Tubless worth it???- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tubless worth it???

    First of all let me state that I never have pinch flats. I have the same tubes for years. I don't feel like I need more cornering or running lower air volume so my question strictly has to do with weight savings. It seems like tubeless wheels are heavier and tubeless tires are heavier and adding Stans adds a little more weight. After all that, is there really any benefit of weight savings when switching?

  2. #2
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    If you have a UST tire and UST rim you don't necessarily have to run sealant.


    Overall it's probably kind of a wash in terms of weight, but you DO gain more traction and the ability to run lower pressures without pinch flatting, and if you run the sealant flats are virtually a thing of the past.
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  3. #3
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    The ability to run lower pressures and not pinch isn't the main advantage IMO. I run HIGHER pressures than a tubed set-up on my bike because I'll get the same or better traction, which much better rolling. But anyways, here's the weights of most common set-ups, you decide for yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by cave dewller (poster on RM)
    Ex823 plus inserts is 730grams
    Ex721 is 590 grams
    Ex729 is 675 grams

    Maxxis DH tube = 430grams
    Maxxis FR tube = 295 grams
    Maxxis Welter Weight tube = 195grams
    Rim strip = 100grams (approx, depends on what type of strip you use)
    Velox Rim tape = 15 grams

    1 scoop of stans = 60grams

    Maxxis DHF dual ply 2.5 = 1330g
    Maxxis DHF dual ply 2.5 UST = 1270g
    ((^^ weights from maxxis, I assume they are right, UST tire has a kevlar bead and does feel a bit lighter to me)

    So, ignoring nipples, spokes, hubs because they will be the same for what ever wheel build you do, in order from most heavy to lightest.

    EX729 + DH tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2450grams
    EX721 + DH tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2365grams
    EX729 + FR tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2315grams
    EX721 + FR tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2230grams
    EX729 + WW tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2215grams
    EX721 + WW tube + velox+ Non ust tire = 2130grams
    EX729 + rim strip + velox + stans + UST tire= 2120grams
    EX823 + stans + UST tire = 2060grams
    EX721 + rim strip + velox + stans + UST tire = 2035grams
    And one he left out, which is my set-up.
    EX823 + stans + Non ust tire = 2120gram (according to his weights)
    So same as the ghetto tubeless 729, without the hassle but all the stiffness.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  4. #4
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    I've never used UST tires or rims but have been running tubeless since '05 or '06 under all kinds of conditions - BUT I also have pinch-flatted AND I also previously lived where thorns were an issue. Last year I ran tubeless for DH and only had to do anything to my rear wheel when I had to switch frames and the old tire didn't fit the new frame.

    With solid AM or FR/DH tires I don't feel that UST is necessary, but manu's probably disagree. Dropping x-hundred grams of a 2.5ml innertube for a couple grams of sealant "insurance" is a fair trade to me and the wheel rolls a LOT easier, even at the same PSI.

    For the record, I had a crazy puncture on my front tire at Blue Mtn (no Chunkleberry, for those who know the trails there) - just hit something pointy exactly WRONG and pushed straight through the tire to the rim - a hole big enough that a 5mm allen slid into easily. The sealant held enough that I was able to ride safely to the bottom (not walk). I added a bit more sealant through the stem and reinflated and rode that tire (Neve 2.7DH) until the end of Oct.


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DHgnaR
    The ability to run lower pressures and not pinch isn't the main advantage IMO. I run HIGHER pressures than a tubed set-up on my bike because I'll get the same or better traction, which much better rolling. But anyways, here's the weights of most common set-ups, you decide for yourself.

    And one he left out, which is my set-up.
    EX823 + stans + Non ust tire = 2120gram (according to his weights)
    So same as the ghetto tubeless 729, without the hassle but all the stiffness.

    Thanks, this is perfect.
    What do you mean when you mention "Stiffness" in the Ghetto 729's?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear
    I've never used UST tires or rims but have been running tubeless since '05 or '06 under all kinds of conditions - BUT I also have pinch-flatted AND I also previously lived where thorns were an issue. Last year I ran tubeless for DH and only had to do anything to my rear wheel when I had to switch frames and the old tire didn't fit the new frame.

    With solid AM or FR/DH tires I don't feel that UST is necessary, but manu's probably disagree. Dropping x-hundred grams of a 2.5ml innertube for a couple grams of sealant "insurance" is a fair trade to me and the wheel rolls a LOT easier, even at the same PSI.

    For the record, I had a crazy puncture on my front tire at Blue Mtn (no Chunkleberry, for those who know the trails there) - just hit something pointy exactly WRONG and pushed straight through the tire to the rim - a hole big enough that a 5mm allen slid into easily. The sealant held enough that I was able to ride safely to the bottom (not walk). I added a bit more sealant through the stem and reinflated and rode that tire (Neve 2.7DH) until the end of Oct.

