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  1. #1
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    Advantages of Tubeless?

    Ok after a fair bit of riding, the stock tyres on my Hardrock aren't cutting it and are getting low on tread.
    My LBS has spoken to me about Maxxis tubeless, but what are the benefits of tubeless to tubed?
    For example, if you hit a bunch of thorns, wouldn't that be a screwed tyre over a screwed tube? And would they run more PSI?
    O'm sure Maxxis tyres would be better for grip, but I don't know anything about tubeless except no more pinch flats (generally).
    Also, for dirt and rocky terrain, what maxxis model/width would be recommended?
    Thanks for your time guys

  2. #2
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    You put sealant in the tire that way if you get a puncture it seals it rather than having to patch/change tubes. Also you can reasonably run a lower PSI than you can with tubes.

  3. #3
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    I've heard of the sealant, I'm actually running it in tubes
    So is it really the better way to go?

  4. #4
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    Tubeless tires do not deflate as quickly as tubes do (think a car tire puncture, it can take a long time to deflate). IME sealant works much better in tubeless tires than in tubes, and of course weighs quite a bit less (often a couple hundred grams less than a Slime filled tube).

    You can pinch flat a tubeless tire but it is very rare. The main advantages is flat prevention, traction, lower rolling resistance, and in some cases lighter weight.

  5. #5
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    happened to look at my tires the other day and noticed 2 spots on the front tire and 6 on the back where Stans has come out and sealed a puncture. That says it all for me.

  6. #6
    Rod
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    I've gotten one flat all year on my tubeless setup and last year I had 10 flats in the spring alone thanks to the thorns. I used slime tubes too.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  7. #7
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    OK thanks guys looks like I may be upgrading my tyres

  8. #8
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    I thought I'd also point out that Maxxis tires are not necessarily better than Specialized tires. In fact, you might have better luck purchasing a "2bliss" tire from Specialized rather than any tire from Maxxis for tubeless use...
    continuous growth is the strategy of a cancer cell.

  9. #9
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    i have been running Advantage tires and have not had an issue.

  10. #10
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    Tubeless tires pros:

    Run lower pressure compared to tubes = better traction
    More supple casing compared to tubed tire due to one less layer of rubber = better traction, better trail feel
    With sealant = better air retention and better flat resistance
    with sealant = generally lighter than tubed tires, especially those with sealant
    roll better due to less rolling resistance due to the lack of friction between the tube and tire.

    cons:
    sealant needs to be refreshed periodically
    not immune to larger punctures
    susceptible to sidewall cuts due to lower pressure and rock crawling ability
    still need to carry extra tube with you and changing tubes is more of a pain
    helpful to carry extra small bottle of sealant with you
    more expensive than tubed option
    dirty to set up, sometimes requires a compressor

    That said once you get them set up they can be almost forgotten about until your sealant dries out months later and one of your tires slowly looses air on the trail. I have some that have been set up for years just replenishing sealant every 4 months or so and replacing tires when they wear out. I carry a tube in my bag and a pump but I have had tubes dry rot in there awaiting use. They really suit the rocky cactus infested desert climates especially in their ability to prevent cactus punctures and eliminate most pinch flat situations.
    Try this: HTFU

  11. #11
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    I once saw a man riding tubeless rip the side wall on his front tire. It blew sealant everywhere. It does harden and that's something you don't really want on many components. Tubeless is a great experience for many, but it is hardly necessary for most riders. And, unless you ghetto it, a wheelset upgrade isn't necessarily cheap

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    I once saw a man riding tubeless rip the side wall on his front tire. It blew sealant everywhere. It does harden and that's something you don't really want on many components. Tubeless is a great experience for many, but it is hardly necessary for most riders. And, unless you ghetto it, a wheelset upgrade isn't necessarily cheap
    Just to counter that I once saw a man double pinch flat his tube and cut the sidewalls of his tire. I blew his sealant all over the place, green snot hanging off of everything. Because he was running sealant before booting his tire and replacing the tube he had to painstakingly pick out numerous thorns, spines and a nail for his tire. His replacement tube, without sealant go a slow leak because he missed a thorn or something and by the time he got to the car he was putting air in every few minutes.

    Tires fail, tubes fail and tubeless fails. it is the essence of a sport where we prized low rotating mass over all else. Run a dual ply sidewall tire tubeless and you will truly know what traction, compliance and durability really are. Carry a spare tube with sealant in it no matter what you run.
    Try this: HTFU

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockcrusher View Post
    Just to counter that I once saw a man double pinch flat his tube and cut the sidewalls of his tire. I blew his sealant all over the place, green snot hanging off of everything. Because he was running sealant before booting his tire and replacing the tube he had to painstakingly pick out numerous thorns, spines and a nail for his tire. His replacement tube, without sealant go a slow leak because he missed a thorn or something and by the time he got to the car he was putting air in every few minutes.

