What are the advantages of a tubeless tire setup?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    What are the advantages of a tubeless tire setup?

    The wheels and tires of my new Stumpjumper are tubeless ready and a
    valve kit was included with the bike. In the three months that I have had the bike I
    have had four flats, two of which I had to pull thorns out of the tires.

    what are the pros and cons of a tubeless set-up?

  2. #2
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    I presume you are running tubes in them, altho you do not say. If you were running tubeless with sealant your problems would be solved. Best thing that ever happened to MTBing.
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  3. #3
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    Well, yes, if you were to go tubeless, chances are that if your sealant were fresh, it would have sealed up the thorn punctures. It also gets rid of pinch flats, which are a problem when running lower pressures. Since you are able to run the lower pressure, you getter better traction and a softer ride. It may take some experimentation based on your weight, but when you find the right PSI, it is fantastic. Besides all of that, it's lighter weight. I always carry a tube just in case, and used it for the first time a couple of weeks ago because of a sidewall gash.

    Cons? Well, I guess setting up the first time can be difficult, but after you've done it a few times it's easy. If you do have to put in a tube on the trail, it could be a little messy.

  4. #4
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    Try reading into it more. There are pages and pages of info on tubeless for MTB use. General consensus is just do it. You wont regret it.
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    I went tubeless 4yrs ago and have yet to experience a flat.with tubes i was going flat once a week.

    You will need to cheak tire pressure before each ride....not a bad thing.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Try reading into it more. There are pages and pages of info on tubeless for MTB use. General consensus is just do it. You wont regret it.
    ^^ This!

  7. #7
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    First off - you have a great setup. The rims and the tires are ready to be set up tubeless making the whole process much easier to do. I would go ahead and do it.

    The pros are no flats, ability to run lower air pressure and avoid pinch flats, and the ability to tell people you run tubeless which increases you cool factor

    Honestly, its really a great way to go - I haven't had a flat tire in over a year since doing it. I would say the cons are it is typically more messy with the sealant.

    For your bike, just remove the tube. If you have red standard rim tape, you need to remove it and replace with the yellow Stan's tape in the appropriate width (clean the rim with alcohol first..the yellow tape won't stick to it if its not clean..this will lead to air loss). Install the valve stem. Set the tire except for once section of the bead. Dump 2 scoops of Stan's sealant in there and set the rest of the bead. You should be able to inflate with a floor pump - if this doesn't work, use CO2 or an air compressor (I just use CO2..so darn easy..just costs a few bucks). Do the Stan's shimmy (youtube or Notubes site). Ride happy.

    There is a @#[email protected]#$ load of info on this here..just search it.
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    Sounds like the only disadvantage is that repairing a flat will be messy.

    Checking tire pressure before each ride - already do that. I run 38psi in both tires and I weigh 185lbs.
    What do you all weigh and what level of psi are you running?

  9. #9
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    Not sure which Specialized rims you have, but I had bad luck running their DT 450 and 550 rims tubeless. They're difficult to set up, burp easily, and wont support the lower pressures where the magic happens. Just got rid of the last 450 rim last week and happy to have it gone. Give me a Stans or WTB i series rim any day.

  10. #10
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    I've only had 1 flat tire since being tubeless over 2 yrs. and that was caused by my laziness of not airing up my tire before a ride and the tire burped. Keep your psi up and it's never an issue.

    I'm at about 180 geared up and run 28 psi. (29er)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepitup_onenotch View Post
    Sounds like the only disadvantage is that repairing a flat will be messy.

    Checking tire pressure before each ride - already do that. I run 38psi in both tires and I weigh 185lbs.
    What do you all weigh and what level of psi are you running?
    It can be - but typically this is only when you cut the tire and would need to boot it and add a tube. I still carry a tube for this reason and have done it on the trail...you get Stan's on you..no doubt.

    At 185, you should be able to run in the mid to upper 20s with no issues.

    I am 165 and run 22 psi f/r.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    Not sure which Specialized rims you have, but I had bad luck running their DT 450 and 550 rims tubeless. They're difficult to set up, burp easily, and wont support the lower pressures where the magic happens. Just got rid of the last 450 rim last week and happy to have it gone. Give me a Stans or WTB i series rim any day.
    He says they are "new" and came with valve stems...should be the Rovals and they set up perfectly.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metamorphic View Post
    Not sure which Specialized rims you have, but I had bad luck running their DT 450 and 550 rims tubeless. They're difficult to set up, burp easily, and wont support the lower pressures where the magic happens. Just got rid of the last 450 rim last week and happy to have it gone. Give me a Stans or WTB i series rim any day.
    Roval 29, alloy disc, 26mm wide, 32h
    Specialized Purgatory Control, 2Bliss Ready, 60TPI, aramid bead, dual-compound, 29x2.3
    Specialized Ground Control, 2Bliss Ready, 60TPI, aramid bead, 29x2.3"

    Best tires I have ever ridden on. I always thought my nobby nic's were outstanding (and they are good tires) but these specialized tires are a whole new level of grip.

