Air Travel with Tubeless Tire Setup

Traveling with a bike. Bike Box reviews. Bike travel hacks. Organized Bike Events, Gran Fondos, and Cycling Destinations. Self-Promotion of upcoming events welcome.

Moderator: robbosmans

User avatar
Cannoli
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:53 pm
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

by Cannoli

Mr.Gib wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 8:56 pm
Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 1:51 am
Also, I tent to get flats when away from my home area, so tubeless may be the better choice overall?
No one addressed this part of your inquiry. Something to think about - what does away from home area mean? If you will end up deep in the mountains with no chance of a taxi or other support in the event of puncture that doesn't seal, even with plugs, will you be able to deal with it? Can you get the tire off the rim to insert a boot and tube? I've had a few that mounted normally but that would not come off, even in my shop with all manner of tools - had to be cut off. This may be a worst case scenario, but I would not venture too far from support unless I new for certain I could get the tire off. The problem is a freshly mounted tire may come off, but one that has been in place for a while might not be so willing - they seem to get glued in place by the sealant.

And then there is the issue of re-seating a tire. Even with an inner tube, a hand pump might not get the job done. I have had many tubeless tires that need 100 psi+ to seat, even with an inner tube and lots of soapy water. Bottom line is you don't want a fit that is too tight.

And finally, if you have never run tubeless, my advice would be to switch over asap, not wait until you are away from home to learn all the fine details.

FWIW I run tubeless on three out of five bikes, but will only travel with clinchers for the reasons stated above. But granted my travel has me regularely in places with zero chance of rescue. Perhaps another approach would be a tougher clincher.


Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 6:34 pm
I'm not sure if this was directed at my original post, but if so, my question had to do with sealant leaking past the bead if there wasn't enough pressure in the tire due to deflating for air travel.
It is possible that if a tire goes completely flat, the seal can be broken, and while sealant can leak out, a bigger risk is the sealant drying up if the tire is left flat for a period of time
Great advice! Thank you. I would be sure to experiment with tubeless well before traveling. I tend to be in more urbanized areas when I travel, which is why I experience more flats than when home. At home, I ride in somewhat suburban and rural settings, so less debris on the shoulder. I would still ride with a spare tube and basic tools as I always do with tubeless.

My expectation with tubeless is if I do get a flat, I'll just throw a tube in and carry on. Since most of the flats I've experienced while traveling are from small metal and glass objects, I expect that tubeless would seal the hole, whereas tubes wouldn't survive the encounter. Am I over estimating tubeless in this regard?
Canyon Aeroad CFR Di2 | Canyon Ultimate SLX 9.0 Di2 | Trek Domane SL5 Disc (Gravel Bike / Fly-Away Road Bike) | Orbea Tera H-30 Disc (Touring Bike)

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



Lina
Posts: 1273
Joined: Sat Sep 01, 2018 9:09 pm

by Lina

usr wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 5:31 pm
BigBoyND wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 7:42 am
Guys... atmospheric pressure is 14psi. If your tire is at 80psi and you take you bike up to the moon, even then it would only increase the pressure inside the tire by a relative 14psi to 94psi.

You don't need to let out any air unless you've got them pumped to max labeled pressure.
It's not about the tire being able to hold on the moon or not. It most likely would, even if inflated to max labeled.

It's about what happens when against all odds it does blow anyways, pressure delta or not, perhaps because your cat decided to start playing with the wheel just before packing or whatever. The unknown unknowns. It's about the reactions that would follow if that gunshot-like bang happened mid-air, or (perhaps worse?) in an airport environment. I reduce pressure not only to add safety margin, but also to reduce impact in that extremely unlikely case (and to be able to reply not only truthful but also polite when they do ask at check-in, which is rare but happens). I aim for a pressure where the tire would still rationally protect the rim from impacts if it wasn't inside the case. For typical TL pressures (e.g. not my stupid 25mm TL experiment which will never see enough wear to age out because it's a front tire), I'd release some air just to mentally check that box, but very little.
How do you have the confidence to ride tires where in your opinion a spontaneous combustion without any external forces is a real opportunity?

User avatar
Mr.Gib
Posts: 5685
Joined: Fri Mar 18, 2005 4:12 pm
Location: eh?

by Mr.Gib

Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:04 pm
My expectation with tubeless is if I do get a flat, I'll just throw a tube in and carry on. Since most of the flats I've experienced while traveling are from small metal and glass objects, I expect that tubeless would seal the hole, whereas tubes wouldn't survive the encounter. Am I over estimating tubeless in this regard?
This exactly where tubeless is at it's best. Flats from the typical urban debris are a thing of the past if your setup is decent. And expect to never "throw a tube in". Not a bad idea to carry one, but many of us don't bother. I don't when riding in my local area. But I always carry Dynaplugs. Sounds like you should go for it.
wheelsONfire wrote: When we ride disc brakes the whole deal of braking is just like a leaving a fart. It happens and then it's over. Nothing planned and nothing to get nervous for.

sigma
Posts: 719
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2018 4:12 am

by sigma

Mr.Gib wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 8:56 pm
Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 1:51 am
Also, I tent to get flats when away from my home area, so tubeless may be the better choice overall?
No one addressed this part of your inquiry. Something to think about - what does away from home area mean? If you will end up deep in the mountains with no chance of a taxi or other support in the event of puncture that doesn't seal, even with plugs, will you be able to deal with it? Can you get the tire off the rim to insert a boot and tube? I've had a few that mounted normally but that would not come off, even in my shop with all manner of tools - had to be cut off. This may be a worst case scenario, but I would not venture too far from support unless I new for certain I could get the tire off. The problem is a freshly mounted tire may come off, but one that has been in place for a while might not be so willing - they seem to get glued in place by the sealant.

