Tubeless commuter tyre

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
The tread on my rear Marathon Plus tyre is finally wearing bare after 10k (an outstanding innings, as the cricket lovers might say). It has been brilliant and delivered everything I wanted: no fuss, puncture free commuting. I'd recommend them in a flash to anyone looking for a near puncture proof ride.

Tyre, tube and Tannus insert make up a lot of rotational inertia though, and contribute to a dull, heavy feel. This time round I'm after something puncture resistant but more supple. I think I'll go tubeless. I really like the tubeless feel on my emtb. The bikes are a similar weight and despite the wheels being over double the width the emtb rolls quicker. In 1k of pretty rough trail riding I've also only had one puncture on the emtb, which the sealant eventually plugged. (I'd carry a spare tube on the commuter)

Any suggestions? Current tyres are 40x622 but I'd go up to 50x622 (wheels say 47 max but 3mm shouldn't be an issue). I'm looking at the Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Evolution as a durable option. This will be rear wheel only - I run a G-One R up front for grip, which will stay in place.
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
If your rims are really tubeless ready, you cannot lose with Specialized Pathfinder Pro 2Bliss (38-622 or 42-622 <-- these are more difficult to get). These are truly puncture resistant. The design including a slick central tread and progressively bigger knobs outside (and including the Gripton compound) make these tyres incredibly fast on the pavement with excellent grip off-road. True "gravel cycling" tyres. They are very supple. With tubeless and reduced inflation pressure you would become a believer as I am.

I use them on a Vado SL, and my goal is to reduce all resistances I could handle. Unfortunately, I cannot use these tyres 2Bliss as my rims are not TL ready...
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Thanks Stefan, sounds like an on-point suggestion 👍. One reviewer referred to it as a lighter, less grippy G-One R, which would suit me just fine running rear only. Now to see if I can find some local stock...
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
@Stefan Mikes these tyres freaking rock! I ended up replacing both the worn Marathon up back and the less worn G-One R at the front - the G-One sprayed sealant from about three holes when I converted to tubeless (testament to the Tannus Armour for keeping them running the last year) and wouldn't hold pressure overnight.

I'm running a Pathfinder 42-622 rear and Pathfinder 38-622 front (couldn't find any other 42s in the country but the 38 is plenty wide). The install was so simple: super easy to mount and took first time with a regular pump. In contrast I wrestled with the G-One for about 15 minutes trying to get it off and on, another reason for ditching it. It was truly horrific to try and change.

I've only had one commute on the new Specialized tyres but the difference is immediate and noticeable. The ride is soooo much more plush than the previous setup and faster rolling. I coast quicker down hills and notice they're a bit more nimble dodging debris and accelerating. The conversion from tubes+Tannus+Marathon/G-One to tubeless Pathfinders saved about ~1.3kg.

A quick q requiem for the Marathon. It has been amazing. Combined with the Tannus it's given me 2.5 years of puncture free riding over all manner of roadside debris, no mean feat. It's job was to deliver me to work without delay and it's done that exceptionally well. 10k of wear wasn't bad either. The caveat was it rode heavily and felt very dense and dull, hence the search for something different this time round.

The real test will be if they can stand the rigours of daily commuting. I'm carrying a spare tube, pump and CO2 canister just in case, and both tyres got a healthy dose of Orange sealant on install. I'll top this up in 6 months. We'll see if the experiment works out, but I'm loving the initial impression - they've transformed the bike into something altogether different feeling.
 

PedalUma

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Petaluma, CA
Commuters cannot afford flats. So we will see how the test results look over the next 2.5 years. I would bet that Marathon Plus with tubes, no Tanus, and with tubeless sealant would be the best combination for feel and puncture resistance.
 

pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Commuters cannot afford flats. So we will see how the test results look over the next 2.5 years. I would bet that Marathon Plus with tubes, no Tanus, and with tubeless sealant would be the best combination for feel and puncture resistance.
Indeed. I did run the Marathons with tubes and no liners for a year prior (no sealant though). I got two flats during this time. Sealant would have blocked one up and kept me riding, the other would have been touch and go. The ride was noticeably harsher than the current set up. This was exacerbated installing the liners.

