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What is a tubeless tire?

Tubeless is the term used when no tubes are used to inflate bicycle tires. Just about any modern-day tires and wheelsets can be converted to tubeless, but tubeless specific components are designed to seal to each other directly. Since the removal of the tube makes tires more susceptible to punctures, the tires have a latex sealant inside them that is designed to quickly fill small holes when exposed to air. For larger punctures, there are tire plug kits, similar to a car tire plug.

Commonly seen in the mountain bike world, tubeless tires are gaining popularity amongst urban riders. By removing the tubes, you drop a little weight off the bike as well as ride comfortably at a lower tire pressure which absorbs some of the bumps in the road and reduces the risk of getting a puncture flat.

If getting a flat tire is a concern for you, just remember that electric bikes usually come with thicker tires, which also helps to prevent a puncture.

If you’re willing to spend the money and put in the work (or know a good shop willing to do the work for you), then tubeless can be a great way to give your bike a little upgrade. Better puncture protection, smoother ride, and the ability to plug a small hole automatically while losing minimum tire pressure… Who wouldn’t want that? For the daily commuter and average rider, it may seem unnecessary when it comes to maintenance. Many people that ride bikes have the mechanical skills to at least switch out a tube and/ or change a tire. Though the removal and installation of tires are the same, tubeless tires can be harder to work with and sealant can be a nightmare.

Updated on December 21, 2022

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