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  1. #1
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    Better climbing 29er or 27.5 ?

    I am now an older mountain biker and ride a FS 29er and I am considering a new bike.

    I am guessing a 27.5 would be better for my use? Not as much energy as I once had but still love riding!

    Also, never went tubeless yet and I'm thinking since I'm older and more cautious it would not make a significant difference. Thoughts ?

  2. #2
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    29 will climb over things better with the right suspension and weight. Go wider rims and you can get less pinch flats.

  3. #3
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    Running 2.2 tires with 40 lbs of air and I weigh 186.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Running 2.2 tires with 40 lbs of air and I weigh 186.
    No bike is going to climb well with 40psi in the tires. Ouch.

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  5. #5
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    Youre never too old to go tubeless
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  6. #6
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    On 30mm inner I can run 19 for a rear for a 2.2 and less for a 2.35. A wider tire at 14-16 on a front with a wider rim both with tubes. Bontrager XR2 2.35 Team have a very rounded profile to work with wide rims.
    You can likely even go farther. With 29+ tires and a hardtail you can run low pressure. The high volume of the tire will give compliance for your ride and plenty of climbing traction. A Stache 9.7 is one.

    You can look at the new version of the Evil Following MB for fs.
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  7. #7
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    Honestly, this climbing thing is preference. I prefer a 29er. My wife prefers 27.5. My son prefers a 29er. My daughter prefers not to climb. So my advice as far as that's concerned is go to some demo rides and see what works best for you.

    Tubeless tires? Lets start with this. Even WITH tubes at 220 lbs I was running a 2.4 front and 2.25 rear with 35 psi rear and 32 front. I had to be feeling pretty dense in my riding to pinch flat those. Tubeless I run 28 front and 30 rear. It makes huge difference. I'd recommend you try dropping your tire pressures a little to start with, maybe 35 PSI. It will make a difference. I've struggled a little with tubeless - I had a tire that would bead up just fine, but the sidewalls leaked sealant and never would hold air for more than a few minutes. I had another tire that just would not bead up on the wheel, and yes, I have an air compressor, and took the valve core out, and everything. My theory is both tires were defective somehow. Otherwise, I've basically gone 4 years without ever having a flat tire. In other words, in spite of having a couple of product issues, I wouldn't trade tubeless tire technology for something pretty.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I am now an older mountain biker and ride a FS 29er and I am considering a new bike.

    I am guessing a 27.5 would be better for my use? Not as much energy as I once had but still love riding!

    Also, never went tubeless yet and I'm thinking since I'm older and more cautious it would not make a significant difference. Thoughts ?
    non sequiturs
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  9. #9
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    You can drop a lot of tire pressure at your weight. 30 psi or even high twenties should work fine I think.
    A 29er shouldn't require any more energy than a 27.5, and might require less in some situations.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Running 2.2 tires with 40 lbs of air and I weigh 186.
    Zoinks! That is enough air pressure to rattle bones and shake dental work loose.

    Whatever the wheel size, you could easily run 18-20 psi in the front and 25-ish in the rear running tubeless. This provides a lot more traction and cushion for older bones (like mine that are 50+).
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  11. #11
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    Ok, it seems there is little difference in climbing between a 29 re and a 27.5 tire size at least nothing that would be condierable and there's little doubt the 29 er would be better on the downhills with rocks and roots.

    What I did just learn is that my tire pressure is killing me! Yes, on climbs some of my pedal stokes have caused slipping in loose material while downhill in the sandy banked turns my tires have been sliding. And, I am no speed demon, just an old guy having lots of fun in the woods.

    I am really afraid to try and go tubeless and don't have the patience to get ready to bike and find an airless tire. Also, at my age I'm not flying down the hills so perhaps as many of the people xperts on this site have mentioned, I could drop 10 or 15 pounds? I guess a LBS could set up my tires to run tubeless but what how much aggravation would I have to maintain the setup?

    I am guessing even a 10 pound drop would make a considerable difference?

  12. #12
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    I weigh about 240 right now and I run something like 27 front tire, 29 psi rear. Even 30psi is sort of high if you ask most riders, but going from 40 you will probably notice a good difference.
    Once you get tubeless set up, the only maintenance is topping off your sealant every so often. You can unscrew the valve core and inject it right through the valve, so it's pretty easy. Since you aren't really picky or worried about it, you might be right in that if your current setup works for you, maybe just stick with it. If you were getting a lot of flats then tubeless would help because they'd seal up instead of going fully flat in the middle of a ride.
    It would also slightly reduce the weight of your wheels, which can make accelerations feel easier, and a slightly different lighter feel to the wheels. I can even notice that turning feels lighter when the wheels are lighter.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    I weigh about 240 right now and I run something like 27 front tire, 29 psi rear. Even 30psi is sort of high if you ask most riders, but going from 40 you will probably notice a good difference.
    Once you get tubeless set up, the only maintenance is topping off your sealant every so often. You can unscrew the valve core and inject it right through the valve, so it's pretty easy. Since you aren't really picky or worried about it, you might be right in that if your current setup works for you, maybe just stick with it. If you were getting a lot of flats then tubeless would help because they'd seal up instead of going fully flat in the middle of a ride.
    It would also slightly reduce the weight of your wheels, which can make accelerations feel easier, and a slightly different lighter feel to the wheels. I can even notice that turning feels lighter when the wheels are lighter.
    Have to believe dropping 10 lbs (30 psi rear) would make a big difference and I will give that a shot first.

