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Technical FAQ: Traveling with tubeless tires

My big bike, all packed up and ready to fly.
My big bike, all packed up and ready to fly.

Photo: Lennard Zinn

Dear Lennard,

I just re-read your review of the Dura-Ace wheels in the May VeloNews Buyer’s Guide. It sounds like you did exactly what I have in mind – packed these wheels in a 26x26x10″ hard travel case for a bike with S&S couplers, and then re-inflated them with a hand pump.

Did this work well, or is it asking for trouble? Was your bike covered in sealant? Will tires other than the Hutchinson inflate easily with a hand pump? Can I just use a tube if necessary?

Basically, is it worth using the Dura-Ace wheels for a travel bike, or should I stick with a light but durable wheel like the Ksyriums? I love my XTR tubeless wheels and want the same on the road.

Tom

My titanium travel bike with its Dura-Ace wheels and Hutchinson Fusion II road tubeless tires.
My titanium travel bike with its Dura-Ace wheels and Hutchinson Fusion II road tubeless tires.

Photo: Don Karle

Dear Tom,

It works fine for me. I’ve done a lot of transoceanic trips with it that way. I deflate the tires (something you must do for an S&S case), and only a little latex comes out around the edges of the tire bead. There are no drips on anything else, and hand pumping has not been a problem.

Yes, you can use a tube with them. I’ve only tried the Hutchinsons in this capacity (I’ve ridden the Specialized road tubeless tires but have never deflated or inflated them).

-Lennard