My 1st Fatbike... can/should I go tubless? (Framed Alaskan)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    My 1st Fatbike... can/should I go tubless? (Framed Alaskan)

    I've been looking for a new mountainbike but haven't been able to find/buy one I like yet. In the meantime, I found a fatbike on Craigslist and decided to buy it. My thought was that I'll ride this for now and eventually electrify it for commuting once I find a suitable replacement for my 1998 Klein Mantra

    I've been hitting the singletrack the last few weeks and am enjoying riding it much more than I thought I would. It's nice to have a front suspension that works (but man is it flexy) and the heavy weight makes riding with some of my slower riding partners more pleasurable + gives me a better workout. I might actually just keep it non-electrified.

    In the meantime, I've suffered one flat (old nail) and would like to see if there are some cheaper weight reduction options. Right now it weighs 34.8 pounds and the previous owner already put on a carbon seat post and handlebars. The other upgrade the original owner made was to add hydraulic brakes, which so far are working OK. I'm not sure if it's possible to go tubeless on these stock rims and if it would result in any weight loss. Any thoughts/suggestions? Another option that I saw elsewhere would be to drop in some lighter weight tubes with perhaps a little sealant.

    Any other "must do" mods/suggestions to this? I do not want to dump a lot of money into it so just looking for low-cost suggestions.

    Here's a link to the stock version of the bike:
    On Sale Framed Alaskan Alloy w/ RST Fork Fat Bike up to 45% off framed-alloy-rst-build
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My 1st Fatbike... can/should I go tubless?  (Framed Alaskan)-20170703.jpg  


  2. #2
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    Tubeless is cheap if you do it yourself.

    Do some reading on MTBR such as Tubeless Tuesday, pick a method, buy the stuff, it shouldn't cost more than $30.

    You "might" need a compressor to set the bead, so if you don't have one, then get everything ready, head to a tire shop, and use their air hose to set the bead.

    My fav tap is Christys Pipe Wrap, 10mil version, 50mm wide, Stan's valves, and tubeless whatever fluid you want. I'm not picky, Stans works for me. Don't use the automotive green stuff!

    Always carry a spare tube, cuz even tubeless can fail.

    In terms of reducing weight, fat bike are heavy by nature. The biggest single weight loss would be a tire change, but this would cost $100-150 unless you buy some used tires. Best all around tires that are lightweight and durable would be Jumbo Jims.

  3. #3
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    YES!!!

    I was a tubeless skeptic. I'd been riding bikes with tubes in them my entire life. Bicycle tires are SUPPOSED to have tubes in thenm! Right? My first fatty was an SE [email protected] aluminum bike that weighs about what yours does. Had two good years on it with tubes. A little over a year ago, I bought a carbon Trek Farley 9.6 that is almost 10# lighter. I thought "why do I need to go tubeless now that I've got such a light bike???" Last winter I got a flat and couldn't get the tire bead unseated. So I took it into a good bike mechanic (who also had a tough time getting the tire off). I figured that since I was going to have a tech work on it, I might as well try tubeless. I'll never go back! Best upgrade I ever did. I could feel the increased response and feel (and lighter rotational mass) immediately. I've been riding a lot since and have had zero flats. It's a MUST-DO for any quality mtn bike IMO. My long time riding/racing coworker has told me to go tubeless for years, but it wasn't until I experienced it myself that I really understood. He doesn't even ride fat bikes and it makes a big difference for him. It makes even more difference on a bike where the tubes are so much bigger/heavier as far as I'm concerned.

  4. #4
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    Reading the specs from the Link you provided

    wheel options: purple alloy wheelset: -not tubeless compatible

    so they're not officially tubeless compatible
    implies they don't have a bead-lock to help hold a seal

    doesn't mean it's impossible, just means you have to do it 'ghetto tubeless' style with DIY modifications and unofficial techniques. -which may partially negate the weight savings....

    there's threads on how to do this, but the general idea is to build up the inside of the rim with foam so the tire bead has something to push against for a seal

  5. #5
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    on a fatbike it should be mandatory due to the massive weight loss.

    Save yourself some headaches and buy a bike with rims that go tubeless easily.
    Mike
    Toronto, Canada
    2017 Trek Farley 9.6
    2017 Diamondback Haanjo Trail Carbon
    2016 Scott Solace 10 Disc

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    Reading the specs from the Link you provided

    wheel options: purple alloy wheelset: -not tubeless compatible

    so they're not officially tubeless compatible
    implies they don't have a bead-lock to help hold a seal

    doesn't mean it's impossible, just means you have to do it 'ghetto tubeless' style with DIY modifications and unofficial techniques. -which may partially negate the weight savings....

    there's threads on how to do this, but the general idea is to build up the inside of the rim with foam so the tire bead has something to push against for a seal
    Yes, this is why I'm hesitating. When I got a flat a few weeks ago the tire pretty much fell off the rim on its own. So a) not sure how robust a DIY solution will be and b) will it actually be any lighter than just going with some light-weight tubes.