    Tires fail, tubes fail and tubeless fails. it is the essence of a sport where we prized low rotating mass over all else. Run a dual ply sidewall tire tubeless and you will truly know what traction, compliance and durability really are. Carry a spare tube with sealant in it no matter what you run.
    Undeniably, tubeless is awesome. It simply doesn't seem to be for everyone. Some areas have more unforgiveable terrain than others and tubeless can be a great idea. However, I'm trying to give the OP the idea that it isn't entirely necessary and problem free. Depending on budget, the style of riding, and how much time they want to put into it, it could be a good idea or a bad idea. Tubes are a disasterous idea for some, just like tubeless could be for other people.

    edit:

    I just don't want to lead OP into thinking that he needs tubeless. If he is the kind of guy that can use a tire till the tread is worn down, he might not be in terrain that rips sidewalls and makes people prone to pinch flats as often as other areas of riding. I have to ask, Specialized03, do you suffer from pinch flats and traction control difficulties? I'd imagine you can afford it if you're considering it, but do you suffer problems that tubeless sets out to fix?

  14. #14
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post
    I once saw a man riding tubeless rip the side wall on his front tire. It blew sealant everywhere. It does harden and that's something you don't really want on many components.
    It dries, but does not "harden." Easily removable from tires, rims, spokes, frame, etc. Clothing, not so much.

    Tubeless is a great experience for many, but it is hardly necessary for most riders.
    True: it is a choice for those who want to ride with lower pressure for the feel, or need to prevent pinch flats in rocky technical terrain and/or punctures in thorny places.

    And, unless you ghetto it, a wheelset upgrade isn't necessarily cheap
    I have 5 tubeless wheelsets now, three on mtn bikes and two on road bikes. Not one of my rims is a UST. All are taped to be air tight and have sealant injected. None have rimstrips. The road bikes require UST tires. On the mtn. bikes, I have one set of USTs, one set of TLR's, and one set of regular made for tube tires. Only the last were difficult to set up.

    There are zillions of threads all over this forum for years about the pros and cons of tubeless without UST. I'm a believer you don't need UST rims, ever. Nor do you need expensive rimstrips. You do need sealant. You do need UST tires on the road. Off road, you can get away with whatever tire that works, from a heavy UST tire, to a lighter but strong beaded TLR tire, to a regular tire designed to require a tube. Only the regular tire will be much of a crap shoot as far as seating and then staying on the rim. Your risk. YMMV
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by ehigh View Post

    I just don't want to lead OP into thinking that he needs tubeless. If he is the kind of guy that can use a tire till the tread is worn down, he might not be in terrain that rips sidewalls and makes people prone to pinch flats as often as other areas of riding. I have to ask, Specialized03, do you suffer from pinch flats and traction control difficulties? I'd imagine you can afford it if you're considering it, but do you suffer problems that tubeless sets out to fix?
    I have had issues with pinching before at one of the places I ride frequently. The sealant fixed the issue. The tires now have significantly less traction due to the fact that there isn't much thread left on them. I believe the ability to run less pressure in the tires would be good for me to consider. Also, I'm not biast to Maxxis tyres. I'll try anything that is recommended, but Maxxis were recommended by my LBS and they haven't led me wrong before. I would also like to go as thick as possible, because I know from cars and 4WDing, bigger is most times better Tubeless just seems to be what the majority of people are doing. I can afford the tubeless tires, but they are a hefty dollar more than your standard tube tyres, so I thought I'd gather an opinion first.

    If anyone could recommend a brand set up for gravel/dirt/rock which is also good on road and in mud (so basically I want the tyre thats so perfect it doesn't exist yet ) I'd like to go as wide as possible without having issues with friction against the road etc.

    Thanks for your replies everyone

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized03 View Post
    OK thanks guys looks like I may be upgrading my tyres
    i think you also have to upgrade the wheel ? im not sure but i thought id put it out there for someone to answer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Specialized03 View Post
    I have had issues with pinching before at one of the places I ride frequently. The sealant fixed the issue. The tires now have significantly less traction due to the fact that there isn't much thread left on them. I believe the ability to run less pressure in the tires would be good for me to consider. Also, I'm not biast to Maxxis tyres. I'll try anything that is recommended, but Maxxis were recommended by my LBS and they haven't led me wrong before. I would also like to go as thick as possible, because I know from cars and 4WDing, bigger is most times better Tubeless just seems to be what the majority of people are doing. I can afford the tubeless tires, but they are a hefty dollar more than your standard tube tyres, so I thought I'd gather an opinion first.

    If anyone could recommend a brand set up for gravel/dirt/rock which is also good on road and in mud (so basically I want the tyre thats so perfect it doesn't exist yet ) I'd like to go as wide as possible without having issues with friction against the road etc.

    Thanks for your replies everyone
    I think that the High Roller in the rear and the Minion in the front would be rather good trail traction control, but they aren't necessarily road tires. You can get around on them, but they're rather burly. The other posters have very legitimate counterpoints to what I have said in regards to tubeless and you seem to agree with it, so I'd go for it. You will certainly love it the feel of it. For some, it can be less of a hassle as you don't pinch flat or have as many thorn problems as a result. I know other people aren't quite as big of a fan, but I won't try to dissuade you anymore as it seems clear that you understand what is going on with them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by twistedmentality View Post
    i think you also have to upgrade the wheel ? im not sure but i thought id put it out there for someone to answer.
    Smart people always use a UST rim and a UST bead. One great benefit in doing this is that you don't need a compressor. You can use a floor pump.