    Will that really increase the possibility of a flat?

  14. #14
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    This is about as anecdotal as the OPs theorizing. When I moved from 26" to 29", I was running Kenda Nevegal soft compound (forget proper name) and on the new 29er, all I have was some WTB Nanos, even with a tyre with such lesser and harder tread, I could climb stuff I previously struggled on, in a harder gear, so much so I up-sized my chainrings by 2 teeth. For me, a 29er will just monster truck up any climb once you have the right gearing and can keep the cranks turning over.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Have to believe dropping 10 lbs (30 psi rear) would make a big difference and I will give that a shot first.

    Will that really increase the possibility of a flat?
    Probably not unless you're really smashing into rocks and such.

    Lower pressure will help a lot and getting some wider tires than 2.2 would really set you up.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  16. #16
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    I'm still playing around with pressures but I've been at 20f26r for a few rides and it feels great.

    I love 29er for climbing, and everthing else too.

  17. #17
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    There's different sorts of climbing...

    Long grinders on fire/access roads a steepish angled, shorter wheelbased mule will zip you up those climbs.

    For technical climbing a longer wheelbase w/ more aggressive geometry will help you claw your way up.

    The only differences between wheel size in regard to climbing is: i) one is quicker to get up to speed ii) the other carries momentum a bit better...

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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by @Ride@ View Post
    I'm still playing around with pressures but I've been at 20f26r for a few rides and it feels great.

    I love 29er for climbing, and everthing else too.
    Judging by those numbers, I assume you are tubeless?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cotharyus View Post
    Even WITH tubes at 220 lbs I was running a 2.4 front and 2.25 rear with 35 psi rear and 32 front.
    Yep, I'm 220 and running 32F/36R 27.5x2.3 with tubes, no problems.

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    Geometry of bike frame will play a larger role than wheel size for climbing efficiency, assuming comparable tires.

    I havenít looked hard at 27.5ís but the ones Iíve seen are generally slacker and built for downhill over uphill (ie: Enduro), but Iím sure there are some 27.5ís that are goats too.

    But, those 27ís are generally more playful and maybe that could change your mind about feeling too old....😁

  21. #21
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    The best climbing bike I have been on in 30 years is my Knolly Endorphin with a 66.5į HTA. Would love to try it in a 29 version. Steepish STA and gobs of traction get it done. With todays shocks, logging roads are dependant on power to weight ratio, and rolling resistance.
    I got some bad ideas in my head.

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    Assuming you are not talking about smooth fire road climbing because thats just gearing and your fitness. Going off of wheel size alone, then a 29er will roll up and over stuff easier than 27.5. But this is only part of the picture. Suspension is really important, the rear has to move so it won't hang up, and keep traction. But you don't want it to sink in to its travel to much and throw your weight back, or use too much energy to peddle.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I am now an older mountain biker and ride a FS 29er and I am considering a new bike.

    I am guessing a 27.5 would be better for my use? Not as much energy as I once had but still love riding!

    Also, never went tubeless yet and I'm thinking since I'm older and more cautious it would not make a significant difference. Thoughts ?
    You really need to provide more info about yourself. We are not mind readers.
    We have no idea what kind of riding you do, therefore how can we be expected to know what to recommend. Besides, how old are you? Many of us here are older and there is a forum if you are interested, that caters to the over 50 crowd.

    I'm 65, 165 pounds, ride on 27.5x2.6" tires, tubeless on 35mm inner width rims. I run about 14 psi front and 18 psi rear, in Moab...lower in Park City. I never hit the rims, and have been running tubeless for years. If I ran even 30 psi on those, I'd be ricocheting off rocks like crazy.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Have to believe dropping 10 lbs (30 psi rear) would make a big difference and I will give that a shot first.

    Will that really increase the possibility of a flat?
    At 30psi you're at very low risk of pinch flatting. You'd have to slam a rock really hard. Even at my weight which is a lot more than you I run less than that. I'd try even lower. Snag a little guage off amazon, and lower the pressure a little at a time. If you feel it bottom out on the rim or it feels like its getting close add a couple psi.. You'll find what works for you. It's different for everyone somewhat because of weight difference and what type of riding you do. If you are light or average weight and ride conservatively-or smoothly- you can get away with lower pressures than someone who slams through rock gardens at high speed :P

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    You really need to provide more info about yourself. We are not mind readers.
    We have no idea what kind of riding you do, therefore how can we be expected to know what to recommend. Besides, how old are you? Many of us here are older and there is a forum if you are interested, that caters to the over 50 crowd.

