Mark_S
Apologies for the rookie question, but I'm questioning the need to carry a spare tube any longer.  I have WTB rims and tires (Riddlers followed by Resolutes) and have not had a flat in the life of either set.  When I changed to the new tires it was very difficult to get the old ones off the rims.  After a YouTube search I was able to do it by standing on a hockey stick across the sidewalls and pulling up on the spokes near the nipples.  Perhaps the same is possible with a tree branch (if not above the treeline) but there would have been no way to do it with bare hands and a tire lever.  The bead was just too well seated.  This makes me think there's no point in carrying a tube at all.  That and the fact that I haven't flatted in >100hrs of mixed riding.  Can I have advice from more experienced riders please?
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Frank
I agree that it can be tough to get the tire off, and have found that fingered gloves are essential.for better grip.  WTB rims can be tight.   Be sure that you have bacon strip plugs and some extra sealant,  both of which can obviate the need for a tube.  But, there will likely come a day when a big gash 10 miles from no where will make you wish that you have a tube.    
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Mark_S
Thank you Frank.  I'll continue to carry a tube, as I have been doing (bacon strips too, but not the extra sealant so far).  I do really wonder how I'd manage to get a tire off trail or roadside.  Perhaps I have a good excuse to explore a wheel upgrade to another brand, if it's possible that the WTB rim and tire system is simply too effective at creating a good seat.  Was thinking to try Gravel King's next so perhaps this is also a solution - non WTB tires (although I've liked both of them so far).
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ljsmith
For me riding without a spare tube is a no go.  I typically ride 80-100 miles often passing through areas with no cell service and no shops.  If you get a large puncture or a slashed sidewall, sealant and plugs just aren't going to cut it.  I once got a puncture and found out my sealant had almost totally dried out and without much sealant a tire plug didn't help much either.  So thats a good reminder to check the sealant often and keep it topped off.  If a tire is very tight, I will find a way to get the tire off, or I will find a different tire.  In the past I have carried a small c-clamp which has allowed me to pry tight tires off.  
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shiggy
Unseating the bead is not that tough with just your bare hands.
Support the rim, flat, on a log, stump, rock... Steady with one hand. Grip the tire on (near) opposite side with the heel of your palm near the rim edge. Press down HARD to pop the tire bead to the center of the rim. I can then remove the tire. Or you can now use a tire lever if you need to. Sealant can, and does, “glue” the tire in place. Just press hard and work it.
Without breaking the bead loose you can not get a tire lever under the bead or get the tire on or off the rim. The center drop in the rim is there to give the room needed for the tire bead to get over the rim edge. If you can manage to pry a tire on/off a rim without moving the bead to the center you can not trust it to stay on the rim in use.

There are many cases where not having a tube (and duct tape) could mean a long walk out. Big slash in the casing. Snapped valve stem. Plugs don’t hold...
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zen_
I would not want to ride a tire / rim combo that I could not break the bead on by hand to get a lever started, then a tire boot and / or tube in. I've heard some of the newer hookless style rims can be absolutely ridiculous in that regard. 

If it's a weight thing, Tubolitos are really light and compact, and I'd rather carry that than extra sealant (I do carry one). Going to a tube because sealant ran out, or you got a gash too big to fix with strips is a lot better than a bailout call in my opinion. Guess it just depends on your style of riding; I sure do not want to be stuck 3 hours from home on some random MMR alone due to no tube. 
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Alex_C
A tube isn't large or heavy, I carry one for the time where I'd be fubar without it. It would be a PITA to have to remove the tire and the stem in order to use a tube, so I also carry a dart and bacon strips. If a gash is large enough to lose my sealant, that is when I'd spend the next 30 minutes swearing and cramming a tube into my tire.
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ccand51997

I depends on how much you like to walk with your bike.  I carry a tube, patch kit and bacon.  And a chainbreaker as part of a multi-tool.  I decided to forgo the chainbreaker/multi-tool in my only race this year and had an awkward shift that broke my chain.  Never again will I be depending on the charity of others to help me out if I can help it.  Carry a tube anyway.  
WTB tires/rims seat really well, but I've never had a combo that I could not get off with my thumbs.  
Also, don't tighten your tubeless valve with pliers if you are not going to carry pliers to get it off.  Learned that lesson the hard way.  

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Mark_S
Thanks very much to all for the good advice.  I tried Shiggy's technique for unseating and while not easy, I succeeded this time.  Perhaps the Resolute is a bit friendlier than the previous Riddler - there is certainly a bit more to hold onto.  I am convinced and thank you all in advance for the day when I'll need the tube.  I do keep plugs and patches with me as well, and a good multi-tool.  I will wrap some gorilla tape around the cartridge just in case.  Thanks again I appreciate your patience and experience.
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bobrayner
Is it a risk thing?

Years ago, I used to ride on the road, with super skinny slicks, and punctures were always a worry. I once had an unlucky day with two punctures on my ride to work and one on the way home - so obviously the spares in my saddlebag were essential.

Now I ride on gravel, with higher volume tyres (which probably have much stronger sidewalls too), and I've never had a puncture. Not one puncture, ever, on this wheelset - it feels liberating! I worries that these tyres are very hard to seat/unseat outside of a workshop, but maybe it's time to stop worrying so much about having comprehensive puncture-repair capabilities if the risk is lower now... maybe it's no longer necessary to keep a spare tube in the desk drawer at work...
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Mark_S
I never had such a bad experience with my roadie, but my gravel experience is the same (zero issues at 100 hours +).  But I'll keep riding with a tube based on the others' advice...

