I was thinking of converting my wheels to tubeless but my rims and tyres are not tubeless ready. I just recently learned that I can add tyre sealants into inner tubes. Can it prevent pinch flats like the normal tubeless setup?
- Putting sealant in your tube does nothing to prevent pinch flats. (The long gashes caused by pinch flats would normally be too big for the sealant to handle, at least reliably.)
- Putting sealant in a tube adds to the weight of the tube, rather than replacing it as in tubeless.
- Likewise, with sealant in a tube, you have all the rolling resistance you already had with the tube, plus more energy cost to turn the wheel due to the sealant. (Bicycle Rolling Resistance tested this.)
Pinch punctures are caused by the tube getting crushed between the tyre and rim when you hit a bump, as distinct from ordinary punctures, which are caused by a foreign object piercing the tyre and inner tube.
Tubeless prevents pinch punctures because pinch punctures are intrinsically something that happens to inner tubes, and tubeless doesn't have inner tubes. I suppose it's possible that putting sealant in your inner tubes would prevent some mild pinch punctures. However, the proper way to avoid pinch punctures is simply to inflate your tyres enough and avoid kerbs and potholes.