Tubeless Commuter Tire/Rim/Methods- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tubeless Commuter Tire/Rim/Methods

    I have a circulatory condition that makes my arteries in my fingers constrict when cold. I commute in the cold and wet, and loathe flats at these times because the condition makes my fingers go numb, and then later when they warm up quite painful. I'm also prone to frostbite.

    I have successfully been running tubeless on all sorts of mountain bikes for years, so feel confident that I can tackle this on my commuter. I've read a few posts about successful tubeless implementations, so I'm hoping this post will bring some more detail from those people treading down this new path.
    Work to Ride - Ride to Work
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  2. #2
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    Reynaud's? I have that, and know your pain. Knock on wood, have not had to deal with the dreaded f word in cold conditions yet this year.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    Reynaud's? I have that, and know your pain. Knock on wood, have not had to deal with the dreaded f word in cold conditions yet this year.
    Yep. Before being diagnosed as a kid I suffered uncountable skiing, hunting, snowmobiling events where I just thought I was a wimp because I couldn't take the cold like everyone else. But all in all, there are far worse afflictions.
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  4. #4
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    What causes your flats in the first place? Pinches? Punctures? How do you expect tubeless to prevent flats?

  5. #5
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    I think that the OP is just hoping to prevent having to mess around with pulling the wheel, replacing or patching the tube, getting it all back together while it is cold out. Once your hands come out of the gloves that it took you forever to find that will keep them warm, it is game over. Changing or patching a tube with gloves on is nearly impossible, I have tried it in temps in the 40's and it didn't go well.

    Those of you without Reynaud's will not know how important it is to keep your hands and feet warm at all times when you are outside. Once they get cold, it is miserable.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by tratch View Post
    What causes your flats in the first place? Pinches? Punctures? How do you expect tubeless to prevent flats?
    Just the same way that it does when mountain biking, with sealant. I love all the things I find in my mountain bike tires when I refresh the sealant that i didn't know about until then. Most of my flats are punctures, which the sealant works best on. I'm sure with the higher pressure of 700x28 or 700x35 tires it will lose more pressure than a MTB tire does, but yes, if it seals and is still ride able then I can nurse it home or to work and then deal with it there.
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  7. #7
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    I think running tubeless is going to be pretty heavily dependent on your parts choices and how you choose to set the wheels up tubeless. If you're looking to cut punctures compared to what you experience with tubes, that's going to be the deal.

    Tubeless hasn't really caught on in the road or commuter market. Road tubeless exists, but so few people use it that I NEVER see road tubeless stuff in shops. I see more tubular gear. It's even less common for commuters. Which I think will be tricky in some respects. Most folks go tubeless for two reasons: flat protection (sealant) and the ability to run lower pressures. In fact, a lot of tubeless ready rims specifically have upper pressure limits in the 30psi range. UST tubeless stuff doesn't tend to have such low upper limits, but I don't think I'd trust a regular tire at high pressures run tubeless, even on a UST tubeless rim.

    All my MTB's are set up tubeless and I love it. But my commuter still runs tubes. If I could be reasonably comfortable that my commuter tires would hold on the rim at higher pressures, I'd strongly consider converting. But I can't be sure of that. So I am going to stick with what I know works. The tube presses on the bead of the tire and pushes it into the bead seat on the rim, ensuring it stays put. You don't get that on tubeless, so for the bead to hold onto the rim, it needs something extra.

    I'd probably be running extra puncture-resistant tires if I was in your situation.

  8. #8
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    These get me excited: Marathon Almotion HS 453 | Schwalbe North America

    Thread: http://forums.mtbr.com/bikepacking-b...on-923340.html

    ^they have tubeless versions, and list PSI at 50-70 for a 700x38. I don't think they are shipping yet. And crank1979 says he runs Schwalbe Durano Plus and Marathon Plus ghetto, so I'm hoping that things are heading in the direction that this could be possible.