    I'm 65, 165 pounds, ride on 27.5x2.6" tires, tubeless on 35mm inner width rims. I run about 14 psi front and 18 psi rear, in Moab...lower in Park City. I never hit the rims, and have been running tubeless for years. If I ran even 30 psi on those, I'd be ricocheting off rocks like crazy.
    Okay, if I must I will come clean, I am 67 years old and live close to a great Mtn biking area in SW Virginia, it's called Carvins Cove. Fire toads and lots of singletrack and I do the beginner trails and a few that are considered intermediate but they are really not, IMO.
    I weiegh 186 and ride a Trek Superfly FS 29 er. And I love to ride my CX on the Greenway but like ve to ride singletrack. I don't have much lung power but I do get out there and enjoy myself even after panting like a dog.

    I have quickly learned that my riding with 40 pounds of air in the tires was not very smart but I hope to read more and learn, it would be easier on the body.

    And, the main trail I plan to ride at Carvins Cove is called Songbird, there is a video posted on line of this trail but it's probably a minor warm up for most members on this site.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Okay, if I must I will come clean, I am 67 years old and live close to a great Mtn biking area in SW Virginia, it's called Carvins Cove. Fire toads and lots of singletrack and I do the beginner trails and a few that are considered intermediate but they are really not, IMO.
    I weiegh 186 and ride a Trek Superfly FS 29 er. And I love to ride my CX on the Greenway but like ve to ride singletrack. I don't have much lung power but I do get out there and enjoy myself even after panting like a dog.

    I have quickly learned that my riding with 40 pounds of air in the tires was not very smart but I hope to read more and learn, it would be easier on the body.

    And, the main trail I plan to ride at Carvins Cove is called Songbird, there is a video posted on line of this trail but it's probably a minor warm up for most members on this site.
    Wonderful! Welcome aboard. Check in with the old farts on the over fifty forum. Go to youtube to get info on running tubeless. Once you've done that, you can decide what else you need. Youtube is a great source of info, as you can tailor the information to your needs.

  27. #27
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    Go into this shop and talk to these guys. They have rentals for you to try. See what you like. Let them set it up.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus75 View Post
    Assuming you are not talking about smooth fire road climbing because thats just gearing and your fitness. Going off of wheel size alone, then a 29er will roll up and over stuff easier than 27.5. But this is only part of the picture. Suspension is really important, the rear has to move so it won't hang up, and keep traction. But you don't want it to sink in to its travel to much and throw your weight back, or use too much energy to peddle.
    peddle!?

    Is that Uh-mare-uh-kin spelling?

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  29. #29
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    My steed is a Niner ROS 9 29" that I use around the Colorado front range but I have demoed my fair share of other 29" and 27.5" bikes. That being said here is my totally unscientific and biased opinion on their climbing abilities.

    29"
    Pros: Rolls over rocks much easier making it better for climbing up technical trails. They also hold speed much better for smother climbs. Bigger contact patch gives you more traction for looser and technical climbs. Very few pedal strikes to mess with your cadence.

    Cons: Bigger wheels take more energy to turn so it takes more muscle for quick steep sections and on steep sustained climbs. On tight switch backs it take a lot more practice to get used to making sharp turns on big wheels but once you get the hang of it it's not much of an issue.

    27.5"
    Pros: Easier to maneuver and fit into tight lines and around rocks. Much easier to spin the wheels making them much better suited for the "sit & spin" kind of climbing. Much easier to make tight switchback turns.

    Cons: More pedal strikes that can mess up your climbing. Easier for the wheel to get caught up on bigger obstacles. Doesn't hold speed as well on smoother climbs.

    Overall my personal opinion:
    Get a 29er if you want to climb faster but put in a bigger effort especially on longer steeper climbs. Also get a 29er if your trails are more open and smooth since they cover ground better.
    Get a 27.5 if you like to winch up the mountain a bit slower but with an easier effort to spin the pedals. 27.5 also have a much more mountain goat like peppiness to their climbing allowing you to pop around obstacles as opposed to monster trucking over them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by targnik View Post
    peddle!?

    Is that Uh-mare-uh-kin spelling?

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    Lol that was the German influenced spelling, coming from too much Octoberfest beer.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I am guessing a 27.5 would be better for my use? Not as much energy as I once had but still love riding!
    What is your use? "Climbing" is a very loose term. Are you talking about climbing fireroads and/or asphalt? If so, yes, 650b is probably going to climb better since there is less rotating mass.

