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Old 07-16-2010, 09:24 PM   #1
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Tubeless gurus....

I'm thinking about giving tubeless a try on my Rune. Not really sure where to begin though, there seems to be a lot of product out there. I'm running a set of Mavic 321's with single ply WTB Prowler MXs. I just have a couple of questions though:

1 ) I know the Stan's tubeless conversion kit is probably the simplest (and priciest) method, any alternatives out there that you think are A) a better value or B) a better product?

2 ) What's the deal with 'ghetto' tubeless?

3 ) I've heard conflicting reviews, some people swear by tubeless, others say that it didn't really make a marked improvement. Which is it (IYO)?

4 ) I tend to run fairly high pressure in my tires, I would assume that tubeless performs better the higher the pressure you run, would that assumption be wrong?

Any other insight or helpful tips would be rad too!
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Old 07-16-2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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I use Stans and it is pretty bombproof. I am also currently running the Gorilla Tape method on the front of my big bike and it's a hell of a lot cheaper. Might need to top it up every 2-3 weeks, but other than that it's been good. ** knocks on wood **

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Old 07-16-2010, 09:58 PM   #3
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I run tubeless inserts in my dirtbike, and honestly it's THE best thing I have done. The bike does not only feel more nimble, I can run pressures as low as 2PSI and get unread grip going up rock faces. I would imagine it's very similar with mtn bikes. The one I used runs a tiny tube that squeezes the tire walls to the bead. It's something like 120PSI. Also, if you carry a t-plug patch kit with you... if you get a flat you can now be up and running in a few minutes. Ream the hole out, epoxy and insert the t-plug.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:01 PM   #4
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I've been running tubeless for 2.5 years with zero issues, but I have a UST Mavic wheelset and add a couple scoops of stans sealant to my tires...I love it, have yet to get a single flat, although I have mostly been using 2 ply michey tires. I just put a 2.5 Minion F singleply on the front, and while it isn't tubeless, it seems to be holding up fine aftter using all last weekend during the 4 Queens.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:31 PM   #5
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I've been running stans on my singletrack rims with minions for two and a half years, and I just got my first flat last week! For the first year I ran regular minions but last season I switched over to the tubeless designated tires. Honestly there was no huuuge difference to me. The tubeless tires just have a stronger bead and more rigid construction. They have probably saved my ass more than once without me knowing it though. Very satisfied with the system. Being able to run lower pressure on rockfaces and not having to worry about pinch flats is a great feeling. Pretty much what has been said above I agree with, except for the other methods which I have no experience with.

Some people I have talked to told me that they wouldn't suggest running tubeless systems if you are riding resorts. They say it is just too much abuse for it, and not worth it. I disagree with that though... Like I said I just got my first flat and I have been to silverstar and sunpeaks numerous times, and whistler for a weekend and have had 0 problems. Not to mention the many shuttles and rides inbetween those trips.

I say: do it.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:38 PM   #6
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I don't ever want to run tubes again. I'm on Stan's rims or UST and run UST tires and standard ones full of sealant. It can be fiddly attempting to air up tires to seat properly, but the performance benefits are worth it to me.

To answer your questions:

1> Get a proper rim strip. Do it right with the correct stuff is the least hassle and best chance of it all working well right away.

2, Ghetto is a homemde version of a rubber rims strip using a BMX inner tube stretched tightly but I would imagine that it is not reusable so changing tires for different conditions is not possible without doing it all again.

3. Depends. Some people profess to like Stout tires too. It seems to not work for DH riders that well. To many forces cause burping for the fast guys.

4. No not really. Don't use psi as the benchmark but your thumb. You can run the tires softer without fear of pinch flats. Softer gives better traction and rolls faster. I can run at low20's in a 2.25 standard tire with sealant for lot's of trails. A little more is required if the trial has lots of rocks and roots where I'll bottom a lot. I may not puncture but I might ding a rim.

I would suggest going to the Stan's Notubes site and check out all the videos and other propaganda. Lot's of tips for installing tires and lots of pretty convincing reasons to go tubeless.
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Old 07-16-2010, 10:46 PM   #7
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2, Ghetto is a homemde version of a rubber rims strip using a BMX inner tube stretched tightly but I would imagine that it is not reusable so changing tires for different conditions is not possible without doing it all again.
There was a racer at the Four Queens who was using the ghetto method, but hadn't trimmed the BMX tube down, which would make sense if you were swapping tyres around. The only reasons to trim it to the rim line is to make it look tidy and save a little weight.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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Ghetto for 4+ years...no flats.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:05 AM   #9
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I've been tubeless for three years now (or is it 4?).