    I do run puncture resistant tires, but still flat a couple times a year. That's just life in the city. Looking to go to these next tire re-up. Marathon Plus HS 440 | Schwalbe North America
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  9. #9
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    I assume your commuter has 700c wheels.

    You'll either need to run fairly wide tires at low pressure (in the upper 30s, at the very least) depending, of course, on your weight, or spring for a true tubeless setup.

    There are two tubeless standards, and they are not compatible, be warned. Road tubeless tires only work on road tubeless rims, and the consequences for failure tend to be much worse than a burp. Road tubeless tires (and any tires designed for high pressure, ie 65+) have carbon fiber beads. Kevlar is not even close to strong enough, and the tires will blow off with no warning. Currently, the largest road tubeless tire is made by Schwalbe, the ONE, in a 28mm width. I don't think I would want anything smaller after having used that width. The Shimano RS61 is relatively inexpensive, and should work fine, as long as you aren't loading down the bike excessively.

    UST/TLR/etc, etc uses a different bead shape and material. These tires are meant almost exclusively to be run at lower pressures, and are the ones that you will find on most CX and mountain bikes (and is the same category that the Almotion fall into).

    The second category is probably what I would suggest, and the one that I use. I have a pair of ChrisCross rims laced on my bike (rim brake tubeless) that work with regular tubeless tires. WTB and Hutchinson are both good choices for tires, and have tubeless compatible stuff available in a fairly ride range of treads that would not be awful to ride on pavement. The tubeless Almotion from Schwalbe should also be a very good option if you can wait for it. I believe it is supposed to begin shipping in Spring.

  10. #10
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    RE ^^, yes, at this point the Almotion is my #1. I ride 700x28 right now, but am willing to go up in width and buy new rims/wheels to make this happen. I'll research a few of the tubeless cross tires to see if there might be something to try sooner than the Almotion.
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  11. #11
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    I've been tubeless on the commuter for years, but I commute on much fatter tires. I have no experience with high-pressure road bike size tires tubeless...though I've heard it works great. The skinniest skinnies I've ever set up tubeless were 48's, and they worked good. I'm partial to rigid 29ers for my dirt/trail/road commute routes, so a "skinny" tire is anything that starts with "1." instead of "2."

    I use Gorilla tape, and have used old stems cut from tubes, but the luxury of the Stan's valve stems is awesome. I make my own homebrew sealant and haven't had any issues.
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  12. #12
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    I think I'm going to try putting some Stan's into the tubes and see if that works for a while. Then maybe move to the Almotions when they become available. Good to know that a few people are having some success commuting tubeless.
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  13. #13
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    I have injected tubes with sealant with great results... I do my kids bikes. I live in Goathead country, and this is the best method I've found to keep my kids rolling. Don't forget to recharge that Stans once in a while though.

    **ProTip** you can sometimes get lucky and re-activate dead stans in a situation like that by injecting water into the tube. Pull your mini-pump apart, squirt an ounce or two of water in the air chamber with your bottle, put the pump back together, and pump that water into the tube... if the Stans is only "mostly dead" like in The Princess Bride, the water will wake it up and it'll get you home.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  14. #14
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    If you can't find a solution in tubeless and have to stick with innertubes maybe this will help, or at least make it less hard.

    Take a sodium acetate heat pad with you.
    How do sodium-acetate heat pads work? - HowStuffWorks

  15. #15
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    In a different thread here or on RBR I've read that panaracer paesla's work decent tubeless.

    Another option might be the thorn proof tubes if you don't mind a tube that weighs as much as a tire.

    I've used sealant inside of tubes for a few years and it generally works well for small punctures like thorns. Worse case, it slows the leak down so you can get somewhere warm to make the repair.

  16. #16
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    Have you tried something like True Goo? It works wonders here for puncture vine in the spring/summer/fall, but winter is usually free of them. It's a nice alternative to a full tubeless set-up.

    The only draw back to tubeless, if you flat you still need a tube.

