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Tube-no-tube tire lies?

Old 03-17-21, 06:15 PM
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Tube-no-tube tire lies?

I am trying out several different gravel tires to see what fits and works on my Specialized Roubaix. All the tires I am trying are advertised as tube-or-no-tube, i.e. they should work either way. I was mounting them with tubes just to check for fit, but there were two tires from two different brands that I just could not get the beads to sit right on with tubes. I tried for quite some time, they were sitting too far into the rim and would not pop out; they were also not even so were not rideable.

The first time it happened they had a return policy and I just returned the tires (Donnelly X'Plor). The second time they wouldn't seat I said "Hmmm.." and tried again without tubes and pop! it was trivial (Vittoria Terreno Dry TNT). My guess is the Donnellys would also have popped in fine without the tube.

So, my current view based on very limited experience is don't bother even testing tube-no-tube gravel tires with a tube, let alone using with a tube, unless they are a tire you know works with a tube beforehand. Note that I have mounted several other tube-no-tube brands and didn't have this problem but the fact that it happened for two different brands makes me think there is a pattern here.
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Old 03-18-21, 01:14 PM
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So you have "mounted several other tube-no-tube brands and didn't have this problem," but based on these two samples, you sense a "pattern" and so indict every tubeless-compatible tire for lying? Given all the possible variables at play, that seems a bit reactionary.
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Old 03-18-21, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla
.. and so indict every tubeless-compatible tire for lying?
I explicitly mentioned that I have mounted several tube-no-tube tires of other brands and they have worked fine. These fine brands include Maxxis, Schwalbe, Continental, and Panaracer. Those companies I am not accusing of anything, they are living up to their claims. I am concerned about the Donnelly and Vittoria claims, and also am wondering if there are other problematic "tube-no-tube" tires out there to be aware of.
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Old 03-18-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith
I explicitly mentioned that I have mounted several tube-no-tube tires of other brands and they have worked fine. Those companies I am not accusing of anything, they are living up to their claims.
Yes, but in the OP you just advised people not to "bother even testing tube-no-tube gravel tires with a tube," not differentiating between brands at all.

Originally Posted by scottfsmith
I am concerned about the Donnelly and Vittoria claims
Concerned enough to reach out to the companies before accusing them of lying?
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Old 03-18-21, 02:05 PM
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I wonder what there could be about the construction of a tubeless ready tire that would make it incompatible with tubes?
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Old 03-18-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
I wonder what there could be about the construction of a tubeless ready tire that would make it incompatible with tubes?
Speculation:
TL tires need to be a tight fit against the shoulders of the rim. When doing ghetto-TL setups, creating that seal is the challenge. So maybe air trying to escape under the bead on a TL rim and tire acts as a lube and helps the tire pop onto the shoulder of the rim. With a tube inside, you donít have that seepage to help the tire pop.
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Old 03-18-21, 03:25 PM
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I have a set of 33m Terreno Mix TNT's currently mounted with inner tubes. They seated fine with tubes.

Oddly, I'm having the opposite problem with these tires and I cannot get them to seat when setting up as tubeless. I think the problem is related to my rim tape and technique though, not the tires.
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Old 03-18-21, 03:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rolla
Yes, but in the OP you just advised people not to "bother even testing tube-no-tube gravel tires with a tube," not differentiating between brands at all.
No, I didn't "advise" people anything, here is what I stated above in full (emphasis added):

So, my current view based on very limited experience is don't bother even testing tube-no-tube gravel tires with a tube,


Originally Posted by Rolla
Concerned enough to reach out to the companies before accusing them of lying?
Look at the title again.. it is "Tube-no-tube tire lies?", not "Tube-no-tube tire lies". I am not accusing anyone of anything. I am planning to contact Donnelly since I bought them from the factory.

Re: what is perhaps going on with the tube/tire, my wild guess is the forces applied to the tire are ever so slightly different due to the friction of the tube and the force angles being ever so slightly different against the tire walls.
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Old 03-18-21, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith
No, I didn't "advise" people anything, here is what I stated above in full (emphasis added): So, my current view based on very limited experience is don't bother even testing tube-no-tube gravel tires with a tube,
Look at the title again.. it is "Tube-no-tube tire lies?", not "Tube-no-tube tire lies".
Semantic gymnastics. My money's on user error, not manufacturer "lies."
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Old 03-18-21, 05:27 PM
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I'm not thinking manufacturers are lying, they are just trying to make the best compromise between tubed to tubeless. That title was just for humor to get some attention.

I finally did email Donnelly, they are checking into it. They asked me about what tubes I was using but feel they were not the problem. Will follow up with what I hear.

It certainly could be user error, I don't claim to be an expert tire mounter. But these two were also by far the hardest to get on the rims, I broke a tire lever getting the Terrenos on. That lines up with how they would not stretch out enough to pop into the bead with a tube.
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Old 03-18-21, 05:30 PM
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We usse Schwalbe tire mounting fluid to lubricate tubeless tire beads most of the time to assist with the tighter beads in tubeless. Almost never have a problem that way. Schwalbe can void the tire warranty if you do not use it, though I do not believe they enforce that. It saves us time on a lot of installations and ensures a consistent bead popout all around. Some tire & rim combinations simply cannot be mounted without using it. We buy it by the quart.

https://www.danscomp.com/schwalbe-ea..._profit_lt_005

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Old 03-18-21, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by scottfsmith
I'm not thinking manufacturers are lying, they are just trying to make the best compromise between tubed to tubeless. That title was just for humor to get some attention.

