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  1. #1
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    Tubeless -- Pros and Cons

    I'm looking for information regarding tubleless tires -- pros and cons of tubes vs. tubeless.
    Pretend I know NOTHING about this topic, because that's the truth.
    Please provide a link or a brief run down.
    Thanks.

    OCDirt

  2. #2
    rides with camera
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    My little pros & cons list , I ran my first set last year and liked them so I just switched over another bike .

    I don`t think the cons really are that bad though if you have the right equipment

    Pros
    no pinch flats
    can run lower pressure
    lighter without tubes (if your into that sort of thing)

    Cons
    Can be messy (with stans kit)
    pain in the ass to inflate from 0 psi (unless you have a compressor)
    you can be constantly topping off with air (almost daily)

    There could be more I haven`t thought of yet , I`m still waking up
    Fu(k cancer

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  3. #3
    Disgruntled Peccary
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    Pro
    fewer flats due to thorns (using sealant, like stans)

    con
    potential to burp (more so using non-UST)
    mike

  4. #4
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    do a search....this topic has been covered many, many times.....

  5. #5
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    I just did a ghetto tubeless conversion. I took a 20" tube and cut it to use as a rim liner, I used my stock Kenda tire and added some Stans to seal the bead.

    The down side was that it was difficult to set up. I had a heck of a time putting on the tires. It is really easy to tear the tubes you use as liners. Also, I had to add sealant before I could get the tire to inflate.

    On the upside, they hold air well. I don't have to pump them up like I did with tubes. Even with thorns in the tires, the tires aren't losing air. With tubes, I noticed I would have to pump up the tubes after I got a thorn. The slime tubes take longer to seal.

    I would suggest you buy a stem core remover, and a syringe to add sealant through the valve. It eliminates the need to break the seal to add more sealant, which reduces the change of making a mess, or tearing your liner trying to put the tire back on.

  6. #6
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    If you are going tubless at least do it the correct way. Get UST rims and UST
    tires. Sealant is optional. The Stans/ghetto setups are dangerous and waste
    a lot of time for a lot of people . Just go browse the wheel/tire forum. You'd get
    better answers there anyway.
    Nobody cares...........

  7. #7
    Did I catch a niner?
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    If you are going tubless at least do it the correct way. Get UST rims and UST
    tires. Sealant is optional. The Stans/ghetto setups are dangerous and waste
    a lot of time for a lot of people . Just go browse the wheel/tire forum. You'd get
    better answers there anyway.
    As far as I know there are no UST rims/tires in a 29er option or a 650b I suppose. So that doesnt leave many options for the other riders (like myself).

    Add Con
    If you have a flexy sidewall you'll notice it way more

    pink
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  8. #8
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    Tubeless is the way to go IMO. The feeling on the trail is almost as if the ride is plusher and faster. I have had no burping issues with either my tubeless ready rims or my regular rims that I converted with the Stans kit. The Stan's rim strips are easy to use and reuse and the tires mount easy, unlike the fun of reusing the cut 20" tubes in ghetto without ripping them. If you follow the videos on the Stans site, you will see that it is possible to inflate your tires without a compressor. Even though I have a 5' upright compressor in the garage, I work upstairs in the house with a floor pump with no issues. Don't skip the step of drilling out the inner wall of your rim to allow the rim strip to sit flush; this helps tire inflation and cuts down the chance the strip will get cut around the valve. Trust me, I know.

    Been tubeless since last November and am loving it.

    I went with tubeless ready tires and Stans sealant, as I would need sealant anyway to seal small punctures, and did not feel the extra weight of UST was a good idea. It was easy to get the sidewalls to seal (again follow the videos).

    Why not mosey over to the Stans website and view the setup videos for yourself; lots of good info.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    If you are going tubless at least do it the correct way. Get UST rims and UST
    tires. Sealant is optional. The Stans/ghetto setups are dangerous and waste
    a lot of time for a lot of people . Just go browse the wheel/tire forum. You'd get
    better answers there anyway.
    dangerous!!

    hahaha

    ghetto is cheap and SUUUPER easy. anyone can do it correctly

  10. #10
    The White Jeff W
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    Con - A bit of a pain if you like to change tires frequently
    No moss...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffw-13
    Con - A bit of a pain if you like to change tires frequently

    Not if you are using a UST setup. In fact a strict UST setup is easier to change tires than a tube setup as there is not tube to worry about.
    Nobody cares...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt 891
    dangerous!!

    hahaha

    ghetto is cheap and SUUUPER easy. anyone can do it correctly
    Dangerous? Yep. Count the number of burps with ghetto setups on this board. I've yet to see anyone I ride with using UST have an accident, I've seen several people go down, with damage to their bodies when using ghetto.


    ghetto cheap and easy? BS. Just look at all the people on this forum complain about
    setting and sealing issues. The number of post is high, very high. Also, most peoples time is not free. Think of all the time wasted on ghetto setups.

