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Thread: Tubeless

  1. #1
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    Tubeless

    Just wondering who rides tubeless out here and what you think of it. I just ordered new tires (Geax Saguaro foldable) and have the Giant S-XC rims (29er).

    Just wondering if it is worth the hassle. I ride about 3 times a week and in the past year I have had about 5 pinch flats (running the thin slime tubes). No flats due to thorns and I have ridden over many cholla balls. Usually run pretty low pressure (~30 in back and ~28 in front - I weigh 140).

    Been doing a bit of research, and I am really on the fence (leaning towards going for it).

    Just looking for any advice, thoughts, etc before I make the final decision. Probably have a couple of months left on my current tires before I put the new ones on and make the final decision.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Hi Dennis,

    Not sure if your wheels will work with a Stan's kit or not. If so, that might be the way to go. Otherwise, maybe look to upgrade your rims and go tubeless at that time.

    I run tubeless on both of my bikes and would not go back to tubes. However, both of my wheelsets are UST and with the exception of adding more Stan's every 2-3 months, have been hassle free for me.

    Hope this helps, Dennis. :-)
    -boom

  3. #3
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    Thanks, I checked the STANS site and my rims are listed as compatible (Flow Kit). I also checked the Giant forumn here (they are Giant brand rims) and others have successfully converted them using the STANS kit.

    Thinking I am going to go for it. Now I just need to find a deal on that kit

  4. #4
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    I'm interested in tubeless. I usually run about 40-45PSI, or else I pinch flat a lot. I get LOL for traction like that. I think for bigger or heavier riders, tubeless really shines.

  5. #5
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    I think it makes sense to go tubeless IF you're willing to accept there's still maintenance involved and more work to get them set up anytime you need to change tires, break a spoke, etc. I think it can be frustrating the first time you set them up as well, you've been warned.

    I just set up a similar wheelset tubeless (P-XC's). Make sure you get the correct kit. Double check the NoTubes website, but I'm fairly certain they'll only work with the Flow 29er kit. There are other options out there, but you'll probably save yourself a few bucks going with the kit to start.

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    I had the same wheels on my HT and I set mine up tubeless with NO problems And I'm in AZ also.. My LBS set mine up with Stan's tape, sealant, and valves.....that's it. It worked awesome and I used a Geax Saguaro for my rear when I did it. I was able to run lower pressures easier and had fantastic gripping and control.

    My vote is to do it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Just wondering who rides tubeless out here and what you think of it.
    !
    I've run tubeless on both of my bikes for many years and I would never go back. There's a small learning curve to get set up, but then all you need to do is "juice 'em up" every coupla months.

    I ride mainly singlespeed, and I usually have only 20 psi in the rear, which gives me a little shock absorption but more importantly, amazing traction when climbing.

  8. #8
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    Tubeless is awesome for out here with one caveat for me...UST tires and UST rims. I've done the ghetto thing and after using true UST tire/rim combo I'll never mess with ghetto again. UST is just too simple in comparison and although it limits your rim/tire selections there is still a lot out there....and lots of tubeless ready tires that have a UST bead.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by eatdrinkride View Post
    Tubeless is awesome for out here with one caveat for me...UST tires and UST rims. I've done the ghetto thing and after using true UST tire/rim combo I'll never mess with ghetto again. UST is just too simple in comparison and although it limits your rim/tire selections there is still a lot out there....and lots of tubeless ready tires that have a UST bead.
    Well, I do not have 5-6 hundred bucks to throw at a new wheelset right now. So would you recommend NOT doing the STANS NoTubes conversion on my existing wheelset and just stick with tubes? If so, why?

    Basically, I understand it is going to be a little tricky getting it setup (I enjoy projects like this), and I understand that it takes a little maintenance (adding more stans every few months), and if I have a major issue (sidewall tear / etc) I may have to stick in a tube and wrap duct tape around my tire, LOL. If I am prepared for all of that, it seems like it is worth it to go tubeless with my existing wheels.

    I am about to pull the trigger and go for the Stans conversion.