I don't expect another 2.5 years of punctureless riding with the Pathfinders but the question will be how many I do get, and whether the sealant can do the job or need intervention. An encounter with a large stick puncture sealing up on my mtb the other week gives me some hope in the former but we'll see.

If I hit too many flats then back in go the Tannus and tubes 😄 I don't think I can go back to that Marathon ride any time soon though.
 
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m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Just a Marathon Plus with a tube should go a long way towards flat-free riding where you don't have to give a crap about tire wear for a year or two. Thats a near-brainless solution. For a Marathon Plus, Tannus is overkill.

What PedalUma said is dead on the money. I am running a Marathon Plus with a tube and Flatout inside. Flatout is not advertised as a tubeless sealant but it is an *excellent* one. I'd call it the best I've ever tried including a few flavors of Orange Seal and Stans. Its able to seal some very wide tire slits (up to 1/2") which is the weakness of Tubeless... its great on thorn holes and not so great at dealing with a tire sliced by say the neck of a broken whiskey bottle in the street. And since it works as a tubeless sealant, it also works great inside of tubes.

My tubeless setups are all running Flatout and the worst I've ever experienced - a strip of freaking six roofing nails - sealed back up with the help of three refills from a portable pump (electric). Which kept me from having to push a longtail cargo bike with 50 lbs of gravel on the back home. In a tubed setup on the same bike it sealed a big slit from a jagged hunk of metal. When it seals a tube it dries to a hard nub, unlike Slime which makes kind of a weepy mostly-closed green zit.

My current Marathon Plus is a Marathon Plus Tour. I like the 2021 tread better because it ups the tire's load rating by an extra 15 kg over the Marathon Plus. You only occasionally feel the existence of the tread knobs as it rides very smooth. But they also make the tire work better in winter. And that tread makes for some added cushion.

PXL_20220202_010930665.jpg


Edit: Looks like I pointed this tire out in your other thread in 2021. At the time I hadn't mounted the tire yet. I just had it in my tire pile. I put it on last winter and its still on today. I liked it so well I decided to just use it year round.
 
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pmcdonald

Well-Known Member
Thank you both, I really value your experience and thoughts. If the current setup proves unreliable I'll beef it up for sure - I have faith in liners and tubes after running them on my front G-One for a year - but I am loving the feel of this tubeless setup! I agree the Marathons are a brilliant set and forget workhorse tyre.

Some more observations. There's one slow long descent on my commute. I roll down it a few km faster on the Pathfinders. Early days yet but it also looks like it's saving some battery. My commute typically uses 15% battery on the Marathon setup. The last three runs with the Pathfinders are using 12%. Could that be less rotational inertia or density at play? (Clearly I'm no physicist)
 

TrevorB

Active Member
I've run the Schwable Allmotion for while with tubes, fast rolling tire. No punctures while commuting but 2 slow punctures from blackberry thorns in side wall while blackberry picking. They can be run tubeless which would be my recommendation, in which case blackberry punctures wouldn't of caused a flat.

Had few 1000 kms of commuting on Big Ben's with no punctures, found lots of glass embedded in tread and quite few deep cuts. These were run with tubes, not sure if they can be run tubeless but suspect it will work regardless of what Schwable say.
 

m@Robertson

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Early days yet but it also looks like it's saving some battery. My commute typically uses 15% battery on the Marathon setup. The last three runs with the Pathfinders are using 12%. Could that be less rotational inertia or density at play? (Clearly I'm no physicist)
less rolling resistance on the new shoes?
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Region
Europe
City
Mazovia, Poland
Could that be less rotational inertia or density at play?
The Gripton compound in Pathfinder Pro and the slick central tread. PPs are relatively heavy for puncture protection but roll easily, being grippy when necessary.