1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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  1. #1
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    Why go tubeless?

    I'm doing some upgrades to my bike, and I'm looking my options for wheels. I'm to the point know where I'm looking at tube and tubeless rims. What would be the main reason for going tubeless?

    I'm sure it's a simple answer, but this noob needs some help.

  2. #2
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    Because you are tried of getting pinch flats.

  3. #3
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    Here's where I start asking questions trying to figure out why you want to upgrade and you're going to interpret my investigation as though I'm being a disc. In reality, I'm just trying to figure out if you really want/need to upgrade or if you are just buying shiz because other people told you you should and you feel compelled to do it.

    So, why do you want to upgrade your wheels in the first place? If it's because you want lighter wheels, then why do you want lighter wheels? If you want lighter wheels because they are faster, then why do you want to go faster? If you want to go faster because you are racing, then the reasons to get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for racing are different than the reasons why you should get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for recreational riding.

    Why do you mountain bike in the first place? If it's because you like to get some exercise in the outdoors, then what you have is fine.

    Lighter wheels and tubeless tires may not be the answer to whatever problem you have (real or perceived). Let me know what problem or defiency you are facing and I will help you find an appropriate and cost effective solution.

    Please, please, please DO NOT buy stuff because other people make you feel bad for not having it.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  4. #4
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    You'll find lot and lots of answers by googling "why tubeless".
    Use it, use it, use it while you still have it.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Here's where I start asking questions trying to figure out why you want to upgrade and you're going to interpret my investigation as though I'm being a disc. In reality, I'm just trying to figure out if you really want/need to upgrade or if you are just buying shiz because other people told you you should and you feel compelled to do it.

    So, why do you want to upgrade your wheels in the first place? If it's because you want lighter wheels, then why do you want lighter wheels? If you want lighter wheels because they are faster, then why do you want to go faster? If you want to go faster because you are racing, then the reasons to get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for racing are different than the reasons why you should get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for recreational riding.

    Why do you mountain bike in the first place? If it's because you like to get some exercise in the outdoors, then what you have is fine.

    Lighter wheels and tubeless tires may not be the answer to whatever problem you have (real or perceived). Let me know what problem or defiency you are facing and I will help you find an appropriate and cost effective solution.

    Please, please, please DO NOT buy stuff because other people make you feel bad for not having it.
    Nope, I'm not buying stuff because other people are telling me to. I'm upgrading my entry level drive train and are looking at new wheels as my current set have an 8 speed flywheel and I'm going to be running a 10 speed setup. I have the option to get tubed or tubeless rims.

    I bike to get outside, be active and see new things. I like the idea of entering races, but I'm not there yet.

  6. #6
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    Tubeless (UST) can run with tubes or tubeless. If you ever want to go tubeless, it'll be easier.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  7. #7
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    While you may not get as many pinch flats with tubeless, you would still need to carry a tube and/or boot in case of sidewall cut. Many ppl go tubeless for low pressures. This will increase the chance of burping and may even deplete your tire of air instantly. This could also happen with a pinch flat, but, might not be as quickly as burping the bead.

    I already ride around at about 27-31lbs with tubes. I can ride tubes around 25lbs (i'm 165lbs geared up). I don't like the squirm you get from pressure that low. Whether burping or pinch flatting, i don't like banging my rims on rocks. 28ish pounds solves this and tubes work for this pressure. I've pinch flatted twice in the past year and a half. One was because i decided to slam my rear wheel into a curb. This bent my rim and probably would have flatted either way.

    I seem to change tires often depending on the terrain i'm going to ride or simply because i feel like i want more or less knobs on a ride. Setting up tubeless each time would seem to be annoying for this.

    UST wheels and tires would be the only way i would go tubeless. I don't feel safe with a rigged setup. Unfortunately, not enough UST tire models to select from to make the switch.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Tubeless (UST) can run with tubes or tubeless. If you ever want to go tubeless, it'll be easier.
    ....or run regular tires on UST wheels without tubes and use Stan's to seal it up.

    I was tired of heavy bikes and so I built up another bike, including UST wheels/tires.... and all I saved overall (comparing bike to bike) was 2 lbs. LOL.

    -S

  9. #9
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    The reason to run tubless two fold.
    1) Lower pressures that should give you better grip (run too low on tubes an get pinch flats)
    2) Less risk of thorn flats with sealant.

    weight is about a wash and tubless is much harder to set-up.

