Tubed or tubless
I know most here ride a high pressure "skinny" tire, but I am riding my Fargo with 29er 2.2s, on my mountain bikes I switched to tubless a few years ago and have for the most part left flats behind. My main tour next year will be gravel, single track, and rail to trail. My practice routes and rides are similar. The bike came tubed and I've left it so far, but will be switching tires soon, so was wondering what your thoughts were on tubless touring?
Actually, most people here tend to tour w/ heavy duty tires that are not too skinny. In regard to your off-road tour next year, it might be a good idea to get fresh set of tires just before the tour, unless you think you won't ride your 29er much at all between now and then. Also, what percentage of your tour will be on gravel vs. single track vs. rail-to-trail? If you foresee the need to ride mostly with really low pressure tires on your next tour due lots of rough terrain, go tubeless. As you know, low-pressure tires + tubes + loaded bike = lots of flats.
Edit: Also, think in case of a sliced tire (happened to my UST tire while MTBing in Oregon), you still wanna carry tubes for your spare tire. Carrying a Stan's tubeless kit while on tour is possible but quite cumbersome/messy to install.
Last edited by Chris Pringle; 03-16-12 at 12:10 AM.
tubeless tires need to be air tight, regular tires don't.
Tubeless tires sound like a good idea, the weight of tubes is material. However, wheels are often the center of trouble, and you need to be able to change spokes. So for now, I don't see the practicality. I would need something simple like nipples that sealed with O-rings, and tires that did not require a lot of slime, to want to go that route. 2.2 is a fat hog of a tire, and some people do prefer them for general touring. Myself I have yet to see the biketrail as opposed to back country tour, that could not easily be ridden on 1.5s , and there is a huge reduction in weight. In fact I ride slicks on stone paths, etc... This assumes there is pavement involved also.
You can go ultralite, and preserve a certain degree of the feel of an unloaded bike. However, it doesn't take all that much weight before a bike is not really usable like a bare road bike or even an MTB. So while one might think that a heavier bike would need the fat tires, it often turns out that light tires are better. You aren't going to be grabbing big air, doing drops, or successfully running mud holes on a loaded bike. So keeping the wheels light and moving may not really require the big wheels. Or it might...
Last edited by MassiveD; 03-16-12 at 03:23 AM.
x2! I'm about 260-5 lbs. total when long distance touring. I use Kevlar wrapped tubed 35c-700 on pavement and tubed 1.5 x 26 or 1.9 x 26 on rough dirt and gravel and have very little tire issues. I can adjust the air pressure without worrying about bead seal. I know from experience that it's not normally a smart idea to try and run big, soupy thick mud holes with a loaded touring bike, lol.
Originally Posted by MassiveD
True, and they are. Tubeless tires today are set up with a sealant inside so they remain air tight and immediately seal if they are punctured. As long as you take along a tube for any unforeseen emergency I would say a tubeless setup would work fine. Of course when you wear out the tire, if you are planning enough miles to do so, changing the tire will take more work, but most likely you would be stopping at a bike shop to get a tire anyway so it shouldn't be a problem.
Originally Posted by fietsbob
I am going ghetto tubeless for A tour on the Great divide route in June.