My tubeless tires/tyres have a few cuts around the tread pattern. They are each around 3–4mm in length. I've been proactive with topping up sealant and have not had any flats since riding with these tyres for the last year as a daily commuter (only about ~4km/2.5mi a day).

I plan to do a 700km/430mi bike tour with these tyres on mostly sealed roads. Do these type of cuts warrant repair or tyre replacement?

Cuts on a tubeless tyre.

I've seen folks online use Shoe Goo on cuts slightly bigger than this, or patch the tyre from the inside. It's my first time running tubeless so I'm not sure how proactive I need to be with them. They ride great!

The tyres are Panaracer GravelKing SK+ 700 x 43C.

Edit: I've also just noticed a distressed line or gash on the tyre's sidewall. Adding to this post as it's in the same spirit as the above 3–4mm cuts: something that hasn't affect the performance but might be problematic.

A tyre sidewall with a slight gash.

  • 2
    That "gash" on the sidewall is where the fabric was overlapped during manufacture. It's of no concern. May 2, 2022 at 12:56

3 Answers 3


I wouldn't be to worried about these cuts, they look like some small defects on the top rubber. Before your tour you could check the inside just to make sure they don't penetrate the casing. If they do, you can use tubeless patches on the inside, but normaly your sealant should do the job.

As always, take some spare tubes with you, just in case.

  • 2
    Checking the inside will be difficult and messy with tubeless.
    – Michael
    May 2, 2022 at 7:31
  • 1
    @Michael Disagree. You pop one bead off, slurp the sealant up with a plastic syringe, wipe down with a disposable shop rag, look, and reset everything. Well worth the effort before a tour,
    – Paul H
    May 2, 2022 at 14:24

Its all cosmetic.

The tiny cuts are not a problem, biggest issue is if something sharp hits exactly the right spot to go though the weakened tire, but would only add risk of puncture if the something would have not go though a full thickness casing. If you wanted inspect the inside of the cuts to see how deep they are, and look for damage chords.

The side wall 'crack' is from the change in flexibility between the single and double layer of side wall where its joined. Its minor to the point of cosmetic.


Those are tiny cuts which shouldn’t cause any problems. They are quite normal.

It only really becomes a problem when they are bigger and go through the whole casing (i.e. through the rubber and threads). Because then your sealant will have trouble sealing and the tyre can start to bulge because it lacks structural strength.

You’d think that small cuts would increase susceptibility to punctures or could grow bigger over time, but in my experience neither is the case.

Edit: As for the sidewall cut: This looks more severe. But I think it only scratched the outer thread layer? As long as it doesn’t bulge outwards it’s probably fine. I’d certainly keep a close look. On the front wheel it could be a safety risk (on the rear wheel a sudden loss of tyre pressure is much less problematic). Might be a good idea to bring a tyre boot or strong thread&needle or at least some duct tape.

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