    UST is far easier. You mount the tire, pump it up BY HAND, and ride. At least be honest with people asking questions.

    To the OP, did you search all the threads here? Do you notice anything?
    Nobody cares...........

  13. #13
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrimsonFox
    I would suggest you buy a stem core remover, and a syringe to add sealant through the valve. It eliminates the need to break the seal to add more sealant, which reduces the change of making a mess, or tearing your liner trying to put the tire back on.
    I second this no matter what system you use.

    Main advantages: Lower tire pressure; no pinch flats. Riding at lower PSI will improve your riding experience IMMENSELY.

    Main disadvantages: Heavier and more expensive (full UST); messy and potentially a pain to set up (conversions).

    You've got at least 4 tubeless choices:

    1) Full UST, tires and rims. Don't believe the zealots who claim this is the "only" way to go (hmmm; doesn't just apply to bike tires ). It is a more foolproof way, but it is a more expensive and significantly heavier way. You don't "need" sealant; you may "want" sealant to protect against punctures.

    2) UST tires, taped regular rims. This is a great method for anybody who doesn't want to blow a lot of cash out of the gate, but is not a big risk taker, does not have a compressor, and is not super patient. Tape over your spoke holes with a few layers of gorilla tape, add a valve cut from an old tire, mount a UST tire, add sealant, seat with a floor pump. No expensive rim strip necessary. Note: this is how all road tubeless conversions are done.

    3) Stans system. Expensive but tried and true for a decade or so. With tape, rimstrip, sealant, you can mount virtually any tire to any rim (but check their site for specific compatibility issues). Compressor necessary with any regular tire.

    4) Ghetto systems: cheap, but require patience, time, and compressor. 20" BMX tube, sealant all you need inside; do a search for bad tire/rim combos outside.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  14. #14
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    I've been tubeless for about two years now and haven't had one flat. I have one bike set up with a Stans rim strip and another bike with a set of the Notubes rims, they both work great. Some prefer UST, others like Stans or ghetto setups. I prefer non UST because the tires are lighter. I've never had any problems with reliability using standard tires.

  15. #15
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Not if you are using a UST setup. In fact a strict UST setup is easier to change tires than a tube setup as there is not tube to worry about.
    Not exactly. I've yet to been able to mount any UST tire to any rim, whether UST or converted, without tire levers. The fit is designed to be tight, the carbon beads are way stronger and stiffer than kevlar (I never used wire beads with tubes, for weight).

    Most of the time (there are tire/rim exceptions, of course), a foldable bead tube tire can be mounted by hand. With tubeless, every time you need two levers to pop the bead over the rim - and sometimes it can be a bit of a hassle.

    After a lot of trial and error, I highly recommend these levers. Itty bitty levers aren't stiff or long enough; metal levers can damage rims. This set has one long and one short; they are stiff enough not to bend or break, but are plastic so as to not score rims. I keep on pair in my shop, and one in my camelbak.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    ghetto cheap and easy? BS. Just look at all the people on this forum complain about
    setting and sealing issues. The number of post is high, very high.
    Sounds like you have a bone to pick, fine by me. I've run tubeless for close to 10 years. Started with UST, the weight of the tires and rims, sucks. Run Stans for as long as it's been available, and will never go back.

    Worth noting though, you should count the number of folks who come on here, and ask the most innane questions about every single thing, then assume at least a quarter of them, will try ghetto tubeless at some point, not possessing the ability to think their way out of a cardboard box, then come on here, grousing loudly, and blaming it on the system. One finger pointing at the problem, is three pointing at the blaming party.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt
    Not exactly. I've yet to been able to mount any UST tire to any rim, whether UST or converted, without tire levers.
    I'll go on record to say this has not been my experience.
    I've run full UST set-ups with Mavic 819 and 823 rims and UST tires from Kenda and Specialized, 2.2 to 2.4 and never use levers to mount. Make sure the beads are in the well of the rim, and slowly push/roll the last little bit of bead over the rim with your thumbs.
    Never had any problems with the full UST set-up in the 5 years I've used it.

    This season I'm trying Stan's Flow rims with the yellow tape, and tubeless-ready Specialized tires - where the bead is designed to run tubeless, but there is no innerliner, so you need to run some sealant, to air-seal the tire carcass (I use Stan's.)
    So far this system has been great for me. I've only got about 100 trail miles in so far though.
    The tires mounted up fairly easy, and were not loose on the rim at all. They aired up from zero PSI stupid easy with just a hand pump for me. WAY easier than the full UST system. I was able to mount all the UST tires with a hand pump, but it was much harder, and one I almost gave in and used a compressor, but finally got it.

