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  1. #1
    Team Kreb's Cycle
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    Tube vs. tubeless pros & cons

    I bought a bike with tubeless capable wheels & tires but there were tubes in them. I ran around 50# of air in them last year. Seems high but I didn't want to pinch flat. I could go tubeless but how? Is there a goo sealant? What are the advantages of tubeless? Am I currently in the worst of both worlds? Heavy tire with a tube. I am (perhaps obviously) new to this game. I did a few citizen level races last season. In other words I'm not into shaving every gram and shaving my legs...yet. Anyone care to eduvate me on the tubeless deal?

    I sure ask a lot of questions.
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    What I noticed right away is how much lighter the tubless rims and tires were and there are no tubes to go flat. My bike immediately seemed a lot quicker due to the reduction in rotating weight. The sealant you use inside the tire should take care of any small punctures.

    You need to make sure your rims have an inner liner in them to seal the rim. Then install your tires and valves and put some sealant in and ride for a few miles to spread the sealant around the rim and you're good to go.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


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  3. #3
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Now let me get this right; I understand clinchers, and I understand what I thought to be "tubeless" (actually they have tubes, but the tubes are sewn into the case, thus they're also known as "sew-ups"); I've also seen "tubeless" which will run on clincher rims (the casing has a ridge which acts just like the bead on the case of a clincher).

    So that being said, I'm not sure I understand either of the preceeding posts; will somebody please enlighten me, thanks!

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    Mountain bike tubeless tires and wheels are similar to automotive tires and wheels. The rims are clinchers and the tires have a special bead that fit tighter than standard tires and the rims are sealed to allow you to run tires without tubes.

    I hope this explains it a little better.
    Last edited by jonbth; 02-11-07 at 05:42 PM.
    When all else fails, read the directions.


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  5. #5
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    Another option is Stans NoTubes conversion kit which converts most tube-tires to run tubeless. I have Bontrager tubeless rims, but I prefer Stan's rim strip to Bontrager's as it makes it easier to mount the tires. Tube tires are lighter than tubless tires and do very well running tube-less with Stans.

    Al

  6. #6
    Curmudgeon Wil Davis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jonbth
    Mountain bike tubeless tires and wheels are similar to automotive tires and wheels. The rims are clinchers and the tires have a special bead that fit tighter than standard tires and the rims are sealed to allow you to run tires without tubes.

    I hope this explains it a little better.
    Thanks for the heads-up; I must have missed the fact that it was posted in the MTB forum; oh well, it's not the first time, and certainly won't be the last!

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  7. #7
    Midwest Rider CsHoSi's Avatar
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    I bought some Mavic Crossland UST wheels awhile ago. I mounted my regular tires to them tubeless. I followed the instructions on Stan's notubes.com website installing them. The regular tire needs to have a sturdy bead so foldables probably won't work. Also after some research on mtbr.com I found a great recipe for a sealant that is working well for me.

    1 part slime + 1 part liquid latex + 1 part anti-freeze + 2 parts water.

    It will last quite awhile before it dries out and it won't freeze. The liquid latex I bought from a local Hobby Lobby, it's called mold builder and says latex on the label, $10.99. My regular tires have held their pressure for a couple months now, even sitting for a week or two.
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  8. #8
    Midwest Rider CsHoSi's Avatar
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    To better answer the OP I should add that I ride in hawthorn tree invested land and I use to change out tubes every couple of rides. The extra tuffy protector strip didn't stop them. Since I've gone tubeless I haven't had a flat, I have several 1/8" thick or more thorns stuck in the tire. If I notice them I pinch them off, otherwise they wear off and sort of help plug the tire I guess, so I leave them there.

    Carry a spare tube incase the tire tears or the bead pops off the rim, because it will take an air compressor or good foot pump to seat the bead. I haven't had the bead pop yet but I've been careful and a little wary still of really railing corners or downhill sections.
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  9. #9
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Danneskjöld


    Now that's funny!
    Stuart Black
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  10. #10
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    ^^^ +1 !!!

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by CsHoSi
    I bought some Mavic Crossland UST wheels awhile ago. I mounted my regular tires to them tubeless. I followed the instructions on Stan's notubes.com website installing them. The regular tire needs to have a sturdy bead so foldables probably won't work. Also after some research on mtbr.com I found a great recipe for a sealant that is working well for me.

    1 part slime + 1 part liquid latex + 1 part anti-freeze + 2 parts water.

