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  1. #1
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    More info on those goofy "tubeless" road tires...

    There's an updated story on the planned Michelin/Mavic tubeless road tire design on www.velonews.com.

    Looks like they are going to require a completely new rim design...not exactly a surprise since the main point of these to get everyone to replace their existing wheelset with a proprietary Mavic design.

    They will also not be useable with standard tires...another big surprise.

    Tires will not be any lighter and will "possibly" be heavier. No way they can't be heavier since they require a special beefed-up bead seat.

    Rims will also require a special beefed-up bead seat area and will be heavier than a comparable standard rim.

    Claimed advantage is "reduced rolling resistance" due to the absence of a tube....of course, they don't give any actual numbers for this...just like they never have for the MTB UST wheels....because if they did they have to admit it's not a significant advantage.

    The only other claimed advantage is that they will leak more slowly than a conventional tire/tube combo when punctured.

    The speculate that you will be able to run a liquid sealant with these tires, too. Of course...that's even more weight versus the "Yes Tubes" system.

    I'm really trying to see some point to a heavier wheel that leaks slowly, but it's tough...unless you are selling the wheels and tires, of course.

    For MTB the primary advantage of UST is the ability to run lower pressures without pinch-flatting, for enhanced traction. Nobody on road has a concern about that, so it's irrelevant for a road application.

    The trade-off of having an expensive tire/wheel combo that leaks slower, but is heavier, is just plain stupidity. If I want a heavier wheel that is 100% FLAT PROOF, I can just run a Mr. Tuffy tire liner. I've got those on my training wheels and haven't had a puncture flat in 5 years! Why add weight to your bike to get a "slow leak" tire that's hell to patch, when you can get a BULLETPROOF tire liner that's 100% reliable for the same weight?

    Hey Look! The Emperor hasn't got any clothes on!

  2. #2
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    Call me skeptical too.

    Why on earth would they leak any slower when punctured then a normal tubed tire, given that pinch flats aren't an issue. The air is going to leave the same sized hole in a tube or tire at the same rate right?

    Lets see: Needs a special heavier rim. Needs special heavier tires. All of it is rotating weight. Nobody is getting pinch flats or running super low pressures. What is this designed to cure other then Mavic and Michi's dropping market share for wheelsets and road tires?


  3. #3
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    Why do you think they won't be usable with normal tires? Current UST rims are compatible with them. I don't see any reason why the new road rims won't be as well. For the remainder I don't see much point to them either.

  4. #4
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    I think I will stick to normal rims for a long time and good old YES TUBES! I really don't see the point of the this new system.

    Trevor!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    Why do you think they won't be usable with normal tires? Current UST rims are compatible with them. I don't see any reason why the new road rims won't be as well. For the remainder I don't see much point to them either.
    I would be guessing it has something to do with the bead. They don't really compare to that of mountain tyres.

    Trevor!

  6. #6
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    I read the article a few times. I only can find references to the new tires requiring new rims to function reliably. I haven't seen any mentioned of traditional tires not being compatible with the new rims....maybe I missed it in the text or he has some info from another source?

  7. #7
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    Article says you do need special tires....

    To quote from the article: (VN = Velonews, SW equals Steve White of Michelin)

    <i><b>VN</b>: How different will the new tubeless rims be from current technology. Current Mavic rims (such as Ksyrium) don't have internal spoke holes which effectively makes them tubeless compatible right now. Will the new rims feature significantly more-aggressive bead locks, or will customers be able to use their current wheels with the new tires?

    <b>SW</b>: Because the tires are running such high pressure we've had to work with Mavic to design a completely new bead lock on their rims. Consider that most racers prefer to run 110-120 psi in their tires, then add considerably more pressure from the heat of a descent, and you're talking about a lot of pressure now. <b>Regular tire beads and traditional clincher rims couldn't safely handle these pressures</b>, so we designed much more aggressive beads on our tires, as did Mavic with its tubeless road rim. Racers will have to buy/build new wheels to run our tubeless tires.</i>

    Now obviously Michelin wants you to buy their new tires, so maybe he is biased. I'm sure folks will try using standard tires so we will see what happens. However, considering all the horror stories we've seen on here about people having standard tires pop off of UST MTB rims at <b>low pressure</b> during inflation, scaring them witless and sometimes damaging the tire, I'd honestly be afraid to try that combo on a road wheel. A tire with 120 PSI blowing off while you are inflating would be downright dangerous. Even if you do get it to seat fine at 120psi, is it going to STAY seated will you are carving that mountain descent? A heavy sideload on the tire and extra air pressure from hot rims might make your life very interesting....
    Last edited by bianchi4me; 02-18-2004 at 04:18 PM.