    Curious that the LBS where I bought the bike recommended not to go tubeless. To be honest I have had so much fun getting to know my new bike that I never gave it much thought until now.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    He says they are "new" and came with valve stems...should be the Rovals and they set up perfectly.
    can't keep up with these postings, no sooner do I post one then I notice two more have been added!

    end of august this year I picked up my new 2013 Carbon Comp FSR 29 Stumpjumper which replaced my 1998 chromoly Norco Rampage. Three months on and I still cannot get enough riding done.
    There are six other bikes in between these two but they all belong(ed) to my wife and two kids.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by stepitup_onenotch View Post
    Roval 29, alloy disc, 26mm wide, 32h
    Specialized Purgatory Control, 2Bliss Ready, 60TPI, aramid bead, dual-compound, 29x2.3
    Specialized Ground Control, 2Bliss Ready, 60TPI, aramid bead, 29x2.3"

    Best tires I have ever ridden on. I always thought my nobby nic's were outstanding (and they are good tires) but these specialized tires are a whole new level of grip.

    Curious that the LBS where I bought the bike recommended not to go tubeless. To be honest I have had so much fun getting to know my new bike that I never gave it much thought until now.
    Do it and don't even think about it. SO EASY with those tires...same ones that came on my Stumpy EVO 29 HT. Again, you should get some Stan's yellow tape (wide) b/c it is unlikely that they are taped with the Roval tubeless blue tape. Have no idea why a shop would caution against it...these rims/tire are made to do this.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    I presume you are running tubes in them, altho you do not say. If you were running tubeless with sealant your problems would be solved. Best thing that ever happened to MTBing.
    I have to respectfully disagree. The advent of suspension is the best thing that ever happened to MTBing.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree. The advent of suspension is the best thing that ever happened to MTBing.
    And I respectfully re-disagree! I used to ride often in the UK well before even a hint of usable suspension was available, and in the fall the farmers would cut back the hawthorn hedges that lined many of the tracks alongside farmland. These tracks were often the only route available to get to more remote trails, and I suffered repeated flats every time I rode these. One ride I actually repaired 7 punctures. Not 7 holes at one time, but 7 punctures on 7 separate occasions on one ride. This was a fu*king pain the arse. Suspension would not have helped! I would have taken tubeless over suspension any day back then...
    When I moved to AZ. I would get pinch flats and thorn punctures all the time, until I started running tubeless. Now issues with tires are extremely rare, and I can finally enjoy the benefits of the rest of the technological advances available to me, suspension being one of them!
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  18. #18
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    At the risk of upsetting all the tubeless fans (dare I say zealots!) I just want to play the devils advocate here and say - it depends.

    If you run high enough pressures so that pinch flats aren't a problem (and from what you say above, you are), and if you don't ride where there's a lot of thorns to give you 'traditional' punctures, then tubeless may not be worth the hassle for you.

    If you read around this and other forums on the topic like those above suggest, you'll also find a litany of issues people have with tubeless conversions - incompatibility of rims & tyres, burping tyres, not being able to get beads to seat without use of a compressor, porous tyre walls, leaky rims, sealant degrading tyre rubber, sealant drying out, getting covered in icky white goo when you need to mend a puncture by the side of the trail, etc. etc. - you get the picture!

    Don't get me wrong, there are many benefits to tubeless (and confession: I run tubeless on 2 out of three of my bikes) but there are also disadvantages that I think you should be aware of before you make the leap, and at the end of the day, tubelss isn't right for everyone.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    At the risk of upsetting all the tubeless fans (dare I say zealots!) I just want to play the devils advocate here and say - it depends.

    If you run high enough pressures so that pinch flats aren't a problem (and from what you say above, you are), and if you don't ride where there's a lot of thorns to give you 'traditional' punctures, then tubeless may not be worth the hassle for you.

    If you read around this and other forums on the topic like those above suggest, you'll also find a litany of issues people have with tubeless conversions - incompatibility of rims & tyres, burping tyres, not being able to get beads to seat without use of a compressor, porous tyre walls, leaky rims, sealant degrading tyre rubber, sealant drying out, getting covered in icky white goo when you need to mend a puncture by the side of the trail, etc. etc. - you get the picture!