    IMO, not going with a UST rim and a UST bead is a big fail. I'd venture that 90% of the people that ***** about tubeless problems are not using a UST rim and a UST bead.

    PS: If you don't use both a UST rim and a UST bead you might still be smart, but you are missing out big time.
    Nobody cares...........

  19. #19
    dwt
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel View Post
    Smart people always use a UST rim and a UST bead. One great benefit in doing this is that you don't need a compressor. You can use a floor pump.

    IMO, not going with a UST rim and a UST bead is a big fail. I'd venture that 90% of the people that ***** about tubeless problems are not using a UST rim and a UST bead.

    PS: If you don't use both a UST rim and a UST bead you might still be smart, but you are missing out big time.
    Credulous people always use a UST rim and a UST bead. Two great disadvantages in doing this are that they spend more money and end up with a weight penalty.

    If you tape up your existing rim, add sealant, and mount a UST bead tire, you won't need to buy a new rim - only a tire -and you also won't need a compressor. Is the tight bead fit on any rim that makes seating with a pump do-able. Most people interested in weight savings use a TLR tire and sealant over a full UST tire whatever rim they use.

    The debate is whether a non UST rim plus UST tire is safe and reliable. The purists say it is not; thousands of users for over 10 years say it is. It's up to the individual's personality whether to risk it or not.

    You can also devise ways to mount non-UST bead tires to taped non-UST rims. There are expensive rimstrips, there are cheaper but labor intensive split tube " ghetto" systems. Non UST tires do usually require a compressor, patience, and experience to seat, and their reliability is a crap shoot. Some work well, some ok, and some not at all.

    I have used all three systems: full UST; converted rim and UST tire; converted rim and non UST tire. I recently broke the rear axle on my UST wheelset; it is no longer being used.

    My latest wheel build is 650b wheelset. There are no UST 650b rims or tires. After a lot of PIA voodoo and effort, I was able to get Pacenti Neomotos to seat tubeless without a rimstrip: gorilla tape and sealant only. They have been rock sold for over a month. Pray for me
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  20. #20
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    Hey DWT,
    What type and width Guerilla tape did you use? I am setting up my 29" WTB Duel Duties this weekend and am unsure about the tape width. I have the black 44mm tape but wasnt sure where or if i should cut it? Any info would be great. Oh yeah this will be with non USTs.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rester5350 View Post
    Hey DWT,
    What type and width Guerilla tape did you use? I am setting up my 29" WTB Duel Duties this weekend and am unsure about the tape width. I have the black 44mm tape but wasnt sure where or if i should cut it? Any info would be great. Oh yeah this will be with non USTs.
    If you are going with WTB rims do a forum search on ghetto tubeless with WTB rims. The deep center channel requires some extra monkeying around but the design of the rim creates really nice tubeless installations. I ran WTB Laserdisc Trail 29 rims tubeless with plain tires ranging from Intense to WTB to Geax all non tubeless tires all ghetto all with stans with very very little problem once I got the rim setup correct.

    You should cut your tape width wise to fit from inside edge of the rim sidewall to inside edge of the rim sidewall. Try not to let it go up the sidewall as it will prevent proper sealing of the rim bead to the rim, letting air and goop come out and make the conversion problematic.
    Try this: HTFU

  22. #22
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    Stan's NoTubes Tubeless Kits are available for almost every type of rim and allow you to run any tire tubeless. For a good all around tire, I like Maxxis Ignitors (also available in UST if your wheels are small). If you want something with more volume, Maxxis Ardents, Kenda Nevegals, and Conti Mountain Kings are all standout, all around tires. One of my old favorite tires, the Spec. Ground Control is back and I'm trying a pair this weekend. Right now I dig the Ardents, Nevegals are solid front and rear, and I used to love the Blue Groove front/Nevegal rear combo. Mountain Kings are great when the trails get wet.

    IMO, tubeless is worth it in any situation, as long as you run sealant in your tires. The benefits of increased traction and comfort outweigh all the detriments. As rockcrusher says though, always carry spare tubes with you. I'm heading out to a very rock area to ride this weekend and have 3 spare tubes in my pack even though I'm running XC-heavy tires (~650 g) tubeless. No sense in being "that guy" on a group ride...
    Brought to you by rocks.

  23. #23
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    Thanks RockCrusher,I found the 1" Gorilla tape and will pic it up tonight. I don't want to make any cuts if I do not have to, as far as tires go i'm using Maxxis Ardent f and Crossmark r. I'm going to poke around for Ghetto WTB. Thank you for the info!

  24. #24
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    PAmtbiker, I have been running the Ignitors LUST on my Caffine for a couple of years now and LOVE them! I figure after three flats in as many rides i should do the conversion and have been wanting to try the Gheto style. I think I'll go for it tonight and I'll be sure to post my results.Thanks for the input! On a side note, what part of PA do you live in? I'm in the South East.

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