How to Stop Pinch Flats on AZ Rocks- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    How to Stop Pinch Flats on AZ Rocks

    When I ride on "rockier" trails - not overly technical, just kind of rocky - ie BCT, west side of the McDowells, etc. - I get pinch flats. Way too often.

    My guess is it is a combo of technique needing improvement, and weight. I'm 250lbs, riding Gordos with tubes and a WTB Stout on the back, where almost all of my flats occur.

    Any tips? I use Slime tubes - maybe I should look into 29" downhill tubes (if such a thing is available now). Or a tire with stronger, or otherwise better, side walls.

    Maybe I need to run higher pressure as opposed to lower pressure?

    I know there is a thread 2,000 (maybe an exaggeration) posts deep about going tubeless... I haven't read it but maybe that's an option. Just not sure if I want to go that route, or if it would even help.

    Appreciate any advice...

  2. #2
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by orangedog
    When I ride on "rockier" trails - not overly technical, just kind of rocky - ie BCT, west side of the McDowells, etc. - I get pinch flats. Way too often.

    My guess is it is a combo of technique needing improvement, and weight. I'm 250lbs, riding Gordos with tubes and a WTB Stout on the back, where almost all of my flats occur.

    Any tips? I use Slime tubes - maybe I should look into 29" downhill tubes (if such a thing is available now). Or a tire with stronger, or otherwise better, side walls.

    Maybe I need to run higher pressure as opposed to lower pressure?

    I know there is a thread 2,000 (maybe an exaggeration) posts deep about going tubeless... I haven't read it but maybe that's an option. Just not sure if I want to go that route, or if it would even help.

    Appreciate any advice...
    That's exactly why tubeless is so popular in AZ. Not because of the cacti, but because most ride lower tirepressure, resulting in more pinched flats. It's impossible to get pinched flats if you go tubeless.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  3. #3
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    Run tubeless or more psi in your tubed setup. I havent had a single flat since going tubeless, highly recomended .

  4. #4
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    ghetto tubeless. I switched from slime tubed. it is awesome.

  5. #5
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    yes sir ----get rid of the tubes , -----they are troubble

  6. #6
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    what PSI do you run ?

  7. #7
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    As a frequent visiter to the area I am now totally sold on tubeless - I did a ghetto set up using pipe wrap tape as per Kelstr's advice in this thread, in time for the Spring Fling.

    I have just got back from a further three weeks riding in Utah and AZ with no flats experienced since the trip in March. Everyone esle had multiple punctures, mostly pinch flats, some up to four a day.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo
    what PSI do you run ?
    the gauge on the pump I used was broken (needle didn't move), but I'd guess today (when I got two pinch flats) was around 45.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangedog
    the gauge on the pump I used was broken (needle didn't move), but I'd guess today (when I got two pinch flats) was around 45.
    45? Yikes, that's a lot. I run tubes in my SS, and I run about 30-32, and can't remember the last time I had a flat. You're definitely a candidate for tubeless if you run high pressure.
    Nobody gives a s#$t you singlespeed.

  10. #10
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    The thread referenced above is the Alpha and Omega of ghetto tubeosity......I still refer back to it from time to time after running ghetto for over a year now.




  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    45? Yikes, that's a lot. I run tubes in my SS, and I run about 30-32, and can't remember the last time I had a flat. You're definitely a candidate for tubeless if you run high pressure.
    eh, well, I'm ballparking... but I usually try to run around 40. where decently pressing on the tire creates a little give but not a lot.

  12. #12
    slow uphill
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer
    The thread referenced above is the Alpha and Omega of ghetto tubeosity......I still refer back to it from time to time after running ghetto for over a year now.
    ok... maybe I'll break out a six pack and start reading.

  13. #13
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    You might want to give yourself reading assignments spread over several nights....I've never made it through in one sitting.




