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  1. #1
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    Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?

    Buying a bike that is coming with Tubeless set up. I tried Tubeless a long while back but hated it...imagine things have gotten much better.

    Anyhow, what do I need to know? Should I carry 2 tubes on rides? How do you handle certain situations? How often do I put in the Stans? Tire pressures (27s)?

    Any thoughts on the topic would be fabulous!

    Thanks!
    I'm not sure how this works.

  2. #2
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    Personally I only carry one tube, since flats are so rare.

    Tire pressure will be an experiment depending on your weight and conditions your riding in.

    I'm experimenting with Orange seal right now, it's supposed to seal bigger holes and not dry out as fast as Stans.

    I carry a few Isopropyl alcohol packages that work well for cleaning off the sealant around the area of a sidewall tear to make it easier to stick a boot on.

    Get one of these kits, for bigger holes you can plug them quick and just put some more air in without taking off the tire.
    Amazon.com : Panaracer Tubeless Patch Kit : Bike Tubes : Sports & Outdoors

    Most tubless tire's will seal up with a hand pump. For a low cost compressor, you can just get an air tank and fill it up at the gas station for use at home.
    Sears.com

    Get a little presta to Schrader converter and you can just roll over to the gas station if your having problems seating one. If you have a good relationship with your LBS, they might let you borrow there compressor, that's what I do most of the time.
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  3. #3
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    1. Buy an air compressor (I have a 6 gallon electric version - works perfect, and $100 on Amazon). Not a high pressure tire inflator or large volume floor pump. Makes seating tires when replacing/swapping a snap. Make sure to get the attachment that works on presta valves.

    2. Your mileage may vary on how much Stans to use. I use one cap (2 oz) per tire (27.5 2.35 Hans Dampf). I think you are supposed to re-lube once a year, but more often if you hear the Stans boogers rolling around in the tire.

    3. I carry a tube or two and a hand pump. If it burps and unseats on the trail, pull out the valve stem, put in the tube, and be on your merry way. You could try to re-seat with a CO2 cartridge, but better to have bulletproof backup.

    I am so happy to have switched to tubeless. I used to have to replace a tube about two times a year on the trail due to leaks around the valve. Six months of tubeless riding, at pressures down around 22-25 psi (and I'm flirting with Clydesdale territory) in rocky places like Annadel and thorny places like Peavine and absolutely zero issues.

  4. #4
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    I carry two tubes,never needed them both. Most of the problems I've was from burping tires or not keeping sealant in them.I've also worn out tires without having a flat ,just changed a front that was on the bike for over a year and half. How often depends on how you ride and the temps , I go 2 or three months. There is a thread in the 29er forum on making your own sealant ,it suppose to not dry up.How tires fit to the rim makes the difference on how easy there are to seal ,some times you need to build up the seating surface by adding a layer of tape.

  5. #5
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    What bike are you buying squashyo?

  6. #6
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    Re: Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?

    Quote Originally Posted by Carl Hungus View Post
    What bike are you buying squashyo?
    That is the real question...

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  7. #7
    JHH
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    What everybody said already. And..... Don't go too low on the tire pressure. Drop 5lbs from what you ride now and see how it rolls. Much of my early burps and issues with tubeless where by riding too little pressure for my riding style and weight.
    Keep pedaling no matter what

  8. #8
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    I'm betting on a uni.



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  9. #9
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    Fezzari - Timp Peak (fully loaded):
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?-tp.jpg  

    I'm not sure how this works.

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    Fezzari people at Sea Otter were very nice.

    I'm +1 for carrying a boot/repair kit on tubeless setup. Ya never know. Park speed patches work in a pinch (pun) as well.

    IMHO, FWIW, tubeless is a PITA and requires maintenance. Only maintaining I do is cleaning my drive train. The first "stans-all-over-the-place" flat you get way out in BFE will have you thinking.


    Sick bike, bro. A little added traction just may change your life! brap.

  11. #11
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    A cheaper but just as good alternative to stans is truckerco cream. You can buy it in small batches or in bulk from them on eBay. By the way, I also recommend their brake pads as well.

    Another trick to get the sealant to seal bigger holes is to add baby powder / glitter to the sealant. They provide a better binder/bridge for the sealant to span wider gaps.

    Finally, when you do get a puncture and hear the hiss, don't stop pedaling. If you stop pedaling, the sealant won't coat the hole. Also, the sealant works best at low pressure, so you might have a tire go almost flat before it will seal. Once it's sealed, you can just reinflate.