    It will last quite awhile before it dries out and it won't freeze. The liquid latex I bought from a local Hobby Lobby, it's called mold builder and says latex on the label, $10.99. My regular tires have held their pressure for a couple months now, even sitting for a week or two.
    Foldables work very well. I wouldn't run any other kind as I like the low weight (550 gms) and the superior tire structure. If you check Stan's web sight you'll see a long list of foldables that will convert to tubeless. I use Ritcheys which have very flxible sidewalls and have been for over 18 months. I use 27F/30R in N Florida and 29/32 in the N Georgia mountains. I prefer Stan's sealant as it's the best out there.

    Al

  12. #12
    In search of moar cowbell dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by R. Danneskjöld
    ...and a simply wonderful video!

    http://www.notubes.com/movieinstall.php
    I can see a Monty Python skit based on this . . . featuring Bicycle Repair Man.

    Quote Originally Posted by CsHoSi
    . . . 1 part slime + 1 part liquid latex + 1 part anti-freeze + 2 parts water. . . .
    Maybe for good measure add some calcium like farmers do - - to help it 'dig in' a little better.
    Last edited by dminor; 02-12-07 at 05:29 PM.

  13. #13
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    After watching that No Tubes Video, I can't believe the hassle of setting up a pair of the Stan's No tubes.... What if you had to fix a flat on trail that the sealant didn't fill? And having all that crap slosh around in your tire, or having to replace it every other month...

    I watched the one Video where Stan does the burp test on UST rims/tires like Mavic and DTSwiss, the Stans No tube set up was much better at retaining air pressure.


    Is there anyone here that has used a UST combo and happy with it? Is that air burping a real concern?
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  14. #14
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    I'll be the first to admit that setting up new tires with Stan's can be a total PITA. Using a compressor I set up an Spez enduro on a x317 in about 5 minutes, a resolution pro on a x317 in about 20.
    What's the benefit? I never ever flat on the trail, ever. Punctures are instantly sealed by the sealant inside, and there is no tube inside to pinch.
    I only have to mess with installing new tires twice or so a season, and refilling the tire every 4 months or so isn't as hard as setting up a new tire.
    It's not for everyone, but I really enjoy the results.


    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Is there anyone here that has used a UST combo and happy with it? Is that air burping a real concern?
    I only burped air once with the stan's system because I was expeimenting with silly low pressures (12 psi) on a particularly rocky trail. Because the strip physically locks the bead onto the rim, the tire won't unseat until there is zero air in the tire.
    As long as you run a reasonable pressure (for tubeless), say 25psi , the risk of burping under actual trail conditions is low.


    This past weekend I installed a set of Specialized 2bliss tires (I like spez tires) on a set of 2007 Mavic Crossmax SLRs and the things inflated instantly, no usual UST muss or fuss. The things just puffed up and locked onto the UST bead like pumping up a tubed setup. As I buy new wheels and tires, 2bliss beads and UST rims (filled with stan's goop), will go on all my bikes. You don't have to use a sealant with UST rims and tires, though it's great to do so.
    Last edited by AfterThisNap; 02-13-07 at 12:41 AM.
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

  15. #15
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    [QUOTE=ViperZ]After watching that No Tubes Video, I can't believe the hassle of setting up a pair of the Stan's No tubes.... What if you had to fix a flat on trail that the sealant didn't fill? And having all that crap slosh around in your tire, or having to replace it every other month...

    QUOTE]

    The hassle factor looks worse than it really is. First, there are no more tubes to patch or even replace on the trail. Second, one you go through the process a few times it's easy and relatively quick.

    If it won't seal a puncture on the trail, you put a tube in it. I had to do that for the first time last month when I got a quarter inch cut in the middle of the tread area. it wouldn't seal. You just take out the Stan's strip, put it in a Ziploc, dump the fluid and put a tube in. It's that simple, except in my case, between the three of us who all had Presta, two had pumps that would only fit Schrader and my pump broke.

    I've since learned that you can stuff a small piece of cloth in a large cut and there's a good chance it will seal.

    I only get about 6 weeks between refills in N Florida during the summer. In the mountains and during the cooler months, it's more like 10 weeks or more. I refill with a tube/plunger device that screws onto the Presto valve stem after you remove the valve core.

    Al

  16. #16
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Afterthisnap, thanks for the great info...

    I have the Mavic 819 UST rims coming, so should I just roll with a UST tire, or should I get a Stan's notubes strip and sealant for it? It still seems like a lot of hassle, and almost easier to just patch or replace the tube en route.... For as many times as I have flatted while MTB'ing (I know that's tempting fate, but I remember it to be seldom to never)


    Thanks Al.canoe. How do you think that sealant holds up during Canadian winters? Do you think it'll freeze?
    Last edited by ViperZ; 02-13-07 at 06:01 AM.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Afterthisnap, thanks for the great info...


