26 May 2013

Road tubeless not so sure

Webmaster

I’ve been riding my road tubeless wheels lately, playing with tire pressure. I started a little high but dropped down to 85psi on the front and 90psi on the rear. The comfort of the tubeless Ultremo ZX is beyond what I am used to from clinchers but fast and sticky at the same time. Really nice.

Unfortunately the experiment came to a premature end today when I hit some unknown particle and sliced the rear tire. The cut was far too large to be managed with sealant and, adding insult to injury, sealant sprayed the face of the rider on my wheel. Without any loss of control I rolled to a stop and was pleased to find the tire well-seated in spite of total deflation.

The flat happened on Highway 8 east of Calgary at a spot covered with oil residue — yesterday that spot was host to a head on collision between an SUV and a semi-trailer truck. The SUV was launched 90 meters backwards; the truck caught fire and burned out. The SUV driver was killed and the truck driver was taken to hospital with injuries. Makes a wrecked tire seem insignificant.

It’s hard to say if another tire would have survived. The Ultremo ZX, at least in its clincher version, is known for performance but not for durability. All the same I’ll get another and continue my road tubeless experiment. If the replacement fails as quickly, I’ll draw more severe conclusions.