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  1. #1
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    Anybody Commute Tubeless?

    I have never done it. I've actually never run tubeless at all. Call me old school, but to be honest, it scares me. What if I get a flat? Will most sealants stand up to the superhuman thorns I have around here? How messy is it when you do get a flat? How much maintenance are we talking about (how often do you have to add air)? Is it worth the weight savings?


    I'm debating going tubeless on the 29er I'm building, and I need some commuter input. Will it make me not want to ride the thing to work?
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  2. #2
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    I'm also wondering if I can run my armadillo nimbus tubeless @ 80psi. Will the sealant hold up? A flat will probably make u late wherever u go if u go tubeless..
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I have never done it. I've actually never run tubeless at all. Call me old school, but to be honest, it scares me. What if I get a flat? Will most sealants stand up to the superhuman thorns I have around here? How messy is it when you do get a flat? How much maintenance are we talking about (how often do you have to add air)? Is it worth the weight savings?


    I'm debating going tubeless on the 29er I'm building, and I need some commuter input. Will it make me not want to ride the thing to work?

    I do all the time, have done for 4 years....

    Tubeless will get less flats than tubed tires, put in the sealant and no flats is what most people get, (I have torn a sidewall on rocks etc)...

    Sealant is not messy once you figure out how to handle it...

    Get a flat whip in a tube just as fast or faster as tubed tires...

    I tend to run sealant for a while then it kinda coats the tire and you don't need it any more, but we don't have thorns...

    I did have a nail once, pulled it out, held my thumb over the hole for a minute, and voila the tire sealed up twenty strokes with the pump and away you go.

  4. #4
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    ^^ What kind of sealant are you using? How gooey does it stay inside the tire? My main complaint with slime in the tubes (I've tried everything for thorns) is that it freezes when it gets really cold. I would hang the bike in the garage, and if it got down into the teens at night, I'd feel liike I was riding a clown bike in the morning...like there was a giant weight in one part of the tire. It wouldn't be normal until the ride home after the bike was parked inside at work.
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  5. #5
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    Stans down to -35 C without any noticable problems, I will normally only inject 1 oz that is 28 grams....

    Oh and apparently you havn't tried tubeless yet for thorns....

  6. #6
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    I'm super paranoid of having to deal with a flat on the way to work when it's below zero out and my fingers don't work. I haven't tried it because I hate slime in the tubes so much. It's messy, it freezes, and it has never worked all that well.

    ...But I haven't tried it in several years. I know tubleless technology has come a long way. I want to make the switch, but I don't want to hate it.

    Typical slime in the tubes doesn't seal some of the holes I get from thorns. These are evil, evil thorns. I want to believe that tubeless goo will seal them up no problem, but the idea of removing the tube (one more line of defense) is scary. Any tubeless goo I use will be forced to seal up a thorn hole every few days. Is it up to the task?

    How often do you have to replace the goo?
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I'm super paranoid of having to deal with a flat on the way to work when it's below zero out and my fingers don't work. I haven't tried it because I hate slime in the tubes so much. It's messy, it freezes, and it has never worked all that well.

    ...But I haven't tried it in several years. I know tubleless technology has come a long way. I want to make the switch, but I don't want to hate it.

    Typical slime in the tubes doesn't seal some of the holes I get from thorns. These are evil, evil thorns. I want to believe that tubeless goo will seal them up no problem, but the idea of removing the tube (one more line of defense) is scary. Any tubeless goo I use will be forced to seal up a thorn hole every few days. Is it up to the task?

    How often do you have to replace the goo?

    Learn to change a tire with your mitts on. BTW the issue is the same with tubed tires.

    I hardly ever replace the Stans, the colder it is the longer it lasts, again we don't have thorns.

  8. #8
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    ^ I don't see the issue as the same with tubes. If I get a slow leaker with my tube, I throw a patch on in 5 minutes at work and I'm good to go for the ride home. If I get a slow leaker with tubeless...


    I guess you can just throw a tube in and deal with it later, but that's a big fat mess throwing a tube in, isn't it?
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    Not a commuter tire but I had Stans seal about 20 "goat head" thorns in one tire. This was from one offroad ride in a tire running about 45psi. I pulled about half the thorns out and let the sealant take care of the rest. Held air for another few months or so. But, it never really gets cold in San Diego.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Learn to change a tire with your mitts on. BTW the issue is the same with tubed tires.

