Most road cyclists still aren't riding tubeless - are latex or TPU tubes a better alternative?

Although common for gravel and mountain bikes, tubeless has still not fully taken off for road cycling; we examine why

If you've concluded to run a tube anyway, should you optimise your choice?
If you've concluded to run a tube anyway, should you optimise your choice?
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Tubeless set-ups have several advantages for road cyclists: the rolling resistance of the tyres is less without the friction between the tyre and tube, you can run lower pressures for greater comfort and better grip, and there’s the promise of self-sealing if something sharp does penetrate your rubber.  

But despite this, most road cyclists still prefer to run tubed tyres, happy in the knowledge that at some point they’ll once again be engaged in the cyclist’s rite of passage that is standing by the roadside fixing a flat. So why hasn’t road cycling jumped headlong into tubeless tech and enjoyed its many benefits, and, are there better alternatives?

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.