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Old 9th August 2007, 13:12   #1
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Default Are tubeless tyres unsuitable for Indian Roads

A collegue of mine was thinking about replacing his tyres with tubeless tyres so I too accompany him to a prominent tyre shop.
The owner of that place did know his stuff was what we felt and hence we asked him the question are tubeless tyres not good for India and his answer was a firm no.

He was telling us that earlier a lot of people used to get imported cars which came with tubeless tyres and they where all forced to put tubes for their tubeless tyres simply because these tyres get damaged easily in Indian conditions,It will take some time for Indian roads to reach the standards one finds abroad.Monsoons mean only one thing on India terrible roads,in some of the semi-urban/rural areas it is nothing short off roading.Also our roads are full of debri.In these cases tubed tyres are better than tubeless ones.Besides ofcourse the usual not many know how to repair tubeless tyre story.People in India will go back to tubed tyres after this hype goes out and people realize the benefits of tubed tyres.

Here's another bit from the internet:
I purchased a Suzuki Swift VXi last month. A few days back, while driving the car, the driver's side front tyre was punctured — the side of the tyre was found cut. When I took the car to the tyre repair centre, I was informed that the tyre was damaged and could not be repaired and needs to be replaced. Both the Maruti Suzuki authorised centre and the tyre repair shop said that that being a tubeless tyre, a cut on the side cannot be repaired. I had two options: either to go for a new tyre or use the same tyre after repairing it, with a tube fixed in it. Since it's a brand new car, I requested the shop to insert a new tube in the tyre. Can I use this tyre along with the other three tubeless tyres in my vehicle? What are the precautions to be taken for tubeless tyres?
Mohammed Shariq, via email

It is a compromise that we need to make — tubeless tyres offer good ride quality, better economy and safety. Yet the chances of tubeless radials getting damaged is high on Indian roads thanks to the conditions they have to go through. But once these tyres are damaged beyond repair (as in the case of sidewall damage), it is proper to replace them. We understand how you feel, having to change a tyre in the very first month itself. But consider that replacing it is a wise investment since a damaged tubeless tyre with a tube can only be a temporary measure and is not a safe bet at all.
In the running

Last edited by rahul_intlad : 9th August 2007 at 13:15.
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Old 9th August 2007, 13:41   #2
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I believe Tubeless tires are a boon to india. It has its own cons - difficult to access repair shops, damage to tire wall will lead to replacement of tires are the two most prominent CONS. The pros for a tubeless tire are innumerable - reduces tire heating, increases FE, reduces tire noise, increase of safety et. al.

I definitely vote for TUBELESS TIRES.
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Old 9th August 2007, 13:48   #3
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I also would vote for tubeless only. I run Turanza on Wangon R for the past 1 year. No issues, it has seen bad roads soaked with rains as well in bangalore. No problems.
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Old 9th August 2007, 13:51   #4
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Tubeless tyres s are such a blessing, not only for comfort but for safety too at high speeds, and nowadays you get any puncture shop who repairs tubeless tyres unlike earlier when there were only few who did it.
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Old 9th August 2007, 14:03   #5
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It wasn't until I got a flat tire that I realised that tube tires were used in India, let alone that I had been driving around on them!

That may sound really stupid, but I hadn't seen them since childhood (40 years ago) in UK!

I don't know the answer... roads in UK tend not to be like farm tracks, but we have potholes too. There was a time a few years back when London's roads all seemed in need of repair, and British drivers tend less to slow down for them.

The "obvious" answer would seem to be that that seal between tire and wheel must be pretty fragile, but obvious is often wrong, and tubeless tires seem to maintain their pressure better than tube?
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:19   #6
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Tubeless tires have more pros than cons. One doesnt get sudden loss of pressure in case of puncture which makes them very safe. Keep a tubeless puncture repair kit in your car and you are good to go anywhere.
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:29   #7
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What rubbish! Firstly, if the tyre has suffered a sliced sidewall with sufficient damage to deem it unfit for use, then the driver (or posted in the example given in the first post) should have the sense to understand the implications of what he is doing by choosing to drive on a damaged tyre.

I really don't understand how some people can get so pennywise, pound foolish. While he may think he is saving a couple of thousand rupees by using the damaged tyre with a tube, he is risking not only his and his occupants safety, but surely the repair bill for the damaged caused to the car after the tyre bursts and it is flung into a ditch/barrier, will be far far greater than that bit of money saved.

God forbid an innocent third parties life is lost or permanently handicapped because of one persons miserly decision.

In some countries, the tyre shop itself would not allow the tyre to be fit back on due to liability fears.
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:40   #8
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Even if you have a Tubed tyre, you cannot say that it would not have suffered a sidewall cut had it gone thru the same pothole the tubeless tyre did. If it did suffer a sidewall cut, how would you repair it ? Wouldn't it be the same thing as with Tubeless ?

Makes absolutely no sense to me. Tubeless is the way to go.
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:44   #9
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Pure gibberish. I have seen tubeless tyres for the last 6 years & never ever heard of this kind of argument. Only an ignorant person will talk like that. Side wall damage is directly related to poor quality tyres or poor maintenance of the same.
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:52   #10
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It's more of a mental block. People tend to think that tubeless tyres are complicated. If a puncture happens it is very difficult to repair or very expensive.

This is just a mindset. Tubeless tyres are less prone to punctures and sudden pressure loss which in itself is the primary reason to choose them over tube type.
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Old 9th August 2007, 15:57   #11
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Right said vid, its a mental block.

Imagine you are doing high speeds with tube type tyres and you have a flat tyre. Visualize the rest, coz I happened to see 1 such incident previously where the car refused to stay on road and crashed into the median.

I would recommened tubeless anyday over tube type tyres.
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Old 9th August 2007, 16:03   #12
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I have been using tubeless tires on my car for 3 years now. Have done quite a lot of driving on those tires in various conditions, but I didnt even suffer a single puncture. I would go in for tubeless tires any day.
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Old 9th August 2007, 16:11   #13
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Bad roads are bad for all types of tyres, tubeless, tubed whatever. I was forced into a huge pit on the road side by two buses. My left front tyre side wall was cut and I had an immediate puncture. Tubeless or tubed, this can happen. :-( Since it was a tubeless there's no chance of using it the same way. I got it vulcanized and have put a tube inside it. I was forced to do this as I had to get back to Bangalore and didn't want to get into problems again. Now have to buy a new tubeless tyre.

EDIT: I have kept it as the spare tyre. Not running with it.

However tubeless tyres have a lot of advantages still. I was also advised against it earlier. Lack of puncture shops, not stable.. all sorts of nonsense.

Last edited by csentil : 9th August 2007 at 16:13.
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Old 9th August 2007, 16:23   #14
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Puncture repair shop non availability, no problem. carry one "tubeless tyre repair kit" it is only Rs350 [ JC road , bangalore] and it has all instructions on it. if you take to a normal tyre repair guy, who has the compressor to fill in air, that is enough.
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Old 9th August 2007, 16:35   #15
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Originally Posted by chanapli View Post
Puncture repair shop non availability, no problem. carry one "tubeless tyre repair kit" it is only Rs350 [ JC road , bangalore] and it has all instructions on it. if you take to a normal tyre repair guy, who has the compressor to fill in air, that is enough.
Are the tubeless tyre repair kits really effective ?
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