    I hardly ever replace the Stans, the colder it is the longer it lasts, again we don't have thorns.


    many of the cities where people commute (such as NYC) there are many sharp particles on the ground such as glass, nails, pins, etc.

    For the people that ride in a busy dirty city like NYC, is it better to go tubeless on a skinny high pressure (80psi+) tire or should we stick with tubes?
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  11. #11
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    I ran tubeless with stans in all 4 of my bikes. I know it takes no time to put a patch on, but broken glass and stuff on the street becomes less of an obstacle with tubeless. Although, I think Im going to try the Schwable marathon plus tires on the commuter if I can find some.

    -Simon
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^ I don't see the issue as the same with tubes. If I get a slow leaker with my tube, I throw a patch on in 5 minutes at work and I'm good to go for the ride home. If I get a slow leaker with tubeless...


    I guess you can just throw a tube in and deal with it later, but that's a big fat mess throwing a tube in, isn't it?

    If you get a slow leaker with tubeless and Stans well you might notice by the end of the week.Through in a tube in three minutes and ride.

    Stick some superglue in the hole and pump it up (Hutchison Tubeless Repair kit) No big mess you got 1 oz of liquid in there, you just stick the tube in.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss
    [/B]

    many of the cities where people commute (such as NYC) there are many sharp particles on the ground such as glass, nails, pins, etc.

    For the people that ride in a busy dirty city like NYC, is it better to go tubeless on a skinny high pressure (80psi+) tire or should we stick with tubes?

    All cities have those problems, I have a pair of Conti Sport Contacts, 26 by 1.3, work great...havn't tried the tubelss yet though....

    But I will next summer.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DukeNeverwinter
    Not a commuter tire but I had Stans seal about 20 "goat head" thorns in one tire. This was from one offroad ride in a tire running about 45psi. I pulled about half the thorns out and let the sealant take care of the rest. Held air for another few months or so. But, it never really gets cold in San Diego.

    This is good news. the mighty 'goathead' is what I'm dealing with. If you're not paying close attention, On some trails it's possible to get about 20 goatheads in a tire just by veering offline once. More of an issue in the spring/summer, but lame nonetheless.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by louisssss

    For the people that ride in a busy dirty city like NYC, is it better to go tubeless on a skinny high pressure (80psi+) tire or should we stick with tubes?
    High pressure is not an option from what I'm reading. Stan's warranty is void at pressures above 45, and no one reccomends going over about that on a tubeless set-up. I don't think I'll be making the switch on my full-time commuter. I'm slowly buying into the whole concept though... I think I'll go with tubeless on my new 29er and see how I like it.


    I also wonder...once you've done the rim tape and the goo, how much lighter is it than tubes? It doesn't seem like it's THAT much of a weight savings, which is what everyone raves about with tubeless on a 29er. Any statistics on weight savings out there?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    High pressure is not an option from what I'm reading. Stan's warranty is void at pressures above 45, and no one reccomends going over about that on a tubeless set-up. I don't think I'll be making the switch on my full-time commuter. I'm slowly buying into the whole concept though... I think I'll go with tubeless on my new 29er and see how I like it.


    I also wonder...once you've done the rim tape and the goo, how much lighter is it than tubes? It doesn't seem like it's THAT much of a weight savings, which is what everyone raves about with tubeless on a 29er. Any statistics on weight savings out there?

    High pressure is an option with UST....

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    I am running tubeless on my commuter at high pressure and have had no problems. I have logged 1000+ miles since making the switch and have not had a flat yet. I add a little Stan's every 8-10 weeks.

    Up front I have a Schawlbe Marathon ..... something, maybe a Plus... on a ZTR 355. In the rear I have a Panaracer Urban Max mounted on a ZTR Arch. I run both tires at 80 PSI - after about two weeks the Panaracer will drop about 10 psi and the Schwalbe will drop 20. The Panaracer was easier to get to seat and sealed up much more quickly than the Schwalbe and is probably what I will buy when I next have to replace a tire. Oh, and it is also fairly cheap.