    Don't get me wrong, there are many benefits to tubeless (and confession: I run tubeless on 2 out of three of my bikes) but there are also disadvantages that I think you should be aware of before you make the leap, and at the end of the day, tubelss isn't right for everyone.
    Fan yes, Zealot no! And there is something in what you say. I would add that you do need to make sure you run a good tire/rim combination to minimise issues with tubeless, and I do. I use Mavic wheels that are tubeless specific, with tires that are tubeless ready. This is no big deal to my mind, same way as I choose to run certain components that work better than others on my bikes. The style of riding I prefer requires lower pressures, I have a lot of sharp rocks and cactus here too, so tubeless is a boon for me. For me the pluses far outweigh the minor inconveniences of tubeless, and I do mean very minor. I have a 70 dollar compressor that works great on all my tires, when out on the trail I always carry a spare tube just in case, and if I burp as I have just once in 2 years, I can reseat the bead and reinflate using a CO2 thingy and a pump. As for getting covered in icky white stuff, I will leave it for someone else to comment, it has not happened to me yet!
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  20. #20
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    Fan yes, Zealot no! And there is something in what you say. I would add that you do need to make sure you run a good tire/rim combination to minimise issues with tubeless, and I do. I use Mavic wheels that are tubeless specific, with tires that are tubeless ready. This is no big deal to my mind, same way as I choose to run certain components that work better than others on my bikes. The style of riding I prefer requires lower pressures, I have a lot of sharp rocks and cactus here too, so tubeless is a boon for me. For me the pluses far outweigh the minor inconveniences of tubeless, and I do mean very minor. I have a 70 dollar compressor that works great on all my tires, when out on the trail I always carry a spare tube just in case, and if I burp as I have just once in 2 years, I can reseat the bead and reinflate using a CO2 thingy and a pump. As for getting covered in icky white stuff, I will leave it for someone else to comment, it has not happened to me yet!
    Agree wholeheartedly that a lot of it is in the choice of rim and tyre. I run proper UST rims (Shimano) with Maxxis LUST tyres, and therefore manage to avoid most of the issues with 'ghetto' tubeless. For example, I can fit & remove my tyres by hand, never had a burp, and can even seat the bead with my mini-pump. I don't use goo either, and haven't had a leak or puncture (but then there's no thorn bushes or cakti where I ride). So, I'm actually a great fan of tubeless done right, but just wanted to give the OP a balanced view....

  21. #21
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    Converted my 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Elite to tubeless last week. I had a hard time getting the yellow tape to seal the back wheel (yes, I cleaned the rims). Kept leaking everywhere (Roval rims that are tubeless ready with Purgatory and Ground Control tubeless tires). i also had trouble seating the valves.

    FInally, I said screw it and bought a pair of Stan's rim strips. They are rubber and have the valve built in. Technically you don't need them for a tubeless-ready wheel but they work perfectly and the tires inflated with just a floor pump.

    My hardtail Stumpjumper has Mavic Crossmax wheels. There are no spoke holes so you don't need a rim strip. These worked perfectly right out of the box.

    But in regard the FSR, I could feel an immediate difference on the trail. I think I dropped a quarter of a pound from each wheel and you can feel the decrease in rolling inertia. Bike seemed snappier.

  22. #22
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    Just to throw it out there, if you are running high enough pressures that pinch flats aren't a problem....you are running too high of a pressure, and you don't know what you are missing!!

  23. #23
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    I did it mainly for lower pressure, less punctures and what also turned out to be a good weight saving too. Here's the thread, you might find some good info there:
    http://forums.mtbr.com/wheels-tires/...in-778158.html

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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    And I respectfully re-disagree! I used to ride often in the UK well before even a hint of usable suspension was available, and in the fall the farmers would cut back the hawthorn hedges that lined many of the tracks alongside farmland. These tracks were often the only route available to get to more remote trails, and I suffered repeated flats every time I rode these. One ride I actually repaired 7 punctures. Not 7 holes at one time, but 7 punctures on 7 separate occasions on one ride. This was a fu*king pain the arse. Suspension would not have helped! I would have taken tubeless over suspension any day back then...
    When I moved to AZ. I would get pinch flats and thorn punctures all the time, until I started running tubeless. Now issues with tires are extremely rare, and I can finally enjoy the benefits of the rest of the technological advances available to me, suspension being one of them!
    I suppose it's different for everyone, eh? To each his own. :cheers

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    At the risk of upsetting all the tubeless fans (dare I say zealots!) I just want to play the devils advocate here and say - it depends.

    ...and at the end of the day, tubelss isn't right for everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    And there is something in what you say...
    These are both great responses - honest and prudent.

    I, too, run tubeless on occasion (currently I only have one bike that's tubeless) but soon got tired of messing with sealant, installation, etc. So, I run tubes with sealant in them (for thorns). I've had less than 5 pinch flats in the last 7 years, and most of them have been on my road bike.

    I also run relatively low air pressures with tubes (sometimes as low as 25psi) and I weigh 220 - and I NEVER get pinch flats. My riding buddy, who we call "Captain Pinch Flat" gets them nearly every ride. I've even seen him get 2-3 in a day.

    He plows over stuff, and I don't. My riding style, derived from BMX, is very "light on the wheels" even at my weight. I ride a hardtail, and the rest of my bikes are rigid. I am not particularly slow, either.

    So, I think tubeless is a great option for those who feel they need it. I've been able to get by going tubeless or not.

    If you're flatting regularly, I would recommend it. There is a maintenance factor, but it isn't much.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Converted my 2013 Stumpjumper FSR Elite to tubeless last week. I had a hard time getting the yellow tape to seal the back wheel (yes, I cleaned the rims). Kept leaking everywhere (Roval rims that are tubeless ready with Purgatory and Ground Control tubeless tires). i also had trouble seating the valves.