  17. #17
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    My commute down the highway to work has led me to trying a lot of different set ups. When I first started I was commuting about 3 times a week. It is 52km each way on the shoulder of the Hume Hwy with all of the associated debris. The truck belt tyre wire is the worst.

    I started with my regular road bike running Conti GP4000S tyres. These lasted two commutes before they had to be thrown out. Obviously the completely wrong choice of tyre. I then fitted my roadie with Maxxis Re-fuse tyres. I was averageing about 1 puncture per week. I fitted Mr Tuffy tyre liners, getting to about 1 puncture a fortnight.

    I bought some Shimano Ultegra 6700 tubeless wheels and Hutchinson Fusion 3 tyres, with sealant, and was getting about a puncture every 6-7 weeks. The problem with this set up was while the sealant was good with the truck tyre wire, the tyres weren't so good with larger cuts. Fitting a tube on the side of the road in torrential rain wasn't a problem, but the tyre required patching inside at home.

    Then I bought a Merida Cyclocross 4 Disc. The disc brakes are rubbish but that's another story. I fitted Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres expecting them to be puncture proof. They aren't. Again, due to the wire. I wasn't prepared to fit a tyre liner because the 35C tyres are already super heavy. I set the rear up ghetto tubeless using the stock Alex rims. So far so good.

    A little while after that I was given a Scott Scale 30 with a Rohloff hub. I had the wheels rebuilt using the Rohloff and Mavic XM719 rims. I've got the 28C Schwalbe Durano Plus set up tubeless on these. I have punctured these as well. They are much faster than the Marathons but not as puncture resistant. Running sealant has meant I can finish the ride.

    One thing that has made a big difference has been adding tweezers to my tool kit. Pulling wire out of tyres with your teeth on the side of the road gets you some strange looks from drivers!

    The Durano Plus set up tubeless seems to be the best compromise for me at the moment. Lighter weight, nicer ride, good puncture resistance and sealant.

  18. #18
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    Thanks crank1979. I've been taking your experiences strongly into account. I'm hoping those Almotions come soon, but I flatted again today so I might get started with the Durano's and see how it goes.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    The only draw back to tubeless, if you flat you still need a tube.
    Also, a tubeless tire that you have been using for a while may have half a dozen sharp things already stuck in it from previous non-flat causing incidents that can puncture that brand new tube with half a dozen holes.

    Ask me how I found that one out.

    But yes, other than as emergency repair equipment, I am getting tubes out of my life as quickly as I can. The road bike is next.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    The only draw back to tubeless, if you flat you still need a tube.
    I've been packing a big ol' 29er tube around with me for enough years that it started to rot in my backpack (rolled up really tight and the edges started to rub off)...replaced it (first flat I ever got IN MY BACKPACK) and I'm working on rotting through another one. Never had to use it. I have had to put in a tube on the mountain bike from tearing a sidewall on a trail, but never on the commute/commuter.

    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979 View Post
    One thing that has made a big difference has been adding tweezers to my tool kit. Pulling wire out of tyres with your teeth on the side of the road gets you some strange looks from drivers!
    When I get a big thing stabbing in there (screw, nail, wire), I leave it until I get where I'm going. The sealant works well just sealing around the object (see ghetto's note above...haha), and if you can deal with the click click click click of it hitting the ground and/or the fender for a while, You can pull it out and risk the sealant maybe not being able to deal with the hole when you're already at work or at home.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    When I get a big thing stabbing in there (screw, nail, wire), I leave it until I get where I'm going. The sealant works well just sealing around the object (see ghetto's note above...haha), and if you can deal with the click click click click of it hitting the ground and/or the fender for a while, You can pull it out and risk the sealant maybe not being able to deal with the hole when you're already at work or at home.
    I should have clarified that I do leave the bits in with tubeless but have been in that situation with tubes. I haven't had to remove anything with tubeless until I got home and then I squeeze some superglue in from the outside of the tyre. If that works I'm good. If not I take the tyre off, clean the inside and glue a patch inside then superglue the outside again and all good.

