• The Cycling News forum is looking to add some volunteer moderators with Red Rick's recent retirement. If you're interested in helping keep our discussions on track, send a direct message to @SHaines here on the forum, or use the Contact Us form to message the Community Team.

    In the meanwhile, please use the Report option if you see a post that doesn't fit within the forum rules.


Flats still a part of road cycling, by intention?.

Are we still keeping liquid sealents a secret from the road pro's?
Having a flat on a stretch of pave isn't bad luck, it's bad preparation.

Various flats affected the outcome of this weekend's Paris-Roubaix.
Most teams seemed to be running 24-25mm tires max (it's their party, so let them enjoy it), but with the current state of tire/tube sealent technology, unvoluntary flats really should be something of the past.

With each pro's bike at 6801g, surely there no big deal in shifting some of that weight towards tire sealents? Waiting for a wheel takes more time can wodka glass worth of sealent inside your tubes. Let along if you crash because of the flat.

Have we been riding for about a century on pneumatic tires only to still have flats?
In MTB racing, flats are getting pretty rare. And they've even quit using tubes. Just the lightest tires they can get from their sponsors, and some sealent does the trick.

Sure, I have flats once in a while too. But when I do, usually it's my own fault, I was too lazy to administer sealent, or it's been more than a year ago.
With a professional mechanic to my disposal, I'd always have the very best of sealent in my tires to complement the type of race at hand.

When you race to win, you first prep your bike to finish, right? In Roubaix, you're definately not going to lose in the last meters from having 40g of sealent inside your tubes. We'd love bike performance to have such an effect, but really, try adding 400g of lead to your rear rim, and imagine 1/10th of that effect pulling you back. But really you sould carry out that test only while removing an equal amount from your bike. Pro bikes should easily hit 6.8kg, frames and groups losing weight every other year.

For the racers among you, what do you prefer?
Finishing without flats, or using a flat as an excuse to skip a crit lap, preferably mid-race?

There are of course no free laps in the Classics...
Hmmm, that's a good point - for whatever reason tubeless technology has just not caught on for road bikes. I imagine it may have something to do with the much higher tire pressures involved, but I truly don't know.

And yeah, for we amateur racers a flat usually always means the end of your road race as it's very rare that you'll be able to get neutral support, and good luck chasing back on after you spend 8 minutes or so changing your tube.
Tire (tube) sealent was a hot item decades ago. It worked fine then, it works much better now.

When riding tubulars, it's supposed to work fine also. Tufo long was the sole supplier of decent latex based sealent. I used it as tubeless sealent on my first attempts of that.
Amateurs (that don't race, and just hate flats) are home brewing proven mixes that seal big holes quickly, and then offer many months of durability (not drying up). For a one-day races, a mechanic should brew something more high-performance. To be used in one innertube, one day. The dilutent may vaporate in 72 hours and it would be fine. Two EUR12 latex innertubes to toss per superpro bike a day. A new chain costs more. But of course in practice, this tube will last for many races when taken care of by a pro mechanic.

Amateurs in MTB riding are mixing up liquid latex mold builder, commercially sold Slime, windshield liquid and, hold on: glitter for optimal performance.

It would not hurt a pro mechanic to read up on the internet some day and ride up and down a cobblestond section at 5 bar, to see what happens or fails to happen. Shake bite are indeed agressive, but with the right tubes the punctures hole might not be too bit for the latex, slime and glitter to seal up.

A buddy of mine once rode 160g Tufo time trial/track tubulars on his road bike. Got a puncture. Heard some sissing. Which stopped. Tire lost 1 bar, 15 psi worth. He kept riding along.
Countless tubeless MTB riders can attest to finding dozens of thorns inside their worn tires. Each accounting for one tube swap saved.

It may be all cool be to tradional about road cycling, but why let this get in the way of results?

Hours are sepnt polishing the finish of the road bike to make it look good. Gears are meticulously finetuned. Every mm of the bike fir is scrutereered.
But tubes are still allowed to flat.

I saw one team on essentially CX bikes. Grey tires which looked like Tufo's. I wonder how they fared for flats compared to other teams. And whether some teams are silently using sealent and hoping the other mechanics don't find out.

Some super pro MTBers were on regular tires with tubeless sealent before it became common fashion. The advantage they found was too great to openly propagate.

I know road tubeless is harder to do, and might possibly never be as fast as a good tubular (although those could be made innertubeless IMO) or inner+outer tube. But that doesn't mean sealent back into fashion due to MTB tubeless cannot work in innertubes.
Makes me think...some CX riders have good luck with tubeless. The pressures used for a 28-34mm P-R used cross tire might be low enough to make tubeless work, with or without special rimstrip...
Mar 18, 2009
Visit site
tubless tires

I tried this technique for putting hutchinson tubless tires on regular rims


I haven't had a puncture in months and I've pulled out glass and debris that's been sticking straight through the tire. They work brilliantly.

The only problem with these tires is it's a bit of a process putting them on and they're relatively expensive. What's ideal is using a tubular with Stans in it or using a regular tire/tube with Stans in it.

You're absolutely right - punctures should be a thing of the past.
Thanks for the input!

CyclingNews' pre-P-R tech reports did mention Hutchinson Tubeless 28mm tubeless tires being used with a bit of sealent to be sure. That's a forward thinking team and sponsor for you. It's love to find input on which teams had flats, and which did not.
I'm a total fan of 28-30mm road tires and wish more more exist in top level casings and treads. I've even had great luck with low-end 28-30mm Tufo tubular clinchers in pure asphalt crits. Can only imagine how well they'd do on they cobbles (I'm not much of a mile eater).

Those with a spare set of tub wheels, I would recommend just getting a pair of fast diamond profiled (Flexus dry?) 28-30mm Tufo's. Give them a shot for cobbles, foul weather group rides, and what we have here in Holland "Fox Hunts".
If your bike is made right, it will fit, especially the front. My Surly Pacer is a thoroughbred road bike, but with a bit extra tire clearance all around. I even did a cross on it, with 30mm knobby Tufo's and plain short reach Tiagra calipers. Surly just put the brake mount in the exactly right spot to make that work, super.