    FInally, I said screw it and bought a pair of Stan's rim strips. They are rubber and have the valve built in. Technically you don't need them for a tubeless-ready wheel but they work perfectly and the tires inflated with just a floor pump.

    My hardtail Stumpjumper has Mavic Crossmax wheels. There are no spoke holes so you don't need a rim strip. These worked perfectly right out of the box.

    But in regard the FSR, I could feel an immediate difference on the trail. I think I dropped a quarter of a pound from each wheel and you can feel the decrease in rolling inertia. Bike seemed snappier.
    Bummer - one other thing you can do if the yellow tape is giving you fits is buy a roll of the skinny (1" I believe) Gorilla Tape - works GREAT and will be lighter than the strip. You really have to clean those rims...I wasted nearly a roll of yellow tape before I really cleaned them with degreaser and rubbing alcohol and finally got it work. My buddy uses the Gorilla Tape to avoid the hassle. It just stink to have to use the rubber strip when your tires/rims are set up for not having to use it.
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  27. #27
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    you get to feel super accomplished that you have no tubes in your tires.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    Just to throw it out there, if you are running high enough pressures that pinch flats aren't a problem....you are running too high of a pressure, and you don't know what you are missing!!
    That also depends on the needs of the rider and trail. Me, I love tubeless and sometimes go as low as 15 psi (1 bar) for the cush and traction on my 29er. Others might not like the increased rolling resistance of pressures that low. Not everyone rides in a way that makes wheels hit things (with the tire in between of course).

    I do think tubeless offers benefits even at a little bit higher pressures, but IMO the lack of pinch flats with tubes isn't a surefire sign that the pressure is too high.

  29. #29
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    Where I ride here it is pretty much impossible to ride without jamming into rocks and cactus, I love the super tech chunk, so fairly low pressures and flat resistance are mandatory for me. Horses for courses tho...
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    another Newb. question. new to the tubeless as well. I've read somewhere that the Stans only lasts a couple of months!!Do you need to break the tire down and clean the old stans out?? When you say add 2 scoops??
    Thanks

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by DEA316 View Post
    another Newb. question. new to the tubeless as well. I've read somewhere that the Stans only lasts a couple of months!!Do you need to break the tire down and clean the old stans out?? When you say add 2 scoops??
    Thanks
    This is true. Stan's will dry up after a few months and will lose its effectiveness in sealing punctures. I've been fine checking mine twice a year. I usually find that there is a little liquid left, and a bunch of boogers.

  32. #32
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    It depends. Two months is the shortest time in the worst conditions. I've been fine every six months.

    It's not a huge effort to deflate the tire, pop the bead on the other side and check how the sealant looks like. When a "false morel" has developed, it's time to pour out the old sealant and put some fresh stuff in. Then put the bead back on, wipe the rim with a soapy sponge, inflate until the bead pops and you're back in the game.

    Poorly chosen rims and tires will be difficult to work on and the bead might not seat easily, but with proper stuff it's no biggie.

  33. #33
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    2 months is about it for AZ I find. I actually just cleaned out and refreshed my Cannondale tires this morning. The Stans goes clearer and brownish after a time, at least what's left of it, but as Saul says, if you are set up well, it is no biggie to clear out the old and in with the new!
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  34. #34
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    I have been riding in Az since 1998. Back then the thing was thick tubes and slime inside the tubes. Work pretty good, but with the slime it was hard to deflate the tube. The slime would plug the valve.

    When I went to ligther bike I also chose to ditch the heavy tubes and slime. I have been using a tire liner and regular tube with no sealant. I still get flats every now and then, but mostly at home. I have changed only 3 tires on the trail. One due a pinch flat where I forgot to check the pressure before the ride. One due to my breaking off the presta valve. One was due to a thorn. If I get a flat at home I can change it quickly before the next ride. No mess just a simple tube swap. I keep a stash of tubes at home to always have one plus my trail kit spare before my ride. The liners do a good job of minimizing thorns in the main tread surface, but the sidewalls can still get hit from time to time.

    I would rather have 10 flats at home than 1 on the trail forcing me to walk home. One ride I ran into a rider who popped the bead on his tubeless. He tried to us my pump to reseat the bead, but failed. I run a 26er and was going the other way so I was forced to leave him to walk the 4 miles back. Just seems like alot more hassle trail side than the simple tube in tire method.

    I am 155lbs and run 35 psi on 2.25 nobby nics. Personally I like the tires, but thing their sidewalls are bit thin for running tubeless. I cut a sidewall on my last set, but with some duct tape on the the inside I got another 300 miles on the tire before I replace it due to general wear.

    Anyway some really love tubeless. I am fine with tubes.
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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I have been riding in Az since 1998. Back then the thing was thick tubes and slime inside the tubes. Work pretty good, but with the slime it was hard to deflate the tube. The slime would plug the valve.