    Even with tubeless I still check the tyres at the end of each ride and remove anything that has lodged itself in the tyre. As someone else pointed out it's not fun to find out there's something going through the tyre when you fit a tube.

  22. #22
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    Sorry, just came across this thread. I have been running road tubeless for two years now with pretty good success. Tires are unfortunately fairly expensive, but the Hutchinson tires in either 25 or 28 seem to be good for 3-4k miles. One time I had a slice big enough that it wouldn't hold air and needed a tube. Generally if you run over something big enough to make it through the tire you will be fine, but may lose a little pressure and get some stans on your leg.

  23. #23
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    @Crank1979 I'm considering ghetto tubeless on the roadie as none of the current tubeless tyre offerings interest me enough to take the plunge and spend the big bucks on the tyres. I already run the standard Schwalbe Durano's and like them.
    What sort of pressures are you running in the Durano Plus 28c tubeless setup?

  24. #24
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    80psi max. No reason other than that's what feels good.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979 View Post
    80psi max. No reason other than that's what feels good.
    @Crank1979 thanks for the info. I'll be running 700 x 25c so will probably need to go slightly higher pressures ~90psi. Your experience seems very positive.
    Plus I've recently seen a video on youtube from BikemanforU with a skin wall road tyre setup ghetto tubeless (20" inner tube rim strip) running 90psi.
    All the above gives me a bit more confidence that a 25c Durano Plus should run ok.

  26. #26
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    I've been running Specialized Allcondition Armadillo Elite 28c tubeless on Bontrager Duster UST 28mm rims. I typically run them at 85psi with zero issues. Inflated to 95psi and the rear blew off when I hit a brick/cobble road at 20+mph. Never had an issue at 85psi though. I've ridden it lower too around 70psi and they still felt good. The feel quicker IMO without tubes and the lower pressure is nice. I usually run 90psi with tubes.

    Bike is a steel CX that use for general road riding/mixed terrain fun riding/commuting. It regularly has some bags attached. It has fenders and a rack. I weigh 220lbs and 6'4" but I'm very smooth rider and easy on the equipment.

    I've been looking for something a little bigger, perhaps I'll try the 32c Allcondition but I've been waiting for the Schwalbe Marathon Allmotion tubeless. The Bontrager rims seem very good for converting/using non-tubeless tires but I don't want to buy a bunch of tires.

  27. #27
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    My Vittoria XNs, with Stans on my beat-up 6700 rims, are riding way, way better than any $30 tire ought to.

    They are listed as a 32, but measure just under 30. At about 155lbs, I have them about 35-40PSI.
    The above statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by crank1979 View Post
    80psi max. No reason other than that's what feels good.
    @crank1979 Forgot to ask this above. Where you using the wired or folding version of the Durano Plus.

    Cheers for all the great info.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stephen Connor View Post
    @crank1979 Forgot to ask this above. Where you using the wired or folding version of the Durano Plus.

    Cheers for all the great info.
    Wire bead. The folding bead wasn't available when I bought them.

  30. #30
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    Be careful with a ghetto setup on road. Tires are less forgiving at 80 psi than a mtb setup. I had a front blow clean off on a climb at triple bypass last year. Put a tube in and it was fine, but would have been another story screaming down mountain pass at 40 mph.

  31. #31
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    Yeah, there's plenty of bad experiences with road conversions and non-tubeless tires blowing off the rims at 60+ psi. If you're light, and running 30+mm tires, you can probably get away with a conversion, for narrow tires, you really due need the tubeless specific beads. Most people are lucky and the tire blows off immediately in the stand rather than on the road. If you do set it up, definitely inflate to higher than normal pressure and let in sit overnight, before lowering the pressure and riding.

    Road tubeless is great. I love my setup, traction, control and rolling resistance are all much better. I use tubeless Schwalbe One (23mm) tires. 75/85 psi typically.

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