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  1. #1
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Anyone use Tubeless Tires ?

    Anyone have any experience using Tubeless tires on their bikes?

    If so, do you see much difference from clinchers?

  2. #2
    Senior Member c_m_shooter's Avatar
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    Only on the mountain bike and my Tricross SS. I have had less pinch flats since switching. I haven't had a flat on the road in years, so I see no reason to switch those.
    May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view.
    May your mountains rise into and above the clouds. -Edward Abbey

  3. #3
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    I run tubeless on my all mountain bike.. Nicer ride, run a lower pressure, no flats..

    I run Stan's in the tubeless and I've not had a flat on my tubeless tires.. I live in Tucson, so no flats is amazing.. The Stan's helps though, I've run over cactus in the middle of the trail and hear the Stan's seal it up. To be fair, I use Stan's in my hardtail too and haven't had a flat in ages, including running with tubes.

    On the road, I use tubes and Forte Strada K tires, I can't remember the last time I've had a flat, maybe once in 1500 miles..
    01 Specialized Rockhopper A1
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    45 pounds and counting :)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Seve's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replies folks.

    A few local people I know have told me similar things regarding the ride qualities.

    I might give them a whirl myself later on this year.

  5. #5
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    For me, there isn't enough tire variety to consider tubeless tires for a road bike.

    I know quite a few people who swear by tubeless (or "ghetto tubeless": a normal tire + Stan's sealant and rim strip) for off-road use, but I haven't found much use for them myself. I ride beginner to intermediate trails that don't have many rocks gardens or jumps. I've been running my Kenda Nevegals at 25-30psi with tubes and haven't (knock on wood!) gotten many flats. If you're riding more challenging terrain and pinch-flat frequently, then you might want to consider tubeless.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seve View Post
    Anyone have any experience using Tubeless tires on their bikes?

    If so, do you see much difference from clinchers?
    No tubeless rims here, and I don't want sealants making fixing a flat more difficult.

    Besides the typical way you deal with a flat on tubeless, is to remove the tubeless valve and put in a tube, small pieces like tubeless valves are easy to lose and expensive to replace (Nashbar wants $20 for one). If I understand correctly, a tubeless tire and rim weighs more then a conventional light weight tire, tube and rim, so the weight weenies aren't going to want them. Hybrids where most people take their bike to a shop to fix a flat, will not care. Mountain bikes, is where they are taking over the market, because if a conventional wheel pinch flats at 50PSI, the tubeless will pinch at 20-30PSI, and they are using that extra 20-30 PSI to get better off road grip.

    The biggest savings with tubeless is for the bicycle manufacturers, where tubeless means less work at assembly time, because they don't need the guy who stuffs the tubes in and they don't need to stock the tubes.

  7. #7
    Senior Member pat5319's Avatar
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    tubulars roll better, ride smoother and corner better, and flat less, the difference to some may not be very big but man!! especially if you can find or afford silk I'm going to get some "fat" ( 25-28) ones for my next set of wheels - great for chip seal and such
    Pat5319


  8. #8
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    I run Hutchison Intensives 700 X 25 with Stans on Velocity A23 rims. I run at 10lbs lower pressure than when I use a tube. The tire handles corners much better and the ride is better.

    I also run Intensives 700X23 on American Classic Hurricanes. Again I run at reduced pressure and the bike handles better with the tubeless.

    I put over 6,000 km on the two sets of tires with no flats.
    I'm 6'6" and 240 lbs.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by pat5319 View Post
    tubulars roll better, ride smoother and corner better, and flat less
    Just so we're clear: "tubular" and "tubeless" are not the same thing...

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    The biggest savings with tubeless is for the bicycle manufacturers, where tubeless means less work at assembly time, because they don't need the guy who stuffs the tubes in and they don't need to stock the tubes.
    I'm not aware of a single manufacturer who delivers a bike with tubeless tires as original equipment.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no cost savings associated with using tubeless tires. In fact, the opposite is probably true: UST tubeless rims and tubeless tires are usually more expensive than their clincher counterparts. There may be a fractional amount of time saved in mounting the tire to the rim... but I doubt it; many tubeless tires are known for being more difficult to mount than their clincher equivalents. "Ghetto" tubeless (= regular rim + regular tire + rim strip + valve + sealant) is much more labor intensive than either tubes or true (e.g. UST) tubeless.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I'm not aware of a single manufacturer who delivers a bike with tubeless tires as original equipment.

    To the best of my knowledge, there is no cost savings associated with using tubeless tires. In fact, the opposite is probably true: UST tubeless rims and tubeless tires are usually more expensive than their clincher counterparts. There may be a fractional amount of time saved in mounting the tire to the rim... but I doubt it; many tubeless tires are known for being more difficult to mount than their clincher equivalents. "Ghetto" tubeless (= regular rim + regular tire + rim strip + valve + sealant) is much more labor intensive than either tubes or true (e.g. UST) tubeless.
    I think the reason we don't see tubeless from the factory is they are still more expensive, but those prices will come down, as more and more rim makers get on the tubeless band wagon, there are road tubeless rims from Shimano, and I expect the hold back for other makers is the patents on the technology. Patents do run out and the patents on tubeless must be getting close, once they do, expect every maker to start introducing them and prices to come way down. I would think it a safe bet that if we come back in 2060 (I would be 99 if still around, so it is possible) we can reminisce about tires that used tubes, just as old timers now remember car tires that used tubes.