  14. #14
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    Sometimes 'dog you just need an even burlier tire on one side or the other. I lost a lot of pinch flats when I man'd-up to sturdier tires (in the way back), and lost almost all of the pinch flats when I moved to tubeless. When I did I was about 235-245 and rode a full-squishy bike all over the place - Central Texas, AZ, NM, CO, UT, NV. It has served me well.

    I've never done the ghetto conversion, instead I've used Stan's rubber strips on conversions. Of late I'm running the Stan's Flow rims themselves, which has proven the most dreadfully easiest to use and maintain.

    And, for the record, it's a LOT harder but you CAN pinch-flat tubeless. I've managed to do that ONCE to a 2.5" Kenda Nevegal that had 25 psi in it. Just Bad Luck, all around - wrong combination of weighting, speed, and a very sharp rock. Four (!) holes in the tire sidewall at the compression point. Bleh.

    In the interim, have you tried downhill-specific innertubes? Like the 2.5mm thick Kenda's? I've a friend in Austin that treated HARSHLY his rear wheel on a hard-tail bike that way all over the rocky terrain and nary a flat.

  15. #15
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    If you are riding 29" wheels, the Gordo is about as good as it gets. You could try a Bontrager FR3 tire which has really thick sidewalls.

    Do not, do not run the Gordos tubeless. They do not work well and I can tell you from too much personal experience that they will fail.

    Ultimate solution is more pressure, or man up to the new Dissent 2.5 tire in the rear (if it will fit) it is 1250 gms of pinch flatless goodness.
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  16. #16
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    Not running Gordos tubeless is consistent with what I hear.

    I like the Stouts - at about 1000g - so I could go up to the Dissent once I find out where I can order one in 29" - will have to check if it would fit, but I'd hope so at 2.5.

    This might be a hokey idea... but before I commit to a new set of wheels and tubeless... would it help to cut one of my old tubes, and us it as a liner... between the inflated tube and the tire, that partially wraps around the inflated tube? I can't find 2.5mm (or any DH) tube in 29" - so was thinking that using this "liner" method may be a substitute... give the tube a little support. Then, pump up to 45-50psi. See if I could live with that.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by skinny-tire
    That's exactly why tubeless is so popular in AZ. Not because of the cacti, but because most ride lower tirepressure, resulting in more pinched flats. It's impossible to get pinched flats if you go tubeless.
    It is very possible to pinch flat when tubeless.
    Granted it happens WAY less, two times this year I have pinched the tire wall and tread against the rim tearing two holes in the tire the same way a tubed tire pinches. I patched the holes and the tire is alive again. The culprit was definitely tires that were not made to be tubeless ghetto setup.

    One set up was Stans Flows, Geax Saguaro's on a hard tail 29er, PSI around 37
    The other bike was a FS 26er with Azonic Outlaw wheels, ghetto with a rim strip, PSI around 37.

    I am now a believer that UST rims and tires are the lowest maintenance way to go. I am over Getto tubless and Stans rims. They work, but are not as care free and versatile as I though they would be. I spend way too much time patching non-UST tires used on my Stans rims and did not realize that many UST tires will not fit on Stans rims. Another Stans beef: the rim tape will slide around if a little Stans gets under the tape which is bound to happen. As for the Ghetto 26er I have had to resort to UST rear tires to stop sidewall tears so I might as well have the rims to go with them.

    My FS 26er travel bike has some UST wheels coming on order that I will run UST tires on. We'll see what happens.

  18. #18
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    I'd start with a new pump or at least a tire gauge and see what pressure you're really running. I run between 35-40 psi in my rear on my SS hardtail, and I've yet to pinch flat, even with my fat ass on board. I've been running specialized fast tracks for over a year now with no problems, and they seem like a pretty lightweight fast tire. Rampages work well also, though I find they are a slow roller in the back.
    You might also want to work on your technique some as well. Try getting off the saddle when you go through the rough, so all of your weight isn't slamming down on the back end as you go through the rough. This will be easier on your back as well. This works for me, but YMMV.
    .....