    When I went to ligther bike I also chose to ditch the heavy tubes and slime. I have been using a tire liner and regular tube with no sealant. I still get flats every now and then, but mostly at home. I have changed only 3 tires on the trail. One due a pinch flat where I forgot to check the pressure before the ride. One due to my breaking off the presta valve. One was due to a thorn. If I get a flat at home I can change it quickly before the next ride. No mess just a simple tube swap. I keep a stash of tubes at home to always have one plus my trail kit spare before my ride. The liners do a good job of minimizing thorns in the main tread surface, but the sidewalls can still get hit from time to time.

    I would rather have 10 flats at home than 1 on the trail forcing me to walk home. One ride I ran into a rider who popped the bead on his tubeless. He tried to us my pump to reseat the bead, but failed. I run a 26er and was going the other way so I was forced to leave him to walk the 4 miles back. Just seems like alot more hassle trail side than the simple tube in tire method.

    I am 155lbs and run 35 psi on 2.25 nobby nics. Personally I like the tires, but thing their sidewalls are bit thin for running tubeless. I cut a sidewall on my last set, but with some duct tape on the the inside I got another 300 miles on the tire before I replace it due to general wear.

    Anyway some really love tubeless. I am fine with tubes.

    Like I said, horses for courses... but, how do you get flats at home?!?!? I have to say that not only do I rarely get flats on the trail, but I can safely say I have NEVER had one at home!
    My biggest problem since going tubeless has been with tire sidewalls cutting, and that depends what kind of tire I am using. I have tried many different tires, and the worst have been Bontrager XR4s and 2s, I sliced 4 in as many weeks. Some are better than others, and I am cosntantly on the search for the best compromise! Right now I am trying Bontrager FR3s, and they are working out great so far. Sturdy sidewalls, good rolling resistance, and grippy as f**k on the rocks. They hook up really well in the softer stuff too, so I am very pleased with them up til now. Tioga Psycho Genius are quite good for a cheap option, they wear well and the sides are strong, but don't hook up so well in turns, and roll badly on hard stuff. There I go, turning this into a tire thread! Sorry...
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  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    Like I said, horses for courses... but, how do you get flats at home?!?!? I have to say that not only do I rarely get flats on the trail, but I can safely say I have NEVER had one at home!
    Slow leak on the trail than only shows up as "flat" after sitting for a week between rides. I do most of my Mtb rides on the weekends so I can do quick squeeze test the day before the ride to see of I need to change tube or add some air.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    My biggest problem since going tubeless has been with tire sidewalls cutting, and that depends what kind of tire I am using.
    ... There I go, turning this into a tire thread! Sorry...
    That is one advantage of tubes. You don't need to have tire that seals perfectly. I have 24lbs hardtail and like to keep my tires in sub 600 gram range. I am not a weight weenie, but prefer lower rolling resistance and lower overall weight if given the choice. I ride mostly XC type stuff, but will ride anywhere too. So I don't want to run a heavy thick carcass tire. With tubes I can run a ligher tire and if gets chewed up keep riding. Have ridden some tires to the point were lugs are torn off and fabric cords are showing. I will keep riding it if does not slip too much on the trail and holds air.

    Anyway I am ok with tubes, but I realize that many just love the tubeless set-up.
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    no point having tubeless if your going to run higher psi than 30.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce219 View Post
    no point having tubeless if your going to run higher psi than 30.
    I have to disagree, it also depends on where you ride. You could be running 40psi and still take a thorn. Tube go pop, tubeless go pss...gurgle, gurgle, psstssss...sealed.

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    I think tubeless is great for those forced to live in climates that have thorns.

    Where I am I have tried tubeless, but went back to tubes as I swap tires around semi-frequently (yes, I am a gear whore, but not so much of a whore that I can have multiple tubeless wheelsets built up). Found swapping tubeless setups every few weeks a pain in the arse.

    With tubes, i run 28psi, weigh 185lbs, and I think i had one flat this year. But that could have been last year that I had the flat. What I am getting at is depending where you ride / what your needs are tubeless isnt the "greatest thing ever" for bikes.

    As people who ride in a cold climate if they would rather tubless, or disc brakes and see what answer you will get

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    has anyone tried this sealant? truckerco-usa | eBay

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    Just reading this thread makes me realize that I *might* have my tires overinflated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    I have to disagree, it also depends on where you ride. You could be running 40psi and still take a thorn. Tube go pop, tubeless go pss...gurgle, gurgle, psstssss...sealed.
    The idea of running tubeless is mainly for more grip,if running high psi tubeless you don't take advantage of that.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by bruce219 View Post
    no point having tubeless if your going to run higher psi than 30.
    The point of tubeless is flat prevention. Lower psi is a secondary advantage.
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    Ah, the point for you is flat prevention. The point for ME was lighter weight and better traction through lower PSI. Different strokes for different folks, but lots of advantages to tubeless for sure.

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    Not to derail this thread, but what do most people who run tubed tires inflate them to?

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    The clearest advantage for me was the much improved "feel" of the trail without tubes.

    @Gelaticruiser........ When I ran tubes I inflated to 38-40psi. Without tubes 25-27psi. I weigh 230-240 depending on the day.

