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  1. #1
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    28mm tubeless for Clyde comfort, any experiences?

    Last week I converted my MTB to tubeless, and on my first long mountain ride I could feel a certain squishy suspension effect that I hadn't noticed before. I ride a hard tail, and previously my tires (The Captain by Specialized, 2bliss ready) used thorn-resistant tires that are really thick, stiff, and heavy (the two tubes I removed combined for 3 lbs, no crap). I believe that the lower pressure (40 psi rather than 45-50 that I used with the tubes) and the lack of a really thick, heavy tube reinforcing the tire's sidewall, combined to give me this more forgiving, suspension-like feel.

    Which got me thinking seriously about going tubeless with my road bike again. I built a new wheelset several weeks ago, and used the Pacenti SL-23 rim, which is tubeless ready. I purposely used Stan's No Tubes yellow tape on these wheels so that all I lacked were tubeless tires and valve stems whenever I finally decided to take the plunge.

    Well, I just took the plunge. I ordered the Hutchinson 28mm Secteur tubeless to be used on my rear wheel. I had switched from Gatorskins both fore and aft to Conti GP4ks, but recently put the Gatorskin back on the rear wheel after a couple of flats with the GP4ks. The GP4ks on the front I kept.

    So, later this week, or early next week, I'm going to find out what a 28mm tubeless tire at its lower pressure (90-100 psi from what I read) feels like compared to a 25mm Gatorskin (kinda stiff feeling compared to the GP4ks) at 120psi.

    I'm hoping it feels like a freaking Cadillac. We'll see if the reality measures up to the expectation.

    I only ordered one, because I want to see how big it is after inflation on the SL-23 rim. The rear wheel has much more clearance on my frame than the front wheel has with the fork. On the other hand, the 25mm GP4Ks expands to nearly 28mm on the wide SL-23 rims, so it's possible the 28mm tubeless won't be much bigger, if at all, than the 25mm Conti. Again we'll see. I think I'll get a fair feeling how the tubeless is going to affect the comfort of my ride even just having one in my rear wheel, since it's the one that seems to absorb the most shock, and I run the front with the GP4Ks at a pressure much closer to what the tubeless will use.

    I'm curious if any of you other big guys, in trying to make your steeds more comfortable, have gone tubeless specifically for comfort, and whether that worked out for you.

  2. #2
    got the climbing bug jsigone's Avatar
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    I've ran the Hutchison Intensive 25c tubeless was impressed with the ride, grip, zero flats. But they wore kinda fast. Switched over to try the Specialized Roubaix 25c tubeless and ride a bit faster and last longer Back tire is flattening out and next will be the same 28c tires you have, but can only be found on ebay. Which is fine cuz you get the set of tires for about $120. Gonna see if i can squeeze the 28c in the super6's fork

  3. #3
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    Subscribing in hopes that you'll update with photos and measurements as well as ride report.
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    Bigfred, I'll definitely do that. Trust me, if I know you're interested in it, I'll bury you in photos, measurements, and reports. :-)

  5. #5
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    I weigh 250 and run a set of American classic hurricanes tubeless with Stans and Hutchinson Fusion 25. Very comfortable ride.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimblairo View Post
    I weigh 250 and run a set of American classic hurricanes tubeless with Stans and Hutchinson Fusion 25. Very comfortable ride.
    I didn't know they sold a Fusion 25mm. I'd only seen the Intensive in that size.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    I dropped below Clyde minimums (195 I think), but FWIW I'm running the 28mm Secteur (now Sector I believe). Front/Rear pressure is 85/90 and I suppose I might be able to go lower. The ride is definitely improved, but I'd say the biggest improvement is felt while cornering on rough surfaces where the lower pressure improves the grip.

    I recently found a wire in my rear tire which hadn't caused any loss of pressure. When I removed the wire the air rushed out which resulted in an important learning opportunity; when you remove a nail or wire from a tubeless tire do so with the offending object at the bottom of the tire's rotation so you've got a small reservoir of latex to plug the hole. I added more latex and pumped up the tire - was good to go thereafter.
    Rick T
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  8. #8
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
    I didn't know they sold a Fusion 25mm. I'd only seen the Intensive in that size.
    My bad, I meant Intensive.