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chongoman
    It is very possible to pinch flat when tubeless.
    I am now a believer that UST rims and tires are the lowest maintenance way to go. I am over Getto tubless and Stans rims. They work, but are not as care free and versatile as I though they would be. I spend way too much time patching non-UST tires used on my Stans rims and did not realize that many UST tires will not fit on Stans rims. Another Stans beef: the rim tape will slide around if a little Stans gets under the tape which is bound to happen. As for the Ghetto 26er I have had to resort to UST rear tires to stop sidewall tears so I might as well have the rims to go with them.

    My FS 26er travel bike has some UST wheels coming on order that I will run UST tires on. We'll see what happens.
    +1 on the Stan's conclusions...

    Problem with UST wheels is tire selection...... I have a Stans ZTR 355 wheelset and a Mavic 819 wheelset. What UST tires are you going to run? My UST tire of choice is the Maxxis High Roller, but I am on my second delamination fail on those tires.

    bobo

  20. #20
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    I run contintental superlight tubes plus one ounce of stans. I run between 20 to 25 psi and I never plitch flat.

  21. #21
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    If the OP is pinching with 1000 gram tires.. The next step is to run a more freeride/downhill setup. If he's aggressive at 250, you need some serious tire to prevent pinches. I'd def run a mavic UST setup if it's possible... as chongo says, it' s the most hassle free tire solution.

  22. #22
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    Hope Put a Down Hill Tube in Back Run Slime in front or?

    With the information provided I would reccomend a Downhill tube in the rear as a short term recommendation. What pressre to run is dependent on ,Many things, at 40psi you should be good to go. Slime won't save you on Pinch flats. Going to a USB set up of stans with some stout tires like Maxxis would probably work. I've heard to same about Gordos not being good tubless.

    Full Suspension bikes tend to pinch flat less aswell. I personally have had good luck with the downhill tubes on My Ellsworth Moment with DH Tubes and Mavic 321 rims. I have never had a flat on that Bike and have ridden the crap out of it. Maxxis High Rollers and a Mobtser Up front at times. Never Flat at 28 to 30 psi. However I'm about 200 with my camelback and have 6in of wheel travel front and rear. The Bike tipps the scales at 35lbs. Hope this helps
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  23. #23
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    alright... I'm going to mess around with my set up, pay closer attention to pressure, and if all else fails, maybe I'll succumb and pick up some of those C29SSMAX wheels and UST tires. I don't really want to leave my gordos, but maybe... a big maybe

    I do think that my first pinch flat yesterday came from being lazy... I took a chunky downhill in the saddle because I didn't want to get up...

    thanks for the input

  24. #24
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    Hope

    Don't like those CrossMax wheels. They have too many proprietay parts, Funny spokes etc. Just my two cents. If I were you and was gonna go as far as buying new wheels I'd consider Stans Flows with 36 straight gauge spoke and brass nipples.

    Those Crossmax wheel are trendy weight wenie crap
    Who cares how much gas you save, ride your bike to work because it's fun!!!!!!!

  25. #25
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    ok - good point. I'd first have to read the 3 part novel on tubeless in az, and then determine which wheelset to buy.

  26. #26
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    @ 230 lbs. I run the Crossmax and beat the p-ss out of them , no problems .

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by AZ.MTNS
    @ 230 lbs. I run the Crossmax and beat the p-ss out of them , no problems .
    Im trendy too and run the Crossmax's! I have run mostly Specialized tires, especially the Captain with minimal problems.

    Just switched over to WTB's and running Nano tubeless on the rear and a Weirwolf on the front with a tube (couldnt get it up tubeless). Running both around 30psi. I like the Crossmax's but have broken a few spokes and at $5 a pop can be expensive.

    When I have run tires with tubes on them I always heavily talc the tire first and then put in some stans. Have not had any pinch flats with this setup. Ran a Small Block Eight for six months last year this way and wore the tire down before I cut it or flatted it. Wierd as I was the flat/pinch flat king on my 26" bikes!

