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  1. #1
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    Tubeless Touring

    This is probalby a dumb question because it seems every loaded touring forum is full of old curmudgeons who insist on everything being old school and always over prepare for the absolute worst but has anyone toured on tubeless tire setup? as a clyde I'm looking into it but the larger tire size options are simply non existent for road tubeless tires. Cyclocross tires are probably going to be far too slow on pavement but they are available in tubeless models in a 35c. I've heard that many tires that aren't billed as tubeless can work in tubeless conversions but it's more dangerous with road tires because the higher pressures mean regular tires beads will strectch and not hold a seal. I'm wondering if a 35c road tire at 50 or 60 psi would be considered high pressure though? I'm thinking that statement is meant for someone considering taking a conti 6p4000 and trying to go tubeless and inflate it to 110psi

  2. #2
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    If the casing is rated for the psi it shouldn't matter if it is tube or not. The issue is whether or not it can be made to seal since some beads are less conformal/smooth than others. One big plus to tubeless is you can use industrial level sealants(not the average slime). In the event that something did happen in the field, you can always re-tube it to get home if you carry the right valved tube. With the right tire type (puncture shield) and good sealant I would have no fears about touring with tubeless.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Chris Pringle's Avatar
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    I've also looked into this but have almost given up on the idea even though I have 26" UST MTB wheels mounted on my touring bike. The lack of slick UST tires (I mostly ride on paved roads), the pretty high cost of the conversion if I want to use regular tires, the risk involved and the weight saving is negligible (you still have to carry spare tubes and putting one can be pretty messy.) Basically, the whole thing sounded neat in the beginning, but the more I looked into it, it became obvious that it wasn't meaty enough to go through the hassle. Regular tubed tires still get the job done fine. If I were to go on a long off-road tour, I would seriously consider switching to low pressured UST tires to make the bike more compliant to the harsh terrain.

  4. #4
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    The purpose of a tubeless cyclocross tire is that you can run at 25 to 40psi and not have pinch flats. The lower pressure provides better grip.

    I run clincher MTB tires on a clincher rim tubeless using Stans no tube kit at 40 psi max. Great for off road. Totally sucks on pavement.

    I have a Trek Madone and I run Hutchison Intensives 700X25 tubeless tires on a clincher rim. I use 3 oz. of Stans sealant and run the tires at 100psi.
    Very little leakage but a chore to mount as a compressor is needed to seat the tire.

    Hutchison is going produce a 700X28 tire this year which could certainly be used for light touring.

  5. #5
    __________ seeker333's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimblairo View Post
    The purpose of a tubeless cyclocross tire is that you can run at 25 to 40psi and not have pinch flats. The lower pressure provides better grip.
    Exactly. The purpose of tubeless is to permit very low pressures. However, most tourists want HIGH pressure to reduce rolling resistance by minimizing pedaling energy losses to tire deformation hysteresis. Tubeless makes no sense for the great majority of bicycle tourists.

  6. #6
    or tarckeemoon, depending marqueemoon's Avatar
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    Burp a cross tires in a race and you run half a mile to the pit or go get a beer.

    For touring? Nah.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    Exactly. The purpose of tubeless is to permit very low pressures. However, most tourists want HIGH pressure to reduce rolling resistance by minimizing pedaling energy losses to tire deformation hysteresis. Tubeless makes no sense for the great majority of bicycle tourists.
    I'm not planning on using these for serious loaded touring, I'm looking at them as a better option as commuting tires in the city. I find that even with removeable valve core tubes, it's impossible to get sealant into tubes unless I buy those ridiculously overpriced 20 cans of compressed air/sealant mix. Essentially, I'm trying to do road tubeless but I"m asking the touring guys becaues you all roll on larger size wheels. In the road tubeless world it's basically hutchinson for tubeless ready stuff and I"M hearing mixed reviews on using other regular tires. Hutchinson does have a 25c intensive but everyone says that it really measures less than 23! I've also heard that the 28mm intensive was supposed to be released this year but it doesn't appear that has happened and at 250lbs, I'm really looking for a road option at 32 or 35 c. Presently i rideon randoneur hypers inflated up close to 90psi. That is probably a bit high on psi, but I also do it so I can go a few weeks between adding air. when all is said and done, I often find myself rolling around on them around 60psi

  8. #8
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    If you stick to going between places that also stock and understand the new tubeless trend,

    you may be Ok..

