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Going tubeless

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Old 07-11-18, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderchicken View Post
I just got a new bike for commuting that has tubless ready rims and tires. They're 42mm with sawtooth tread.
Pics or it didn't happen! Or at least give a link!
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Old 07-11-18, 04:29 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I have a love/hate relationship with TL. When it works, it is great, when it doesn't, it sucks. ...
u235, that is SO helpful, and echos my experience with tubeless (MTB only). I have tried Gorilla Tape (both black/duct and clear) and am now getting better success with Kapton, but that tends to wrinkle. So you like Scotch 8898 or 898? Is the only difference there the color?
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Old 07-11-18, 04:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I don't hesitate to recommend the VeloTubes stems on Amazon-- I have three pairs of them now, and they're great. The rubber base is bonded just to the outside of the stem, so the inner hole is a consistent diameter. As such, the stems never get clogged with sealant boogers, and they can flow more air so seating tires is easier. Three different lengths, six different colors.

For sealant, I prefer TruckerCo Cream over Stan's. It's a bit cheaper, they include a sealant injector that actually fits on normal Presta stems, and the sealant itself has more suspended solids, so it seems to seal punctures more quickly.
Thx for those recos, next time I need tubeless valves I'll get those VeloTubes.

I started with TruckerCo, and I like it fine. Cheaper, and the syringe is quite useful. Now I have homebrew sealant though, it took me maybe $15 to make I think about 2L. The most expensive ingredient is liquid latex mold builder (use a 50% off coupon for Michael's); next time the cost will be less because I'll still have the PG (propylene glycol=cheap RV antifreeze). You could spend a year reading through all this and still be confused. What I made was 2 parts PG, 2 parts distilled water, 2 parts latex, 0.5 parts ammonia, 1 healthy scoop of cornmeal.
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Old 07-11-18, 05:37 PM
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Originally Posted by RoadKill View Post
Any tubeless stem will work, I've used Stan's and I've used cheap Chinese stems from Amazon. They are all fine.

For Sealant I don't really like Stan's. When it dries it balls up and you get a big glob of it rolling around inside the tire. I prefer the Bontrager sealant, as it dries it lines the tire and becomes an extra layer of protection.
I'm also experimenting with the new Slime tubeless sealant in one of the MTBs, so far after 2 months I'm pretty happy with it as well.
Thanks for the advice on the Stans sealant - something rolling around in my tire would drive me nuts.
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Old 07-11-18, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Colorado Kid View Post
One point that hasn't been addressed is cost and the lack of wide distribution. A tire starts at for about $30.00 and not every shop has them.
$30 for a tubeless tire? My rims are tires are already tubeless ready. I saw valve stems are about $16 for two $25 for 32 oz of Bontrager sealent (4 years worth of sealing) and the sealer applicator looks like its $10. So a total of $50 to give it a whirl. My brother in law broke down and bought a compressor because his MTB was a pain to get the tires to seal so I can barrow that if its not working out with a hand pump.
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Old 07-11-18, 05:49 PM
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I would go with the LBS offer to do the tubeless for you if you buy stems, i.e. they throw in the tape and sealant and labor for free.
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Old 07-11-18, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
u235, that is SO helpful, and echos my experience with tubeless (MTB only). I have tried Gorilla Tape (both black/duct and clear) and am now getting better success with Kapton, but that tends to wrinkle. So you like Scotch 8898 or 898? Is the only difference there the color?
8898 in blue or yellow is similar to Stans but more flexible and stronger and 55yd at 25mm at Amazon for like $7. I have 23mm ID rims and works perfect. 898 is thinner with nylon reinforcement. I put a round of 898 in center over the holes or close and the 8898 over that. Some say two rounds of 8898 and no 898 works too. To be honest 1 round of 8898 would work if your holes are machined smooth.
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Old 07-11-18, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
I would go with the LBS offer to do the tubeless for you if you buy stems, i.e. they throw in the tape and sealant and labor for free.
The offer was a there and then deal to get free labor. I didn't really know much about tubeless and wanted time to read up to understand what I was getting into. The discourse so far has me convinced to give it a stab and do it myself.

I'm thinking I'll probably bring a worm kit (I think these are actually named Genuine Innovations G2650 Tubeless Tire Repair Kit : Bike Tubes) and C02 cartridge but no spare. Uber is fine if I can't get the tire back together. I've had worse luck with breaking chains anyway.
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Old 07-11-18, 06:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Pics or it didn't happen! Or at least give a link!
Specialized Sequoia Expert. I was going to get the Elite with 105 groupset and 2x chainring but they took $1000 off to make room for the 2019 edition and I couldn't pass. I actually really like the 1x and SRAM double tap. Best of all is the smooth ride even though my commute takes me over some rough surfaces. All I need now is to figure out how to get folks to look right before they turn right across a bike/walking path... They hydraulic brakes have come in handy for that.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/sequoia-expert/p/116168
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Old 07-11-18, 07:37 PM
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
I don't hesitate to recommend the VeloTubes stems on Amazon-- I have three pairs of them now, and they're great.
Good to know, I've had equal luck with a few of these Revmega offbrand ones.
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Old 07-11-18, 08:49 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I would need the rims, and I'm nowhere near replacing rims that work fine. And wouldn't I need a compressor? Actually, I have one at the weekend house. OK whatever, but I just don't care enough to taste the Kool Aid.
For fat tire i need compressor. My 2" hybrid I could do with floorpump. Probably depends on how compatible the tire/rim combo is.
Make sure tire is clean (dirt from old sealant etc.) and use plenty of soapy water as lubricant. Use official rim tape (that is smoother and thinner thanhack tape)