  12. #12
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    Regular pressure, new dose of sealant once tire starts loosing some pressure overnight (every 2 month for me), no tube for short rides, for long ones friends are always carry one for their tubed setup

    More important what tires you'll run. Ultra light casings give more troubles, true UST none at all, rest in between. I use conti trail kings Protection, they take couple of days to fully seal since sidewall mesh have some holes once stretched. Still worth it.
    Tubeless on 3 bikes for over 6 years.

    Tubless Ready tires are easy to deal with. They have extra lip around bead so its a breeze to seat them, but no extra rubber USTs have, so no extra weight.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    Fezzari people at Sea Otter were very nice.

    I'm +1 for carrying a boot/repair kit on tubeless setup. Ya never know. Park speed patches work in a pinch (pun) as well.

    IMHO, FWIW, tubeless is a PITA and requires maintenance. Only maintaining I do is cleaning my drive train. The first "stans-all-over-the-place" flat you get way out in BFE will have you thinking.

    yea the once a year 'stans everywhere' thing is much worse than the weekly pinch flats

  14. #14
    fc
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    How often do you get flats now Squashyo?

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    How often do you get flats now Squashyo?

    fc
    Sorta depends. Around here, not much...maybe 4 a year. DVille/Pinecrest...about 3 every 2 hours (exaggerator). I probably go through 10 tubes a year. Seem to come in waves too.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  16. #16
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    Get the Stan's injector for adding sealant. Easier than having to break a bead then worry about the bead not sealing. I think the best combo is a UST-certified rim with a tubeless ready tire and sealant.
    You may or may not need a compressor. My XT wheels with Racing Ralphs were no problem. Michelin Mud 2s on some old Mavic Reflex rims on my cross bike were a pain. I had to pull the valve out and use my compressor to get the tires to seat. Air leaked out too fast.
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  17. #17
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    Best practice? Avoid it.

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  18. #18
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    1. remove all sealant
    2. buy the tires you please
    3. put tubes in
    4. inflate to desired pressure
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  19. #19
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    I like the glitter idea. I instantly thought of a birthday party or something if I flatted. "Bang! You have a flat.. Oh no, wait! It's actually a party!"

    That was until I remembered 4 out of 5 strippers wear glitter as an accessory. That's all ll I need is misses twm questioning my solid alibi of "I was riding my bike, I swear!".

  20. #20
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    Re: Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?

    Glitter allegedly causes bead sealing issues. I've never tried it personally, so it could just be urban legend.

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    Not sure why so many people are against tubeless. I've been on Tubeless for more than 2 years and have never had any issues. My bike is lighter, and I also keep the tires at lower pressure than I could with tubes. The tires don't lose much air (Hans Dampf in front and Maxxis Ardent in rear on WTBs - using Stans, bike is Santa Cruz Blur LTc). I have not had any flats. I used to have High Roller UST tires with similar results. I carry one tube with me on bigger rides just in case, but have not had to use it.

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    For the record I never said that I personally was against tubeless. I was there back in '03. I saw it all go down. I saw tubeless and went plain loco when Mavic started it, Bontrager was doing it WTB was there. I was there. I was sold on it.

    I'm the kind of rider that doesn't throw anything away, ever. And it's that tire on the rack that ran tubes only, nice and clean, half worn, ready to give to a neighborhood kid or friend. Next to it, a tubeless tire coated in ancient Stans that has discolored and I need to throw away.

    Not to mention I got a free box of tubes at Sea Otter. Like 100 of them. So yeah. Im doing that for a while.

  23. #23
    fc
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Sorta depends. Around here, not much...maybe 4 a year. DVille/Pinecrest...about 3 every 2 hours (exaggerator). I probably go through 10 tubes a year. Seem to come in waves too.
    At 4 flats a year, it is hardly worth it. Changing 4 flats is way easier than sealing tubeless, adding sealant every few months and checking your air pressure every week. The hidden reality of tubeless is they leak air every day.

    The #1 benefit of tubeless is they prevent flats. So if you get a couple a week, it's hella worth it. The other benefit is it's 200 grams lighter and you can run 2-4 psi less pressure and not pinch.

    Some advice would be:

    - Use Stans but also consider other options like Bontrager Sealant or Orange Seal. They all behave a little differently as far as evaporating/replenishing and sealing larger holes.
    - dunk the tire in the bath tub to detect all leaks
    - get a valve core remover for adding sealant and for sealing tires with an unrestricted flow of air.
    - get a compressor
    - use new stuff like Tubeless Ready rims and Tubeless Ready tires. This means the bead and rim size is close to perfect and there's a much higher success rate.
    Last edited by fc; 06-24-2014 at 11:07 AM.
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  24. #24
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    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  25. #25
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    Another trick to get the sealant to seal bigger holes is to add baby powder / glitter to the sealant. They provide a better binder/bridge for the sealant to span wider gaps.