    Climbing up tech with roots/rocks? 29er will probably roll over better and thus climb better.

    Lots of switch backs? Maybe 650b, maybe 29, it depends.

    Obviously, there is no solid answer.

    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Also, never went tubeless yet and I'm thinking since I'm older and more cautious it would not make a significant difference. Thoughts ?
    Never too late to go tubeless.

    I race with 2.4's up front, minimum 2.2 rear as low as I safely can (about 24 rear, 21 front) at 145 pounds on my hardtail. Closer to 20f/25r on my enduro.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    What is your use? "Climbing" is a very loose term. Are you talking about climbing fireroads and/or asphalt? If so, yes, 650b is probably going to climb better since there is less rotating mass.

    Climbing up tech with roots/rocks? 29er will probably roll over better and thus climb better.

    Lots of switch backs? Maybe 650b, maybe 29, it depends.

    Obviously, there is no solid answer.

    Never too late to go tubeless.

    I race with 2.4's up front, minimum 2.2 rear as low as I safely can (about 24 rear, 21 front) at 145 pounds on my hardtail. Closer to 20f/25r on my enduro.
    I ride gravel fire roads to get to the trails and do beginner and intermediate singletrack that most bikes would not consider a climb but I am in my 60's and a climb to me is anything uphill. And yes, there are roots, rocks and som soft sand!

    My bike is a 2013 Trek Superfly 100 AL Elite so although it is not tubeless ready, I guess I can still get there ok? Thanks

  33. #33
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    I looked at my wheels and they are labeled as being tubeless ready so I guess I have to decide if this feature would be a benefit for me ?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I looked at my wheels and they are labeled as being tubeless ready so I guess I have to decide if this feature would be a benefit for me ?
    So, I just came back to this thread. Saw that you're riding Carvins Cove.

    My wife and I finished grad school at VT in May. I rode Carvins regularly.

    Unless you're going with a 150mm+ bike, which it doesn't sound like you are, a 29er would be a better option, I think. IMO, they roll faster and climb better than 650b wheels.

    Tubeless seems like a must to me. On a Hi-Dee-Ho->Brushy Mountain->Buck loop, I'd definitely go tubeless. Never ridden Songbird, but if it is similar to any of the other trails at Carvins, you'd be better off with more traction, lower rolling resistance and better puncture resistance offered by going tubeless.
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  35. #35
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    I would say tubeless is the very first move to make. Perhaps followed by maybe 2.4" tires if you find yourself lacking traction. Certainly try those before buying a new bike.

    Do you have a good metric to judge your climbs by? Running 40 psi at your weight leads me to believe anything less feels a little bit flat to you. In reality, dropping some psi may actually be faster. It will undoubtedly give you more traction, and certainly more comfort as well. The only thing is that going tubeless may make you feel like youre riding around on flat tires, at least at first. It takes a while to build confidence in the fact that youre actually going faster with less effort. This is where timing yourself or using strava may help, since youll have real tangible fedback.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    I would say tubeless is the very first move to make. Perhaps followed by maybe 2.4" tires if you find yourself lacking traction. Certainly try those before buying a new bike.

    Do you have a good metric to judge your climbs by? Running 40 psi at your weight leads me to believe anything less feels a little bit flat to you. In reality, dropping some psi may actually be faster. It will undoubtedly give you more traction, and certainly more comfort as well. The only thing is that going tubeless may make you feel like youre riding around on flat tires, at least at first. It takes a while to build confidence in the fact that youre actually going faster with less effort. This is where timing yourself or using strava may help, since youll have real tangible fedback.
    From reading responses, I guess I am safe to drop my pressure to about 32 psi and not have to worry about pinch flats.

    You describe going lower by running tubeless would feel like riding on a flat tire. I am guessing that takes more pedal power/effort exerted to move the bike? Many riders have said going tubless is the biggest single upgrade, so I'm definitely interested.

    I'm also guess that if I did go tubless and wanted to move quickly on a fire road or rail trail, I could inflate to the high 30's near 40 or so.
    Also, I understand your comment regarding wider tires to provide a better grip however that will require more effort than my current ( negligible ) 2.2, correct?

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    You describe going lower by running tubeless would feel like riding on a flat tire. I am guessing that takes more pedal power/effort exerted to move the bike?
    Your initial feeling may be that it takes more effort, but in reality, this is not the case. You get some added suspension mushiness from the lower pressure, and your brain tells you that youre not used to so much squirm, and you must have flat tires! But in reality, the tires are indeed properly inflated, and its nothing more than a mental hangup.

    The biggest reason tubeless is so efficient is that you remove the uninflated dead space and friction between the tube and the inner casing of the tire. This allows you to achieve the same rolling resistance at far lower pressures, which lead to a larger contact patch, increased traction, and increased comfort. At some point, allowing the tire to deform over inconsistent terrain a bit outweighs pure rolling resistance. A soft tire will conform to the surface, whereas an overinflated tire will chatter around and bounce over pebbles and roots.