    Thanks for all the input guys! As usual you all provide great information!

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    EazyE - I used to ride 40+ psi with tubes. I now ride 32psi tubeless. Any lower and the side wall wiggle in hard cornering freaks me out. also I have pinch flatted tires running lower pressure non UST tires. I weigh in at 250 on the bike, and I'm currently looking for some wider tires (2.3+) to see how they work.

    Dennis - If 5 flats a year is bothering you, then do it. Your running fairly low pressure with tubes, so the only real reason to switch is to try it out and reduce the number of flats. As for the stands kit, if you follow the steps, you should have no problems. 1 recommendation: Put the new tires on with tubes first and maybe ride a few times to stretch the rubber. It will make mounting them easier when you go tubeless.

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    You can always use tubes with removable cores and add either Stans or Slime if you're concerned with thorns. If you want to run lower pressure (ahhh, better traction and comfort) then tubeless is the way to go.

    Do yourself the favor and buy the syringe for $10 so you don't have to break the rim/tire seal every time you want to add sealant. Also, if your garage is really hot, your sealant will dry much faster in your wheels...hence the syringe ease. Or you can just put the wheels or bike indoors.

    Yes, worth the trouble. To fill the tire quickly to get a nice seal I use a compressor, but co2 works as well. Also, if you only have a pump, remove the valve core and you can get more air in to get that initial seal. Good luck.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Thanks, I checked the STANS site and my rims are listed as compatible (Flow Kit). I also checked the Giant forumn here (they are Giant brand rims) and others have successfully converted them using the STANS kit.

    Thinking I am going to go for it. Now I just need to find a deal on that kit
    SO had her Giant rims converted using the Stans Kit, and no issues.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Just wondering who rides tubeless out here and what you think of it. I just ordered new tires (Geax Saguaro foldable) and have the Giant S-XC rims (29er).

    Just wondering if it is worth the hassle. I ride about 3 times a week and in the past year I have had about 5 pinch flats (running the thin slime tubes). No flats due to thorns and I have ridden over many cholla balls. Usually run pretty low pressure (~30 in back and ~28 in front - I weigh 140).

    Been doing a bit of research, and I am really on the fence (leaning towards going for it).

    Just looking for any advice, thoughts, etc before I make the final decision. Probably have a couple of months left on my current tires before I put the new ones on and make the final decision.

    Thanks!
    I have not gotten a single flat in the 3 years since I have gone tubeless. Thats what I think of it.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsarefun View Post
    Dennis - If 5 flats a year is bothering you, then do it. Your running fairly low pressure with tubes, so the only real reason to switch is to try it out and reduce the number of flats. As for the stands kit, if you follow the steps, you should have no problems. 1 recommendation: Put the new tires on with tubes first and maybe ride a few times to stretch the rubber. It will make mounting them easier when you go tubeless.
    Thanks. Yeah, the 5 times I flatted it was a pain. Most recently I was really in the zone bombing downhill and it was hot as hell out, and changing out a tube sucked. Plus the cost, the slime tubes are around 12-15 bucks a pop (usually just toss them after a pinch flat, I guess I could have patched and re-used them, but it is hard to pack them in my camelback after they have been used.

    I have decided to go for it. Thanks everyone for the feedback, exactly what I was looking for.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZspeeding View Post

    . Also, if your garage is really hot, your sealant will dry much faster in your wheels...hence the syringe ease. Or you can just put the wheels or bike indoors.

    .
    Stan's dries out way too fast. Since I switched to home-brew I've been able to go twice as long before needing to add more sealant.

  16. #16
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    I run tubeless on a couple bikes and would never go back to tubes. I like the added grip you get running lower pressure without the worry of flats.

    Only time I've had an issue in like 4 years is when I didn't refresh the stan's sealant in one of my tires, got a flat, and had to pop in a tube to get home...but that was due to my laziness.

