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Old 08-17-07, 12:34 AM   #1
Bob W
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Tubeless woes, and flats

Hello again. I'm a new rider, at least new to modern mountain bikes. I'm a very casual and conservative rider - no stunts, no racing, and no drops. My bike has WTB ExiWolf tires, tubless, with hook bead rims. Less than a hundred miles on the bike and the tires are in near-new condition.

Still, I had two simultaneous flats today. Ran through some goatheads it seems.

If I add Slime inside the wheels, could that prevent small punctures from being catastrophic flats?

While looking for puncture wounds in the tire (soapy water in the kitchen sink), I noticed something very worrysome. Many of the spokes were releasing small amounts of air, and there was quite a bit of air coming from the valve stems, and one tire was leaking around the rim. Is any of that normal? There is a liner in the wheel.

Are the tires shot, or can they be repaired? I looked at Nashbar tonight online and didn't see anything like a repair kit for tubeless tires. Anyone recommend a good kit with at least 10-20 small patches?

I'm going to order some tubes for trailside repairs. Should I just add tubes permanently?

The tire brand and model is obvious, but the wheels are unmarked except for a sticker that says, "Wheel Works Cyclepro." Anyone know about these folks?

Last question, why in the heck do they make the tubless tires so hard to remove?!?

Any advice is welcomed!
-Bob
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Old 08-17-07, 06:52 AM   #2
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I'll take a stab although I don't run tubeless.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
Hello again. I'm a new rider, at least new to modern mountain bikes. I'm a very casual and conservative rider - no stunts, no racing, and no drops. My bike has WTB ExiWolf tires, tubless, with hook bead rims. Less than a hundred miles on the bike and the tires are in near-new condition.

Still, I had two simultaneous flats today. Ran through some goatheads it seems.

If I add Slime inside the wheels, could that prevent small punctures from being catastrophic flats?

A lot of people will also run Stan's sealant with UST tires just to prevent this sort of thing from happening. Personally, I would run Stan's on a non-UST tire to save the weight as UST tires are heavy in comparision

While looking for puncture wounds in the tire (soapy water in the kitchen sink), I noticed something very worrysome. Many of the spokes were releasing small amounts of air, and there was quite a bit of air coming from the valve stems, and one tire was leaking around the rim. Is any of that normal? There is a liner in the wheel.

It seems to me it would not be normal, but again, I do not run UST and couldn't tell you definitively. I think running Stan's would prevent this too. Perhaps adding a new rim strip, but I don't think UST wheels should need one. It should be sealed.

Are the tires shot, or can they be repaired? I looked at Nashbar tonight online and didn't see anything like a repair kit for tubeless tires. Anyone recommend a good kit with at least 10-20 small patches?

Anything rubber can be repaired with a patch kit. I would run with a "glueless" kit for trail side repairs and perhaps have a regular kit at home. This may change if you're running Stan's though.

I'm going to order some tubes for trailside repairs. Should I just add tubes permanently?

If you're going to run tubes, I would get new tires too. Again, to save the weight. You could use the glueless patches for trial side repairs, if you are not running Stan's.

The tire brand and model is obvious, but the wheels are unmarked except for a sticker that says, "Wheel Works Cyclepro." Anyone know about these folks?

Never heard of it. Depending on how old the wheel set is, you might want to call it and see what it says about what is going on and its warranty.

Last question, why in the heck do they make the tubless tires so hard to remove?!?

Because they have to be air tight!

Any advice is welcomed!
-Bob
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Old 08-17-07, 07:08 AM   #3
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1. the tires should not be shot from riding 100 miles.

2. If you are running UST tires and UST wheels then throw some stans sealant in there to stop puncture flats from thorns, etc. This setup is the 'tits' ,in my opinion, if you aren't worried about weight weenie type stuff

3. carry a tube with you anyway even though you are running tubeless. Out on the trail, it is tough to inflate a tubeless tire and wheel setup most of the time. Plus, if you get a large slice in a sidewall, you are going to need a tube.

4. I don't get what you mean when you say the the spokes are leaking air. if you have a UST wheel, the spokes should be sealed from the area where the tire goes and there is no need for a rim strip.

To offer more advice you need to determine if you are running a UST setup with UST rims and tires, or some sort of a tubless conversion setup.

I was pretty sure you were running a full ust setup until you added the bit about the spokes leaking air

pics would help
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Old 08-17-07, 07:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
Hello again. I'm a new rider, at least new to modern mountain bikes. I'm a very casual and conservative rider - no stunts, no racing, and no drops. My bike has WTB ExiWolf tires, tubless, with hook bead rims. Less than a hundred miles on the bike and the tires are in near-new condition.

Still, I had two simultaneous flats today. Ran through some goatheads it seems.

If I add Slime inside the wheels, could that prevent small punctures from being catastrophic flats?

While looking for puncture wounds in the tire (soapy water in the kitchen sink), I noticed something very worrysome. Many of the spokes were releasing small amounts of air, and there was quite a bit of air coming from the valve stems, and one tire was leaking around the rim. Is any of that normal? There is a liner in the wheel.