  9. #9
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    Could most of the issues be solved if the wheels used were air tight? Say start with spokeless. There are some touring friendly versions. Then just slap in a valve stem, and mount a tire the way they do with all other tubeless wheels You get a far lighter tire, and wheel, though in this case one would loose out with the weight of a spokeless, but at least one would save some weight.

  10. #10
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    The purpose of a tubeless cyclocross tire is that you can run at 25 to 40psi and not have pinch flats. The lower pressure provides better grip.
    Burp a cross tires in a race and you run half a mile to the pit or go get a beer.
    Hence the predominance of Old traditional tubular/ sewup wheels and tires
    glued on.

    for the competitors that are not, just as Happy spending the
    last half of the race in the Beer Tent,
    being a couple laps down on the leaders anyhow.

    but actually want to finish on the Podium.


    I tour between Beer tents, or Pubs..

    went thru whole tour without a puncture

    Southern Ireland, to Northern Scotland,
    spending Spring Summer and Autumn there..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-09-12 at 01:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    as I said before, I'm thinking that there is a great future for road tubeless for particular individuals. one of the problems currently with road tubeless is they need to withstand really high pressures but when you don't have a tube to worry about pinch flatting heavier riders can run much lower pressures. Ultimately, What I'm looking to do with my disc trucker is just have a second set for occassions I want to go hit some dirt trails with it and for when there is snow on the ground but I'm also considering selling my carbon fiber road bike and getting a custome steel frame racing bike built and one of the things I want to be able to do is run it with at least a 28 and possibly a 32, but still have them be relatively low rolling resistance. One of the aggressive training rides I participate in has some really dicey road conditions and the skinny 150lb guys can handle it no problem on their 23's because they are running them at 90 psi while I still need to run 25c tires at 120. I could get away with running them closer to 100 but on a bad bump I could easily pinch flat it. If i had a 28c tubeless, I could get my psi down around 90 like they have it and be comfortable, corner better, and hopefully just as fast.

    FWIW, my tubeless compatible WTB Laser TCS Trail 29er rims just showed up today. just to goof around I tried setting up an old Panaracer tserv that was only a 28c as tubeless. IT is holding but it's an old tire with a couple of gashes out of it. I didn't put a tun of sealant in when I set them up either so they are holding air but I can't get them much past 50psi before they want to shoot sealant out of one of the holes. for a lighter weight rider, though, it would absolutely work

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    you may get a secure bonding of bead to rim, with Sew Up Glue.

    Low pressure tires creep around the rim, with Torque, from , sprinting , climbing.

    At least the creeping tire wont carry the inner-tube with it,
    a common way to shear the stem out of the tube.

    Ididabike Shop allweathersports in Fairbanks suggested the gluing 1 bead to the rim
    for still being able to access the tube..
    no tube, glue them both. the regular tubular glue is probably perfected
    being refined thru the decades to bond tires to rims.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    you may get a secure bonding of bead to rim, with Sew Up Glue.

    Low pressure tires creep around the rim, with Torque, from , sprinting , climbing.

    At least the creeping tire wont carry the inner-tube with it,
    a common way to shear the stem out of the tube.

    Ididabike Shop allweathersports in Fairbanks suggested the gluing 1 bead to the rim
    for still being able to access the tube..
    no tube, glue them both. the regular tubular glue is probably perfected
    being refined thru the decades to bond tires to rims.
    not sure i'm understanding what you are trying to tell me. are you saying I should try roadtubeless with any old set of tires but use Mastik to bond the tires to the rim?

