Stan’s / Hutchinson Road Tubeless – Update 1

27 Jun

I’ve been running my Stan’s Alpha 400 with Hutchinson ATOM tires now for 3 months on the road bike for the daily commute, training rides, dirt/gravel, and a few crits. I was having pretty good luck with them until earlier this month when I got my first flat on the rear at mile 1,025. 1000+ miles out of a tire before a flat is pretty great for me. Downtown Philadelphia isn’t too too bad for glass/debris but as my commute goes farther and farther into SW philly the glass is everywhere. Because of this I started to track how many miles I get on certain tires and when I flat.

As I was riding home that afternoon, I felt a spray on my leg which I thought was odd. Sure enough it was Stan’s sealant spraying all over me. I got off and realized there was a large shard of glass in the tread. Unfortunately I couldn’t remove the piece of glass in a timely manner with my hands and had to get my multitool to get it out. By this point there wasn’t much psi in the tire left. I tried to put more air in the tire and spin the wheel to help seal the hole but to no avail. I then pumped it back up putting the hole at the bottom hoping the Stan’s would collect there and again no dice. I wasn’t too pissed about the flat as it was nice out and running tubeless commuting is a fun experiment for me, that was until I had to put the tube in. Shit…! Tubeless tires fit on the tight side for a reason, to keep air in, especially when burping could be an issue (ie deforming the tire enough that the bead pulls away from the rim letting air escape). Because of this, pulling tires can be a bit of a pain with the added height of the Stans tape. It took me a few goes just to get the one side off. Putting the tire back on isn’t any easier and if it was cold out it could be a real issue.

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Then a week later (mile 1185) I had my 2nd flat, but this time on the front. Right on the cusp between the sidewall and tread received a small gash. I did the same thing as last time, but again, it didn’t seal and I was forced to throw a tube in. After talking with a buddy he suggested putting air in, putting the hole towards the bottom, then putting your finger over the hole in order to help the Stan’s seal everything up. ill have to give that a go sometime.

I bought these wheels used and the tires came with it. I do plan on picking up a more training tubeless tire next go around as I don’t mind the added weight for commuting/training. I know the Hutchinson ATOM is their race tire so giving the 25c INTENSIVE training tire a go or trying something from the new Bontrager TLR tubeless series.

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