    Seriously? This is the best hack for tubeless I have ever heard! Baby powder might get a touch gloppy in the tire but glitter, that is pure genius! I can see what is going to happen now. There will be a mad rush of MTB'ers rushing to Michaels and asking for glitter. One note of caution though, choose your color carefully. If you go all rainbow and have a blowout, people will think a unicorn pooped on the trail and then a thread will be started about unicorn riders leaving the trails a glittery mess. Good luck Squashyo!
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  26. #26
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    I've been tubeless for many years now, and the only time I take tires off rims is when they wear out. It takes longer to set up, but then it's no worries. I set up my dad tubeless, and he doesn't even carry tubes now on local rides, which would freak me out, but it hasn't backfired on him yet.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    don't run lower pressure than you are right now
    This^^^

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    Quote Originally Posted by pmarshall View Post
    Another trick to get the sealant to seal bigger holes is to add baby powder / glitter to the sealant. They provide a better binder/bridge for the sealant to span wider gaps.

    Seriously? This is the best hack for tubeless I have ever heard! Baby powder might get a touch gloppy in the tire but glitter, that is pure genius! I can see what is going to happen now. There will be a mad rush of MTB'ers rushing to Michaels and asking for glitter. One note of caution though, choose your color carefully. If you go all rainbow and have a blowout, people will think a unicorn pooped on the trail and then a thread will be started about unicorn riders leaving the trails a glittery mess. Good luck Squashyo!
    Just choose your color wisely. I've conducted double blind tests and found that color performance has a standard deviation approaching 20%. However for some it's fashion over function.

    Regardless, tubes suck and I run much lower pressures than I did with tubes. This is one of the major advantages of running tubeless. Why people are suggesting running the same pressure as before is baffling.

  29. #29
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    I love tubeless, wouldn't go back to tubes now - it's really more about ride quality than flats. The biggest change was dropping $90 on an air compressor at Lowe's because some tires are way harder to seat than others (I'm talking about you, Schwalbe), but I use it for other stuff around the house so it was worth it.
    I use 2 scoops of Stans and have to replenish every 6 months or so, but otherwise they're pretty low maintenance - and you've seen my bike so you know how little time I spend on it when I'm not riding.
    Biggest question for me is whether I'd run tubeless with a rim that has spoke holes. So far I've only used Mavic rims with solid beds, I have my doubts about how well the 'tubeless' rim strips really work.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalk View Post
    Regular pressure, new dose of sealant once tire starts loosing some pressure overnight (every 2 month for me), no tube for short rides, for long ones friends are always carry one for their tubed setup

    More important what tires you'll run. Ultra light casings give more troubles, true UST none at all, rest in between. I use conti trail kings Protection, they take couple of days to fully seal since sidewall mesh have some holes once stretched. Still worth it.
    Tubeless on 3 bikes for over 6 years.

    Tubless Ready tires are easy to deal with. They have extra lip around bead so its a breeze to seat them, but no extra rubber USTs have, so no extra weight.
    I totally agree with everything you said! UST tires make all the difference in the world. Currently, I'm running Conti UST Trail Kings; I've had poor results with tubeless ready WTB and Hutchinson tires...the traction on those tires was not the issue. Your tire selection, tire pressure and riding style will all be factors...

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrWheels View Post
    I love tubeless, wouldn't go back to tubes now - it's really more about ride quality than flats...

    Ride quality... It is interesting but most people cannot notice the difference. If I gave 10 riders a blind test of tubeless tires vs. tubed tires of the same brand. I would say that 1 can guess correctly consistently (and only on very rocky trails which hardly exist here).

    I certainly cannot tell. At best a tubeless tire feels like it has 2 psi lower than a tubed. But then many UST tires have such a hard casing, they don't ride supple at all.

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  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Ride quality... It is interesting but most people cannot notice the difference. If I gave 10 riders a blind test of tubeless tires vs. tubed tires of the same brand. I would say that 1 can guess correctly consistently (and only on very rocky trails which hardly exist here).

    fc
    I suspect the ability to discern the difference is greatest on rigid bikes, less so on hard tails, and hardly noticeable on squishy bikes. I noticed a big difference upon changing to tubeless on my old rigid 29er several years ago. Certainly the ride quality difference had to do with the lower pressures I was able to run without pinch flatting. Actually bottomed out my Panaracer Rampage 'suspension' repeatedly on Dirty Harry, and without incident.
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  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrenador View Post
    I suspect the ability to discern the difference is greatest on rigid bikes, less so on hard tails, and hardly noticeable on squishy bikes. I noticed a big difference upon changing to tubeless on my old rigid 29er several years ago. Certainly the ride quality difference had to do with the lower pressures I was able to run without pinch flatting. Actually bottomed out my Panaracer Rampage 'suspension' repeatedly on Dirty Harry, and without incident.
    I agree!! I was anal about it when I rode a hardtail with rigid fork. Now, I really can't tell. There is sooo much suspension and variables with carbon bars and frame. And then all these tires have different casing and tpis. And pressure is a big deal. Now, I can't tell between tubeless and tubed. My only hint is tubeless is that ones that leak every week.