  28. #28
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    Hope

    Not to mention does the LBS stock those funny spokes? Not Dissin Mavic, I have Mavic rims (the 321 Disc). Mavic just has a reputation to leave people hanging on their warranty claims. I was at Performance in Scottsdale and they are selling an Access 29er for about $1300 that has these wheels. The sales person bragged up and down about how great they are. (The bike is a killer deal at that price). Also if a guy ride really hard on these rocky trails at 250lbs those expensive spokes will probably inconvenece him more than his pinch flats do.
    SF
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobo_krkk_NIN
    +1 on the Stan's conclusions...

    Problem with UST wheels is tire selection...... I have a Stans ZTR 355 wheelset and a Mavic 819 wheelset. What UST tires are you going to run? My UST tire of choice is the Maxxis High Roller, but I am on my second delamination fail on those tires.

    bobo
    I am going to use a DTC 2.35 UST Nevegal on the rear and use my 2.5 non UST Blue Groove on the front. I rarely sidewall tear on the front and I've heard that it will work just fine. I plan to use a bit of Slime tubless sealant since Kenda and Stans are not a good match according to my LBS.

  30. #30
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    I'm curious to see if this works, or if it forces the tire to unseat... I shall see and report back.

    Also... I must've been running lower pressure... I used my home pump and pumped it up to 45psi and it was much firmer than what I was riding the other day... so I'll try that too.

    How to Stop Pinch Flats on AZ Rocks-img00098-20091101-1751.jpg

    How to Stop Pinch Flats on AZ Rocks-img00101-20091101-1753.jpg

  31. #31
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    I've also found the pressure gauges on pumps to be very inconsistent. Some are right on, others have been up to 20psi off (hi or low).
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  32. #32
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    Bob, I switched from Stans yellow tape to Gorilla tape, no more sliding around..

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steel Freak
    Not to mention does the LBS stock those funny spokes?
    Not many. I waited for on to order and they never came in. Finally gave up and called around and found that Landis in Tempe stocks them. I always pick up a couple extra for the rear wheel if I go in there. Especially as there are three different spokes for the wheelset! One for the front wheel and two for the rear, one drive and one for the non drive!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leethal
    Bob, I switched from Stans yellow tape to Gorilla tape, no more sliding around..
    You guys just aren't getting the tape on tight enough, or you're not cleaning the rim well before applying the tape. I've been running stans with yellow tape for several years now and have never every had slippy tape!

  35. #35
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    I used to run IRC Kujo 3.0" tires with a semi-slick commuter tire inside them, then a heavy duty thornproof tube inside of that.
    Never had pinchflats.
    My bike broke the scale at the bike shop though.
    So maybe not the best idea...

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangedog
    I'm curious to see if this works, or if it forces the tire to unseat... I shall see and report back.

    Also... I must've been running lower pressure... I used my home pump and pumped it up to 45psi and it was much firmer than what I was riding the other day... so I'll try that too.

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    I've heard of "Ghetto Tubeless", But "Ghetto-Tubes" is new to me .........Drew

  37. #37
    slow uphill
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    yes - "Ghetto Tubes" for sure... first ride tomorrow am. not so far as to include a commuter slick in there... but I like the idea

  38. #38
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    the only drawback is you need a machete instead of tire levers to remove them... then again thats not much different than with a panaracer fire XC tire..

  39. #39
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    Do this:
    http://www.go-ride.com/Articles/ghetto_tubeless.html

    BUT do the following modifications to the procedure:

    1A - Use a schroeder valve tube. It is more durable, it will let you flow much more air when inflating, and it is easier to put more stans in later. Presta valves are for roadies.

    2A - Clean the powder out of the inner tube using simple green and a ton of water. Get all the powder out. This cannot be emphasized enough. Get it really really clean. Residual powder = slow leaks at the bead.

