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Moved to Tubeless

Old 06-20-11, 09:34 AM
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Moved to Tubeless

Here’s my experience with a tubeless conversion – not trying to convert, just letting you know how it went for me.

About 2 weeks ago I bought new tires for my MTB. Specialized Renegade s-works. After 2 rides and 3 flats (with tubes) I was frustrated and ready to try something else. Several of my bike buddies suggested moving to tubeless – they said my DT 4.20 rims were good proven candidates. My tires were already “tubeless ready”, so I bought what else was needed. A quart of Stan’s, 2 valve stems, and tubeless rim sealing tape – Roval brand. This cost me just over $30 after tax (the tires were about $100). Installation was pretty simple – remove tires and rim strips, clean rims, install tubeless tape, install tires, pour in Stan’s, and fill with air. I used a compressor, but it did not seem like I needed it. Then I filled tires to 40 psi and rode for 7-10 min. About 2 hours later the tires were flat. I pumped up again (40psi) and spun the wheels for a minute – the next morning they were both at 10 psi. Couple days later I rode with a group for about 2 hours – started the ride at 40psi and ended at 30psi. Had a few more rides since then, each with less loss – I rode on Saturday at 40 psi – then again on Sunday morning and did not have to add air. I have been riding with a Co2 and a tube just in case – but so far I am pretty pleased. On the next couple rides I plan on lowering the pressure (now that I am pretty sure they won’t leak down on their own), and see how they feel. (Note: Stan’s suggested 1.5 to 2 scoops of sealant per tire and I put in about 1.25 – a mistake on my part). Also, I am roughly guesstimating that I lost .25 to .35 #s of rotating weight.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:46 AM
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After you 1st fill the tires, it's best to lay them horizontally for several hours - this allows the latex to seep into the sidewalls instead of pool in 1 clump at the bottom of the wheel. I usually do this overnite - give each side a few hours, then flip for equal time.
May help with your initial deflation issues.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:54 AM
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Originally Posted by lubes17319 View Post
After you 1st fill the tires, it's best to lay them horizontally for several hours - this allows the latex to seep into the sidewalls instead of pool in 1 clump at the bottom of the wheel. I usually do this overnite - give each side a few hours, then flip for equal time.
May help with your initial deflation issues.
Good point - I do think that would have helped.
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Old 06-20-11, 10:58 AM
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there shouldn't be any "initial deflation" issues at all, it should have held air from the start. sounds like it didn't seal properly from the get go. could be a leak around the valve stem, not enough stan's, tire didn't seat properly, or something.
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Old 06-20-11, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by pablosnazzy View Post
there shouldn't be any "initial deflation" issues at all,......could be a leak around the valve stem, not enough stan's, tire didn't seat properly, or something.
Yup
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Old 06-20-11, 11:54 AM
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Sounds like you could have changed a lot of tubes in the time you spent farting around trying to get tubeless to work. Don't feel bad, though - Stan himself can't even make it look easy: http://www.notubes.com/Movies_Kit_Installation.aspx

Originally Posted by lubes17319 View Post
After you 1st fill the tires, it's best to lay them horizontally for several hours
hahaha
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Old 06-20-11, 01:07 PM
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I don't mind the setup time as long as the long term benefit is a positive. I'm not sold on the idea - the main reason I made the change is that I had a bunch of riders I've known for years (and respect their judgment) tell me it is an absolute upgrade - I guess in three months or so I'll either be sold on the idea - or back on tubes. I am a bit nervous though - I have a 100 mile race in 2.5 weeks, and I will be running my current setup - hope it holds.
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Old 06-20-11, 04:35 PM
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I hope it works out for you, I did 2 conversions ( using rim strips ) and 1 set of Haven Wheels that were UST out of the box. All 3 went just a tad longer than a tube change. I will share a couple things I did that I think helped. I put the tire on the rim, put some soapy water on a rag and wiped it around the sidewall / rim area, shot my stan's in with a large syringe thru the valve stem and aired up. I found the soapy water helped the tire seat to the rim and if there was a small leak you could see air bubbles. I then held the wheel in a horizontal position holding the skewer and spun it slowly wobbling it a bit to allow the stan's to get to the bead area, turned it over and did the same on the other side. Checked the tire with my water, verified no leaks, can't imaging going back to tubes for myself, but it probably not for everybody. Good luck!
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Old 06-20-11, 04:54 PM
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I'm back to tubes. UST/UST worked great but tubes are just a hair less reliable as far as flats go but that's where the advantages stop for me... I think the rocky terrain I ride in makes sidewall tears my biggest enemy rather than small punctures from thorns, etc. Plus I like changing tires throughout the season and that JUST PLAIN SUCKS with Stan's sealant. Couldn't get the dreamy low pressures every raves about either, just ended up banging up my rims under 28 PSI or so in back.

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Old 07-03-11, 07:53 AM
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Well - At this point I have to say I'm sold on tubeless. I used them for a couple weeks and all the initial headaches have went away. I loose very little pressure - less than tubes. I have not gotten too crazy about lowering the pressure - the lowest I have gone is 36psi and they feel pretty good - and definitely different than tubes. I think the bottle of Stans says that the fluid is good for 2-5 months - not really sure what happens after that amount of time, but knowing me, I'll just keep using until I have to change it out.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:43 AM
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Daggum...I run 38psi with tubes
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Old 07-03-11, 11:19 AM
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I usually do ~35 front/~40 back. I don't hit too much really big air though. I would like to try tubeless at some point... I am starting to develop a fear of blackberry bushes =O. It isn't really too high on my list of upgrades however.
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Old 07-03-11, 11:52 AM
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When I start to see a little pressure loss between rides, that's when I add more stans's I use a syringe to shoot it in thru the valve stem and i am good for a month or two. The whole process takes about 1 minute.
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Old 07-03-11, 06:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ed View Post
Daggum...I run 38psi with tubes
Yea - I'm 28psi on the DH bike w/ tubes - never had a problem, so I'm not going to switch to tubeless on that bike.
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Old 07-04-11, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by sscyco View Post
Well -..... I think the bottle of Stans says that the fluid is good for 2-5 months - not really sure what happens after that amount of time, but knowing me, I'll just keep using until I have to change it out.
the stans dries out and you lose your seal and you get a flat. i went a year before i had problems. you should probably re-stans every 6 months.
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Old 07-19-11, 10:32 PM
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I used the tubeless in a 100 mile race I did 1.5 weeks ago (cascadecreampuff.com) - had the pressure at 30 psi (had done a couple training rides at 28). They felt great until about mile 30 - then I blew a couple corners and just started riding sloppy. About mile 33, I started felling the front tire roll a couple times. Hopped off the bike and gave the tire a squeeze - probably less than 10 psi. Spun the wheel and found a index finger sized stick stuck between the bead and the rim. I yanked it out and, to my surprise, the bead held. I was racing - so I was traveling light, 2 co2s and 1 tube. I used a co2 and the air instantly leaked out. I inserted the tube into the slimy tire (the Stan's sure helped the bead slide on quick) and used my 2nd co2 - guessing that got me up to ~20psi. Raced the next 66 miles with no way to fix a flat - but didn't get one either. Had bad luck that day, but still a great race - probably would have had the same issue with tubes.
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Old 07-20-11, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ed View Post
Daggum...I run 38psi with tubes
I can run 28 with tubes
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