And then there is the issue of re-seating a tire. Even with an inner tube, a hand pump might not get the job done. I have had many tubeless tires that need 100 psi+ to seat, even with an inner tube and lots of soapy water. Bottom line is you don't want a fit that is too tight.

And finally, if you have never run tubeless, my advice would be to switch over asap, not wait until you are away from home to learn all the fine details.

FWIW I run tubeless on three out of five bikes, but will only travel with clinchers for the reasons stated above. But granted my travel has me regularely in places with zero chance of rescue. Perhaps another approach would be a tougher clincher.


Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 6:34 pm
I'm not sure if this was directed at my original post, but if so, my question had to do with sealant leaking past the bead if there wasn't enough pressure in the tire due to deflating for air travel.
It is possible that if a tire goes completely flat, the seal can be broken, and while sealant can leak out, a bigger risk is the sealant drying up if the tire is left flat for a period of time
I am similarly biased to tubeless in my normal riding and used to take my tubed rims for travel. Now I take what I call my early season setup - shallow wheels, all season tires (conti 5k) + inserts and run tubeless. I still carry a tube with me but the inserts really cushion the ride on those bad roads and give the ability to ride the emergency 20 miles if needed,.
Lots of bikes: currently riding Enve Melee, Krypton Pro, S Works Crux, S Works Epic Evo, SL7.
In build: SW SL8

usr
Posts: 1021
Joined: Thu Mar 25, 2021 5:58 pm

by usr

Lina wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 10:34 pm
How do you have the confidence to ride tires where in your opinion a spontaneous combustion without any external forces is a real opportunity?
Easy: there's enough stuff on road surfaces to out-scare the odd spontaneous ones. Indoor track riders might have different fear priorities.

If allowing some air out was a problem I might weigh pros and cons differently, but it's not.

BigBoyND
Posts: 1551
Joined: Mon May 31, 2021 1:51 am

by BigBoyND

There is no problem. But it's also pointless.

But if you really want to stretch your imagination of what could happen, the risk of a tire getting unseated during handling at 20 psi is higher than the tire blowing up during a flight.

There are readers who don't know the pressure difference between sea level and causing altitude. These readers will get confused by posts above suggesting 20-30psi, and they'll pass it on. I'd rather kill this "theory" and clarify that the pressure difference is less than 14psi, and letting out air will do exactly nothing at all.

Hexsense
Posts: 3352
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 12:41 am
Location: USA

by Hexsense

Yeah I originally quote 14-20 psi because it's 14 from altitude and give extra upto 6 from temperature change.

But you are right. It's likely colder up there than ground level so pressure likely drop from temperature rather than rise.

I'd still drop pressure on mtb wheels though. Some mtb tire I saw have max pressure of 35psi. I ride up to 21psi (on rear wheel). 21+14 is then at max pressure. And mtb tire don't burp until pressure drop down to like 8psi. So drop from riding pressure of 21 psi to like 14 psi would be safer.

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

Moving to Travel board but leaving shadow in Road board.

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

Btw I'm about 8 flights in, going on 10, using the same case (BuxumBox) with Tubeless and haven't had a problem yet. I've dropped to 20~30psi so the tires sit better in the case.

User avatar
Cannoli
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:53 pm
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

by Cannoli

maxim809 wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 12:44 pm
Btw I'm about 8 flights in, going on 10, using the same case (BuxumBox) with Tubeless and haven't had a problem yet. I've dropped to 20~30psi so the tires sit better in the case.
Which box did you go with? My wife and I I have the Ventoux box because we can't remove our bars (easily) on our Aeroads. No issues with air travel in the US and Italy, but do get some dirty looks when on the train in Japan. I've been thinking about grabbing a Tourmalet in size H1 as I travel significantly more than my wife does. I would have to pull the drops off of the Aeroad's integrated bars to make it fit, but it would allow for a slightly smaller case to lug around. I didn't consider this box an option until recently after measuring all the dimensions as BuxumBox suggests.
Canyon Aeroad CFR Di2 | Canyon Ultimate SLX 9.0 Di2 | Trek Domane SL5 Disc (Gravel Bike / Fly-Away Road Bike) | Orbea Tera H-30 Disc (Touring Bike)

maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

Cannoli wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 3:03 pm
Which box did you go with?
Tourmalet H1.
Cannoli wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 3:03 pm
No issues with air travel in the US and Italy, but do get some dirty looks when on the train in Japan. I've been thinking about grabbing a Tourmalet in size H1 as I travel significantly more than my wife does.
I hear you. Traveling with the Tourmalet in Japan must be a whole thing. The Ventoux is not a problem on normal trains if you take one of the end carts with space for disability and oversized luggage. But it barely fits in the back row of the Shinkansen and Express Trains. The smaller taxis won't work. And some of the larger cabs cannot have the back seat lowered for whatever reason, so gotta be creative with the back row.
Cannoli wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2023 3:03 pm
My wife and I I have the Ventoux box because we can't remove our bars (easily) on our Aeroads. I would have to pull the drops off of the Aeroad's integrated bars to make it fit, but it would allow for a slightly smaller case to lug around. I didn't consider this box an option until recently after measuring all the dimensions as BuxumBox suggests.
Interesting. I was actually thinking about buying an Aeroad with the breaker bars specifically to pair with the Buxom Tourmalet H1 for a travel bike. I was hoping this could be a way to avoid removing the stem/bars. But in hearing your experience maybe this wouldn't work... and in thinking through the stem/bar may be a non-starter in the Tourmalet anyway.

As a side-quest, I'm low-key trying to figure out a road bike + box combo that balance the minimal amount of disassembly/assembly with the minimum number of tools in a box no bigger than the Tourmalet -- ideally smaller.

User avatar
Cannoli
Posts: 538
Joined: Thu Nov 12, 2020 1:53 pm
Location: Mid-Atlantic, USA

by Cannoli

maxim809 wrote:
Sat Dec 30, 2023 1:33 pm

Interesting. I was actually thinking about buying an Aeroad with the breaker bars specifically to pair with the Buxom Tourmalet H1 for a travel bike. I was hoping this could be a way to avoid removing the stem/bars. But in hearing your experience maybe this wouldn't work... and in thinking through the stem/bar may be a non-starter in the Tourmalet anyway.

As a side-quest, I'm low-key trying to figure out a road bike + box combo that balance the minimal amount of disassembly/assembly with the minimum number of tools in a box no bigger than the Tourmalet -- ideally smaller.
I believe the Aeroad will work with the Tourmalet H1. I have an Aeroad CFR in Small and all the measurements work, but I would just need to remove the drops (which is how the bike comes shipped from Canyon). There are two T25 fasteners per drop, which is very straight forward. It takes about 5-minutes to remove them and put them back on.

The H1 is ~12.2" wide, and with the drops removed from the Small Aeroad, the width is ~11" wide with the 400mm-420mm adjustable Aeroad bars. My wife's 2XS Aeroad comes in at 10" wide with the drops removed, so she has plenty of margin. Her bars adjust from 390mm to 410mm.
Canyon Aeroad CFR Di2 | Canyon Ultimate SLX 9.0 Di2 | Trek Domane SL5 Disc (Gravel Bike / Fly-Away Road Bike) | Orbea Tera H-30 Disc (Touring Bike)

BenCousins
Posts: 1445
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 11:46 am

by BenCousins

Nick38 wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 8:35 pm
BenCousins wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 12:39 pm
Cannoli wrote:
Thu Dec 28, 2023 1:51 am
Buxom Box (amazing box for air travel if you haven't seen them)
At 15kg looks very easy to go over the common checked baggage allowance of 23kg?
Different allowance for sporting equipment. I travel with my bike and with box all my kit and other bits n bobs it's regularly 28-30kg :thumbup:
SAS: sporting equipment 23kg https://www.flysas.com/gb-en/travel-inf ... r%20ticket.
Norwegian: bike 23kg
https://www.norwegian.com/uk/travel-inf ... equipment/
BA: bike 23kg
https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/in ... -equipment

There are more.

Nickldn
Posts: 2011
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:35 am

by Nickldn

^ The 23kg limit is the baggage weight limit I also recognise. Anything heavier means paying hefty overweight baggage fees on many airlines. No thanks to that.

I got a LifeLine EVA Bike Travel Pod, 8kg weight and fairly good protection.

https://www.tweekscycles.com/lifeline-e ... hot567794/

I guess it's not quite as sturdy as a Bike Box Allen, or others like it, but it lets me pack the bike as well as tools, shoes and spares without troubling the 23kg weight limit. I have done a few trips with it and no problems at all.
Giant Propel Advanced SL Red Etap 11s Easton EC90 wheels CeramicSpeed BB Zipp SL70 bars 6.5kg

S-Works SL8 Dune White SRAM Red AXS Craft CS5060 wheels Roval Rapide bars 6.6kg

by Weenie


Visit starbike.com Online Retailer for HighEnd cycling components
Great Prices ✓    Broad Selection ✓    Worldwide Delivery ✓

www.starbike.com



maxim809
Administrator
Posts: 889
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2017 6:28 am

by maxim809

FWIW I just checked my bike in at the airport and the counter wanted to verify the pressure has been lowered.

They were happy at 20psi when they did the finger test. Two for two now, with Cathay Pacific at least.

I think the risk of tubeless coming unmounted is very low. Tho I have seen things with my friends who didn’t release pressure lol.

Post Reply