    At your weight, Id imagine a good starting point to be in the 25/28 range on 2.2 tires. I wouldnt inflate much more than low 30s though.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    Your initial feeling may be that it takes more effort, but in reality, this is not the case. You get some added suspension mushiness from the lower pressure, and your brain tells you that youre not used to so much squirm, and you must have flat tires! But in reality, the tires are indeed properly inflated, and its nothing more than a mental hangup.

    The biggest reason tubeless is so efficient is that you remove the uninflated dead space and friction between the tube and the inner casing of the tire. This allows you to achieve the same rolling resistance at far lower pressures, which lead to a larger contact patch, increased traction, and increased comfort. At some point, allowing the tire to deform over inconsistent terrain a bit outweighs pure rolling resistance. A soft tire will conform to the surface, whereas an overinflated tire will chatter around and bounce over pebbles and roots.

    At your weight, Id imagine a good starting point to be in the 25/28 range on 2.2 tires. I wouldnt inflate much more than low 30s though.
    Interesting response regarding the tube and tire dead air space, something I had not heard of before. Based on an overwhelming consensus, there is no reason not to go tubeless and I will give it a shot.
    Meanwhile, I hope to hit the trails sometime this week and look forward to riding with a lower pressure and I'm sure that alone will be a different experience. I assume your 25/28 pressure recommendation is for tubed tires? Thanks

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I assume your 25/28 pressure recommendation is for tubed tires? Thanks
    Yes, its probably a good starting point for tubes as you are now.

    It would also make a good starting point for when you go tubeless, or perhaps just a couple psi lower, but expect to continue to drop pressure as you gain comfotability with the setup. A lot will also depend on your tire's sidewall support. A buddy of mine thats about your weight used to ride 23/25 with a light weight supple tire. He switched to some slightly more aggressive tires, and has to run them at 18/19 to get the feel he wants. Thats on the low end of the psi spectrum for a 29er, but should give you an idea of the range you can play with.

    But to boil everything down, the tire pressure that will get you around the trail quickest is usually lower than you think. Especially coming from 40 psi and tubes.

  40. #40
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    real men ride 27.5 wheels!

    2.6 tires on 30-35mm rims is highly recommended, I made the switch a few months ago and will never go below 2.6 ever again

    tubeless setup saves you a lot of weight and troubles, initial setup took me 30 minutes (you first mount the tires dry to make sure it's properly seated on the rim before deflating again and adding the sealant - a step often forgotten on all the YouTube videos!)

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitsBoy View Post
    Yes, its probably a good starting point for tubes as you are now.

    It would also make a good starting point for when you go tubeless, or perhaps just a couple psi lower, but expect to continue to drop pressure as you gain comfotability with the setup. A lot will also depend on your tire's sidewall support. A buddy of mine thats about your weight used to ride 23/25 with a light weight supple tire. He switched to some slightly more aggressive tires, and has to run them at 18/19 to get the feel he wants. Thats on the low end of the psi spectrum for a 29er, but should give you an idea of the range you can play with.

    But to boil everything down, the tire pressure that will get you around the trail quickest is usually lower than you think. Especially coming from 40 psi and tubes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    real men ride 27.5 wheels!

    2.6 tires on 30-35mm rims is highly recommended, I made the switch a few months ago and will never go below 2.6 ever again

    tubeless setup saves you a lot of weight and troubles, initial setup took me 30 minutes (you first mount the tires dry to make sure it's properly seated on the rim before deflating again and adding the sealant - a step often forgotten on all the YouTube videos!)
    My wheels are bontrager mustang 622x19 series 6000 with 2.2 tires. I have no idea what the maximum tire width that would be possible with these wheels ?

  42. #42
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    I've a 19mm wheel on my gravelbike and that's 35C (1,4") tires!

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    My wheels are bontrager mustang 622x19 series 6000 with 2.2 tires. I have no idea what the maximum tire width that would be possible with these wheels ?
    I've run 2.4 tires on 19mm rims. That was a pretty standard XC rim width (trail rim width too, in fact) 5 years ago. The real question is how much tire you clear on your frame. When the stock hubs were worn out on my bike, I picked up some 24.6mm wide wheels, and it made the 2.4" tire more stable in turns, and let me drop another PSI or two.

    Just a note, if your wheels say tubeless ready, they may still need to be taped.

  44. #44
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    Dropped my bike off today after riding at Carvins Cove at the bike shop to have the brakes serviced, fluid changed and the derailleurs adjusted. They will also convert the tires to tubeless so I will finally get to experience a new ride.