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  34. #34
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    One tip I got from the LBS which seems to help seat the bead - spray the sidewalls with Windex when you're mounting the tire. Makes it seat easier, and seems to add a bit of stickiness when it dries so that it stays put better. Never have had to use a compressor with this method.

    Also I find it helps to overfill the tire initially (say to 50 lbs or so), rotate it around a few times, then let it sit overnight at the higher pressure. Then next day drop it down to your normal pressure. After that I generally have no issues with losing pressure, or at least it's significantly reduced.

    I used tubeless for a while, but gave up when I kept burping tires unless they were basically full-on DH casings. You'll be more prone to burping if you jump a lot. These days there are more/better rim/tire options for tubeless, and having recently gone back to tubeless I'm a lot happier.

    I hate getting flats. It's not that it's a huge deal to change a flat, it's just such a buzzkill. And after flatting a few times in races that I spent a lot of money on and drove a long ways too... well that was a lot of incentive to go tubeless.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Buying a bike that is coming with Tubeless set up. I tried Tubeless a long while back but hated it...imagine things have gotten much better.

    Anyhow, what do I need to know? Should I carry 2 tubes on rides? How do you handle certain situations? How often do I put in the Stans? Tire pressures (27s)?

    Any thoughts on the topic would be fabulous!

    Thanks!
    Don't worry about whether you have a tubeless wheel set or are using Stan's rim strips or another system. The most important things I have found:

    A) Add sealant about every 5-6 months. Also, keep the tire bead somewhat clean when adding sealant is very important.

    B) Don't use any DIY tires.....
    If you run UST tires with rim strips or another "ghetto" rim system my experience has been positive as long as UST or tubeless ready tires are used.

  36. #36
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    Like you im just beginning to use tubeless. The first tire i set up had to use a compressor to seal and air up the tire. After conducting some research i uncovered another method which doesnt require a compressor. Francis hit it when he suggested getting and using a valve stem remover. First: remove the valve stem and seat the tire using air only with a pump. Then with the valve stem still removed pour your sealant thru the stem and third replace the valve stem and air up. Basically what im doing is adding a step to the process so that im not trying to get the tire to air up AND seal at the same time. This method seems like it would be more successful in the field since it doesnt require using CO2 or a floor pump in order to create the velocity of air youd need to air and seal a tire in the field.

  37. #37
    AKD
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    After conducting some research i uncovered another method which doesnt require a compressor.
    But it's a great excuse to buy another toy...er, I mean tool for the garage...

    I tried to seat a Hans Dampf using all the tricks - valve core removed, sealant around the bead, completely tubeless-ready setup, high volume floor pump - and ended up pumping madly for about five minutes with no luck. Three seconds of 120 psig air from the compressor later and SNAP-SNAP-SNAP, right onto the rim.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    But it's a great excuse to buy another toy...er, I mean tool for the garage...

    I tried to seat a Hans Dampf using all the tricks - valve core removed, sealant around the bead, completely tubeless-ready setup, high volume floor pump - and ended up pumping madly for about five minutes with no luck. Three seconds of 120 psig air from the compressor later and SNAP-SNAP-SNAP, right onto the rim.
    Only thing is that you wont have that compressor out on the trail. It just seems that learning to use only a pump is a valuable skill to learn thats all.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Only thing is that you wont have that compressor out on the trail. It just seems that learning to use only a pump is a valuable skill to learn thats all.
    You can seat a tubeless tire with a hand pump? Color me impressed.

  40. #40
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    haaaa

    Quote Originally Posted by Stalk View Post
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron View Post
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    So squashyo- convinced or confused at this point? I get about as many flats as you (maybe 3) each year on our local trails, so it just doesn't seem worth it.

    However, I am trying to come up with a plan for my next D-ville trip!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron View Post
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    Epic meme

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post
    So squashyo- convinced or confused at this point? I get about as many flats as you (maybe 3) each year on our local trails, so it just doesn't seem worth it.