    I run tubeless on my cyclocross bike and love it but it was set up that way from get-go.

    I saw a link to some company that offered a DIY kit for such a situation for something around $30. I do not recall the name off-hand but will try to find it again and maybe shoot them an email.

  7. #7
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    tubeless is mandatory on fatbikes, it really changes the game vs a fatbike tube. gawd a big
    difference in feel


    you want to pay a tiny bit and make it super, super easy and reliable
    use fattystrippers. absolutely goof-proof tubeless conversion

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by 127.0.0.1 View Post
    tubeless is mandatory on fatbikes, it really changes the game vs a fatbike tube. gawd a big
    difference in feel


    you want to pay a tiny bit and make it super, super easy and reliable
    use fattystrippers. absolutely goof-proof tubeless conversion

    Thanks, that was the compnay I was thinking of. will shoot them email regarding what I need to get setup. Thanks!

  9. #9
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    It don't matter if the rims are tubeless ready, any rim can be made tubeless. Tire fit is important, wire bead tires are hard to get tubeless, so you may need tires.

    The Christys tape is very good at build up and it'llmake a nice shelf to hold the tire.

    A guaranteed tubeless is splittube, but you may still need to get the tire to seat.

    Tubes are not terrible, I got one in my Surly Conundrum fat muni, the tire was wire bead and would not go up tubeless, works fine.

    Tubes with tubeless fluid inside are not that great, but if you go that way you will need a tube with a removeable valve. I think Q Tubes have that option.

  10. #10
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    I would rather cut my arm off than try to make some Framed rims tubeless compatible. Worst rims ever.

  11. #11
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    I popped in some "Superlight" Q-tubes today. Shaved about 0.6 lbs when including some slightly lighter weight grips that I put on. Will probably just run them this way until I get a flat again then might give the fatstrippers a try. Hoping to get confirmation from someone that's been successful with that kit and these rims first.... don't want to have to cut my arm off. :/

    Thanks all for the feedback.

  12. #12
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    Tubeless on those rims is doable but can be a pain in the ass. I used the fattystripper kit with adhesive spray (Elmers) and had success but started using a more durable (green) Thera band after i tore the rear. I also used the adhesive spray on the side walls and valve stem for added insurance. I think that kit is a great intro to tubeless plus the knowledgeable people on this forum for guidance. It's a night and day difference ride over tubes in my opinion. I just bought a set of Pub Carbon wheels which are a huge improvement compared to the aluminum hoops that came with my bike. Congrats on your new bike.
    Last edited by chode; 07-30-2017 at 05:25 PM. Reason: More info

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chode View Post
    Tubeless on those rims is doable but can be a pain in the ass. I used the fattystripper kit with adhesive spray (Elmers) and had success but started using a more durable (green) Thera band after i tore the rear. I also used the adhesive spray on the side walls and valve stem for added insurance. I think that kit is a great intro to tubeless plus the knowledgeable people on this forum for guidance. It's a night and day difference ride over tubes in my opinion. I just bought a set of Pub Carbon wheels which are a huge improvement compared to the aluminum hoops that came with my bike. Congrats on your new bike.
    Thanks for the info Chode.

    I'm willing to put a bit of effort into trying tubeless... will wait until I get a flat or until winter to try it.

    Do you recommend going with the Theraband from the get-go or do you think trying the fattystripper first would be worthwhile since it comes as a kit? Also, did you find you needed to the foam backer rods? Finally, do you have a linky to the Theraband you used?

    I bet the carbon wheels are a huge improvement but I don't want to throw big-$ into this bike. If there was a way to just swap out just the rims for <$100 then I'd probably be game but with the options I've seen from my research to-date that's a no-go.

    I didn't feel much of a difference with the Q-lite tubes vs the stock tubes but I've only been on one ride since the swap and it was when my legs were shot after a day of kiteboarding. My kneecaps felt like they were lose and ready to fall out so it probably wasn't the best day to gauge for small improvements.

  14. #14
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    Fattystripper kit is a good product and I bought the bling tape and foam rods for added protection. My wife is a therapist and it's free & fast to get Theraband (Green) and at a greater thickness than Fattystripper. It was a no brainer for me. I used a cut out square (inner tube)and beefed up the tubeless valve and coated with contact cement around the base to avoid seepage. The Fattystripper video on his site gives you a good perspective. Again, this is a trial and error but fun in a sadistic way as you will be determined to get it right.

  15. #15
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    Carbon tri spoke ftw..

    My 1st Fatbike... can/should I go tubless?  (Framed Alaskan)-img_1145.jpg

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by av8or View Post
    Carbon tri spoke ftw..

    Click image for larger version. 

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    For some reason those look like they're 2 inches in diameter. ha ha. Remind me of the old carbon spin wheels.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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