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Old 11-28-2011, 05:37 PM   #1
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tubeless curious, worth the hype?

most guys i know run tubes, but the din about everything tubeless is starting to make me crazy. is it all that? so far as what i know, it's way more complicated, and probably messy, and makes frequent tire changes a pain.

does it cut rolling weight and make the ride that much better? i rarely pinch flat as i don't run super low pressures, so that's not the big selling feature for me. reduced rolling weight, and other magic properties may be though...
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:28 PM   #2
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It can be a bit messy, it is not more complicated. It rides way better. It allows you to run your tires softer so they grip better and roll faster. You can get reduced rolling weight depending on what you had before.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:39 PM   #3
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I've come across 3 people on trails with slow leaking tubeless tires. Once you get a leak, your day is over unless you've got a spare tube at your disposal.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:00 PM   #4
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I've come across 3 people on trails with slow leaking tubeless tires. Once you get a leak, your day is over unless you've got a spare tube at your disposal.
As long as you have a good seal there shouldn't be any leaks unless you have severe damage to the tire or no sealant in the tire. One of the awesome things about tubeless is when you get small punctures (say from a thorn) it will be sealed within seconds by the sealant rolling around in the tire. But if you let the sealant dry up you can definitely have slow leaks.

In my opinion it is definitely worth it, and the benefits are noticeable. I've avoided flats for two years until I exploded my tire off of my rim on some hungry rocks this past summer.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:01 PM   #5
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Don't believe the naysayers... tubeless is the real deal. As its been said, it can be a bit messy to get set up but its worth it. I've been running tubeless since around 2003 and will never go back. FWIW, I only run Mavic UST rims on my bikes and they seal and hold air brilliantly, with a bit of Stan's sealant thrown in for sealing non-UST tires. I have some Stan's Flow rims (as a backup wheelset) which I've yet to convert to tubeless but I am sure the experience will be the same. Great way to remove rotational weight from your bike and improve overall traction.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:09 PM   #6
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I've come across 3 people on trails with slow leaking tubeless tires. Once you get a leak, your day is over unless you've got a spare tube at your disposal.
you still need to carry a tube for these times, but they occur far less than pinched tubes.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:56 PM   #7
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I've come across 3 people on trails with slow leaking tubeless tires. Once you get a leak, your day is over unless you've got a spare tube at your disposal.
True. Unless you did not pack a tube. And it's not as if three pinch flats in a single ride and both spare tubes used up did not end some ones day. Or if the rider is stupid enough to not pack any flat repair kit and gets a flat on any kind of tire.

Sorry clowny but that argument doesn't hold any air.
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Old 11-28-2011, 07:59 PM   #8
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Sorry clowny but that argument doesn't hold any air.
The wit of this guy. You should be renamed "superfart."
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:19 PM   #9
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True. Unless you did not pack a tube. And it's not as if three pinch flats in a single ride and both spare tubes used up did not end some ones day. Or if the rider is stupid enough to not pack any flat repair kit and gets a flat on any kind of tire.

Sorry clowny but that argument doesn't hold any air.
Hold your horses! I'm not saying UST sucks.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:23 PM   #10
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Tubeless is a brilliant development. I've been running stans ztr flow rims with stans solution and specialized control tires for a number of years - clutch sx for dh and eskar/purgatory/captain for trail riding and fast track lk for DH/pump track. Only had it fail couple times, always on trail bike running over broken beer bottle or wine glass tearing tire open. Take a tube so you can limp home in these rare instances. No pinch flats or thorn punctures and ride quality much more lively, not a huge weight saving on trail bikes but lack of punctures and better ride performance are key. Contrary to popular opinion you don't want to run tireless conversions much lower than inner tube setups as tire stability can be an issue, but tireless at 35psi will feel noticeably better than inner tubes at 37-40psion.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:17 PM   #11
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I can feel the flames already. I used various tubeless systems for a few years and I'm back to tubes. Here are my thoughts:

1. ride quality - I didn't notice a huge difference between a tubeless tire and a tubed tire with a little less pressure. If you notice a difference, then I think this is the biggest reason to run tubeless.

2. flats - I get maybe 5-6 pinch flats a year with tubes, not enough to warrant tubeless on its own IMO. Sure, I had no flats with tubeless but the time spent reinflating leaking tires, replacing dried fluid, and dealing with weird shit like gummed-up valves far outweighed my time spent fixing 5-6 flats. Especially when the gummed valve was discovered at the top of the mtn and I had to ride down at 60 psi.

3. set-up - Tubes are still easier than putting in fluid, even if you get tubeless inflated first time with a floor pump and never have a single leak beyond that. That rarely happened to me. Generally I'd get it inflated with a floor pump but I'd have about 2 days of slow deflation before it was good to go. Even then, I'd expect a few psi lost each day. This varies depending on what rims and tires you use. Some combos are a nightmare to inflate in the first time, although I think this has improved.

