn) but it’s not all that hard to mount without it. I’ve used in only once, never bothered after that. So, don’t worry about not having soapy water on the road if you have a cut too big for the sealant to work as you can re-mount the tire after putting in a tube.

Just make sure you don’t use metal tire tools. They eat up tubeless clinchers.


David, October 9, 2013 at 12:07 pm

Isn’t the soapy water supposed to help make the seal, not make the physically easier to get the tire in place? In any case I find that once I need to take them off on the road the tires have stretched a bit and are easier than the initial install. I don’t use soapy water any more either.

I have noticed that as the rims near 2 years old that Stans mylar tape is pulling down into the spoke holes. This doesn’t impact the seal once mounted in any way but it creates enough gaps when the tire is down in the drop channel that it is much harder to get a seal with a floor pump. I could replace the tape, I am not sure if other people have seen that issue. I don’t have a compressor (apartment) but recently I purchased a 10 gallon tank and a replacement floor pump hose to install that hopefully will be easier to get them to seal. I find that you don’t need a lot of pressure to get them to seal, but a brief period of consistent air is most helpful. A couple times when forced to use CO2 (which isn’t a great idea with tubeless) I have used a Portland Design Works CO2 which lets you use only a small blast of CO2. Just cracked open the tires always seal right up. But I don’t like using CO2 with the sealant even keeping the valve stem away from the sealant to avoid the cold. I suspect that the CO2 itself and not just the cold might affect the sealant. It certainly leaks through the rubber much faster than our normal nitrogen rich air. My horribly small sample size testing found that the using CO2 (added when the valve stem was in the up position to be away from the sealant) that the sealant had turned to strings and balled up in the tire in less than a month. It could also be that CO2 is very dry while normal air has a lot of moisture that is compressed when you fill your tires. That alone maybe the the cause instead of the CO2 chemically reacting with the sealant but I would recommend against using it even if you are careful to keep the cold blast away from the sealant. Of course it is fine to use in your tube replacements or side of the road fixes. I have sometimes had my tires seal after losing more pressure than I wanted so used CO2 to raise it back up and then patched the hole once home.

Stans sealant cleans fairly well with a little soap and water. I wouldn’t be too worried about cleaning up your bike frame on the side of the road. But I don’t know where the sealant got to in your case, just I have been surprised how easily it cleans up later. It sure does help keep dirt clinging until you do get it cleaned. And if someone is drafting off you they just might notice your flat first 🙂 (true story)


Iceman, October 9, 2013 at 2:04 pm

David, I think the soapy water both lubricates the tire (making it easier to seat when you first mount the tire) as well as act to indicate where you leaks are. After all, not everyone actually uses sealant although I think it’s silly not to use sealant.

And yes, the tires stretch and loosen a little after initial mounting and use. At least the Hutchinson tubeless clinchers do but I cannot vouch for other brands – but I bet they do too. My tubed clinchers always were easier to mount after some use.

I also thought about buying a cheap 10 gallon air tank but my compressor (which I use for both my car tires and a nail gun) made that a moot point. I assume you have a presta head on the air tanks hose but I’d still buy one of those $2 schraeder to presta converter (screw in) tools. I keep one at home and another in my saddle bag although I’ve never had to use it on the road.

You’re right about C02. Use it sparingly if you are using Stans sealant (other sealant may or may not have same issue) and it is is already in the tire – best to put the valve at 12 o’clock position and wait a minute for the sealant to run down to 6 o’clock position or it may congeal from the cold C02. That’s the advice for out on the road but in your garage you could just as easily use C02 to initially seat a tubeless clincher (prior to putting in sealant), then deflate and add sealant and then use floor pump to reinflate. I know several folks who do not have compressors that do it that way and it works quite well.


mootsman, October 9, 2013 at 2:09 pm

Iceman, I only use the soapy water at home the 1st time I put on a new tire so the tire bead slides easily to engage the rim and seal correctly the 1st time. On the road of course there would be no point in making a repair that way since I install a tube then.

David, interesting about how the sealant balled up into a lump on you that 1 time. It happened to me once also and might have been the one time I used a CO2 cartridge instead of the floor pump for a new tire at home. I’m not real concerned about cleaning up the sealant well on the road, just enough so it doesn’t attract too much dirt, especially if its on the chain.


Iceman, October 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Oh yes, David, I replace my mylar tape every 12 or 18 months. I just feel it to see if it is brittle about every third or fourth time I put in sealant. That’s generally a good time to clean out any congealed sealant so inspecting the mylar is easy.

And, it’s not a bad idea – when you pull the tire to clean it out – to check carefully for glass or wire or thorns in the tire. I’ve had up to a dozen thorn or glass pieces, all of which stayed in the tire and which the Stans sealant plugged more or less permanently. So why clean the tire? If you do suffer a longer cut that even Stans won’t seal, thorns and glass, etc. which protrude into the inner portion of the tire will puncture a tube if you are forced to use one.


