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Old 08-27-12, 05:33 PM   #1
jppe
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Has or is anyone ridden Tubeless Wheels?

Tubeless as in tubeless clinchers versus tubulars. I've been looking wheels and wondering what issues folks have run into. I'm also wondering if slime is really needed (assuming I'd take a risk on punctures). I'm guessing it might be just to keep air leaks to a minimum around the rim bead.
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Old 08-27-12, 11:07 PM   #2
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Yes, I had the New Dura Ace Tubeless clinchers. I got a set of Hutchingson Atom Comp tubeless tires and had them mounted with the tubeless valves. we did put a small amount of Stans in the tire and over all I liked the set up. The advantages were you could run at a bit lower tire pressure and not get pinch flats. With the Stans even a goat head wasn't a fatal flat. The total package weighs about as much as a tube and tire so you don't really save much in weight. There is also a problem called a burp. Hit a railroad track and sometimes a little air will escape. Not a big problem in a mountain bike with ral low pressure but it can be if you don't notice on a road bike. However I do consider it a good choice for a tourning tire because it has pretty good flat protection. If you get a flat and it will not seal you can always put a tube in it but you have to clean out the stans once you remove the tire and you have to change out the stem.

There are a lot more MTB using tubeless so there are a lot more choices in tires. There aren't many tubeless road tires and they are expensive.

My biggest problem was once a ran over what might have been a carpet strip and there were far too many holes for the stans to fix. Getting the tire off and putting a tube in was very time consuming. Plus I had to redo it when I got home to get all of the sticky stuff out. Shimano makes a Dura Ace Tubelsss and an Ultegra Tubeless that both work well and weigh in between 1600 and 1700 grams without skewers and tires.

My MTB friend swear by them however.

PS. The slime as you call it helps reseal the tire after a burp. And they can be hard to mount the first time without a high pressure blast to get them started.

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Old 08-28-12, 05:51 AM   #3
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I've been a using tubeless wheelset for about three years.

Shimano DuraAce /Hutchinson Intensives/Stan's:



I found the combination rides very well. It's possible to run the tyres at a lower pressure than you might be used to. I currently run mine at 105psi against the 120psi I use in regular road tyres.

Despite the lower pressure the wheels roll very well. In fact, on downhills I tend to drop away faster than most other riders no matter the excellence of their wheels. The lower pressure also provides an extra degree of comfort/smoothness which is welcome. The lower pressure doesn't seem to impede the wheels' rolling characteristics.

In this time I have had one flat. This was a 20mm slash caused by a broken bottle. Stan's couldn't cope with that (although it did try) so I got home with an inner tube and a tyre boot.

That's not to say that I haven't had more minor punctures. Most tubeless tires show evidence of punctures by the end of their life. It's just that the sealant has done its job. BTW, the sealant isn't required to seal the bead in a good installation. Its job is to cope with punctures.

These tyres do require maintenance. You will need to replace the sealant at least once a year and initial inflation requires a high-volume air source to seat the tyres, so it might be a job for the LBS.

If the DuraAce wheel is too rich, there is also a Shimano Ultegra wheel which is also very good and virtually half the price. It is also possible to run non-tubeless tyres and rims as a tubeless wheelset via a Stan's conversion, but some combinations are inadvisable. Consult with your LBS on this one.

Other issues includes the price of tubeless tyres. These tyres are only 60% of the US price in Europe. Don't ask me why ...
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Old 08-28-12, 06:09 AM   #4
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Question for those using the tubeless tyres. Is the "flat proof" inserted into the tyre your only patch in the case of a puncture? (Stans) I think that I understand a slash or tear in a sidewall and their ramifications. Boot the tyre to ride to safety, I suppose. Is there an equivalent to a boot or patch for tubeless tyre?

Are the tyres for this system folding or wired bead so that a spare tyre could be carried easily. The concept of tubeless tyres seems good to me, and I know the MTB cyclist like them for their wheel tyre systems, just want to know how you go about salvaging a ride if the Flat Gods choose you as a sacrifice.

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Old 08-28-12, 08:20 AM   #5
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On a tubeless tire if you get a puncture that Stan's cannot seal, or a sidewall slash/tear, your only option is to insert a tube into the tire (and optionally a boot if the slash/tear is big enough). One other issue with tubeless is that if you flat and pop the bead out of the rim, it can be very difficult if not impossible to reset the bead without a high volume air source. In this case you will also have to insert a tube. I have ridden tubeless in the past on my mountain bikes and I popped the bead once on a trail about ten miles from my car. I was able to get the tire re-inflated with my hand pump but looking back it would have been easier/faster to just insert a tube for the ride out and worry about the tire when I got back home.
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Old 08-28-12, 01:45 PM   #6
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As mentioned above, the lack of tubeless tire choices has steered me away. The system weight really isn't any lighter given the heavier weight of tubeless tires, plus they are a pain to get on and off the rim. I know several people that had them and switched back to tubes for those reasons.

BTW, I ride my DA 7850 24CL wheels at 105#, 23c, 90-95# for 25c, of pressure and never had a problem with pinch flats. Most people ride their clinchers at too high a pressure. 116-120# is max inflation but not always the best inflation.
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Old 08-28-12, 02:12 PM   #7
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I've never used tubeless on any of my bikes, but I did several tubeless mounts and conversions at the bike shop I was working at this past spring. It was rare to be able to do the initial inflation without the high volume blast from a co2 cartridge. They didn't have an air compressor in the shop, and the hand pumps would simply not deliver the volume on the first stroke to seal the bead. Once the bead was sealed there was usually no problem.
Back when I ran my shop, my mechanic was running a Stan's tubeless conversion on his downhill bike. He would demonstrate the sealing ability by puncturing the front tire with an awl and giving it a spin. The hole would seal on the first revolution.
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Old 08-28-12, 02:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by BikeWNC View Post
As mentioned above, the lack of tubeless tire choices has steered me away. The system weight really isn't any lighter given the heavier weight of tubeless tires, plus they are a pain to get on and off the rim. I know several people that had them and switched back to tubes for those reasons.