4 weight - Tricky subject since its apples and oranges. Tubeless obviously beats DH tubes, everything does. Tubeless in a 2-ply UST tire (ie Minion DHF, great tire) is lighter than using a 120g Conti tube because the robust sidewalls require little fluid to seal. Tubless in a 1-ply UST tire is heavier than using a 120g Conti tube because the UST coating on the tire adds 200g or so. Tubeless in a 1-ply non-UST tire is heavier than using a 120g Conti tube because it needs a fair amount of fluid to seal it. It all comes down to how much fluid you need to use. With UST rim + UST tire, you can try to get away with zero fluid but it greatly increases chances of flats and leaks. Generally a single 50-60g scoop is prudent. A non-UST tire will require 2+ scoops, which basically equals or exceeds a 120g Conti tube. So weight savings are not significant IMO, especially if you have to run rim strips instead of Stans yellow tape or nothing. Oh, and if you use Mavic UST rims, the listed weight doesn't include the ~60g of nipple inserts.

Thats all I can think of right now. Curious to see if other people are doing something different that would improve tubeless for me - I like it in theory, just not in how the practice has worked for me.

Last edited by Bryce; 11-28-2011 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:32 PM   #12
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on my trail bike I love it. lets you run lower tire pressure and not worry about pinching. I'm running a WTB Stryker wheelset which is set up to run as a stans style system. i'm using tubeless ready schwalbe tires and they inflate no prob with a floor pump.

on my DH bike I'm running a ghetto setup and I could take it or leave it. I've definitely had some hard impacts but I couldn't say one way or another whether I would have pinched. With a stans strip things would probably be easier, but I like to change tires for the winter, so I'll probably just go with tubes when I get around to doing that.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:12 PM   #13
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Hold your horses! I'm not saying UST sucks.
Fair enough brother. Fair enough.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryce View Post
I can feel the flames already. I used various tubeless systems for a few years and I'm back to tubes. Here are my thoughts:

1. ride quality - I didn't notice a huge difference between a tubeless tire and a tubed tire with a little less pressure. If you notice a difference, then I think this is the biggest reason to run tubeless.

2. flats - I get maybe 5-6 pinch flats a year with tubes, not enough to warrant tubeless on its own IMO. Sure, I had no flats with tubeless but the time spent reinflating leaking tires, replacing dried fluid, and dealing with weird shit like gummed-up valves far outweighed my time spent fixing 5-6 flats. Especially when the gummed valve was discovered at the top of the mtn and I had to ride down at 60 psi.

3. set-up - Tubes are still easier than putting in fluid, even if you get tubeless inflated first time with a floor pump and never have a single leak beyond that. That rarely happened to me. Generally I'd get it inflated with a floor pump but I'd have about 2 days of slow deflation before it was good to go. Even then, I'd expect a few psi lost each day. This varies depending on what rims and tires you use. Some combos are a nightmare to inflate in the first time, although I think this has improved.

4 weight - Tricky subject since its apples and oranges. Tubeless obviously beats DH tubes, everything does. Tubeless in a 2-ply UST tire (ie Minion DHF, great tire) is lighter than using a 120g Conti tube because the robust sidewalls require little fluid to seal. Tubless in a 1-ply UST tire is heavier than using a 120g Conti tube because the UST coating on the tire adds 200g or so. Tubeless in a 1-ply non-UST tire is heavier than using a 120g Conti tube because it needs a fair amount of fluid to seal it. It all comes down to how much fluid you need to use. With UST rim + UST tire, you can try to get away with zero fluid but it greatly increases chances of flats and leaks. Generally a single 50-60g scoop is prudent. A non-UST tire will require 2+ scoops, which basically equals or exceeds a 120g Conti tube. So weight savings are not significant IMO, especially if you have to run rim strips instead of Stans yellow tape or nothing. Oh, and if you use Mavic UST rims, the listed weight doesn't include the ~60g of nipple inserts.

Thats all I can think of right now. Curious to see if other people are doing something different that would improve tubeless for me - I like it in theory, just not in how the practice has worked for me.

Thoughtful response. 60 psi? Really? I never run that much. Rolls too slow and it is too harsh a ride. But that is a valid consideration. Tubeless is more work than tubes. Only the individual can determine if the improved ride quality is worthwhile. I think tubeless use is kind of like tubular use for road bikes. It is a hassle gluing tires on and flats area pain to patch, but the weight and ride quality are worth it to many riders.

I would have to check but I am pretty sure the scoops are 30 cc or so in size. Never weighed it but it has a lot of water in the mix I think which weighs 1 gram per cc. So I would guess that Stan's only weighs about 30 grams per scoop. I will have to weigh a scoop some time. So 2 or 3 scoops is at most 90 grams or so.
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Old 11-29-2011, 01:45 AM   #15
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Been running the Stans system for about a year on a hardtail 29er and it feels awsome! Was given great advice buy some guy ... he said if you're already going to build up some new wheels why not give it a try? What have you really got to lose?
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