Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: central Missouri
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I recently converted my Epic 29er to tubeless, and am loving it so far. The lower tire pressures (now at 28 front, 30 rear) really work for me on the local trails (lots of rocks, roots, logs, mud). The ride is more comfy, and climbing grip on soft terrain seems improved.
The sealant does not take care of every puncture problem. Works well for thorns, and small rock cuts. In a race I did a few weeks ago, I came upon a guy that had been leading the SS race, but had a larger hole in his tire from a stick. His tubeless tire would not seal, and he did not have any repair stuff. I loaned him my pump, but he ended up dropping out.
As far as tire installation, I guess this will depend on the tire and rim combination in use. I have not had any problems at all with the tubeless installation on my bike. Tires mount on the rim easily. The tires and rims on my bike were tubeless compatible when I bought the bike, so my expense to convert was minimal (only the sealant). I always carry a spare tube and either a pump or co2 inflator. Have not had a flat yet, but when I do get one, I plan to repair with a tube on the trail, and convert back to tubeless at home.
Like everything, some like tubeless, and some don't. I'm liking it now, but will admit my experience is only about 2 months, so the opinion could change.
To the OP, you ask if you should buy a new tube after getting a flat on the rear. If you don't have a spare tube, you should get one. But keep in mind the flatted tube from your bike can likely be patched and you can continue using it.