  14. #14
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    This is probalby a dumb question because it seems every loaded touring forum is full of old curmudgeons who insist on everything being old school and always over prepare for the absolute worst but has anyone toured on tubeless tire setup? as a clyde I'm looking into it but the larger tire size options are simply non existent for road tubeless tires. Cyclocross tires are probably going to be far too slow on pavement but they are available in tubeless models in a 35c. I've heard that many tires that aren't billed as tubeless can work in tubeless conversions but it's more dangerous with road tires because the higher pressures mean regular tires beads will strectch and not hold a seal. I'm wondering if a 35c road tire at 50 or 60 psi would be considered high pressure though? I'm thinking that statement is meant for someone considering taking a conti 6p4000 and trying to go tubeless and inflate it to 110psi
    No one has asked why you want to do this. Just because you can? I can see no benefit and nothing but headaches for touring. Call me an " old curmudgeons" but I think it is a dumb idea. Sorry.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I have considered trying tubeless for touring. I am not completely convinced that it is a good idea, but I am also not convinced that it isn't. The reasons I considered it? Tubes add weight, not only on the wheel, but the spare tubes add weight as well. Tubes make a tire ride as if it had a stiffer sidewall and I like nice supple sidewalls. Tubeless is supposed to be capable of dealing with goathead thorns without needing to patch. Pinch flats would supposedly be eliminated, so if you go off road you can run lower pressures.

    Does tubeless really deliver all that? Honestly I don't know, but if so it would be an improvement.

    Lots of mountain bikers do go tubeless with regular rims and tires not specifically made for tubeless. There are several different options for how that can be done.

    Will I actually try it? Probably not on my road touring bike at least not now, but maybe on my mountain bike. I am kind of intrigued though.

  16. #16
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Please the few ounces tubeless weighs, probably most of use can make up in losing some weight ourselves and we would be healthier to boot. I don't see the weight savings of tubeless as an advantage.
    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

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  17. #17
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    I am a big fan of tubeless for mountain bikes but would never want to tour on a tubeless set up, unless it was mountain bike touring on singletrack. Very few tubeless systems are able to handle pressures much over 40 psi. There are very few times I would want to run that low of pressure on the road, even 50 psi on 32's is not very high, especially if you have a full touring load on the bike.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Please the few ounces tubeless weighs, probably most of use can make up in losing some weight ourselves and we would be healthier to boot. I don't see the weight savings of tubeless as an advantage.
    Admittedly, if one wants to go this route, one can also consider the half step of buying super light tubes.

    Myself I do not believe that weight in the wheels, at max diameter, is the same as weight on my butt. And to be realistic, most people's ability to control their weight is unaffected by stuff like the weight of their bike wheels. Even health issues does not force a change in behaviour for many people. I have ridden heavy wheeled bikes and I did not like it. The weight of normal rubber inner tubes is significant. However, if one uses a lot of sealant the advantage goes away, and if one does not use sealant, some of the advantages of the tubeless tires go away. I think there are some advantages to be had, but as usual, this stuff is not being developed for touring conditions, and we will have to make our own solutions.

  19. #19
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    are you saying I should try roadtubeless with any old set of tires but use Mastik to bond the tires to the rim?

    Nope,
    Im suggesting [simple logic] Tubeless Tires 'Burp' air pressure out
    when they lose contact with the.rim.

    to make rim - tire connection secure.. glue them together..

    racing , equipment failure just means a DNF and you go home.

    Break down in the Western desert 100 miles from water, alone,
    is another situation.. entirely..




    I watch, but am slow on trend adoption


    so another curmudgeon..



    weight "weenieisim" Nah.. .

    I'm fine with heavy duty stuff, Being old and slow, myself.

    thorn resistant tubes .. rarely need re inflating, was my choice,
    bike tour, 6 months, no flats.

    None for a few years is common ..

    Wish you Good luck..
    Last edited by fietsbob; 11-10-12 at 01:19 AM.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    No one has asked why you want to do this. Just because you can? I can see no benefit and nothing but headaches for touring. Call me an " old curmudgeons" but I think it is a dumb idea. Sorry.
    it's a fair enough question. I'm 250lbs so even with large volume tires, I still have to run with really high pressures. I'd like to run lower pressuers without having sacrificing performance and I think tubeless is a reasonably inexpensive way to achieve that. I also cycle to commute so it would be nice to have tires self sealing on the fly. While I know you can add sealant to tubes, its either expensive (cans of vittora pit stop) or a pain in the ass if you don't have a presta valve tube with a removeable core AND threads on the entire valve to screw the no tubes syringe onto.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Nope,
    Im suggesting [simple logic] Tubeless Tires 'Burp' air pressure out
    when they lose contact with the.rim.

    to make rim - tire connection secure.. glue them together..

    racing , equipment failure just means a DNF and you go home.