    What I was told when I started researching this is that you need to use wire bead tires if you want to run higher air pressure. That being said, the 80 PSI that I am running is much higher than is probably recommended for a non-UST tubeless application.

  18. #18
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    ^^ That's what I need to hear. Good stuff. From what I've been reading I have been led to believe that the Stans would just blow up or something over about 50psi. Good to hear some real world application at higher pressure. Have you gone back and forth with tire pressures at all? I'd want to run 45 or so on the trail, and then crank it up to 70 or so for the commute. This would be the 'other' bike, so not seeing commuting duty every day.
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  19. #19
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    does anyone make like sub 1.5 inch commuter slick UST? I've been debating going tubeless on the commuter for a while now....

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    Quote Originally Posted by jfk
    does anyone make like sub 1.5 inch commuter slick UST? I've been debating going tubeless on the commuter for a while now....

    Hutchison has some road tubeless tires...
    Kensa makes a 1.75 inch Klimax lite UST.
    Last edited by jeffscott; 11-17-2009 at 02:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ That's what I need to hear. Good stuff. From what I've been reading I have been led to believe that the Stans would just blow up or something over about 50psi. Good to hear some real world application at higher pressure. Have you gone back and forth with tire pressures at all? I'd want to run 45 or so on the trail, and then crank it up to 70 or so for the commute. This would be the 'other' bike, so not seeing commuting duty every day.
    Honestly, my biggest concern was not with the tire but with the rim tape. I thought that the high pressure may cause it to blow out in the spoke holes. No problems yet and if it ever does fail I can just double up the tape.

    I have two wheelsets for this bike and just swap out when I want to ride trails so I haven't played with the air pressure. Besides, the commuter tires that I am running are 32 mm - a little skinny for trail riding on a full rigid (at least for my old bones). The Racing Ralph's on my other wheelset serve as my suspension.

  22. #22
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    If I were you CB and I had that many goatheads to deal with, I wouldn't bother with tubeless. Maybe on a strictly commuting bike, but not on a trail bike.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

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    For me its not about the weight savings. Its about the not stopping to replace a tube savings. Also the "perceived" rolling resistance.

  24. #24
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    I`m not a tubeless guy either, but I thought the weight was supposed to be about the same with the big advantage being punctureproofing and being able to run lower pressure without pinching.
    Recalculating....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary the No-Trash Cougar
    If I were you CB and I had that many goatheads to deal with, I wouldn't bother with tubeless. Maybe on a strictly commuting bike, but not on a trail bike.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...26&postcount=1

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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    I`m not a tubeless guy either, but I thought the weight was supposed to be about the same with the big advantage being punctureproofing and being able to run lower pressure without pinching.

    ^^ But you replace the pinch flat danger with the risk of blowing the bead and destroying your rim.

    I rarely pinch flat, and I can replace a tube pretty quickly. But if I blew a tubeless tire off of the rim even once and jacked up the rim, I'd be gunshy forever.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ But you replace the pinch flat danger with the risk of blowing the bead and destroying your rim.

    I rarely pinch flat, and I can replace a tube pretty quickly. But if I blew a tubeless tire off of the rim even once and jacked up the rim, I'd be gunshy forever.

    You really do live in a world of your own...

  28. #28
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    ^^ Bring me into reality. I'm scared of this technology, why should I not be? I'm building a 29er and I want to go tubeless, but I'm afraid I'll either: A) Wind up walking 5 miles to work one day, or B) blow the tire off of the bead and destroy my rim on the trail.

    I know I'm late to the tubeless party, but in this world I live in, it seems like you're trading a clean, easy tube for a messy, high maintenance alternative that's barely a weight savings.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ Bring me into reality. I'm scared of this technology, why should I not be? I'm building a 29er and I want to go tubeless, but I'm afraid I'll either: A) Wind up walking 5 miles to work one day, or B) blow the tire off of the bead and destroy my rim on the trail.

    I know I'm late to the tubeless party, but in this world I live in, it seems like you're trading a clean, easy tube for a messy, high maintenance alternative that's barely a weight savings.

