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  1. #1
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    Tell me about going tubeless

    I'm in need of new rubber anyway and considering going tubeless. What's involved, is it worth doing? Is there much weight savings? I ride an '09 Trek 6500 w/ Bontrager Ranger rims - are these even tubeless compatible? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Please don't think I am being rude, but you will find tons of discussion on this subject in Wheels and Tire.

    BTW, I am running tube tires tubeless with Gorilla tape and Stan's sealant. Been this way for five years or more. Never going back to tubes.

    No. 1 advantage - almost zero flats on the trail
    No. 2 advantage - ability to run lower tire pressure for better ride and more traction and...

    There are more advantages.

    No. 1 disadvantage - No tubes with tube type tires requires more time spent with the tires at home, but not on the trail.

    Best wishes,
    Terry

  3. #3
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    For weight? Not worth it by itself.

    Do you flat a lot? Then yes, worth it. At this point the weight savings becomes a mere bonus.

    Most rims can go tubeless... check out the wheels/tires section for countless threads on how. Or stop by your LBS and they will show you. Basically need rim tape (works better than electrical tape), two valve stems, some sealant, and lots of compressed air.

    Tubeless compatible or UST tires make it easier, but are usually not required.

  4. #4
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    This is sort of like the "clipless v. platform" threads. You'll get all kinds of opinions and preferences.

    My opinion is that it is absolutely worth it.

    I can notice the weight difference, personally (bike nerds have told me it has something to do with less rotational mass at the outside of my tire, or something like that)...I've also gone to a (light) rim that only requires tape, no rim strip..so double weight bonus.

    In 3+ years I flatted once when I completely tore a sidewall riding some lift served, gnarly terrain. Prior to that I would change 5-10 flats/season as it is rocky and technical where I ride.

    Lower PSI.

    Once you do one wheel, if you choose tires/rims/set up correctly, it takes about 4 minutes to do a wheel...truly...watch the stan's videos for some tips. Having a compressor helps, and soaping up the tire before attempting to seat the bead is a must.

  5. #5
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    I would say having a compressor is an absolute must. Unless you buy Stans wheels, Stands tires, and get super lucky.

  6. #6
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    Yes - tubeless are a *major* PITA in my experience without a compressor.

    I am currently ambivalent about tubeless setups. Used them for about a year back in 2002-ish, abandoned them after getting a pinch-flat and not finding my favorite tires in UST, rode without for about 6 years, went back to them around 2008 - had good experience 2nd go 'round.

    Bought new bike without tubeless, had abysmal time with flats but as it turns out it was the $hitty Nevegal tires. Running tubes & Conti RQ's now with nary a problem.

  7. #7
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    Currently attempting to go tubeless... Had my failure attempt last night as I was unable to get my tire to come out of the center channel while trying to inflate with a floor pump. Engineer friend came up with an idea that I will attempt again tonight.

    Reason for me going tubeless? I like to change tires, I almost always end up slicing the tube when I am using the tire iron to get my damn wire bead tires back on my Flows. Just bad luck on my account I guess, but with the desert environment I ride in and what not, there is a greater chance of thorns and what not.

  8. #8
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    I'm not sure about going tubeless, but if you get the girl you're having sex with to have her tubes tied you can have sex without a condom with a nearly zero percent chance of getting her pregnant. (Does not protect against STD's, such as the HIV, herpes or the clap.)

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    I'm not sure about going tubeless, but if you get the girl you're having sex with to have her tubes tied you can have sex without a condom with a nearly zero percent chance of getting her pregnant. (Does not protect against STD's, such as the HIV, herpes or the clap.)
    DAMNNIT!!! NOW YOU TELL ME!!!!

  10. #10
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    Setting up tires tubeless is a synch with Stan's. I felt significantly better traction while climbing with low pressure running tubeless. However, I'm going back to tubes. As I increase the intensity of my riding, I've lost confidence in tubeless. I recently ripped my rear tire right off the rim on a particularly aggressive corner. Without higher pressure my tires feel too squishy and vague and I need to be sure I can turn hard on them.

  11. #11
    bacon! bacon! bacon!
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wheelsnotfour View Post
    Setting up tires tubeless is a synch with Stan's. I felt significantly better traction while climbing with low pressure running tubeless. However, I'm going back to tubes. As I increase the intensity of my riding, I've lost confidence in tubeless. I recently ripped my rear tire right off the rim on a particularly aggressive corner. Without higher pressure my tires feel too squishy and vague and I need to be sure I can turn hard on them.
    Couldn't you just bump up the pressure on the tubeless setup?

  12. #12
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    I guess I could. But the ease with which that tire came off was very disconcerting. I'm inclined to play it safe.

  13. #13
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    I think the descition depends on what you will ride on....
    If you go for a more all mountain riding, then the tubeless is not that good..
    But if you go for a more XC riding, then tubeless is a pretty good option.

    I ride with tubes with anti flat liquid or what ever you call it, where I ride theres alot of rocks and a flat on the mountain sucks...