  10. #10
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    When I built my Soma up, maybe three years ago, I tried tubeless. I used Stan's Arch rims and tried a variety of tires although non that were actually designed to be tubeless. DON'T DO THAT. After riding for about a month and thinking I had really struck gold with my set up, which was a set of 35mm Michelin Jets at about 90 psi, I was taking a high speed corner and I felt the back end squiggle. As I tried not to wipe out in the middle of the intersection my left turn got wide and i slammed into the tallest curb in the city. What happened was as I rounded the corner the rear tire burped causing the loss of control. I luckily fall well (lots of practice) and was not hurt but I put a serious dent in my front wheel that was not repairable (you can imagine how hard I hit to mangle an Arch rim). I am sure the technology is better now, especially on tires designed to be tubeless, but beware of the burp.
    I do not claim to be a doctor, scientist, genie, bike magician, good looking, or qualified in any way. The contents of my post are opinions and should be taken as such.

  11. #11
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    Subscribed for updates; I'm interested in maybe going tubeless on my A23 wheels.

  12. #12
    Senior Member rdtompki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by expatbrit View Post
    Subscribed for updates; I'm interested in maybe going tubeless on my A23 wheels.
    My LBS recommended going tubeless when I had a wheelset built up for my Volagi. The rims are Velocity A23. The setup has been flawless thus far: black WI disc hubs, black spokes, red nipples, 28/32 spoke count f/r (I'm 195 lbs and our roads stink).
    Rick T
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdtompki View Post
    My LBS recommended going tubeless when I had a wheelset built up for my Volagi. The rims are Velocity A23. The setup has been flawless thus far: black WI disc hubs, black spokes, red nipples, 28/32 spoke count f/r (I'm 195 lbs and our roads stink).
    Nice; thanks. We're close to the same weight. Not sure if I have the newer 'tubeless' A23 rims or the older 'not-tubeless' design; they came stock on the bike.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    at Identical PSI, can you actually feel any difference between a tire with a tube , and the same tire without one. ?


    or having spent the money do you tell yourself its better to justify it, to yourself..

    sort of a psychology question .. of course ..

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    at Identical PSI, can you actually feel any difference between a tire with a tube , and the same tire without one. ?


    or having spent the money do you tell yourself its better to justify it, to yourself..

    sort of a psychology question .. of course ..
    On my mountain bike I certainly felt the difference, probably because I was using obscenely heavy and stiff thorn-resistant tubes (that weighed, I kid you not, 1.5 lbs each). Those thorn-resistant tubes added significantly to the stiffness of the sidewall and other structure, and getting rid of it left the tires more flexible. It was definitely noticeable.

    On my road tires, I doubt it will be anything near as strong a factor, since I'm using just standard, relatively thin tubes. Sure, the tubes add somewhat to the stiffness of the tire, but how much, and will their lack be noticeable like it was on the MTB tire? I doubt it. I expect a noticeable different though because I'll be running the tubeless tire at significantly lower pressure, which will already make the tire squishier. Not to mention this is going to be a 28mm tire instead of a 25mm, which should also make it squishier. I won't know it even if the lack of tube does make a difference in stiffness.

    Btw, the Secteur 28 is due for delivery tomorrow (Saturday), and I'll definitely get it installed and ride on it for my group ride Sunday morning. I'll take it for a spin tomorrow to make sure it works, of course.

    ps: I'm stoked, yesterday I got my new handlebar, a 46cm Ergonova 3T Pro, to replace my 11-year old stock Bontrager 42cm bar. The new stem is arriving today, so I've got some work cut out for me installing the new bar, re-running the brake and shifter cabling, re-wrapping, etc. before tomorrow's tubeless stuff.
    Last edited by SethAZ; 01-31-14 at 12:57 PM. Reason: wrote the wrong word

  16. #16
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    Ok, here's the report, with photos. I'll make this post in two versions: the short version, and the long version.

    Short version: I like it. A lot. It was very hard to get on, and I had to use a compressor to seat the bead the first time. It's significantly more comfortable than the Gatorskin that it replaces.

    Long version: In recent history I've ridden both the Continental Grand Prix 4000s and the Continental Gatorskin tires, both in 25mm sizing, on my Pacenti SL-23 rims that I built up a couple of months ago. I liked the ride feel of the GP4Ks better than the Gatorskin, but I had some flats with the GP4Ks, and I've still never had a puncture flat with the Gatorskin. So until yesterday I was riding a GP4Ks on the front, and a Gatorskin on the back.

