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Tubes or tubeless?

Old 08-15-15, 08:18 PM
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Tubes or tubeless?

I have a noob question for you guy's, do most XC racers prefer to ride tubeless or with tubes and why? Thx
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Old 08-15-15, 08:53 PM
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I don't know what most XC racers are using, but the main advantages of tubeless are reduced rolling resistance and the ability to run lower pressures without the risk of pinch flats. The lower pressure gives you better traction. Another benefit is that the sealant can seal small punctures.

The main advantage of tubes is that they are dead simple to use. Mount the tire, pump it go ride. With tubeless some tire/rim combos can be a PITA to get the tire to seat and you may even need to use an air compressor.
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Old 08-15-15, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MStewart
I have a noob question for you guy's, do most XC racers prefer to ride tubeless or with tubes and why? Thx
Probably tubeless or tubulars. Tubulars are by far the preferred setup for cyclo-cross, because the narrower tires are very prone to burping under hard cornering. In a race, realistically, if you have to change a tube you're basically done.
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Old 08-16-15, 08:01 AM
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Thanks, good points! I fortunately have a large air compressor and a portable tank, so I think I'm going to give it a go I'm sick of pin hole flats all the time!
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Old 08-17-15, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MStewart
Thanks, good points! I fortunately have a large air compressor and a portable tank, so I think I'm going to give it a go I'm sick of pin hole flats all the time!
I'm tubeless and love it but for years I ran a little squirt of SLIM in my tubes and seldom got pin holes from briars and such. If you don't want to drop the money yet go with the SLIM to see if it meets your needs, a little goes a long way.
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Old 08-17-15, 09:57 AM
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It helps to start with ust rims or something from like Stans rims.
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Old 08-17-15, 11:10 AM
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I have tubeless but its a pain in the butt to install, and it sucks when the old valves leaks. Part of me still thinks the old school tube is easier to deal with. And I can run a liner to prevent 95% of the flat.
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Old 08-17-15, 11:18 AM
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I dont race, but I still use tubes, and have started buying the tubes with sealant in them. No Flats Joe's Self Sealing MTB Inner Tube | Chain Reaction Cycles

it has the same brand sealant GMBN uses when they go tubless.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q89N...A2_JT&index=13
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Old 08-17-15, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for sharing your thoughts guy's, I appreciate the input!
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Old 08-17-15, 01:34 PM
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I have a set of stan's rims and they are easy to setup tubeless and once you get them setup you are done messing with them for a long time. They don't leak between rides at least no more than a typical tube. I also setup an old set of non-tubeless rims tubeless using one of the ghetto methods and I could never get them to hold air very well. The front rim is so old it still works with rim brakes and it was the true problem. They worked fine as long as you kept an eye on them and keep them pumped up but once they go flat the tire would come off the bead and then it is air compressor time again. I ended up going back to tubes on that bike but I do miss the better ride quality. It was really noticeable on that bike being a rigid.
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Old 08-17-15, 01:41 PM
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+1 for using Stan's or other tubeless compatible rims. I have been able to seat tires with a floor pump on my Arch rims without much fuss. And other than adding sealant after a few weeks they are maintenance free.
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Old 08-17-15, 01:49 PM
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Use a tube in a tubeless tire and let it sit inflated overnight if the tire is new...or has been sitting folded for a while. That will help the tire seat much easier. My tires seat on the first shot with a compressor. Check every two or three months to make sure the fluid is not dried up.
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Old 08-17-15, 02:06 PM
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Geez I got a commercial gigantic compressor and it's a PITA to get my tires to seat the bead on the stan rims. I usually have to run a rope around the middle of the tire to push the sides out for it to seat. Either way the Stans rims and tubeless is nice but it's a pricy wheelset upgrade compared to slim.
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Old 08-17-15, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by RIC0
I'm tubeless and love it but for years I ran a little squirt of SLIM in my tubes and seldom got pin holes from briars and such. If you don't want to drop the money yet go with the SLIM to see if it meets your needs, a little goes a long way.
I tired some Slime tubes. They were comically heavy, and didn't actually work. The Slime kinda sealed the pin hole, but once you start riding it would leak. It was enough to make it home, but you still needed a new tube. Not worth the money. Tubeless is higher maintenance (due to needing to keep sealant topped up), but more reliable. If you ride regularly then, definitely go that way, for infrequent riding yeah, stick with tubes.
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Old 08-17-15, 04:12 PM
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I got some Slime tubes and one came with slime gumming up the valve. It would never hold air and the little valve tool built into the valve cap just twisted off when I went to try to clean it out.
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Old 08-17-15, 05:57 PM
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Originally Posted by RIC0
Geez I got a commercial gigantic compressor and it's a PITA to get my tires to seat the bead on the stan rims. I usually have to run a rope around the middle of the tire to push the sides out for it to seat. Either way the Stans rims and tubeless is nice but it's a pricy wheelset upgrade compared to slim.
I got a 1hp 3 gallon compressor. My tires seat up on the first shot...every time. I just added some Stan's to my tires this weekend. Took a few seconds to seat and air up the tire.