  47. #47
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    My 2-Bliss groundcontrols are labeled "35-60 psi"
    I guess "true" tubless tires can go lower...
    "Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving us wordly evidence of the fact." George Elliot

  48. #48
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    Thats just the tire manufacturers covering their @rse. My 'true tubeless' tires are labelled 30-60 psi too, but I run them as low as 20.

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    Labeled ratings for my 2.35 29er Nobby Nics is 23-50 psi and the max recommendation for tubeless is 35 psi. I've gone as low as 15 psi without any trouble, just heaps of traction and plush feeling. This is not suitable for high speed cornering, though.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by 006_007 View Post
    I think tubeless is great for those forced to live in climates that have thorns.

    Where I am I have tried tubeless, but went back to tubes as I swap tires around semi-frequently (yes, I am a gear whore, but not so much of a whore that I can have multiple tubeless wheelsets built up). Found swapping tubeless setups every few weeks a pain in the arse.

    With tubes, i run 28psi, weigh 185lbs, and I think i had one flat this year. But that could have been last year that I had the flat. What I am getting at is depending where you ride / what your needs are tubeless isnt the "greatest thing ever" for bikes.

    As people who ride in a cold climate if they would rather tubless, or disc brakes and see what answer you will get
    Last time I checked, thorns grow in most climates... I can understand that tubeless could be a pain if you swapped tires all the time, like twice a day! but once in a while would not be much of a pain for me. There seems to be some mystique that tubeless is some arcane science and that it is a pain to set it up. I go to my garage and change tires in a few minutes. NO problem. With the right gear it is a cinch.
    I am not sure what you mean with your last comment about tubless (sic) and disc brakes?!? What has that got to do with the price of bread?
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    Am I the only one who uses tubes with removable valve cores? The point is that if you put a couple of ounces of sealant in the tubes you pretty much do away with flats negating one of the main advantages of tubeless tires.

    I converted strictly for a) Decreased rotational inertia and weight, and b) The coolness factor.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    Am I the only one who uses tubes with removable valve cores? The point is that if you put a couple of ounces of sealant in the tubes you pretty much do away with flats negating one of the main advantages of tubeless tires.

    I converted strictly for a) Decreased rotational inertia and weight, and b) The coolness factor.
    But wait?!? I don't understand how using tubes AND sealant decreases rotational weight? Surely if you took out the tubes and went tubeless with sealant that is less weight, and WAY cooler, if that is indeed cool... or am I a meringue? (Reference: Scotsman in cake shop)
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  53. #53
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    He said he converted [to tubeless] to reduce weight compared to the previous setup with tubes and sealant.

    Tubes with sealant gives you the puncture resistance. It doesn't give you reduced rolling resistance, weight and risk of pinch flats at low pressures.

    I never got many flats (could go through a season without any) when running tubes so it wasn't a factor for me. I just like the feel of tubeless when the pressure is low but the tire still rolls without a mushy feel.

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    I have a 35km ride this weekend. I am going to convert to a tubeless set up and run 28psi as a starting point. I normally run 38psi with tubes.

    IF we get our ride in I'll feedback my impressions (might have some snow on the way).

    Thanks everyone for a somewhat lively discussion and lots of good advice!

  55. #55
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    Make sure you are good and set up before venturing out on a long ride, sometimes it takes a couple of days for them to set up, sometimes they set up first time no problem. Don't forget that you will need to carry either a co2 blast to reseat if needed, and/or a tube in case of flat. Best of luck.

  56. #56
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    Advantages?
    There are no advantages! With tubeless tires you use same tires on different situation, it is crazy.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by toscano View Post
    Advantages?
    There are no advantages! With tubeless tires you use same tires on different situation, it is crazy.
    Huh?
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  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by toscano View Post
    Advantages?
    There are no advantages! With tubeless tires you use same tires on different situation, it is crazy.
    Ass on shoulders.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion View Post
    These are both great responses - honest and prudent.

    I, too, run tubeless on occasion (currently I only have one bike that's tubeless) but soon got tired of messing with sealant, installation, etc. So, I run tubes with sealant in them (for thorns). I've had less than 5 pinch flats in the last 7 years, and most of them have been on my road bike.

    I also run relatively low air pressures with tubes (sometimes as low as 25psi) and I weigh 220 - and I NEVER get pinch flats. My riding buddy, who we call "Captain Pinch Flat" gets them nearly every ride. I've even seen him get 2-3 in a day.

    He plows over stuff, and I don't. My riding style, derived from BMX, is very "light on the wheels" even at my weight. I ride a hardtail, and the rest of my bikes are rigid. I am not particularly slow, either.

    So, I think tubeless is a great option for those who feel they need it. I've been able to get by going tubeless or not.

    If you're flatting regularly, I would recommend it. There is a maintenance factor, but it isn't much.
    Great post - would rep you if i could

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    pros: you can run lower pressure
    cons: not as easy to service in the field

    as far as thorn flats go, is there a big performance difference between tubeless with sealant and running tubes with sealant?