Finally got a flat when I cut a Minion's sidewall pretty badly. Before tubeless I'd get a flat every 2-4 weeks minimum.

I started with Stan's and the sealant is great, but I'm not sure the stips are worth the extra money over ghetto. I've got 3 sets of UST rims now and just run any tires with a scoop or two of sealant. I find this to be by far the easiest way to go.

As far as performance you can REALLY notice it at speed. I also see a difference in my fork's performance. My boxxer started to feel like an inverted fork as there wasn't a lot of weight it needed to push around to compress. I also notice that on skinnies the bike was easier to stear when not rolling much as there was less lateral rotating weight (is that a term?).

I went back to tubes for a short while after I cut the minion and got a total of 4 flats in 1.5 weeks or so using different tires and tubes.

Check out the step by step vids on the stan's site, but don't fall for the floorpump BS. You NEED a compressor.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:13 AM   #10
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:50 AM   #11
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Currently have Nevagels on XT776 rims, Intense System 3's on XC717, Aspens on XM819 and Advantages on XM321. The only UST tires are the nevagals. All the rest are single ply.

Haven't had any issues with roll over, or burping. I will never run tubes again!! I only use electrical tape on the rims for the XC717 and XM321. Works great.

I would only run the Advan and Nevs in rocky terrain however as I've sliced through several sgl ply continetals when I hit the rough stuff.

You should be able to run the same high pressure but have a better feel for the trail.

Tubeless hasn't really caught on here for some reason. When asked I tell people that running tubeless is like sexx without the condom.
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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But my wheels end up like octagons, is tubeless for me?
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Old 07-17-2010, 07:31 AM   #13
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Ghetto for 2.5 years, performed really well, except the last couple of months have been bad for me. I've rolled the tire off the rim twice. and I've flatted twice due to torn sidewalls. The rolling off rims is my own fault for running low pressure then trying to rail berms, but the sidewalls were just bad luck.

It works well, but if you plan on changing tires more than once every few months it's not for you, as you're essentially tossing a BMX tube every time you do. If you're really curious about it, try running it on just one wheel (or a spare wheel) for a month or two, and play around with the pressure to see how you like it.
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Old 07-17-2010, 02:48 PM   #14
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Its been 8 years for me. Ghetto is the easiest way to seat a stubborn tire, but its hard to re-use it. I have but its difficult. Stan's is probably the best method for ease of use but if you're a cheap mofo like me then it isn't an option.

I just set up the Gorilla tape method on the rear of my bike, using an old MX shrader valve. It works great - a bolt on valve that isn't presta. You can crank that bitch down pretty hard.

The drawback about the Gorilla tape method is that tires do better when there is rubber-rubber contact. The sealant bonds the two together better whereas the the rubber bead to tape bond doesn't stick as well.

Always use more air pressure than you normally would.
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Old 07-17-2010, 04:39 PM   #15
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You can re-use BMX tubes, but as Wayne said it is a pain. I have been too cheap to go to the Stan's rim strips so far, but next time I am out of sealant, I will pick up the kits.

I have done full UST and it is the easiest of the bunch as you don't even need sealant. Stan's rims are really easy to use too. Ghetto and the Gorilla are the cheapest systems to test it to see.

There is a weight savings, but it doesn't magically make your bike feel light and more responsive. It will let you run stupid low pressure and not pinch flat and that is the main benefit as it rolls faster on lumps terrain and has more traction on rock faces and slippery terrain.

If you are using non-UST tires the sidewalls are weaker and will tear. I have had 4 flats with tubless but they were all sidewall cuts to Maxxis eXCeption series Crossmarks. Also, with lightweight standard tires, I would use more pressure than many would recommend. That is because the sidewalls are so flimsy the lack of tube in the tire leaves the tire feeling more "rolly." I normally run 32 PSI with tubes and I run about the same tubeless. Without the tube, the tire is way more supple and softer feeling.
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