    Most tubeless setups are not too difficult especially if you have access to an air compressor. I've gotten a couple tires set up with just a floor pump but I think I was a bit lucky as I've not had success 4-5 setups later. One time I even took both my tires to a Discount Tire, tipped the guy $5, and had them use their compressor to pop the beads on. They actually thought it was pretty cool that you could have a tubeless bike tire.

  17. #17
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    x10 on running tubeless, go for it. I started MTB over 10 years ago and tubeless is all I've ever run. Except for the tube I carry for emergencies, my MTB's have never seen a tube. Started out with UST setup on my old SC Superlight. Now all my MTB's are tubeless with Stans rims. I'm 160 lbs incl. water/gear and run 28 psi F/R. Seems like every year I go a little lower. Good advice on getting the syringe to squirt the Stan's spooge into the tire thru the valve stem. Just keep adding every couple months and once a year clean out the latex boogers. I'm such an advocate of tubeless that by happenstance, this week I'm converting my road bike to tubeless. (Alpha 340 Team Wheelset 2012) All my roadie friends think I'm nuts. We'll see...

    Bob
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Beam View Post
    Stan's dries out way too fast. Since I switched to home-brew I've been able to go twice as long before needing to add more sealant.
    Home brew? Recipe?

    ben

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bituman View Post
    I'm 160 lbs incl. water/gear and run 28 psi F/R
    Bob
    Can we all pitch in to buy Bituman some chimichangas? Dude's gonna float away...

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    I did the exact conversion on my Giant SXC's using the Stan's Flow kit with no problem. The tape fits perfect in the channel of the wheel.It was fairly quick and painless. I ran over a stick with a thorn and it stuck to my tire, making about a dozen revolutions. I stopped, pulled the stick off and spun the tire.. Leak stopped. I like the tubeless a lot!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slowness View Post
    I did the exact conversion on my Giant SXC's using the Stan's Flow kit with no problem. The tape fits perfect in the channel of the wheel.It was fairly quick and painless. I ran over a stick with a thorn and it stuck to my tire, making about a dozen revolutions. I stopped, pulled the stick off and spun the tire.. Leak stopped. I like the tubeless a lot!
    Thanks I am going for it. New tires are here. Should have pulled the trigger yesterday, amazon had a Stans NoTubes Flow kit in stock with free shipping, today sold out (with free shipping, guess I should quit being such a cheapskate).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Beam View Post
    Can we all pitch in to buy Bituman some chimichangas? Dude's gonna float away...
    Hey I'm having a great big greasy breakfast burro RIGHT NOW, and yesterday a chicken fried steak. No chance of floating away!
    "Some people follow their dreams, others hunt them down and beat them mercilessly into submission." - Neil Kendall

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbl View Post
    Home brew? Recipe?
    My recipe:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/newreply.php?p=9462081

    The full thread:
    Best Tubeless Brew?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbdennis View Post
    Thanks I am going for it. New tires are here.
    You won't regret it. There's always the chance that it'll be a bear getting a tire sealed but brand new tires help. And if you have to fight it you'll appreciate the next time when your next set seal right up

  24. #24
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    I found it helpful to ride the bike after setting them up in order for the Stan's to move around and seal, etc. You may need to add some air within the next day or so, but I think that is somewhat normal. Maybe others can chime in on this...
    -boom

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomvader View Post
    I found it helpful to ride the bike after setting them up in order for the Stan's to move around and seal, etc. You may need to add some air within the next day or so, but I think that is somewhat normal. Maybe others can chime in on this...
    That's what I typically do as well. I've had the Stan's kit on 3 of my bikes now for about 5 years, and it's always been good to me! That being said, at least with my particular wheel/tire combo, it was hard as heck to get a tire off the rim, (or even break the bead for that matter)!
    "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered." G.K. Chesterton

  26. #26
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    I don't buy it but if you watch Stan in his videos he will tell you NOT to ride a tire until it fully seals. Mine have always sealed before I rode but I wouldn't hesitate to ride a tire that only lost the tiniest of air.

  27. #27
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    Going tubeless is easy, and worth every penny. I wish I had done it years ago. I recommend it to anyone who rides a bike.