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnluke View Post
    pros: you can run lower pressure
    cons: not as easy to service in the field

    as far as thorn flats go, is there a big performance difference between tubeless with sealant and running tubes with sealant?
    I don't think your pros are exhaustive enough! As for differences in thorn flat performance, I can only say that in 3 years of tubeless in the desert where EVERYTHING has a spike, I have never had a thorn flat.
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    I second rockerc's comments.

    I ride where there are blackberry thorns all over. With tubes I would get a flat every 10 or less miles on average. With tubeless, I have a problem once a year or less on average, which translates to about 100 20 mile rides or 2000 miles. That's 200:1 tube flats to tubeless flat ratio by mileage.

    the tubeless flat is often a bigger pain in the ass, but not nearly as much as the 199 tube flats I didn't get.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by PerthMTB View Post
    then tubeless may not be worth the hassle for you.
    To be fair, the biggest benefit of a strict UST tubeless setup is the lack of hassles.
    Nobody cares...........

  64. #64
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    The people that have issues with tubeless are typically the ones running ghetto, or jury-rigged set ups. Get TLR tires and rims and you will ride 100% flat/issue free.
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  65. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    The people that have issues with tubeless are typically the ones running ghetto, or jury-rigged set ups. Get TLR tires and rims and you will ride 100% flat/issue free.
    My point exactly!
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  66. #66
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    So, I posted this earlier:

    And I respectfully re-disagree! I used to ride often in the UK well before even a hint of usable suspension was available, and in the fall the farmers would cut back the hawthorn hedges that lined many of the tracks alongside farmland. These tracks were often the only route available to get to more remote trails, and I suffered repeated flats every time I rode these. One ride I actually repaired 7 punctures. Not 7 holes at one time, but 7 punctures on 7 separate occasions on one ride. This was a fu*king pain the arse. Suspension would not have helped! I would have taken tubeless over suspension any day back then...
    When I moved to AZ. I would get pinch flats and thorn punctures all the time, until I started running tubeless. Now issues with tires are extremely rare, and I can finally enjoy the benefits of the rest of the technological advances available to me, suspension being one of them!


    And I just saw someone gave me a negative rep comment saying "I hate thread creep"... What does that even mean?
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  67. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deep Thought View Post
    I have to respectfully disagree. The advent of suspension is the best thing that ever happened to MTBing.
    Agreed. I have liked running tubless, but it has been pretty subtle improvement. I put a whole lot of things before tubeless.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    The people that have issues with tubeless are typically the ones running ghetto, or jury-rigged set ups. Get TLR tires and rims and you will ride 100% flat/issue free.
    Nothing is 100%
    I got a sidewall puncture flat that would not seal last week.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by stepitup_onenotch View Post
    what are the pros and cons of a tubeless set-up?
    They are tube less.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Nothing is 100%
    I got a sidewall puncture flat that would not seal last week.
    You would have likely gotten the flat even if you had a tube.

    Much like a tube, most punctures (including sidewalls) can be repaired trailside if you have the right tools. Otherwise, just keep a spare tube.

    On average, one should have fewer issues running tubes.

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knombrar W/AK View Post
    You would have likely gotten the flat even if you had a tube.

    Much like a tube, most punctures (including sidewalls) can be repaired trailside if you have the right tools. Otherwise, just keep a spare tube.

    On average, one should have fewer issues running tubes.
    Of course I would have flatted with a tube. Do you think there was any doubt of this?

    My (very clearly stated) point was that tubeless is not 100% flat free. This was (also clearly) in response to someone saying that tubeless was, in fact, 100% flat free.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Of course I would have flatted with a tube. Do you think there was any doubt of this?

    My (very clearly stated) point was that tubeless is not 100% flat free. This was (also clearly) in response to someone saying that tubeless was, in fact, 100% flat free.
    Glad we cleared that up!

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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Nothing is 100%
    I got a sidewall puncture flat that would not seal last week.
    You are right, shouldn't have said 100%...more like 90% or so. You can certainly flat with tubeless..but my point was that the burping etc. issues you hear about are typically from setups that are less-than-ideal. I haven't gotten a flat in almost 2 years tubeless. I used to get at least 1 or 2 year running tubes.
    Last edited by TiGeo; 12-09-2012 at 02:56 PM.
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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by TiGeo View Post
    You are right, shouldn't have said 100%...more like 90% or so. You can certainly flat with tubeless..but my point was that the burping etc. issues you here about are typically from setups that are less-than-ideal. I haven't gotten a flat in almost 2 years tubeless. I used to get at least 1 or 2 year running tubes.
    Fair enough. Just did not want people to stop carrying that extra tube.

    I agree that not all tubeless setup are created equal. You need to do your research to see what will work best for you.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    Fair enough. Just did not want people to stop carrying that extra tube.

