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  1. #1
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    What is tubular tires and is it a must for tubeless?

    The mechanic at a Mountain View specialized dealer told me that my tires can't be converted to tubeless using stans. The rim is a specialized Traverse that came on a 2012 stumpy FSR.

    Basically he said that the Kenda I am running is not tubular. I end up spending 120 bucks on a pair of spcialized tires that are supposingly tubular (they are just typical S-work Ground Control and Fasttrack). Add to that I now have a pair of old but still very fresh kenda tires just sitting around.

    What is tubular tire? I googled on line and find the basic difference betweeen tubular and clincher tire. I remember Passion Trail Bike in Belmont helped me set us a pair of Kenda on a Stans wheelset without any problem. Those tires were just regular folding Kevlar bead tires.

    Was the Mountain View shop mechanic correct? I would love to set us some Schwalbe Racing Raplh on the stumpy now if it is possible. But those tires are not tubular.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    huh? I thought tubular tires are generally used on Road bikes with rims made specifically for tubular tires and you have to glue the tire to the rim.

    Maybe the mechanic meant that the Kenda tire is not tubeless ready so he won't convert it. People do convert non-tubeless ready tire to tubeless but its pretty much a do it at your own risk situation. Also there have been reports of stans causing blisters on Kenda tires(and kenda not warrantying the tire because they specifically say their tires cannot be used with stans).

  3. #3
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    I have successfully converted tubeless ready tires and tires that weren't tubeless ready using Stan's on DT Swiss XR400 rims. I haven't heard anyone use that terminology before, but I might be a bit out of the market.

  4. #4
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    Confusing terminology here. I suspect you are not talking about tubular, but clincher tires with and without tubes.

    Tubular tires (also called sew ups) are tires where the tire and tube are one, and are generally glued to the rim. In old road racing days, these were the tires of choice. Only rarely have I seen them used on MTB (a customer at Passion has used them on his race bike).

    Clincher tires are ones where the tire has a bead which clinches on to the rim, with the air pressure in the (separate) tube holding it in place. Not sure if tubeless are called clinchers or some other name.

    On the Kendas or Schwalbes, I'd give Passion a call and see what they say. They carry Specialized, but are not tied to them, so may give you a feel for whether the Specialized concept folks were right, or just pushing Specialized products on you.
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  5. #5
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    There tubular tires for mountain bikes , I think they are about 120$ a piece . The answers are correct many people have converted non tubeless compatible tires to tubeless without any prolems. If you want to be on the safe side get some tires that are tubeless ready.

  6. #6
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    hi singlespeed, those were word for word what the concept store guy and the mechanic told me.

    I knew something wasn't right when they said that but since I hardly get a chance to go to a bike shop these days, kind of just let them took care of it.

    Now that I have all the right equipments at home I love to convert those schwalbe tires myself. Also, not to be rude or anything, they charged way too much for that conversion. I think Passion did both wheels for me for about 30 bucks only. I end up leaving the concept store that day with about a $210 bill including the tires. Just kind of upset.

  7. #7
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    Yeah, there are some tubular mtb tires, but those require a special rim.

    Can you convert some non tubeless tires with stans or different DIY methods? Yes. Does it work on all tire and rim combinations? NOPE. Depending on the profile of the rim, you need to do some fun things to eliminate a deep channel in the rim.

    Most shops will NOT set up non tubeless tires for customers with a Stans kit due to liability issues.

    -Personal experience: Went to Tread. I had a rim which wasn't quite meant for tubeless and a Maxxis Ardent (non tubeless). I knew the Ardent worked tubeless, so Ford agreed to set it up for me, but I had acknowledged the fact that it may not work. I'm rambling here.

    Shops will not want to sell you on something you can't use or give you advice on how to make stuff work that shouldn't work because of potential liability things and because no one takes responsibility for their own stupid decision and then blame the shops that last touched the bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    I end up leaving the concept store that day with about a $210 bill including the tires. Just kind of upset.
    Sounds about right for two tires, stans kit and labor.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    hi singlespeed, those were word for word what the concept store guy and the mechanic told me.

    I knew something wasn't right when they said that but since I hardly get a chance to go to a bike shop these days, kind of just let them took care of it.