  28. #28
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    tubeless is way less hassle than tubes..

    Just be sure to carry a tube with you just in case you slice a tire wide open and cannot seal it.

    Sometimes our trails can be down right nasty on tires.

    I've been running tubeless for many years on a whole fleet of bikes and will never go back
    Check my pulse...

  29. #29
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    Thanks guys, just waiting for a few parts to get here in the mail. I really should put a few more miles on my existing tires before I switch them out, but I don't think I can wait At least I will have a decent backup.

  30. #30
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    + 1 for going tubeless.

    I just made the transition myself. It took me some time to decipher the tire codes, and figure out what would work with what. It took a phone call to Stan's before I learned that their rims are designed to work with any* tire and not just UST and tubeless ready. *Ironically their 29er rims will not work w\ WTB UST tires and the 26-inch WTB UST tires are a very tight fit on Stan's rims.

    Another shock was how heavy UST tires are. One of my objectives going tubeless was to save weight. I wound up picking up a used Stan's Arches wheel set and mounting WTB Bronson race (2.3) front and rear. Using an air compressor I had zero issues getting the tire to seal and saved a couple hundred grams/ tire vs. a UST model.

    I used Stan's formula for determining tire pressure: body weight / 7 = X. X -1 = front. X + 2 = rear. I generally ride pretty agressive and was super scetched on my first ride when I could feel the tire folding in hard corners. It turns out that both gauges I used to check my tires were off and I was about 10 psi under my target pressure. Tubeless tires are run at pressures so much lower than what I am used too - there is not much room for error and there is the potential for serious injury. Make sure your gauges are accurate!

    Good luck!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletracmind View Post

    I used Stan's formula for determining tire pressure: body weight / 7 = X. X -1 = front. X + 2 = rear.

    I've never seen that formula. It puts me at about 29psi front and 32psi rear. I've been running my tubeless at about 34psi in both... maybe I'll drop a couple pounds and see how it feels.

    Thanks !!

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    Formula is just a starting point...

    After sorting out the tire gauge issue I still wasn't comfortable with the formula numbers. After 13-years of running on tubes around 45 psi I had some difficulty adjusting to the lower tubeless pressures. The lower pressures made me feel like I was riding on molasses during hard-packed climbes. I am 175 pounds and I am now running 31R/28F. A change from 24 to 27 psi may not sound like much but at these low numbers you are looking at a 12.5% change in pressure. This change has a pretty big impact on things like rolling-resistance and traction for any given tire. Making minor tweaks to suit tire types, rider style and trail conditions can influence how much you like tubeless.

    Here's a poll on issue:

    Ok. Had to remove the link because I have fewer than 10 posts. Search, "tubeless tire pressure and rider weight" if interested.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletracmind View Post
    Ok. Had to remove the link because I have fewer than 10 posts. Search, "tubeless tire pressure and rider weight" if interested.
    Thanks... Here is the link to the poll: Tubeless Pressure, Rider Weight, Tire Size - POLL

  34. #34
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    I had a real bad run of luck with my innertubes this weekend. Got a flat almost right out the the trailhead. Patched it, and it went flat again in under two miles. Swapped in the spare tube. It held air, but messing with the same tire twice is crap.

    I got a couple of Presta valves and a bottle of Stan's. My front tire actually inflated and held air. Hooray. I'm so happy. I was worried I was going to need an air compressor, but it pumped up great with a floor pump. Now, if the back will follow suit, I'll be really happy. No more tubes for me.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    I had a real bad run of luck with my innertubes this weekend. Got a flat almost right out the the trailhead. Patched it, and it went flat again in under two miles. Swapped in the spare tube. It held air, but messing with the same tire twice is crap.

    I got a couple of Presta valves and a bottle of Stan's. My front tire actually inflated and held air. Hooray. I'm so happy. I was worried I was going to need an air compressor, but it pumped up great with a floor pump. Now, if the back will follow suit, I'll be really happy. No more tubes for me.
    Sweet! I am starting my Ghetto (Gorilla tape) conversion tonight. Can't wait to test it out!