  14. #14
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    Racer-types like tubeless because they can drop the pressure in their tires & not pinch all the time. Also useful for individuals who live where thorns or cactus are prevelant.

    Personally, I carry two spare tubes in my pack every ride - one for me, and one for the tubeless guy whose latex has dried up (2 so far this season LOL). It would be a shame to make all those guys walk out to their cars.

    Tubeless definitely has it's uses, but it's not the miracle that many claim it to be. Personally, I think it's appropriate for racing & silly for everyday rides. Seems like every other group ride I'm on, some guy's tubeless fails & somebody's got to give him a tube (why they can't carry one, I don't know). I see why it's attractive to racers - most thorn or other small punctures plug right up. But to me, tubeless seems overly complicated and prone to failure to rely on for day to day riding.

  15. #15
    Ben-Jammin
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    I'm never going back to tubes.

    The extra traction and plushness from running lower PSIs made it worth it for me.

    Everything else is just gravy.

    To the poster above me: In 6 years of running it I haven't had a single failure related to running tubeless. The people you're riding with are either skimping on the amount of sealant they use or aren't taking 30 minutes to change sealant at the beginning of every season.

    And who doesn't carry a spare tube? Jeeze.

  16. #16
    Dude...
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    I would never go back to tubes either. I don't think there is anything complicated about running tubless at all. Once the rims are set up, tape and a valve, or tubeless ready rims in my case, you just put the tire on, add some stans, and air it up. I've never had the need for an air compressor either. UST tires tend to fit a little tighter on the rim, and air right up with a floor pump. I typically stay away from the non UST as I like a little thicker side wall, and the newer UST tires aren't as heavy as they were just a couple of years ago. I did rip a couple sidewalls on non UST tires riding in really rocky terrain while descending and the tire wouldn't seal, but I only use UST tires on my AM bike and haven't had the issue since. I don't worry so much on my XC bike.

    It really is pretty easy once you do it a time or two and figure out the nuances.

  17. #17
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    2Wheelsnotfour - are you using tubeless rims/tires? You do realize that if you are using non-UST/TLR/Tubeless capable tires they are more likely to have a catastrophic failure like you are talking about. Shiggy actually put up a video explaining a few weeks back on Facebook. While you CAN convert any rim/tire combo to "tubeless" the failure rate grows exponentially once you move away from the approved products.

    And I always care a spare tube on me. I am working on converting to tubeless and will still carry a tire for those occasions that something does happen and I need that tire myself or for a buddy.

  18. #18
    Schwizzle
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    I went ghetto tublesss w/ stans on my race bike and love it. Definitely worth the weight savings and lower pressures. Youtube ghetto tubeless for videos on how to set up your wheels. Only cost me $30 for stans and the other materials, although I already had tubeless ready tires

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregnash View Post
    2Wheelsnotfour - are you using tubeless rims/tires? You do realize that if you are using non-UST/TLR/Tubeless capable tires they are more likely to have a catastrophic failure like you are talking about. Shiggy actually put up a video explaining a few weeks back on Facebook. While you CAN convert any rim/tire combo to "tubeless" the failure rate grows exponentially once you move away from the approved products.

    And I always care a spare tube on me. I am working on converting to tubeless and will still carry a tire for those occasions that something does happen and I need that tire myself or for a buddy.
    I'm using Stan's crest rims with non UST Maxxis Ignitors. Worked great until I increased the intensity of my cornering. Its possible different tires would work better with higher pressure, but my personal choice is to just return to tubes if I'm going to increase the pressure right up to the limits the Stan's documentation sets for the set up. I rarely flatted with tubes anyway.

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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    LINK Consider the advantages of Yes Tubes.[/url]

    They are cheaper too!
    You know you can always run tubes in a tubeless system if something happens on the trail

    and ttyt, it can be messy, i've installed them without a drop of latex on me and other times its everywhere. But there always easy to install with ust rims, and tubeless tires. They pop right on.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrettank View Post
    You know you can always run tubes in a tubeless system if something happens on the trail

    and ttyt, it can be messy, i've installed them without a drop of latex on me and other times its everywhere. But there always easy to install with ust rims, and tubeless tires. They pop right on.
    I can attest to this. Me and a buddy did a ride at a local state park (Govt. Canyon). Super rocky/chunky stuff. I was running tubeless, he was running tubes. Between us we had four flats...guess who had 3 of them...ME! And we STILL ended up walking out. Guess it goes to show, tubeless does not equal flatless!

    Getting a flat on a tubeless setup can be a real buzzkill. Messy as hell. But for me, the benifits of somewhat lower psi (im a big guy so i stay around 35) and very good small puncture protection is what keeps me tubeless.