    However, I am trying to come up with a plan for my next D-ville trip!
    Lots of solid info. I actually get about 10 a year...just a few locally. I am definitely going to give it a go especially since the bike will be set up that way.

    DVille sounds good but I am more excited about Pinecrest...keep me posted as I might join you though. Riding this weekend? Saturday AM looks pretty open for me if you are around.
    I'm not sure how this works.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    Like you im just beginning to use tubeless. The first tire i set up had to use a compressor to seal and air up the tire. After conducting some research i uncovered another method which doesnt require a compressor. Francis hit it when he suggested getting and using a valve stem remover. First: remove the valve stem and seat the tire using air only with a pump. Then with the valve stem still removed pour your sealant thru the stem and third replace the valve stem and air up. Basically what im doing is adding a step to the process so that im not trying to get the tire to air up AND seal at the same time. This method seems like it would be more successful in the field since it doesnt require using CO2 or a floor pump in order to create the velocity of air youd need to air and seal a tire in the field.

    Sealing a tire with a hand pump is like building fire with a sticks. Stay away and just say no.

    fc
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    Maybe I have just had exceptionally good luck, but I have never really had much issue with tubeless. The first time mounting tires there is a bit of a learning curve, but throwing some new tires on my wheels is a relatively quick process. It took me about 30 minutes to mount some 40C Happy Mediums on a set of Black Flags for my cross bike last week. I set them on their side on top of a five gallon bucket and checked on them every 30minutes or so. I think I had to air them up twice more and flip them twice and they have held air since.

    A few keys:

    1. Soap the beads before trying to seat them. I just use a bucket of water with some dish soap and a sponge. A quick blast with the air compressor and they seat right up.

    2. Once you add sealant, turn the wheel on its side and shake it to spread the sealant. I usually do this on both sides, then leave the wheel on top of a 5 gallon pail or a garbage can. Let it sit for about 1/2 and hour, air up if necessary, flip and repeat. Do this until the tire hold air. Soap the bead again to see where the air is escaping and direct the sealant to that area.

    3. I have been using the tubeless brew outlined in the 2nd post here:
    Best Tubeless Brew?

    I have had great luck with it. Sealant will last about a year before drying up and no Stan's boogers to deal with. If the bike sits for a while i will see a little bit of weeping, but not bad at all.

    For me it is worth the little bit of set up hassle as I can run low 20s pressures and have no issues. I am tipping the scales at 200 right now (too much beer, not enough riding), and I've gone as low as 22 front/26 rear and usually ride 24/28 on a 2.2 front and 2.1 rear.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spindelatron View Post
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    I admire those who are not as lazy as I am

    I'll put it as a wallpaper.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sealing a tire with a hand pump is like building fire with a sticks. Stay away and just say no.

    fc
    But you have to have kindling (sticks) to start a fire.

  50. #50
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    I have been running tubeless for a year now and I love them. It took a little trial and error to figure out how to deal with, but it was well worth it. I run Maxxis Highroller 26x2.35 at about 20 lbs front / 22 lbs rear, I weigh about 165 lbs. I didn't get an excessive amount of flats running tubes. I did hold back on rocky sections in order to avoid pinch flats on occasion, which I no longer do for the most part. Not having to worry about flatting takes weight off your shoulders generally speaking.

    I was able to use this video to figure out most of what I needed to know to swap tires or add sealant:

    Ask a Mechanic: Installing Tubeless Tires Without a Mess - YouTube

    I didn't have valves with removable cores at first, but I was still able to bead the tire with my blackburn floor pump. I have had good luck with my particular tires and rims. Since then I bought a compressor, valves with removable cores and the Stan's injector, so I have everything I need. My tubeless tires might leak air a little bit faster than tubes, but I normally check my pressure before every ride anyways.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by francois View Post
    Sealing a tire with a hand pump is like building fire with a sticks. Stay away and just say no.

    fc

    It's not really THAT hard. Stan's Rims and Specialized 2Bliss tires work very well together. I've got 4 sets setup with different Sp tires and have never had to use a compressor.

    Now Schwalbe on the other hand. Yeah, not so much.......

    Ya just have to find the right combo like anything else.

    I, for one will "never" run tubes again.

  52. #52
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    Re: Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?

    I use this exact tool. Seriously. Useful for my tractors too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fuwe...e_gdata_player

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKD View Post
    But it's a great excuse to buy another toy...er, I mean tool for the garage...