    Now that I have all the right equipments at home I love to convert those schwalbe tires myself. Also, not to be rude or anything, they charged way too much for that conversion. I think Passion did both wheels for me for about 30 bucks only. I end up leaving the concept store that day with about a $210 bill including the tires. Just kind of upset.
    I would be too. They ripped you off (intentionally or not) and upsold you on some tires. You should have asked here first. Some locals may have offered to hook you up. It's part of the reason why I do it myself. $210 is getting close to a brake job for auto, with blingy rotors and pads (which I do myself too).

    Kenda had problems with Stan's early on, but that was resolved and they even have the SCT versions now that are sealant compatible.

    They probably meant tubeless/sealant compatible. Tubular rims are different than clincher, and much more popular with road bikes than they are with MTBs. singlespeed.org summed it up well.

    FWIW, I've been using wirebeads and folding beads on Stan's and ghetto setups without much of a problem.

  10. #10
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    Don't know about those rims but I have found Specialized tubeless ready tires super easy to seal with Stan's kits on Roval and Stan's rims. Love 'em but I have quit using them because even the Control versions don't have strong enough sidewalls to resist tears to ride confidently in the Sierra and have switched to much heavier but still fast in the summer TCS WTBs.

    I have heard of people being able to seal Nevegals with the kevlar sidewalls but I tried for a month on a pair and could never seal all the microperfs in the sidewalls. Would put them in the bathtub to see what was going on and tons of timy bubbles even after the best shakes and falt as flitter sessions.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
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    This is a tubular rim:



    Notice the contact surface is concave, with no hooks for a clincher tire (the traditional tire style)? Tubular tires, which look like a casing, are glued on to the rim surface.



    While we can a discussion about tubulars vs clinchers, tubulars are mostly used for road and primarily for racing. You will not see a stock mountain bike with tubular tires.

    When it comes to tubeless, there are two setups, UST and Stan's.

    UST is the official standard for tubeless. The rims are air-proof and are specially designed for a more secure tire mounting, and the tires themselves have thicker sidewalls and stronger beads, but much heavier than regular tires.

    Stan's Notubes is a conversion system, which has two components, an air-proof rim strip and the Notubes fluid, which helps to seal the tire to the rim as well as any leaks in the tire.

    One problem with Notubes is that is doesn't work with every tire and rim, so there is some trial-and-error. And the biggest problem: ocne in a while, it is extremely difficult to make it work, and some shops will not install it for customers.

    So tire manufacturers recognize that many people go to tubeless without using the heavier UST tires, so they have responded with their versions of tubeless, usually a slightly beefed up sidewall and bead but only slightly heavier than non tubeless tires. Specialized's version is called 2Bliss.

    So in your case, I believe those Traverse wheels are not tubeless ready, i.e. air-proof, so you would need a Stan's rim strip. But your Kenda tires are not officially tubeless, so technically he was in the right to sell you "tubeless" tires.

    The reality is you could have converted your Kendas to Stan's, but there are no guarantees it would install correctly or not flat. But there are no guarantees about any tire setup. I have blown out a Specialized 2Bliss tire in the first month.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by IAmHolland View Post
    $210 is getting close to a brake job for auto, with blingy rotors and pads (which I do myself too).
    $210 actually only buys you ONE replacement ring for a semi-blingy rotor and no pads ...
    332x32mm Stoptech replacement rotor ring


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    $210 actually only buys you ONE replacement ring for a semi-blingy rotor and no pads ...
    332x32mm Stoptech replacement rotor ring

    haha, indeed. some cheapo OEMs Centrics then.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    hi singlespeed, those were word for word what the concept store guy and the mechanic told me.

    I knew something wasn't right when they said that but since I hardly get a chance to go to a bike shop these days, kind of just let them took care of it.

    Now that I have all the right equipments at home I love to convert those schwalbe tires myself. Also, not to be rude or anything, they charged way too much for that conversion. I think Passion did both wheels for me for about 30 bucks only. I end up leaving the concept store that day with about a $210 bill including the tires. Just kind of upset.
    I've been running tubeless since 2005, and have not had a UST tire yet. I've only run regular mtb tires.

    I've run Racing Ralphs tubeless since 2009. The current gen RR tires set up great. The prior gen were near impossible.

    Reminder that when you set up tubeless, do not inflate beyond an accurate 35-40psi. Past about 25psi, stop and make sure the bead is uniformly seated, or soon to be seated. If it is not seated, add air, VERY slowly, else you may blow the tire off the rim.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by singlespeed.org View Post
    Confusing terminology here. I suspect you are not talking about tubular, but clincher tires with and without tubes.