    I run tubes in the Az desert in the last 600 miles of riding I have had 1 pinch flat. This is with plenty of rocks on the trail. I typically run 30-35 psi and I am 160lbs fully suited up and I pinch flatted due to starting the ride too low on pressure. (25 psi or lower). I have had many thorn flats, but I have only had to change a tire 3 times on the trail due to flats. 1 for the pinch flat and 2 for thorn flats. Most of the time when cactus causes flats it is a slow leak I fixed after the ride at home. Changing a tube is easy and I can buy them in bulk for $5.00 each or less and can patch them for a $1.00.

    This beats dealing with stans and other sealants that dry out cause problems. Plus I reminded of the guy on a 29er that I met 4 miles from the trail head. He had a flat rear tire when is tubeless popped off the rim. I had a pump, but no CO2 and the pump was not able to "seat" the bead. I carry only 1 spare 26" tube and had another 16 miles to ride so I just had to leave him.

    I am just not into the tubeless deal. Even here in the desert.
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  10. #10
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    There is no simple answer.

  11. #11
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    I run tubeless and love it. I also carry a tube and co2. With lower pressure I spin out less on technical rock climbs, ride is smoother, less fatigue, no flats. Set up was easy. I run UST with regular tires and Stan's sealant. Best set up decision I've made so far.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  12. #12
    gran jefe
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    Quote Originally Posted by swcreates View Post
    I bike to get outside, be active and see new things. I like the idea of entering races, but I'm not there yet.
    you're already going from 8speed to 10speed for reasons that make sense only to you. why ask us about tubeless?

    sounds like you are a guy with some money to spend who likes to have nice stuff, even if he doesn't necessarily know why. all the guys like you have tubeless. all of them say it is way superior to tubes, even though they can't exactly explain why.

    it sounds like other people do all the work on your bike, so that is something in favor of getting tubeless - if you don't have to do the work yourself and have the money, why not get it?

    i hope it doesn't sound like i'm raining on your parade. i guess i'm just saying that only you can decide, and a lot of guys like you have gone to tubeless. whichever way you go, i hope you are happy and get to ride it plenty.

  13. #13
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    I run in AZ also. I went tubeless conversion on my GT and never looked back. The reason was too many thorn punctures. I like to wake up in the morning and ride and not have to worry about changing/repairing a flat before my ride. My new Salsa has MTB tubeless wheels and just pulled the tubes out the other day and went tubeless. Mush easier to go tubeless if you have tubeless rims.
    The tubeless works fine for me and geared up I'm at 245-250.
    I also run between 20 and 30 lbs. Depends on where I'm riding.
    I also still carry a tube with me just in case.
    Vincit qui patitur
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  14. #14
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    Only had one thorn flat (sidewall) so far since September. That's one of the reasons I went tubless. No flats, no burps so far, but I do run a little higher pressure (about 38-42) psi. I ride light so the wife is the spare tire - helps if you live a couple miles off the trail head and you know help is less than 5 minutes away via cell phone.

    -S

  15. #15
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    - Going tubeless has reduced flats of any kind to zero for me. Not just the pinch ones, but all.
    - I have not experienced burping even at low pressures.*
    - Even if the weight remains the same, liquid sealant doesn't affect acceleration as much as a solid tube. And usually the weight is a bit lower when you go tubeless.
    - I noticed a decrease in rolling resistance. I'm not a racer, but I simply enjoy the ride more when I can make the bike move more fluidly.

    * Instead of a pressure thing, I'm convinced it's more a question of a compatible rim and tire. Mine are Stan's Crests with yellow tape and Schwalbe Nobby Nics. Also, I think difficulty setting up to run tubeless stems from incompatible parts or incorrect procedure. I did as all the how-tos told me and have had zero problems.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by owtdorz View Post
    I run in AZ also. I went tubeless conversion on my GT and never looked back. The reason was too many thorn punctures. I like to wake up in the morning and ride and not have to worry about changing/repairing a flat before my ride. My new Salsa has MTB tubeless wheels and just pulled the tubes out the other day and went tubeless. Mush easier to go tubeless if you have tubeless rims.
    The tubeless works fine for me and geared up I'm at 245-250.
    I also run between 20 and 30 lbs. Depends on where I'm riding.
    I also still carry a tube with me just in case.
    Same thing here, except I converted using rimstrips on a marlin, even though I was told you couldn't do it-I proved everyone wrong on that one. I got tired of having to air up my tubed tires for every stinking ride the next morning, I had 1 flat a day with tubes, even ran out of patches. I weigh as much as you do all geared up, and my trail rides are cushy and loose terrain here is no challenge. I worked hard to get the rear tire on it aint coming off without being forced. I havent even burped on my setup and I purposely try to run over cactus thorns and mesquite thorns but have yet to get one stuck where the sealant had to do its job. I carry a tube & Co2.