    What pressure should I start out with? My weight with a backpack is less than 190 and the tires are 2.2.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Dropped my bike off today after riding at Carvins Cove at the bike shop to have the brakes serviced, fluid changed and the derailleurs adjusted. They will also convert the tires to tubeless so I will finally get to experience a new ride.

    What pressure should I start out with? My weight with a backpack is less than 190 and the tires are 2.2.
    Start with something like 26 front and 28 rear. You may want to adjust down from there, but I wouldn't think you'd need to go up since I'm 230 with a pack and run 28/30 in a 2.25. I ride pretty aggressively, and while people tell me I could drop that pressure some, I know there are places I touch the rims to roots and rocks, and I don't want to start breaking stuff. So my number should be a very safe one for you to start at. Try that. Try a little lower. See what you like.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    What pressure should I start out with? My weight with a backpack is less than 190 and the tires are 2.2.
    unless it's not a Gravelbike with dropbars we're talking here I'd start with 2.4-2.6 tires depending on your rim width

  47. #47
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    My thoughts:
    Stay 29
    Wide rims
    Carbon rims
    Tubeless
    Tire pressure 26psi or lower
    Lighter tires

    Dropping rotating weight did a huge number on my slow and fast climbing. Especially if itís right on the edge climbing as far as technical or duration.

  48. #48
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    When I rode the trails yesterday prior to dropping off the bike at the shop, I rode with 30 psi front and back in my tubed tires. That was way better than my normal 38 psi.
    I am not aggressive on the trails, too old to get hurt so I am thinking I should be able to start at 28 in the rear tire.

    I guess the bottom number limit will be apoarent with rim strikes that you will hear or feel??

  49. #49
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    In my experience, I believe a 27.5 climbs better on everything other than rocky or bumpy climbs, and descends better in those same situations. 29ers are definitely better on the rocky, bumpy descents.

    As far as tubeless goes, I think is far better, not only in ride feel or traction( with proper psi) but also puncture resistance. I rarely flat with tubeless, and when I do, it's usually because I ran my sealant for too long before checking.
    EXODUX Jeff

  50. #50
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    Rim strikes will be felt and heard. With tubeless they won't pinch flat you.
    I think as a conservative rider at your weight you could get away with 25 psi (maybe less) but you might want to drop a couple psi at a time, go for a ride, see how it feels, and re-assess.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by Len Baird View Post
    Rim strikes will be felt and heard. With tubeless they won't pinch flat you.
    no they will equally pinch flat the tire, happened to me several times running Nobby Nic 2.6 on 30mm rear wheel @15psi

    it doesn't happen during normal riding, only when drops occur, I could run either more psi which contradicts the idea of wide tire in the first place or need some sort of rim flange protection (Huck norris, crush core)

  52. #52
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    I will start out at 28psi and then adjust from there.

    I asked the bike shop that is setting up my tubless about maintaing this and they said just stop by the shop every 6 months or so ( believe they said 6? ) and they would check the tires and add some sealant as needed. Sounds like a good deal to me especially since the shop is near the trails.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    stop by the shop every 6 months or so ( believe they said 6? ) and they would check the tires and add some sealant as needed.
    I always carry a small bottle of sealant + valve key with me when riding tubeless since the tires looses sealant over time and at a certain point holes won't seal anymore. Adding 60ml of fresh sealant through the valve already saved me once and is still a quicker and cleaner solution than installing a tube on the trail

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    I always carry a small bottle of sealant + valve key with me when riding tubeless since the tires looses sealant over time and at a certain point holes won't seal anymore. Adding 60ml of fresh sealant through the valve already saved me once and is still a quicker and cleaner solution than installing a tube on the trail
    So it's best to carry two ounces of sealant along with a syringe? I would think a tube and interior tire ( rubber patch ) would be advisable in case of a gashed tire?

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    So it's best to carry two ounces of sealant along with a syringe? I would think a tube and interior tire ( rubber patch ) would be advisable in case of a gashed tire?
    Yep, if it's a hole that tubeless doesn't immediately seal, it'll be a much bigger PITA and some gashes have to be fixed with the tire clean, sewing them up and putting a patch over it. I find that the plugs have a fairly narrow window where they work, it has to be a puncture, not a gash, has to be slightly bigger than normal, but not too big, etc. That's not worth it on the trail, just carry a tube and boot.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  56. #56
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    I weigh 230 lbs with full gear on. I ride a Salsa Spearfish 3 with 29x2.25" tires. This is very similar to a Trek Superfly geometry and suspension type. At my weight I run @28 psi front and rear with tubes and have never had any pinch flats. I also have a 26er bike with 2.35" tires. My 29er out-climbs my 26er a million times better.

    At your weight of 186 lbs you should be able to easily run @25 psi with tubes, and around @22psi or even a bit less tubeless.

