Thursday, November 21, 2013

Tubeless and Me -or- How to Save a Ride

Looking at the seven day weather outlook gave me the incentive to knock off work just a little early so I could get a good ride in while the 60 degree temps were still here.  I figured I had 2.5 hours before it got really dark and chilly.  So I headed west and decided I'd figure out my route as I pedaled.  About 10 miles in I noticed a freshly maintained road.  Defiantly a B-road. Looked harmless enough. Guess not. Ended up dead ending at a cell tower.  It had no out road so I had to turn around and ride it back out. Just a little bit after turning around I kept feeling moisture on my legs. I'd felt it before. Sealant getting flung out from the tire. I'd been running tubeless for about two months. Never really REALLY tested them. I stopped quickly to see how bad it was going to be. My tires were filled with thorns. Tires were holding air thou so I pedaled on. I kept hearing air leaking and feeling spray from the tires, but the tires stayed up and I kept pedaling. I made it 13 miles home from the point at which I acquired all the thorns.  I was blow away by how well the tubeless set up worked. I was fully expecting to have to use my spare tube or at least my co2 inflater.  I stopped twice more on the ride home just to make sure the tires weren't going flat and thinking of rolling off the rim.  My worries were unfounded.  I'd done 25 miles of dirt and pavement.  Thirteen miles of it was with hundreds of thorns in my tires.  I'd say over all I lost around 10psi in the rear and 15psi in the front.  48hours later and the tires are still up.  As it sits right now I'm guessing I'll be dropping the air in the tires and pulling all the thorns I can, adding some sealant and airing them back up.  I'm blown away how well the tubeless set up worked.  Yes it was sort of a pain to get them set up and yes I think it would still be a pain if I went totally flat on the road. However it totally saved me from calling for pick up.  Huge thanks to Orange Seal for a great product.  You guys rock!

Mesothorny from Garrett Olsen on Vimeo.
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