  17. #17
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    My bike came with tubeless ready rims and tires. Brought two stems, two rim strips, and some goo and was good to go.

    Reasons? Reliability, convenience, weight savings, ability to run lower pressure.

    I have had only one flat in 1200 miles of running tubeless. A sidewall cut, and that would have sealed had I kept a closer eye on the amount of sealent in the tire. And actually, I was able to ride most of the way back before it got too soft to ride. I burped some air when falling off a log, but it sealed up again and I was able to ride out. The usual greenbriar thorns that cause most flats around here are a non-issue. I don't carry any flat repair equipment, but where I ride it is a few miles walk at the most to get to a road.

    Weight savings is about 60 grams per wheel -- a cheap way to save weight where it matters most. Some people claim that there is energy savings because of lessened friction between the tube and tire. Indeed, cars with tubeless tires do get better mileage. I can tell the difference riding tubeless, but I think it is more weght savings than anything.

    It took some learning before I would call tubeless "convenient". A different skill set is required than dealing with tubes, but with proper equipment and technique, it is easier IMO. There is certainly no danger of pinching a tube while mounting. I do think the tire holds air longer than with tubes.

    I run 25 PSI rear & 20 front, and it is more comfortable and handles better than 30 & 25 that I ran with tubes. No instability that people mention. I start seeing that at around 15 PSI.

    Tubeless Ready and UST is not the same thing BTW.

    Non-Tubeless, Tubeless Ready, and UST

  18. #18
    CSC
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    Hate to thread-jack, but will tubeless systems prevent goathead flats? Darn things are worse than thumbtacks...I'm considering tubeless to avoid changing tubes all the time, but I don't like the idea that you can deflate the tire at low pressures just by hitting a rock wrong. Tubes with gel sound better...or tire strips.

  19. #19
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    Stan's has worked well for me vs. goatheads. I have some S-Works Fast Traks w/ really thin casings that are full of goathead holes. Every once in a while, a 'plug' of sealant will knock loose, and I have to shake the bike for a few seconds, then orient the hole downward for a bit, and let it reseal. That may seem like a lot, but it's way easier than reinstalling a new tube. Barely any pressure loss.

  20. #20
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    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    -
    - I noticed a decrease in rolling resistance. I'm not a racer, but I simply enjoy the ride more when I can make the bike move more fluidly.
    I have heard so many people say this, but I never experienced a decrease in rolling resistance when I did a VERY unscientific test:

    Tires with tubes

    1. marked spot on top of hill (pavement)
    2. rolled down hill without touching brakes
    3. marked spot on flat at bottom that bike came to rest.
    4. Repeat process 5 times (to get a slight range)

    Removed tubes, added rim strips / sealant, pumped SAME tires to SAME psi

    1. went back to marked spot on top of hill (pavement)
    2. rolled down hill without touching brakes
    3. marked spot on flat at bottom that bike came to rest.
    4. Repeat process 5 times (to get a slight range)

    Guess what......The great reduced rolling resistance (which should equate to longer rolling) never materialised.

    I still tried tubeless for part of the season - again, no real weight savings. True, I did not pinch flat (which I wasnt really doing with tubes) but I did tear a sidewall once causing the stans jizz to fly everywhere.

    Fortunately I had a spare tube, but it back in and have not bothered going tubless again.

    Best I can see is tubeless is just a preference. Sorta like schrader valve VS presta valve. But thats another topic......

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wmac View Post
    Here's where I start asking questions trying to figure out why you want to upgrade and you're going to interpret my investigation as though I'm being a disc. In reality, I'm just trying to figure out if you really want/need to upgrade or if you are just buying shiz because other people told you you should and you feel compelled to do it.