    That is impressive. I guess my question to all persons switching to Tubeless is what is the immediate difference in riding feel you get. Are there pros and cons? Right now Im running 729's with Minnions DHF + DH Tubes front and back. I weigh over 200lbs with gear and right now I fell like my wheels are bombproof. I ride rocky north east (Diablo specifically) and float over the sharp rocks without care. I have had 1 pinch flat in 8 years of riding. I do run high pressure (30-35#f, 40-45r) but again, I never feel like I need more cornering ability or lower pressure. On the down side I'm suffering on jumps a lot with a combination of lots of weight (42lbs frame) and new VPP frame.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by milhouse
    I guess my question to all persons switching to Tubeless is what is the immediate difference in riding feel you get. Are there pros and cons? Right now Im running 729's with Minnions DHF + DH Tubes front and back. I weigh over 200lbs with gear and right now I fell like my wheels are bombproof. I ride rocky north east (Diablo specifically) and float over the sharp rocks without care. I have had 1 pinch flat in 8 years of riding. I do run high pressure (30-35#f, 40-45r) but again, I never feel like I need more cornering ability or lower pressure. On the down side I'm suffering on jumps a lot with a combination of lots of weight (42lbs frame) and new VPP frame.
    my next 2c ...

    pros:
    - better acceleration (less rotating mass to accelerate)
    - higher agility / flickability (lesser gyroscope factor)
    - more active suspension (less un-sprung weight)

    cons:
    - messier / more PITA to switch tires (if you switch for conditions)
    - when NOT using UST or dedicated tubeless rims, often a PITA to get set 1st time
    - a blown sidewall is a blown sidewall, and not as easy to patch tubeless (goop in the way)
    - potentially higher cost of system (dedicated tubeless rims are more $$), maybe

    For the record, I rolled Sun Singletrack rims with Stan's FR rubber rim strips last year. The rims were cheap-o and the strips were $25 each.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear
    For the record, I had a crazy puncture on my front tire at Blue Mtn (no Chunkleberry, for those who know the trails there) - just hit something pointy exactly WRONG and pushed straight through the tire to the rim - a hole big enough that a 5mm allen slid into easily. The sealant held enough that I was able to ride safely to the bottom (not walk). I added a bit more sealant through the stem and reinflated and rode that tire (Neve 2.7DH) until the end of Oct.
    Impressive, what sealant are you using?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear

    For the record, I rolled Sun Singletrack rims with Stan's FR rubber rim strips last year. The rims were cheap-o and the strips were $25 each.
    I ran Singletracks ghetto tubeless last year with excellent results on my FR bike. Total cost... $10 for BMX tubes + $15 for Stan's. Actually burped less than my 823's with dedicated UST tires. Highly recommended.

    Have FUN!

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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HungarianBarbarian
    Impressive, what sealant are you using?
    Stan's

  11. #11
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    If you do convert, make sure to still carry a spare tube for when it goes prfrfrfrfrfrfrf-splouf-splouf-splouf on the trail next time - I'm not your packmule.

  12. #12
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    Thanks for all your feedback. I'm thinking I'll go the ghetto road with my current 729's and give it a shot. Am I any better/worse off if I use UST tires or do you have to with stans?

  13. #13
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    For any ghetto setup Stans or comparable sealant is necessary. When going full UST (tires and rims) Stans isn't needed (but I'd recommend it).
    As far as UST vs standard while tubeless you can really go either way. I like standard because they have better sidewalls (IMO) and easier for me to find.
    I first went tubeless on 321's (now 729's), initial setup is a pain in the a$$, but once you get the hang of it, it get's easier. An air compressor and lots of soapy water are your friend.
    Good luck.
    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

  14. #14
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    Just to throw it out there, everyone seems to reccomend sealant no matter what setup you have .... I've been running mavic ex823's for three years now with either 2.5 minions or 2.35 highrollers ( both ust ) without sealant and have never had a flat tire. I know some luck is involved but I never saw the real benefit of sealant if u use ust tires with ust rims. This does include many trips to diablo and other resorts. Of course now that I wrote this I'm gonna get a flat as soon as I hit the trail the next time.

  15. #15
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    look up ghetto tubeless, a lot of people (like me) consider it better than UST and is lighter.

    Re tubeless.