    I tried to seat a Hans Dampf using all the tricks - valve core removed, sealant around the bead, completely tubeless-ready setup, high volume floor pump - and ended up pumping madly for about five minutes with no luck. Three seconds of 120 psig air from the compressor later and SNAP-SNAP-SNAP, right onto the rim.
    You missed one key trick that is worth leaving on this thread: put a tube in and inflate to ~50 psi, and leave it for ~10min. This will form the tire to the rim and into a nice round shape, which is key since most new tires come folded almost flat. Then deflate the tube, and remove it, trying to only break the tire from the rim on one side. Remove the tube, install valve stem, inflate tubeless. Even if you break the bead seat on both sides, having the tire shape formed up properly greatly increases you chance of tubeless success.
    ye' old trailblog: www.most-excellent-adventures.com THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  54. #54
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    Have a couple coors and then use some ether!

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  55. #55
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    I used to run tubeless and now back to tubes. Generally agree with everything Francis says. If you have a dual suspension and don't get a lot of flats, its not worth it. For me the biggest pain is swapping tires. Tons of messy cleanup.
    Depending on where you ride, lots of the bay area trails don't have huge rock gardens and cactus thorns. We don't get as many flats as some other parts of the country.

    Some tips:
    • Forget stans liquid, there are better sealants out there.
    • Use tubeless ready tires. The beads that lock tight into place are key for less burping. Also less rim damage when the tire deflates on the trail.
    • Carry a spare tube. When you have a flat on the trail you don't do tubeless on the trail, you put a tube instead.
    • No need for windex/soap/water to seat the tire. Blast them to the maximum inflation pressure listed on the tire and they will always pop to place. Save yourself the mess.
    • Use a compressor, like in a gas station. An adaptor is like $1-2 in a bike shop.
    • Make sure you have removable cores to make adding liquid easy, it's a PITA otherwise.
    • Do only one wheel to see if you like it. You may decide the downsides outweigh the benefits. Cleaning up rims and tires from tubeless sealant is a PITA.

  56. #56
    J-Flo
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    Tubeless is better. Better handling, lower weight, fewer flats. The only issue I have had is forgetting to check the sealant level. Leaks accelerate when the sealant dries up, which recently caused my one and only flat with tubeless.

  57. #57
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    I rode a rigid Niner for two years and love tubeless. It made a huge difference in how the bike felt and overall comfort. I weigh 190 and use 20 - 23 psi (possibly my pump gauge indicates low). Never had any problems. Only one flat that required a tube in in about 6000 miles.

    I have had the same front tire on my bike (now a hardtail) for maybe 18 month and never added Stan's. It's probably dry but no flat so far. I wear out rear tires more often than I need to add Stan's so basically zero maintenance.

    My first problem using tubeless happened last week when I tried to mount a Bontrager non-UST very low weight tire. Took me two hours since the beed did not want to seat. Finally installed a tube for about 5 minutes and then removed the tube leaving one side of the tire seated. After a couple of attempts the other beed seated. Rode 45 miles over the last two days without having to add air.

    I believe the key to tubeless is using the right rim. I have Stan's Flow rims and while not especially low weight they stay true and work flawlessly with tubeless. I still appreciate the ride quality of tubeless even though I switched from rigid to a ht. Not sure if one can feel the difference on a fs bike but I think it would make a difference in handling when running low psi. I am not an aggressive rider but I believe I can tell the difference.

  58. #58
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    Borabora is probably correct; a good rim seems to make a difference. I have had no issues and good experience with Stan's Flow rims. Various Roval rims (Control SL, old Control EL, new Control Carbon, basic OE) have also been completely reliable tubeless.
    With WTB i23 rims I had a major burp on a downhill, once, but that was my fault due to a very low pressure experiment (I was running at about 16psi with a big front tire); otherwise they have been fine.
    The rate of sealant evaporation depends mostly on how porous the tire is, and secondarily on climate. Some tires, especially lighter ones, have very porous sidewalls. You may be able to see the sealant weeping through and in any case it will be gone in 2 months. Many "non-tubeless" tires fall into this category. Average life of sealant is maybe around 6 months, not longer. You can run tubeless fine without sealant (just like cars and motos) but a puncture in the tire will cause a flat so it is not a good idea.

    Also, I think tubeless is probably less appropriate for folks who don't ride at least once per week. With more occasional riding the sealant will be less evenly distributed and the loss of pressure will be more noticeable.

    I check pressures, at least by feel, before every ride, by gauge about once per week. Some tires need air once a month; more porous tires will need some air every week.

  59. #59
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    I have Bontrager rims, rim strips, tires, and valves with Stan's sealant on my Fuel EX. This setup has been problem free. I rarely have to add air when I ride regularly. My pressure is a little high at about 30 psi, but the bike rolls so much smoother and faster on rocky downhills than with tubes at about 45 psi. The videos on notubes.com help a lot with installation. I think the components are key. I tried to convert the non-tubeless-ready rims and tires on my commuter bike to tubeless but had to go back to Slime tubes.