    So, why do you want to upgrade your wheels in the first place? If it's because you want lighter wheels, then why do you want lighter wheels? If you want lighter wheels because they are faster, then why do you want to go faster? If you want to go faster because you are racing, then the reasons to get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for racing are different than the reasons why you should get lighter wheels and tubeless tires for recreational riding.

    Why do you mountain bike in the first place? If it's because you like to get some exercise in the outdoors, then what you have is fine.

    Lighter wheels and tubeless tires may not be the answer to whatever problem you have (real or perceived). Let me know what problem or defiency you are facing and I will help you find an appropriate and cost effective solution.

    Please, please, please DO NOT buy stuff because other people make you feel bad for not having it.
    That's the best logical answer I've heard in a long time!

    I want to go tubeless also, everybody tells me I need to. I recreational ride, want to improve my skills and ride desert trails here in AZ. Pretty rocky.

  23. #23
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    006_007, your test sounds scientific enough to me. You confirm my belief that it is unlikely that rolling resistance due to tire/tube interaction is significant or occurs at all. BUT, if you tried the same test at say 30 back /25 front PSI with tubes and 25/20 without, over some roots and other uneven trail surfaces, I would expect to see an improvment. The tire conforms to the trail surface rather than bouncing over it. There is a whitepaper by Schwalbe where they tested this, and my seat-of-the-pants experience agrees. I also believe that the tires get better traction. It is definately more comfortable!

    As for weight savings, Stans recommends 4 ounces of goo per tire for 29" 2.2s. You will not realize any weight savings using that much. Stan's main point of marketing seems to be puncture resistance as the video shows.

    But for those of us who do not repeatedly ride over nail beds, you do not need that much. If the bead is sealed, just having the inner surface of the tire wet with the stuff will protect from greenbrier punctures. I run between one and two ounces. As long as there is a pool of it in the tire, you are good.

    Quote Originally Posted by CSC
    but I don't like the idea that you can deflate the tire at low pressures just by hitting a rock wrong. Tubes with gel sound better...or tire strips.
    We don't have many rocks around here, but from what I hear it's really not a big issue. When I burped mine, it may well have shredded the tube if I had had one. Nothing is foolproof.

    If you are leery of lower pressure, you can run tubeless at the same pressure you are using now. If sealant is called on to prevent a flat, from everything I have read, it works better with a tubeless setup than in a tube.

  24. #24
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    Let me add my question to this thread:

    I'm looking for ways to make my bike lighter, will going tubeless help?

    Some details, if you want them:

    I've been riding this bike (2011 Stumpjumper Comp 29) for 1 1/2 seasons. Other than putting some nifty grips on it and some knobbier tires, it's all as it came from the from the factory.

    This year was my first season of racing (Sport class). I weigh 125 lbs. I've never had a pinch flat. I have had 2 punctures this year (same trail, different days). I usually run 24-26 psi. A certain trail is easier at 22-23 psi. Often, I just squeeze my tires, decide "good enough," and go ride. I like The Captain Control tires.

    Husband does most of my bike maintenance (but the local shop does stuff that needs a tool he doesn't have and things he doesn't have time to do). He expects me to do more and more of my own bike work. That would include going tubeless since he has no interest in fussing with it.

    I already know I'm converting from 3 X 10 to 1 X 10. I'm looking for other ways to lighten the bike. Right now it is 25 lbs. Guy at the shop is recommending new wheels.

  25. #25
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    The thing that put me over the top to convert to tubeless was getting a flat in a race that tubeless would have prevented. That's 95% of the reason I switched. In switching, I recognized the benefits of running a lower pressure than possible with tubes. The efficiency and performance gain was minimal.

    You will likely not get a noticeable performance gain from losing the .25 lbs you will typically get from switching to tubeless. If you are buying a new set of wheels, you're looking at $750+ all in for anything that will give a noticeable gain. Is it worth it?

    How much faster do you believe a set of wheels and tubeless tires will enable you to be? 1 minute per 10 miles? 2 minutes per 10 miles? 5 minutes per 10 miles?

    You'd be amazed at how little gain it actually gets you. If you're racing, then it matters. If you're not, then it doesn't.
    No, YOU don't understand. You're making an ass of yourself for all of eternity.

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