    3A - Before you start mounting the tire onto the rim give the tube and the tire bead a quick wipe down with a paper towel that is wetted with brake cleaner. It will remove the last of the powder from the tube and the release compound from the tire bead. It will also give you cancer.

    4A - Now that you wiped the tube and tire down with brake cleaner it is a real beeyatch to mount the tire, as they want to grip each other like nothing you've ever experienced. DO NOT use soap and water to lubricate. Use a thin coat of "latex mold builder" (http://www.michaels.com/art/online/d...ductNum=gc0514) to lube the bead as you slide it on.

    6A - For big tires use 3 or 4oz of stans. The extra ounce isn't going to kill you, but it comes in handy when you get a huge puncture.
    6B - Besides the 3oz of stans add 1 heaping teaspoon of the "latex mold builder" and stir it into the stans. It helps the stans work better on larger punctures and small tears.
    6C - If the tire is really tight and you are having trouble getting the last part of the bead over the rim lip make yourself some "rim protectors". Fold a piece of duct tape in half, then fold a piece of packaging tape over the duct tape. Use the tape to protect the rim strip from your tire irons when you lever the bead over the rim. Difficult to explain, I'll post some photos.
    6D - Ignore the directions to build up the center of the rim with tape to make a tight seal. Your air compressor takes care of that when used properly.

    7A - Rotate the wheel so the valve is towards the top (and the stans is now 180 degrees away in the bottom of the tire). Remove the valve core of the schroeder valve. Remove the tire chuck from your air compressor,. leaving just the quick connect. Add air to the valve stem straight from the quick connect. The valve stem will actuate the quick connect and you will get a huge volume of air that will seat the tire instantly. No more f-ing around with soap and water and oozing stans and squeezing the tire and getting pissed off. The above method WILL seat your tire on the rim.
    7B - Wrestle the valve core back into the valve stem. Try not to coat yourself with stans (thats why I had you rotate the stem upwards).

    The heavier duty of tube you use as a rim strip the less likely you will slice the sidewall of your tire open, but it becomes a real bear to seat the tires because the tube is so thick. On my downhill wheels I use a 20" thorn resistant tube, but it is nearly impossible to mount hutchinson wire bead tires without messing up the bead.

    The pipe tape method is lighter but much much less reliable and prone to burping. If you lose pressure on the trail you are done, the tire will "de-bead" from the rim and you will have to put a tube in. With the tube strip method the tire and the tube strip lightly glue themselves together over time. You can totally deflate the tire then pump it back up with a compact pump, it won't "de-bead".

    Weight:
    performance 20" BMX tube: 130 grams
    stans: 80 grams
    mold builder: 14 grams
    excess tube trimmed off: -73grams
    Total weight: 151 grams.

    A 26" slime tube weighs 310 grams.
    -MitchB

  40. #40
    slow uphill
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    interesting, thanks. so does the cut tube sit between the rim and the tire? in other words, is the contact point between tire and rim set up as tire:rim, or tire:rubber:rim?

  41. #41
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    tire:rubber:rim

    The only real problem with ghetto tubeless is swapping tires. Since the tire and the rubber rim strip "stick" to one another you have to carefully peel the tire bead off the rim strip before dismounting the tire, otherwise you'll destroy the rim strip.

    Usually the rubber rim strip will hold its shape and you can put a new tire on no problem, but sometimes it wants to curl inwards away from the edge of the rim. When that happens I just use scotch tape to hold the rim strip where it should be, then I yank the tape out before seating the bead.



    The following least->best ratings are what I've found over the years. My opinion only, others may agree/disagree.