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    Also, I think tubeless is probably less appropriate for folks who don't ride at least once per week. With more occasional riding the sealant will be less evenly distributed and the loss of pressure will be more noticeable.
    Absolutely true. Tubeless is great for bikes that get moved a few times per week, and not ideal for bikes that sit for several days on end, since the sealant will coagulate in one place when a bike sits for stretches of a several days or more.

    Other suggestion: Use a tooth brush to paint sealant around the bead surface where it mates with the rim. Doing so will help seal the tire to the rim upon first inflation. Might also save a few shake and turn repetitions. I intentionally overdo this a bit, and then hose it off after the tire is seated and sealed.

    Have used tape and valves on 6 different Stan's rims (including my commuter) without incident, and used rim strips on Sun CR18 rims with no issues as well. I prefer the Stan's rims to more conventional designs because 2.2 & larger tires tended to roll laterally laterally on the CR18 rims. They never flatted or rolled off the rim, but they I could move them by hand far more than I felt comfortable with. OTOH, all of my 2.2" tires on just about any Stan's rim will sit nice and stable.
    Every rose has it's thorn.

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  61. #61
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    A lot of good points here, but I thought I'd throw in another two cents:

    1) Gorilla tape cut to the right width works fine, is cheap and highly available (am I talking about tape or the local massage parlor?). Seriously, it works and the only better solution may be little plugs for each spoke hole for the weight weenies or those that break spokes frequently. Haven't tried the plugs yet, and I somewhat question the reliability, but see plugs as the future for the weight weenie crowd. Sealing the spoke holes is the easy part.

    2) Get a 1/3 HP, 3 gal compressor from Harbor Freight for $50 and Presta Schrader adapter for a buck. Cost isn't much more than a floor pump and saves a lot of sweat. And tears. Haven't bled yet.

    3). Stans sealant hasn't failed me yet. It dries out and you throw in another scoop every few months. It's good to inspect your tires every once in a whole anyway. I ride in thorny, jagged rocky SoCal. Thinking about trying the Truckerco juice next time I need more product.

    4) if you ride a hardtail, tubeless is mandatory. Assuming you ride with fun in mind.

    5) You can easily tell the difference between tubeless and tubed tires on any bike HT or FS. There's an audible difference - a hollow sound to tubeless when rolling. It's a good sound. The tire conforms to the trail better and generally feels more lively.

    6) I don't understand why people are saying to run the same pressure. This idea is way too general and each tire/rim/rider combo needs to be evaluated individually. I personally always run lower pressure tubeless, as this is probably the main benefit.

  62. #62
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    In 2010, I had a shop install my tubeless tires (WTB Weirwolf 2.3s) with some Stan's. Once per year I add some additional Stan's through the valve stem. I ride trails about once per week throughout the year, plus ride around the house with my family. I have not had one flat.

    Up in Auburn, a few months ago, I rode over a coat hanger sized metal rod and punctured enough that I could hear the air rush out. I turned the hole to the bottom and it instantly sealed it. I gave it a few minutes and finished the ride. I haven't done a thing to the tire since then and it is holding up fine. It's like it never happened.

    Edit: I forgot to mention I am 225#'s and run about 34 psi in my tires. I ride a 2009 Fuel EX 8. The wheels are stock except for the rim strip to seal them. I bring along one tube when I remember, but after four years of no flats, I sometimes forget. Some people don't like Stan's, but I've never had a problem with it.

  63. #63
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    Update: Been running tubeless now for a bit and it's cool. Definitely like it. I have not yet had to inflate a tire as others have done it for me. A bike shop filled me in on a method that I thought was cool. When seating a new tire, take the piston out of the tube and inflate to get the seal. Then replace the piston and fill to needed PSI. Said it helps to seat better that way.

    I do have a question though. I bought a new compressor. Can I get advice on a trigger gun to work with presta? I have been to several auto stores but haven't found one that works well.

    Thanks!

    Edit: Went and bought this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    heck $12...
    I'm not sure how this works.

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  65. #65
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    You can use one of those screw-on presta-to-schraeder adapters for your valve stem, then use a regular schrader trigger attachment for the compressor. In my experience that works OK but not great. For a real presta compressor attachment, check out Prestacycle:

    Presta Air Compressor Bicycle Inflator, fits both Presta and Schrader - Prestaflator.com

    Though it looks pretty similar to the other much cheaper one just posted.

