Monday, November 10, 2014

Schwalbe Tubeless + Stan's NoTubes Road wheels

In the winter, I have a fear - it goes like this, riding along on the road, pouring rain and 3 Celcius. I’m staying warm, just. Then I puncture…

Shortly after starting mountain biking (and a triple puncture race) I switched to running tubeless off-road. It was a revelation. The number of punctures dropped dramatically (maybe 4-7 in the last 6 years), comfort went up, grip went up and piece of mind went up. Who wants to have to stop and fix punctures?

Two years ago I had a set of Stan’s NoTubes Alpha Pro road wheels and Hutchinson Tubeless tires. It didn’t change the world for me - they didn’t roll well, felt heavy and I actually still punctured (slow puncture, but could get home with only a little topping up) - I persisted some more but once the tires were worn, I went back to ‘normal’.

About 9 months ago I got a shipment of the only released Schwalbe One Tubeless tires - it has changed the game, since then, 15,000km and no punctures. I’m running lower pressure (around 90-105PSI as opposed to my usual 110) and feel they roll faster. They are a little heavier than the tubbed equivalent but the feel on the road, the faster rolling and ‘bulletproof’ feeling I get more than make up for it.

I have wanted to put something down about this for a while - it is something, like going tubeless on the MTB, that has changed the game. It isn’t exactly cheap, but freezing my butt off at the side of a road is mostly a thing of the past. (Now - since I wrote all this, I bet I puncture tomorrow!)