UST versus Stan's versus converted (ghetto)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    UST versus Stan's versus converted (ghetto)

    Can someone explain how these three tubeless systems differ?

    I understand Stan's uses a specific tire design mated to a specific rim. It then uses sealant to stop flats and help seal the bead.

    I understand UST uses specific tires mated to specific rims but I see some people don't even use sealant?

    Ghetto would be using non-stans tires and non-stans rims but with special rim tape to seal spoke holes and a special valve combined with that sealant.

    Is that close? How do UST and Stans differ? How can people run UST without sealant?

    Advantages and disadvantages?

  2. #2
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    Stans (BST): The bead hook and rim bed is designed to work with a conventional tubed tire. It is designed to better retain the bead without the use of a tube. Since the tires aren't designed to be air tight, you add sealant which also helps should you have a puncture.

    UST: This is a "system". The tire is designed with a modified bead which locks into corresponding geometry on the rim. This is designed to retain the tire bead without the use of a tube. In addition, the tire casing is designed to be air tight on its own. This system shouldn't require sealant, just like the tires on a car. You can still add sealant in case the bead has any small leaks or for puncture protection. A UST rim is also designed to accept a conventional tire when used with a tube.

    Tubeless ready (TLR and a bunch of other acronyms). This is a tire with a UST bead but a conventional casing. It is designed to be used on a UST rim with sealant.

    Ghetto: I never really got into this so I can't add anything.

    UST was intended to be the "tubeless standard". The problem is that the air tight tires were heavy as rocks. Stans became popular since you could use tubeless with much lighter tires. UST/tubless ready has been becoming popular since it addressed the weight issue and offered a defined bead/rim interface standard.


    Within all of that there is some room for mixing and matching. Lots of "tubeless ready" tires are reported to work with Stans rims. Some report great success with specific conventional tires on UST rims. That's up to the individual to roll the dice however. I personally stick with tires/rims that are designed for each other since I like my original teeth.

  3. #3
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    Ghetto: Using a normal rim, you use a method to seal the spoke holes. This can either be gorilla tape, trimmed down to size, or a 24" inner tube sliced open and then trimmed. Do a search for ghetto tubeless to find the gritty details on these and other methods.

    The cheapest is obviously ghetto but can be a challenge finding the right rim/tire combo. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you just can't get it to seal at all or it burps on hard hits.

    Next cheapest is Stans and other tubeless ready systems (depending on your wheel build of course)

    And finally typically the most expensive is UST. Although some very good UST wheelsets can be had for less or around the same price as Stan's wheelsets. It all depends on what build you select. I got my XTR Trail UST's for $350 on sale, while a comparable Stan's build would have been $500+.
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  4. #4
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    UST spec rims and UST compliant tires are the most reliable setup by a long shot.

    It doesnt have to be full UST, just compliant. The rim needs to be UST shaped and the tire needs to have the UST bead. UST compliant has all the advantages and none of the disadvantages. Ghetto tubeless is a complete crapshoot on working or not, depending on your tire and rim. Stans doesnt play well with a lot of UST/tubeless ready tires and can be a crapshoot on tires working or not.

  5. #5
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    I've owned and ran UST, UST compliant, Stans, and Ghetto tubeless setups.

    The foolproof setup is UST rims/wheels with UST tires. No sealant, no tape. Easy to mount and inflate. Downside is a very limited rim selection and heavy tires.

    UST compliant rims work very well with Tubeless Ready tires. Yes there is rim strips or tape and you generally use sealant. But again mounting and inflating is super easy, reliable, and safe.

    The 1st generation Stans rims (and Sun Ringle wheels) worked well for me with Tubeless Ready tires. But the 2nd generation rims (Crest, Arch EX, Flow EX) is designed for standard tires only. You'll want to check out forums to decide which tires work well and which do not on them.

    Finally Ghetto works with the right combinations and is an utter failure (and possibly dangerous) with the wrong combinations. You would want to do a lot of research before attempting this route.

  6. #6
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    Thanks all...big help.

    Last question: If UST is designed to run without sealant, what are your options if you flat? Is it solely to put a tube in the tire or is there another option?

    Are the UST tires more puncture resistant than standard tires and puncture flats are less common? Obviously pinch flats are eliminated entirely.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Thanks all...big help.

    Last question: If UST is designed to run without sealant, what are your options if you flat? Is it solely to put a tube in the tire or is there another option?

    Are the UST tires more puncture resistant than standard tires and puncture flats are less common? Obviously pinch flats are eliminated entirely.
    UST definitely can be run without sealant, which is great if you live in an area where there aren't many thorns. However, I've always run mine with at least a little bit of Stans sealant and have had perhaps 2 flats in 2 many years. And yes, you're correct about needing a tube if you get a puncture with a UST tire. I'm sure you could use a patch, but I have no idea how long that would stay on there. Patches are made to adhere to tubes, which are a much softer and smoother material than the inside of a tire.

    As for puncture resistant, the UST with it's heavier and thicker casing is definitely more puncture resistant than a comparable standard tire. And pinch flats are NOT eliminated, but are very hard to get with a tubeless setup. I've run UST for more than 2 years and I haven't had one. However, a riding buddy of mine was running really low pressure and landed hard on a rock, pinch flatted and dented his rim. It's fun to run really low pressure on a tubeless setup, especially on the downhills but you have to be careful not to take it too far. FWIW, I run 25F/28R and weigh 175 and have never had a problem.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by KevinGT View Post
    Thanks all...big help.

    Last question: If UST is designed to run without sealant, what are your options if you flat? Is it solely to put a tube in the tire or is there another option?

    Are the UST tires more puncture resistant than standard tires and puncture flats are less common? Obviously pinch flats are eliminated entirely.

    UST tires are lined to be air tight. So their casings are quite a bit thicker than tubeless ready tires and they are very resistant to minor punctures like thorns. Even if you do get a thorn they go down very slowly. If you combine a flat sealant and it isn't dried up (I recommend Slime for Tubeless Tires found in Auto Parts stores) you would have to get a very large puncture or cut to get a flat.

    As mentioned by TwoHeads pinch flats are not eliminated, but the risk is significantly reduced.

  9. #9
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    Another .02 worth:

    I would not even consider ghetto... too much chance for error.

    Personally I run Stan's in Schwalbe tubeless ready tires mostly on Stan's rims (I have a set of Bontrager Duster's that I run tubeless using their rim strips and Stan's). I live in the Mid Atlantic US where there are lots of thorns, brambles, you name it. I am just under 200 lbs. and run around 20 psi on wide rims (Flow, Crest and noname carbon). I've burped one tubeless tire on my old (narrower) Stan's 355 rims when I was running 18 psi in the front on major up and down/curvy terrain. Never had a pinch flat (with tubes either).

    I'm not a fan of UST because of similar things to what others said: weight, limited rim selection and somewhat limited functionality in an area with a reasonably high chance of punctures all over the place.

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