    The main plus to running tubeless is lower rolling resistance, with no tube/tire-carcass friction, rolling through the contact patch. The side benefits are flat prevention with running a sealant, and the ability to run a lower pressure - not stupid low, but maybe a few PSI lower than you normally would.

    I'm not too fond of the "ghetto" systems - too many variables. It may work great with some rim/tires, or it may not work at all. Remember, a normal rim and tire is designed with the idea that a tube will be used, and it provides a bit of support to hold the bead in place. UST, and Tubeless-ready rims and tires are designed to have a bit more mechanical "grip" at the bead, right from the get-go, without the aid of a tube.

    I really like the UST system, and the Tubeless-ready systems (where the rim bead, and tire bead are designed to run tubeless) and don't see any real drawbacks to them
    Last edited by deoreo; 04-13-2010 at 07:39 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwt
    I second this no matter what system you use.

    Main advantages: Lower tire pressure; no pinch flats. Riding at lower PSI will improve your riding experience IMMENSELY.

    Main disadvantages: Heavier and more expensive (full UST); messy and potentially a pain to set up (conversions).

    You've got at least 4 tubeless choices:

    1) Full UST, tires and rims. Don't believe the zealots who claim this is the "only" way to go (hmmm; doesn't just apply to bike tires ). It is a more foolproof way, but it is a more expensive and significantly heavier way. You don't "need" sealant; you may "want" sealant to protect against punctures.

    2) UST tires, taped regular rims. This is a great method for anybody who doesn't want to blow a lot of cash out of the gate, but is not a big risk taker, does not have a compressor, and is not super patient. Tape over your spoke holes with a few layers of gorilla tape, add a valve cut from an old tire, mount a UST tire, add sealant, seat with a floor pump. No expensive rim strip necessary. Note: this is how all road tubeless conversions are done.

    3) Stans system. Expensive but tried and true for a decade or so. With tape, rimstrip, sealant, you can mount virtually any tire to any rim (but check their site for specific compatibility issues). Compressor necessary with any regular tire.

    4) Ghetto systems: cheap, but require patience, time, and compressor. 20" BMX tube, sealant all you need inside; do a search for bad tire/rim combos outside.
    Where do "tubeless ready" tires, like Bontrager, fit into this?

  19. #19
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by deoreo
    I really like the UST system, and the Tubeless-ready systems (where the rim bead, and tire bead are designed to run tubeless) and don't see any real drawbacks to them
    I do too, but I guess I need practice in the mounting dept.

    In a pinch, I still recommend those Topeak levers, though.
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  20. #20
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    I'm running a ghetto tubeless setup. I really like the fact that at the bead there is a cushion of rubber from the tube. I'm running azonic outlaw wheels with one ust tire and one standard tire. The UST tire has worked flawlessly. It sealed right away and I never have to put air in it. The non-UST tire requires air once in a while and had some pinhole leaks in the sidewall.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Where do "tubeless ready" tires, like Bontrager, fit into this?
    "Tubeless Ready" and "2Bliss" have UST beads, but they have porous sidewalls, so sealant is required.
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  22. #22
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    I have more trouble using tire levers than not on bicycles.

    Just learn the trick of making sure the far side of the tire is in the rim valley
    as you work yourself around the tire/tube. Works every time, no levers required.
    Nobody cares...........

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pink57
    As far as I know there are no UST rims/tires in a 29er option or a 650b I suppose. So that doesnt leave many options for the other riders (like myself).

    Add Con
    If you have a flexy sidewall you'll notice it way more

    pink

    There aren't many, but they do exist. Hutchinson makes at least one, maybe two UST 29er tires, and Mavic and Easton both have UST rims(wheels) for 29ers. TLR/2Bliss/Tubeless Ready comes really close, as far as I know. I seem to remember reading something about companies having to pay money to sell UST?

  24. #24
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    Pinch flats do happen with tubeless setups. I know.
    Even at higher PSI's.

    From what I have read. Using a 20" BMX tube as a rimstrip is really resistant to burping.
    I have heard more complaints about UST burping than 20" tube ghetto.

    Tubeless is a great benefit in thorny areas.
    2bliss tires can and will tear on the sidewalls.

    Always bring at least 1 tube and some kind of tire repair patch.

    Putting a tube in a flat tire with 2oz of sealant is a mess and a PITA.

  25. #25
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    How does Stan's sealant work with those 'cold-vulcanizing' patches? I've got a tire with a cut in the sidewall (approx. 1/2 inch long) which has been sewed up and then secured with a couple of such patches from the inner side. This works perfectly with an inner tube, but I'm wondering whether the sealant is likely to make this combination fall apart.
    Well probably I shouldn't use this tire tubeless anyway, but let's say I'm just curious

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