Technical FAQ: Traveling with tubeless tires

  • By Lennard Zinn
  • Published Aug. 11, 2009
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2010 at 2:31 PM EDT

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.


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).


FILED UNDER: Bikes and Tech / Technical FAQ TAGS: / / / / / /

Lennard Zinn

Lennard Zinn

Our longtime technical writer joined VeloNews in 1987. He is also a framebuilder, a former U.S. National Team rider, and author of many bicycle books, including Zinn and the Art of Mountain Bike Maintenance and Zinn and the Art of Road Bike Maintenance, as well as Zinn and the Art of Triathlon Bikes and Zinn's Cycling Primer: Maintenance Tips and Skill Building for Cyclists. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in physics from Colorado College. Readers can send brief technical questions to Ask LZ.

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