for a ft tire i had to put a 26" inner tube around it to squeeze it to the rim to seal it. 2" hybrid tire was easier.

I can't tell if for my hybrid rolling resistance decreased since for tubeless i used new tires (old ones were not tubeless). The new ones are Schwalbe almotion that are extra low rolling resistance and roll nice... but they may also roll nice with tubes.

I also converted from Presta to Schrader when going tubeless.
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Old 07-12-18, 08:32 AM
  #37  
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wunderchicken, that bike is hawt! The 1x is definitely the way to go
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Old 07-12-18, 01:13 PM
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Iím commuting tubeless now too. Nothing to report yet.
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Old 07-12-18, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
I thought of this the other day (as I inadvertently unscrewed a valve core from my tube while removing a pump head).

Is there any down side to this (apart from ~20 gm added)? Why don't people just do this with all tubed tires?
For me, it rather depends on the size. 23-28mm tires my biggest problem was pinch flats, and they don’t protect at all against that (or spoke holes or anything on the rim side of the tube). They can protect against the tread side and worked for me with 2” tires.



Originally Posted by wunderchicken View Post
Specialized Sequoia Expert. I was going to get the Elite with 105 groupset and 2x chainring but they took $1000 off to make room for the 2019 edition and I couldn't pass. I actually really like the 1x and SRAM double tap. Best of all is the smooth ride even though my commute takes me over some rough surfaces. All I need now is to figure out how to get folks to look right before they turn right across a bike/walking path... They hydraulic brakes have come in handy for that.
Those bikes are so, so comfortable! Love the steel - and they roll very nice. Enjoy!

All I need now is to figure out how to get folks to look right before they turn right across a bike/walking path... They hydraulic brakes have come in handy for that.
I find that noisy calipers work best for that! Always makes them jump out of the way.
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Old 07-12-18, 03:18 PM
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My Troll is tubeless. I use it for commuting, trail riding and touring. I have no need to browbeat others to go tubeless, but it's worked well for me.
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Old 07-12-18, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I have a love/hate relationship with TL. When it works, it is great, when it doesn't, it sucks...
thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

This is the kind of info Iíve been looking for. Iíve been considering going tubeless on my 700x38c commuter, but just havenít been convinced Iíd be any better off than where Iím at now. For now, Iím gonna hang out on the ďnot worth the troubleĒ side of this one. Iíll be happy to go tubeless when itís more like motorcycles; mount, inflate, done.


-Kedosto
(Specialized Infinity Armadillos with Specialized AirLock tubes)
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Old 07-13-18, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Kedosto View Post


thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU!!!

This is the kind of info Iíve been looking for. Iíve been considering going tubeless on my 700x38c commuter, but just havenít been convinced Iíd be any better off than where Iím at now. For now, Iím gonna hang out on the ďnot worth the troubleĒ side of this one. Iíll be happy to go tubeless when itís more like motorcycles; mount, inflate, done.


-Kedosto
(Specialized Infinity Armadillos with Specialized AirLock tubes)
If you don't get flats, just keep doing what you are doing. Maybe you are on good paths with few thorns etc.
Tubes are trouble-free as long as you don't get flats. tubeless is kind of easy to set up with proper material, but you have to re-inject some sealant every few months. Not a big deal to me compared to having flats in the middle of a ride (with the night approaching and 30 miles to go home)
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Old 07-19-18, 11:31 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by u235 View Post
I have a love/hate relationship with TL. When it works, it is great, when it doesn't, it sucks. Tubeless will reduce flats, even large slices can be fixed with plugs and you can keep going. If that doesnt work, toss a tube in like you would have had to do anyway if you were tubed and be on your way. All positive.
The problem is if and when you have to break the bead for any reason and want to return to TL.. Things get a little hectic. It is almost easier to start over if any one of a number of things happen when you pull the tire off. I'm sure many people pop beads, do what they need to do, pop it back in, air up and roll for months. I've done that to but far less often than dealing with something.
- The tape will undoubtedly have sealant under it in spots slowly working its way to the spoke hole and it will never restick to the rim. I've found starting over and doing a retape is easier then messing with it
- The tire and ultra sticky dry latex layer on the bead can stick and get caught on the tape pulling it up. Making your tape narrower away from the bead helps that but that also causes other potential problems. Starting over and doing a retape is easier then messing with it
- The tire can have an uneven buildup of dried latex around the perimeter of the bead and/or the rim (depending on what ripped first as you dismount the tire) causing uneven gaps in the bead seal when remounting. Assuming none of the first two happened where a retape is required, at least you should clean up and peel off the dried sealant from the tire and/or rim to increase your chances of getting a better reseal.