    You are ignoring the facts people give you, then you proceed down an avenue of inquirery covered many times in these forums...

    Suggest you do some searches try endurance racing, and wheels and tires for a start.

    And open your mind, if possible.

    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=569038

  30. #30
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    Through this last season of group rides, I saw two tubeless flats. Both were burping flats due to too low of tire pressure. You have to check your pressure before every ride. I saw countless tubed flats.

    I was talking to a bike shop guy yesterday, and he said he has had two flats in the last 4 years. Both were due to too low of tire pressure. He carries a regular tube just in case, but he has never used it. I am about to go tubeless, but all these details, systems and problems was scaring me off. I am just going to give it a go. Watching the Stan's vids, I don't think punture flats are going to be a problem.

  31. #31
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    Wow, I didn't realize I was such a prick. Thanks for all your help Jeff.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Wow, I didn't realize I was such a prick. Thanks for all your help Jeff.

    Not a problem anytime, how is the read of the Endurance Racing thread going?

  33. #33
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    ^ It sounds like a few of those people are running tubeless.


    Two questions for you, wise one:

    I'm 200 lbs, and I can be a fairly agressive rider. Should I stick with UST, or is burping a tire on a 29er not that big of an issue if I keep the pressures in the normal range with any tubeless system?

    I'm worried about max pressure. I want to crank it up for the commute and drop it back down for the trials. Compare my rounded profile 26" tires @ 70psi to a 29er tubless (dirt) tire running whatever the high reccomended pressure would be.
    This would just be for the commute, not a deal breaker for going tubeless on the new bike. I'm just curious about the versatility.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^ It sounds like a few of those people are running tubeless.


    Two questions for you, wise one:

    I'm 200 lbs, and I can be a fairly agressive rider. Should I stick with UST, or is burping a tire on a 29er not that big of an issue if I keep the pressures in the normal range with any tubeless system?

    I'm worried about max pressure. I want to crank it up for the commute and drop it back down for the trials. Compare my rounded profile 26" tires @ 70psi to a 29er tubless (dirt) tire running whatever the high reccomended pressure would be.
    This would just be for the commute, not a deal breaker for going tubeless on the new bike. I'm just curious about the versatility.
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showpost.php?...1&postcount=16

    Mavic UST rims limit inflation pressure by tire size....

    Something like this 1.3 inch 120 psi, 2.1 inch 65 psi, 2.3 inch 55 psi...

    If you run much more than you risk the rim spliting at the valve stem hole, this causes first leaks, at the vlave stem then eventually a tire can blow off....stay belwo and your fine..

    Basically at 2.1 inch the rim limit and the tire max inflation are about the same...

    UST rim and tire have the least problems blowing off and selaing up.

    Lots of people run UST rims with non UST tires, wire beads work best, but so do folding beads

    Lots of people run non UST with non UST...

    The operating window here is huge...

    Again you want higher pressures, you want UST.

  35. #35
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    ^^ Thanks.

    I didn't want to get locked into the UST tire world, but it sounds like that's not that big of an issue...just some sealant, and I can run whatever tire I want tubeless on a UST rim? or is it that simple?
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    ^^ Thanks.

    I didn't want to get locked into the UST tire world, but it sounds like that's not that big of an issue...just some sealant, and I can run whatever tire I want tubeless on a UST rim? or is it that simple?
    Again some non UST tires will seal up and work fine, some will have more risk of burping...Some won't seal up...some will burp...

    UST tires will be fine...

    Stans has a list of tires that will probably work...

    Wire beads work better than folding beads.

    I run UST rim and UST and non UST tires, I havn't met one I couldn't get to work...

    Some tires arn't worth the effort...

    A thin say less than 1.9 inch wire beaded tire, will almost certainly seal up well, might need a bit of Stans...might not...

    On a UST rim you should be able to run that tire to its max inflation pressure...

  37. #37
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    I'm almost sold....