  36. #36
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    Looks like the rear is going to take too. It was a little more effort, but it pumped up. Had some pretty nice punctures in the rear too. Give it a shake of Stan's and it sealed right up.

    If you're going Gorilla tape, make sure you've either for a good compressor, or you cut the opening for the valve really clean. You're going to need a good blast of air to get the bead to pop initially.

    The WTB TCS rims I got on my Tallboy are pretty nice. They came taped from the factory. All I had to do was add a valve stem and pump it up.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Looks like the rear is going to take too. It was a little more effort, but it pumped up. Had some pretty nice punctures in the rear too. Give it a shake of Stan's and it sealed right up.

    If you're going Gorilla tape, make sure you've either for a good compressor, or you cut the opening for the valve really clean. You're going to need a good blast of air to get the bead to pop initially.

    The WTB TCS rims I got on my Tallboy are pretty nice. They came taped from the factory. All I had to do was add a valve stem and pump it up.
    Thanks for the advice. I have an air compressor to get the blast of air. I am also going to inflate them with a tube and let it sit over night. To help push the tape down, and help seat the tire. Then after sitting for a day I am going to put in the stans and fill with the compressor. I also have Stans stems instead of the cut out of a tube method. Watched all the youtube videos and I think I am ready

    Also starting with new tires so not worried about existing punctures

    Glad to hear it worked for you!

  38. #38
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    Hmmmmm.

    I checked on my front tire. It went from 50psi down to 20 in an hour. I guess that's normal at first as small leaks seal up slowly, right? I mounted it and gave it a few spins so hopefully the centrifugal force gets the sealant where it needs to be.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Hmmmmm.

    I checked on my front tire. It went from 50psi down to 20 in an hour. I guess that's normal at first as small leaks seal up slowly, right? I mounted it and gave it a few spins so hopefully the centrifugal force gets the sealant where it needs to be.
    Did you watch the video's on Stan's site? I think that is normal... He shows a procedure of using soapy water to seal the sidewalls / etc...

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eazy_E View Post
    Hmmmmm.

    I checked on my front tire. It went from 50psi down to 20 in an hour. I guess that's normal at first as small leaks seal up slowly, right? I mounted it and gave it a few spins so hopefully the centrifugal force gets the sealant where it needs to be.
    Shake it side to side. Lay it flat on one side for 5 minutes, then flip it. You want the sealant to fill those tiny gaps and help seal the strip to the tire. Dennis is right about the soapy water, that will help you identify those gaps more readily when you see where the bubbles are coming from.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by stevland View Post
    Shake it side to side. Lay it flat on one side for 5 minutes, then flip it. You want the sealant to fill those tiny gaps and help seal the strip to the tire. Dennis is right about the soapy water, that will help you identify those gaps more readily when you see where the bubbles are coming from.
    + 1. I don't use soapy water. Instead, when I mount a tire for the first time, the first thing I do is slap the top of the tire to try and get the bead to seat. Then once I get it inflated, I shake side to side, and rotate. Then, I look for leaks, etc, and if I see any, I lay id down on it's side so the side with the leaks is facing the ground.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  42. #42
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    I did the shake and lay on it's side thing. It feels like it's holding air better now.

  43. #43
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    Flow rims and UST tires for years now. Only flats have been side wall cuts. Run a 60/40 mix of Stans and Flat Attack as my sealant. 2.4 front running 32PSI - 2.3 Rear 30PSI and I'm a very heavy rider.

    Easy, you need to add some PSI, as road bikes take 80psi or more.
    Currently at Mayo Clinic being tested for a kidney transplant. Donors welcome.

  44. #44
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    I've been checking on them over the last couple of hours and they feel the same as when I left them. They're at 50ish PSI right now to help everything settle, but I'll probably start out at 35 and see how it works out. Right now, I call it a success. Can't wait for the sun to get low so I can try them out.

