Your guide to the gear you need for tubeless tyres – Bike Magazine Australia

As more roadies begin to venture away from the asphalt and onto the gravel, off-road technology is popping up in the traditionally conservative world of road cycling. With wider tyres, lower pressures and gnarlier surfaces, more terrain is accessible than ever. 

Once you leave the confines of the road behind, there’s a lot of fun to be had – along with a whole new world of obstacles poised to deflate your day, and potentially your tyres. That’s where the new generation of tubeless gravel tyres can make or break your ride. By eliminating the tube they eliminate pinch flats, dramatically reduce punctures, and let you run the kind of low pressures that make dirt grippy and enjoyable for even the most tarmac-addicted roadie.

Tubeless tyres, as the name suggests, mount to the rim without an inner tube. Unlike a tubular tyre (which contains an inner tube), tubeless tyres use the pressure of the air within them to form a seal with the rim. These tyres are then filled with sealant, which plugs any punctures in the casing, making the system much less prone to failure.

Mountain bikers have been running tubeless systems for years now, but on the road, issues with maintaining high pressures and sealing punctures have made tubeless tyres much less common. Gravel tyres, which are usually run at lower pressures, and have higher volumes than road tyres, represent sort of middle ground – and a natural home for tubeless tech. 

Going tubeless will require that you change your tyres and possibly your wheels, but upkeep costs are low – you won’t be buying nearly as many tubes – and the convenience can’t be beat. We’d still suggest carrying a tube so that, in the event of a catastrophic tyre slice, you can still make it home, but to put it in perspective, we’ve been running tubeless for the last few months and (knock on wood) have yet to fix a flat!

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