    I will run some sort of goop in there anyway, since I have thorns where I live, so even with UST/UST I'll probably mix up some of the homebrew goo that I'm learning about in the 29er forum, just for little punctures. I'll probably want to run at least a 2.0 tire.
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  38. #38
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    I understand the appeal, I guess but why bother when you are already experienced with and seemingly satisfied with clinchers?
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  39. #39
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    I was wondering too if you could run 100+psi with stans in a 26x23c tire with a wire bead

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    Updated opinion of tubeless commuting

    I guess that my original response to this thread must have jinxed me - I have since had some experiences that have me rethinking tubeless commuting. Last Monday about 20 minutes into the ride to work I heard the phht, phhht phhht sound of air rushing out of my rear tire. I pulled off the road and well away from traffic and then located the leak - a small puncture in the center of the tread. My first thought was - Stan's should seal this. I pump up the tire and then place the puncture where gravity will bring it the Stan's - shake. By the time it sealed up I had lost enough pressure that I had to add more air. I get it back up to about 60 when phhhhhhhhhht, air rushing out of the leak again. I go through this dance two more times before determining that I must not have enough Stan's in the tire (been awhile since I had added any) and being in somewhat of a rush to get to work, I decide to yank of the tire and throw in a tube. Of course, it was once I had the tire off that I realized that I didn't have a tube with me - but that is another story.

    Back at home that evening, I pulled the tube out, added two full scoops of Stan's to the tire (32MM Panaracer Urban Max), and pumped the tire back up. I took it up to 80 psi and after a few minutes saw a small stream of the latex leaking out through the original puncture but I left it overnight and it sealed up.

    On Friday I was about 5 miles into my commute home from work when I once again heard the now infamous phhht, phhht, phhht sound. Stopping I found a new (and definitely different) puncture in my tire hemorrhaging Stan's. Knowing that there was plenty of latex in the tire and not wanting to drop in a tube I spent a good 15 minutes dicking around before I finally got it to seal up and hold at least 60 psi.

    That worked fine for the next 15 miles and probably would have gotten me home but somehow I managed to put yet another puncture through the tire. My patience wearing thin at this point, I only spent about 10 minutes trying to get the stan's to seal the hole before finally punting and putting in a tube.

    Now I do not know if I just had a really bad string of luck last week or if maybe the latex had finally broken down the tires - the tire in question only has about 1200 miles on it and still has tread and shows no obvious signs of wear. I do know that my once rock solid faith in the Stan's system has been shaken (I was even treated to the phhht, phhht, phhht sound coming out of my 2.35" Panaracer Rampage while riding in 6" of snow on Sunday) Both tires have been pulled and at this point I am 90% convinced that they should go back on with tubes.

  41. #41
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    Did you put your finger over the hole and hold it there so the sealant could seal...

    BTW what caused the flats.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by rshughes
    60 psi.
    Is there documentation somewhere that says Stans is good for these pressures?

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    Did you put your finger over the hole and hold it there so the sealant could seal...

    BTW what caused the flats.....
    I did not put my finger over the hole - trying to juggle pump, tire, and everything else in the dark was enough. I am not sure what it was that punctured that tires as it was dark. While I have very good lights, I don't keep them aimed low enough to see the ground immediately in front of me. That also might need to change.

    Quote Originally Posted by [email protected]
    Is there documentation somewhere that says Stans is good for these pressures?
    I have absolutely no idea. I decided to try it as an experiment late last winter and for the better part of a year had pretty good success.

    Is there any documentation that says that Stan's is not good for these pressures?

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rshughes
    I did not put my finger over the hole - trying to juggle pump, tire, and everything else in the dark was enough. Don't bother with all that just get off spot the leak and put your finger on it. Then rotate to the bottom. I am not sure what it was that punctured that tires as it was dark. While I have very good lights, I don't keep them aimed low enough to see the ground immediately in front of me. That also might need to change.Get a little helmet light, great for stuff like that, and also squirting it into inattentive drivers eyes



    I have absolutely no idea. I decided to try it as an experiment late last winter and for the better part of a year had pretty good success.

    Is there any documentation that says that Stan's is not good for these pressures?

    Stans sealant is fine at those pressures and higher but you may have to stick your finger over the hole.

    Stans Notube rims have pressure limits based on tire size.

  45. #45
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    I've been riding Tufo tublular clinchers for commuting AND touring. It really does gets less flats, and you can ride on a flatted tubular tire if needed. Best of all, I get the performance of a true tubular tire.

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