  8. #8
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    I agree, but one caveat...

    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi4me
    There's an updated story on the planned Michelin/Mavic tubeless road tire design on www.velonews.com.

    Looks like they are going to require a completely new rim design...not exactly a surprise since the main point of these to get everyone to replace their existing wheelset with a proprietary Mavic design.

    They will also not be useable with standard tires...another big surprise.

    Tires will not be any lighter and will "possibly" be heavier. No way they can't be heavier since they require a special beefed-up bead seat.

    Rims will also require a special beefed-up bead seat area and will be heavier than a comparable standard rim.

    Claimed advantage is "reduced rolling resistance" due to the absence of a tube....of course, they don't give any actual numbers for this...just like they never have for the MTB UST wheels....because if they did they have to admit it's not a significant advantage.

    The only other claimed advantage is that they will leak more slowly than a conventional tire/tube combo when punctured.

    The speculate that you will be able to run a liquid sealant with these tires, too. Of course...that's even more weight versus the "Yes Tubes" system.

    I'm really trying to see some point to a heavier wheel that leaks slowly, but it's tough...unless you are selling the wheels and tires, of course.

    For MTB the primary advantage of UST is the ability to run lower pressures without pinch-flatting, for enhanced traction. Nobody on road has a concern about that, so it's irrelevant for a road application.

    The trade-off of having an expensive tire/wheel combo that leaks slower, but is heavier, is just plain stupidity. If I want a heavier wheel that is 100% FLAT PROOF, I can just run a Mr. Tuffy tire liner. I've got those on my training wheels and haven't had a puncture flat in 5 years! Why add weight to your bike to get a "slow leak" tire that's hell to patch, when you can get a BULLETPROOF tire liner that's 100% reliable for the same weight?

    Hey Look! The Emperor hasn't got any clothes on!

    For road tires, ride quality and rolling resistance are probably the most important factors for me. Running a tire that's more supple provides better road feel, takes the edge off my aluminum frame and actually makes road riding that much more enjoyable. The best upgrade I've made on my road bike is switching from GP3000s to my Pro Races for those very reasons, so I can see the attraction for a tubeless road tire, yet I agree that marketing new tubeless Kyseriums is absurd. How 'bout tubular tires with self-contained latex sealant and non-gas permeable casing material to keep the latex from drying out? It would seem improving tubular tires would make tubular wheels more popular again. But I nearly forgot, Mavic doesn't own a design patent on tubular wheels.

  9. #9
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    This is the same thing everyone said when tubeless mt. tires came out. Cost too much, weight too much, aren't worth it, etc. and now everyone's running them. The cost will be high at first, but will drop like everything else. As far as advantages go i can think of many:

    You can run a latex based sealant (this works much better than slime, but doesn't work in butyl tubes)

    You have a more supple tire carcass. Without the tube the tire can flex more leading to a better ride and more traction.

    Lower rolling resistance. This has been proven btw in that tire test someone posted a while ago.

    Eventually lighter weight. A light mt. tubeless setup will be lighter than a tubed setup now, although that certainly wasn't the case a few years ago.

    Just think about why all cars have tubeless tires now. Everything gets off to a rough start and there's no reason to jump on the tubeless road tire bandwagon immediately, but I definately can see us all running tubeless road tires in three or four years.

  10. #10
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    Okay...I see what you meant now. I had in mind running traditional tires including the inner tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi4me
    To quote from the article: (VN = Velonews, SW equals Steve White of Michelin)

    <i><b>VN</b>: How different will the new tubeless rims be from current technology. Current Mavic rims (such as Ksyrium) don't have internal spoke holes which effectively makes them tubeless compatible right now. Will the new rims feature significantly more-aggressive bead locks, or will customers be able to use their current wheels with the new tires?