I finally did email Donnelly, they are checking into it. They asked me about what tubes I was using but feel they were not the problem. Will follow up with what I hear.

It certainly could be user error, I don't claim to be an expert tire mounter. But these two were also by far the hardest to get on the rims, I broke a tire lever getting the Terrenos on. That lines up with how they would not stretch out enough to pop into the bead with a tube.
If your rims are more than about 3 years old, some were a bit oversized back then and could give you problems. Others could be undersized and you would have blowoffs when inflating certain tires. In the past 2 - 3 years the rim manufacturers have tightened up tubeless specs to reduce this problem quite a bit. Also if you replaced your rim tape with a thicker tape of put too many layers of the correct tape it easily can be enough to make it really hard to get the beads to seat over the little ridge inside the rim (it makes the ridge too high for the bead to pop over it). Using Gorilla Tape for rim tape can easily cause this problem on some rims. Also 3 - 4 layers of packing tape can cause a problem. Do you have the correct number of layers (usually 1 layer with some overlap at the ends) of the manufacturer recommended tape?

We often have folks come in the shop with their homegrown rim tape solution and a tire that will not mount. They always blame the tire and never even consider the rim or rim tape could be an issue.
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Old 03-18-21, 06:41 PM
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The rims (DT R470's) were purchased new in 2020. They came with the rim tape factory-installed.

Based on how well the four other brands went on it seems like the size is pretty good.. There could be something off about the rim geometry though, e.g. the hook shape is not exactly standard.
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Old 03-18-21, 08:19 PM
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It never surprises me when a tire doesn't seat right with a tube. Sometimes it's a struggle to get it to seat, but I think it's generally possible. Sometimes it helps to have something like the Park PTS-1 or Unior Tire setter 1601/2DP
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Old 03-18-21, 10:01 PM
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Quality control issues, for certain. Lots of tire setting problems are due to manufacturing defects from the factories cutting inspection steps in order to meet market demands.
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Old 03-18-21, 11:00 PM
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I wonder if talc powder on the outside of the tires would help them slip on better. In fact, I may try it as I have fought with the Vittoria G2.0 tires.
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Old 03-19-21, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney
I wonder if talc powder on the outside of the tires would help them slip on better. In fact, I may try it as I have fought with the Vittoria G2.0 tires.
Talc helps the tube slide inside the tire but doubtful for bead on rim. Try the Schwalbe stuff, it is made for this purpose and evaporates completely with no lasting residue.
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Old 03-19-21, 07:09 PM
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I solved my problem by chucking my tubes.. my tentative conclusion is the tire companies these days are focused on tubeless use. No sense trying to swim upstream. I expect I could get them on with some soap or the Schwalbe stuff with the tubes, but it is easier to just go with the flow.

I didn't hear back anything more from Donnelly so far.
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Old 03-21-21, 04:16 PM
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Some tires just need to be stretched a little. For tube use, make sure you don't have it pinched, pump it up near max and let it sit overnight. Next day the bead will be seated.
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Old 03-23-21, 06:15 PM
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Getting some tires to seat properly with a tube installed, especially on a tubeless-ready rim, is sometimes challenging. Sometimes extremely challenging. It's also normal, and it doesn't indicate that anyone is being dishonest. The spec for rims and tires is pretty wide, and making your tire easily compatible with every rim out there is literally impossible. This problem didn't even originate in the tubeless era and isn't necessarily down to the tire per se. I had some Challenge Paris Roubaix open tubulars (not tubeless compatible!) a few years ago that turned out to be a real bear to get seated on a Velocity A23 wheelset I had at the time. You can use all the same tricks that would to try and get a balky tubeless set up to seat properly - soap water on the tire beads, extra pressure, general elbow grease - and eventually it works. It's a pain, but to be honest, it is basically a miracle that gravel tubeless works so well across such a vast array of rims and tires. Before maybe six years ago, it was basically a crapshoot. Now, any old tubeless rim and tire will almost certainly work reliably. If the price to be paid fo is that seating tubeless tires with a tube is tricky, that seems OK.
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Old 03-23-21, 07:44 PM
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Clicked the link and thought 'this is eerily similar to Nashbar's layout.
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Old 03-24-21, 08:26 AM
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I'm slowly getting better at this tubes and no tubes stuff... For the tubeless tires too hard to get on the rim I have been leaving them in the sun for a few minutes, that is just enough to get them on without too much elbow grease. Also I had 20-year-old tire levers and I bought a new wider set and they work much better.

One tire which was really easy with a tube (Gravelking SS) proved to be impossible to mount tubeless on one set of rims, they were just too loose. Even the LBS could not get them seated. Looks like they may have erred a bit too much on the side of tubed in the design.
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