    The GP4Ks is a very wide tire on these Pacenti rims. The wide rim lets the tires mushroom out surprisingly wide. In choosing the Hutchinson Sector 28 tire, I assumed that the Sector would be wider than the (marketed as) 25mm Contis. Not so.

    Width on my SL-23 rims, which are 24.4mm wide measured off the brake track:
    Gatorskin: 27.3mm at 120psi (on my rear wheel)
    Grand Prix 4000s: 28.2mm at 105psi (front wheel)
    Sector 28: 27.8mm at 95psi (rear wheel)

    As you can see, the Sector 28 was actually nearly a half milimeter narrower than the Grand Prix 4000s, and only a half milimeter wider than the Gatorskin.

    The height, measured from the inside of the rim to the outside of the tire with a caliper:
    Gatorskin: 50.2mm (noticeable squaring off, this tire has over 2500 miles on it)
    GP4Ks: 52.5mm (no discernible squaring off yet)
    Sector28: 52.6mm (brand new, 50 miles on it now)

    Mounting the Sector was a real female dog. Typically getting one side of a tire onto the rim is fairly easy, then getting the other side on can be hard or not, depending on the tire and rim. This tubeless Sector 28 was hard to get the first side on, and harder to get the second side on. I didn't wait to see if I could get the tire on without spraying some mildly soapy water onto the bead and rim, I just put a little Dawn dish detergent into a spray bottle with water and used that from the beginning.

    Using a single tire iron (plastic) I got the first bead on. A neighbor of mine who helps with mechanical stuff that requires more than two hands happened to be walking by and came up to the garage to see what I was doing, and he helped me get the second half of the bead on. I needed him to hold what I'd already gotten on on one side, I held the other side, and then pried near the edges with the tire iron until I get it all on. Not sure how I'd get that done without three hands.

    I nearly had the tire mounted when I realized I hadn't mounted the valve stem yet. Doh! Popped the second half back off, pushed the bead away from the valve stem hole, and mounted it, then started over getting the second bead on.

    After the bead was one, we attempted to seat the bead using my floor pump. No go. Didn't get enough volume to seat it. This was even spraying the soapy water around the bead/rim, which worked great when I tubelessized my mountain bike a couple weeks ago. My neighbor fetched his compressor, and that instantly popped the bead on all around. After fully seating the bead, I let the pressure out, and the bead broke in a couple places.

    I put in just over an ounce of the Hutchinson brand sealant. I've got most of a quart of Stan's left from doing my MTB, but Hutchinson claims the warranty is void on their tire if you use any other sealant but there's, so that's what I used. After this my floor pump re-seated the bead successfully and I brought the tire up to pressure and sloshed the sealant all around inside the tire to make sure it was all good and sealed up.

    Ride Report
    Yesterday I just tooled around the immediate neighborhood, but this morning I had a 50 mile group ride, and the Sector 28 on the rear of my bike really impressed me. It dampens out the road vibrations like crazy. Low amplitude road buzz that I'd feel up through my seat with the Gatorskin is just gone with the Sector. High amplitude stuff like big bumps in the road, ridged cracks, etc. you feel, but much less. I'd say the feeling of the bumps was reduced by at least 50%.

    The difference was so remarkable between the Gatorskin at 120psi and the Sector tubeless at 95psi that the whole ride it kept sticking out to me just how much road vibration was getting up through my handlebars into my hands and arms from the Grand Prix 4000s at 105psi. Before today, my front, being a more bulbous tire at a lower pressure than the rear, felt somewhat better, but having the GP4Ks on the front and the tubeless on the rear just pointed out how much of a difference there is between the two tires at absorbing bumps and vibration.

    Now I really want to buy another one of these for my front wheel. I'll either buy another Sector 28, or else I may go for another brand, like the new Schwalbe One 28mm, just to see what that tire is like. I'm a big guy, weighing around 275 this morning (but I ride a lot, and am fast), and I'm liking the 25-28mm tires so much I'm not going to 23mm tires anymore ever.

    Wheel Spoke Incident during ride:
    I heard some spoke noise as I approached the top of a very steep but short climb during the group ride, and realized I had a couple loose spokes. I pulled a spoke wrench out of my seat bag and tightened them enough to get through the ride. After the ride the mechanic at the shop that sponsors the ride through the bike up on his stand and did a quick re-truing. I do not know if I just had some spokes work themselves loose over the last couple months and they just loosened enough to start moving and making noise today as a total coincidence, or something else. I am thinking that the very, very tight bead, and the change in how the rim is being stressed between tubeless and running with tubes, was great enough that it nudged those spokes into going loose during this particular ride. I don't know that as a fact, but it would certainly be quite the coincidence if the changeover to the tubless tire had nothing to do with it.

