Tubeless tires have been popular for many years on mountain bikes, and finally the rest of the bike spectrum is rapidly joining in. Tubeless fat, cyclocross, gravel, and road bikes are all gaining serious momentum as tires improve and virtually all new wheelsets are tubeless ready.
The virtues of tubeless are well proven. Not only does weight decrease and rolling resistance plummet (the fastest rolling tires ever tested right now are tubeless), the sealant within tubeless tires ensures that small holes are sealed immediately.
In the professional racing world for all disciplines, tubular tires – where an inner tube is sewn inside the outer tread casing creating a round profile, and then are glued onto the rim – have long been the dominant tire choice. However with World and Olympic Champion mountain biker Nino Schurter switching to tubeless because “they roll faster,” and the flat disasters that occurred at the Cyclocross World Championship in January (up to 7 flats per rider!), the end may be near for tubulars.
Of course you can still get a flat with tubeless – particularly with large cuts that are bigger than the sealant can manage to repair in quick fashion – requiring riders to make repairs on the road or trail. New products such as the Genuine Innovations Tubeless Tackle Kit ($20) have entered the market to ensure riders have the tools they need if/when they flat.
It starts with their simple tubeless repair kit consisting of 5 sticky tire plugs and an insertion tool, then packages it into a cast aluminum canister with a screw-on top and built in presta core tool. The screw cap, which is sealed with an O-ring, also includes a built in plug tool. Also including in the kit are 2 presta valve cores, which you’ll appreciate when your core gets gummed up with sealant and eventually needs replacing. One thing it’s missing is a tool to cut off the excess plug material, leaving riders at risk that the plug will be pulled out during the ride.
With some room to spare the surprisingly solid canister can also fit a Park TB-2 Tire Boot Patch and a tightly folded $10 bill, increasing the weight to 60 grams.
My recommendation? If you are riding tubeless ditch the extra tube and carry this kit instead.
(I will be receiving a new shipment of Tubeless Tackle Kits shortly – tell me if you’d like me to set aside a kit for you).