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  1. #1
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    Question about Tubeless

    I just purchased a 2018 Gt Verb Expert and I noticed it comes with Tubeless Rims But Me being a Noob To Tubeless Bikes I wanted to Know how to find out if the Bike is already Tubeless of if I need to convert it over. Im a Big Guy 5'10 255 lbs and is there even a Benefit to running Tubeless?

  2. #2
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    Quick search reveals the following 'spec'...
    GT Verb Expert Bike 2018 | Jenson USA

    Based on this you're good to go but tubeless ready bikes are shipped with tubes in them. My 2018 Kona came tubeless ready with WTB i29 rims and when I removed tubes the rims were already taped. There was also a set of tubeless valve stems that came with bike. These are installed directly to rim after tubes are removed and wheel taping is completed.

    I would do the following:
    1. Go to Stan's website and look at tubeless video's to get a feel for how it works (wheel taping, sealant, valve stems, proper installation, etc).

    2. Check your wheels to see if they are already taped. This will determine if tape is needed.

    3. Buy tape (if needed), sealant, and tubeless valve stems...install per videos.

    4. An air compressor is useful when inflating...not 100% necessary but makes life easier vs using floor pump to 'set' tire bead.

    5. Per video, pump up and check for leaks (soapy water)

    I'm also a clyde at 220lbs...will never go back to tubes (been riding 30 years). Smooth's out smaller trail vibrations, less rolling resistance, no more pinch flats, etc. I run 22-25psi on 27.5/2.5's...Used to run 30-35psi with tubes. You need to determine what pressure is best for you but I would start at 25 or so and give it a few rides. Tire profile, rim width, type of riding, terrain, rider preference are all variables.
    07 Kona Dawg Supreme
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  3. #3
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    The benefits of tubeless, whether the rider is 255 lbs or 155 lbs, are better trail feel, better traction, and better small bump absorption. Tubeless also has the ability to self-seal certain punctures, meaning fewer flats.

    If you need to set up tubeless yourself use valve stems with removable cores. It makes the process much easier. Fully seat the tire (after ensuring the rim is taped), remove the valve core, then inflate the tire using a high volume pump or compressor. The tire bead will give satisfying popping sounds. Just be careful not to blow the tire off the rim, especially if youíre using a compressor (gas station compressors arenít a good idea). Once the bead is set let the air out by removing the pump. Hang the wheel with the stem at the bottom and inject the sealant through the valve. Replace the valve core, inflate and do the tubeless shake and shuffle. Stanís has good instructions as does YouTube. Using a tire that has already been inflated on the rim makes the process easier. Some new tires are more difficult to set up initially, having spent their lives being folded. For those, it makes life easier if you set up the tires with tubes and let them sit overnight. Then remove the tubes and set up tubeless.

    Some tubeless ready rims can be tough to get the tire on or off. The fit is tight. Soapy water can help. There are also some lube products that are supposed to help. Sometimes a tire lever is needed. Usually, though, a lot of patience, a little cursing, and some time working the tire will get the tough ones on or off. Just stick with it.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JagerJohnny View Post
    I just purchased a 2018 Gt Verb Expert and I noticed it comes with Tubeless Rims But Me being a Noob To Tubeless Bikes I wanted to Know how to find out if the Bike is already Tubeless of if I need to convert it over. Im a Big Guy 5'10 255 lbs and is there even a Benefit to running Tubeless?

    I'm having a similar issue Johnny. If you are mechanically inclined and have the right tools and your tires are tubeless ready, then go for it!

    However...if one or both of the above don't apply, you could be in for some trouble trying to go tubeless. I've tried it twice with no success. And that's OK, sometimes you have to try stuff and learn the hard way. I (and many others) simply took the tire and rim to the LBS and had them put it on and add sealant.


    As far as tubeless vs. tubed: others will know more or have more experience, but so far this has been mine:

    Yes tubeless has a better feel. You may be able to go down a bit lower in psi. If you want to go to + tires then try tubeless for sure. I'm now riding a 2.8 inch wide + tire tubeless and having a blast, doing things on the bike I could not do before (rolling over larger obstacles, going into and out of deeper ruts in the trail, etc). However, if you are sticking with a standard tire, in my opinion (and a ton of people will disagree with this), there is not a huge difference between tubed and tubeless.

    For a standard tire, most people can get the psi down to 20-25 tubeless. A lot of these same people started out 20-30 years ago riding skinny tires with tubes, and they had to pump up the tire to 40-60 psi. So later they go from a skinny tire, like 1.7 or 1.9 to a 2.2 to 2.5 tire, go tubeless, have a much lower psi, and think it's great. Well, yes, compared to what they started out with, it is way better.

    But as long as a tube has sealant in it, you CAN go down below 25 psi on a standard tire. I don't think many on here understand this!!! And flats are rare, only every several hundred miles or more, because there is sealant in there just like with tubeless. The only issue is extra weight, often about 1/2 lb extra weight per tire due to the tube and sealant vs. sealant only. That's why I'm experimenting with putting a lightweight 26" tube that's 5 ounces in back (I prefer tubed in back), with 3 ounces of sealant. Since most people doing tubeless add roughly 4 ounces of sealant, then compared to that you have a tire that weighs only 1/4 lb more tubed than tubeless. And who cares how the back tire feels compared to the front. Front is way more important to consider for tubeless anyway.

    Recap:
    If you have + tires or want to go +, try tubeless for sure
    For standard tires, if you are mechanically inclined, try it. If not, tubes are not the end of the world if they have sealant in them (many videos on how to remove Presta valve cores to add sealant either directly into the tire or into the tube).
    Hypercritical is good. Hypocritical is bad. Nice people can still be bad people.