    For reference, the wheels are 32h with the SL-23 rims, Shimano Ultegra hubs, and double-butted (2/1.8/2) spokes, with alloy nipples. The threads were treated with anti-seize prior to being laced up.

    I made these three combo photos. The first one shows how much clearance I had with Gatorskin and the seat stays and whatnot. The second one shows the clearance of the Grand Prix 4000s in my fork (it's a much tighter squeeze than the rear of the frame), and then lastly the Sector 28 mounted to the rear of the bike. Being slightly thinner and only .1mm (assuming my caliper measuring onto a rubber tire is really accurate to .1mm) shorter than the GP4Ks, I know the Sector 28 would fix just fine on the front wheel. I also showed the tire/rim view from the side so you can see how lightbulb-shaped the tires look (or don't look, depending on expectations) mounted on the 24.4mm wide rims.

    gatorskin.jpg
    GP4Ks.jpg
    sector28.jpg

    Verdict:
    I have no idea how maintaining this tire will compare with the tubeful tires I've been using up to now. I've got some more sealant to add, as I've read that it evaporates over time and must be replaced. Heaven help me if I get a flat that the sealant can't take of while out on a long ride. Unless the bead stretches out quite a bit over time, that would be a real b***h to get off and on again on the road. But it's so freaking comfortable! I bought the tire specifically to see if a 28mm tubeless road tire at the lower pressures they are used with could nudge my stiff, 11-year old aluminum framed bike in the direction of feeling like riding a Cadillac rather than a jackhammer on wheels. Judging by the difference in the road feel between the rear wheel with the tubeless and the front wheel with the tube, I'm convinced.

    So far I'm satisfied. I ride enough, I'll have 600-700 miles under my belt on the new tire over the next month, and if anything changes I'll resurrect this thread and update it.

  17. #17
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    I forgot to comment on the impact of this tire on speed. The long and short of it was that I didn't notice any slowing down with the new tire. If there was a difference, it was faster, at least that's how it seemed to me. It was definitely smoother, and felt fast, but I didn't ride at all yesterday, and my legs were well-rested this morning, so it's hard to say one way or the other.

  18. #18
    Senior Member elcruxio's Avatar
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    About spoke tension.
    in some rims the tubeless tire can cause a drastic drop in spoke tension. Something to do with the non stretching carbon fibre bead. When I built my first set of wheels and installed tubeless I lost 40% of my spoke tension. However it was easily rectified by tensioning the wheel with the tire installed.

  19. #19
    Lover of Old Chrome Moly Myosmith's Avatar
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    I haven't gone tubeless yet, but one of the best pieces of advice I ever got from an LBS was to give up my 23mm tires and go to 28mm. Even though I ride Specialized All Condition Armadillo Elites at fairly high psi, there is still a huge difference in comfort and handling and only a tiny increase in rolling resistance, probably from the increased weight. I might (can't tell as I've gotten stronger at the same time) have slightly reduced my top end on sprints and hills but I think I'm faster overall because I'm more comfortable and more confident in the tire/road interface so I can push harder, longer. No more fatigue from road buzz either.

    Note that I'm a Clyde who is primarily into mid-distance endurance, doing a lot of 50-100+ mile rides, and don't ride competitively (at least no more competitively than the local club's B-rides).
    Lead, follow or get out of the way

  20. #20
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SethAZ View Post
    Ok, here's the report, with photos. I'll make this post in two versions: the short version, and the long version.
    Great report, thanks'
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  21. #21
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    how many miles did you get out of front/rear tire?

  22. #22
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    do you have updates, on reliability, mileage?

  23. #23
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    A friend of mine is riding the Sectur 28s from Hutchinson and absolutely loves them..He is 245 and uses them on his disc brake commuter and his road bike. They are a very tight squeeze on the road frame, but they work. So far he has 1500 miles on the commuter and about 850 on the road bike. They seem to hold up well. I took a test ride on his bike of about 30 miles to get a feel for them...once my tires are gone on my CrossRip, I am moving to them.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2003 Trek 7300 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

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