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  1. #1
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    Tubeless vs tubes??

    I've ridden tubeless and tubed fat on a plethora of tire and rim combinations over the past few years and I'm interested in other peoples comparative experiences who have experience with both. Good or bad.

    Personally, at this point I'm leaning tubeless since there is the issue of friction between the tube and tire which seems to be rarely discussed. To me, that spells greater inefficiency to sealant. Which is the lesser of evils?

  2. #2
    addicted to chunk
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    Way less flats with tubeless here. even huge sticks lodged in tire, with tubeless I rode up to 10 miles, with tube, flat in seconds.
    Riding.....

  3. #3
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    I liken tubed riding to riding in soft dirt as opposed to hard pack. It just seems to feel sluggish. Same thing I noticed with skinny tires, but on a larger scale.

    I run tubeless and am quite content. No burps, no slipping tires, all seems right with the world.

    And yes, all the normal benefits of tubeless, less weight, fewer if any flats etc, still hold ture too.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  4. #4
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    Running a tubeless front right now, had 3psi and rode a trail with a lot of rocks never had a problem other then fast cornering, I am going to switch the rear after we get some real cold to see if the tubeless works at real cold temps.

  5. #5
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    Go tubeless

  6. #6
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    I went tubeless this season and Iím not looking back. With tubes I would have to run higher air pressure = less traction. If I lowered the pressure to the point I got good traction I would wind up getting pinch flats.
    Now I get great traction the trails I ride have lots of rocks and roots and I havenít had a single flat. And I ride just about everyday.

  7. #7
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    fewer flats is my main reason. I used to get 1 per ride, but sometimes 2,3, 4, or 5. Super annoying! With tubeless, I've only had problems as a tire gets old. My ust ardent started leaking where the bead is attached to the tire and nothing I would do made any difference and over time it got worse. But still better than tube flats, as it just slowly lost air and I'd repump every 5 miles.

    I had wtb prowler tires and they burped alot when run tubeless, but every other tire has been good.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MendonCycleSmith View Post
    I liken tubed riding to riding in soft dirt as opposed to hard pack. It just seems to feel sluggish. Same thing I noticed with skinny tires, but on a larger scale.

    I run tubeless and am quite content. No burps, no slipping tires, all seems right with the world.

    And yes, all the normal benefits of tubeless, less weight, fewer if any flats etc, still hold ture too.
    Not sure about lower weight (except for uma's) but everything else you said sounds good.

  9. #9
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by GTR2ebike View Post
    Not sure about lower weight (except for uma's) but everything else you said sounds good.
    In my case, I'm running Uma's. But any well executed ghetto tubeless version should be a chunk lighter too, unless you know something I don't???
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  10. #10
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    So I want to go tubeless!! I'm running Marge lite holy on back with Nate and holy rolling Darryl out front with Bud. Can these combos be set up tubeless?? Is there a good thread/instructions on how to run tubeless?? I run tubeless on my skinny tire bike no problems. Do you have to use the foam strip method/duct tape etc.. to set up fat tires?? Ready to do this on both our Mukluk's but unsure of best method. Any help would be appreciated!! Thanks!!

  11. #11
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    Wanting to go tubeless on both our bikes!! Is there any long term effects on running these tires tubeless?? Does Stan's effect the tires and what about the cold temps?? Wife and I just bought these Mukluk's.. Loving them!!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Tubeless vs tubes??-imgp2526.jpg  

    Tubeless vs tubes??-imgp2532.jpg  


  12. #12
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    Cold hasn't been an issue for me with conventional tubeless, which I've been running for years. Of course, cold being relative, I'm in upstate NY, and we ride regardless, but I don't think we've seen too many rides colder than zero. Maybe a few below, but not by much. Running Stans sealant.

    So far, same thing with the fatties, and the fact that they're larger, is about the only difference, so I can't see any "long term" impacts on tires, wheels what have you.

    Split tube set up works well, for me. You may be able to get away from the foam, but if you don't mind doing it, it'll make the initial airing up go much more smoothly. I ran out of foam and needed to set one up the other day, used bubble wrap (little pinkie finger nail sized bubble type, not the big ping pong ball sized variety), worked fine too.

    I use 24x2.5-2.75 presta tubes. With your choice of bulking agent in place, stretch them on with valve installed. Split up the middle, and lay tube out over the rim edges. Install one tire bead, add a slop of sealant, install other bead, inflate. Much like regular tubeless, you may need to futz a bit, I find whacking the tire with my hand while running in pressurem seems to help getting the beads to seat up.

    A compressor makes the job infinitely easier.

    Duct tape method is not my go to, so someone else would be best for sharing that, but I'm guessing set up is close to the same....
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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  13. #13
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    Couple questions? What is the best foam to use (width, size, etc.) and how do you attach it to the rim? Does it go on before or after the split tube? Never mind, I see in your post you are calling this the bulking agent.. Correct?? And, after you split the tube and "lay tube out over the rim edges" what happens to the excess exposed tube? (trim it off or is it not exposed after the tire is seated? Thanks for the info!!