    Tubular tires (also called sew ups) are tires where the tire and tube are one, and are generally glued to the rim. In old road racing days, these were the tires of choice. Only rarely have I seen them used on MTB (a customer at Passion has used them on his race bike).

    Clincher tires are ones where the tire has a bead which clinches on to the rim, with the air pressure in the (separate) tube holding it in place. Not sure if tubeless are called clinchers or some other name.

    On the Kendas or Schwalbes, I'd give Passion a call and see what they say. They carry Specialized, but are not tied to them, so may give you a feel for whether the Specialized concept folks were right, or just pushing Specialized products on you.
    + rep for use of the term 'sew ups'
    I have a set of Tufo MTB sew ups that I occasionally run on my climbing hard tail.
    And don't do the burrito jump... Francois

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmdrpiffle View Post
    + rep for use of the term 'sew ups'
    I have a set of Tufo MTB sew ups that I occasionally run on my climbing hard tail.
    Hey, I have fixed several of my own sew-ups.

    Carefully cut the casing liner
    Snip the thread
    Patch the tube
    Resew the the casing
    Reattach the liner

    That's why even on the road, I will never use a tubular again. Makes the hardest Stans install a piece of cake.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rensho View Post
    I've been running tubeless since 2005, and have not had a UST tire yet. I've only run regular mtb tires.

    I've run Racing Ralphs tubeless since 2009. The current gen RR tires set up great. The prior gen were near impossible.

    Reminder that when you set up tubeless, do not inflate beyond an accurate 35-40psi. Past about 25psi, stop and make sure the bead is uniformly seated, or soon to be seated. If it is not seated, add air, VERY slowly, else you may blow the tire off the rim.

    YES, but no shop will market they can set up non tubeless (stans/ust/tcs/whatever) because half of the people on this forum would throw a fit if their tubeless tire which the shop converted ever burped or didn't hold air perfectly.

  18. #18
    Save Jesus
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    Was this cognition cyclery?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by beanbag View Post
    Was this cognition cyclery?
    What do u think about them?

  20. #20
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    If that's the terminology they used at the bike shop, you need to find a different bike shop. If that's the case, the shop is a combination of road-centric and incompetent. Tublar tires just BARELY apply to mountain bikes and aren't a good idea for a person who needs the LBS to mount them.

    Everyone's comments on Tubeless vs. Tubeless-ready vs. regular tires are correct. You can run a tubeless setup with non-tubeless tires on most rims but it can be a frustrating process. Everyone has a story about a combination that they just can't get to work and it's incredibly frustrating (Weirwolf LTs to Salsa Semi 29er rims are my tubeless Waterloo).

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairylegs View Post
    You can run a tubeless setup with non-tubeless tires on most rims but it can be a frustrating process. Everyone has a story about a combination that they just can't get to work and it's incredibly frustrating (Weirwolf LTs to Salsa Semi 29er rims are my tubeless Waterloo).
    Almost for me, I make it work. My last ghetto conversion (Forte Xenduro rims and CST wirebeads) needed 2 layers of gorilla tape, and 3 layers of electrical tape to build up the middle.

    Yep, annoying as heck, and heavier than I would want on the perimeter. It might be as heavy as a tube with all those layers. But, I can't complain on a 2200g wheelset.

  22. #22
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    Personally I would do my own tubeless install or conversion rather than paying someone else to do it. This way I know how tough it is to setup the first time and what to do in the future when I get a flat or a leak. You will get a sense of how hard or easy it is to seat the bead depending on the tire and rim combination that you have.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loll View Post
    The mechanic at a Mountain View specialized dealer told me that my tires can't be converted to tubeless using stans. The rim is a specialized Traverse that came on a 2012 stumpy FSR.

    Basically he said that the Kenda I am running is not tubular. I end up spending 120 bucks on a pair of spcialized tires that are supposingly tubular (they are just typical S-work Ground Control and Fasttrack). Add to that I now have a pair of old but still very fresh kenda tires just sitting around.
    Either the mechanic there is incompetent, or you misunderstood. The terminology makes no sense. I would guess he meant to say that the Kenda tires were not tubeless-compatible (using Stan's in Kendas would void the tire warranty). Sworks tires can be used with Stan's (I believe Spesh calls this 2Bliss-ready, or something like that).

    Bottom line, when you wear out the Specialized tires, you can use the Kendas. Use some soapy water on the bead to help it seat, add a couple of scoops of Stan's, inflate, and enjoy.

    Maybe look for a new bike shop, too.

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