Earlier this year after my tubeless tyre got cut and spaffed sealant everywhere, I decided it was just too messy, too much faff and sacked it off to go back to old skool tubes.
So far so good then fast forward to this week and a double slow puncture ruined a great little night ride. It would probably have never happened with a tubeless setup which got me thinking again. Do I go back or use something else?
Something else? Yes, self-sealing tubes.
Now there are pro’s and con’s to every tyre setup. Tubes, Tubeless, Seal-sealing tubes and Tubular if you want to go there too. I’m not going to have a debate, everyone has their opinion but my general thoughts on this are quite straightforward.
For higher volume, lower pressure tyres (MTB, Hybrid, Gravel) – Tubeless is probably better
For lower volume, higher pressure tyres (Road) – I’m not convinced of the benefit vs tubes yet
For me. I like a simple life so mess-free, standard tubes are perfect but I can be a fickle soul and I like the idea of tubeless for puncture resistance rather than rolling resistance. Especially this time of year when farmers cut the hedges. Re-visiting self sealing tubes seems like the perfect compromise so I’ve decided to give it a go again.
Many moons ago (10years+) when I was using my cross bike as you would a gravel bike these days I fitted slime tubes. Remember them? Still going. Famous for their self-sealing green ‘slime’. I never had an issue with them apart from one big 2-3mm tyre cut in the deserted lanes of SW Wales once which went down slowly but did get me home. I thought that was impressive. The only compromises were the weight and if the slime had settled, it could take a while to spin up and spread itself back out evenly around the tyre/tube under the inertia of the wheel spin. It would feel odd for a bit I think because the slime was so thick compared to the tubeless sealant we see today which is like a milk. Other than that mine performed flawlessly.
Now apart from the mess, I’ve found Muc-Off tubeless sealant to be the best I’ve used. Smells nice and works well and the cool thing is they do an inner tube conversion kit to convert your standard tubes into self-sealers. You just need removable valve cores to be able to get the sealant in. This never used to be possible on Slime tubes because the sealant was too thick and would clog the presta valve.
Have I found the perfect setup? Tubeless technology without the mess or the weight of a slime tube.
It could be, only time will tell. I’ll report back when I’ve tried it properly.
6 thoughts on “Next best thing?”
I was looking at Slime tubes in Halfords just a couple of weeks ago! Didn’t go for them as I’d heard they had issues. Currently riding* tubeless on the road bike but but tubes on the MTB and I’ll be really interested in how this works out for you 👍
Currently riding fcuk all truthfully 😳
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get back on that bike!
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I’ll be looking for the later review…
Any update? Did you get the conversion done?
Yes. Conversion done very easily. Haven’t been outside the past week due to the ice so haven’t had chance to ride them yet