    <b>SW</b>: Because the tires are running such high pressure we've had to work with Mavic to design a completely new bead lock on their rims. Consider that most racers prefer to run 110-120 psi in their tires, then add considerably more pressure from the heat of a descent, and you're talking about a lot of pressure now. <b>Regular tire beads and traditional clincher rims couldn't safely handle these pressures</b>, so we designed much more aggressive beads on our tires, as did Mavic with its tubeless road rim. Racers will have to buy/build new wheels to run our tubeless tires.</i>

    Now obviously Michelin wants you to buy their new tires, so maybe he is biased. I'm sure folks will try using standard tires so we will see what happens. However, considering all the horror stories we've seen on here about people having standard tires pop off of UST MTB rims at <b>low pressure</b> during inflation, scaring them witless and sometimes damaging the tire, I'd honestly be afraid to try that combo on a road wheel. A tire with 120 PSI blowing off while you are inflating would be downright dangerous. Even if you do get it to seat fine at 120psi, is it going to STAY seated will you are carving that mountain descent? A heavy sideload on the tire and extra air pressure from hot rims might make your life very interesting....

  11. #11
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    Mavic needs to dial it down a little....

    First off, "Everyone" isn't running tubeless. Tubed MTB wheels are still easily outselling tubeless 10 to 1 in shops, not counting the department store bikes. Out of 25 Trek MTB models, only 7 come with Tubeless compatible rims, and many of those have to be "converted" to tubeless operation. A lot of them will never be used as tubeless wheels. So tubeless users are still very much a minority even in "high-end" MTB applications.

    Most of the criticisms leveled at the early UST wheels were the direct result of Mavic's bogus advertising claims for them. They orginally advertised them as being lighter than standard wheels. They've dropped that claim since it quickly became apparent they were not, but they are still falsifying the weight of their UST rims. They still list the XM819 at 465g, even though they really weigh 510g. The weights of their non-UST rims are generally very accurate, so I'm not sure why they feel they have to falsely promote UST stuff in order to get people to buy it.
    They also claimed that UST was going to be virtually flat-proof, as you may recall. When reviewers asked them if it was going to be a hassle patching the UST tires instead of replacing tubes...Mavic reps responded that punctures would be so rare with the new tires that patching wouldn't be an issue!

    So when Mavic claimed a "lighter and flat-proof" wheelset... the initial reality was "a full pound heavier and requires sealant to be reliable." Mavic has a long history of promoting their proprietary UST system by dishonest claims, so I hope you will excuse me for not swallowing their latest info at face value.

    As far as tubeless now being lighter than tubes... There is no Mavic UST tubeless combination of parts that's close to the weight of a lightweight tube. Even set-ups using non-UST tires and rims like Stan's use a 100+ gram combination of sealing strip and liquid sealant, and you can get a tube and rim strip for that weight. So at best, you can claim that some user-installed tubeless systems are roughly the same weight as a light tubed set-up. The Mavic/Michelin UST products are still a good bit heavier than comparable tubed wheels.

  12. #12
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    First, tubless tires ARE virtually flat proof. I've run UST as well as Stan's and have had one two flats in the last two years using tubeless. One was when a knob tore off and the other was when I was running too little pressure with Stan's and I dented my rim whihc broke the seal. Both unusual circumstances that may not have flatted with a tube, but a flat a year isn't bad.
    Second, UST spawned the development of Stan's and Eclipse that do produce setups lighter than tubes. While many argue that Stan's is a wash if you use flyweight tubes that's not an option for many living in thorn or rock country where light tubes flat significantly easier.
    I had no figures of the prevalence of tubeless among mt bikers, but I know among my racing friends virtually all of us use tubeless. This is a sample size of about fifty that I ride with occasionally.
    Introducing new products spurs innovation and there's no reason for road not to go tubeless. I gather from more research that is promises the ride of tubulars without the (minor) hassle of gluing tires to rims.

  13. #13
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    But you are using a liquid sealant...right?

    Mavic's "flat-proof" claims were not based on running any type of sealant inside the tire. That's a fix that consumers had to develop on their own after finding Mavic's claims literally didn't hold air. Michelin has finally started offering a sealant solution to the problem of punctures on UST tires, but until this year they just pretend it doesn't exist and left it up to the buyer to figure out how to make their product work reliably. Why? Because they knew buyers would be turned off by the added expense, weight, and installation hassle of having to run a sealant. So they just told people what they knew they wanted to hear regarding the puncture issue. Makes me wonder if they might be doing that again with the road system.

    I agree with you 100% that's Mavic's heavy UST rim designs will continue to leave the door wide open for a lot of competitiors to make better products. So I guess if you are saying another sketchy, over-hyped and under-performing product from Mavic should eventually lead to superior designs...I'd agree. But this thread is discussing Mavic's UST technology as applied to road wheels, not Stan's (which has been discussed ad nauseum on this board), and not a hypothetical competitor road system that doesn't exist yet.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi4me
    I've got those on my training wheels and haven't had a puncture flat in 5 years!
    You'd think after 5 years you might be able to take the training wheels off. Yuk yuk yuk.

