Going Tubeless

Several polar vortices in one winter have pushed Chicago’s roads beyond their breaking point. Literally.

SinkholeEven with snow packed on the roadways, the potholes have us puckering in places we’d rather not, worried for our cars’ chassis. While we cyclists are eagerly anticipating the days of freedom on two wheels, we cannot help but be concerned about hitting those open (or, literally, opened) roads.

One of the threats that potholes pose are pinch flats – evidenced by the horrible “snake bite” marks on your tube. Pinch flats can result from improperly installed tubes or riding with the wrong tire pressure.


Pinch flats are the bane of a cyclist’s existence, but, like with our spouses’ imperfections, we’ve stoically agreed to accept the bad with the good. Right?

Guess what? While there may not be hope for your spouse’s ironing skills, there is hope for a pinch flat-free future. Chuck those pinch flat laden tubes! Just check toss ’em out! Well, after getting the right tires, of course.


 “Tubes are so passé.” – Fredo



When we talk about tubeless, we’re not talking about your favorite 1970’s racer’s tubular tires. These are clincher tires that fit straight on your wheel’s rim just like your current tire does, just minus the tube inside.

Tubeless tires are meant to be ridden at lower psi than traditional clinchers tires. The lower tire pressure provides a better ride, with the tire conforming to the road. The energy lost by riding with a lower tire pressure is made up for with less rolling resistance, better cornering and the ability to ride over and through road conditions and debris you would otherwise have to circumnavigate.


At Higher Gear, we offer several options for those ready to ride pinch flat-free (and for the Weight Weenies who are looking to shed a little more weight). Check out these tires by Hutchinson:


Hutchinson Fusion 3 Road Tubeless TireHutchinson Fusion 3 – Road Tubeless Tire

The perfect compromise, the happy medium, call it what you will… The Fusion 3 is great for racing or training. Triple compound rubber with a competition slick profile, combined with lower pressures, give you improved traction and rolling resistance.

The 700 x 23 tire weighs in at 290g.

“Hutchinson was really one of the pioneers in the road tubeless game and it shows. The Fusion 3s are an amazing tire that has proved itself on multiple rides in various terrain… Zero flats, far better grip, improved control and a far smoother ride.” – Eric Williams for Race Orange County



Hutchinson Intensive Road Tubeless TireHutchinson Intensive – Road Tubeless Tire

Longer lasting and more durable, the Intensive features a slick competition tread with thermoplastic reinforcement. Large volume casing coupled with lower pressures means more comfort and great grip for rougher surfaces and longer rides.

“Hutchinson Intensive Road tubeless tyres are excellent off-season tyres, offering a good ride and decent puncture resistance.” – road.cc

The 700 x 25 tire weighs in at 320g.



“I have been curious as to why road tubeless hasn’t really taken off, and after riding Hutchinson Fusion 3 Tubeless tires for the past 4 weeks, I am astonished it hasn’t. I don’t think I will ever go back to clinchers. For me, here is the bottom line with road tubeless: CONFIDENCE.” – Eric Williams for Race Orange County


PotholeRoad Tubeless tires from Hutchinson can be used with standard tubes or in conjunction with tire sealant. Road Tubeless tires are compatible with tubeless, tubeless ready or converted standard rims.

Hutchinson Road Tubeless Pressure Recommendations

  • < 130lbs: 80psi
  • 140-165lbs; 87-101psi
  • > 185lbs: 108-116psi


Note: Some have experimented with lower tire pressures and found longer life, better ride and less cuts in the tire, all without sacrificing speed. See what works for you. A good starting point is 10psi less than the above recommendations.


Before you’re ready to dust off your bike for spring, schedule your Tune-Up and upgrade to tubeless tires. Schedule your appointment today.




Tired of potholes already? Check out these images from My Potholes to see them from a new perspective.







Need Help? Have Questions?

Highland Park | 847-433-2453
Wilmette | 847-256-2330

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