    Now, in my Camelback, I keep a spare tube or two, C02 (incase i go back to a tube), and some rags. Extra weight to carry, but its fine by me so long as i dont have to spend another 45 minutes walking off the hill in 100 degree weather.
    2008 Specialized Stumpjumper Expert

    I DON'T avoid rocks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ferrettank View Post
    You know you can always run tubes in a tubeless system if something happens on the trail

    and ttyt, it can be messy, i've installed them without a drop of latex on me and other times its everywhere. But there always easy to install with ust rims, and tubeless tires. They pop right on.
    QUICK! DUCK! Something just flew over your head!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cipher View Post
    QUICK! DUCK! Something just flew over your head!
    AHHHH, mmmhmmm right in the forehead, ttyt I don't get it xD

    I must have been getting really good luck with tubeless I saw a lot of other threads saying they are hard to install

    .... I need 10 posts to post a link, look for the video on youtube "How to install a tube tire on a tubeless wheel with sealant and a floor pump". I've been trying that method and it works perfectly and if you have a compressor you don't need to "set the bead" all around the tire, jest half of it

    and if anyone is wondering what my set up is,
    Mavic Cross Roc UST
    and Tubed Schwalbe tires, although I jest got a Nevagal for the front a Geax Saguaro for the rear (both tubeless)

  25. #25
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    Clyde

    how about the person's weight? Do that factor in any kind of way?

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by kia74 View Post
    how about the person's weight? Do that factor in any kind of way?
    It matters, but I'm a little over 200 and run 22 rear 20 front with the Maxxis Ardent 2.4's. It takes a while to get used to the nuances of low pressure tubeless, and I think you can go lower on a rigid bike without tearing up tires, which is what I'm riding. On my FSR I run 6-8 psi higher. Basically you have to experiment a little, if you feel your rim bump square edged obstacles frequently go up 2 psi at a time until you almost eliminate rim bump. Your riding style and smooth factor make a lot of difference obviously. Tire selection is huge too, I've been having good luck with Maxxis tires on ust rims and lately very pleased with the 2.4 Ardents, they have thick sidewalls, air right up with a pump, and are very stable at low pressure. I'm using the WSS homebrew sealant, and have switched from Mavic tubeless stems to the modified 949 tubeless Schrader motorcycle stems.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  27. #27
    My spelling is atroshus
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    Went flat twice on one ride last year. I orderd a Notubes wheelset and mounted my Maxxis Ignitors on them and never looked back.

    The only drawbacks I have had are the the latex sealer dries out and has to be replaced on about a four to six month time fram. It's an easy maintenance thing that one can do in no time flat.

    Flats are a thing of the past, but I have burped a front tire from running too low of a tire pressure. I still run 35-40 psi as I'm a 200 lb. dude.

  28. #28
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    wider rims best for low pressure?

    Hey,
    Just an observation ... from what I've seen it seems the wider the rim (28mm +) the more success with lower tubeless pressure.

  29. #29
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    I've read a lot about tubes vs. tubeless.... One thing I have never seen mentioned is do you have to air them up more often?

    I ride in the evenings and I have to sneak out of work early and drive 45 miles to the trail. I like a grab and go, low maintenance setup. Currently I use tubes with slime and nitrogen. I only use nitrogen because I get it for free but it does seem to leak out of the tires slower. I ride 3-4 times a week for a few hours and I don't even check my tire pressure but every couple of months. If I go tubeless will I have to air up my tires more?

  30. #30
    My spelling is atroshus
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayaimzzz View Post
    I've read a lot about tubes vs. tubeless.... One thing I have never seen mentioned is do you have to air them up more often?

    If I go tubeless will I have to air up my tires more?
    Yes, they will still need to be pumped up more often. I add air to mine every two weeks or so.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayaimzzz View Post
    I've read a lot about tubes vs. tubeless.... One thing I have never seen mentioned is do you have to air them up more often?

    I ride in the evenings and I have to sneak out of work early and drive 45 miles to the trail. I like a grab and go, low maintenance setup. Currently I use tubes with slime and nitrogen. I only use nitrogen because I get it for free but it does seem to leak out of the tires slower. I ride 3-4 times a week for a few hours and I don't even check my tire pressure but every couple of months. If I go tubeless will I have to air up my tires more?
    Yep - I check my air every ride out of habit now. Once a week is probably sufficient, but I'm a little OCD about it.

  32. #32
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    Wow, some of you guys run super high PSI?! What gives.. I have a lot of hardpack here where I ride and I still run mid 20s, I tried running my bike around the block at 40psi (to help make sure the bead was set) and god I felt like I rocketed off every little rock, curb, and what not.

  33. #33
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    I ride tubeles, and prefer it to tubes....UST rims...non- tubeless Maxxis Ignitors right now....

    One thing that is missing is the more you ride the smoother you get...so less need for tubeless...

    I went tubeless 6 years ago, I got feed up with pinch flats....now I can ride without pinch flats, I do ride tubes on my commuter wheelset 26 x 1.25, over curbs, lips , bumps etc.

    Last flat I got was a pinch flat... I got it trying to bunny hop over a curb onto a steep uphill..going from flat to 30 degrees in one hop....

    Nonethless tubeless would not have flatted.

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