Road Tubeless - What’s it like then? - Part 1, In the beginning….

Ed's been riding road tubeless, here's his first impression :

Having read all about tubeless for MTB and road, I’ve been keen to try it out for myself for a while now. When the opportunity arose to get myself a new pair of wheels I talked it over with Fraser and agreed this was the perfect opportunity.

I had already settled on a pair of Hope RS Mono hubs and Fraser recommended Pacenti rims and Schwalbe Pro One tubeless tyres. My spec for the spokes was “I want shiney ones” and he duly obliged. No idea what they are but there are 28 per wheel and they meet my spec.

 

I had to spec 25mm width tyres of course or the fashion police would have been on to me but alas they have become so popular that after waiting a couple of months for them to still not come into stock I went with 23mm. Funny thing is that when you fit them to the Pacenti SL23 rims the tyres end up measuring 25mm across anyway.

Fraser built the wheels and I love them, so, thanks a million. He also fitted the tyres. I will let him explain how this went but to me this is still no job for a rank amature like me. Apparently the back went on a treat but the front was a bit more troublesome….and you need a compressor to get them to seat properly...and a special valve...and the right kind of rim tape...and you have to put sealant in them too. Apart from that they are a doddle!

After all that they finally went on the bike...along with a new chain and cassette but only because the ones I had were done….and most importantly, I think they look fab...especially if it’s sunny...which it is now and again.

 

So what are they like to ride then? As Del Boy would say “lovely jubbly”!

I’ve been out twice now, done over 100 miles and although it’s still very early days I love them. I’m running at 90 psi so 10 psi below what I run normally and the comfort has improved considerably. Apparently I can go down a few more psi if I want but I’ll do a few more rides first. They are great for rough tarmac and really smooth things out. Obviously a big hit is still a big hit but for what passes for “normal” tarmac around these parts they are just what the doctor ordered.

The tyres are holding up well and not cutting up as much as the normal soft compound tyres I usually ride. I’m no demon descender but grip has been excellent so far but unusually for this time of year the roads have been bone dry so wet weather performance has still to be tried….and no punctures. As for weight, well I’m not obsessive about that so don’t have any figures but the wheels are lively and responsive and any performance issues I have can be attributed to the engine.

So, so far so great! I’ll be back in a couple of weeks for an update but for now it’s a big thumbs up from me.