  45. #45
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    Two questions:

    -- Schrader or Presta valves? Seems to me that using Schrader would be easier for adding Stans fluid later without having to break the bead on the tire. It would also be more friendly for checking tire pressure with a standard gauge. That being said, can Presta valve cores also be removed similar to Schrader?

    -- Anyone know if the rims on my 2012 Specialized Camber Comp are factory taped or not? I know I can take a peek myself, but would like to avoid taking tire off for now and order the things needed to go tubeless in the mean time.

    ben

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by armourbl View Post
    Two questions:

    -- Schrader or Presta valves? Seems to me that using Schrader would be easier for adding Stans fluid later without having to break the bead on the tire. It would also be more friendly for checking tire pressure with a standard gauge. That being said, can Presta valve cores also be removed similar to Schrader?

    -- Anyone know if the rims on my 2012 Specialized Camber Comp are factory taped or not? I know I can take a peek myself, but would like to avoid taking tire off for now and order the things needed to go tubeless in the mean time.

    ben
    The Presta valves that Stan's, WTB, and others sell have removable cores. Stan's also sells a little adapter hose that goes on the bottle and lets you squirt more fluid into the tire if you need to.

    Home Page

    Great resource. There's also a lot of videos on Youtube detailing various methods. Ghetto method with Gorilla tape is probably the best alternative method. Gorilla tape don't let go. Easier and cleaner version of the ghetto tubeless tire(Part 1 of 2) - YouTube

    Tried to see about the rim, but I didn't get much info.

  47. #47
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    Probably overkill, but I bought the sealant injector thing and presta valve stem remover tool when I ordered sealant, tape and stems. I was able seat the tire (WTB Bronson Race 2.3) on the rim (Stan's ZTR Arch) with an air compressor -- first try without using soap or water. After seating the tire I, released all of the air and removed the valve stem (Stan's standard mountain presta stem). Using the injector, I dosed both tires, assembled the stems and inflated the tires to 30 psi. I shook both wheels and laid them on their sides like the Stan's video describes. I had zero issues with these tires holding air.

    I bought my wheel set used from the classified section on this site. One rim was wrapped with Stan's yellow tape and the other had Gorilla tape. The rims were a mess when they arrived, with latex sealant all over the place. After seeing the condition of the wheel set I decided to strip the tape, clean the rims and start from the beginning. The Stan's yellow tape came right off and didn't leave a deposit -- only the dried latex to deal with. The Gorilla tape was a pain in the ass to deal with because of the tape glue that was left on the rim. The extra effort involved to replace Gorilla tape vs. Stan's yellow tape is another thing to consider when you are deciding between the two.

  48. #48
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    Well, my tires have held air all night, so they're a success.

    I tried riding with them last night. It wasn't the "OMGF" religious experience I was expecting the with the way some if you guys talk, but I've got no complaints. Trail chatter was less, traction was a little better, and I felt like it was a little easier going over baby heads and rocks at low speeds. I started out at 35 PSI and that still felt a little harsh so I let a little air out. Don't know where I finally settled at, I'll check later.

    And I agree with the guy who said a couple PSI makes all the difference. I let a little more air out of the front and it went from feeling fine, to a little squirrely just in a couple of PSI. More experimentation.

    Even though it's not the re-invention of the wheel I was expecting, there's no reason at all I can think of to go back to tubes. Tubeless for me, please.

  49. #49
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    Been tubless for 4 years. Love it. I rode a test bike a couple months ago with tubes. Forgot how much the tires bounce around in the rocky stuff with tubes due to the higher pressure. Such a huge difference. Tubless=less flats, smoother ride, better traction, and faster rolling. Every time I replace a tubless tire due to wear there are tons of cactus thorns sticking through it that would have been flats with a tube.
    "Grab life by the bars"

  50. #50
    SamuraiBunnyGuy
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    i installed my first tubeless tire yesterday (LBS did it last in October,, stans was now dry and i had a slow sidewall leak that would flat me daily)
    surprisingly I was able to get a seal without an air compressor or making a spooge mess all over the laundry room.
    it's a good feeling to finally get my feet wet into learning maintenance on a 21st century bike.

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