There are a number of benefits to running a tubeless setup, whether you’re taking to the trails or the open road.
The ability to run lower tyre pressures, as well as the additional puncture protection that tubeless tyres can offer, are often cited as the biggest benefits.
If you’re currently more at home with inner tubes but want to make the move to tubeless, there are a few things that you’ll need to switch, including some fundamental tools for setup and potential repairs, as well as tubeless-ready tyres.
Here we take a look at some of the options from Topeak to help you get the most out of your tubeless tyre setup.
Tubeless tyres… the basics
First, what are tubeless tyres?
Tubeless tyres are exactly that; the inner tube that holds a tyre’s air in a clincher setup is removed from the equation and replaced by a tubeless-ready tyre that creates an airtight seal with the wheel’s rim.
Tubeless sealant is also added to the tyre, to plug small cuts or punctures while you ride.
When it comes to fitting tubeless tyres, sometimes you need a little extra oomph to get the bead seated onto the tubeless-ready rim. Often, a standard bike pump just won’t cut the mustard.
This is where rapid air delivery comes in handy – and let’s face it, not everyone has access to an air compressor at home.
Topeak JoeBlow Tubi 2Stage
First up, the pump’s TubiHead device removes the Presta valve core, which allows you to rapidly get more air into the tyre. Unlike other track pumps, this means you can remove and then reinstall the valve core with the pump head attached, meaning no loss of pressure or sealant during the set-up process.
The former opens both barrels in the pump for rapid air volume up to 30psi, while the latter uses a single barrel to reach higher pressures of up to 160psi.
Once seated and inflated, use the TubiHead to reinstall the valve core.
Topeak SmartGauge D2X
Once you’ve got your tubeless setup ready for fine-tuning, the Topeak SmartGauge D2X is a digital pressure gauge that allows you to adjust tyre pressures while taking a continuous reading.
Getting your tyre pressure right is even more important when it comes to running tubeless tyres – you’ll most likely be running a lower pressure where smaller adjustments can make a difference to how the bike rides.
Fine-tuning tyre pressure can reduce rolling resistance, improve comfort and increase grip. No more guesswork when it comes to getting your tyre pressures dialled!
One of the main benefits of a tubeless setup is the ability to stave off punctures, whether that’s a cut from a spiky thorn or glass, or a nasty snakebite puncture at lower pressures. Often the sealant will prevent a puncture before you even notice.
There are, however, occasions where you might need a helping hand to get back up and running again; for example, plugging a nasty tubeless tyre puncture that’s too big for the sealant to deal with.
Topeak Tubi Master
Topeak’s Tubi Master and Tubi Master X tubeless repair kits and inflators are designed for such roadside repairs.
The Tubi Master includes a tubeless repair toolkit with tyre plugs, a reaming and insertion tool, and a trimming blade, plus Topeak’s Micro AirBooster CO2 inflator for rapid reinflation.
Topeak Tubi Master X
Meanwhile, the Tubi Master X features a more advanced tubeless repair tool, where the plug and CO2 inflator are combined into one unit.
Topeak Tubi 18
This 18-piece mini-tool features many of the standard tools required for trail and roadside repairs, including 2mm to 6mm Allen keys, T10 and T25 Torx keys, and a Phillips screwdriver, but also has the bits you need in the event of a tubeless puncture.
That includes a plug reamer and inserter, tubeless plug storage compartment and plug trimming blade.
For many riders, having a tubeless repair kit and spare inner tube for emergencies strapped somewhere on the bike can be easiest because you’ll never accidentally leave home without them.
You’ll also always have the right size inner tube should you’re tubeless tyre be unrepairable out on the road, which can otherwise get confusing if you have multiple bikes with varying wheel sizes or tyre volumes.
On-the-bike storage can also give you more freedom of movement as you ride.
Topeak Aero Wedge
The Topeak Aero Wedge comes in handy here, mounting to the saddle rails and seatpost for a secure fit.
Choose from four different sizes depending on how much kit you need, from 0.41L to 1.97L. You’ll also find internal mesh pockets to organise smaller or easy-to-lose items.