David, October 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm

How are you liking the Secteurs Iceman? I am concerned they wouldn’t clear my frame on my rear wheel. If they are more puncture resistant it might be nice. In the offseason the roads I ride are pretty nasty.
If they are really significantly larger I probably could run them at 60ish PSI. Even with the Fusion 3 I don’t notice much flex with high speed cornering at 70 PSI.


Iceman, October 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm

David, I’ve only had the Secteurs a couple of months so I really cannot say they are more puncture resistant – probably about the same as the Hutchinson Intensives, probably more resistant than the Hutchinson Fusion 3’s and certainly more than the Hutchinson Atoms or Atomicas or whatever Hutchinson calls its lightest tubeless clincher (I don’t use the Atoms which is more of a race tire).

Certainly the Secteurs are better on grass or gravel since they are wider at 28 width and I like them. The Intensives are supposed to be 25’s but all the testers say they are just about 23, same as Fusion 3’s which are advertised as 23’s.

Just out of curiosity, I tried to use the Secteurs on my road bike and the rear tire cleared the frame in the back but apparently they don’t on lots of other frames. The Secteurs would not work up front with my Easton EC90 fork – but it was the height which was a problem as the tire rubbed on the inner top part of the fork. But of course the consistent problem is getting the Secteurs through your rim brakes. It’s easy on my cross bike which has cantilever brakes but regular rim brakes are a problem.

Lynskey (Lynskey bikes) sells some forks they make that don’t have the cantilever posts protruding out the front if you are running disc brakes.


mootsman, October 11, 2013 at 9:04 am

Has anyone tried the Schwalbe Ultremo ZX tubeless yet?


Iceman, October 12, 2013 at 12:42 pm

I read Lennard Zinn’s review in Velo News and the Schwalbe factory rep said the Schwalbe tire was virtually identical in construction to the Hutchinson tubeless tires. So I would guess they are good – but they ought to be given how expensive they are.

And he said it fit almost all rims “by hand” except for Stan’s rims as he said Stan’s don’t make their rims “to industry standards.” Curious statement since I’ve never heard that there are road industry standards for road tubeless rims. Perhaps that is a compliment – I use regular plastic tire tools to mount my Hutchinson tires on my Stans rims – but it’s not a problem.


Iceman, October 14, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Mootsman – one of your prior posts also reminded me to tell you that I “fixed” two Fusion 3’s. I had a fairly large cut on each of them and while neither of them had penetrated the tires all the way and still held air quite nicely, they were long enough cuts for me to worry about the long term durability. I got a tire patch kit for tubeless tires and “pushed” the long rubber plug through the cuts (with a rather evil looking needle like instrument) like you see for patching auto tires.

Then I trimmed the plug from the outside and inside of both tires, and then I put a tire patch on the inside (regular Park Tools patch for tubeless clinchers although lots of other folks make similar patches). Remounted the Fusions a day later and they work fine. One tip – when you use the Parks patch on the inside of the tire, don’t rough up the surface like with patches for tubed tires. Clean the surface with brake fluid and then let it dry before applying the glue and patch.


Iceman, October 15, 2013 at 12:16 pm

Mootsman – there are a bunch of tubeless clincher tires out now. Hutchinson (four models), Schwalbe, Maxxis (Padrone), Bontrager, and a few more. I think until Continental and Michelin come on board with road tubeless (they both did year ago for mountain bike tires) we won’t really see really comprehensive reviews of all tubeless clinchers. It will happen but until then I’ll probably stick with the Hutchinson Fusion 3’s and Secteurs. I have a spare pair of Hutchinson Intensives which are ok but I like the Fusion 3’s a bit more.


Iceman, October 21, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Here is a link to a really interesting Lenard Zinn column.

I have an 11 speed Campy group on my bike and run tubeless compatible wheels on the bike. I find the article very interesting because I now realize I can run an Ultegra or Dura Ace tubeless Shimano compatible wheel (with Shimano hub and with Shimano 11 speed cassette) on my bike. Very few hubs bodies can be changed between Shimano and Campy hubs and it’s expensive for those wheels on which you can.

I have tried, without success, to order Shimano Dura Ace rims by themselves for building up Shimano rims with a Campy hub. So I have always used the Stan’s Alpha 400 tubeless compatible rims and had them built with Campy hubs. And while I like the Stan’s rims, I have heard countless times from my Shimano friends that the Dura Ace tubeless compatible rim is nearly bullet proof – important to me because my weight prevents me from riding Campy wheels and most other wheels that have less than 32 spokes.

So – you guys contemplating running tubeless – your choice of wheels for 11 speed groups just went way up.


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