    For climbing on a FS bike, the shock and fork settings do make a difference. First of all, make sure that the sag setting are correctly set on both of them. Secondly, the rebound settings should be near 1/2 way. Too quick a rebound and you lose pedaling efficiency. Too slow and you bounce around too much. If you have CTD settings on the fork or shock, usually the middle position offers enough platform setting to maintain good efficiency. If you hit a bigger bump then it opens up for the bump and locks back up to maintain good pedaling efficiency.

    I hope that this information helps you out. Here is a link to an article that I wrote on this subject:
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...mountain-bike/

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    So it's best to carry two ounces of sealant along with a syringe? I would think a tube and interior tire ( rubber patch ) would be advisable in case of a gashed tire?
    I carry 60ml of sealant in this small bottle and it has already saved me twice when the tire ran out of sealant after several bad punctures in a row.

    You can shoot the sealant directly into the tire after removing the valve head, no additional syringe needed



    After adding sealant it is important to give the sealant a headstart and some time to dry, it's best to remove the wheel during this time and shake it a bit to make sure enough sealant can reach the damaged area

    Pumping up to 25psi right away will open the hole again so wait a few minutes @5psi pressure before adding more air

    I had to learn that the hard way and was close of giving up the first few times when the sealant wouldn't seal right away snake bites in the tire

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    Yep, if it's a hole that tubeless doesn't immediately seal, it'll be a much bigger PITA and some gashes have to be fixed with the tire clean, sewing them up and putting a patch over it. I find that the plugs have a fairly narrow window where they work, it has to be a puncture, not a gash, has to be slightly bigger than normal, but not too big, etc. That's not worth it on the trail, just carry a tube and boot.
    In reading about the Park Tool boots, it appears they will not stick to tires that have sealant in them, what then my friend?

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Calf View Post
    I carry 60ml of sealant in this small bottle and it has already saved me twice when the tire ran out of sealant after several bad punctures in a row.

    You can shoot the sealant directly into the tire after removing the valve head, no additional syringe needed



    After adding sealant it is important to give the sealant a headstart and some time to dry, it's best to remove the wheel during this time and shake it a bit to make sure enough sealant can reach the damaged area

    Pumping up to 25psi right away will open the hole again so wait a few minutes @5psi pressure before adding more air

    I had to learn that the hard way and was close of giving up the first few times when the sealant wouldn't seal right away snake bites in the tire
    Many things to know and carry but it sure beats walking your bike for miles getting back to the car! Thanks

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    I weigh 230 lbs with full gear on. I ride a Salsa Spearfish 3 with 29x2.25" tires. This is very similar to a Trek Superfly geometry and suspension type. At my weight I run @28 psi front and rear with tubes and have never had any pinch flats. I also have a 26er bike with 2.35" tires. My 29er out-climbs my 26er a million times better.

    At your weight of 186 lbs you should be able to easily run @25 psi with tubes, and around @22psi or even a bit less tubeless.

    For climbing on a FS bike, the shock and fork settings do make a difference. First of all, make sure that the sag setting are correctly set on both of them. Secondly, the rebound settings should be near 1/2 way. Too quick a rebound and you lose pedaling efficiency. Too slow and you bounce around too much. If you have CTD settings on the fork or shock, usually the middle position offers enough platform setting to maintain good efficiency. If you hit a bigger bump then it opens up for the bump and locks back up to maintain good pedaling efficiency.

    I hope that this information helps you out. Here is a link to an article that I wrote on this subject:
    https://www.singletracks.com/blog/mt...mountain-bike/
    Great information and honestly, I never set or researched how to set the rebound on the shocks. All I do is to check the air pressure yearly so I need to read up and get with it.

    I thought no you are absolutely correct with your air pressure recommendations especially since I am a very conservative trail rider. Thanks for all of your comments and info!

  61. #61
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    When you do pressure adjustments have the valve towards the top and flush it a little before you hook the pump up.

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by eb1888 View Post
    When you do pressure adjustments have the valve towards the top and flush it a little before you hook the pump up.
    Ok, valve at the top of the tire and release some air first? I guess that keeps the sealant lower and the air clears out the valve body.
    Many thinks to know!!

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Great information and honestly, I never set or researched how to set the rebound on the shocks. All I do is to check the air pressure yearly so I need to read up and get with it.

    I thought no you are absolutely correct with your air pressure recommendations especially since I am a very conservative trail rider. Thanks for all of your comments and info!
    Without going into a ton of detail...
    The rebound on a fork is usually a red knob on the bottom of one of the stanchions (right next to the hub). Typically they have turtle and rabbit symbols. Simply twist all the way in both directions and set to the middle.
    On a shock the rebound dial works very similarly.

    For running lower tire pressures (especially when running tubes), get a good floor pump with an accurate pressure gauge on it. I check my tire pressures right before almost every ride. With tubeless "your mileage may vary" with how often you need to check your pressures.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by blundar View Post
    Without going into a ton of detail...
    The rebound on a fork is usually a red knob on the bottom of one of the stanchions (right next to the hub). Typically they have turtle and rabbit symbols. Simply twist all the way in both directions and set to the middle.
    On a shock the rebound dial works very similarly.