    (Sorry man! I tried, but I could not resist!)


  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi4me
    I'd agree. But this thread is discussing Mavic's UST technology as applied to road wheels, not Stan's (which has been discussed ad nauseum on this board), and not a hypothetical competitor road system that doesn't exist yet.
    Shouldn't we separate Mavic, as a business, from tubeless tires, as technology?

    The fact tat it is introduced, heavily and not so honestly promoted by a particular company has nothing to do with merits of technology. Mavic is in the buseness of making money, after all, not wheels.

    As far as tubeless technology goes - it is, what 20 times younger then Oliver's technology? Just look how much lighter most recent tubeless tires become.

    And it was argued around here, quite convincingly, rolling resistance, as expressed in watts, is worth quite some increase in weight.

  16. #16
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    hey - ECLIPSE already has a better product...Tubelesstires

    I already posted this when Cloxxi brought this up:
    as i already said back then Mavic once again tires to force people buy their new system wheels.they are the leaders in wheels so they have the power to do so...BUT Eclipse already has such tires that mount on any regular clincher wheels (28").all the benefits Mavic claims and on top of that sealant inside to give that extra protection.
    honestly, there''s no need for new wheels!
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...30277#poststop

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    That would be a different thread, I think...

    The thread started out as a discusssion as a discussion of the the pros and cons of an actual "real world" product, being tested by Mavic and Michelin. Obviously there are other potential approaches to a tubeless road wheel, however, they don't exist at this point. I can't really meaningfully discuss or evaluate a non-existant potential tubeless road system. So I'm kind of forced to focus on Mavic's design.

    I don't think anyone would argue that reduced rolling resistance saves energy...that's like saying the sky isn't blue. My point is that they always give you these incredibly vauge advertising-speak <b>claims</b>...and NO hard data. Is it 20% reduction??? Is it a .00002% reduction??? Obviously it's premature to expect exavt numbers from a product that is still in development, but Mavic has claimed this for a while now for their UST MTB wheels, and never backed it up with any verifiable facts. They also only starting claiming this rolling resistance advantage as a fall-back strategy when the magazine articles started shooting-down their inaccurate "lighter" and "flat proof" claims for UST.

    It's entirely possible that tubeless is significantly more efficient, but without any actual data we are forced to rely solely on the vague promises of a company that has proven itself to not be a reliable source of info about it's UST products.

    I hate to sound like a Mavic-hater. They make very nice quality products and I build tubeless wheels using their UST rims. If they DO convince a lot of people that their expensive road wheels are suddenly obsolete, I'm sure it would be beneficial to me personally. Even if Mavic doesn't release a seperate UST road rim, someone else will make a rim that fits the planned UST road tires. Hopefully before they release these things they will be able to give us real proof of their advantages.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by bianchi4me
    Even if Mavic doesn't release a seperate UST road rim, someone else will make a rim that fits the planned UST road tires. Hopefully before they release these things they will be able to give us real proof of their advantages.

    Why would you need a "proof"? There are zillion products out there, with very dubious claims for their advantage, especially when they just start out. Have you ever seen "proof" that a particular rear suspension design is better - as expressed in seconds and watts?

    I think a healthy dose of marketing bullcrap to move things around is not such a bad thing, as long as nobody is killed (well, that also happened We do have some idea now what tubeless can, and can not, do not we?

    I know that you are concerned about not having to lie to YOUR customers - but you are in a different business. You earn money by being an expert. (I do the same, and you should have seen some flare ups with marketing drones But I think in this particular case you should not worry too much.

    Let's wait and see. Every time a bunch of smart people get together to solve a very hard problem, damn the reasons, it is a very positive thing. By solving problems with weight, bead strength and interface they will make other tires better. Paraphrasing one Intel engineer, maybe this is a brilliant research project masquerading as a horribly failed product.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by nino
    I already posted this when Cloxxi brought this up:
    as i already said back then Mavic once again tires to force people buy their new system wheels.they are the leaders in wheels so they have the power to do so...BUT Eclipse already has such tires that mount on any regular clincher wheels (28").all the benefits Mavic claims and on top of that sealant inside to give that extra protection.
    honestly, there''s no need for new wheels!
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.ph...30277#poststop
    There's one big problem that the Eclipse road tires share with the Tufo system. You have to carry a complete extra heavy tire with you just in case you get a puncture that can't be fixed with sealant.
    Last edited by divve; 02-19-2004 at 04:13 AM.