A Slime tube is heavy. The OP wants to race XC not cruise the bike path.
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Old 08-17-15, 09:54 PM
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how much weight does the tubeless sealant plus tubeless specific tires add vs running a lightweight skinwall and a latex tube for XC use ?

I have been intrigued with tubulars also for cross country use since they became available a decade or so ago --- but they are something that you would reserve for special rides only for sure
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Old 08-17-15, 10:21 PM
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How long is the lightweight skin wall tire going to last in the real world? Tubeless tires are not necessarily the lightest option, but they work great. And the reduction in rolling resistance is noticeable.

As for tubulars, how many tires are available? I can't say I know of any tubular mountainbike tires. Cyclocross, yes there are plenty available. Mountainbike? Not that many. I think FMB or maybe it was Tufo made some a while ago for Absalon but I'm not sure they were ever commercially available.
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Old 08-18-15, 03:31 AM
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The Racing Ralph is available in a tubular. I think Nino Schurter is the only pro that currently runs tubs. Not sure I'd run them as a recreational rider. Maybe as a race day setup only. I am curious to see how they would differ from tubeless.

Switching from standard tubes to tubeless with some Ground Controls, I lost about a half pound off the bike.
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Old 08-18-15, 05:19 AM
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Ya dang skippy SLIME tubes are heavy that's why I stated a little squirt of it goes a long way. Buy a bottle of slime and 2-3 ounces is plenty, which is less than the STANS amount in my current 29er setup. This being done in the tube you already have in your tire. I ran this setup for riding and racing for some 5+ years with great success.

Now with that said don't think you can run the PSI that you can with tubeless you are simply helping with some flats. This is not a fix for running low PSI and getting snake bites.

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Old 08-18-15, 09:54 AM
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I was wrong then, there are commercially available tubular mtb tires. But I agree, outside a short track race I don't see much use for them on a mountainbike. For cross, it is different. All courses are short and not too technical so if you get a flat you can crawl to the pits on your tubulars (assuming you are a pro that doesn't care about trashing that $150 tire) But on a mountainbike course? I don't see that happening.

The other thing is that tubeless is mature and reliable enough that tubulars won't give you a big advantage. At least on the big sized tires. I did see a lot of burped tires last cross season.
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Old 08-18-15, 10:04 AM
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I wont use slime tubes, my experience with slime from my motorcycling warned me off.
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Old 08-18-15, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by FrozenK
I did see a lot of burped tires last cross season.
My GF burped her front tire a few weekends ago. Not sure what she hit..but the tire deflated and the Stan's was coming out at the bead. Good thing I was able to re-seat the tire with a hand pump.
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Old 08-18-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by I <3 Robots
My GF burped her front tire a few weekends ago. Not sure what she hit..but the tire deflated and the Stan's was coming out at the bead. Good thing I was able to re-seat the tire with a hand pump.
I think it is a matter of how much force can the skinny tire take. The smaller the tire the higher the pressure you will need. I know I can get away with less than 20psi on a mountainbike (I didn't find out on purpose, if you know what i mean) and people are running less than 10 on fatbikes. But at this point I'm not convinced that CX tubeless will work with the low pressures I'd like to use. (Or maybe I'm too cheap to invest on a set of tubeless wheels)
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Old 08-19-15, 04:35 PM
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I change tires for different ride conditions, sometimes weekly, I need still need tubes
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