    For running lower tire pressures (especially when running tubes), get a good floor pump with an accurate pressure gauge on it. I check my tire pressures right before almost every ride. With tubeless "your mileage may vary" with how often you need to check your pressures.
    Thanks for the rebound info, I will check it out.

    For a pressure gauge, I did buy a Topeka digital and I will check every time before a ride since I will be a tubeless newbie.

  65. #65
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    Tubeless follow up!

    Picked up and rode my bike yesterday after the bike shop set my bike up without the tubes.
    They recommended I start out with 26/28 psi until it all settles in so I did and it was a good experience riding. Definitely a different sound when the tires hit the rocks and roots and a different sensation than with the tubes although difficult to explain.

    I an guessing I could drop down to 24 or 25 psi after a few more rides?
    Also, the shop said that when I notice the pressure gradually dropping on its own, that's usually means to add sealant? I guess I will need to learn how to maintain the tubeless however so far I am really enjoying it.

  66. #66
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    Outstanding! Enjoy the rides and put in a bunch of miles on your bike. You are definitely going in the right direction. The next step to improving your climbing is simply to build up your fitness level and experience.

  67. #67
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    Fitness building, I need that since I get easily winded even on short modest climbs!

    Thanks for your response!

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    Tubeless follow up!

    Picked up and rode my bike yesterday after the bike shop set my bike up without the tubes.
    They recommended I start out with 26/28 psi until it all settles in so I did and it was a good experience riding. Definitely a different sound when the tires hit the rocks and roots and a different sensation than with the tubes although difficult to explain.

    I an guessing I could drop down to 24 or 25 psi after a few more rides?
    Also, the shop said that when I notice the pressure gradually dropping on its own, that's usually means to add sealant? I guess I will need to learn how to maintain the tubeless however so far I am really enjoying it.
    Awesome! I find that sealant lasts 4-6 months before drying out. Mine typically don't leak air after it has dried out because the bead is tight enough on the rim. you can test if there is still liquid sealant in there by spinning the wheel and listening for a liquid sound in there.
    2008 BMC Fourstroke 19-559 ISO (RIP in peace)
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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by the_joe View Post
    Awesome! I find that sealant lasts 4-6 months before drying out. Mine typically don't leak air after it has dried out because the bead is tight enough on the rim. you can test if there is still liquid sealant in there by spinning the wheel and listening for a liquid sound in there.
    The bike shop said about the same thing as you, 4 months plus or minus depending on the humid and heat of where the bike is stored. Hoping to be able to hear the sealant when spinning the wheel but I will give it a listen!

  70. #70
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    [QUOTE

    I'm 65, 165 pounds, ride on 27.5x2.6" tires, tubeless on 35mm inner width rims. I run about 14 psi front and 18 psi rear, in Moab...lower in Park City. I never hit the rims, and have been running tubeless for years. If I ran even 30 psi on those, I'd be ricocheting off rocks like crazy.[/QUOTE]

    Oddly, the guys at Rim Cyclery in Moab recommended I run 40 psi in my 26" 2.2 tubeless. I think I'd rather destroy a tire or even a rim than pound down stairsteps at 40 psi! I've experimented quite a bit lately, and the highest pressure I ever run now is 25R, 20F.
    I was demoing a + Tallboy last week, and with the 2.8 tires the sensations changed a tremendous amount between around 10 to around 25 psi. It was kind of fun experimenting.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    The bike shop said about the same thing as you, 4 months plus or minus depending on the humid and heat of where the bike is stored. Hoping to be able to hear the sealant when spinning the wheel but I will give it a listen!
    My LBS says the same. All you need is a tool to remove the presta valve to add sealant.

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by zemmo View Post
    My LBS says the same. All you need is a tool to remove the presta valve to add sealant.
    My question is, how do I know when to add more sealant??? People say when you can't hear itbut I've never been able to hear it from the day the local bike shop set them up!

    Or, should I alert my calendar and just add every 4 months??

  73. #73
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    Two ways:
    1. If you're a weight weenie, remove the tire and check. Add as needed.
    2. If you are not a weight weenie, shake the tire/wheel. If you can't hear it sloshing inside, add more.

    These are the two methods I use, depending on whether it is my light XC bike, or my heavy Enduro.

  74. #74
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    29er is better

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  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by rickcin View Post
    I looked at my wheels and they are labeled as being tubeless ready so I guess I have to decide if this feature would be a benefit for me ?
    At 67 tubeless is a must. No reason to be riding a bike with tires hard as rocks. Go to your LBS and have them set you up. You will love the performance gains of lower tire pressure along with a much more comfortable ride.

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