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    ahem...

    when was the last time you had a flat of the kind you describe on a roadbike?
    holes get sealed by the sealant and i don't remember ever to see a ripped off sidewall on a roadbike.these tires are virtually flatproof.since they are "tubular" they are already much better protected against punctures and any penetrating object will be sealed with the sealant.

    no- i really don't see what could cause to have an unrepairable flat.

  21. #21
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    A slit by a piece of glass or a sharp stone perhaps? When it's a cut instead of a hole the sealant is going to have a hard time closing it. I'd rather not count on that when I'm 100km from nowhere.

    Also, it's about 50-60g heavier than a normal tire + tube. That's without sealant (I think). I don't see much benefit for them on road bikes.
    Last edited by divve; 02-19-2004 at 07:02 AM.

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    the benefit is you don't get flats...

    that's the main purpose.
    you'll have a hard time to flatten these tires.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    A slit by a piece of glass or a sharp stone perhaps? When it's a cut instead of a hole the sealant is going to have a hard time closing it. I'd rather not count on that when I'm 100km from nowhere.
    If the casing is slit - how do you expect a spare tube to help?

  24. #24
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    Never heard of a tire boot?

    Pro Race tires don't puncture often either.

  25. #25
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    wellll let's see

    The ONLY reason I run tubeless system (not mavic) - is to "cut down" on the flat tires - specifically for racing. That's it...
    some thoughts-

    1. Weight savings is negligible if any (dependant on how much sealent you use)
    2. rolling resistance is negligible (but it is real - I can remember Stan telling me that I would be 4 minutes faster... I don't how he came up with that number.. ha ha) ... If I remember correctly Roland Green, and a lot of other very fast pro's are still using tubes...(not that there aren't fast pro's using tubeless)
    3. Have you ever tried unseating a tubeless tire off a Crossmax? It can be a major problem - I have a friend who races that told me - "hey if I flat in a race with these mavic rims...I'm done" - (not that flats don't screw you timewise anyway)
    4. Can you imagine how hard it may be to change a ROAD tubeless flat - the pros have it easy - their helper throws them a new tire and rim...but what about the rest of us??

    So I guess I would have to agree with Bianchi .... the main benefit of tubeless is flat protection - which allows dirt riders to run lower pressures.... I'm just not understanding how this applies to the road...flat tires are pretty rare on the road anyway (relatively speaking compared to MTB) - I've actually never had a flat tire on the road...knock on wood..maybe I'm lucky. So does the weight that you give up negate any rolling resistance benefit...quite possibly so... I haven't checked out Nino's post yet....but I agree with him that flats are bad..I'm just not sure how prevalent flats are on the road...Maybe for the Flanders/ Roubaix racers these rims/tires might be a revelation.
    There's nothing like having the world under your wheels......

  26. #26
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    i have more flats on the road than offroad...

    running my tires with Eclipse for almost 3 years now and still haven't had a single flat with my MTB!

    now on my roadbike i get flats quite frequently from penetrating objects.ok - i'm using the lightest clincher tires (Conti supersonics 700x20 at 140g) and lightest inner tubes (Conti Supersonic 51g) but also using somewhat heavier tires you still get flats from glass or spines.the demand at bikeshows for such tires was there so it really seems something people are looking for.

  27. #27
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    [QUOTE=divve]Never heard of a tire boot?
    QUOTE]


    No. Do not ride road much.

    I do carry a small roll of duct tape and a strong selh adhesive patch to add from inside though, and it worked well when I torn my tire of some barbed wire.

  28. #28
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    [QUOTE=Axe]
    Quote Originally Posted by divve
    Never heard of a tire boot?
    QUOTE]


    No. Do not ride road much.

    I do carry a small roll of duct tape and a strong selh adhesive patch to add from inside though, and it worked well when I torn my tire of some barbed wire.
    That's basically a tire boot.

  29. #29
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    Notubes for the road

    Yeah, I'd never buy the UST road or mtb wheel set. Waste of money and too heavy. But....
    Notubes now makes a system for road bikes, it is only available through bike shops and it works best with wire bead tires. They have had some luck with Michelin kevlar bead tires, but you can only inflate them to 115psi. I can't wait to try this out!! I have changing flat tires! What a waste of training/riding time!

    -R

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