    Thanks Al.canoe. How do you think that sealant holds up during Canadian winters? Do you think it'll freeze?
    I have read somewhere that it won't. However, e-mail Stan to be sure. He's very helpful and answered all my questions before I took the NoTubes plunge. The answer might be on a faqs page on his web site.

    Al

  18. #18
    Midwest Rider CsHoSi's Avatar
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    I stand corrected on the foldables. I have road tires mounted now, think I will replace the trashed rim on my other wheelset and buy a Stan's kit for them. I'll see how these cheap IRC XC tires seat. The poster of the formula I found said the anti-freeze helps the water from evaporating too but I haven't used them in the summer months yet to see for myself. I put 3 oz. in each tire. I should be okay without the calcium powder, thanks though, lol!

    I thought it was rather painless and even fun mounting tubeless. I notice looking down at the tire's rotation that the center line stays in the center. Whenever I mounted tires and tubes before there would always be a section of tire off-center. I would try to massage the bead in place all around the rim at low pressure but I could never get it perfect. Could just be me and may not even matter.

    Regardless, the big selling point tubeless offers me is I don't fuss with changing flats on the trail anymore or come out to ride only to find my tire flat from a slow leak the day before. For a racer, it's probably the lighter weight (depending on tire and sealant used, I believe) and lower pressure allowing for more traction and also a little extra suspension.

    Thanks for not reaming me like mtbr and the informative response. I am who I am.

    edit: ViperZ, you don't need a strip with the UST wheels, even with regular tires. You can use the Stan's sealant or make your own.
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  19. #19
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al.canoe
    I have read somewhere that it won't. However, e-mail Stan to be sure. He's very helpful and answered all my questions before I took the NoTubes plunge. The answer might be on a faqs page on his web site.

    Al


    Thanks, I'll look around the site, and then try contacting him...

    So what are my options?

    1) UST rim and UST tire all by itself
    2) UST rim and UST tire with Stans Notubes strip and sealant
    3) UST rim and non UST tire with Stans notubes strip and sealant.

    2 seems like overkill, and I like 1 the best...
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  20. #20
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ViperZ
    Thanks, I'll look around the site, and then try contacting him...

    So what are my options?

    1) UST rim and UST tire all by itself
    yes

    2) UST rim and UST tire with Stans Notubes strip and sealant
    No need for the NoTubes strip or sealant with UST rim and UST tire. You can use the sealant as a security measure though. The UST rims come with their own built in rim strips so there is no need to add a second rim strip.

    3) UST rim and non UST tire with Stans notubes strip and sealant.
    No need for the notubes strip. Sealant is necessary though. In my opinion this is a good option. Lighter and cheaper.

    Option 4) UST rims, Standard tires, tubes.


    2 seems like overkill, and I like 1 the best...
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  21. #21
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Try the specialized tubeless tires (2bliss) on your current UST rims. They are such a cinch to air up.
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

  22. #22
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    The only reason I mention UST Rims with UST tires and the Stan's No tube strip is the video on Stans site that shows UST rims and tires can burp air very easily.

    I was under the asumption that it was their strip that locked the tire bead to the rim, and even if it pulled away, the Stan's Notubes strip minimized air burping. I would prefer to use just the UST Rim & Tire Combo, however was concerned with the air burping after watching that video.

    Video
    http://www.notubes.com/moviecompar.php


    Thanks for Option 4 Lowcell, that was my fall back, but I forgot to list it...
    Last edited by ViperZ; 02-13-07 at 11:37 AM.
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  23. #23
    Baby it's cold outside... ViperZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AfterThisNap
    Try the specialized tubeless tires (2bliss) on your current UST rims. They are such a cinch to air up.


    Nice tread Pattern
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  24. #24
    Official Website Waterboy born2bahick's Avatar
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    I use UST rims and standard tires. No rim strips, but I do use sealant. Sometimes the standard tires can be a lot harder to seat, But I've never had one that I couldn't get aired up. ( Once squirted slime around
    the bead to help seal it till I got it aired up ) As mentioned earlier it's not as much hassle as the video suggests and I have even found some brands of tires that seem to take air easier than others.

  25. #25
    Taking "s" outta "Fast" AfterThisNap's Avatar
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    Really, unless you plan on riding around with C-clamps hooked to your rims, burping isn't going to be a problem...even on a normal UST rim/tire combo.
    Again, I reccomend the 2bliss setup from specialized if you can find a tread pattern that you like. Even if, for some reason you did lose all of your air, you can pump that sucker back up just as easy as if you had a tube.
    Carries suspicious allegiance to Brooklyn Machine Works.

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