    I agree that not all tubeless setup are created equal. You need to do your research to see what will work best for you.
    I still carry a tube and a tire patch just in case.
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  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    And I just saw someone gave me a negative rep comment saying "I hate thread creep"... What does that even mean?
    If it's like requirements creep I guess they mean when the thread grows beyond the scope of the initial post.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockerc View Post
    So, I posted this earlier:

    And I respectfully re-disagree! I used to ride often in the UK well before even a hint of usable suspension was available, and in the fall the farmers would cut back the hawthorn hedges that lined many of the tracks alongside farmland. These tracks were often the only route available to get to more remote trails, and I suffered repeated flats every time I rode these. One ride I actually repaired 7 punctures. Not 7 holes at one time, but 7 punctures on 7 separate occasions on one ride. This was a fu*king pain the arse. Suspension would not have helped! I would have taken tubeless over suspension any day back then...
    When I moved to AZ. I would get pinch flats and thorn punctures all the time, until I started running tubeless. Now issues with tires are extremely rare, and I can finally enjoy the benefits of the rest of the technological advances available to me, suspension being one of them!


    And I just saw someone gave me a negative rep comment saying "I hate thread creep"... What does that even mean?
    Some people are just d-bags. I doubt they had enough rep power to actually make a difference, neg rep tools seldom do.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by wv_bob View Post
    If it's like requirements creep I guess they mean when the thread grows beyond the scope of the initial post.
    I hate people who think everything should run like the would like it too and lack the ability to filter or change the channel when their frustration level rises.

    I'm tempted to post a picture of a kitten or something just to derail the thread further.

  79. #79
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    I just converted my Moonlander to tubeless and wrote up some weights I measured while I was at it.

    Front wheel w. disc and QR skewer, 1640 g

    Tube option 1:
    Surly rim strip: 107 g
    Schwalbe SV13F: 180 g
    Total: 1940 g
    The inner tube required a fairly high pressure to fill out the BFL on the Clown Shoe. While it was fine on the street, lower pressures caused the sidewall to dent at the valve and the tire would creep in the direction of rotation. Not good.

    Tube option 2:
    Surly rim strip: 107 g
    Surly toob: 440 g
    Total: 2187 g

    Ghetto tubeless setup:
    Clear packing tape and foam strip on rim: 19 g
    Schwalbe AV10D: 223 g
    Total: 1882 g

    I couldn't trim the split tube, because it was just wide enough to work as a rim strip, so the weight was left as is. The tire mounted with a floor pump without issues. The sealant isn't solid weight so it has less of an effect on acceleration. The weight of the new setup is closer to the center of the wheel, which has a positive effect on acceleration.

    So what does it feel like? Awesome! I've used smaller cogs than before and the rolling and acceleration seem much better. I don't care if it's all placebo because I don't race; if it feels good, it's all that matters. Compared to using Toobs I saved 600 grams minus the weight of sealant. To me that's a pretty good result.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post

    Ghetto tubeless setup:
    Clear packing tape and foam strip on rim: 19 g
    Schwalbe AV10D: 223 g
    Total: 1882 g
    .
    How much sealant did that that take?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knombrar W/AK View Post
    You would have likely gotten the flat even if you had a tube.

    Much like a tube, most punctures (including sidewalls) can be repaired trailside if you have the right tools. Otherwise, just keep a spare tube.
    Plus some tire boot material for sidewall cuts

    On average, one should have fewer issues running tubes.
    Totally disagree, but this is one of those issues, like flats or clipless, which has no single correct answer and boils down to personal experience and preference
    Old enough to know better. And old enough not to care. Best age to be.

  82. #82
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    Kapusta: no sealant was necessary, the setup sealed right away. Later I added some sealant, but it isn't solid weight so the effect on acceleration is reduced. Some people use sealant with tubes as well, so the weight of the sealant can be added or left out.

    Since I weighed the tubeless setup without sealant and I've never used sealant in tubes, the weight saved is "600 grams minus sealant".

  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schott View Post
    Make sure you are good and set up before venturing out on a long ride, sometimes it takes a couple of days for them to set up, sometimes they set up first time no problem. Don't forget that you will need to carry either a co2 blast to reseat if needed, and/or a tube in case of flat. Best of luck.
    good advice!

    But I want to add that if you put a strip of foam beneath your rim strip, you probably can reinflate the setup with a hand pump. I figured this out (by reading other people's smart threads) for my fatbike and next time I redo my 29ers, I'll probably apply the same technique.

    At the cost of just a couple of grams for the foam, its very different seating a tire for its first time when with just a touch of water, the rim strip has enough pressure against the bead to allow you to casually inflate the tire. Deep channel in your rim getting you down? no worried now with this technique!

  84. #84
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saul Lumikko View Post
    Kapusta: no sealant was necessary, the setup sealed right away. Later I added some sealant, but it isn't solid weight so the effect on acceleration is reduced. Some people use sealant with tubes as well, so the weight of the sealant can be added or left out.

    Since I weighed the tubeless setup without sealant and I've never used sealant in tubes, the weight saved is "600 grams minus sealant".
    So how much did you use?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  85. #85
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    I'm not that exact with sealant. I use "so much" in any of my tires from road tubeless to 29er and now the fat bike. Maybe 2-3 small 2 oz bottles per tire went into the fat bike tires.

    To be honest I should have weighed the entire wheel + tire with the tube beforehand so I could weigh it now and tell you exactly how much weight I managed to lose going tubeless.

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