BTW, I ride my DA 7850 24CL wheels at 105#, 23c, 90-95# for 25c, of pressure and never had a problem with pinch flats. Most people ride their clinchers at too high a pressure. 116-120# is max inflation but not always the best inflation.
You lightweights never have problems with pinch flats!!

I'm looking at a tubeless clincher for my climbing bike that could save about 200 grams of wheel weight. I'm thinking I'd just carry a tube like I always do should there be an issue. I like the idea of running a little lower pressure. I've noticed an improvement while using my HED Ardennes with the wider rims and lower pressure.
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Old 08-28-12, 04:41 PM   #9
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You lightweights never have problems with pinch flats!!

I'm looking at a tubeless clincher for my climbing bike that could save about 200 grams of wheel weight. I'm thinking I'd just carry a tube like I always do should there be an issue. I like the idea of running a little lower pressure. I've noticed an improvement while using my HED Ardennes with the wider rims and lower pressure.
Do the math for me. How do you save 200g? The typical tubeless tire weighs near 300g while a 23c tire might weigh 225g with a 75g tube. So is the weight savings in the wheels? DA 24CL weighs about the same as the TL version.
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Old 08-28-12, 06:13 PM   #10
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...BTW, I ride my DA 7850 24CL wheels at 105#, 23c, 90-95# for 25c, of pressure and never had a problem with pinch flats. Most people ride their clinchers at too high a pressure. 116-120# is max inflation but not always the best inflation.
I ride the same wheel as BikeWNC & ThatBritBloke (who rides the tubeless version). Although I can't comment on the tubeless version over the long term, I did ride the tubeless version on a test for about 2 weeks. I found them losing air in greater volume overnite, say 10-15 psi. and just felt like the hassle factor was not worth the difference in cost and were actually a bit heavier. As to descending, I find those DA wheel hubs to be consistently faster than many of my heavier compatriots, and I frequently creep up on them when descending. As you know, gravity ain't pullin' me down faster...
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Old 08-29-12, 05:36 AM   #11
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Do the math for me. How do you save 200g? The typical tubeless tire weighs near 300g while a 23c tire might weigh 225g with a 75g tube. So is the weight savings in the wheels? DA 24CL weighs about the same as the TL version.
The weight savings is in the wheels. I also have the 7900 DA 24CL wheels that I bought earlier this year for a new bike build up but never used them. I will use those first but might try these others for events.
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Old 08-29-12, 07:49 AM   #12
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I found them losing air in greater volume overnite, say 10-15 psi. ...
I have not found that to be the case ...
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Old 08-29-12, 08:18 AM   #13
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I can see using tubeless for racing or maybe long rides/tours. But in the 2 years I have been back on a road bike and that includes about 2,500 miles I've had maybe 2 flats. Takes 5 minutes to put a tube in and back on your way? Now 5 minutes in a race is, well a lost race. 5 minutes on a recreation ride is, a nice break . And the crap you have to go thru to get those tires seated and the Stans all over the floor and you and the expense......i yi yi. I'll just change a tube once a year.
In our group rides in that 2 years I remember helping to fix 2 other flats.
In fact I've changed out tires more than I've fixed flats on my bike.

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Old 08-30-12, 02:17 AM   #14
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So somebody help me out here - and I do not mean to be rude or intrusive to a good thread - tell me why the new tubeless is better than traditional tubular where you just slip a new tire on rim, fill w/ air and go. I hear of Stan's sealant being used in a tubular instead of paying $$$ for new tires. There are some fine vintage and new lightweight wheelsets without spending $1000.

I'm not a weight weenie but lighter rim/tire is a major improvement, regardless the technology.
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Old 08-30-12, 05:47 AM   #15
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So somebody help me out here - and I do not mean to be rude or intrusive to a good thread - tell me why the new tubeless is better than traditional tubular where you just slip a new tire on rim, fill w/ air and go. I hear of Stan's sealant being used in a tubular instead of paying $$$ for new tires. There are some fine vintage and new lightweight wheelsets without spending $1000.

I'm not a weight weenie but lighter rim/tire is a major improvement, regardless the technology.
Here's my thinking:

I'm more comfortable and more familiar with flats on clinchers than tubulars. Worst case I was thinking on the tubless I could just remove the valve and slip in a tube similar to what I always do. All I'd need to carry is a tube and inflation capability (what I carry today). Although with these wheels the rims are so lightweight you have to be really careful with not denting the rims when installing removing tires.......so that could also be a hurdle.

With tubulars there is the need to remove the old tire and glue up the new one. I don't have a lot of experience with tubulars but my buddies tell me I don't want to mess with them if I can avoid it. I do a lot of solo riding in very rural areas with no cell phone coverage so I just need to feel comfortable I can get back to the starting point on my own.

The wheels I'm looking at are aluminum rims so I could keep my brake pads the same with other wheels I have. I haven't done a lot of research on tubulars but most of the lightweight tubulars I've seen are carbon. I think I'd prefer the aluminum braking surface over carbon for consistency with my other wheels and also probably a little better braking in wet conditions.
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