Annoyances to consider but part of the game.
- A tube put in a tire that was previous tubeless will cause the tube to strongly adhere to the tire regardless of how much you clean out the old sealant. It can be pulled off with some force and does not seem to cause any problems.
- A tire with sealant on the bead will be harder to mount later, the tire will grab better and make your three handed manipulation to get it on harder then it was the first time you did it with no sealant yet. This MIGHT make your converting back to tubed in an emergency or routine slightly harder or damn near impossible. Obviously different tire/rim combos play a bigger role in fit but a tire that was once tubeless with latex around the bead would never be easier to mount, only equal or often harder to. Use of excessive soap and water I never thought was a good idea on TL setup. That tire is not only air tight, it will be water tight. That soapy water stays in there and can work its way under your tape leading to the problems listed above and possible the soap could break down the bound of the sealant? It certainly won't help it. Maybe in the big scheme of things some soap and water is negligible.

For me, breaking the bead to fix something happens to often for my liking. Twice in the past two months I've had to pop the bead and patch the inside of slits that the sealant would seal but at random times would blow through and possibly reseal again . Plugs got me "home" but the plug is not a permanent solution. Unlike a cars radial tire with steel cords to grab the plug, a bike tire does not have that, If you ever tried to seal a bias ply trailer tire with one of those plugs, you see immediately why they don't work for that either as a long term fix. That plug WILL eventually come out, move around or possibly be a source of a small slow leak. Bike tire slits seem to expand slightly over time as well. Long story short. Sealant and plugs are short term fixes for most slits and cuts. TL does not mean you won't be "patching" holes any more, you'll just be doing some later in a different way hopefully in the comfort of your home. For lower pressure MTB tires with sturdier construction and knobs to protect the plug you'll have much better luck. I have far less problems with TL on my MTB tires run at 25-35 then I have on my gravel bike run at 40-65. In the end, TL is not the ultimate golden ticket some people claim it is, it has many advantages but also some drawbacks. I will forever and always use TL regardless of any negatives on my MTB. On my gravel bike.. I go back and forth. In fact my front now is still tubeless, my rear is tubed. Seeing the difference in the two tires types I have I imagine a narrower road tire with more pressure would be that much worse. These are just my experiences, YMMV.

My personal experience. I've only used regular Stans sealant. For tape I've used Gorilla tape (IMO sucked), Stans tape, and more recently a combination of the much cheaper Scotch 8898 and 898. The fact that Scotch tape is so cheap, retaping if needed and starting over is not expensive, just a PITA. Patching a tube on the side of the road is a PITA too though.
For me, popping the bead is dire (resealing is no fun at all). I have wanted a compressor for decades so I finally got one. If I give up on tubeless I will still use the compressor to sandblast the flowerbeds or powerwash the children or something... but when tubeless is working it is wonderful (lower pressure, nice tires, avoid endless punctures which I would otherwise be dealing with using nice tires in the kinds of places I ride) .

I had one wipeout due to rear wheel burping that was bad (tire came off, tangled in drivetrain, down I went, sprained knee). Then 2 weeks ago I had another crash that did not have such a clear burp but at the end of it the front tire was off, so I don't know if that caused my faceplant or happened during it.

Anyway, when it works, road tubeless is great but I don't want to have a 3rd accident like those other 2 (which were 5 years apart, so enough time lapsed to get pretty comfortable).
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Old 07-19-18, 12:28 PM
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Based solely on the number of goatheads I physically pulled out of my tires mid-ride yesterday, during that 75 miles I would have recorded no less than 3 flats. All three bubbled sealant for a moment then stopped. The front had just one removed (which doesn't count any thorns that broke off in the tire) but only lost 2psi overnight. The rear had 2 monster thorns removed, and lost about 8psi in 24 hours.

Out here, tubeless is only a choice if the other option is "fix a flat every single ride."
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Old 07-19-18, 12:42 PM
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One thing I would like to note from my ďtubeless experience ď is that it works a lot better when you have dedicated compatible components. My first time around I had a tubeless rim but a non-tubeless tire and a Gorilla tape rim strip and a valve cut from a tube. This time itís all WTB brand and working great.
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Old 07-20-18, 07:39 PM
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I'm not getting a lot of flats and the whole "if it works" vibe I'm getting + the weekly pressure checks + every 4 months reloading sealant sounds like more trouble than it's worth.On the rare occasion I get a flat, the $6 spare tire I'm carrying is more reassuring because I've dealt with that before.
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