I really could not get my Riddlers of my WTB rims by hand, but did manage with the Resolutes yesterday as a test.  So I guess now a tube and a few patches makes more sense to me than plugs and extra sealant, space being an issue.  In that case re-seating isn't a problem...
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Aminthule
I started using tubeless tyres for nom-tarmac riding last year and have always carried a tube and still do so. The reason, I holed a GravelKing SK and the sealant would not seal the hole, nor would the hole seal when I used a plug. On inspection it appeared that the wall of the tyre had shredded. On that occasion, without a tube I would not have been able to continue riding. I will always carry a tube, just in case.........
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bender16v
I carry a tube and have needed it only one time in thousands of miles for a sidewall cut that the plug kit couldn't fix. I carry a latex tube to try to save a bit of weight and space but I do worry about how well it is holding up in my saddle bag. I have the same concerns with a Tubolito tube. It would be terrible to actually need the tube only to have it fail. I try to be careful when packing the tube, but also I jam a lot of stuff in the Speed Sleeve Ranger. Anybody have experience with how well latex or Tubolito tubes hold up after hundreds of hours in a bag? 
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Mark_S
Tubolitos were suggested earlier to save space and weight, and I see that the MTB s-tubo version has a detachable stem.  That seems interesting, but it's for 1.8-2.4" and I have 42c = 1.65" on my gravel bike.  Would it not fit in a pitch, as a get-you-home tube?  If it would, it seems a good option to within a small, light, non-rattly spares kit that lives innocuously under the saddle...
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zen_
bender16v wrote:
Anybody have experience with how well latex or Tubolito tubes hold up after hundreds of hours in a bag? 


I keep mine in a plastic bag, although I am going to switch this to an old hard drive bag (thicker plastic) to make sure it's not being rubbed in a roll style bag I recently switched to. 


Mark_S wrote:
So I guess now a tube and a few patches makes more sense to me than plugs and extra sealant, space being an issue.  In that case re-seating isn't a problem...


Carry a tube, a few pre-glued patches, a tire boot (old piece of tube commonly used), and a plug tool. All that weighs 70 grams for my stuff (Tubolito tube, basic tire plug tool and plugs). I have had to use the plugs 3 times this year just doing normal gravel riding 10-15 hours / week, and the tube once (lost all my sealant). Granted that is with GravelKings that are not the most puncture resistant, and I do a lot of riding on rail-trails and B-roads that can have small sticks everywhere after storms. 

IMG_20200826_075726513.jpg 
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Aminthule
zen_ wrote:


I keep mine in a plastic bag, although I am going to switch this to an old hard drive bag (thicker plastic) to make sure it's not being rubbed in a roll style bag I recently switched to. 


zen_ wrote:


Carry a tube, a few pre-glued patches, a tire boot (old piece of tube commonly used), and a plug tool. All that weighs 70 grams for my stuff (Tubolito tube, basic tire plug tool and plugs). I have had to use the plugs 3 times this year just doing normal gravel riding 10-15 hours / week, and the tube once (lost all my sealant). Granted that is with GravelKings that are not the most puncture resistant, and I do a lot of riding on rail-trails and B-roads that can have small sticks everywhere after storms. 

IMG_20200826_075726513.jpg 


I carry much the same, just in case. A small weight penalty, but some comfort.......
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NoCoGreg
Had a puncture in a race (probably due to large sharp gravel, much like railroad bed) that wouldn't quite seal. Fortunately I had added extra sealant just prior to the race AND a couple extra CO2 cartridges so I was able to limp to an aid station where a mechanic got the flat to seal using a couple pieces of bacon strip.  I carry bacon strips and a spare tube.
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cabopc
Just for piece of mind I carry a Turbolito tube on my mtb and gravel bikes although I also have serious doubts about being able to remove the tire in the field. The sealant sticks to the rim and makes it impossible to remove the tires. A bike shop mechanic showed me an awesome trick to use a home though. Lay the wheel on top of an open (circular) garbage can. The rim should line up on the opening of the can. Then using both hands while holding the tire press down on opposite sides of the tire and it pops right off. It's amazing, total game changer. Now I'm trying to figure out how to implement this trick in the field. Maybe use a tree stump?
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Mark_S
I'm the OP, and continue to carry a tube on the advice I got.  Since posting I did try to unseat my 2nd set of tires by hand (a different tire) and unlike the original set they replaced, I was successful. Being able to unseat the replacement set made me think that some tires, even if we like them, might not be good choices because they seat too well in the rims we have.  To answer your question about technique - what I eventually did to get that first set off could perhaps be simulated in the field with a branch.  I laid a hockey stick across the tire sidewall, right up against the edge of the rim, and stood on both ends.  Then I pulled up on a handful of spokes in each hand, holding near the bases.  This is what I would try if I failed to get the tire off by hand.
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chas
Uber works for me.

I'm all for being prepared and self sufficient.  But last year I was doing a 6 hour ride, and 4.5 hours into it a stick lept up off the trail and attacked my rear derailer.  The stick won (and this was on the tame MUP part of my ride, of all things).  I Macgyvered it to keep riding, but then realized I was doing more damage than good pushing the bike this way.
(back in the old days I would have just hitch hiked - you don't really need cell reception).

OP - we whine about our tires a lot here, but it is really the wheels that are the culpret as much if not more so.

I have some DT Swiss rims that are super easy to mount and dismount tires.  I have some expensive hookless carbon rims that are a friggen nightmare with tight beaded tires (esp Schwalbe and Conti).   

I'll take the DTSwiss rims on long distance adventures, but the carbon wheels may cause me to call for help if I get in a bind.  

Finally, this spring, I got TWO!!! flats.  Both were pinch flats (shockingly to me), and of course went flat before the sealant could do anything.  But I was fairly easily able to get them to seal up when I added air with a hand pump.  
Moral of the story - a pump is much more valuable than an inner tube for me (obviously both are best).  I'm not sure I trust high pressure CO2 canisters on tubeless.  
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