    Reliability (least to best):
    Ultralight tube + std tire
    Standard tube + std tire
    Slime Tube + std tire
    UST rim + std tire + sealant
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant <-my preferred all mountain setup
    UST rim + UST Tire + sealant
    Ghetto tubeless + UST tire + sealant <- my preferred downhill setup

    Weight (lightest to heaviest):
    Ultralight tube + std tire
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant (assuming xm719 or stans 355XC rims)
    Standard tube + std tire
    UST rim + std tire + sealant (assuming 819 rims)
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant (assuming EN521rims)
    Slime Tube + std tire
    Ghetto tubeless + UST tire + sealant
    UST rim + UST Tire + sealant


    try it you'll like it.
    Last edited by mb300; 11-03-2009 at 02:40 PM.
    -MitchB

  42. #42
    slow uphill
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    rode "ghetto tubes" this morning and they held up ok. I wasn't going as fast or as hard as the other day, but the fact that it didn't fall apart immediately was good. might be able to try something a bit rougher this weekend.

  43. #43
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    in your opinion,, is it even conceivable,, that someone who doesnt bomb over the rocky parts (and who slows down before turns) can get away with running 1.95 tires with standard tubes at full pressure? or am i still gonna get my sidewalls f'd up. I'm not a downhill maniac (nor is my bike built for it). I like standing up the whole ride and cranking the 46 ring.

  44. #44
    slow uphill
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    Quote Originally Posted by longhairmike
    in your opinion,, is it even conceivable,, that someone who doesnt bomb over the rocky parts (and who slows down before turns) can get away with running 1.95 tires with standard tubes at full pressure? or am i still gonna get my sidewalls f'd up. I'm not a downhill maniac (nor is my bike built for it). I like standing up the whole ride and cranking the 46 ring.
    IMO - you'll probably get good useful life out of your tires. I think part of the problem I run into is poor technique while heading downhill, and weight. the guy I rode with the other day weighs 100lbs less than me and was faster, and he had zero issues (and has had zero issues on that trail system)

  45. #45
    mtbr member
    Reputation: twowheelsdown2002's Avatar
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    Oct 2004
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    2,077
    Quote Originally Posted by mb300
    tire:rubber:rim

    The only real problem with ghetto tubeless is swapping tires. Since the tire and the rubber rim strip "stick" to one another you have to carefully peel the tire bead off the rim strip before dismounting the tire, otherwise you'll destroy the rim strip.

    Usually the rubber rim strip will hold its shape and you can put a new tire on no problem, but sometimes it wants to curl inwards away from the edge of the rim. When that happens I just use scotch tape to hold the rim strip where it should be, then I yank the tape out before seating the bead.



    The following least->best ratings are what I've found over the years. My opinion only, others may agree/disagree.

    Reliability (least to best):
    Ultralight tube + std tire
    Standard tube + std tire
    Slime Tube + std tire
    UST rim + std tire + sealant
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant <-my preferred all mountain setup
    UST rim + UST Tire + sealant
    Ghetto tubeless + UST tire + sealant <- my preferred downhill setup

    Weight (lightest to heaviest):
    Ultralight tube + std tire
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant (assuming xm719 or stans 355XC rims)
    Standard tube + std tire
    UST rim + std tire + sealant (assuming 819 rims)
    Ghetto tubeless + std tire + sealant (assuming EN521rims)
    Slime Tube + std tire
    Ghetto tubeless + UST tire + sealant
    UST rim + UST Tire + sealant


    try it you'll like it.
    I have done DIY tubeless for about 5 years now and I concur with just about everything in your post. Good job!!

    I definately agree with what you said in your other post above about a split tube being less prone to burping than the tape method. I have great success with a 20" tube split, and then cleaning off the powder. I have not tried brake cleaner, I just usually use a wet rag.

    I do stay away from thin tires like Specialized Adrenalines. I have had good luck with Rampages, Minions, and Geax Lobo Loco's. I want to try the Geax DHEA next.

    One other thing I do is if I use a UST rim with a regular tire, I use a 20" split tube on it as well, because a regular tire is not designed to seal against any rim. They seal up excellent this way, and I have never had one burp. I usually run about 27psi front/28psi rear. I weigh 190# and like rocky trails but I am not a hucker or super high speed downhiller. I tend to pick my lines more, and love cleaning technical uphills.

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