  14. #14
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    Could someone explain to me why a tubeless set up is lighter? I'd like to go that route but I've never run it and don't get why it would be lighter. If using the split tube method, is it just the difference in using a lighter tube? In my tire now, there's just a tube. When I here some of the stuff used in a tubeless setup (extra rip strip, tape, foam, sealant .....) I don't get the 'lighter' aspect. Although if it is the case, when paired with some performance benefits, I'd be sold. Thanks.

  15. #15
    Chad
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    Lighter and More Compliant

    The split tube method described by Mendon is my go to method. The tube mentioned is nearly 1/2 a pound lighter than the standard Fat tube. That being said, the foam weather strip doesn't even register a weight on my scale. So 1 pound saved on the bike. Not a big deal for my 36 lb Moonie, BUT the ride quality is way better, and I can run 6 psi under my 180lbs and ride rocks, roots and gnar all day long.
    Go tubeless.

  16. #16
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    Good question Chris!! I wondered the same... Tubeless does give a better feel/footprint as you ride and allows for lower air pressure I believe. You also get the benefit of less flats from thorns, nails, etc.. Sealant will fill small punctures! I'm no expert but these are a few advantages!! Not sure on the weight differences for tube/tubeless??

  17. #17
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    The weight issue has been discussed before, and if I remember correctly it was something like this. Compared to the Surly "toobs", the weight savings is there by going tubeless. If you run a lighter tube like the Q-tubes, there is not really a lot of weight savings when you add up the weight of the 24" tube and the weight of the sealant.
    There are light weight tube options and you really need to decide if your terrain/riding style demands tubeless or not, or you want the lower tire pressure and "feel" that you can get from a tubeless set-up. Personally I feel more secure with Toobs when running in the cold winters I get.
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  18. #18
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    Saving a 1/2 pound on rotating mass per tire is probably comparable with saving 5 pounds of overall bike weight. I have not went tubeless yet on my moonie but a 1/2 pound per wheel is very significant and like others said the feel tubeless is much smoother.

  19. #19
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    A couple of things to notice when comparing weights:

    1) Even if all the foam, tape, split tubes and whatever tubeless recipe you use ends up weighing as much as a tube, the weight is placed at the radius of the wheel. A tube is further from the axle, so it means more inertia to overcome when accelerating.

    2) Liquid inside the tube is not rotating mass in the same sense as solids (foam, tape, tube...). There is some friction, yes, but it doesn't compare gram for gram. Accelerating a wheel with sealant inside is easier compared to a setup of the same weight without sealant.

    Right now I have a Schwalbe SV 13F tube in one tire and the Surly toob in the other. Weights are 185 grams and 440 g (weighed) respectively for each. I'm probably going to try out tubeless, but if it doesn't work out for me I'll happily go back to SV 13F's in each end.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gruitr1 View Post
    Couple questions? What is the best foam to use (width, size, etc.) and how do you attach it to the rim? Does it go on before or after the split tube? Never mind, I see in your post you are calling this the bulking agent.. Correct?? And, after you split the tube and "lay tube out over the rim edges" what happens to the excess exposed tube? (trim it off or is it not exposed after the tire is seated? Thanks for the info!!
    I use white closed cell foam that comes in sheets, perhaps 1/8" thick. Doesn't much matter, you just want light, and closed cell. Open cell will absorb water etc....

    Cut to slightly less than rim width, no rocket science there either.

    Goes under the split tube.

    Yes, once the tire is in place and inflated just trim off the excess flappage.

    That's the other thing in all this weight talk. You remove a third or more, of an already smaller diameter tube, so really, compared to a Surly fat tube, it's minimal. I don't add a ton of sealant either, about the same amount as a skinny tire set up. Surlys tires seem to be pretty well "rubbered". Once set up, they seem to just be good, not nearly the screwing around and sealing of side walls etc that seems to happen with skinnier tires.
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

    - FrostyStruthers



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  21. #21
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    Regarding trimming the "flappage" of a split tube rim strip, does it make changing tires more difficult? I wouldn't want to buy and split a new tube everytime I have taken the tire off to check on sealant, but I can live with a bit of excess rubber if it makes things easier.

    On a side note, I got neg repped for my previous post with a comment "spoken like a true believer", as if simple physics was a question of belief.

  22. #22
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    are there any negatives to not trimming the "flapage"?

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by aeronca7ccm View Post
    are there any negatives to not trimming the "flapage"?
    Just looks and a few grams of extra weight.

  24. #24
    Chad
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    It does make changing/checking tires hard. I have replaced the split tube for ease, but it can be done,
    not likely trailside though.

  25. #25
    All Lefty's, all the time Moderator
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    A nice tight trim will make it a bit trickier to change a tire in three minutes, sure. What I've found is, they tend to form into place a bit. and if you take the time to go around and break the bond between tire bead and tube on both sides, then remove the tire, they tend to stay pretty much in place. Then careful tire installation, followed by using a thin screw driver to slide stuck under tube edges back into place, and the whole thing adds a few minutes to the procedure, not too bad.

    And no, nothing beyond looks and the extra weight.

    Pointless neg rep, it's the new anonymous web cruising emo kid's passive aggressive outlet...

    I've gotten a few too, usually for stuff that just makes you go, huh???
    This is a Pugs not some carbon wannabee pretzel wagon!!

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