    BTW by "piston" I think you mean "valve core".

    I've been liking tubeless, but sometimes it's frustrating. Just got a flat up in Downieville, and it was a tiny hole in the main tread (not sidewall), but the Stan's just refused to seal it, not sure why. The only thing worse than fixing a regular flat is fixing a tubeless-filled-with-Stans flat.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    heck $12...
    Get the best for only 10 times more!
    Park Tool INF-1 Shop Inflator > Accessories > Tools > Fork & Suspension Tools | Jenson USA
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by twowheelmotion View Post
    I'm the kind of rider that doesn't throw anything away, ever. And it's that tire on the rack that ran tubes only, nice and clean, half worn, ready to give to a neighborhood kid or friend. Next to it, a tubeless tire coated in ancient Stans that has discolored and I need to throw away.
    You can give me all your old Stan's dirtied tires if you want. I really don't care what the inside of a tire looks like.

  68. #68
    AKD
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    My compressor came with a 13 piece attachment set. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I just use the little black nozzle. At 100 psi, you can inflate through the valve stem (easier with the core removed, but still possible if it's in place) just by putting the nozzle close enough to the stem and letting rip with the pressure.

    I think there's a presta/schrader inflator in the attachment set, but I didn't bother.

  69. #69
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    That's what I use on my pancake compressor and it works great! Just need to use the presta to shredder adapter.

    Quote Originally Posted by squashyo View Post
    Update: Been running tubeless now for a bit and it's cool. Definitely like it. I have not yet had to inflate a tire as others have done it for me. A bike shop filled me in on a method that I thought was cool. When seating a new tire, take the piston out of the tube and inflate to get the seal. Then replace the piston and fill to needed PSI. Said it helps to seat better that way.

    I do have a question though. I bought a new compressor. Can I get advice on a trigger gun to work with presta? I have been to several auto stores but haven't found one that works well.

    Thanks!

    Edit: Went and bought this: Amazon.com: Campbell Hausfeld MP6000 Tire Inflator with Gauge: Home Improvement

    heck $12...
    You only live once, but if you work it right, once is enough.

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  70. #70
    J-Flo
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    I like the Prestaflator because it is almost foolproof and the gauge is very accurate; no need to check and re-check pressure. Checking and adjusting pressure on both tires is a snap, completed in less than 30 seconds.

  71. #71
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    All good information above. You really do not need removable valves if you care with your goo.

    My main experience has been use a tubeless ready or UST tire. That really is the most important part.

    VTW

  72. #72
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    Yeah, I have not needed the removable valve cores. At least with the various rims and tires I have used, it is no big deal to pop a bead for a refill, and this is necessary to see how much sealant is left (and to remove boogers of dried latex).

  73. #73
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    Didn't have a chance to read through since I'm just sitting in the parking lot waiting for my visiting coworker to do shopping at Safeway. A couple of quick comments. Sorry if they've been discussed:

    1) most tubeless ready tires, we can seat with floor pump. The ones we can't, one CO2 cartridge takes care of it. Easy and quick.
    2) Stan's really works. I've seen another sealant that did not work. Orange something.
    3) some tire delaminates with Stan's. My MAXXIS did.
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    Going Tubeless - can I get some advice on best practices?

    Very good posts ! Stans and other latex based sealants work very well but for the same reason dry in a few months (e.g. 6 months). If you do not flat often or use reinforced UST tyres or 2-ply you can try Slime. It will last at least a couple of years, good for punctures but not so effective as others for big punctures or cuts.

    There are many reasons to go tubeless, mine is to avoid 99% of the flats rather than riding at lower pressures or weight reduction.

    If you puncture or remove the tyre to do maintenance, as said, the best thing to do is to keep riding the bike so that rotation and friction help sealing all the wholes.

    UST tires when mounted on UST rims can be used without sealant at all, I was riding like this for half a year only refilling air every for or five rides (my rear wheel had quite a few punctures !!!)

    In any case you should bring a pump, co2 bottles, repair kit, a tube or two....as usual depending on the ride

    Regarding bikes that do not move so often or ghetto tubeless...I think it is not so important if the tubeless upgrade has been done correctly since the tyre may loose air but the lip will still be in place and sealed: reinflate, ride around the block and you are ready to go !

    In any case when you go tubeless is the same as when you go with tubes: you will have to learn which setup is best of you (tyre, rim, pressure, riding style, rider weigth...). What works for one person, doesn't work for another

    If you are doing very aggressive or technical MTB and like riding at very low pressures you should be aware of the risk of the tyre moving sidewards and loosing all air instantly. Wider rims will reduce this risk.

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