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  1. #1
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    Tubeless advantages for light rider?

    I currently run tubes and very rarely flat, in fact this past season I did not get a flat in 1000+ miles riding central oregon area, including riding the lava around clear lake and the MRT.

    I weigh 125 lbs, ride a short travel XC bike, usually run around 35 psi in both tires though maybe more like 30 psi when it's loose, a little more when it's firm. I rarely pinch flat. I ride fast and aggresive and love the technical stuff but I'm more of a finesse rider and like to float over stuff rather than slam through it. Between that and my light weight and just don't flat that often. I've never tore a sidewall.

    So what are the advantages of tubeless for someone like me? I don't mind running tubes, it seems like less of a hassle, but I haven't really played with running really low pressures - I've always thought it would be slower and I'd pinch flat. Is the "plushness" of running lower psi that worth it? I realize having lower pressure helps the tire roll over stuff and keep contact/traction with the ground but at what point is that too low? And too slow?

    Long winded question but thanks for any opinions.

    spidermonkey

  2. #2
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    Tubeless will have a little less rolling resistance if you care about that. If you're racing, the decreased RR would be a benefit. If you're just riding for exercise, the increased RR of tubes could be looked at as a benefit.

    If all you're worried about is lower pressure, you don't really need to go tubeless. I weigh about 185 and ride a hard tail and I go as low as 20 psi rear 15 front sometimes on Michigan XC singletrack, although I usually run 30-35 rear, 20-30 front. The only time I've pinchflatted was when running a Conti XC 1.5 in the rear. I also consider myself to be a smooth rider. At your weight and riding style you should be able to run some pretty low pressures, unless you're on some seriously rocky trails.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidermonkey
    I currently run tubes and very rarely flat, in fact this past season I did not get a flat in 1000+ miles riding central oregon area, including riding the lava around clear lake and the MRT

    [...omissis...].

    spidermonkey
    Which tyres and tube are you so successful running?

    I weigh 130 lbs, ride a 5" travel trail/enduro bike with Specialized tyres & tubes (Enduro Pro tyres at 55-60 psi) and, unfortunately, I pinch flat very often...

  4. #4
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    Smile tires and pressures

    Thanks for the comments grawbass, that gives me some confidence to play around a bit more with lower pressures to find that speed/traction sweet spot. I hadn't thought of trying different pressures for front/rear combos. Next season I think I'll go with leaving a narrow tire in the rear and larger in the front. Not sure yet whether to hassle with tubeless on my new wheelset that I'm having built.

    Enduro Rider, I've been running IRC Mythos 1.95 front and rear on hard pack, then this past season when the trails got loose I went to a Panaracer Trailblaster 2.1 front & rear and stayed at the lower end of the 30-35 psi range. I've just been using basic butyl tubes, whatever was cheap at the LBS when I got them. That's on an Intense Spyder (3-4" travel), mostly smooth trails around Bend but sometimes in rocky & abrasive areas too. I had similar results living/riding in the Tahoe area for 11 years which is much rockier in general. I try and take a clean line through rocky areas, and "get light" on my bike and try to float over things. When I've pinch flatted in the past it was due to hitting sharp edged rocks without absorbing any of the shock, or just nailing something with too much speed.

    thanks for the comments - spidermonkey

  5. #5
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    None. Zero. Nada. Zip.

    For you there are advantages to NOT going tubeless. Lighter weight, cheaper, more tire choices.

    I out weigh you by 50 lbs and run around the same pressures on the same terrain running hardtail or rigid. I rarely pinch flat, never torn a casing on rocks or such (glass and a blown out rim do not count) including many, many rides in the lava fields.

    Your aggressive but light riding style is great. Too many riders are bashers. You could probably run lower psi with your existing setup. Try dropping 3-4 psi at a time until you flat or the tires feel squirrelly in the corners then add a bit.
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  6. #6
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    thanks!

    thanks for the feedback shiggy! that certainly helps me with my tubeless dilemma.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spidermonkey
    Thanks for the comments grawbass, that gives me some confidence to play around a bit more with lower pressures to find that speed/traction sweet spot. I hadn't thought of trying different pressures for front/rear combos. Next season I think I'll go with leaving a narrow tire in the rear and larger in the front. Not sure yet whether to hassle with tubeless on my new wheelset that I'm having built.

    Enduro Rider, I've been running IRC Mythos 1.95 front and rear on hard pack, then this past season when the trails got loose I went to a Panaracer Trailblaster 2.1 front & rear and stayed at the lower end of the 30-35 psi range. I've just been using basic butyl tubes, whatever was cheap at the LBS when I got them. That's on an Intense Spyder (3-4" travel), mostly smooth trails around Bend but sometimes in rocky & abrasive areas too. I had similar results living/riding in the Tahoe area for 11 years which is much rockier in general. I try and take a clean line through rocky areas, and "get light" on my bike and try to float over things. When I've pinch flatted in the past it was due to hitting sharp edged rocks without absorbing any of the shock, or just nailing something with too much speed.

    thanks for the comments - spidermonkey
    You could easily use lightweight tubes, which will roll well and keep the weight down. They cost a bit more but if you're not flatting often it's not a problem right?

    As mentioned in this thread, running lower pressures in the front tire really works in slippery conditions, and it doesn't feel squirmy to me like some folks mention. At 35psi the front tire can skip around in some conditions and isn't as predictable. I'm running on my fsr trailbike a Mythos 2.1 rear (a skinny 2.1) at 32-35psi, with an NBX 2.3 front at 25-30psi, and I weigh 155. The NBX at 25psi was quite predictable on wet roots/rocks which I encountered a few times this past summer.

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