  5. #5
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    A couple of things. Tubeless on a 2.2 to 2.4Ē tire feels and performs noticeably better than a tire with tubes. That doesnít mean you canít or shouldnít ride with tubes. Many people do and it makes sense if youíre changing tires a lot. But, tubeless still allows better traction and feel vs. tube. People have tried putting baby power in the tire to get the tubeless feel with a tube but it still doesnít get there. If tubes work for someone, great. Not everyone goes tubeless. That, however, is different from saying there isnít really a difference with non-plus tires.

    As far as sealant, 4 ozs per wheel is a lot for non-plus tires. The usual is 2 ozs.

    A tube full of sealant wonít allow lower pressure vs a tube without sealant. Itís not the sealant that allows a tubeless tire to run lower pressure; itís the absence of the tube and the space it occupies. The point of running a tube with sealant is to reduce flats, not to get lower pressure.

    The rear tire feel is important for traction, particularly climbing in loose, slick, or rooty conditions. The front tire is the control tire, but the rear is the one thatís going to make or break that climb.

  6. #6
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    IME tubeless ready bikes that are shipped with tubes in them will come with the tubeless valve stems separately, in a baggie with the documentation or otherwise. If you have those, I would expect tubes are installed.

    If you don't have those, there still might be tubes and they just forgot to include the stems. To check, deflate the tire most but not all of the way and unthread the valve stem retainer about a quarter inch and press the valve stem in. If air leaks (and maybe some sealant too, safety glass wouldn't hurt), it's setup tubeless. If no air leaks, it's tubes. Careful not to let dirt in; if it is tubeless you want to make sure the stem re-seals well when you tighten it back up.

    And yes, IMO the only downside of tubeless is getting them set up. Once set up it's greater pressure range, better trail feel, less rolling resistance, less chance of flats, etc. etc. I would never run tubes if I had the choice; probably the only choice in MTB I don't have any reservations with.
    Little Bear: SC Superlight 29 | Goldilocks' Bear: Evil The Calling | Big Bear: SC Butcher

  7. #7
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    +1 - tubeless here and love it. Not much to add with what has already been shared.

  8. #8
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    I'm just learning all of this. My tubeless rim bike came with two extra stems and I thought they were just a different color option (black). The valves that were on the bike (silver) did not have removable stems, so today when I broke the bead to add sealant, to my surprise, there was a tube inside. Then I understood what the extra valves were for. I replaced the tubes with the tubelss stems and aired them. Good to hear about reducing pressure.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post

    As far as tubeless vs. tubed: others will know more or have more experience,
    As one of those "others" that know more and have more experience, I would suggest that folks ignore your opinions since they make no sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    However, if you are sticking with a standard tire, in my opinion (and a ton of people will disagree with this), there is not a huge difference between tubed and tubeless.
    The major difference between tubes and tubeless:

    -Virtually eliminate flats. Via sharp object or pinch flating.
    -the ability to run lower pressures which reduce rolling resistance and increase grip
    -weight savings vary

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    For a standard tire, most people can get the psi down to 20-25 tubeless.
    Or lower, especially with wider rims that provide more sidewall support.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    A lot of these same people started out 20-30 years ago riding skinny tires with tubes, and they had to pump up the tire to 40-60 psi. So later they go from a skinny tire, like 1.7 or 1.9 to a 2.2 to 2.5 tire, go tubeless, have a much lower psi, and think it's great. Well, yes, compared to what they started out with, it is way better.
    Where do you come up with this stuff?

    I started 30+ years ago on 26x2.0 tires, never ran 40-60psi. For years I regularly ran 2.3s in 30-32psi range, tubed. Sometimes even high 20s if I switched out to a tirewith a DH casing.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    But as long as a tube has sealant in it, you CAN go down below 25 psi on a standard tire. I don't think many on here understand this!!!
    The person that doesn't understand is you. Sealant in a tube is not going to prevent a pinch flat at low, tubeless-range, pressures for most riders. It will help with thorns though.

    While you may be able to ride below 25psi with sealant filled tubes without pinch flating, you are one extreme end of the riding spectrum (riding at very low speeds, even while descending).

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    And flats are rare, only every several hundred miles or more, because there is sealant in there just like with tubeless.
    Again, pinch flats. You don't seem familiar with what they are. Also, if you're getting a flat every several hundred miles, that's not rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by richj8990 View Post
    And who cares how the back tire feels compared to the front. Front is way more important to consider for tubeless anyway.
    This is the kind of nonsense that really supports the fact that newbs should ignore you.

    People who actually mountain bike really care how the back tire feels compared to the front. Traction while climbing is very important. Lower pressure = better traction so folks who ride tricky climbs appreciate the increase in traction compared to tubes.

  10. #10
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    ^bam, right on the money
    All the gear and no idea.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by fillaroida View Post
    People who actually mountain bike really care how the back tire feels compared to the front. Traction while climbing is very important. Lower pressure = better traction so folks who ride tricky climbs appreciate the increase in traction compared to tubes.
    Often you can really feel the back step out while cornering (no brake). A few less psi really helps keep the bike tracking. Then I went to far, 18psi works great in front but I damaged the rear rim with a rock strike. It didn't flat and I had to hit the same rock a 2nd time, getting a 2nd dent, to figure it out. On trials with root/rock I don't get below 22psi in the rear.
    oops I wasn't clipped in

  12. #12
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    i ride with tubes and more knobbEish tires (if lookin for more traction)

    tubeless is a pita

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by nauc View Post
    i ride with tubes and more knobbEish tires (if lookin for more traction)

    tubeless is a pita
    Not the same and not from my experience

  14. #14
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    Tubeless, with real tubeless components, is pretty easy these days. Often don't even need a compressor. It just works.

    Since most bikes ship tubeless ready now, it's easier to change over than to keep flatting tubes.

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