    You can run lower tyre pressures and have less drag (thinner side walls as no tube).
    The only negative is the tyres get slightly more bouncy. To be fair I am the only person who has noticed this, everyone else thinks I am crazy.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  16. #16
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    All good points guys, thanks for the input.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by milhouse
    I never have pinch flats. I don't need more cornering traction or to run lower air pressure.
    You're doing it wrong. Everyone wants better cornering and more traction. Saying you don't get pinch flats is like saying you never bottom your suspension. Either you're not riding hard enough or you're running too much pressure and giving up performance.
    Keep the Country country.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lelandjt
    You're doing it wrong. Everyone wants better cornering and more traction. Saying you don't get pinch flats is like saying you never bottom your suspension. Either you're not riding hard enough or you're running too much pressure and giving up performance.
    I ride a higher pressure but I can predictably drift turns easily so the trade off actually helps me. I think I bottom one in a while:


  19. #19
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    I am 210 milhouse

    been running tubeless since 2004......

    here are the tricks

    you need a compresser to get tire on and inflated
    if you do get a flat that the stans doesn't inflate...then use a little super glue to bond the hole together....I also recommend a CO2 inflater for quick fixes...

    I put in a pencil size hole at Whistler and just did a blast of air and rode 6 months later till tire wore out....hole got filled

    problem areas are sidewalls.....but I just cut up some old tubes and superglue them to tire

    good luck...but I highly recommend using tubeless. I like the fact of higher tire pressures but same grip and not flating as much...plus weight savings
    the trick is ENJOYING YOUR LIFE EACH DAY, don't waste them away wishing for better days

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SHIVER ME TIMBERS

    you need a compresser to get tire on and inflated
    if you do get a flat that the stans doesn't inflate...then use a little super glue to bond the hole together....I also recommend a CO2 inflater for quick fixes...
    You need to get in shape. You just need a standing pump. No compressor needed.
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  21. #21
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    I noticed a HUGE weigh saving.

    I saved over 500g in each wheel when going tubeless.

    However I should add, i was using 29" downhill innertubes loaded with sealent.
    Why would I care about 150g of bike weight, I just ate 400g of cookies while reading this?

  22. #22
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    FYI, read in a nice thread in the AZ forum that a good way to help sealant work for larger punctures and cuts is to use small squares of cut-up cotton t-shirt. Like 1cm square, maybe 2cm square for larger stuff. Push it in with a small tool (2mm allen?) just like plugging a hole in a car tire. Trim excess. Seems as though it works quite well.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by norbar
    You need to get in shape. You just need a standing pump. No compressor needed.
    UST tires and UST rims are easy to seat with a floor pump.



    My experience with standard tires on tubeless rims has required a compressor. It's tough to get the volume and pressure you need to seat the tire in that situation, although I'm sure somebody can do it.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by bear
    FYI, read in a nice thread in the AZ forum that a good way to help sealant work for larger punctures and cuts is to use small squares of cut-up cotton t-shirt. Like 1cm square, maybe 2cm square for larger stuff. Push it in with a small tool (2mm allen?) just like plugging a hole in a car tire. Trim excess. Seems as though it works quite well.
    Why not just use a regular rubber plug and rubber cement like you'd use on a car tire? If it can survive on a car tire for the life of a tire, it can survive on your bike.
    Ocala Mountain Bike Association - www.omba.org

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim311
    Why not just use a regular rubber plug and rubber cement like you'd use on a car tire? If it can survive on a car tire for the life of a tire, it can survive on your bike.
    I dunno, tire not thick enough to make that kind of plug worthwhile?

    or maybe because I have dead t-shirts around and not the other.

    ;^)

  26. #26
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    I ran tubeless for the first time last weekend (stans flow rims, nevegal 2.35 dtc front, excavator 2.1 dtc rear),probably running about 30psi.

    I normally run quite high pressures compared to oither people, but I thought I'd try something noticeably lower this time. I felt like my tires were glued to the ground, I could actually feel the tire gripping the terrain when leaning the bike over. I'm not too fussed with weight saving, but knowing I can run lower pressure without risking pinch flats is nice, I'm just a bit concerned about dinking rims at the moment, so some trial and error with pressures is required.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve.E
    I ran tubeless for the first time last weekend (stans flow rims, nevegal 2.35 dtc front), probably running about 30psi.

    I'm just a bit concerned about dinking rims at the moment, so some trial and error with pressures is required.
    With the same tire and rim I ran 33psi front, 34 rear. Probably a couple psi on the safe side as I had no dings for 3 years. Get a digital gauge and be precise if you want to get the best traction without damaging rims.
    Keep the Country country.

  28. #28
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    I think it should be mentioned that there is a possibility of blowing your tire off the rim tubeless. This is my biggest worry. I blew a tire off two years ago in a corner and it was one of my worst wrecks yet.

    Also If you are racing a lot and want to switch tires depending on conditions then it can be more of a mess and pain in the butt.

    I do enjoy the benefits though and would recommend them in a DH application with dual ply tires

  29. #29
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    Steve E. - start at "safe" psi and drop no more than 3-5 PSI at a time until you start bumping. Then add some back.

    Watch out particularly for super-severe sharp-edges (like acute angle rocks pointing at you).

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