    Break down in the Western desert 100 miles from water, alone,
    is another situation.. entirely..




    I watch, but am slow on trend adoption


    so another curmudgeon..



    weight "weenieisim" Nah.. .

    I'm fine with heavy duty stuff, Being old and slow, myself.

    thorn resistant tubes .. rarely need re inflating, was my choice,
    bike tour, 6 months, no flats.

    None for a few years is common ..

    Wish you Good luck..
    Burping is more of an issue with MTB and CX where you are definately going to be riding rough terrain. probably far less of an issue with a road bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by chriskmurray View Post
    I am a big fan of tubeless for mountain bikes but would never want to tour on a tubeless set up, unless it was mountain bike touring on singletrack. Very few tubeless systems are able to handle pressures much over 40 psi. There are very few times I would want to run that low of pressure on the road, even 50 psi on 32's is not very high, especially if you have a full touring load on the bike.
    This is not true, there IS road tubeless already that can hold high pressures. What there isn't are larger tires for it. right now the world of tubeless consists of mtb, CX and 23c road tires. nothing in 28 or 32c for a "city" tire is out there.

  23. #23
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Please the few ounces tubeless weighs, probably most of use can make up in losing some weight ourselves and we would be healthier to boot. I don't see the weight savings of tubeless as an advantage.
    I am not saying that tubeless makes sense for road touring. I do not know if it does or not, but I do think that the weight savings would be at least somewhat significant even for non gram counters. A 700x35mm size a tube might weigh about 5 ounces or a little more. So 10 ounces for the two that are on the wheels. Most tourists carry at least 1 spare and some as many as 3 spares. So that is 3-5 tubes or about 1 lb. to 1 lb. 10 oz. Also when talking about weight savings I think you need to consider that this would be one of many different decisions, so a pound here and a pound there and pretty soon you are looking at 5, 10, or 20 pounds if you start applying the notion that a few ounces don't matter to each of the many bike, gear, and packing decisions.

    Bottom line is that for me it would be worth it for the weight savings alone if there were no other disadvantages.

    I have toured with 55 pounds, 30 pounds, 22 pounds, 15 pounds, and 12 pounds of base gear weight. That 43 pound difference would be significant to just about anyone. The difference between the two extremes is the result of many decisions where a few ounces here and a few ounces there were saved. Yet when any one of those many decisions is discussed, someone always says something like, "that is just the weight of a bottle of water, do you notice the difference when you drink a bottle" or "that is weight we could make up in losing some weight ourselves".

    On the bottle of water rationalization... Apply it to ten, twenty, or thirty decisions and the weight starts to look significant to just about anyone.

    On the body weight rationalization... Losing body weight and losing gear weight are not mutually exclusive. You can do one the other or both. Then there is the fact that not everyone wants or needs to lose weight, some might even be trying to gain some. Losing gear weight can be instant and effortless, body weight not so much. Body weight is governed by a different set of decisions that usually have nothing to do with touring.

  24. #24
    Senior Member chriskmurray's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscTruckerMF View Post
    This is not true, there IS road tubeless already that can hold high pressures. What there isn't are larger tires for it. right now the world of tubeless consists of mtb, CX and 23c road tires. nothing in 28 or 32c for a "city" tire is out there.
    I said "very few" could handle much higher pressures. The Hutchinson tubeless road tires I have seen first hand seemed to cut really easily considering the number with large cuts in them that have came through the shop, not something I would want to put a touring load on.

  25. #25
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    Admittedly, if one wants to go this route, one can also consider the half step of buying super light tubes.
    That has always been my approach with the exception of a few brief experiments with heavy tubes. I find that lightweight tubes in a size a bit smaller than the rated size for the tire are my preference. I'd consider latex ones if they were cheaper and more available.

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