Are the tires shot, or can they be repaired? I looked at Nashbar tonight online and didn't see anything like a repair kit for tubeless tires. Anyone recommend a good kit with at least 10-20 small patches?

I'm going to order some tubes for trailside repairs. Should I just add tubes permanently?

The tire brand and model is obvious, but the wheels are unmarked except for a sticker that says, "Wheel Works Cyclepro." Anyone know about these folks?

Last question, why in the heck do they make the tubless tires so hard to remove?!?

Any advice is welcomed!
-Bob
Use Stan's sealant, all problems solved (except the one about the tires being so difficult to remove from the rims). No puncture flats in the first place, the holes that are already in your tires will be "repaired," and the leaks at your spoke holes will go away-

Last edited by well biked; 08-17-07 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:16 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
If I add Slime inside the wheels, could that prevent small punctures from being catastrophic flats?
I've been using Stan's sealant, and I'm quite happy with it. Only 1 flat in 2.5 years. I've never tried Slime so I can't comment on that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
While looking for puncture wounds in the tire (soapy water in the kitchen sink), I noticed something very worrysome. Many of the spokes were releasing small amounts of air, and there was quite a bit of air coming from the valve stems, and one tire was leaking around the rim. Is any of that normal? There is a liner in the wheel.
I think you were filling inside your rim with water. If that's the case, when you remove the valve some water should come out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
The tire brand and model is obvious, but the wheels are unmarked except for a sticker that says, "Wheel Works Cyclepro." Anyone know about these folks?
I've never heard of it either. As far as I know only Mavic and FSA makes tubeless specific rims.
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Old 08-17-07, 09:38 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Curt Kurt View Post
2. If you are running UST tires and UST wheels then throw some stans sealant in there to stop puncture flats from thorns, etc. This setup is the 'tits' ,in my opinion, if you aren't worried about weight weenie type stuff
Not only is this set-up 'tits', but since I started with Stan's in 2003, I'm still yet to get a flat! Up to that point, I'd generally get a puncture or snakebite on every other ride. Now I can run INSANELY low pressure when the going gets wet/muddy, and not worry about a flat. IF YOU'RE TUBELESS, YOU MUST GO WITH STAN'S. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT FOR 1 SECOND!

Good luck, Bob!

... Brad
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Old 08-17-07, 09:42 AM   #7
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Ok, ok, here's how dumb I am.

Finally got the tire off. It wasn't difficult once it was started, but the "hook bead rims" made it tough to get going.

Lo-and-behold, I have tubes!

Don't know why I thought they were tubeless. We must have talked about it when the bike was being built, and decided on tubes in the end. Would you not expect tubeless on a +$1000 bicycle, or is the price not relevent?

So the solution seems simple now, order a bunch of tubes and try to patch the ones I have for now.

Should I also be using some sort of sealant with the tubes?

-Bob
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Old 08-17-07, 09:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
So the solution seems simple now, order a bunch of tubes and try to patch the ones I have for now.

Should I also be using some sort of sealant with the tubes?

-Bob
Bob, I would do the Stan's conversion to "tubeless". It can actually lighter than a UST set-up, with all the benefits. You can do some investigating here:

http://www.notubes.com/

I run UST, but a lot of my fellow riders have converted their tubed set-up to a Stan's tubeless setup with great results. Good luck Bob!

(of course you could always just replace the tubes, but you'll be doing that forever!)

... Brad
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Old 08-17-07, 10:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob W View Post
"hook bead rims" made it tough to get going.
Any decent clincher rim since at least the mid '80's is a hooked bead (also called hook edge) rim. What tends to make the tires tough to get off is slight manufacturing variations in tires/rims. Get some tires and some rims together, and they're especially tough. Then again, some go the other extreme and the tires nearly fall off the rims.

I agree with the advice to do the Stan's tubeless conversion. I've eliminated off road flats in the four or five years I've been using the system. An excellent upgrade, and it's just about $60-

Last edited by well biked; 08-17-07 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 08-17-07, 10:55 AM   #10
Bob W
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Thank you for your time and assistance.

Inflating and inspecting the tubes while off the bike this morning, the first tube has at least one hole, and the second tube has at least two.

I'm really interested in that Stan's system and I'll probably order it based on the many positive comments I've read in these forums.

-Bob
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Old 08-17-07, 01:02 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Bob W View Post

I'm really interested in that Stan's system and I'll probably order it based on the many positive comments I've read in these forums.

-Bob
Go for it. Hands down it's the single best upgrade I've done. Once you do it, you'll see that it's not as complicated as it sounds. Now I basically throw some new sealant in at the beginning of the season and completely forget about it.

Only drawback I've found is that swapping tires will be more of a production than if you use tubes. Not an issue for me, since 1) I don't swap tires, and 2) I've gotten good/quick at re-sealing a freshly mounted tire.

Oh, and I'd suggest using more than the recommended amount of sealant. Makes things much quicker and easier to seal up, and it lasts longer.

Last edited by Barneco; 08-17-07 at 01:02 PM. Reason: typos
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