  12. #12
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    Pneumatic bicycle tires have been around since 1887. If there was really a need to change the technology, I think it would have happened long ago... I honestly don't see any real benefit to tubeless for most people and there are some significant downsides (ex: flats).

  13. #13
    Senior Member natbla's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I think the reason we don't see tubeless from the factory is they are still more expensive, but those prices will come down, as more and more rim makers get on the tubeless band wagon, there are road tubeless rims from Shimano, and I expect the hold back for other makers is the patents on the technology. Patents do run out and the patents on tubeless must be getting close, once they do, expect every maker to start introducing them and prices to come way down. I would think it a safe bet that if we come back in 2060 (I would be 99 if still around, so it is possible) we can reminisce about tires that used tubes, just as old timers now remember car tires that used tubes.
    Stan's now offers a road tubeless kit that will work on any rim but requires the use of the tubeless specific clinchers currently available. I've looked at this for the future on my bike.
    just spinning the wheels and up and over the hills of Western Maryland. Hmm make that the Hocking Hills of Ohio.


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  14. #14
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    tubeless road tires just might be the way to go!

    Have converted 5 road bikes to tubeless - Campy Neutron, American Classic Victory, Roval Fusee e5, Mavic Ksyrium Elite and Dura Ace - none were UST rims. Four pairs were Hutchinson Intensives (beware these are sold as 25mm tires and all of them measured less than 23mm), 1 pair with IRC's which were VERY VERY tight fitting. Tubeless are great and unbdoubtedly are the way of the (distant) future.

    Positives: Roll noticeably faster; because they run at lower pressures are more comfortable and adhere better to the road; no pinch flats possible; stay on the rim in the event of deflation; highly unlikely to go bang like a balloon popping if punctured, so catatophic blowouts are far less likely than with tubes/tubulars; they do work on non ust rims and work especially well on Mavics with no spoke holes on the inside of rim.

    Negatives: As pricey as any high end clincher and very much so if one chooses to buy UST rims for the conversion; can be difficult to install - mine all needed the blast of compressor (or an inflation cartridge) to get to (easily) "pop" on, but not always; difficult to repair a puncture but sealant should take care of most "normal" punctures; do not use them on a bike that you are not going to top up the tires on regularly - if they lose enough air to lose their seal you will have to soap them up again, add sealant and re-seal with the compressor blast; for the same reason they may not be suitable for an S&S coupled travelling bike which must have the tires deflated to pack into the S&S case and inflators are not allowed on flights; and finally, tubeless may not be practical for wheels with spoke nipples which can only be accessed from inside - like the Rovals.

  15. #15
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    I'm not aware of a single manufacturer who delivers a bike with tubeless tires as original equipment.
    Spesh stocked my FSR Comp EVO with their Purgatory/Butcher 2-Bliss ready combo on ready-to-seal rims, but they stock with tubes.


    So, the argument isn't anything to do with cost savings, or weight savings, since both typically run equal or higher than their tubed counterparts. The benefit is in the ride feel, and while I haven't looked extensively into it for road, there are distinct benefits for CX and MTB setups.
    In CX, there's the constant "what pressure are you running" argument. For big guys like me, it's an even tougher game to play. While the little whippets are out there wondering if 27 front / 30 rear is the right pressure combo, I'm debating if 47psi is going to keep me from flatting on the gnarliest parts of a course. Meanwhile, one of my former teammates rolls a pair of Hutchinson Pirannas on tubeless rims and at my same weight he's running pressures in the sub-35psi range.

    The benefit for CX is that lower pressures mean less chatter, so less fatigue to your hands and arms, and to you legs because you might even be able to keep your behind on the saddle instead of having to float yourself over every little bump and rut. That lowered chatter means better ground contact which translates into starting traction in a sprint, and greater drive power in a straightaway. Conforming to the contours of the course also means better cornering traction by putting more tire in contact with the course. There's a tight play between low enough pressure for great cornering, and too low a pressure where you'll burp the bead, and that's the chance that you take if you're going that low; but you can stay a few psi above that and still be more comfortable and confident than on a pair of clinchers.

    Similar in MTB; better conforming of the tire to the terrain == better traction. This is especially important in disciplines like DH and Enduro where super-tacky low durometer, ultralow pressures, and customized knob beveling can mean the split second difference at the finish line. The added benefit of high traction in corners and the lack of pinch-flatting over a tangled 10 yard mat of forearm sized roots or boulders the size of your head means another fraction of a second.

    Outside of competition levels, I don't see the need.
    For the road, unless you live in goat-head territory where tubeless and sealant might save you some trouble, I also don't see the need.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  16. #16
    Senior Member redvespablur's Avatar
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    I have two road bikes with 2 way fit Campy Zondas - love them. These wheels and the Fulcrum 3 can be had for about 500 in both shimano and Campy Hubs -

    Clyde friendly under my 260 6'4'' frame

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